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I'm an investigate journalist for The Herald.
— Charles introduces himself[src]

Charles is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as the secondary antagonist of Saw V. He was portrayed by Carlo Rota.

Biography

The Fire

Charles was an investigative journalist working for The Herald. At one point in his career, he investigated a fire in an apartment building which had claimed the lives of eight people living there. During his work he found out that the building was burned down by a drug addict named Mallick in exchange for heroin offered to him by a dealer hired by Brit, the senior vice president of a real estate development company who wanted to buy up the property once the building had been burned down. To get the building permit, she bribed Luba Gibbs, who worked as a city planner. Finally, the arson was covered by Ashley, a fire inspector who faked her report and labelled the fire as a tragic accident. However, when Charles planned to publish his story, he was bribed as well and therefore held back his knowledge. Soon afterwards, Peter Strahm and Lindsey Perez, two special agents working on the case, suspected him and almost discovered his lie. Therefore, they planned to bring a charge against Charles as well as the four other suspects. However, when the only witness, who was in fact the drug dealer, suddenly disappeared, the investigation was ceased. (Saw V, VI)

Abduction

Even though he didn't publish the truth about the fire, he continued to observe the other people involved in the arson. Eventually, he was abducted by Detective Mark Hoffman, the successor of the late John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, who had gained knowledge of his involvement in the arson case before his death and therefore instructed Hoffman to arrange a deadly game for him and the other people involved in the case. After subduing him, Hoffman took him to a room in a catacomb area at 1293 Sandburst Drive along with the other test subjects and put a leather collar around his neck before leaving. (Saw V)

First Test

CollarTrap2

The prisoners awake in their trap

Shortly afterwards, Charles woke up along with his fellow prisoners, who he immediately recognized. Mallick immediately panicked and was convinced that Jigsaw had done this to them, stating that he had expected something like this to happen to him. However, Brit tried to calm him down and reminded him that Jigsaw was dead according to the news. Luba then pointed to a security camera filming them, stating that someone was watching them. Despite her initial doubts about their captivity being related to Jigsaw, Brit changed her opinion when she realized that they were observed to make sure that they were following the rules. Due to this, Mallick further panicked and desperately tried to remove his collar. He stopped however when Charles warned him that his head would "pop off like a dandelion" and pointed to the blades behind them as well as a timer on the wall, suspecting that it would start ticking down once the metal pin was pulled out, which was attached to a cable running through all of their collars. They were suddenly interrupted when a TV turned on in front of them. A mechanical ventriloquist puppet appeared on screen and introduced them to their game, telling them they had been chosen for using privileges given to them at birth in order to further themselves on the expense of others. Furthermore, the puppet told them that the cable running through their collars, which connected all of them, could be pulled so tight that they'd be decapitated on the mounted razors behind them. The only way to free themselves was by obtaining the keys from five glass boxes standing on pedestals before them. However, if one of them moved to get the key, the timer would be activated and decapitate everyone of them who wasn't able to remove the collar within 60 seconds. Finally, the puppet warned them not to follow their "life-long instincts" in this situation.

CharlesTrap

Charles watches the instruction tape

When the tape ended and the TV turned off, a frightened Mallick concluded that one of them had to die. Luba however denied this, reminding him that they shouldn't follow their instincts and suggested that they shouldn't go after the keys, suspecting that their abductor was merely testing their endurance. Ashley and Mallick however immediately opposed this idea. Charles then noticed that there was a second timer, which was connected to two glass jars filled with nails. Initially, Brit doubted that the jars were of any relevance as the puppet didn't mention them. Ashley however immediately recognized them as homemade nail bombs. When Mallick asked her how she knew this, Charles answered that she was a fire inspector. Therefore, Ashley asked him how he knew her. Charles however refused to answer, even when Mallick started to yell at him and angrily demanded an answer. Once again, Brit calmed him down, saying that they should figure out their situation. Luba then tried to work out the connection between them and asked Brit what she had done to get in this situation. Brit however merely told her to tell her story first. Not wanting to talk about it, Luba changed the topic and talked about the puppet's mention of their advantages from birth and asked them if they were all for many. However, this only applied to her, Brit and Mallick, and not Ashley and Charles. Therefore, Mallick sarcastically mocked her, but Ashley intervened, stating that their advantages from birth don't necessarily have to be financial. Therefore, Mallick talked to Charles and confronted him with his knowledge of Ashley, thereby asking him if he knew anything about him and the others as well. When Charles didn't answer, Mallick got angry again, which caused an argument between them during which Charles called him a "tweaker", showing that he knew that Mallick was in fact a drug addict. He then grabbed Mallick's right arm, which was covered with burn scars, telling him that it was obvious how he "fucked up his charmed existence." When he asked him if he played with matches, Mallick angrily yelled at him and started to run for the key, despite Luba's protests. Charles however pulled on the cable, causing Mallick to topple and thereby starting the timer.

S5charlesusejacket

Charles uses his jacket to get his key

Charles slowly made his way forward, forcing Mallick to crawl back as the cable running through their collars strangulated the other prisoners. Eventually, Charles managed to get the key from the first box. Afterwards, Brit tried to get to her key but was pulled back when Luba leaped forward. However, when she finally got her own key as well, Brit embraced her opportunity once more and moved forward. This way, she also successfully obtained her key. Finally, Mallick and Ashley fought for the next key and both tried to get to the boxes as soon as possible. However, when Mallick reached the box in front of him and smashed the glass, the key accidentally fell to the floor. In order to get it, Mallick leaped over the pedestal. Therefore, Ashley was pulled back again and was swept from her feet. Finally, Mallick got the key. When she realized that the time was running out, Ashley desperately started to scream. Moments later, when the timer hit zero, all of her fellow prisoners successfully removed their collars while she was pulled back by the cable and was therefore decapitated by the blade behind her. Following Ashley's death, her fellow prisoners were initially shocked, but eventually moved on to the next room when Charles reminded them of the bombs as the second timer was still ticking. (Saw V)

Death

Charles 1

Charles in the second room

When Mallick, who was the last one who entered the second room, was about to close the door behind him, Charles stopped him from doing so. Brit then pointed to the next timer, which was again connected to nail bombs, stating that closing the door would start the timer. Luba then reminded them that they had to find out who everyone of them was, hoping that this way they might discover the connection between them. When Brit stated that Ashley was working for the fire department, Charles corrected her by saying that she was discharged one month earlier. Therefore, Mallick angrily yelled at him and suspected him as the one behind their abduction due to his knowledge about them. When he threatened to close the door, Charles angrily approached him but was held back by Brit who tried to keep the situation calm. Afterwards, she asked Luba about her story. Luba responded that she was working for the Department of City Planning and neither had a husband nor children. When she told Brit to tell her story, Charles intervened and asked her if there was something about her father that she wanted to tell them. Surprised by this, Luba finally admitted that she was the daughter of Richard Gibbs, the owner of a sports team called "The Cougars." Charles then stated that Gibbs wanted to build a new stadium for years and suspected that Luba's work as a city planner was his best opportunity for reaching his goal. Afterwards, Mallick asked Brit what she had done to end up in this situation, to which she responded that she was the senior vice president of a real estate development company. Luba realized that Brit was talking about the Marshvard Group and thereby concluded that they had a connection as Brit's company needed a permission from the Department of City Planning for every one of their buildings. Then, she asked Mallick about his past. Mallick stated that she had no wife, no children that he knew of and no job. Therefore, Charles sarcastically mocked and angered him by calling him a "trust-fund baby." Finally, Brit asked Charles about his past. When he told them that he worked as an investigative journalist for The Herald, Mallick mocked him for working for a "gossip rag", until Charles told him to bite his tongue. Afterwards, he and Brit noticed 16 glass jars, which were suspended from the ceiling. However, as they were filled with glass shards, they couldn't see what else was in the jars. Moments later, Charles finally closed the door to the first room, only seconds before the bombs detonated.

Seconds later, the lights turned off and a TV in front of them turned on. When Jigsaw's puppet appeared on the screen, it introduced them to their new situation. There were four cylindrical chambers, which would provide them safety from the bombs, in the walls of the room. To access them, they had to find the keys to the doors, which were inside the jars. However, only three of these keys could open the doors to the safety chambers. Therefore, the puppet asked them to make the choice who was going to be "the odd man out."

Mallick and Charles Smash

Charles attacks Mallick

When the tape ended and the TV turned off again, the lights turned back on and a 60-seconds-timer started to tick down. While the other prisoners panicked, Mallick grabbed one of two metal rods and smashed the first glass. Brit however remarked that the cylindrical key was blank when she noticed that the keys to the locks must have differently shaped attachments. As Mallick was about to smash the next jar, Charles suddenly grabbed the second rod and brutally beat him up as he deemed Mallick to be worthless for the rest of the group. Luba tried to stop him. However, he angrily pushed her away, yelling at her that only the fittest would survive. Afterwards, he quickly started to smash the glasses one by one. Thereby, Brit and Luba managed to get their hands on two of the needed keys and were thereby successfully able to open their chambers. When Charles was done with his work, the last key with a shape on it landed in front of Mallick. As he tried to grab it, Charles dropped his metal rod, stepped on his arm and picked up the key while sarcastically wishing him better luck next time. Unnoticed by him, Luba hadn't accessed her chamber yet but had instead grabbed one of the rods and sandbagged him from behind, angrily yelling at him before finally going to her chamber. Therefore, Mallick grabbed the key and went into the third chamber. With only a few seconds left, Charles slowly stood up again, but was finally ripped up by the bombs around him. (Saw V)

Post-Mortem

Charles remains,after the explosion.

Charles' corpse

After the detonation, the other prisoners left their chambers. Upon seeing his humiliated remains, Brit remarked that he was an asshole but smart, stating that they could've still used him. Therefore, Luba reminded her that someone had to die and asked if she'd rather have taken Charles' place, to which Brit gave no response. Luba then grabbed the metal rod lying next to the ripped up corpse before she and the other remaining survivors went on to the next room.

When the catacombs were found by Special Agent Dan Erickson shortly afterwards, everything that was left of Charles' remains was taken to the morgue for the autopsy by Dr. Adam Heffner. (Saw V, VI)

Personality

Charles was a very arrogant and selfish individual. Whenever he had the opportunity, he sarcastically mocked the people around them. Despite his work as an investigative journalist, he was willing to bend or even conceal the truth if it was for the sake of his own personal gain. While he was able to remain calm even in situations where he was put under extreme pressure, he didn't hesitate to use aggressive and extremely violent means to get forward if he deemed it necessary, as seen by his brutality when he beat up Mallick. Nonetheless, he was an intelligent and calculating man, focused on his goals and reasonable enough to discuss situations first instead of acting brash and impetuous.

Appearances and References

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