Saw Ending Explained [SPOILER!]

SPOILER ALERT: the following article contains massive spoilers, including the ending. If you have not yet seen the movie, proceed at your own risk, or better, come back to this article later!

Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed “Jigsaw” and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon’s wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video.


Saw Plot Summary and Synopsis

Photographer Adam Stanheight awakens in a dilapidated bathtub, with his ankle chained to a pipe. Across the room is oncologist Dr. Lawrence Gordon with a corpse between them holding a revolver and a microcassette recorder. Both men find a tape in their pockets, and Adam retrieves the recorder. Adam’s tape urges him to escape, while Gordon’s tape tells him to kill Adam by six o’clock or his wife Alison and daughter Diana will be killed. Adam finds a bag containing two hacksaws inside the toilet which they try to use to cut through their chains, but Adam’s saw breaks. Gordon realizes the saws are meant to be used on their feet, and identifies their captor as the Jigsaw Killer—a serial killer testing his victims’ will of survival through murderous contraptions as “games”, whom Gordon knows of because he was once a suspect.

Five months ago, Gordon, while discussing the terminal brain cancer of patient John Kramer, was interrogated by Detectives David Tapp and Steven Sing, who found his penlight at the scene of one of Jigsaw’s games. Gordon’s alibi cleared him, but he agreed to view the testimony of heroin addict Amanda Young, the only known survivor of one of Jigsaw’s traps. After Gordon was released, Tapp and Sing found Jigsaw’s warehouse using the videotape from Amanda’s game. There, they apprehended Jigsaw and saved a man from a trap, but Jigsaw escaped after Sing triggered a shotgun trap in the hallway that killed him.

In the present, Alison and Diana are held captive at home as their captor watches Adam and Dr. Gordon through a hidden camera. The house is simultaneously watched by Tapp, having been discharged from the police after Sing’s death and becoming obsessed with the Jigsaw case, convinced that Gordon is the killer. Meanwhile, Gordon finds a box containing two cigarettes, a lighter, and a one-way cellphone; recounting his abduction in a parking garage by a pig-masked figure who also captured Adam as well after the latter recalls his own abduction when he found a puppet at his photo development room.

Allison, held at gunpoint, calls her husband and warns him not to trust Adam, who admits to Gordon that he was paid by Tapp to spy on him and showed the photos he took from the bag containing the hacksaws; revealing his knowledge of Gordon’s affair with one of his medical students whom he had visited the night he was abducted as the reason he is being tested. Adam finds a photo he did not take, of Alison and Diana’s captor whom Gordon identifies as Zep Hindle, an orderly at his hospital.

Once the clock strikes six, Zep, since Gordon had still not managed to kill Adam, moves to murder Alison and Diana, but the former frees herself and fights him. The struggle attracts Tapp’s attention, and he saves Alison and Diana before chasing Zep to the sewers, where he is shot in the chest after a brief fight. Gordon, only aware of the gunshots and screaming, is shocked and loses reach of the cellphone. In desperation, he saws off his foot and shoots Adam with the corpse’s revolver. Zep enters the bathroom to kill Gordon but Adam, having survived the gunshot, bludgeons Zep to death with the toilet tank lid. Gordon crawls out of the bathroom to find help while Adam searches Zep’s body for a key and finds another tape, revealing that Zep was another victim following rules to obtain an antidote for a slow-acting poison he was given.

Saw Ending

As the tape ends, the corpse rises and is revealed to be Kramer, the real Jigsaw Killer who reveals to Adam that the key to his ankle chain was in the bathtub and went down the drain when he had first woken up. Horrified, Adam attempts to shoot Kramer with Zep’s gun, but Kramer electrically shocks him through his chain and exits the bathroom. Kramer shuts off the lights and seals the door, leaving a screaming and helpless Adam to die.

Source: Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

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