Benjamin Linus, more commonly known as Ben, was a long-time resident of the Island and a former leader of the Others. His mother, Emily, died giving birth to him. At the age of eight Ben came to the Island with his father Roger, who was assigned the job of “workman” or janitor for the DHARMA Initiative. After being educated on the Island, Ben became enchanted with the Hostiles after a chance encounter with Richard in the jungle. At the age of twelve, Ben attempted to join them, but was shot by a time-traveling Sayid, who had hoped to kill him and thus, change the future. This event led to Ben being healed in the Temple, having been taken there by Richard Alpert, at which point his “innocence” was taken from him. Richard mentioned, Ben won’t remember anything, as such it was unclear if he remembered Sayid having met him in the future. Years later he became a workman for the Dharma Initiative, while actually being allied with the Hostiles and their leader Charles Widmore. At some point after the destruction of the Initiative on the Island in the Purge, Ben engineered the ousting of Charles Widmore and became the new leader of the Others. Years later he developed a tumor on his spine and worried what this meant since people were usually free of diseases on the Island.
In 2004, after Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the Island, the survivors came face-to-face with Ben and the Others on many occasions. He was captured and held prisoner by the survivors for six days under the alias Henry Gale. His story proved to be false but he was freed by Michael, who had made a deal with the Others. With Jack, Kate, and Sawyer being held prisoner, he persuaded Jack to remove his tumor. Ben also met face-to-face with John Locke, manipulating him and later being threatened by him when Locke claimed to have heard Jacob, leading him to try and kill Locke. Ben later tried to stop the survivors from contacting a nearby freighter for rescue, knowing the people on the boat were sent by Charles Widmore to capture him and, he claimed, kill everyone else. He ordered the Others to the Temple for safety, but failed in his attempt to stop Jack from calling the boat and became a captive of John Locke’s group on the Island. After the mercenaries from the freighter attacked the Barracks and killed his daughter, Ben and Locke went to Jacob’s cabin, where they were told how to protect the Island. Ben went to the Orchid station and moved the Island, sacrificing his presence there and his leadership over the Others, leaving Locke as his successor.
Ben was transported to the Sahara desert ten months into the future, and soon discovered that several of the crash survivors had also left the Island. He enlisted the help of Sayid in his war against Widmore, and vowed to kill Widmore’s daughter, Penelope, in revenge for the death of his own, but ultimately failed. Discovering that Locke was off the Island, Ben killed him and used his body, and the Oceanic Six, to return to the Island aboard Ajira Flight 316. Once back on the Island, he was judged by the Monster for the death of Alex and was then used by the Man in Black, who was posing as a resurrected John Locke, to kill Jacob. After stabbing Jacob, Ben was touched by Jacob. Later, he joined Ilana’s group when they traveled to the Temple (burying John Locke on their way). Miles read the ashes of Jacob and confirmed to Ilana that it was Ben who killed him. Ilana forced Ben to dig his own grave, but Ben apologized and was accepted into the group. After Ilana’s death, Ben went with Richard and Miles to the Barracks to find explosives to blow up the Ajira plane to stop the Man in Black from leaving the Island. Once he reached the Barracks, Ben discovered that Widmore had returned to the Island and was finally able to kill him after the Man in Black promised that he would have the Island all to himself. When Ben learned that the Man in Black was going to destroy the island, Ben sided with the survivors and was willing to go down with it. After Jack did his job relighting the Source, Hurley was the new protector and made Ben his advisor.
In the flash-sideways, Ben was the teacher of his previous ‘daughter’, Alex. As his acquaintances from the Island moved on, he chose to stay behind, feeling guilty for everything he had done to them on the island.
4×01 – The Beginning of the End
Now bound to a tree, Ben watched as his daughter and Karl had a picnic. He tried to convince Rousseau to take Alex and get as far away from Jack’s group as possible. When he referred to Alex as his daughter, Rousseau punched him again, citing that Alex was not his daughter. Ben said nothing as he watched Naomi crawl away. Later, he watched Kate pickpocket the satellite phone away from Jack, but again said nothing. Jack and Rousseau hauled Ben along with them into the jungle to find Naomi. When Jack discovered that he had followed the wrong trail and that Kate had taken the phone, Ben worked Jack into a rage by pointing out each of the mistakes he had made. He told Jack he said nothing because he “owed him one” for the beating he had received earlier. Jack and Rousseau turned back, dragging Ben behind them on their way to meet up with the other survivors. When they arrived at the cockpit, tensions escalated among the assembled survivors with regard to the intent of the freighter people and the group began to split into separate factions. While being dragged by Rousseau toward Locke’s group, Ben took the opportunity to needle Jack one more time by asking his permission to go with Locke. Jack let him go, telling Locke, “He’s all yours.” (“The Beginning of the End”)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead
Locke told his group they needed to visit a cabin before moving on to the barracks. When Hurley said he thought the cabin was in a different direction, both Ben and Locke were surprised, though Hurley covered himself by saying he thought they meant the plane’s cabin. Ben tried to talk to Alex, but she ignored him and Karl told him off. He tried to manipulate Sawyer, saying that he wouldn’t have a chance with Kate once they were rescued. Sawyer beat him and wanted to kill him, but was stopped by Locke.
However, Locke changed his mind after Ben stole a gun and shot Charlotte, who had just arrived on the Island. Locke was about to shoot him, despite Alex’s protests, when Ben offered him information. Locke asked what the Monster was, but Ben said he didn’t know. He did reveal that he knew Charlotte’s name and entire history, and had the same information on the other members of her team. He went on to say that they were on the Island in search of him. When asked how he knew this information, Ben said he had a spy working on the freighter. (“Confirmed Dead”)
4×03 – The Economist
Ben refused to share the identity of his spy, knowing that this piece of information might well be the only thing keeping him alive. Having not found the cabin in its previous location, Locke’s group continued to the barracks. (“The Economist”)
At the Barracks
Ben returned to the barracks as a prisoner, and Locke left him tied to a chair in the rec room, where he briefly confronted fellow captive Sayid (with Sayid noting that the day he trusted Ben would be the day he had sold his soul). (“The Economist”)
4×04 – Eggtown
He was later moved to the basement of his own home by Rousseau during the night. The next day, Locke made him breakfast and demanded he tell him everything about the freighter and the people on it. Ben remarked that Locke must be desperate, having to seek help from Ben after Jacob abandoned him, which made Locke upset. Later, Kate brought Miles to the basement, where he told Ben that he would say Ben was dead for $3.2 million. Miles told Ben he had one week to comply to his demand. (“Eggtown”)
4×06 – The Other Woman
Some time later, Harper appeared to Juliet in the jungle, claiming Ben needed Juliet to go to the Tempest and stop Charlotte and Daniel from releasing the toxic gas. She also told her that Ben was exactly where he wanted to be, and refused to explain how Ben knew anything about the events elsewhere on the Island or how he was managing to issue commands from his captivity. Juliet hesitantly proceeded to the Tempest, but when she arrived, Charlotte and Daniel insisted they were trying to prevent Ben from releasing the gas, which would kill everyone on the Island. The gas ended up not being released. (“The Other Woman”)
Around the same time, Locke brought him a dinner with cooked rabbit. Ben asked Locke if the rabbit was numbered, to Locke’s confusion. He then said that Locke was a leader, and that his people would begin to get restless if Locke did not develop a plan, which Ben always had. Locke asked Ben (to Ben’s surprise) if that plan involved getting $3.2 million. Ben then made a deal with Locke. After showing a cassette tape of Charles Widmore beating an unknown Other, he stated that Widmore was in charge of the freighter, and that he wanted to exploit the Island. He then stated that he would tell Locke who the person on the boat was if Locke would simply give him a limited freedom. Locke agreed, and Ben presumably told Locke that his spy is Michael. Afterward, Ben was seen walking outside by Sawyer and Hurley. When questioned by them, he merely stated that he’d see them at dinner. (“The Other Woman”)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson
Later, Locke organized a meeting with the entire group, during which Ben revealed that they must protect him because the freighter people’s orders are to kill everyone else on the Island after they capture Ben. He also revealed to everyone that Michael is his spy on the boat, much to their shock and anger. After the meeting, Ben asked Alex, Karl, and Rousseau to stay behind and go to the Temple using a map he drew for them. Though at first reluctant, they eventually agreed after some persuasion by Ben. Once in the jungle however, Rousseau and Karl were shot and Alex saved herself by screaming to her unseen assailants, “I’m Ben’s daughter!” (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
The next day, Locke and Sawyer told him of a mysterious phone call where a voice repeated the code “14J” over and over. While being held captive by Keamy, Alex, at the order of Keamy, disarmed the Sonar fenceusing a distress or emergency code that alerted the barracks of an intrusion. A now frightened Ben revealed that Widmore’s people had crossed the Sonic Fence and must be right on their doorstep by now. He and Locke barricaded themselves with Hurley and Aaron in Ben’s house, while Sawyer engaged the mercenaries in gunfire, trying to save Claire and the others. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
The door bell rang and Miles entered the house with a walkie for Ben to speak to Keamy. Ben revealed he knew many details of Keamy’s past and said he knew exactly what kind of man Keamy was. Angered, Keamy called out for Alex and told Ben he was going to kill her. Ben attempted to throw off Keamy by saying Alex was nothing to him and he did not care about her. Despite his words, Keamy killed her anyway.
In a state of shock, Ben mumbled “they changed the rules” and ran into his secret room, locking Sawyer and Locke out. Inside, he opened another hidden door. It is unknown exactly what he did inside, but he appeared as though he summoned the smoke monster the same way he summoned it in Dead Is Dead. When he came back out, visibly dirtier than before, he told everyone that when he said so, they had to run out of the barracks. He looked out the window and saw the smoke attack Keamy and his team. Ben’s people went outside where he told Locke he would catch up to them after he said goodbye to his daughter.
Later, Ben told everyone they were going to see Jacob and Sawyer decided he had heard enough from these “wackos”. Sawyer left, attempting to take everyone with him, but Locke and Ben argued that they needed Hurley. Sawyer gave in and Ben told Locke and Hurley to follow him. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
After leaving the Barracks
4×11 – Cabin Fever
That night, Locke woke up from a dream to find Ben staring at him. Ben stated that he used to have dreams. They then continued on. They came upon the mass grave, and Locke explained to Hurley about Ben’s massacre of the DHARMA Initiative; however, Ben denied this and stated it wasn’t his decision. Meanwhile, Locke began rummaging in the grave. Ben reacted with shock when Locke found the corpse of Horace Goodspeed. Horace’s pocket contained a schematic of Jacob’s cabin, as well as a map to it. Upon reaching the cabin, Locke entered alone, because Ben believed that his own ‘time’ had passed. While Locke was inside, Hurley and Ben awkwardly split an Apollo Bar. Suddenly, Locke exited the cabin, stating that Christian Shephard told him to move the island. (“Cabin Fever”)
The next day, Ben, Locke and Hurley arrived at a pile of rocks. Ben dug up a box hidden under it. He took out a mirror and began communicating with someone on top of a very large mountain. The three then continued to the Orchid. When they arrived, Ben saw that the mercenaries had already arrived. He gave Locke detailed instructions on what to do once inside the Orchid. Locke asked how Ben expected him to get around the mercenaries, to which Ben replied, “How many times do I have to tell you, John? I always have a plan.” Ben then walked out into the open, surrounded by the mercenaries. He stated his name to Keamy, who put his gun to his head before knocking him out. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
Ben was taken to the helicopter by Keamy’s men, a large firefight occurred and was soon rescued by Kate, Sayid, and Richard. He then returned to the Orchid to help Locke find the secret elevator down into the real station. Before heading down with Locke, he told Jack that he and his companions were free to take the helicopter off the island if they wished.
Inside the station, Ben opened the “vault” that DHARMA used to experiment with time-manipulating properties and started filling it with metallic objects in order to short it out and destroy it, so that he could access the space underneath the station. Before he could do this, Keamy emerged from the elevator, still bleeding from the wounds he’d received from Sayid and Richard. Keamy told Ben and Locke about the dead man’s trigger attached to his arm (designed to set off a massive bomb on the freighter if Keamy’s heart stopped) and then proceeded to taunt Ben by describing Alex’s death. Ben stabbed Keamy to death, not caring that in doing so he was causing the deaths of everyone on board the freighter. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
After blasting open the back of the “vault,” Ben changed into a DHARMA Initiative parka and prepared to head into the space underneath the station. He told Locke to leave the station and find Richard, claiming that whoever moved the Island would not be able to come back. He then climbed through a narrow rock tunnel, down a long ladder, which collapsed causing Ben to heavily gash open his arm, and into an ice-encrusted cave filled with what looked like ancient carvings. Inside the room was a large frozen wheel that seemed to be part of some sort of mechanism beyond the cave wall. Before turning the wheel, Ben looks upwards, and utters “I hope you’re happy now, Jacob”. Sobbing, Ben started turning the wheel, and he soon became enveloped in a bright light. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”)
After moving the Island
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
Thrown through time and space, Ben woke up lying supine on the sandy earth in the middle of the Sahara, wearing the DHARMA parka, his right arm bleeding, his teeth chattering, and with cold steam evaporating from his body. He was held at gunpoint by two Bedouins, but he quickly disposed of both of them. He traveled to Tunisia and asked for a room under the name Dean Moriarty, and also asked what the current date was. Ben noticed Sayid making a statement about his wife’s death on the television in the lobby.
Ben then traveled to Tikrit, Iraq, where he spied on Nadia’s funeral, which was also being watched by Bakir, an agent of Widmore. After Sayid spotted and confronted him, Ben revealed evidence suggesting that Bakir had murdered Nadia in California. When Sayid asked how he escaped the Island, Ben lied and said he used Desmond’s sailboat. Not long after this, Ben confronted Bakir in an alley. Soon after their conversation began, Sayid shot Bakir from behind and then emptied his gun into him, killing him.
Ben attempted to part with Sayid at this point, but Sayid insisted, over Ben’s (possibly feigned) objections, that he help Ben get revenge against Widmore, saying “Who’s next?” Ben said he’d be in touch, and while walking away, he smiled to himself about having recruited Sayid as an employee and hitman. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
Eventually, Ben went to Widmore’s penthouse in London to confront him directly. Ben found Widmore in bed, haggard and with a half-empty bottle of scotch at his bedside. Widmore asked whether Ben was there to kill him, and Ben stated that he was unable to kill Charles (for some unstated reason that both of them apparently knew). Charles claimed that the island belonged to him—that it had always belonged to him—and that Ben had “stolen” it. Ben then told Charles that he planned to avenge Alex by killing Charles’s daughter, Penny. Charles revealed that he had hidden Penny somewhere, and stated that the race was on to see whether he could find the Island before Ben could find Penny. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)