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My Dad's a... he's a real hard ass. You know, he's probably got half the city out looking for me, just so he can kick my ass for disappearing on him.
— Daniel talks about his father[src]

Daniel Matthews, also known as Danny, is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. He serves as a supporting protagonist in Saw II.

He was portrayed by Erik Knudsen.

Biography

Family Problems

Daniel Matthews was the son of Eric Matthews, a homicide detective who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department. However, Eric eventually engaged in an affair with Detective Allison Kerry, his partner at that time. When Eric's wife found out about his infidelity, she filed for divorce and took Daniel with her. His betrayal didn't only destroy his marriage but also resulted in Eric's alienation from his son. On several occasions, Daniel committed petty crimes, probably to provoke his father. However, he was never sent to a detention center for his offenses.

Eric argues with his son

One day, Daniel visited Eric as the latter wanted to regain his confidence. However, shortly after his arrival, he was caught stealing by a security officer. As Daniel was still a teenager, the officer called his father. When the latter arrived shortly afterward, the guard let him sign a few documents and took him to his son. After Eric had signed the papers, he and Daniel were allowed to leave. On their way home, they engaged in an argument. Daniel, who was still angry at him for cheating on his mother, told him that he might be a good cop but not a good father and suggested going back to his mother earlier. In a fit of rage, Eric angrily yelled at him to go away, which Daniel subsequently did. (Saw II)

Abduction

Unbeknownst to Daniel, his father was a crooked cop who had faked the evidence in many of his cases and thereby wrongfully arrested several innocent people. Due to Eric's corruption, Daniel was ultimately targeted by John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer. Shortly after his last conversation with his father, he was abducted and taken to an abandoned, run-down residential house, along with seven people who were unjustly convicted because of Eric's actions. These people included Jonas Singer, Gus Colyard, Addison Corday, Xavier Chavez, Laura Hunter, Obi Tate, and Amanda Young. However, the latter had already survived one of Jigsaw's tests earlier and joined his mission afterward. During the game that Jigsaw had set up in the house, Amanda was supposed to be among them primarily to ensure that the other prisoners followed the rules of the game.

Daniel's unconscious body

To accelerate their preparations, Jigsaw also convinced Obi Tate to assist him with abducting the other victims. After the abductions were successful, the victims were taken to the house and trapped inside a room with a heavy safe. Afterward, Detective Mark Hoffman, another one of Jigsaw's accomplices, abducted Obi Tate and took him there as well. While they all lay on the floor unconsciously, Amanda was put among them. Then, Jigsaw placed a tape recorder, which contained the instructions for his victims, in a hollow space behind a brick wall and helped Hoffman to secure the only exit door with another trap. After that, they left, closed the door behind them, and directed a deadly nerve gas into the room. (Saw II, Saw V)

Test

Daniel looks at the camera

Shortly afterward, the prisoners woke up and were immediately frightened by the situation. Jonas tried to wake up Amanda, who was the last one who was still unconscious, while Addison yelled that someone should open the door. Xavier sarcastically commented that no one was listening, to which Laura responded that someone was and pointed at a camera. However, Daniel, who squatted in a corner out of fear, said that those cameras didn't record sounds. The group's concerns grew worse when Gus suddenly started to panic. He talked about a movie he had seen recently, revolving around a man who had been trapped in a room for nine years. Thereby, he frightened the others, especially Laura, even more and caused a brief argument with Xavier. They were quickly interrupted when Addison heard a ticking on the other side of the door. However, before they could find out what it was, Amanda suddenly woke up. Playing her role as another victim, she immediately behaves as if she were in a panic. She searched the room until she finally found the instruction tape along with a key and a written message, which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room. The recording told them they were all breathing in a deadly nerve gas since their arrival in the house. While the doors would open after three hours, the gas would already kill them within two hours. To survive, they had to find syringes containing the antidote, which were hidden in the house. One of them was inside the safe. They were informed that they all possessed the combination as the numbers were "in the back of their mind." The clue to the right order could be found "over the rainbow." Additionally, Jigsaw revealed that they were all connected and told them that the clue to this connection was marked with an "X."

After listening to the tape, Xavier immediately grabbed the key. Although Amanda begged him to heed Jigsaw's warning, he refused to do so and tried to open the door. Thereby, he triggered the booby trap and caused a revolver on the other side to shoot Gus right in the eye. When Gus' blood splashed on her face and clothes, Laura started to scream. Xavier tried to calm her down, albeit unsuccessful. While the other prisoners panicked, Jonas forced Amanda to tell him how she had known about the tape. She then told them about Jigsaw and his games and revealed that she had survived one of his tests before.

As they now knew the dangerousness of their situation, the group searched the whole room. Daniel picked up Gus' jacket from the floor and used it to cover the latter's mutilated head. Moments later, the door of the room finally opened. Jonas was shocked when he saw the trap which had killed Gus. Amanda tried to remove the gun and take it with her but wasn't able to do so. Therefore, the group left the room behind. In the adjacent hallway, Xavier found a nail-studded baseball bat. When he wanted to go further, Jonas voiced his doubts that there even was an antidote and tried to convince him and the others to make up a plan. However, Xavier was too impatient to listen and went on, followed by the rest of the group. Shortly afterward, Addison found a lamp that she took with her. While making their way to the entrance hall, Jonas discovered a tattoo on Xavier's arm and asked him if it was from the Joliet Correctional Center, but Xavier wasn't interested in talking to him. When they eventually reached the entrance hall, he tried to open the front door with the key from the first room and angrily threw it away when it didn't work. However, Jonas took the key and put it in his jacket. Furious and angry, Xavier tried to smash the door with the baseball bat. After this attempt failed as well, he got into a fight with Addison until Jonas intervened. Only moments later, Laura found another door that led them down to a boiler room. (Saw II)

Obi Tate's Test

Xavier took the lamp from Addison and slowly went down the stairs while the others followed him. Upon entering the basement, they spotted a mysterious hooded figure sitting at a table. Xavier placed the lamp on the table and prepared to kill the stranger if they moved. However, when Jonas pulled back the hood, they realized it was merely a dummy. A small envelope with the name "OBI" written on it was attached to the puppet's chest with a knife. Xavier grabbed the knife and opened the envelope, which contained a mini-cassette. When they played it, using the recorder from the starting room, it revealed to them that their fellow prisoner, Obi, had assisted Jigsaw in their abductions. However, the tape also offered Obi a chance to redeem himself. To do so, he had to crawl into a large furnace in front of them. Inside the oven were two syringes with the antidote - one for him and one for another prisoner of his choice.

Upon this revelation, Laura recognized him as her abductor. The group and Obi engaged in an argument, during which Obi claimed that he had only done what he had to do. Xavier threatened to kill him but was held back by Addison, who argued that Obi could get two antidotes for them. However, Xavier continued to threaten him with the knife and asked him how to get out of the house. When Obi said he didn't know how to get out, Xavier slowly cut his throat to fear him but was interrupted when Daniel accidentally knocked down a large metal tub.

Daniel finds the window

Barely frightened by Xavier, Obi eventually agreed to crawl into the furnace, reminding him that one syringe was for him. While being watched by the others, he entered the oven and took the first antidote hanging by a chain. However, when he grabbed the second syringe, the stove door suddenly slammed shut behind him, and the furnace was activated. As the flames came closer to him, Obi panicked and desperately tried to get out of the oven. When Jonas attempted to help him by opening the door, Addison yelled at him to cover his hands with his jacket. However, he still couldn't open the door. Eventually, Daniel noticed a window on the other side of the furnace and informed the others. When Jonas tried to get Obi out, he accidentally burned his hand upon touching the oven. Xavier then stepped in and smashed the window with his baseball bat, enabling Obi to crawl out. However, as Obi tried to do so, he got stuck and ultimately died in front of the others as the flames burned him alive. When they realized that the syringes were melted by the fire, the remaining prisoners left the basement, while Amanda remarked that it was his own choice that had eventually killed Obi. (Saw II)

Xavier Chavez' Test

Daniel comforts Laura

Shortly afterward, the group split up. While Jonas, Xavier, and Addison went upstairs, Amanda, Laura, and Daniel stayed on the ground floor to look for more of Jigsaw's clues as well as the antidote. While searching the entrance hall, Daniel asked Amanda about the reason for her first test. Therefore, Amanda revealed to him that she was a drug addict. She also told him that she was no addict before her time in prison and that she was framed by the detective investigating the case. However, Amanda didn't reveal to him that it was Daniel's father who had arrested her. Then she revealed she harmed herself to deal with stress when Daniel questioned her current presence. When she was about to go upstairs, she was surprised by Jonas, who informed them that they had found a door which caught their suspicion due to being the only one without a lock.

When the group went upstairs, Addison tried to open the door but remarked that it was stuck. Xavier angrily shoved her away and attempted to open it by brute force, to which Amanda responded that the room was most likely a trap. Therefore, Jonas pressed himself against the wall to cover himself in case she was right. Xavier sarcastically told her that the whole house was a trap and went on until he finally managed to open the door. Thereby, a metal pin was pulled out of a timer connected to another door. Daniel told Laura to wait in the hallway and followed the rest of the group into the room. An audiotape left for Xavier by Jigsaw informed him that there was another antidote behind the second door. However, it would be permanently locked if he didn't find the key in time. Moments later, Daniel discovered a large hole, filled with thousands of used syringes, hidden under a bed. According to Jigsaw, the key to the door was somewhere in the pit, and Xavier had to jump in and find it before the clock expired.

Daniel helps Amanda after climbing out of the needle pit

After listening to the tape, Xavier demanded that one of the others had to jump into the hole. When they refused, he grabbed Amanda, who immediately panicked. As the remaining members of the group were too afraid of Xavier, they stood back and watched how he ruthlessly threw her in the pit. While the needles pierced her skin, Xavier angrily yelled at her to hurry. Frightened and in pain, Amanda rifled through the syringes until she eventually found one that had the key attached to it. When she threw it out of the pit, Xavier grabbed it and tried to open the door, while Daniel helped Amanda climb out of the hole. Unfortunately, Xavier didn't manage to open the door in time and angrily tried to attack Amanda but was held back by Jonas. Moments later, Laura entered the room as she had heard Amanda's screams. When Addison reminded the group to work together to find the connection between them, Laura admitted that she had been imprisoned once, just like the other group members. However, she refused to reveal the reason for it when Jonas asked her. Afterward, Xavier left the room and finally separated from the group for good. (Saw II)

The Truth

Shortly afterward, Amanda calmed down and stayed with the group to look for more of the antidote. While she was searching the house along with Daniel, Addison, and Laura, the latter suddenly collapsed in a hallway, weakened by the gas. When Amanda tried to comfort her, Addison told them they couldn't stay as they didn't have much time left. Seconds later, Laura noticed a picture on the wall, which had large scratches on it that were shaped like an "X." She immediately remembered Jigsaw's first tape and realized that this was the clue to their connection. Upon investigating the picture, Addison found a photo attached to its backside, which showed Daniel and his father, Eric. Thereby, they realized that Daniel's father was the cop who arrested all of them by faking the evidence. Following this revelation, Laura suffered a seizure from the gas and died in Amanda's arms. Laura's death and the truth about their connection caused Addison and Amanda to leave Daniel. Amanda made a distant remark to which Daniel pleaded with her, explaining he didn't know what his father did to them. As they went away, Xavier shouted for them and claimed he had found a way out. (Saw II)

Escalation

Daniel and Amanda block the door

However, only moments later, Amanda entered the room where all of them initially woke up and found Jonas' corpse, whose head had been smashed by Xavier with his bat. Upon this discovery, she immediately returned to Daniel and told him they had to leave. Unfortunately, they crossed paths with Xavier, who told them not to run away. Despite this, they tried to flee and ran back to the first room while Xavier pursued them. However, he stopped when he suddenly heard Addison screaming for help after she had walked into another trap. As Daniel and Amanda heard her screams as well, Amanda burst out crying. Shortly afterward, Xavier took up his pursuit again and reached the room they were hiding in. When he tried to break through the door, Amanda grabbed the nail-studded baseball bat, which was still stuck in Jonas' skull, and used it to jam the door. Due to the odd shape of the puddle of blood emerging from his smashed head, Amanda realized there was a hidden trapdoor on the floor. With Daniel's help, she managed to push the heavy safe away and unlocked the trapdoor with the key found at the beginning of the game, which was still in Jonas' pocket at this point.

Amanda and Daniel in the bathroom

Only seconds after Daniel and Amanda went through the trapdoor and found an underground tunnel network underneath the house, Xavier managed to open the door and continued pursuing them. Full of fear, Amanda and Daniel ran away and followed the tunnels until they found another door. When they entered the room and turned on the light, the room turned out to be a dilapidated bathroom, where they found the skeletons of Adam Stanheight and Zep Hindle, two victims of one of Jigsaw's previous games. As there was no other way to escape, Daniel decided to pretend being dead. Just a few seconds later, Xavier entered the room. When Amanda told him that Daniel was gone, he responded that all he wanted from her were two numbers written on her and Daniel's necks, as those numbers were part of the combination to the safe containing one of the antidotes. Amanda reminded him that he would still need her, as she was the only person left who could tell him about his own number. Not wanting her help, Xavier eventually cut off the skin from his neck with his knife, while Amanda watched in horror. When he was done, he approached her but Daniel awoke and stunned him. Daniel jumped up and sliced Xavier's throat with a hacksaw. Xavier attempted to grab Daniel but collapsed due to his neck wound. As Xavier bleed out, Daniel and Amanda watched on as Xavier succumbed to his neck wound and died in front of them.

As she and Daniel were the only survivors left in the house, the time for the next part of her and Jigsaw's plan had come. Amanda subdued Daniel and injected him with the antidote from the safe. Afterward, she took his unconscious body with her and brought him to the Wilson Steel Plant, where Jigsaw was already waiting for their arrival. Jigsaw tied Daniel up and locked him up inside a safe with a sufficient supply of oxygen. Furthermore, Jigsaw prepared a video broadcast. Therefore, he set up a broadcasting station in another house at 237 North Hyde Crescent, which was almost identical to the house where the game had taken place. From there, Jigsaw broadcasted the surveillance recordings of the game to several monitors at the steel plant. (Saw II)

Eric Matthews' Test

The next day, Eric went to the Wilson Steel Plant, accompanied by Kerry and a SWAT team led by Sergeant Daniel Rigg. While the detectives stayed outside, Rigg entered the building with three of his men. Unfortunately, they accidentally triggered a booby trap set up by Jigsaw in a staircase, which caused two officers' death, while a third one, Officer Pete Baker, was severely injured. When Rigg called them in for reinforcements, Eric, Kerry, and the remaining SWAT members stormed the plant. Moments later, they finally made their way to the upper floor, where the Jigsaw Killer sat at a table and waited for them. (Saw II)

Initially, Rigg ordered his men to arrest him. However, Jigsaw spoke to Eric and told him that he should stay where he was until Eric had dealt with his "problem." Then, he told him to take a look in the next room. Eric carefully approached the door to the adjacent area, along with Kerry and Rigg. After securing the room, they discovered the surveillance monitors hidden under a white cloth. Upon looking at the monitors, they saw the recordings of Jigsaw's previous game. When he recognized his son, Eric angrily attacked Jigsaw, as he believed that the recording was a live broadcast. However, he was held back by Rigg. Jigsaw explained the rules of his game to him. To save his son, Eric had to sit down and talk to Jigsaw for two hours. After that time, Daniel would be released. Otherwise, he and the other prisoners would succumb to deadly nerve gas. Eventually, Kerry convinced Eric to accept Jigsaw's challenge and play by his rules while she kept an eye on the game's progress.

Daniel inside the safe

As the game went on, Eric became more and more distressed and ultimately lost his composure. To force Jigsaw to reveal his son's whereabouts, he violently battered him, broke one of his fingers, and threatened him with his gun. Although Kerry tried to stop him, she was held back by Rigg. Eventually, Jigsaw ended Eric's test with the words "Game Over" and promised to take him to the house. However, he demanded to go there with Eric alone. Eric agreed, and they left the building in a hidden elevator. As they escaped, Kerry sent the SWAT team after them while she stayed with SWAT Officer Joe and a tech team, which traced the video feed to the address at 237 North Hyde Crescent shortly afterward. However, when Rigg and his team arrived there, they realized the game had taken place in a different house and was already over long before they even arrested Jigsaw. Upon learning that the video feed was merely a recording, Kerry told the team to come back. As the timer eventually went off, the safe in Jigsaw's hideout suddenly opened and revealed Daniel, who had been locked up in the safe all the time. (Saw II)

Non-Canon Appearances

The Scott Tibbs Documentary

After the disappearance of Adam Stanheight, another one of John Kramer's victims, his best friend, Scott Tibbs, filmed a documentary about the Jigsaw Killer. Along with his fellow band members from their rock band, Wrath of the Gods, Scott wanted to find out more about the killer's motives. During their investigation, they learned about Jigsaw's escape from Wilson Steel, during which he took Eric Matthews with him as his hostage. Scott eventually found out that Daniel had been taken to a hospital after surviving his game. To get to him, Scott lied to the hospital staff and told them that Daniel was his cousin. However, when he tried to enter Daniel's room, he was caught by a nurse and a security guard who told him to leave, which Scott reluctantly did.

Personality

Daniel Matthews was a rebellious teenager who smarted from his troubled family environment. When his father, Eric, cheated on Daniel's mother, Daniel stayed with the latter and developed a grudge against Eric. Around this time, he committed numerous petty offenses. Due to the strained relationship with his father, it could be speculated that Daniel committed these crimes to provoke Eric. Furthermore, Daniel often acted disrespectfully towards the latter and even implied that he deemed him a bad father. This behavior indicated that Daniel was loyal to his mother and preferred living with her instead of spending time with Eric.

Despite his criminal activities, Daniel was a kindhearted individual. Throughout his captivity, Daniel comforted Laura Hunter, who seemingly had the most trouble dealing with their situation, and had attempted to comfort Laura as the nerve gas was killing her. On another occasion, he was the only one to help Amanda Young after she was thrown into the needle pit by Xavier Chavez. Given his young age and the horrors he had seen during his imprisonment, it can be assumed that Daniel was severely traumatized by his life-threatening experience, especially when he was forced to kill Xavier to save his own life.

Trivia

  • Daniel's shirt has the logo of Scott Tibbs' band "Wrath of the Gods."
  • Daniel shares his name with Daniel Rigg.
  • Daniel was originally planned to show up during the meeting of the Jigsaw Survivor Group in Saw 3D. However, these plans were abandoned as actor Erik Knudsen was unavailable for shooting.

Appearances and References

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