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.
5×10 – He’s Our You
From the Tikrit meeting on, Sayid continued to work for Ben as a hitman to eliminate a number of persons from a list, including Mr. Avellino and an “economist”. While on assignment for Ben to kill the “economist”, Sayid ended up killing Elsa in self-defense. After Sayid showed some remorse for killing Elsa, Ben suggested that the people Sayid was being sent to kill were not good people and that Sayid’s “friends” would be in danger if these people were left alive. Ben then told Sayid that he had another name for him. When Sayid responded that “they” now knew he was looking for them, Ben simply responded, “Good.” (“The Economist”) Several assassinations later, Ben met Sayid in Moscow after the latter had eliminated Ivan, supposedly the last of Widmore’s associates that posed a “threat” to the Oceanic Six. Ben congratulated Sayid on his good work and told him to go out and “live his life.” (“He’s Our You”)
Due to his surveillance on all the members of the Oceanic Six, which he claimed was to keep them safe, Ben became aware that Locke had left the Island. He spotted him with Matthew Abaddon in New York, after Locke had met with Walt at his high school. Some time later, Ben tracked them down at Helen’s gravesite in Los Angeles, and shot Abaddon several times, killing him. Locke, however, escaped the scene.
A short time after this encounter, Ben arrived at Locke’s hotel room, walking in on his would-be suicide by hanging. He admitted to killing Abaddon but cited that Abaddon, as Widmore’s employee, was extremely dangerous. He tried to persuade Locke that Widmore was using him to return to the Island. Despite Locke’s admission that he was a failure, Ben convinced Locke not to go through with it, stating that Locke had no idea how important he was, and that he still had work to do. Ben said Locke had convinced Jack after all, because of a ticket he booked, and that he could convince the others too. Ben consoled a tearful Locke and suggested that there was still hope in getting the others to return. Locke thanked him for the help.
Locke then told him that once they had gotten everyone, they should go to see Eloise Hawking. After hearing this name, Ben’s demeanor instantly changed to a cold one. He admitted knowing Hawking and suddenly attacked and strangled Locke, killing him. He then set up the scene to look like Locke had actually committed suicide, cleaning the place of evidence and removing his fingerprints from the scene. He took Jin’s wedding ring and, upon leaving, said: “I’ll miss you, John. I really will.” (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
5×10 – He’s Our You
The next day, Ben visited Sayid in Santo Domingo at a Build Our World relief project and told him about Locke’s death, implying he was murdered by Widmore’s associates seeking retribution for Sayid’s assassinations. Ben urged Sayid to kill the man waiting outside the mental facility housing Hurley, but Sayid refused. (“He’s Our You”)
Some time later, when Jack broke into Hoffs/Drawler Funeral Parlor to view the body of Jeremy Bentham (aka John Locke), Ben was there as well. He asked Jack when he had last spoken to Locke and what Locke had said to him. He then told Jack that he could only return to the Island if everyone who had left returned together. He suggested that he could give Jack some “help” in getting Kate to talk to him again and that he had some ideas about how they might find the Island again. When Jack seemed about to leave, Ben told Jack that Locke, too, needed to be returned to the Island. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3”)
5×01 – Because You Left
While moving Locke’s body, Jack asked Ben how this all happened, and Ben replied “It happened because you left, Jack.” Ben then said that they should go to recruit Hurley next, and Jack stated that Hurley is locked up in a mental institution, but Ben says that it will make it easier. However, when they looked at the news and saw that he had broken out and murdered several people, Ben seemed dismayed. (“Because You Left”)
5×02 – The Lie
The two of them temporarily moved Locke’s body to a motel, where Jack shaved his beard, and Ben flushed away his pills. Ben took a mysterious wrapped package from a hiding place in the air vent and placed it in his bag. Ben arranged to pick up Jack in six hours, and left the motel. He went to a butcher store to meet Jill, who confirmed that Gabriel and Jeffrey had checked in, which pleased Ben. He left Locke’s body there under her protection.
Shortly after Jack phoned him to tell him Hurley’s father had delivered Sayid to him. Ben easily put two and two together and realized Hurley was staying at his parents’ house. He went to visit Hurley at his house and attempted to recruit him to return to the Island, but Hurley was reluctant after what Sayid told him: that whatever Ben tells him to do, do the opposite. Hurley ran outside, away from Ben, and was arrested.
Having failed to recruit Hurley, he went to a church and met Ms. Hawking there. She told him that he only had seventy hours to bring everyone. Despite Ben’s panicked protests, she told him if he doesn’t, “Then God help us all”. (“The Lie”)
5×04 – The Little Prince
Ben traveled to St. Sebastian Hospital where he met with Jack and Sayid, after he had just been attacked inside the hospital room. As Jack departed he told him, after meeting Kate, to meet up with him at Slip 23 at the Long Beach Marina. Ben ominously told Sayid there was no time for “dirty linen” and the two of them drove to a car park where they met Dan Norton. Norton told Ben that, because of a lack of evidence against him, Hurley would be released from jail the following morning. When Sayid asked about Norton, Ben told him that Dan was his lawyer.
Ben and Sayid arrived at the dock to meet Kate and Jack. Kate quickly and correctly deduced that it was Ben who was trying to take Aaron away from her; he coldly justified this by telling her that Aaron is not her son. (“The Little Prince”)
5×05 – This Place Is Death
Without warning, Sun, who had been following them carefully, emerged from her car and pointed a gun at Ben, claiming he was responsible for Jin’s death. Ben denied this, claiming Jin was not dead and he could prove it if she came with him for a 30 minute drive. She reluctantly agreed; Ben took Jack and Sun to the church. On the way, Sun and Jack discuss their hatred for him and he angrily pulled over. He shouted at them, claiming he had been protecting them, and if they knew the extent of what he had done for them they would not stop thanking him.
They later arrived at the church, where Ben gave Jin’s wedding ring to Sun and apologized he couldn’t give it to her until now. Ben said that Locke gave it to him. When Jack pointed out that Ben had previously told him that Locke had not visited Ben, Ben replied that that was correct: He had gone to see Locke. Moving toward the church, the group met Desmond who asked Ben if they were also looking for Faraday’s mother. Ben, seeming slightly stunned, silently entered the church along with Sun, Jack and Desmond. Ben saw Eloise Hawking, and told her he could only get 4 of them on short notice, to which Hawking replied “Let’s get started”. (“This Place Is Death”)
5×06 – 316
Hawking lead the group down to the basement of the church and into the DHARMA station called the Lamp Post. Ben claimed to have never heard of it, but Hawking believed he could be lying. While at the Lamp Post Ben and the others learned the exact way to get back to the Island: on Ajira Airways Flight 316.
After Jack had a private talk with Hawking he found Ben sitting in a pew. Ben told Jack that Sun left and he would pick up Locke’s body soon. Ben related the story of Thomas the Apostle to Jack, explaining how he could not be convinced of Jesus’s resurrection until he had touched his wounds with his own hands. He ended stating, “We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack.” He then left, telling Jack he had a loose end to tie up. (“316”)
5×12 – Dead Is Dead
At the marina, Ben phoned Charles Widmore to let him know he was about to kill Widmore’s daughter, Penelope. As Ben walked to the boat, he was spotted by Desmond. Ben shot Desmond, though not fatally, and kept walking.
He explained to Penny the reason he needed to kill her. When baby Charlie walked out, Penny begged Ben not to hurt her son. Ben lowered his gun and Desmond tackled him from behind, heavily beating him and throwing him into the water. (“Dead Is Dead”)
5×06 – 316
A drenched and bloodied Ben called Jack from a pay phone, asking him to pick up Locke’s body at the butcher shop where he left it, because he had been “delayed”. He became the last person to arrive on Ajira Flight 316, much to the dismay of Hurley. On the flight, Ben sat next to Jack, reading a copy of Ulysses but gave Jack privacy to read Locke’s suicide note, not before promising Jack it wasn’t his fault that Locke committed suicide. Not too long after, the plane was filled with bright light taking Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid with it, and the plane crashed on the Island. (“316”)
Back on the Island (2007)
5×09 – Namaste
Immediately after the crash-landing of Flight 316 on Hydra Island, Ben informed Frank and Sun in the fuselage of the plane that the others were “gone.” Ben, who had mostly stayed isolated from the other Ajira survivors, snuck off from the group. He quickly realized he was being followed by Sun, and told her that he was off to find an outrigger to get them back to the main Island, and invited Sun along with him. At this point Frank emerged from the jungle and told Sun not to trust Ben. Sun replied that she had to, and the three set off to find the outriggers. Upon arriving at the spot where the canoes were hidden, Sun knocked Ben unconscious with an oar. Frank then asked Sun why she would do that if she trusted him, and Sun replied, “I lied”. Frank and Sun left Ben unconscious on the beach and proceeded to use the outrigger canoes to get back to the main Island. (“Namaste”)
Later, Ben was brought to an infirmary inside the Hydra station. At an unknown time after the crash, one of the passengers of Flight 316, Caesar, brought a resurrected John Locke to see the injured survivors, who recognized Ben as the man who killed him. (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
5×11 – Whatever Happened, Happened
Not long after, Ben woke up to see Locke alive and well sitting at his bedside and was welcomed back to “the land of the living.” (“Whatever Happened, Happened”)
5×12 – Dead Is Dead
Ben told Locke that he had to travel to the Barracks to be “judged”. Locke was skeptical, and insisted on accompanying him. Ben then traveled out to the beach, where he spoke to Caesar about Locke, confiding that he did not believe Locke was on the plane, and may be dangerous. Caesar told Ben that he “has his back,” and showed him the shotgun he had taken from Ben’s office. Later, Caesar confronted Locke, who was preparing the outrigger to set sail. When Caesar reached for the shotgun to stop Locke, Ben produced it from his own pack and shot Caesar in the chest.
Soon after, Ben and Locke left for the main Island. When they arrived at the Barracks, Ben saw a shadow in his old house, in what used to be Alex’s room. Worried, he ran in to see who or what it was, and encountered Sun and Frank. Sun said that an old man named Christian told them to wait there for John Locke. Sun did not believe this was possible, since she knew him to be dead, but Ben showed her Locke, alive and well, out of the window. Sun presented Ben with the photo of the DHARMA recruits in 1977, and she expressed surprise that Ben did not know that her friends were in the DHARMA Initiative.
After this, Ben went downstairs to summon the Monster in order to be “judged“. Locke observed that the Monster had not yet appeared, but said he knew where it was. They trekked through the jungle with Sun to the Temple, where Locke proposed they enter from underneath it. Before they went in, Ben told Sun to apologize to Desmond for him if she ever sees Desmond again.
While inside, Ben admitted to Locke that he was summoning the Monster in order to seek penance for Alex’s death. Ben then fell through a weak spot of the floor, where he discovered a room with pillars covered in hieroglyphs and a large engraving in the center.
Out of vents at the base of the engraving crept a column of black smoke that encircled him, and his torch was extinguished. Through this, Ben relived the capture and death of Alex, after which the smoke vanished and his torch was re-ignited.
Suddenly, a manifestation of Alex appeared behind him, to which Ben apologized to for her death. ‘She’ initially appeared to accept his apology, but quickly pinned him against a pillar by his throat and told him aggressively to follow and obey Locke, warning him that she will hunt Ben down and kill him should he harm Locke. A frightened Ben agreed, and Alex disappeared. Afterward, he was met by Locke who extended a vine to help pull him out of the hole. Ben told Locke that the Monster let him live. (“Dead Is Dead”)
5×15 – Follow the Leader
Ben and Sun followed Locke to the Others’ camp where they saw Richard. Ben told Sun that Richard was like an “advisor” and has had the job for “a very long time.” Locke then asked Ben to join him and Richard on a journey. When Ben wondered if Locke didn’t trust him around his former people, Locke informed him that he wasn’t afraid of anything he could do anymore. They then went into the jungle. When they arrived at the Beechcraft, Ben witnessed Locke telling Richard that he must tend to the time-traveling Locke, and tell him to bring the others back to the Island. While Richard does this, Ben was astonished how Locke knew when to be here. Locke said that the Island told him and surprised Ben by saying he knew that Ben had never seen Jacob.
The three then returned to camp, where Locke made a speech to all the Others present that he was going to see Jacob, and he would like them all to come with him. The Others were excited by this, but Richard admitted his worry to Ben, that Locke would be a problem in the future. Ben responded by telling Richard “Why do you think I tried to kill him?” The next morning, Locke and the Others left to find Jacob. Ben then told Locke of Richard’s thoughts, that seeing Jacob made him uncomfortable, but then reaffirmed his allegiance to Locke’s quest: to reunite with his friends in 1977. Locke told Ben he’s not interested in reuniting with his friends and revealed that his true intentions, much to Ben’s shock, were to kill Jacob. (“Follow the Leader”)
5×16 – The Incident, Part 1
During the journey Ben explained to Sun that while John was ‘the leader’ of the Island, he still answered to Jacob, and that the title of leader is “incredibly temporary”. He admitted too that he had never personally met Jacob. He had a conversation with Locke, who was curious why Ben hadn’t told Richard about his plans to kill Jacob. Ben recounted to John that his “dead daughter” had told him to follow everything that John said. John seemed pleased at this revelation, that with Ben following his orders he would not have to convince him, and told Ben that it would in fact be him who was to kill Jacob.
Ben later sat alone at the beach camp, when Locke approached him to ask him a question. Ben quipped sullenly that he was a Pisces (in fact a lie, he is a Sagittarius) and John asked him what had really occurred on the day when Ben first took Locke to the cabin. Ben solemnly admitted that he had in fact pretended, that he had talked to an empty chair, and was surprised when things started flying around the room. He admitted that he was genuinely embarrassed, that as leader, he had never actually met Jacob. He then ultimately declared to Locke that he was a liar; “That’s what I do.” Ben then asked Locke why he wanted him specifically to kill Jacob, and John replied that in spite of his loyal service to the Island he was given cancer, his daughter was killed, and eventually banished – and the question really should be, why wouldn’t he want to kill Jacob? (“The Incident, Part 1”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
After finally arriving at the remains of the statue of Taweret, Sun asked Ben what had happened to the rest of it, to which he replied it was like that since he arrived on the Island. Locke then told Ben to come with him to see Jacob, something which Richard protested furiously at, stating that only the leader could see Jacob. Locke ignored this and proceeded inside that statue with Ben. Inside the caverns under the statue, Locke asked Ben if he would be able to go through with killing Jacob, promising change once Jacob was gone. He offered Ben a knife, which Ben silently took.
The two of them entered Jacob’s room, a fire burning brightly in the center. Ben examined a weaving on the wall, and from the shadows Jacob spoke his first words to Ben, asking if he liked the weavings. Locke ordered Ben to do what he had asked, but Jacob quickly added that regardless of what Locke had told him, he still had a choice as to what he did, offering him the chance to leave. Ben, tearful, mockingly rejoiced that finally Jacob had decided to stop ignoring him.
As Jacob listened, Ben recounted that for 35 years he had lived on the Island, during which he had heard Jacob’s name repeated over and over, had been brought his instruction, had been given slips of paper and lists, and all throughout he had never questioned any of it, that he “did as [he] was told.” When Ben had dared to ask to see Jacob himself, he was always told he had to wait, to be patient, whereas when Locke asked, he was brought directly. Ben, moving in closer, emotionally demanded of Jacob “What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?”. Jacob paused and sardonically asked “What about you?”. Ben nodded, as if he finally understood, then lunged at Jacob, stabbing him in the chest repeatedly. At this point, Jacob touched Ben. Jacob fell to the ground as Ben stood in shock, soaked in his blood. Ben watched as Locke pushed Jacob’s body into the fire and it caught aflame. (“The Incident, Part 2”)