The subjects of the traps in Saw V are teamwork and cooperation. Similarly to Saw II, a group of people are trapped in a structure, in this case a sewer, and have to complete a series of traps correctly to escape. However, this time, each trap tests the group as whole rather than the individual.
Seth Baxter, a murderer who was initially sentenced to life in prison, was released a mere five years after his conviction on the grounds of an undisclosed technicality. Believing Seth didn't learn the impact of his crime, "Jigsaw" (Hoffman, before he was an apprentice of Jigsaw) places him into a trap instead.
At the begin of the movie, Seth wakes up in a room, chained to a table, with two devices on either side of it. Above him, is a large, bladed pendulum that begins to swing after his tape is completed. Seth has to push buttons in the back of the vices that will crush his hands in order to stop the Pendulum from reaching his body, as his hands are the "tools" that caused harm to others. In sixty seconds, the pendulum will cut him in half if he doesn't succeed. Seth inserts his hands into the vices, but quickly pulls them out in fear. Trying again, he succeeds in crushing his hands and the Pendulum ceases swinging for a few moments, but after a short pause, the Pendulum reactivates and descends far enough to begin cutting into his abdomen, and eventually slices him in half, confirming that the trap was inescapable. After the blade cut him in half, the restraint on his neck opened.
Jigsaw is angered by Hoffman performing "inferior work" and captures him. Following a lecture, Hoffman is given a choice. Arrest Jigsaw, or become his apprentice. Hoffman points out that he could kill Jigsaw easily, but he convinces Hoffman that neither of them are killers naturally, and Hoffman joins Jigsaw as an apprentice.
Tape: Hello, Seth. I want to play a game. Right now, you are feeling helpless. This is the same helplessness you bestowed upon others. But now, it's unto you. Some would call it Karma. I call it justice. Now, you served five years of what should have been a life sentence for murder. A technicality gave you freedom, but it inhibited you from understanding the impact of taking a life. Today, I offer you true freedom. In thirty seconds, the pendulum will drop far enough to touch your body. Within sixty seconds, it will cut you in half. To avoid the pendulum, all you have to do is destroy the things that have killed: your hands. You must insert your hands and push the buttons to start the devices before you. Your bones will be crushed to dust. Will you destroy the things that have taken the life in order to save one, Seth? Make your choice.
or "The Water Box Trap"Immediately after killing Jeff, and being locked in Jigsaw's operating room by Hoffman, Agent Strahm located a hallway revealed to him by glow-in-the-dark paint. In the hallway he discovered a cassette player that warned him not to proceed any further, lest the room become his tomb. Refusing to comply, Strahm proceeded down the hallway and was then tranquilized by a person in a pig mask. Strahm woke up with his head encased in a clear glass box with tubes connected to it, and his gun, cell phone, and flash light on a nearby table, out of reach. The box started filling with water, eventually filling completely with the intent to drown Strahm. Thinking quickly, Strahm pulled out his pen and stabbed it into his throat, performing an emergency tracheotomy to sustain his breathing until help arrived. Strahm ultimately survived the trap, being wheeled out by paramedics, much to Hoffman's surprise. This is more evidence that Hoffman was not the one that put Strahm in the box, considering everything in his pockets were taken out except a pen. The way it could be seen is that Gordon gave Strahm a chance by leaving a pen in his pocket.
Tape: Hello, Agent Strahm. If you're hearing this, then you've finally found what you've been looking for. But is the discovery of my body enough? Or will your insatiable hunger to uncover the truth push your deeper into the abyss? Heed my warning: Do not proceed. For this room can be your sanctuary, or it can be your grave. The choice is yours.
Five victims (Brit, Charles, Luba, Mallick, and Ashley) awakened to discover that they were trapped in a sewer, with the intention of reaching the exit. Jigsaw captured each of them because the five were all involved in a fire that resulted in the deaths of innocent people, and their actions or inactions were a result of avarice and self-serving needs. The five were subjected to four tests, all involving teamwork. Each test, and the whole series, was subjected to a time limit. When the door to the previous room was closed, a fifteen-minute timer would begin to count down in the current room, and a cluster of nail bombs (similar to the bomb in Troy's Classroom Trap) would go off when it expired. The doors would also seal after a time limit, so the subjects were required to be prompt, lest they all die by the bombs. The tests were designed in such a way that the participants would either have to work together and escape with only minor injury (a concept that was not realized until their final test) or all die as a result.
In more detail, their tests were:
or "The Neck Tie Trap".
The five subjects awoke in individual stalls inside of a room with five keys located in five boxes at the other end of the room. Each person was equipped with a collar attached to a cord, which fed back into their stall. This trap involved one person pulling against the five cords, each one linked to the collar around the others' necks, to retrieve the keys at the end of the room and unlock their collars. The obstacle of this test was that as one person ran forward (pulling on his/her own cord) the other four people would be pulled backward towards their own pulleys. The consequence for not completing the trap was decapitation as, in front of the pulleys for the cords, rested mounted razors, which would decapitate them should one person fall back too far, or the timer run out and pull all of the collars into the wall. A second timer mounted above the door was revealed. This timer was set for 15 minutes and it was connected to four homemade nail bombs. Mallick became anxious and ran ahead, starting the timer. In the end, the whole group, except for Ashley, managed to retrieve their keys and unlock their collars. Ashley was eventually beheaded by the blade, when the timer counted down to 0 (from 60 seconds), and the cords were pulled tightly into the wall. Had they used teamwork to free themselves, they would have all survived, as only one key was needed to release the lock on all of the collars. They would have been able to simply pass the key from person to person.
Tape: Hello and welcome. From birth you all be given the advantages of few others. Yet, through poor moral decisions, you've used these advantages to selfishly further only yourselves at the expense of others. Well today, this singular way of thinking will be put to the test. Today, five will become one with the common goal of survival. You are all connected. A cable runs through your collar devices. It can be pulled so tight that you will be decapitated on the mounted razors. The only way to remove the collar is with the keys from the glass boxes on the pedestals before you. However, if one of you moves to retrieve the key, the 60-second timer will begin for you all. In choosing how to react to the situation, your life-long instincs tell you to do one thing, but I implore you to do the opposite. Let the games begin.
or "The Explosion by Nails" or "The Jars"
Brit, Mallick, Luba, and Charles enter into a room with sixteen glass jars suspended from the ceiling. There were four tube-like bomb shelters in the room, locked by grated circular doors, each requiring a specific key to open. It was revealed that the glass jars hanging above the group contained the keys to three of the shelters, and that many of the other jars contained blank keys, but because the jars were filled with glass, it was difficult to identify whether or not a single jar held either. This room, like the others, had nail bombs inside of it linked to a timer, and the object was to obtain the correct keys and enter the corresponding shelters (which were outside of the blast radius), before the bombs detonated at the countdown of the timer. In order to reach/smash the jars, and locate the keys, the group was provided with three metal rods. Initially, the group assumed that only three of them would reach safety and one would be left to die when the nail bombs went off. Charles began the game by hitting Mallick with one of the metal rods, knocking him to the ground, and proceeding to smash all of the hanging jars. Brit and Luba began frantically searching for keys that matched the locks on the steel bars. Mallick, still conscious, attempted to pick up a key, but Charles stepped on his hand and promptly took it from him. Just as Charles was about to enter his shelter, Luba hit him from behind with a metal rod, knocking the key out of his hand, and she gave the key back to Mallick. The trio entered their shelters and left Charles to die in the explosion. If they worked as a team, they would have realized that the shelters were large enough to accommodate more than one person, and thus everyone would have been able to survive the blast.
Tape: Hello. And welcome to the next lesson. These walls hold four chambers. These chambers offer safety. However, to access them, a key is needed, but only three of the keys will fit the locks. These keys are in the glass jars hanging from the ceiling. Move quickly, though. Because when the clock ticks down, the explosives in the corners of the room will detonate. With only three points of safety, which of you will be the odd man out? Make your choice.
The door to the next room was to open. The cables were not long enough to reach the bathtub by themselves, thus the body was meant to transmit the surge from the cable to the tub, in the process giving the person an electrical shock, but opening the door. The group had three minutes to complete the circuit, or the doors would seal forever, and the group would die by the nail bombs within 15 minutes. Luba, believing that a single person's body would need to be the focal point for all five cords, attacked Mallick in hopes of killing him, but Brit fatally stabbed Luba in the neck with the sharp end of one of the cables before she could do so. Brit and Mallick then proceeded to place Luba into the bathtub and hook her up to the cables, completing the circuit. It is later discovered by Brit and Mallick within the next trap that this test (and the others) were indeed survivable for everyone as those who made it into the room could have used each of their bodies to conduct the electricity and experience a shared electric shock.
Tape: Hello and welcome. You must all be eager to learn the next important lesson in your transformation. The game before you is designed to bridge the gap between you all. In order to open the five locks on the door out of this room, the five electrical circuits powering then must be closed. The only way to do this is to find a way to connect all five cords to the bath water. Close the circuits, and the door will open. But you must work quickly for in three minutes, an electrical current will surge though this room, locking the doors forever. Who will bridge the gap? The choice is yours.
Also Known as "10 pints of blood" or "The Blade Table"
Brit and Mallick entered the final room of the series, and the final trap. There were five saws inside of five compartments, each with a hole large enough to insert a victim's hand, initially meant for each person. The subjects were told to insert their hands into the saws and lose enough blood to fill a single ten-pint beaker connected to the five compartments, which would, in turn, open the door to their freedom and save them from the mounted nail bombs. The two eventually realized that the original five participants could have survived each test (Every key would fit in every lock in the first room so they only needed to get one key and in the second room all the "safe rooms" were big enough for two persons and in the third room everybody should have an electric wire in one hand and the other hand should be holding the bathtub giving everyone a small shock each), had the team cooperated instead of working towards their own individual interests. Without any other option, Brit and Mallick inserted their hands into the saws, eventually losing half their bodies' amount of blood, resulting in their forearms being sawed in half. Both passed out from the blood loss, with Brit uttering the final words, "we won" after Detective Erickson arrived and discovered them.
Tape: Hello and welcome. This journey has been one of discovery and hopefully, you've descovered the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The human body, for instance, is an astoundingly durable creation. It contains approximalety ten pints of blood. Yet it is still able to operate with just half of that. The device before you is one of sacrifice. A sacrifice of blood. In order to open the door, the beaker must be filled to the marked level. A level that is of no coincidence. This amount can came from any one of you. But that does not matter. What does matter is time. For in 15 minutes, if the beaker is not filled, the bombs will explode and the doors will be sealed forever. So now I ask you: How much blood will you give in order to survive?
Strahm followed Hoffman to the location of the current game, and entered a room with a transparent box filled with broken glass and a recording. The tape urged Strahm to trust Hoffman and to get into the box for he would be hurt, but would have a chance at survival. Strahm switched the tape off when he heard Hoffman walking towards the room in the distance. Shortly after, Hoffman entered the room, Strahm snuck up on him from behind, and after a brief struggle, shoved Hoffman into the box and sealed him inside. The door to the room suddenly closed in response and locked itself, and Strahm demanded that Hoffman tell him how to get out. Hoffman pointed at the tape recorder that Strahm had dropped on the floor, indicating for him to play the rest of the tape. Strahm did so, and the tape revealed to him that he would never be heard from again and that he would simply "vanish", causing Strahm to realize that he would have lived if he had gotten into the box. As the box began to lower into the floor, the tape added that Jigsaw's legacy would become Strahms, since all of the evidence in the Jigsaw investigation now made him out to be Jigsaw's apprentice, and the walls of the room started to close in on him. Since his body would never be found, this would leave Hoffman free to continue to place people into tests as the new Jigsaw Killer while leading the police in circles. After attempting to shoot open the box (failing, because it was bulletproof), Strahm attempted to escape through the ceiling grate, but was crushed to death by the walls as Hoffman watched with a triumphant smile.
Tape: Hello, Agent Strahm. If you are hearing this, then you have once again found what you are looking for. Or so you think. Your dedication is to be commended. But I ask you: have you learned in your journey of discovery? As the old adage goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The situation you find your self in is one of trust. So I ask you, Special Agent Strahm, have you learned to trust me? The only way survived this room is by entering the glass before you. Pain will be incurred, but you have a chance of survival. However, if you choose not to, you will never be heard from again. Your body will never be found. You will simply vanish. I ask you, Special Agent Strahm: Have you learned enough to trust me? Will you heed my warning? For if you do not, this room will forever be your tomb. And my legacy will become yours. Make your choice.