Saw Wiki
Advertisement

You feel you now have control, don't you? You think you will walk away untested.
— John's warning for Mark Hoffman[src]

Hoffman's Test is one of Jigsaw's games in the Saw franchise, occurring over the course of Saw IV to Saw VI.

History

Preparation

As he had expected it himself, John was killed by Jeff Denlon during his game on the night of April 28, 2006. After that, another accomplice of John, Detective Mark Hoffman, continued their mentor's deadly games without knowing about Lawrence's involvement in John's work. Lawrence sent him an anonymous letter with the message, "I know who you are." to his office at the police station. (Saw III, Saw V, Saw 3D)

Furthermore, John's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, inherited a black box, which John had previously given to his executor, Bernie Feldman. Besides some other things, the box contained an envelope addressed to Lawrence. To carry out her late ex-husband's final request, she brought the envelope to Lawrence's office at the Saint Eustace Hospital. It contained a video, which John had recorded before his death. He asked Lawrence to watch over Jill after his death and told him to act on his behalf immediately if anything happened to her. In return for that, John promised to reveal all of his remaining secrets to him. Furthermore, he talked about the place which was "the most meaningful" to him, thereby hinting at the bathroom where Lawrence had been tested. (Saw V, Saw VI, Saw 3D)

Message from the Grave

Are you there, Detective? If so, you are probably the last man standing. Now, perhaps you will succeed where the others have failed. You feel you now have control, don't you? You think you will walk away untested. I promise that my work will continue. That I have ensured. By hearing this tape, some will assume that this is over, but I am still among you. You think it's over just because I am dead? It's not over. The games have just begun.
— Mark Hoffman's tape[src]

Hoffman at the morgue

Following the death of John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, at the hands of Jeff Denlon, one of his victims, his corpse was taken to the morgue where he was obduced by Dr. Adam Heffner. Upon the autopsy of John's body, Heffner found a wax-coated audio tape in his stomach and therefore ordered his colleague to call for the homicide division. Shortly afterwards, Detective Mark Hoffman, who was in fact John's apprentice and eventual successor, arrived at the morgue and ordered the pathologists to cut the tape from the wax. After doing so, they gave the tape to Hoffman. The recording contained a message for him, which warned him that the games had just begun and that he wouldn't get away untested. (Saw III, IV)

The Box

Jill opens the box

After John's death, his ex-wife, Jill Tuck, received a call from John's executor, Bernie Feldman, who arranged an appointment with her. Shortly afterwards, Jill visited him in his chancery. Upon entering his office, Feldman told her to take a seat. When she asked her for the reason of his call, he told her that he was John's executor and thereby voiced his surprise of the revelation of John's true identity. Afterwards, he opened the envelope given to him by John, which contained a video tape. This tape was made by John before his death. In his video, he apologized to Jill for the death of their unborn son, Gideon, who died during a miscarriage when Cecil Adams, one of Jill's former patients, robbed her at the Homeward Bound Clinic. John deemed himself partly responsible for this tragic incident due to his support of her work at the clinic. He also told her that he still loved her and would always do so. Finally, he told her about the box, saying that its contents were of grave importance. Despite their disagreements on his methods and moral beliefs, he claimed to fully trust her that she would know what to do with the things in the box. As the video ended, Feldman finally handed her the box and put it on a table. Jill took off her necklace, which had a key attached to it. John had given this key to her during their final conversations on the day of his death. Upon unlocking and opening the box, she was shocked to see that it contained one of John's traps, a Reverse Bear Trap. Furthermore, the box contained numerous envelopes. When Feldman curiously asked her what was in the box, she closed its lid, thanked Feldman for his call and then left his office with the box. (Saw III, IV, V)

Amanda's Letter

A few days later, Hoffman went to Jill's clinic to collect the envelopes as they contained the photos of the test subjects of the next game, which focused on William Easton, manager of the Umbrella Health insurance company, and his colleagues. Jill gave the five envelopes to him, thereby concealing the existence of a sixth one, which contained a photo of Hoffman for his own test.

Pamela shows the letter to Jill

Later that day, when she was back home, she heard someone knocking at the door of her apartment. Upon opening it, she was annoyed to see that it was Pamela Jenkins, a sensational journalist investigating the Jigsaw Case, who had received the address from Detective Hoffman. Pamela showed her a copy of a letter which had been found at the scene of John's death and asked Jill if she understood the meaning of this message. Jill denied this and told her to go. Unsatisfied with her visit, Pamela slid the letter under the door, telling her to call back if she changed her opinion. In fact, Jill was shocked to see the letter as it was actually a blackmailing letter written by Hoffman to Amanda Young, John's other apprentice, on the day of her and John's death. In the letter, he had told Amanda that he knew that she had been with Cecil at the night of the robbery which had caused Gideon's death. Therefore, he threatened her to tell John the truth. To prevent him from doing so, he forced her to kill one of their test subjects, Dr. Lynn Denlon. (Saw VI)

Culmination

Shortly afterwards, Jill put the remaining contents of the box into a bag and then drove to the abandoned Rowan Zoological Institute, where Hoffman had set up William Easton's game. When she entered his surveillance room, she saw that the game was still going on. Through the big one-way mirrors in the room, she saw Pamela and two other people, Tara and Brent Abbott, imprisoned in separate animal enclosures. As the game quickly approached its end, Jill anticipated that Hoffman would arrive soon. Therefore, she put her bag in a locker and then placed the letter in front of Hoffman's surveillance monitors before going into hiding.

Moments later, Hoffman arrived and entered the room, mere seconds before the end of William's game. When he approached the monitors, he was shocked when he noticed the letter. Moments after he sat down on his chair and read the letter, Jill Tuck suddenly entered the room and incapacitated him with an electric shock. While he was unconscious, she strapped him onto the chair and put the Reverse Beartrap on his head.

Jill shows the photo to Hoffman

When he woke up shortly afterwards, he was immediately frightened by the situation. Jill then approached him and showed him a photo of himself, revealing that the black box left to her by John had contained a sixth envelope, as John's final request for Jill was to test Hoffman. Before she finally activated the trap, they watched the final part of William's game through the one-way-mirrors and were disgusted when William was injected and dissolved by hydrofluoric acid, after Brent Abbott had chosen to avenge his father, one of William's former clients, by activating a trap positioned above William. When William died, the time for Hoffman's test had come as well. However as Jill was angered by the letter, she refused to give Hoffman any chance to survive and therefore had no key for him to escape the trap.

Hoffman, after escaping the trap

When the timer of the trap started to count down Jill eventually left the room with the words "Game Over". Hoffman immediately panicked and furiously smashed his left hand with the frontal part of the trap in order to free himself from his restraints. He then tried to open the trap with a screwdriver. When this attempt remained unsuccessful and only a few seconds were left, Hoffman pushed the trap's frontal part between two metal bars on the door window to prevent it from bursting open completely. Eventually, he managed to pull his head out of the trap, but was heavily injured in the process as the trap had torn his right cheek apart. (Saw VI)

Aftermath

As she had noticed his escape, Jill panicked and ran away. However, when she saw Hoffman's shadow at the end of a hallway, she quickly went into hiding behind a cloak hanger with a few overalls granting her cover. While she watched him from her hiding spot, Hoffman used a bunch of paper towels as an improvised bandage for his hand, which he had broken to free himself from the electric chair, and took another one to stop the bleed from his cheek. Afterwards, he picked up the Reverse Beartrap again and finally left the zoo once and for all. When she was alone and believed to be safe, Jill also left her hiding spot and left the zoo. Even though Jill intended not to give him any chance to survive, Hoffman managed to escape the trap nonetheless, albeit heavily injured. Afraid that Hoffman might take revenge on her, Jill fled the scene and went to the police station to talk to Matt Gibson as she knew about his past with Hoffman. His partner, Officer Rogers, informed him that she didn't trust the FBI nor the homicide unit and therefore only wanted to talk to him. When Gibson eventually entered the interrogation room he introduced himself and sat down at the table in front of Jill. Jill told him that she had information about the successor of John and demanded protection and complete immunity in exchange for the information. Gibson however refused to accept the deal without more details. Therefore, Jill told him that John's successor had assisted him in most of his killings and would go on killing if he wasn't apprehended. She also said, that he knew Gibson and vice versa, before she finally revealed that the successor was actually Detective Mark Hoffman. Both, surprised and shocked by these information, Gibson accepted the deal, seeing a chance to close the Jigsaw Case once and for all. (Saw VI, 3D)

Hoffman's Revenge

Hoffman recording the video

Throughout the next weeks, Hoffman's wounds healed, for the most part, enabling him to finally put the last phase of his plan into operation. After finishing the preparations for Bobby's game, he went to Pete's Auto Body, a junkyard at 58th Street. In a secret room behind a hidden wall, he set up several surveillance monitors and hacked into the police station's camera system, therefore enabling him to watch everything that happened inside the building. Additionally, he set up another deadly trap consisting of a sentry gun which would kill any invaders who entered the room. After that, he placed the statue of an angel, which looked exactly like a statue from the Crossroad Manufactory, behind him and recorded a video message for Gibson. In the video, he told him to give Jill to him and in return promised to end the next game. If Gibson refused to take the offer, Hoffman threatened him that everyone would die. Afterward, he arranged a new game in the garage just before the secret room and used it to trap Evan, Kara, Dan and Jake, a group of racist skinheads. While their game played out, Hoffman went to a church, which served as the venue of a self-help group for survivors of Jigsaw's games. After one of the group's meetings, Hoffman waited near the parking spot and abducted Bobby's wife and crew and eventually Bobby himself, all while covering his face with one of the pig masks. After taking them to the Clear Dawn Facility, he sent the video previously recorded at Pete's Auto Body to a safe house for key witnesses, as he expected Gibson to take Jill to this location. In doing so, he wanted to force him to take Jill to the detention cells in the basement of the police station. Then, he returned to the junkyard where Evan's game had come to an end, resulting in him and his friends all having been killed by the trap.

As the game had played out, Hoffman placed the Reverse Beartrap, which Jill had used in her attempt to kill him, in the toilet room of the garage, right before the door to his secret surveillance room. Additionally, he wrote a message for Gibson on a mirror, telling him to "see for himself." Finally, he set up a bomb in one of the many car wrecks before he went into hiding in his room, shortly before the police arrived at the crime scene. Hoffman then recorded a second video, again with the angel in the background, in which he told Gibson to "look beyond the crossroads to the clear dawn", thereby hinting at the incident at the manufactory as well as the location of Bobby's game. Then, he sent the video over several proxy servers to Gibson. Meanwhile, the police secured the crime scene. While they did this, Hoffman detonated the bomb and therefore lured all the cops to the outside of the garage. Embracing the opportunity, he left the secret room and took the mutilated corpse of Dan from his body bag. He dragged the dead body into the room, put a black cloak on him, and placed him on a chair in front of the surveillance monitors. Afterward, he left the room again and hid in the body bag. Shortly afterwards, he and the three remaining corpses of Dan's friends were taken to the morgue for their abduction. (Saw 3D)

Jill Tucks Death

Hoffman infiltrates the morgue

Shortly afterwards, Rogers returned while Gibson, who had found out that Bobby Dagen's game was played at the abandoned Clear Dawn Psychiatric Hospital, went there along with a SWAT team. At this time, Palmer managed to trace back the mail and called Gibson, informing him that the mail had been sent from the junkyard. Moments later, Rogers, who guarded Jill Tuck, received a call and was informed about this as well. Therefore, he told Jill that Gibson had found Hoffman's hideout. The hideout however was actually secured by a trap. Shortly after her last conversation with Gibson, Palmer received another call from him. He ordered her to call all officers back to the station immediately but wasn't able to tell her the reason for this as he was shot by the trap moments later. Meanwhile, the corpses from the junkyard had arrived at the morgue. However, when Dr. Heffner opened one of the body bags he realized that Hoffman had removed the corpse of the victim, Dan, to infiltrate the station in the bag. Before he could react he was stabbed in the throat by Hoffman. After killing him, Hoffman left the bag and noticed that another coroner was about to enter the room. When he opened the door, Hoffman attacked him and stabbed him in the throat as well, before he left the morgue and went to the detention cells located on the basement.

Rogers is shot in the eye by Hoffman

On his way, he came across an officer who wanted to enter the evidence room and killed him. After that, he locked the exit door and went on. Shortly afterwards, he reached a big office room where Officer Palmer tried to call Gibson, not knowing that he had been killed by the sentry gun at the junkyard. When Hoffman approached and grabbed her from behind, she panicked and they engaged in a brief struggle until Hoffman broke her neck. When she was dead, he went to the heavy metal door leading to the cells and looked through the eyehole. Behind the door was another guard who observed Jill through a one-way-mirror. Therefore, Hoffman dragged Palmer's corpse to the door, placed her body in front of the eyehole and knocked the door to attract the guard. When he saw Palmer through the eyehole, thinking she was still alive, he opened the door. Hoffman embraced his chance and threw the corpse away. When the guard unlocked the door, Hoffman dragged him back into the room and stabbed his throat. Afterwards, he took the dead officer's gun. Now only Officer Rogers stood between him and Jill. As he couldn't see Hoffman through the mirror, the latter aimed at him unnoticed and finally shot him right in the eye. When she saw him, Jill immediately panicked and backed away from him. Hoffman then took the key to her cell's door from Rogers' corpse, entered the room and calmly approached Jill. He violently grabbed her hair and forced her to look at his scar, asking her how he looked. Unnoticed by him, Jill had grabbed a nail file and stabbed it in his neck, enabling her to run away. Hoffman was briefly paralyzed, but pulled the file out shortly afterwards and took up his pursuit of Jill. As Hoffman had locked the exit doors, she was forced to go into hiding in the evidence room.

Hoffman activates Jill's trap

Moments later, Hoffman entered the room and turned on the light. After searching the room, he initially thought that she was hiding elsewhere. However, as he was about to leave the room again, he heard a noise. Upon following it, he eventually found Jill who crouched behind a filing cabinet. As she wanted to flee again, he violently kicked her in the stomach and dragged her away. He placed a chair, the same to which she had strapped him at the zoo, in the middle of the room, when he saw that Jill was trying to stand up, he brutally smashed her head on a table and then strapped her arms to the chair. Then, he took the original beartrap formerly used on Amanda Young from one of the shelves and put it on Jill's head. When she woke up, Hoffman started the timer, causing Jill to panic immediately. However as she had no chance to escape, the timer eventually went off, which caused the trap to burst open and rip her jaws apart in front of Hoffman's eyes who left the room and closed the door with the words "Game Over." (Saw 3D)

Hoffman's Execution

Lawrence, Brad and Ryan kidnap Hoffman

Following his attack on the police station and his successful revenge on Jill, Hoffman quickly returned to his hideout in the hangar. When he arrived, the news channels already reported the attack on the police station Jill's death. Furthermore, they instructed the public that the city was shut down and appealed to them to contact the police if they had any information leading to Mark Hoffman. Therefore, he knew that he had to prepare his flight quickly. He packed a duffel with a gun and a bunch of money. After that, he turned on some gas tanks kept in the hangar, poured a trail of gasoline on the floor leading from the tanks, and set the gasoline on fire, destroying all the evidence and the building in an explosion.

Gordon takes the hacksaw

As Hoffman leaves behind the burning hangar, he was suddenly attacked by two pig-masked figures, Brad and Ryan. As they grabbed him and held him up, a third masked man approached and injected him with an anesthetic, causing him to collapse. When he lay on the ground, the man revealed himself to be Dr. Lawrence Gordon, John's oncologist who had secretly become John's third apprentice after surviving one of his games on his own. Shocked by this reveal, Hoffman realized that it was Gordon who had written the second stalker letter, which he had assumed to be from Peter Strahm. Moments later, he passed out from the anesthetic.

Hoffman is left in the bathroom to die

While he was unconscious, the men took him to the dilapidated bathroom underneath the Nerve Gas House, where Gordon had overcome his test long ago, and chained him by the ankle to the pipe right next to the decomposed corpses of Adam Stanheight and Zep Hindle. When he woke up he immediately realized the situation he was in and tried to grab a hacksaw lying on the floor to free himself from his shackle. Unfortunately for him, Gordon, who was also walking toward it, pulled it away from him with his cane. Gordon then picked up the saw and threw it out of the room, preventing Hoffman from escaping the way he did. Ignoring Hoffman's angry and desperate yells, Gordon turned off the light and closed the door, leaving Hoffman to die with the words "Game Over." (Saw 3D).

Triva

  • In the original script of Saw V, it was actually Jill Tuck who had written the second stalker note and sent it to his office.
  • According to the audio commentary of Saw 3D, Brad and Ryan from the beginning of the film were supposed to be the two pig-masked men who assisted Dr. Gordon in the abduction of Hoffman.
  • According to the audio commentary of Saw 3D, Hoffman eventually died in the bathroom. The fact that he wasn't mentioned or suspected during the events of Jigsaw ten years later suggests that this is true and the police learned about his fate at some point.
    • However, Darren Lynn Bousman has stated that discussions took place during the development of Spiral to possibly bring back Costas Mandylor as Hoffman in a future film, so his death could possibly be retconned.

Navigation

Advertisement