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If you're gonna threaten me with a knife, you might as well cut me a little.
— Obi mocks Xavier for threatening him[src]

Obi Tate is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as a minor antagonist in Saw II. He was portrayed by Tim Burd.

Biography

Early Life

Obi was a man who tended to lie to the people around him, defrauding them for the sake of his own goals. However at one point in his life, he was innocently framed and arrested by Detective Eric Matthews for a crime he didn't commit, after Matthews had faked the evidence in his case. (Saw II)

Assisting Jigsaw

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Obi abducts Laura Hunter in her car

Obi was eventually released from prison. However, his dishonesty towards other people ultimately and his connection with Eric Matthews eventually made him a target of John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, for one of the latter's deadly games. Besides Obi, seven other people had to participate in the game as well. These people were: Daniel Matthews, Eric's son, as well as six other convicts who had been innocently framed by the detective: Jonas Singer, his manager Gus Colyard, the prostitute Addison Corday, the drug dealer Xavier Chavez, Laura Hunter and Amanda Young, a former heroin addict who was in fact a Jigsaw apprentice on her own and pretended to be another victim in order to observe the other prisoners' progress. To accelerate the proceedings of the game, Jigsaw convinced Obi to assist him in the abduction of the others by unkown means. However he didn't tell him about the connection between all of them. At the night of the game, Obi hid on the backseat of Laura Hunter's car. When she got in, he attacked her from behind and pressed a cloth drenched in chloroform on her face. After subduing her, he kissed her on the cheek and took delivered her to Jigsaw. (Saw II)

Abduction

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Hoffman takes Obi to the Nerve Gas House

After accomplishing his task, Obi was ultimately abducted himself by Jigsaw's apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman, who took him to a run-down house. Hoffman dragged his unconscious body into a room with a large safe and trapped him there along with the seven other people. Jigsaw placed a tape recorder behind a brick wall and helped Hoffman to install a booby trap connected to the lock of the room's only door. Having finished all of their preparations, Jigsaw and Hoffman left the room and locked the door. (Saw II, V)

Shortly afterwards, the prisoners woke up and were immediately frightened by the situation. Upon recognizing the others, Obi decided to stay calm and observed his fellow prisoners. 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 kinds of cameras didn't record sounds. The group's concerns grew worse when Gus suddenly started to panic. Gus talked about a movie he had seen about a man who had been trapped in a room for nine years, which frightened the others, especially Laura, and caused a discussion 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 pretended to panic and searched the room until she finally found the instruction tape as well as the key and the message which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room.

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Obi witnesses Gus' death

The tape told them that they were all breathing in a deadly nerve gas since the moment they arrived in the house. While the doors would open after three hours, the gas would already kill them after two hours. In order to survive the prisoners had to find syringes with the antidote which were hidden in the house with one of them being in the safe. Additionally Jigsaw told them that they all had a connection and told them that the clue to this connection was marked with a "X". After listening to the tape Xavier grabbed the key. Amanda begged him to listen to the message which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room. However he refused to do so and tried to open the door which activated the booby trap and caused the magnum on the other side to go off and shoot Gus Colyard right in the eye. While the other prisoners panicked, Jonas demanded Amanda to tell him how she knew about the tape. She then told them about Jigsaw and his games and therefore also revealed that she had survived one of his tests before.

As they now knew the amount of danger in their situation, the group began to search 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 magnum trap which had killed Gus. Amanda tried to remove the gun and take it with her, albeit unsuccessful. Therefore the group left the room behind. In the hallway, Xavier found a nail-studded baseball bat. Shortly afterwards, Addison also found a lamp, which she took with her. When they eventually reached the entrance hall, Xavier 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 grabbed 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 a door which led them down to a boiler room. (Saw II)

Death

Xavier took the lamp from Addison and slowly went down the stairs, followed by the others. Upon entering the basement, they found a mysterious hooded figure sitting at the table. Xavier placed the lamp in front of it and prepared to kill the figure, if he or she would move. However when Jonas took the hood from its head, they realized it was merely a mannequin. A small envelope with the name "Obi" written on it was attached to the mannequin's chest with a knife. Xavier grabbed it and opened the envelope, which contained an audio tape. 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. Furthermore, the tape told him that in order to redeem himself, he had to crawl into the large furnace in front of them, where two syringes with the antidote were waiting for him; one for him and one for another prisoner of his choice.

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The group confronts Obi

Upon this revelation, Laura recognized him as her abductor. Therefore, the group and Obi engaged in an argument during which Obi clamed that he had only done what he had to do. Xavier threatened to kill him, but was held back by Addison, as Obi could get two antidotes for them. However, Xavier continued to threaten him with a knife and demanded to tell them how to get out. When Obi said he didn't know how to get out, Xavier slowly cut his throat to fear him, but was interrupted when Daniel accidently knocked down a large metal tub. Barely frightened by Xavier, Obi eventually agreed to crawl into the furnace, but demanded that one of the syringes was for him.

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Obi tries to escape the furnace

Obi then entered the oven and managed to get the first syringe without any problems. However, when he grabbed the second antidote, which was attached to a chain, the oven's door suddenly closed. Moments later the oven was activated. Obi tried to kick the door open and yelled at the others to help him, but when the flames came closer to him, he was forced to crawl back to the other site of the furnace. At this point he spotted a valve next to the door. Next to it was the painting of a red devil who pointed at the valve, telling Obi to twist it in order to turn off the fire. Therefore, Obi realized the clue given to him by Jigsaw on the tape, which had told him that "once he was in hell, only the devil could help him out." However he was to frightened to crawl through the flames and instead knocked at the small window on the furnace's backside, screaming for help. It was Daniel, who eventually noticed the window and told the others about his. Xavier used his baseball bat to smash it, enabling Obi to crawl out. Obi tried to do so, but got stuck and ultimately died a painful death as the flames burned him alive. When they realized that the syringes were burned as well, the remaining prisoners left the basement, while Amanda remarked that it was his own choice that had eventually killed Obi. (Saw II)

Post-Mortem

As time went by, Xavier divided from the rest of the group. When he returned to the starting room with the safe, he suddenly discovered a red "2" written on the back of the neck of Gus Colyard's corpse. Realizing that these numbers belonged to the combination to the safe with the antidote, Xavier started to go after the others in order to obtain their numbers as well. Therefore, he went back to the basement. As the flames of the furnace had only burned Obi's lower body, Xavier was still able to read his number, a green "11". (Saw II)

At some point after the end of the game, Jigsaw's apprentice, Mark Hoffman, returned to the Nerve Gas House, where he disposed of the traps as well as the corpses of the other prisoners. Additionally, he renovated the entire building and even refurnished it, giving it the appearance of an average residential house. (Saw V)

Non-Canon Appearances

Saw: The Video Game

Obi Tate Saw the video game appearance

Obi as he appears in the video game

Obi also appeared in Saw: The Video Game which was set right after the first movie. In the game, he was had an obsession with Jigsaw and saw his tests as some kind of gifts. As he desired to be tested himself, he put up a newspaper ad. This attempt to contact Jigsaw turned out to be successful and Obi was told to come to the crematorium of the abandoned Whitehurst Insane Asylum. Initially, he was happy that Jigsaw chose him for his game. However this changed when Jigsaw revealed to him, that it was the task of someone else, namely David Tapp, who had to save him. He was the fifth and victim to be freed by Tapp throughout his own series of tests. Tapp eventually managed to save him from the big oven in the crematorium that he was trapped in. However, Obi insulted him for not appreceating Jigsaw's games and destroying his test. Shortly afterwards, he eventually disappeared.

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

Obi was also mentioned in several case files and audio tapes recorded by Detective Tapp. In the files, Tapp wrote down the details about their encounter at Whitehurst, Obi's game and his subsequent disappearance.

Personality

Obi was a very immoral man, not hesitating to harm or defraud the people around him for the sake of his own goals. Due to this, he didn't get along well with others and rather lived as a lone wolf. He was also hard to frighten, as seen by his reactions to Gus Colyard's death or Xavier Cavez' threats to kill him. His behavior during Laura Hunter's abduction also leads to the assumption that Obi had some kind of sadistic tendencies.

His personality in the video game greatly differs from his characteristic traits shown in the films. In the game, Obi was mentally unstable and obsessed with being tested by the Jigsaw Killer as he saw his games as some kind of gifts. During his imprisonment at Whitehurst, he acted almost submissive in Jigsaw's presence. In contrast to this, he was openly hostile towards those who opposed Jigsaw, as he believed that they didn't understand the true purpose of his games and therefore didn't appreciate what he had to offer for them.

Trivia

  • In the flashback scene with John and Jill Tuck in Saw III, Obi can be seen in the background.
  • The audio commentary of Saw II suggests that Obi was an arsonist.
  • In an early script for Saw II, Obi's tape recorder was attached to the collar of a pit-bull in the basement. The filming crew ultimately decided against it, as it would lead to cruelty to animals, and instead attached it to a mannequin.

Appearances and References

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