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In Se7en John Doe had everything meticulously planned. Did he in any way have anything to do with Mills' transfer to the city?

Somerset: Very simple. You actually fought to get re-assigned here. I've just never seen it done that way before.

He couldn't have just waited for Mills' transfer to go through because Somerset's retirement was coming up, so was there any explanation for this?

John Doe had at least sloth planned for a whole year, doesn't it seem a little uncharacteristic that he would plan the whole wrath thing from just the stairs encounter?

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    Even though I still think the answer is likely "no" and it's left unclear why Mills transferred, this is indeed a much better and clearer version of the question. Good improvement! +1
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 30 '20 at 13:30
  • And this is also closely related: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/295/…
    – BCdotWEB
    Sep 30 '20 at 16:22
  • Note that JD was closely following the investigation: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/78105/… So perhaps his plan always involved something like his endgame (killing a cop's wife and getting shot by him).
    – BCdotWEB
    Sep 30 '20 at 16:25
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No, John Doe didn't have anything to do with the transfer. It is obvious that he changed his plans after his first encounter with Mills and Somerset.

It's said early in the movie that Mills and his wife had only recently moved to town, meaning there's no logical way they could've been part of his original plan, and the film seems to confirm that, with Doe admitting that Mills and Somerset finding his apartment was an event he didn't expect.

The linked article is a lengthy examination of this.

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