If you actually for some strange reason want to see The Pledge, don't read this.
I am talking about the car wreck. This was an accident, pure and simple. It had nothing to do with the main character's actions and "hubris" except that the character could have chosen not to pursue the case anymore. And if the accident had not happened, then the main character would have probably been vindicated because they could have caught the guy or at least seen him. It is easily arguable that he would not have descended into madness if they had caught the guy, or if the guy had come and got away, because even then he would still have had someone to chase.
Thus, the main cause of the character's downfall was an accident. And in this case, a literal accident.
Here's an alternate Greek Tragic ending that would have had most of the same elements but without the senselessness. Say that, after the bad guy set up the meeting with Jerry's daughter, he saw Jerry watching, and started asking around about him. Jerry's obsession, ex-cop-ness, and questions around town must have gotten around to a few people around town. Then, while you see Jerry acting out the final scene of his play, you see the bad guy driving out of town, to another place. The bad guy never comes, he loses the girl, he descends into madness, the other cops think he's a clown--everything happens the same except this time it's actually as a result of the characters' actions.
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