Okay, so David, the protagonist from the short film, is played by Leigh Whannel. So is Adam. Obviously, they're twins, or else the Saw universe involves clones, which seems unlikely considering it's a realistic fiction series. Now, in a deleted scene from Saw, Adam says that he has a family, supporting the idea that he has a brother at all. Adam also says that he doesn't see his family much. Interesting... Think about it. Every other person who has been in the reverse bear trap helped Jigsaw. Why would David be an exception? In conclusion, Adam met his demise at the hands of his brother that he was so disconnected from that he didn't know the story of the man who tried to kill him.
- His body was cut open, though. And there was no mention in either IV, V, or VI of the body unexpectedly going missing, so either Jigsaw is now capable of incorporeally possessing people, or he had a twin brother we never heard about.
- Apparently further Saw films have been greenlit.
- Made of the pieces Jigsaw was cutting out of the skin of the people he captured. Stick them to a spiky mannequin, or something, and if you get too much blood on it before revealing the message, you starve to death in some dismal underground room. Figure out how to do it without causing yourself harm (or at least without getting blood on the pieces), and you find the key (...not necessarily a literal key, though). Would be good for someone with physically self-destructive tendencies, like Amanda (I haven't seen the later films, so don't know what happens there). They would have to find the path of least self-harm, or kill him- or herself once and for all (either way, making the human race slightly more appreciative of life on average). Would be an interesting twist, considering all the previous puzzles tend to revolve around getting blood out of a person's body, one way or another, to survive.
So he decided to create a game in which someone would be put to the test, but so would he. His test was to convince Jeff to forget his grief and to forgive to those who he feel wronged him (note the parallel between Jeff not coping with his son's death and Jigsaw not coping with his cancer). If he managed to do so, it would mean his games do serve their purpose and make people appreciate life. If he failed, it would mean his works were meaningless and only made people who already hit rock-bottom suffer even more, making him even more disrespectful of life than the people he tested, and he knew Jeff's anger would be so great that he would kill him (that also explains why he kidnapped Jeff's daughter and put his wife into a deadly trap, to make sure he would hate Jigsaw enough to kill him).
And last but not least, Jigsaw tested both of his apprentices, so it's not a stretch to believe that he would test himself as well, and being killed by a person he tested fit his theme of Karmic Deaths perfectly.
- Concerning your last point, Jigsaw did drive his car off of a cliff and survive; Saw IV shows him pulling a part of the car out of his abdomen. He could certainly seen that as his "test"; after all, that's when he changed from John Kramer into Jigsaw.
- Good point, but he did put former victims into a second trap when he thought they still didn't respect life enough, so maybe he considered that him turning into Jigsaw just made him go from disrespecting his life to disrespecting other people's lives.
First of all, look at his first two victims. Their "tests" were obviously not just a matter of "If you're willing to suffer then you get to live"; they both tried as hard as they could to escape and yet they died anyway. They didn't lack the will to survive; their tests were just too friggin' hard. Then we have Amanda, who has to kill an innocent in order to survive. So now suddenly it's "If you're willing to commit murder then you get to live," even though he supposedly abhors murder and only does what he does to get people to value their lives. And of course, we learn at the end that Adam basically never had a hope in hell of surviving.
Michael's test in the second movie is the only one that actually conforms to Jigsaw's "true" modus operandi; he could have survived if he'd been willing to endure the loss of his eye, but he wasn't, so he died. Fine. It's all downhill from there, however; first he uses blatant Schmuck Bait to trick a guy into shooting himself, then he sets a test for Xavier that he can easily avoid just by making someone else do it. Not to mention that razor box, which was just a flat-out trap. Nobody whose brain's been addled by a lethal airborne toxin could reasonably be expected to avoid that. Also, Jigsaw now seems to be be promoting a Power of Friendship message on top of everything else, because the victims would have fared a lot better without all the infighting. So now we have "You must kill to survive" being followed by "You must work together!"
Then of course we have Detective Matthews, who just gets screwed every which way. Not only demonstrate the will to survive by escaping almost immediately, he's smart about it; he breaks his ankle rather than sawing his foot off. And then he gets captured again and dies in the next movie through no fault of his own. Grand.
Also, Jigsaw's now trying to teach the value of mercy and forgiveness, apparently. This after forcing someone to commit murder and dragging numerous innocent bystanders into his "tests", including a little girl. Oh, and the final message of the movie is just great. "You didn't instantly forgive me for all the horrible, horrible trials I put you through, so now I'm going to make your wife's head asplode."
It's possible that this tangled mess is all justifiable somehow, but it's also possible that Jigsaw is just nuts. I know which one I'm going for.
- The Razor Box trap had a way out: at the top of the box was a padlock with the key inside it, if the victim had spotted it, it just needed to be unlocked and then there wouldn't have been the bloody mess that ensued. (See here.)
- And as for Matthews, he failed his actual test (to talk to Jigsaw for a couple of hours without marching off like a hero). You could see this as justification for his subsequent death (at least, justified by Jigsaw's logic). Or, there's the other view, supported by the films: it's Amanda's fault, not Jigsaw's. Amanda is skeptical of Jigsaw's methods (understandable), believing that they leave survivors worse off than dying. So she takes it upon herself to lock Matthews in the bathroom as an execution. He's too clever, escapes, and so she decides to finish him off for his own good.
- Kevin was quite adept at dishing out vigilante justice with a variety of gruesome traps, particularly for an 8-year-old. It takes a twisted mind to permanently brand someone with a doorknob. His neglectful parents apparently never bothered getting Kevin therapy after two felons threatened to torture and murder him, since he deliberately runs away from a second family vacation, and his traps are noticeably more brutal in New York. Imagine what a kid like that would grow up to be.
- This has been taken to its logical conclusion
This is a theory that has been floating around in my head for a while, and it has been in there long enough that I think I may have sufficient proof for it. Basically, I don't think William had to choose between killing anyone during his game in Saw VI; I think there was a way for everyone involved in the traps to live.
First of all, look at Saw V: the people in the sewer trap thought they had to fight each other and that the trap was Survival of the Fittest, but it turned out in the end that they were supposed to work together. I don't think it's inconceivable for that kind of aesop change to happen in Saw VI, as well; William thinks he is being taught a lesson about the flaws in his perception about the relative worth of people's lives (for example, a healthy loner is not worth more than a sick grandmother), but it turns out he's really being encouraged to just drop those perceptions completely (rather than just correct them), and to give everyone a chance at life; in other words, to not try to assign life a value. After all, Jigsaw basically told William that his formula for deciding whether someone got coverage was BS because it didn't take into account the human will to live. If William was just being encouraged to rethink his perceptions on the relative worth of human life, then that would just mean modifying his formula, but I think Jigsaw would want him to just forget about his formula.
Now, I think there was a way for William to go about each each trap without killing anyone. I suspect that the Breathing Mask Trap was designed so that it wouldn't actually kill William. After all, without him, none of the other traps can go as planned, and thus Hoffman wouldn't have been able to carry Jigsaw's final will, and why make an innocent janitor go through everything that William had to go through? Thus, perhaps the trap would release them both if William were to simply breath enough to supposedly kill himself. This would have taught him that, though Hank was less healthy than him, that didn't mean Hank deserved to die.
With the Barbed-Wire Nooses, I think the responsibility was more on Allen's shoulder, but he could have survived. Watch the scene: his hands are released well before the noose tightened, meaning he could have grabbed the noose so that it wouldn't cut his neck when he fell. It certainly would have been painful, but considering the alternative (death), it's preferable. And why else would the director have included a scene of his hands have been released? He could have very well said, "Fuck you!" without his hands being released, so it couldn't have just been for storytelling purposes
The Steam Room is simpler to explain. Debbie could have just used to band-saw to cut the device off of herself. The x-rays were probably placed there to make her think she had to maim William to get the key (like the faux Survival of the Fittest theme in Saw V), even though she didn't.
Finally, in the Carousel Trap, what if there was no limit on the number of times William could have pushed the buttons to raise the shotgun? I can't think of any evidence to support this, but if it were the case, it would have sent the message that the limits on how many people should be allowed to live (a parallel to the idea that some people shouldn't be given insurance coverage) are all an illusion created by the higher-ups (in the case of the trap, the higher-up is Jigsaw; in the case of health insurance, it's William). I know it's a Converse Error to assume that since this moral makes sense, then the possibility that lead to it must be true, but I thought I'd bring it up anyways.
Most importantly, though, remember that Jigsaw said to William, "You think it is the living who will have ultimate judgment over you because the dead will have no claim to your soul, but you may be mistaken." However, at the end of the movie, it is the living (Brent and Tara) who have ultimate judgment over him. Thus, the only way this quote can be relevant is if it is the people who died in the traps (i.e. whom William killed) that are the dead that have a claim to his soul. In other words, had he not killed anyone, there would be no dead to claim his soul, and thus perhaps he would have been saved.
On a side note, since Jigsaw could predict human behavior, perhaps he designed the tape that played at the end of the film specifically to encourage Tara or Brent to kill William. If that's the case, he could have had two tapes ready to play when William made it to the end: one which he knew would cause Brent or Tara to pull the level, and one which would have encouraged them to spare him, or perhaps told William to not stand on the platform that activated the switch, and that one would have played if he had pressed the button in the Carousel trap more than twice, and/or Hank had survived, etc. In other words, maybe William's real test was to find a way to let everyone live, to give up his insurance-based view that some people must die for others to keep living, and he failed that test miserably, and thus his punishment was to die by Brent's hand.
- I really like this theory — in fact, it improves VI quite a bit for me. Pity no one in the film figures it out.
- I like this theory as well and to add to it, not just the sewer trap but the entire setup of Saw V could have been fixed through teamwork instead of one person dying. Trap 1: The same key opens all collars. get the key and just pass it down. Trap 2: The explosion-safe spots can fit more than one person in them. Trap 3: All of them hold the cables. Trap 4: All of them should have been alive at that point, so 10 pints between 5 people isn't so horrible.
- When I said "the sewer trap", I was referring to all four of those traps collectively, since they all take place in a sewer.
- Just as an additional quirk of this theory: if William had acted in ways that ensured his co-workers' survival, then he'd have had the janitor and Debbie tagging along with him after those rooms. He could have had one of them stick around at the Carousel Trap, punching the button over and over, while he continued onward to find his sister.
- The carousal part bugged me because I realized that there wasn't any proof that the button only worked once and the fact that there are two buttons might have been a red herring (why not? The acid showers were one too). I like to reimagine that scene where he saves a third person by pushing the button in a futile attempt only to realize that it worked after all.
- Alternately, William himself can only press each button once, but other people can also press them once each. Therefore, if he'd saved at least two of the previous victims, the other six could have had a chance.
Throughout the series, the philosophy of Jigsaw is that those who do not appreciate life do not deserve it. Endure some pain and survive or suffer eternal death. Remember that John tried to commit suicide, yet failed and thus became enlightened? Because of that incident he realized that the human race have grown sinful, living just because life contains pleasure, and because of that realization, he decided to "purge" humanity of their sin. After that, he created contraptions which purpose is to rehabilitate people by imposing Ironic Hell upon them, let them choose on their own free will to either endure and lose the things that made them sin, or to give up and choose death, and if they do survive, make them appreciate life as something in itself. Taken from a more biblical perspective, Jigsaw want them to purge them of sin and rehabilitate them in a way that they can see life as something to be glorified and appreciated in itself, not just because life contains sins and vices and pleasures and obsessions. He was imposing judgement on those who deserve eternal life in Jigsaw and those who deserve eternal death. He was trying to create a Purgatory, one person at a time. After all, Jesus did say "If your right eye causes you to sin (which the wage for is death), gouge it and throw it away" (which reminds this troper of the game in Saw IV where the guy was forced to either blind himself for being a rapist or be ripped apart).
Afterwards, the Jigsaw philosophy slowly gains recruits, eventually being a considerable cult and even taking over small villages. After a century, it's one of the most powerful forces in America and has outlets in other countries. A little while later, and soon there are Jigsaws EVERYWHERE (deverywhere, deverywhere). Every household in America gets tested (gets tested, gets tested). It becomes bigger than hula hoops (hula hoops, hula hoops). Eventually it is the leading cause of death in the world and not a single person goes through their life without undergoing a Jigsaw trap. Of course some would prefer being Driven to Suicide than to endure the traps. Quality of life declines and people forget what they knew, as slowly the Jigsaw become a seperate, more powerful class than the Non-Jigsaw. They're worshipped as gods, and scientific knowledge shifts to being exclusively the domain of the Jigsaw, as the Jigsaw do research into new traps and execute the Non-Jigsaw scientists for stupid reasons. Eventually the Jigsaw create AM from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, who kills the Jigsaw and most of the Non-Jigsaw, but still tries to perform his function...
- Alternatively, The Jigsaw and their ideology of rehabilitation ends up in the hands of The Party from Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Party successfully uses the Jigsaw rehabilitation methods and John Kramer's spying / surveillance abilities (well, after all, how can you have an Ironic Hell without a knowledge of people's personalities)? to design the Ministry of Love, and the purpose is twisted so that the purpose of the traps are not to make people appreciate life, but to make people appreciate Big Brother.
- Confirmed implicitly: In the video game Saw II: Flesh & Blood, Cecil Adams' journal entries are scattered around and it mentions Amanda's role in the death of Gideon. The entries had been obtained by Detective Tapp after Cecil's death. Hoffman could have gotten ahold of them and then shown them to John. It may have been John who told Hoffman to "blackmail" Amanda into killing Lynn Denlon. After all, he told Amanda that there was something in the drawer for her in Saw III. He may have wanted to see if Amanda would remain a killer or if she would succeed her test and tell him the truth.
- Or its just a nice nod since all three were directed by James Wan (with Leigh Whannell also participating in some of them)
- Ray Watkins, head custodian.
- Francis Merkin, head custodian who replaced Ray.
- A custodian who wrote letters to someone named Marie Whitehurst Asylum. Could possibly be either Ray or Francis.
- Emma, a patient who reminds a custodian of Marie. Perhaps they had an affair?
- Daniel Whitehurst IV, M.D., owner of the asylum who said that the government grants do not cover patient needs.
- Dr. Holstein, mentioned in a memo to nursing staff.
- Nurse Cleaver, who believed that patients would get worse and riot despite medication.
- Dr. Timothy Early, a doctor who might have supported LSD research.
- Placing the key in David Tapp's heart in the video game.
- Luring Carla Song to test her in Saw II: Flesh & Blood.
- He could have used his medical expertise to figure out where to impale Morgan and Rex from Saw IV.
- Certainly it could be so, but it needn't have to be. Brent may have just been a pissed-off teenager who hated William so much he'd have pulled the DIE lever no matter who the man chose. Either way, it's entirely plausible that Brent could've earned himself a game by his actions, there...