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.
6×01 – LA X, Part 1 & 2
After Ben murdered Jacob, the Man in Black told Ben to go outside and tell Richard that he needed to talk to him. When Ben delivered the message, Richard responded by dragging him to the spot where the real John Locke lay dead.
Shortly after, Bram grabbed Ben and forced him back into the statue with him and the rest of Ilana’s party, minus Ilana, despite Richard’s protest. The Man in Black was revealed to also be the smoke monster as he murdered everyone inside except Ben, who hid in a corner. After this, the Man in Black said Locke’s last thought as Ben strangled him was, “I don’t understand.” Then he told Ben that he wanted the one thing the real Locke didn’t: to go home. (“LA X, Part 1”) (“LA X, Part 2”)
6×04 – The Substitute
After the Man in Black’s abduction of Richard Alpert, the Others left Ben, Frank, Sun, Ilana, and Locke’s body at the statue and fled to the Temple. Shortly after they left, Ben went back inside the statue and found Ilana sitting on the ground alone, crying for the deaths of Jacob and her team. When Ilana heard someone coming in, she wiped her tears away and questioned Ben, who told her that the Man in Black had murdered both Jacob and her team. (“The Substitute”)
Ilana, Frank, Sun, and Ben took Locke’s body to the beach camp graveyard, and Ilana asked if anyone wanted to say anything before they could bury Locke. Ben, with some reluctance, stated that Locke was a “believer, a man of faith,” and that he was “a much better man than [he would] ever be.” He added that he was “very sorry [he] murdered him.” (“The Substitute”)
6×06 – Sundown
During the attack on the Temple by the smoke monster, Ben arrived with Ilana, Frank and Sun. They found a door seemingly barricaded shut until Ilana kicked it open to find Miles protecting himself from the smoke monster. Ilana, who was trying to evacuate the candidates, asked him where Shephard (Jack), Reyes (Hurley), and Ford (Sawyer) were. When Miles told her that they all left she asked him where Jarrah (Sayid) was and he told her that he last saw him heading towards the “pool room”. Ben then immediately volunteered to go and get him and left before Ilana could call him back.
When he arrived Ben found the corpses of Dogen and Lennon in the spring and Sayid sitting on the stairs with a bloody dagger in his hand, starring at it with an evil smile. Ben approached him and told him he knew a way out and there was still time. Sayid then turned to him with an evil look on his face and replied “Not for me”. Shocked and scared from the sight of Sayid, Ben backed away and left. (“Sundown”)
Ben left the Temple, ran through the jungle, and caught up with Ilana’s group. He told them that Sayid had killed Dogen and Lennon and that the Man in Black had killed everyone else in the Temple, just as he had killed Bram and the rest of Jacob’s bodyguards. Ilana became suspicious of Ben, and she asked Miles to read Jacob’s ashes. Miles revealed that it was Ben who killed Jacob. When the group got back to the beach, Ilana forced Ben to start digging his own grave as retribution. While Ben was digging, the Man in Black appeared out of the jungle and invited Ben to join his group and telling him where he could find a rifle in the jungle.
Ben took off towards the gun, with Ilana in close pursuit. He reached the gun and held Ilana at gunpoint. Ben then explained to her his reasons for killing Jacob: he had been angry at him, but now he claimed that he deeply regretted his actions. When Ilana asked him why he wanted to join the Man in Black’s group, Ben replied that it was because no one else would have him. Ilana said that she would take him, and then she turned and left without another word. Ben followed her back to the beach camp and offered to help Sun rebuild her old tent. When Jack, Hurley and Richard came to the beach, a happy reunion occurred between them and the rest of the group, but Ben stood slightly off to the side, looking out of place. (“Dr. Linus”)
6×10 – The Package
The morning after Richard ran off, Ben demanded to know what they were waiting for. While Ilana cleaned her rifle she told him that they were waiting for Richard to return. Later, Ben found Sun knocked out in the jungle, unable to communicate in English. She did, however, inform Ben who had done this to her: the Man in Black in the guise of Locke. Ben helped Sun back to the camp where Ilana wouldn’t believe him that Sun was already unconscious when he found her. Ben questioned this and Ilana replied that she didn’t believe him merely because he was speaking. Upon Richard’s return, Ben informed Jack that the Man in Black had camped on the Hydra Island. (“The Package”)
6×12 – Everybody Loves Hugo
After Ilana was killed while handling the dynamite she intended to use to destroy the Ajira plane, the group ventured to the Black Rock to get more. On the way, Ilana’s death made Ben think about what would happen when the Island was done with them, believing it was done with Ilana when she told the candidates who they were. After Hurley blew up the ship, an argument over whether or not to destroy the plane broke out, causing the group to split in two. Ben and Miles chose to side with Richard and go to the Barracks to get explosives to destroy the plane. (“Everybody Loves Hugo”)
6×16 – What They Died For
A couple of days later Ben, Richard, and Miles got to the Barracks. Miles walked over a dead body buried underneath the ground and Richard said it was Alex, whom he buried after Ben left. They walked inside Ben’s house and went into the secret closet to retrieve the C4. They heard sounds coming from the kitchen and, to Ben’s shock, they discovered Charles Widmore, along with Zoe. When Ben asked how Widmore got back, Widmore claimed that he was invited by Jacob, who offered him a chance at redemption not long after the freighter was destroyed. He also said he was Ben’s only chance at survival. Zoe then radioed that “Locke” was approaching the shore. She hurried back and she and Widmore hid in Ben’s secret room. Ben and Richard went outside to reason with the Man in Black. After the monster attacks Richard, he approached Ben on the porch and asked Ben to kill some people for him in exchange for control of the Island. Tempted by the offer, Ben told him that Widmore was hiding in his secret room.
As a result, The Man in Black found him, killed Zoe and threatened to kill Penny if Widmore didn’t give the information he wanted. Widmore didn’t want to say anymore in front of them, who left them to their privacy, and once Widmore whispered his information to the Man in Black, Ben killed Widmore, claiming he didn’t get to save his daughter. Then asked the Man in Black if there were some other people to kill. That night while walking through the jungle, Ben asked the Man in Black why he bothered walking, despite being able to turn into smoke, and “Locke” said the feel of his feet on the ground reminded him of his humanity. They arrived at the well “Locke” threw Desmond into, but someone had already gotten him out. Ben asked the Man in Black what Widmore said to him, and “Locke” explained that Desmond was a fail-safe; a last resort to keep the Man in Black from leaving in case he killed Jacob’s candidates. Then Ben asked “Locke” why he was happy that Desmond was still alive, and the Man in Black said he was going to find Desmond so he could help him do the one think “Locke” could never do himself: destroy the island. (“What They Died For”)
6×17 – The End
Ben found Sawyer hiding in the bushes near the well and forced him out at gunpoint. However, Sawyer stole the gun away from Ben and escaped. Afterwards, Ben realized that “Locke” wasn’t being figurative about destroying the Island, although he was offered to come with the Man in Black to sail away from the Island and watch it sink. Ben then accompanied the Man in Black to retrieve Desmond, and went with them to the Heart of the Island. He waited outside at the bamboo forest with Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley while Jack, Desmond, and the Man in Black went into the Source. At that moment, Miles made contact with Ben on his walkie-talkie, and Ben warned Miles not to blow up the plane, but Miles said he, Richard and Frank were going to fly it off the Island.
When seismic activity began after Desmond removed the stone that acted as a cork, Ben was pinned under a fallen tree. Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley did their best to free him. Miles radioed again to tell them the plane was preparing to depart and they had to get to Hydra Island with in an hour. Sawyer complained about how they were supposed to get there, Ben knew how: “Locke” had a boat.
After Kate shot the Man in Black and Jack kicked him off the cliff to his death, Ben, Hurley and Sawyer caught up with them. Jack realized he had to replug the light at the heart of the Island and Ben decided if the Island was going down, he would go down with it, so he went with Jack and Hurley back to the Source, while Kate and Sawyer headed for Hydra Island to leave on the Ajira plane with Frank, Richard, Miles and especially Claire.
Jack, Hurley and Ben reached the Source and Jack said he was going down alone, despite Hurley protesting that Jack wasn’t supposed to die. Jack decided that Hurley should be the protector of the Island, and Ben gave Jack an empty Oceanic water bottle to fill with water from the stream, which Hurley drank making him “like Jack.”
Ben and Hurley lowered Jack down to the Source, where Jack found Desmond and told him he’d done enough, then put the stone back in the hole. As soon as the light was back on, Hurley and Ben pulled up who they thought was Jack but was actually Desmond, while Jack let himself be consumed by the light. When Hurley realized Jack was gone, Ben assured Hurley that Jack did his job, but Hurley didn’t know what to do since it was now his job. Ben said Hurley should do what he did best – take care of people, and start by helping Desmond get home. Hurley said people couldn’t leave the Island, but Ben said that was how Jacob ran things, and considered that there would be a better way of protecting the Island. Hurley asked Ben to help him, since he needed someone with experience. Ben was honored and made the new advisor. (“The End”)
As Hurley’s Advisor
Epilogue – The New Man in Charge
Under Hurley’s orders, Ben left the Island at some point to “tie up a few loose ends.” One of his destinations was the DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Guam, where two DHARMA Initiative members, Hector and Glenn, continued to load and send out periodic resupply drops to the Island.
Ben told them of the previous disbandment of the DHARMA Initiative and informed them that they would no longer be needed for the drops, giving them both severance pay. Agreeing to answer one question from each of them, Ben told them of the automated nature of the supply drop system, the fact that the Island was constantly moving, and showed them the Hydra Orientation film before departing.
At a later date, Ben traveled to the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute to visit Walt, who was committed their under the name of Keith Johnson. Apologizing to Walt for previously having him kidnapped, Ben told him that he was special, and that he had “work to do,” including helping Michael. Ben led Walt back to the parked DHARMA van, where Hurley was waiting for both of them. The three then departed for their journey back to the Island. (“The New Man in Charge”)
In the flash sideways world, both Ben and Roger lived on the Island briefly because Roger still worked for the DHARMA Initiative. At some point they left the Island, but it is not clear when. Ben later received a doctorate in modern European history and came to be a high school European history teacher at Washington Tustin High School in California.
History Club cancelled
6×04 – The Substitute
While in the teacher’s lounge, Linus discovered that someone had left used coffee grounds in the coffee pot, and angrily began lecturing the surrounding teachers. He soon noticed John Locke, a wheelchair-bound substitute teacher, and introduced himself. (“The Substitute”)
Some time later, the school’s principal, Don Reynolds, forced Ben to oversee detention after school. Ben objected, stating that he needed to meet with the school’s History Club during that same time period, but Reynolds was dismissive about the club. Back in the teacher’s lounge, Ben and another teacher, Dr. Leslie Arzt, complained to each other about Reynolds. Locke overheard them and suggested that Ben be the principal since he seemed to actually care about students. Ben was intrigued by the suggestion.
At home caring for his elderly father that night, Ben complained to him about feeling like a “loser” at his job. Roger remarked that he had hoped for so much more for Ben and wondered what would have happened had they stayed with the DHARMA Initiative. Alex Rousseau, one of Ben’s best students, showed up at his door, wondering why Ben didn’t show up to the History Club meeting. She wanted help studying for her AP exam, and Ben agreed to meet with her before school the next morning.
The next morning, Alex told Ben a story about overhearing Reynolds and the school nurse having sex in an office. Seeing an opportunity, Ben asked Arzt to hack into the nurse’s email account to look for evidence of the affair. Some time later, Ben confronted Reynolds with the evidence and threatened to expose him unless he resigned and nominated Ben as his successor. Reynolds responded by showing Ben an email from Alex in which she asked Reynolds for a letter of recommendation. Reynolds threatened to “torch” Alex’s future if Ben went through with his plan. Ben ultimately relented, choosing Alex’s future over his own. He did, however, get Reynolds to let him go back to working with the History Club. (“Dr. Linus”)
Running into Desmond
6×12 – Everybody Loves Hugo
At the end of a school day, Ben became suspicious of Desmond Hume, who was watching the people exiting the school. Although the man said that he was planning to enroll his son there, Ben remained wary. Seconds later, Desmond suddenly sped up his car and rammed it into John Locke before speeding away before anyone could identify him. Ben rushed to the side of the injured Locke and tried to keep him conscious as others went to call for help. (“Everybody Loves Hugo”)
6×13 – The Last Recruit
Ben accompanied Locke in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Having only met Locke recently, he didn’t know who was next in Locke’s kin and had forgotten his first name. Locke mumbled that his name is John and he was going to marry Helen Norwood. Ben assured him that he was still going to marry her. (“The Last Recruit”)
6×16 – What They Died For
After Locke’s recovery, Ben saw Desmond at the school again, preparing to run Locke down again. Ben ran in front of the car, as Desmond started it and refused to let him hurt Locke again and shouted for someone to call the police. Desmond insisted that he was not trying to hurt Locke, but help him let go. Ben asked who he is and Desmond asked “Do you want to know who I am?” and proceeded to beat Ben violently. As he was being punched, Ben had a flash of remebrance of Desmond beating him at the marina in LA. Desmond then left. (“What They Died For”)
At the infirmary, Kim Kondracki treated his injuries and he was visited by Locke. Ben told Locke what happened and Locke prepared to call the police, but then Ben told him what Desmond said about letting go and that he strangely believed him. Locke hung up the phone, after hearing this. (“What They Died For”)
Deciding to stay
6×16 – What They Died For
Alex met Ben in the car park after school, surprised that anyone would want to hurt “the nicest guy ever”. She didn’t want him to drive home, while wearing a sling, so she insisted that her mother, Danielle, give him a lift. Danielle introduced herself and insisted that he join them for dinner. At the Rousseau’s house, Danielle tells Ben that Alex’s father died when she was two and Ben has been the closest thing Alex has had to a father. (“What They Died For”)
6×17 – The End
Later on, under unknown circumstances, Ben remembered his past life.
Ben, despite now becoming fully aware of his previous life, decided not to move on, stating, “I have some things I still need to work out.” Sitting outside the church as everyone continued to gather there, he apologized to John Locke for killing him. Ben admitted that he was not special, and was selfish and jealous because Locke was. Locke told him sincerely that he forgave him. Ben was visibly moved; he told Locke that his forgiveness meant to him more than he possibly could know. As Locke rolled away, Ben insisted that he didn’t need the wheelchair anymore.
Locke then stood up triumphantly, told Ben goodbye, and walked into the church.
Later, Hugo Reyes came outside, saw Ben and invited him in. Ben declined. He then commemorated Ben on his job as Hugo’s Number Two, to which Ben replied, “And you were a great Number One, Hugo.” This interaction hints at the two having a long relationship together on the Island as its leaders; a much more harmonious relationship than that of Jacob and the Man in Black. “I’ll see ya,” Hugo tells Ben, as he enters the church to move on. Ben remained in this place for an undisclosed amount of time. (“The End”)