Warning: spoilers for Jigsaw are in play. If you haven't experienced this latest game in the world of Saw, bookmark this page and come back once you've survived.
For a series that's built on surprise twists and an increasingly retconned timeline, Jigsaw's ending has to be one of the biggest surprises in quite some time. Part of the reason for such a gasp inducing claim is because of two huge reveals at the end of the film's story, as not only does John Kramer have yet another apprentice after 10 years, but they fit into a very specific portion of the Saw timeline. It's hard to talk about all of this without doing a deep dive, but suffice it to say that if you've seen Jigsaw and need to talk through that sharp curve of an ending, we're here to help. Last chance to get off the bus unspoiled, kids, as we're heading into Kramer country to discuss the ending of Jigsaw.
How It Ended
Throughout Jigsaw, a game is being played, forcing the characters and audience to ask whether John Kramer is still alive and executing this latest trap, or if a new apprentice is at work. Detective Halloran, one of the film's leads, thinks that the prime suspects are Eleanor and Logan, two medical examiners who we discover are nice and cozy, with the former having an actual obsession and the latter covering up for her. Meanwhile, our medical examiners think that the good detective is the new Jigsaw, considering his shady past with a recently deceased suspect.
One final trap puts both theories to test, as Halloran and Logan are captured and fitted with laser collars that'll carve up their heads. The way to get out is to confess to the past crimes that got them there. In a last minute act of cowardice, Halloran triggers Logan's half of the trap, which yanks him by the neck to the wall and activates the collar. Logan admits that he was in the trap for a very specific reason: he was the X-ray tech that misdiagnosed John Kramer, allowing him to live with an undiagnosed cancer for longer than he had to. Despite his confession, the lasers close in on Logan's head and he dies, which then triggers Halloran's half of the trap.
As it turns out, Det. Halloran is a cop so dirty, he's let criminals walk on purpose for his own personal gains, a fact he professes in order to stop the trap. Sure enough, the trap stops, and it's revealed that Logan isn't dead after all. In fact, he is an apprentice of Jigsaw's, and he's been playing a game reminiscent of the very first game that John Kramer ever played -- a game we've seen played out at the same time as a separate, more modern game, with Logan as one of its participants. Logan triggers the trap to kill off Halloran, proclaiming that he speaks for the wronged dead. It's a lot to take in, but there are some more details that need to be delved into in order to truly make sense of this ending.
Is Jigsaw Dead?
Throughout the course of Jigsaw, the evidence for John Kramer's supposed return from the grave mounts with each turn of the screw. Fresh DNA samples are found on victims, the audio tape taunting the police is 100% authenticated as containing Kramer's voice and even his body is nowhere to be found as an exhumation reveals Edgar Munsen, one of Halloran's criminal pals roaming free, buried in his place. We even see Tobin Bell returning as John Kramer, looking quite healthy at the end of the game we're supposed to think is currently being played. However, it's all a ruse, as the original Jigsaw killer is dead and gone.
As it turns out, Logan has been running a game inspired by that first game of Jigsaw's, with the victims being criminals that Det. Halloran "failed" to arrest, thus stringing the police along since the very beginning of the film. The only reason Kramer looks to be alive is because with access to everything from blood samples to audio files from the era of OG Jigsaw, the medical examiner moonlighting as a vigilante has put on a pretty good show that his mentor would be proud of. Especially considering he's probably the most crucial part of Jigsaw's origin and continued legacy.
The First Apprentice/Game
Previously we mentioned that Logan's carelessness caused him to misdiagnose John Kramer's cancer, thus allowing him to go for longer than he should have without proper treatment. This lead Kramer down the path to becoming Jigsaw we all know from the previous seven films, with Logan eventually being one of the contestants in his very first game, which is seen played out through Jigsaw. We just didn't know it in the beginning, because the supposed first victim of that game was Logan, who was still under anesthetic when the games began.
While Logan is just as guilty in John's eyes as the other participants of his game, which include his next door neighbor who smothered a child to death and a man who sold his nephew a faulty motorcycle, John doesn't believe that a simple error should end Logan's life. This leads Kramer to get to know Logan, who happens to be a recovering war vet that shares the same sense of justice that the man behind the Jigsaw killings embodies. This effectively makes Logan not only a participant in the first Jigsaw game ever, but also the first apprentice to be taken under his wing, as we see him helping build the reverse bear trap used on the previously-presumed first apprentice, Amanda Young, in the original Saw.
What This Could Mean For The Franchise In The Future?
While Jigsaw had a less than stellar first weekend at the box office, its total haul will more than likely eclipse its modest budget. Which means that we could see some sequels to this resurrection of John Kramer's legacy in the coming future. However, this could become problematic, as each sequel seems to rewrite that legacy to add more apprentices and even more fuel for Kramer's inspiration to become the avenging killer we all know and fear. If Jigsaw had selectively ignored some sequels, this might not have been a problem, but now that it's fully committed to the canon that came before it, there are some issues that will need to be addressed.
How Logan fits into the rest of the Saw series is the most obvious issue, seeing as there's a lot of history and just as many characters that would be revisited in future sequels. Whether there's only room for one more sequel to Jigsaw, or plans for several in the making, there are plenty of opportunities for Amanda, Jill and even Detective Hoffman to pop up yet again. Then again, there's another issue at play that's even bigger in its scope, as Dr. Lawrence Gordon, the final Jigsaw apprentice to be named in the series, is still operating as well.
Should this be the final film in the Saw series though, this somewhat stands on its own. Logan can run free, Dr. Gordon can run free and bad people all over can worry about being hunted by them. But in all honesty, Jigsaw's ending kind of makes a sequel a necessity, seeing as no two Jigsaw apprentices ever seem to get along when it comes to the nitty gritty methodology. Our hope is that there can be another, and truly, final chapter that sees the two men go head to head, with the winner truly carrying the Saw legacy once and for all.