Saw X Ending Explained: The Final Game And The Post-Credits Scene

 Billy the puppet, wearing a tape recorder around his neck, in Saw X.
Billy the puppet, wearing a tape recorder around his neck, in Saw X.
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Warning: SPOILERS for Saw X are in play. If you haven’t played John Kramer’s latest game yet, you’ve been warned.

Dear readers, John Kramer is back and all is right with the world of Jigsaw. With Saw X, we’re brought back to an era in the timeline where Blackberry was still the phone of choice for crooked clinicians, and the killer who started it all was still alive. The return of Tobin Bell is only the start of the fun and games, as the plot for this tenth entry is a good old-fashioned Saw romp that gets to dig deep.

But it wouldn’t truly be a Saw movie without some surprises, would it? Oh yes, there will be twists as we discuss how this new chapter to one of the best horror movie franchises plays some old cards in new and exciting ways. So if you haven’t had the chance to enjoy it all for yourself, you’ve been warned. Otherwise, let the games begin, as we discuss Saw X’s ending and why it worked so well.

Tobin Bell stands ominously in a warehouse, dressed in black, in Saw X.
Tobin Bell stands ominously in a warehouse, dressed in black, in Saw X.

How Saw X's Final Game Played Out

The overarching connection between Saw X’s competitors was the fact that they all worked for a sham medical clinic promising a radical cancer treatment. Headed up by Dr. Cecilia Pederson (Synnøve Macody Lund), this operation is run with a small, but dedicated team of scam artists. But as we saw in the Saw X trailer, this crowd has just ripped off the wrong patient.

A hopeful John Kramer (Tobin Bell) turns back to Jigsaw ways and puts the entire crew through his painful, but still winnable gauntlet of games. Just as Dr. Pederson and her surviving accomplice, “patient” Parker Sears (Steven Brand) look to have gotten the upper hand, one final game is activated.

With a 10-minute time limit, Cecilia and Parker have to choose who lives and who gets to succumb to a corrosive gas that’s filling the room they’ve been locked into. Just as John warned his supposed friend Parker, the not-so-good doctor sacrificed her partner-in-crime for her own survival. Her fate is unknown as we see John walking free with his partner Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) and young Carlos (Jorge Briseño), the boy who helped Saw’s iconic killers survive.

Tobin Bell grimaces while sitting in a blue lit room in Saw X.
Tobin Bell grimaces while sitting in a blue lit room in Saw X.

Why John Kramer’s Final Saw X Challenge Worked So Well

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when Charlie Clouser’s “Zepp X” kicks in at the end of a movie like Saw X, you know it’s time for a surprise. But even for an OG fan like myself who’s been a bit disappointed with some of the more recent entries, the way that this ninth sequel ends is a pretty smart twist.

Setting up one final game of wits between our players and John Kramer’s engineering know-how is as classic a movie as you can make. But what’s even better is the fact that it fits John’s methodology to a tee. If Cecilia and Parker had worked together, both could have survived. Not to mention that if they’d played by the rules to begin with, they may not have wound up in that final game.

The greedy nature of these two wrongdoers set them up for failure, and Saw X dealt those consequences out in due time. Parker Sears kind of lived up to his name, as the gas destroyed him inside and out. As for Dr. Cecilia Pederson, well, she seems to have suffered from the same fate as good old Adam (Leigh Whanell) from the original Saw movie.

While she survived that final game, it doesn’t look like she’ll be going anywhere any time soon. John Kramer, on the other hand, has placed to go, and people to see, including another one of his disciples that was teased as returning throughout several moments of Saw X’s twisted narrative.

Det. Mark Hoffman in Saw V
Det. Mark Hoffman in Saw V

Who Returned In Saw X’s Mid-Credits Scene, And Why It’s So Important

To the people who thought that Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) was going to return in Saw X, please collect your winnings in an orderly fashion. Calling his friendly “detective” to find the Pederson Clinic gang, John Kramer was able to put this entire fun fest of fright together thanks to Hoffman’s assistance. But we don’t get to see him fully return until the Saw franchise’s first mid-credits scene, which plays a rather important part.

First off, bringing Detective Hoffman proves that, should future chapters be in the making, he’ll be a part of the potential roster of legacy characters to show up. That much seems to be true, as the potential first trap for Saw XI plays out with both men confronting Henry Kessler (Michael Beach). A friend of John’s who seemed to go from Stage 4 cancer to full remission through the Pederson Clinic, he’s revealed to be a fraud in this tease and is primed to be the first test in the next chapter.

More importantly, the serialization of the Saw series seems to still be intact with this scene. John Kramer is still dying from cancer, and the events of Saw II and beyond can still remain in place. But with that in mind, there’s plenty of room for more bloodletting and dramatics thanks to this specific window in time being the new focus of the franchise.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Saw X, as I maintained a healthy sense of skepticism. After seeing how everything ended, I’m more hopeful for the future of the series. Not to mention, I’m kind of ready to revisit the entire John Kramer saga through my Prime Video subscription in order to see how it all connects to Saw X.

If by some chance you’ve read through this rundown without seeing the movie, don’t worry; Jigsaw isn’t coming to get you. However, if you want to indulge in some nasty gore mixed with a surprising amount of personal drama and tension, this is the movie to seek out at a theater near you. For all other entries on the 2023 movie release schedule, you don't need a tape recorded clue to find that information. You just need to look up.