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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Jigsaw

The "Saw" films have a well-earned reputation as one of the grimmest, goriest, and downright nastiest mainstream horror franchises. But the gruesome death traps aren't the only calling card of the series. Ever since the first film's jaw-dropping twist ending, the "Saw" movies have delivered last act revelations that are almost as shocking as a reverse bear trap. The eighth entry, 2017's "Jigsaw," is no exception.

Throughout "Jigsaw," there are two parallel stories happening. In one, five people wake up to find themselves kidnapped by Jigsaw aka John Kramer (Tobin Bell), and are forced to participate in a series of deadly games. In the other, police officers are on a desperate search for where those five people are being held captive when the bodies of those who lose the game begin turning up.

The film's finale reveals a two-part twist. The game that appeared to be running concurrent with the police investigation actually happened ten years in the past and Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore), one of the forensic pathologists helping with the case, was one of the five original victims. He ended up being spared by John Kramer and then went on to become his apprentice.

It's a pretty gnarly revelation that casts everything that came before it in a different light. And when you go back and look at the first ten minutes of the movie, you realize that there was a huge clue to unlocking part of the twist hiding in plain sight.

Since when do the Saw films cut away from a character's death?

The mechanics of how the "Jigsaw" twist comes together are important to understanding how the twist is foreshadowed. In the first room of Jigsaw's game, all five of his victims have buckets affixed to their heads and are being dragged toward a wall of buzzsaws. To stop the blades, the victims must cut themselves and bleed, at which point the saws stop and they can remove their bucket.

They are all able to do this except for Victim #5. He didn't wake up in time to save himself from the trap. As the four other victims are pulled into the next room, Victim #5 collides with the wall of saws.

Victim #5 turns out to be Nelson, who is obviously alive and well ten years after he failed the test. A flashback at the end of the film reveals that John Kramer saved him at the last moment because the crime he committed — messing up Kramer's charts at the hospital which led to his cancer going undiagnosed — was an honest mistake.

If you go back and watch the opening scene with the buzzsaws again, you'll notice that as Victim #5 is being pulled into the wall, the camera pans away to avoid showing his non-death. During your first watch, you may not have given this a second thought. But the fact that we don't see Victim #5 being killed is a huge clue that he is not actually dead. The "Saw" movies relish showing viewers the bloody consequences of failing one of Jigsaw's tests. So, any "death" that is not shown on screen should be treated with suspicion.

"Jigsaw" is currently available to stream on Peacock.