‘Spiral’ Ending, Explained – John Kramer & The Spiral Reference


Based on the Saw Film Series, the film Spiral From the Book of Saw is a gory detective thriller. It quickly captures your attention with a gruesome murder. A pig-masked killer is targeting police officers. His motive is to give justice to the inevitable justice department. Soon after the murder of detective Marv Boswick, his cut-off tongue reaches a station. Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his new partner William Schenk are assigned the case. After that, it is a gripping goose-chase between the cop and the cop killer.

In this article, we’ll try to unravel the missing links. Without much ado, let’s uncover the mystery.

The Killing Methods

The antagonist of Spiral shared similarities with his predecessor, The Jigsaw Killer (fictional character that first appeared in Saw, 2004). The copycat jigsaw killer played games with his prey. The targets can either hurt themselves or face death. For instance, in the first killing, a pig-masked killer hanged detective Marv Boswick from a chain. His body weight was supported by his tongue, with a train approaching the tunnel. He was given the option to give away his tongue or die with it. Why? 

In all his killings, the copycat jigsaw killer targeted the corrupted organs of the body. For example, he wired Marv’s tongue because he harmed innocent people. He ripped Fitch’s finger because he shot an innocent man. Throughout the film, similar instances are observed. Every killing comes with a reason.

John Kramer & The Spiral

The copycat jigsaw killer was following the steps of John Kramer. Like his inspiration, he also flaunted a pig mask. He communicated with his victims indirectly through tapes and television. The pen drive Zeke received was signed “Play Me,” which was a signature Kramer style. 

The antagonist took Kramer’s ideologies to a different level. He considered Spiral as a symbol of change, evolution, and progress. But why limit that to an individual when you can apply it to a whole system.

Who was the Copycat Jigsaw Killer?

In the end, Zeke finally learns the true identity of the masked killer. He was none other than his rookie partner, William Schenk. His real name was Emerson. He was the son of a witness who was shot by Zeke’s previous partner, Pete Dunleavy. Emerson’s father was going to testify against a cop who threw off a victim from a rooftop. To save the department’s reputation, Pete shot Emerson’s father. Thus, the vigilante has come back to take revenge.

Why was Emerson targeting the Cops?

To understand this mystery, we have to dig up Zeke’s past. When Pete killed Emerson’s father, Zeke got him arrested. But it was not just Pete. The whole system was corrupt. 

Zeke’s father, Chief Marcus, had framed a secret Article 8. Under that document, the prominent officers of the department were authorized to shoot at will. To clean the streets, the cops got dirty. But soon, their consciousness went out of control. They started killing innocent victims. Zeke was the first cop to report such manslaughter. Marcus was the soul of the whole operation, and Pete’s testimony caused the catastrophe. (It was also the season for the bitter relationship between Zeke and Marcus).

Emerson became the Copycat Jigsaw Killer to cleanse the corrupt system. He was majorly targeting the cops who killed innocent people under Article 8. And that included Zeke’s father, Marcus too.

‘Spiral From the Book of Saw’ Ending Explained

In the final scene, Emerson hands Zeke a gun. It had only one bullet, and Zeke had only two options. He can either shoot a mechanized target and save Marcus. Or he can shoot Emerson and put an end to the killings. Zeke chooses his father, and the mechanized machine lowers Marcus’ body.

But Emerson was on the run, and Marcus ordered Pete to follow him. It was when the swats cut off the shutter. However, the entrance was triggered by a tripwire. Their intrusion enabled a mechanical arrangement. It lifted Marcus’ body again, along with a gun that was fixed on his arm. It panicked the swats who fired Marcus in reflex. Zeke witnesses his father’s death while Emerson escapes.

The sequel to the film, Spiral 2 will continue the chase between Zeke and Marcus. Now, it’s Zeke’s turn to take revenge for his father’s death. He is coming for the crazy Jigsaw Killer.

Additional Coverage: Emerson killed chief Angie Garza because she was the spine of Article 8. Garza backed up Marcus’s bloodthirst operation. Thus, Emerson kidnapped her and gave her a choice, to live or to sacrifice her spine.

The tattoo on Emerson’s hand was his father’s name, Charlie. He never had a son and lied about the name as well. The tattoo was just an instrument to get under Zeke’s skin. He faked his death to mess with Zeke emotionally. 

Soon after Emerson’s fake death, Zeke requests Angie to check a file on case no. 9246. The case number might be a reference to Charlie’s death. Zeke might have suspected Emerson. However, it is just speculation.

If you have any other queries, do let us know in the comments below.

Spiral (also marketed as Spiral: From the Book of Saw) is a 2021 horror thriller film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. It is based on the characters of Saw Film Series.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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