The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the entire Saw franchise.
Next week, the ninth entry in the Saw franchise will open, with Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson starring in Spiral: From the Book of Saw. Exactly how this new film will tie into the existing franchise from a storyline perspective isn't entirely clear, as much of that is being kept under wraps. However, it's a safe bet that whoever the ultimate villain of the movie turns out to be, it probably won't by Tobin Bell's John Kramer, the original Jigsaw. That means somebody else is either directly, or by homage, carrying on the work of Jigsaw by killing people in his particular style.
But that's ok, because the fact is that for the majority of the Saw franchise, Jigsaw himself wasn't the one forcing people to make terrible choices. Even when John Kramer was taking a more active role in the events of the films, we learned in later entries that he actually had several different people working with him, who then carried on his work after he was gone. But which one is most worthy of the name Jigsaw? Who was the best apprentice in the Saw franchise? Let's go over that.
5. Jill Tuck
Jill Tuck isn't the best Jigsaw accomplice, but she's actually a far more interesting character than some of the others. As the former wife of John Kramer, she's the only one who knew the man before he became the killer. Perhaps that's why she's willing to do everything that she does at his request. It's hard to know because Jill Tuck is a surprisingly mysterious person. We never really get inside her head and understand who she is. Perhaps it's because she's been through so much.
Jill is willing to do some pretty terrible stuff, but she's clearly never entirely happy doing that. It also has to be pointed out that one time, she tried to take somebody out, a fellow apprentice of Jigsaw. She failed, which ultimately cost her her own life. Though she went to pretty impressive, and somewhat brilliant lengths to protect herself, so that counts for something, even if that ultimately didn't work either.
4. Dr. Logan Nelson
The last entry in the Saw franchise, Jigsaw, introduced a new apprentice to the family in the part of Logan Nelson. Nelson was a doctor who, once upon a time, made a mistake and screwed up John Kramer's X-rays, an error that may have cost the man his life. He ended up joining Kramer's cause after nearly falling victim to it, helping to build many of the traps that would end up being used in the games throughout the years.
Nelson gets apprentice points for creating a game all by himself, though. By virtue of the way Jigsaw works as a film, we never actually see that game, so it's difficult to tell just how good it is. He also makes it through the film alive, which is more than we can say for most apprentices. Having said that, it's hard to put Gordon high on the list because he is such a small part of the franchise compared to the rest of the people on this list.
3. Amanda Young
Amanda Young was the first Jigsaw accomplice we met, and she was an interesting case because once upon a time, she too was a potential victim. She's introduced in the first Saw film, the only known survivor of the killer at the time, and then in Saw II, she's an apparent victim again, being locked in a house with several other new victims, seemingly because she has relapsed into self-destruction, so Jigsaw needs to teach her a lesson again.
However, we eventually learn this isn't the case, as Amanda is actually working with John Kramer. She's become a disciple of his, and he's become a father figure to her. In the end, Amanda largely fails as a great accomplice to Jigsaw because she's unable to truly understand his methods. She is so committed to Kramer that she's never able to take control herself, but she's also willing to kill without giving her victims a chance, proving that she never truly embraced Jigsaw's methods.
2. Detective Mark Hoffman
Following the end of Saw III, it seems for a minute that the battle may be over. Both John Kramer and Amanda Young are dead, but it turns out in Saw IV that there was another apprentice hiding in plain sight. Detective Mark Hoffman, who was investigating Jigsaw, was actually a follower of the man. After Hoffman murders the man who killed his sister using a Jigsaw-like trap so that he can avoid suspicion, John Kramer finds him and offers to teach him, and Hoffman accepts.
While Hoffman starts off his career as a cold-blooded killer, he eventually does take on the mantle of Jigsaw quite well. He's able to continue the homicidal work while preventing suspicion by getting the blame thrown onto an FBI agent whose body will never be found. He sets up two massive, multi-level games in both Saw V and Saw VI that follow the rules exactly. He's also responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the deaths of two other apprentices, so if one of the determining factors in what makes one a good Jigsaw apprentice is surviving, he certainly does that longer than most.
1. Dr. Lawrence Gordon
We meet Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the very [first Saw movie](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw(2004film). He's chained by his leg to a pipe and must fight to survive. At the end of that film, he crawls off bleeding and missing a foot, but he's free. For years, we had no idea what happened to him after he left that room, but in Saw 3D, also known as Saw: The Final Chapter, we learned that he did survive, and like Amanda Young before him, he ended up going to work for John Kramer.
As a surgeon, Gordon's skills were vital to the events of the entire franchise. Every time specialized skills were needed to be able to make a trap work, it was Gordon who made that happen. While all of Jigsaw's other apprentices knew of each other and even worked together, it seems nobody but John Kramer himself had any idea that Gordon was out there, which made him the perfect person to follow Kramer's final instructions. As far as we know, he's still out there and apparently has a couple disciples of his own.
From the film's title to everything else we know about it, Spiral: From the Book of Saw promises to be something different than the other films in the franchise. However, we know the movie will connect to the Saw franchise is some direct ways, and somebody is at the heart of it all. Could it be one of these apprentices who's, as far as we know, still alive? Or will it be somebody new? We'll find out May 14.