The Final Twist: The REAL Jigsaw Copycat
Until the Kramer reveal, Jigsaw throws out plenty of copycat potentials. The first obvious option is mortician Eleanor, who get perverse enjoyment over working on Jigsaw victims (she's a fun commentary on fans of torture porn movies) and, it emerges, has a near-fixation with his crimes; she's dove deep into details on the dark web and acquired a near complete set recovered traps (even making one of his undiscovered first experiments from Kramer's blueprints - something that turns up in the farm and is thus one of the most overt clues of the timeline switch up). Then things flip, with Elanor's boss Logan pointing the finger at Halloran, already established as a cop willing to bend the rules for justice. However, it turns out both of these accusations are part of the real copycat's plan.
The Jigsaw copycat is Logan. He was the hospital worker who accidentally mislabelled Kramer's first scans detailing cancer, leading to a late diagnosis and thus inadvertently creating Jigsaw. As a result, he was one of the chosen subjects in the first game - the sleeping victim who was seemingly shredded in the buzz saw trap - but the lack of severity to his crimes played on John's sympathy; Kramer saved him at the last minute and instead starting building him up as an apprentice. They worked together on the classic traps - ones that Logan showed a particular interest in when seeing them in Eleanor's collection years later - and developed their doctrine: they don't show anger or vengeance, but speak for the dead.
He's emerged now with a purpose: Logan isn't just replicating Jigsaw's style with his killings, but specifically evoking that initial game - the one that almost got him killed - in an attempt to get revenge on Halloran. The detective's not just an extreme cop but an amoral one; violent, crooked and self-serving, his actions have led to murderers going free and the deaths of innocents, including Logan's wife (she was killed by Edgar Munsen).
It's a pretty complicated scheme. On the one hand, Logan's got to make it look like Jigsaw's back; he adjusts audio from Kramer's original tapes - which, as his apprentice, he has access to - to create "new" recordings and sources frozen blood to make it look like the original killer survived. On the other, he needs to put suspicion on Halloran; the victims of the traps are criminals who were aided by his corruption, a typically twisted form of justice and clues to the detective that this is really all about him. And, killing aside, he has to manipulate Eleanor to ensure he has an alibi (a meta-joke about how fans enable the Saw series).
It all goes well and comes to a head with a rigged trap where the nemeses both appear locked into laser neck braces that will go off on "Jigsaw's" command unless they confess to their true crimes; however, Logan's is a fake, something he reveals just before slicing Halloran's head into eighths. This may seem like a straight-up murder, lacking the opportunity for freedom that made Kramer so insularly moral (and previous copycats so flawed), but we have to assume Logan was open to mercy, only going through with it after Halloran selfishly tried to save his own skin by setting his opponent's off first. Logan's main goal to pin the murder on Halloran and have the world see the detective for what he really is, something that'd happen regardless of death.
The upshot of this is that Jigsaw isn't just about the emergence of another copycat, rather the ascension of the original apprentice. Kramer's been followed by several acolytes before - Amanda in Saws I-III, Mark Hoffman in Saws IV-VII, Lawrence Gordon in The Final Chapter - but Logan pre-dates all of those. He's the ultimate successor, and perhaps the most natural; not only was he first but his past in Iraq - we learn early on he was captured in Fallujah - makes him almost a conduit for the dead.
And, with that in mind, perhaps the most striking thing about Jigsaw's ending for Saw fans to whom retconning twists and timeline rug-pulls are commonplace, is the final line. Every film thus far has ended with the iconic "Game over", but here Logan's signs off with "I speak for the dead". For him, the game is only just beginning.
- Jigsaw/Saw 8 release date: Oct 27, 2017