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His name is John, Dr. Gordon. He's a very interesting person.
— Zep talks about John Kramer[src]

Zep Hindle is a fictional character from the Saw franchise as well as the secondary antagonist of the first Saw film. He was portrayed by Michael Emerson in the movies and voiced by Jeff Shuter in Saw: Rebirth.

Biography

Early Life

ZepHospital

Zep at the hospital

Zep Hindle was an orderly working at the Angel of Mercy Hospital. Unlike some of the doctors, he actually cared about the patients and listened to them if they needed someone to talk. At one point, he made aquaintance with John Kramer, who was at the hospital because he suffered from colon cancer and had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Over the months, John visited the hospital frequently for routine examinations to see how his tumor evolved. During one of these examinations, Zep came across John's doctor, Lawrence Gordon, who introduced John to his medical students. Zep interrupted him and told him that John was an interesting person due to Lawrence constantly only referring to him as "the patient". Seemingly annoyed by the disturbance, Lawrence sarcastically thanked Zep for the information about John to get him back to work. (Saw)

Test

ZepStalkingDiana

Zep hiding inside Diana's closet

Five months later, Zep was abducted by the Jigsaw Killer, whom he didn't know was actually John Kramer. John poisoned him and left him an audio tape, which provided instructions for Zep and told him that in order to get an antidote which could save his life, he had to kidnap Dr. Gordon's wife and daughter, Alison and Diana Gordon, and had to hold them hostage while Gordon was forced to play one of Jigsaw's games game on his own. Furthermore, he had to kill Gordon's family if the latter didn't pass his test by killing his cellmate, Adam Stanheight, by six o'clock. At night, Zep invaded Dr. Gordon's apartment and hid in a closet in Diana's bedroom. However, Diana noticed that someone was there and woke up her parents to chase away the invader. Lawrence took her back to her room and comforted her, but was unexpectedly called to the Hotel Barfly by his student, Carla, with whom he had an affair. He left his apartment, telling Diana and Alison that he had to go to work, much to the latter's displeasure. Only mere seconds later, Zep, covered with a bedsheet, left the closet and took Diana and Alison hostage.

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Zep in Dr. Gordon's apartment

After bringing them under his control with his gun, he tied them to a bedpost in Alison and Lawrence's room. As he greatly enjoyed to frighten them, he mentally tortured them. He used a stethoscope to listen to Diana's heart tones. When Alison demanded him to leave Diana alone, he suddenly held his gun to her head and listened how Diana's hearbeat increased. When he was done, he gave Diana her teddy bear and stepped to the window. Unbeknownst to him, he was observed by the discharged homicide detective David Tapp, who had rented a run-down apartment on the opposite site of the street to observe Gordon, who he believed to be the Jigsaw Killer. Meanwhile, the actual killer or one of his accomplices was watching Zep from the street and took a photo of him, which was later used for the game played by Adam Stanheight and Lawrence Gordon. Following his instructions, Zep also took a photo of Gordon's tied up family, which he gave to Jigsaw, as it was going to be used as a clue for Gordon in his game. He also anonymously called Dr. Gordon in Carla's room at the hotel and told him he knew about his affair in order to decoy him out of the motel so he could be abducted.

ZepWatchingMonitor

Zep oversees Adam and Lawrence's game

Afterwards, Zep set up a timer and a monitoring system in Gordon's office to witness the latter's progress in his game. When Gordon and Adam found the camera, which was hidden behind a one-way mirror, and yelled at whoever was behind it, Zep just casually made sport of them, taking pleasure from seeing Gordon suffer. At one point in the game, Dr. Gordon found a cellphone. However, when he tried to call the police, he realized the phone could only receive calls, not make them. Shortly afterwards, Zep called him and let Diana and Alison speak to him. He forced the latter to tell Gordon not to trust his cellmate, Adam, and that he knew everything about Gordon. After that, he ended the call and put Alison's gag back into her mouth.

AllisonPointsGunZep

Alison holds Zep gunpoint

Shortly afterwards, Adam suddenly found the photo of Zep at Gordon's window. Gordon immediately recognized him, concluding that Zep must be the killer. Moments later, the clock finally striked six. As Gordon still hadn't managed to pass his test, Zep turned off the surveillance system and prepared himself to shoot Diana and Alison. However, before doing so, he called Gordon again and forced Alison to tell him that he had failed. Unbeknownst to him, Alison had secretly managed to get free from the cords restraining her hands and was able to take him by surprise and took his weapon. While holding him at gunpoint, she forced him to shove the phone to her so she could talk to Lawrence. Unfortunately, she was distracted by her daughter, giving Zep the chance to attack her. They engaged in a fight, causing Zep to accidentally trigger several shots. He managed to get his weapon back, but was injured when Alison grabbed a pair of scissors from a drawer and stabbed him in the leg, causing him to collaps. At the same moment, David Tapp, who had heard the gunshots, stormed into the apartment and opened fire on Zep while the hostages escaped the scene. When his magazine was empty, he charged at Zep, who incapacitated him by smashing a glass vase on Tapp's head and fled to go after Gordon. However, Tapp quickly recovered and pursued Zep in his car to what appeared to be an old factory, where Gordon and Adam had to play their game. When he finally outran Zep in an underground hallway, they engaged in another fight. During their scuffle, Tapp was shot in the chest and collapsed and was eventually left for dead by his adversary. (Saw)

Death

ZepStruggles

Zep and Adam fight for the gun

Only a few moments later, Zep finally reached a bathroom, where Gordon and Adam were imprisoned. He initially ignored Gordon, who had cut off his own foot and shot Adam and now tried to shoot Zep as well to take revenge for his family. After he was sure that Adam was dead, Zep aimed his gun at Dr. Gordon and prepared to kill him due to the rules given to him. However, Adam was actually still alive. He knocked Zep to the ground and started to fight for his gun. When he eventually managed to get the gun out of Zep's hands, he bludgeoned his head with the lid of the toilet tank, killing him. Lawrence then promised to find help for Adam and crawled out of the bathroom, leaving Adam behind alone. Ridden by fears, Adam searched Zep's body for a key to his shackle, but instead found Zep's audio tape by Jigsaw, causing him to realize that Zep was merely another victim of the killer. (Saw)

Post-Mortem

Zep Saw 2

Zep's decomposing corpse

Following his death, Zep's corpse was left to rot in the bathroom. Several months after his death, it had entered an advanced state of decomposition and was already degrading to bone by the time of another game, when it was discovered by Daniel Matthews and one of Jigsaw's accomplices, Amanda Young. On the next day, Detective Eric Matthews, Daniel's father and another test subject, found the bathroom while he was looking for his son, but was subdued by Amanda, who had been waiting for him already and chained him to one of the pipes. When he woke up, he immediately panicked. However, he ultimately managed to free himself by smashing his foot with the lid of the toilet tank previously used by Adam to kill Zep. (Saw II, III)

Another few months later, Zep's corpse had almost fully decomposed, leaving nothing more than his skeleton. Dr. Gordon, who had become one of Jigsaw's accomplices on his own after surviving his test, returned to the bathroom after abducting Detective Mark Hoffman, another accomplice of Jigsaw. He shackled Hoffman to the same pipe as Adam and subsequently left him there to die as well. (Saw 3D)

Non-Canon Appearances

Saw: Rebirth

Zep Hindle appeared in the animated comic Saw: Rebirth, which served as a prequel to the first three films. After John Kramer was diagnosed with cancer by Dr. Gordon, Zep 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 II: Flesh & Blood

Zep was also mentioned in one of David Tapp's files in Saw II: Flesh & Blood. According to the file, Tapp had become convinced that Zep was the actual Jigsaw Killer after the events at Gordon's apartment, not knowing that he was in fact just another one of his victims.

Full Disclosure Report

Zep and the captivity of Gordon's family were also mentioned in the documentary Full Disclosure Report, which focused on the early crimes of Jigsaw. As Alison Gordon refused to give an interview, the team of the host, 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 Zep as the killer, they immediately affirmed this. Additionally, the recording of an emergency call by the Gordons' neighbors after they heard the gunshots, was revealed to the viewers. The caller mentioned how Tapp and Zep fled the scene after the shooting.

Personality

Zep Hindle was a compassionate worker at the Angel of Mercy Hospital, who deeply cared for the patients and often listened to them when they needed someone to talk. However, he was often underestimated by the doctors, which caused him to disrespect and badmouth them behind their backs.

Despite his compassion for the patients, Zep also suffered from an inferiority complex due to his seemingly unimportant position at the hospital and therefore developed a greatly sadistic personality. When he was holding Gordon's family hostage, he mentally tortured them and enjoyed the sense of power he had over them, which he probably hadn't felt ever before. His aversion for Gordon soon turned into hatred. Therefore, it can be assumed that he felt some sort of satisfaction when the latter failed his test.

Trivia

  • In Leigh Whannell's original screenplay for Saw, Adam found Zep's driver's license after killing him. Zep's real name was revealed to be Shepherd Hindle. This was changed later on, along with much of the script, when shooting began.
  • In the original screenplay for Saw, Zep was killed by Adam strangling him with his shackle.
  • In the original script, Zep's age was listed as 32.
  • During Zep and Adam's fight in the climax of the first film, Leigh Whannell actually accidentally punched Michael Emerson.
  • Zep shares relation to multiple soundtrack names. This includes "Hello Zepp", "Zepp Overture","Tapp & Zepp"(Saw),"Zepp Five"(Saw V),"Zepp Six"(Saw VI),"The Final Zepp"(Saw 3D), and "Zepp Eight"(Jigsaw).

Appearances and References