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You can give a woman 600 Tuesdays. And it ain’t worth three Saturday nights.
— Zeke teases William Schenk about his marriage[src]

Detective Ezekiel Banks, also known as Zeke, is a fictional character from the Saw franchise He serves as the main protagonist of Spiral.

He was portrayed by Chris Rock.

Biography

Early Life

Ezekiel Banks was born to Police Chief Marcus Banks, whose involvement in a conspiracy cover-up has ramifications that affect Ezekiel as an adult. He becomes a police officer and, later, a homicide detective. (Spiral)

Witnessing Corruption

Twelve years ago before the events of Spiral, Zeke was partnered with Peter Dunleavy. He was present when Pete questioned a witness about a dirty cop. Pete shot the witness to cover the dirty cop's tracks and lied that the witness assaulted him. Zeke saw a child hiding in the cabinet and asked him to be silent to avoid Pete's attention. He raised his finger to his lips to shush the boy. Zeke later exposed Pete's crime which led to Pete's expulsion from the police. The corruption within the police force was exposed, which resulted in Zeke having being ostracized by the police force, as they labeled him a snitch who turned his back on his "brothers in blue". Officially, he was rewarded with a medal. (Spiral)

Undercover Operation

With his fellow officers against him, Zeke became hardened and distanced himself greatly. He refused to work with any new partners and instead, investigated murders. He worked an unauthorized drug bust that quickly went south. He was reprimanded by the new police chief and family friend Angie Garza. Garza was angered that he went undercover without any backup, though Banks was sure he couldn't trust anyone. Garza refused to believe that and instead gave him a new partner, an idealistic rookie, though Banks tried to argue against the assignment. He didn't want to babysit someone, though Garza didn't give him a choice. She assigned him, and his new partner, to the homicide division once again. (Spiral)

Investigating Jigsaw's Copycat

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When off-duty detective Marv Bozwick is gruesomely murdered in the subway tunnel, Banks is called to investigate alongside his new partner, Detective In-Training William Schenk. Banks draws similarities between Bozwick's death and the victims of the now deceased Jigsaw Killer. He determines that a man named Benny Reitz lured Bozwick into the tunnels. The dynamic between Banks and Schenk is initially rocky, as Banks is adamantly against the idea of a partner, while Schenk's seemingly optimistic outlook on life annoys Banks. He tries his best to minimize the amount of time they spend together, thought the increasing questions surrounding the subway murders makes it difficult. They find the first video tape from the killer, who identifies the murdered man as a police officer. The killer plans to reform the Metro PD and remind them of the oath they took to the city. Schenk, Banks, and Detective Fitch piece together that the Jigsaw Killer has a new copycat.

In his personal life, Zeke navigates a difficult divorce and living with his father, former chief of police Marcus Banks. Marcus learns of the copycat and that Zeke is investigating, but wonders if it will be too much for Zeke being lead detective after everything that happened. He still believes that Zeke made things about himself when he turned in Peter Dunleavy, and again in his marriage. Zeke refuses the fatherly advice and instead goes back to his investigation, which garners little results.

The Jigsaw Killer delivers a message for Banks warning him that he was offered salvation but declined, so now, he's going to point the finger back at them. Until they all admit their wrongdoings in police investigations, more people will continue to die. To further this point, the Jigsaw Killer abducts Detective Fitch. This raises concern from the other detectives in the precinct, since several years prior, Fitch had failed to respond to a backup call which resulted in Banks being shot. Fitch is murdered via a Finger Trap. Now a suspect in his investigation, Banks tries to prove he isn't connected to the murders. He knows that John Kramer didn't murder cops, nor is the new killer taking orders from him. The kills are personal. Schenk's recommendation of finding his non-police enemies is futile. They cross paths with Peter Dunleavy, who warns Schenk that Zeke will stab him in the back if given the chance. Schenk inquired about the exchange, to which Banks explained that his choice to not cover for Dunleavy led him to spend the rest of his life watching his back. (Spiral)

Schenk's Faked Death

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A box is later delivered to the station with a taunting note asking Banks if the killer was getting under his skin. Inside the box is a piece of Schenk's skin inside, identified via a distinctive tattoo. Also inside is a vial that directs the new batch detectives to a butcher shop. Banks recognizes the place as a hobby shop that he and his father visited when he was younger. Inside they find a tape recorder and a skinned corpse inside. The corpse is later identified as Schenk. This upsets Banks more then he anticipated, though he begins to piece together clues from the investigation that he doesn't share with the other detectives. (Spiral)

Death of Angie Garza and Abduction

Garza is abducted and placed under the police station. Banks realizes she's been abducted and is next on the copycats kill order, and tries to find her. He doesn't arrive in time and discovers her corpse; her face is covered in wax, while her spinal cord is severed. Her death devastates Banks, but also gives him a lead. He realizes that the killer must know intimate knowledge of the police station to pull off the abduction. Banks also learns that his father, Marcus Banks, is officially missing as no one can locate him. Detective O'Brien suspects that Marcus is working with the copycat killer. Zeke is ultimately abducted by the copycat killer and awakens in a warehouse handcuffed to a pipe. He sees a hacksaw nearby and considers the option of sawing off his arm, per his "test", but doesn't have to when he discovers a loose bobby pin on the floor nearby.

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As Zeke navigates his escape, he encounters Peter Dunleavy, his former partner who Banks reported for murder, chained in place. A machine hurls crushed shards of glass at him. Banks is horrified to find a a tape recorder that give him a choice to either save Dunleavy, or let him die for his crimes. Banks attempts to save his former partner, though the injuries Dunleavy sustained previously ultimately kills him. (Spiral)

Unmasking the Killer

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Banks moves to another room in the maze, to find William Schenk. Banks is confused for a moment before realizing that Schenk faked his death, having used the skinned corpse of Benny Reitz to do so. Schenk had been the copycat Jigsaw Killer all along, as he sought justice for his murdered father. Peter Dunleavy had murdered Schenk's father, who was willing to testify against a dirty cop. Marcus Bank was responsible for the polices that enabled the corruption to occur, which resulted in Schenk's father dying.

Schenk doesn't want to kill Banks, but rather, wants to recruit him as a partner in punishing corrupt officer. He presents Banks with a final test; shoot a target that will free Marcus from certain death but allows Schenk to escape, or kill Schenk and let Marcus die. Banks examines his options while holding his fathers gun, which holds a single bullet. (Spiral)

Marcus Banks Test

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Unable to lose his father, Banks shoots the target to free Marcus. He removes the IV that is draining Marcus's blood but refuses to let Schenk escape, and attacks him causing them to fight. A SWAT team arrives but mistakes the situation due to Banks' past with the other victims. They believe Schenk is the one being held captive and aim their weapons at Banks. Marcus is suddenly pulled upwards by wires, as the SWAT team triggered the mechanism by opening the door. Since a gun affixed to his hand, the team mistakes Marcus for a threat and the SWAT team opens fire. Banks screams in anguish as his father is murdered in front of him. He looks over to see Schenk escaping through an elevator. Schenk raises one finger to his lips to shush Banks like he did to him after his fathers murder. Banks lets out an emotional scream as Schenk escapes. (Spiral)

Personality

Ezekiel Banks is a humorous man who teases Schenk during their partnership, although he takes the murders seriously. Banks is also shown to be a man of principles. Truly believing in justice and hates corruption, he works arduously, never taking shortcuts or sacrificing others to obtain said justice. He is also extremely intelligent, as he finds connections to himself and the new victims. He often finds leads others don't and sees things differently than most detectives. Instead of taking the obvious escape route of sawing off his arm, Banks looked for another solution and succeeded in freeing himself without the loss of a limb. Despite his open disdain of corrupt cops, he still saves them to the best of his ability, solely because he believes it is the right thing to do.

Trivia

  • It is currently unknown what happened to Ezekiel Banks after his game.

Appearances and References

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