He doesn't want us to cut through our chains....he wants us to cut through our feet.
— Lawrence realizes that he and Adam were abducted by Jigsaw[src]

Dr. Lawrence Gordon, also known as Larry, is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as one of the main protagonists of the first Saw film and the secondary antagonist of Saw 3D. He was portrayed by Cary Elwes.


Suspect in the Jigsaw Case


Dr. Gordon is interrogated in his office

Lawrence Gordon was a doctor and a graduate of Charnell University, where he was granted a degree in medical oncology in 1997. Afterwards, he began his career as a renowned oncologist at the Angel of Mercy Hospital. He was the husband of Alison Gordon and father of Diana Gordon. He and Alison often argued due to his cold and uncaring attitude, which he would also display at work with his patients. At some point, he started to have an affair with one of his medical students, Carla Song. He was also the one who diagnosed John Kramer with cancer and therefore played an important role in the latter's transformation into the Jigsaw Killer. While presenting the case of John, who was at the hospital for a routine examination, to his patients he was interrupted by Zep Hindle, one of the hospital's orderlies, who told him that John was an interesting person due to Lawrence constantly only referring to him as "the patient". Seemingly annoyed by the interruption, Lawrence sarcastically thanked Zep for the information about John to get him back to work. However when he wanted to continue on his own Lawrence was again interrupted and called to the reception. When he entered his office he was already expected by Detective David Tapp, the leading investigator on the Jigsaw case and his partner, Detective Steven Sing who asked him about his whereabouts during the previous night as a penlight with Gordon's fingerprints on it was found at the crime scene of the latest known Jigsaw victim, Mark Wilson.

Lawrence was taken to the police station where he was interrogated. Eventually, he revealed to his friend and lawyer Brett that he was with his mistress Carla at the time of the murder which the police quickly found out to be the truth. However despite this Detective Sing asked him to stay for a little longer to witness the interrogation of Amanda Young, a new victim of Jigsaw and the first survivor of one of his deadly games. Upon hearing her story, Lawrence was visibly horrified by the things she went through. After the interrogation, Lawrence was released from custody and brought home by Tapp, who implied that he still wasn't convinced of his innocence. Following Sing's death and his discharge from the force Tapp became obsessed with the idea of Lawrence actually being the killer despite his alibi. His obsession constantly worsened to the point where he rented a flat right across from Gordon's apartment to be able to observe him. Eventually, he hired photographer Adam Stanheight to follow Dr. Gordon and take pictures of him. (Saw)



Lawrence in his home office

At the night of his abduction by Jigsaw, five months after the interrogation of Amanda, Gordon worked in his office at home but was interrupted by Alison and Diana as the latter told them about a man in her bedroom. In order to calm her down, Lawrence took her back to her room and comforted her but was unexpectedly called to the Hotel Barfly by Carla. He left his apartment, telling Diana and Alison that he has to go to work, much to the latter's displeasure. He drove to the hotel and met Carla in her room, berating her for paging him at home. When Carla wanted to sleep with him, Gordon prevented her from taking off her clothes and decided to end their affair as it was becoming too risky for him. When he was about to leave, Carla nearly started to cry but was interrupted when the telephone rang. Upon answering the call anonymously made by Zep Hindle, the latter demanded to talk to Dr. Gordon. When she gave Gordon the phone, Zep told him he knew about his secret, causing him to hectically leave the room. He went to his car in the parking garage but hesitated when he saw a white light, not knowing that it was the flash of Adam's camera who was still observing him. However, he ignored it and got into his car but soon found himself trapped in the parking garage and unable to call for help as both the telephone and his mobile didn't work. Before he could get back into his car, he was attacked and rendered unconscious by a person in a red cloak and a pig mask who had been hiding on the back seat of his car. Lawrence was taken to a grimy industrial bathroom and chained to a pipe by his ankle. (Saw, III)



Lawrence after awakening in the bathroom

When Lawrence woke up in the dark he soon realized that he wasn't alone when he heard the frightened yells of another man. He tried to calm him down and eventually found a switch and turned the lights on. The other man was revealed to be Adam Stanheight, who was chained to a pipe as well in the opposite corner of the room. Between them lay what appeared to be the corpse of a man who shot himself in the head, face down in a pool of blood, holding a tape player in one hand and a revolver in the other. Both men found envelopes containing audio tapes in their pockets and after obtaining the tape player Adam and Lawrence learned what they needed to do: Lawrence had to kill Adam by 6:00 o'clock if he wanted to save his wife and daughter who were held hostages as well while Adam simply had to survive until the time was up. Besides the tape Lawrence's envelope also contained a key and a bullet. Initially thinking the key was meant for the shackle he was disenchanted soon after as the key didn't work on either his or Adam's shackle. Using clues from the tapes Adam found a plastic bag in the toilet tank, containing a pair of hacksaws and gave one of them to Gordon. However, when they tried to cut through their chains Adam's saw broke leading him to angrily throw it against the mirror which broke a piece of glass out of it. After unsuccessfully trying to cut through his chain as well Dr. Gordon soon realized that the saws were not strong enough to cut through their chains and were actually meant to cut off their feet. He then told Adam about the Jigsaw Killer and how he himself was interrogated as a suspect five months ago. However Adam still distrusted Gordon and even threatened to slit him with a glass shard from the mirror when he realized that it was actually a one-way mirror with a camera positioned behind it.

Despite their continuing distrust Adam and Lawrence soon started to talk about the latter's family and Gordon gave Adam his wallet to show him a photo of him and his family, which he said to be his favourite picture of them. However the photo was replaced with another picture showing Alison and Diana tied up in their apartment. On the back of the photo was a message for Gordon, telling him that an "X marks the spot" and that sometimes he might see more with his "eyes shut". Adam told Gordon the photo wasn't in the wallet but refused to tell him about the new picture. However when they got into an argument about Adam not helping Gordon to find a way out Adam finally realized the meaning of the message and told Lawrence to turn off the light. Doing so revealed a "X" written on the wall with a fluorescent paint not visible in the light. When Gordon used his saw to break through the marked part of the wall he found a box inside a small hollow space which he was able to open with a key from the envelope from his pocket. The box contained a cellphone, two cigarettes and a message for Gordon which told him that he wouldn't need a gun to kill Adam and hinted at the blood of the dead man in the middle of the room being poisoned. Lawrence tried to use the phone to call the police. However this attempt remained unsuccesful as the phone was only meant to receive calls, not to make them. This caused him to remember the night in the garage when he tried to call for help moments before his abduction. When he asked Adam how he knew that they had to turn off the light Adam initially refused to tell him the truth but ultimately showed him the photo of his family held captive and apologized for not telling him earlier. Upon seeing that his family is actually in danger Lawrence thinks about killing Adam with a poisoned cigarette. However, instead of actually doing so Lawrence formulated a plan to stage Adam's death in front of the camera. He gave one of the cigarettes which wasn't poisoned to Adam who pretended to die. This plan was thwarted when Adam was electrocuted through his chain. Due to this, they got into another argument. However, the shock also helped Adam to regain his memories of the night he was abducted in his apartment.

Some time later Lawrence was unexpectedly called by his frightened daughter and his wife. When Alison asked him if Adam was with him in the room she told her husband not to trust Adam as he already knew him before. Upon the call being interrupted Lawrence angrily yelled at Adam and demanded him to finally tell him the truth. Eventually, Adam admitted that he was observing him for some days already and revealed the photos of him he found in the same bag which also contained the hacksaws. He claimed that he even knew about Gordon's mistress whom he met at a motel the night before. However, Lawrence claimed he didn't cheat on his wife due to not actually sleeping with Carla. When being asked who hired him to take the pictures Adam told Gordon about Bob, the "tall black guy with a scar around his neck" which Lawrence immediately recognized as former detective David Tapp. When looking at his photos Adam suddenly found a picture which wasn't from him, showing a man staring out of a window of Lawrence's apartment, whom Lawrence identified as Zep Hindle, an orderly from the hospital. Moments later the clock striked 6:00, marking the end of the game as well as Lawrence's failure.


Lawrence reaching for the phone

Lawrence was called again by Alison and heard shots and screams causing him to panic until he was electrocuted as well which rendered him unconscious for some mere seconds. Adam desperately tried to wake him up and finally even managed to do so. However, this caused Lawrence to further panic as he didn't know that his family actually managed to escape from Zep and despite Adam's frequent attempts to calm him down he started to cut off his foot while a screaming and horrified Adam was forced to watch. When Lawrence grabbed the dead man's gun and aimed at Adam the latter begged for his life but Lawrence shot him in the shoulder with the bullet from his envelope, intending to kill him, which caused Adam to collaps.


Lawrence severing his foot

Shortly afterwards, Zep entered the bathroom and Lawrence desperately tried to shoot him but was out of bullets. Zep then prepared to kill him as he didn't kill Adam in time. However, Adam, who had survived the gunshot, knocked him to the ground and started to fight for Zep's gun. Adam eventually managed to get the gun out of Zep's hands and bludgeoned his head with the lid of the toilet tank. Lawrence promised to find help for Adam and crawled out of the bathroom, leaving Adam behind alone. (Saw)

Becoming Jigsaw's Accomplice


Lawrence's leg before cauterization.

Due to his injuries and his massive loss of blood Lawrence wasn't able to make it very far. He soon reached a hot steaming pipe in the hallway leading to the bathroom and after some hesitation pressed the stump of his severed foot against the pipe in order to cauterize the wound. However the immense amount of pain caused him to lose consciousness.

Lawrence cauterizing his stump

Moments later he was found by John Kramer, his patient, the real Jigsaw Killer and the person behind his family's abduction, who had been posing as the dead body in the bathroom all the time. He took Gordon with him and during a brief regain of his consciousness Lawrence recognized his patient who smiled at him and congratulated him for his survival before Lawrence passed out again.

Lawrence's stump after cauterization.

When he woke up again he panicked as John was taking care of his wounds but eventually calmed down when he fitted a prosthesis as a replacement for his foot. His treatment caused him to trust John despite the things the latter did to him and caused him to do and eventually he was convinced to become another one of his assets. Soon after his treatment and release by Jigsaw Gordon went to the Metropolitan Police Department and told them about his game. However he didn't tell them the truth about John and the bathroom was never found. (Saw 3D)

After the events in the bathroom Lawrence quit his job at the Angel of Mercy hospital, presumably to gain distance from Carla and started to work at the Saint Eustace Hospital. Furthermore, he joined a self-help group of Jigsaw survivors who met in a local church. (Saw VI, 3D)

As Jigsaw's accomplice, he assisted him in setting up more of his deadly games on many occasions. Several months after his game he performed a surgery on one of John's victims, Michael Marks, an abducted police informer, and thereby placed a key behind his right eye. This game was part of another test planned for the corrupt Detective Eric Matthews. (Saw II, 3D)

Six months later, Lawrence suggested to abduct Dr. Lynn Denlon, a surgeon from the Angel of Mercy hospital, to make her participate in what was going to be John's final game, in which she had to keep him alive until another victim, her husband, Jeff, passed a series of tests on his own. Lawrence suggested her to John due his knowledge of both her excellent skills as a surgeon and her connection to Jeff. He was probably the one who also provided the medical supplies for the game. Two weeks before Lynn and Jeff's game began, Lawrence helped John to prepare another test for John's former lawyer Art Blank and a man named Trevor. During another small operation, Lawrence sewed Art's mouth and Trevor's eyes shut for their game. (Saw III, IV, 3D)

After John's death at the hands of Jeff, Lawrence wrote an anonymous letter to Detective Mark Hoffman, another accomplice and the successor of Jigsaw, who didn't know about the doctor's involvement in any of the games. In the letter, he told Hoffman that he knew about his secret, thereby causing him to worry that his identity as Jigsaw's successor might be in danger. (Saw VI, Saw 3D)

Furthermore, Jill Tuck, John's ex-wife, received a black box, which John had previously given to his executor, Bernie Feldman, with the instruction to contact Jill in the event of his death. The box contained an envelope addressed to Lawrence. Willing to carry out her late ex-husbands final request, she took the envelope with her and went to Lawrence's office at the Saint Eustace Hospital. The envelope contained a video message recorded by John prior to his death. In the video, John told Gordon that he was perhaps his greatest asset and asked him to watch over Jill, assuming that she might be in danger. Therefore, he told Gordon to act immediately on his behalf if anything happened to her and promised him not to keep no more secrets from him. Finally, he told Gordon about the many places he showed to him and reminded him of the one that might be the most meaningful to him, thereby hinting at the bathroom, where his test had taken place. (Saw VI, 3D)

Final Request


Lawrence attending the survivor group's meeting

After receiving the video, Lawrence was alerted when Mark Hoffman's identity was revealed to the public. He attended another meeting of his survivor group where he also met Bobby Dagen, an author had gained fame and success by publishing his book "S.U.R.V.I.V.E. - My story of overcoming Jigsaw" in which he claimed to be a Jigsaw survivor on his own. However, due to his involvement in John's operations, Lawrence was aware of Bobby being a liar and sarcastically mocked him and his "remarkable" ability to get something positive out of his horrifying experiences. Bobby however tried to act confident and thanked him. Therefore, Gordon and the other confused members of the group applauded him, showing their gratefulness of being part of his story. Soon afterwards, Bobby, his entire crew and his wife were abducted by Hoffman and put into another series of deadly games in order to put the police forces under pressure and get to Jill Tuck, who had been taken into protective custody, as Hoffman wanted to kill her for putting him in a trap earlier. (Saw VI, 3D)

Mark Hoffman's Execution


Lawrence, Brad and Ryan kidnap Hoffman

Soon afterwards, Hoffman started to carry out his plan for revenge he eventually managed to invade the police station and killed Jill Tuck. When her death was reported to the public by the press, Dr. Gordon finally decided it was time to take action and allied himself with two other people. Together, they went to Hoffman's hideout in an abandoned hangar, hiding their faces behind pig masks. When Hoffman blew up the hangar and was about to flee, he was attacked by the group and injected with an anesthetic by Lawrence, who revealed himself to Hoffman seconds before the latter lost consciousness.


Lawrence denying Hoffman's only chance of freedom

Following John's final instructions, Lawrence took Hoffman to the same bathroom where he was tested months ago and chained him to a pipe right next to the decomposed corpse of Adam. When he entered the room and Hoffman woke up he started to panic and tried to grab the hacksaw to free himself from his shackle. However Lawrence took the saw and threw it out of the room. Ignoring Hoffman's angry and desperate yells Lawrence turned off the light and closed the door, leaving Hoffman to die with the words "Game Over." (Saw 3D)

Non-Canon Appearances

Saw: Rebirth

Dr. Lawrence Gordon appeared in the animated comic Saw: Rebirth which served as a prequel to the first three films. He was a cold, uncaring doctor, and the person who diagnosed John Kramer with cancer. A hospital orderly named Zep Hindle told John that Lawrence had been cheating on his wife, and had an affair with one of his medical students, Carla Song. This was the reason he was targeted by John Kramer, now known by the media as the Jigsaw Killer.

Saw: The Video Game

Lawrence was mentioned briefly in one of the case files that can be found in Saw: The Video Game.

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

He was also mentioned in David Tapp's notes and audio tapes in Saw II: Flesh & Blood. Tapp mentioned that Gordon "fits the profile" of Jigsaw, and had even suffered an emotional breakdown when he was young and had to be institutionalized as a result. He also delved into his investigation of Gordon's illicit relationship with Carla Song. It is further mentioned that he was responsible for the treatment of the terminal cancer patients, including John Kramer, Campbell Iman and Charles Carlyle. Tapp speculated this might have been the reason for cold and distanced personality.

Full Disclosure Report

Dr. Gordon was also mentioned in the documentary Full Disclosure Report, which focused on the early crimes of Jigsaw. As Alison refused to give an interview, the team of the host, [[[Rich Skidmore (Character)|Rich Skidmore]], instead asked some of her relatives, who gave them some details about their captivity and the phone calls with Lawrence. When asked if they suspected Lawrence as the killer, they denied this as they believed he would never endanger his wife and daughter. Additionally, Dr. Michael Alan, a former colleague of Gordon, who worked with him at the Saint Andrews Wellness Medical Center, was interviewed as well and confirmed that Gordon was very dedicated to his work, spending more time at the hospital than he did at home.


Lawrence was an arrogant man who acted in a cold and uncaring manner towards the people around him, especially his own patients. Most of the time he valued his work more than interpersonal relationships. Being proud of his high intellect he showed signs of pathological narcissism and therefore treated other people such as his orderly Zep Hindle like second-class humans who were beneath his level.

Lawrence also had a charming personality as seen when he began to have an affair with his medical student Carla Song who seemed to be actually devoted to him. However, despite this relationship with Carla, he couldn't bring himself to sleep with her as he still loved his wife even though their relationship was quite unstable due to him spending more time with his work than he did with his family. He also loved his daughter Diana and tried to be a good father despite this. When they were abducted by Zep Hindle, Lawrence suffered a mental breakdown and ultimately even cut off his own foot. He also tried to kill Adam Stanheight in order to save his family's life.

When he was eventually recruited by John Kramer as one of his apprentices, he began to understand John's message and learned to appreciate the life of his patients, his family and himself. Feeling somehow responsible for John, he helped him in his mission of testing other people's wills to survive, and didn't hesitate to put those people in other deadly traps, despite the trauma he experienced when he was in a trap. He felt no remorse for assisting John, nor for causing the deaths of many of his test subjects.

Behind the Scenes

  • After the release of the first Saw film, many fans speculated that Dr. Lawrence Gordon was going to reappear in new installments of the franchise. This was then considered unlikely, since, in August 2005, actor Cary Elwes filed a lawsuit against his management firm and the producers of Saw. He alleged that he was promised "a minimum of one percent of the producers' net profits" and did not receive the full amount as promised. Since then, however, the whole matter was resolved out of court.
  • According to Cary Elwes, Dr. Gordon's portrayer, much of Gordon's development throughout the film was not in the script but improvised and discussed as the film went on, "As far as his breakdown is concerned, that was not in the script. That was something that James and I worked on- we said we have to take this guy from being the paternalistic character who was trying to calm Adam down at the beginning of the film and by the end, they have swapped roles. I said to James I thought that would be an interesting dynamic if we did that, so we worked on that until there was a nice balance there. I tend to not think in terms of likeability for the character. I think they grey areas are much more fascinating to play because we're all grey. No one is black and white or good or bad or happy or sad or what have you. [we all have] particular idiosyncrasies that make them fascinating and that's how I tend to approach a character. I try not to judge them because if you get into the area of judging the character you're playing you're getting into a sticky area."
  • Gordon is the only main character to survive all the way from Saw to the end of Saw 3D, though his presence throughout the series wasn't revealed until Saw 3D.
  • Lawrence is one of only four people to survive despite failing a test; the other three being Mark Hoffman, Bobby Dagen and Dr. Logan Nelson.
    • Nelson may not count, however, as he only failed his initial test because he could not hear the instructions. Furthermore, Nelson did not get out of his trap himself, but was saved by John Kramer, who did not want Nelson to die for an honest error.
  • He is the second protagonist to become a Jigsaw apprentice, the first being Logan Nelson.
  • Many fans claimed to see his corpse in Saw II, but those claims were confirmed to be false in the Saw II commentaries. His presence in Saw 3D roundly confirmed that Gordon indeed survived after escaping from the Bathroom.
  • According to the DVD commentary of Saw 3D, Gordon was initially supposed to be the main character of Saw III, being obliged to play Jigsaw's game once more to save Alison, ending with him killing both John Kramer and Amanda Young, ending the series as a trilogy. Gordon's role as the film's protagonist ended up being Jeff Denlon's role in the finished version of the film. It's unclear, however, if Cary Elwes was asked to return or if he declined in the aftermath of his lawsuit following the first Saw film.
  • In Saw II and Saw III, Lawrence's foot was lying on its left side, but in Saw and Saw 3D, it was lying on its right side.
  • Director Kevin Greutert originally desired to bring back Gordon for Saw VI to seek revenge against Jigsaw's apprentices. Other survivors were also planned to return, albeit in a different role.
  • Dr. Gordon was originally planned to appear in Saw: The Video Game, released to coincide with the release of Saw VI. He was abducted by Jigsaw and taken to the Whitehurst Insane Asylum where he had to play Jigsaw's game once more in order to save his family who had been abducted as well. He was planned to appear as a boss to David Tapp, who had to defeat him. However, Gordon wasn't included in the game as Lionsgate had plans for him in Saw 3D, so they had him removed from the storyline of the game.
  • It's likely that Gordon was the person who put a key under Campbell Iman's eye. It's also possible that Gordon provided the used syringes for the Needle Pit. However, neither these situations were shown during the flashbacks at the end of Saw 3D.
  • According to the audio commentary, Alison separated from Lawrence and took Diana with her because of his unstable state of mind.
  • Dr. Gordon's Parka in Saw 3D is a Pemberton Parka Jacket Black.
  • Dr. Gordon is responsible for the deaths of at least 5 people.
  • The initial plans for Saw 3D involved having the film finished with the reveal of Gordon's survival. Later, Saw VIII was going to reveal how Gordon survived. Furthermore, Patrick Melton has confirmed that the original pitch for the eight film didn't end with Gordon trapping Hoffman at the Bathroom.

Appearances and References