|Occupation||One of "The Others"/ Former DHARMA Initiative Work man|
|Family|| Father - Roger Linus|
Mother - Emily Linus
Adopted Daughter - Alexandra Rousseau
|Flashback(s)||The Man Behind the Curtain, Dead is Dead|
|Flashforward(s)||The Shape of Things to Come|
|Played By|| Michael Emerson (adult) |
Sterling Beaumon (child)
Ben Linus, one of the Others, claims to have been born on and lived on the island his entire life. However, this is a lie - he was actually born near Portland, Oregon. His parents were Roger and Emily Linus. Emily went into labor only 7 months into the pregnancy during a walk in the woods and died from the complications that arose. In her dying words she asked Roger to name their baby Benjamin.
In his early years on the island, his father worked as a janitor, or a "Work Man" for the DHARMA Initiative, a job he acquired from a man named Horace Goodspeed, a passerby who found and helped Roger and Emily soon after Ben's birth. Ben was very introverted, and not only had to deal with his father's frustration in his lowly position, but also with his father's disdain towards him, blaming Ben for the death of Emily. Roger would continually forget Ben's birthday, as it was also the day Emily died. Annie befriended Ben, a girl his age whom he seemed to have feelings for.
After hearing hurtful words from his father on his birthday, Ben ran off towards the jungle where he had a vision of his mother. As he was about to cross the sonic fence, she stopped him, saying it was not time. He escaped the confines of the settlement at a later date in pursuit of his mother, but met Richard Alpert instead, one of the presumed "hostiles" that fought with the DHARMA Initiative. Richard offered to take him into their group, but told Ben to be patient.
Many years later, Ben became a Work Man himself. Roger forgets his birthday again, but offers that he and Ben have a father-son talk up on a mesa before delivering a shipment of beer to the Pearl Station. At the mesa, Ben tells his father that his patience is up - he puts on a gas mask and drops a canister of poison gas into the van, killing his father. When Ben returns to the Barracks, he finds every DHARMA Initiative member dead from poison gas, including Horace. Horace's body is the only one that Ben showed any respect for because he closed Horace's dead eyes personally. The "hostiles" enter the Barracks and Ben joins them. They presumably buried the bodies afterwards in a mass grave and took up residence in the Barracks. Ben decides to leave his father's corpse where it is (Roger's skeleton, along with the van and beer, is found many years later by Hurley in "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead").
Ben appears to have become the de facto leader of the Others, although Juliet claims that the Others make their decisions as a group. Ben obviously holds a position of authority among the Others, since he is the only of the few who can interact with the mysterious Jacob. He is a former member of the Others' book club.
Two days before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Ben discovers he has a spinal tumor. After he witnesses the crash, he commands Goodwin to investigate the tail portion, and Ethan to investigate the fuselage. The revelation that a spinal surgeon, Jack Shephard, crashed on the island two days after Ben learned that he is dying of a spinal tumor gives him hope that his life can be saved.
Life after the Flight 815 Crash
In a flashback from "Exposé," along the timeline of "What Kate Did," Ben and Juliet enter the Pearl station, where they watch Jack from one of the monitors. He tells Juliet that he plans to kidnap him, to which she asks how he will achieve this. He explains that he already has Michael in captivity, and that he will get Jack to perform surgery on him by using his methods of persuasion. He explains to Juliet that he will find out about an emotional struggle in his life and exploit it; he also says that this is how he always persuades someone to do something for him. He also says, when asked by Juliet how they are going to capture him, that he won't capture him and that they will get Jack to come to them. They leave shortly after, leaving behind a radio that is picked up by Paulo soon after.
Ben is captured by Danielle Rousseau and brought to the castaways. Danielle is very adamant in telling Sayid that he is one of the Others, but he claims that he is a castaway on the island and that his name is "Henry Gale." His name is later revealed to be "Ben" ("A Tale of Two Cities"). Locke and Sayid confine Ben in the armory of the Swan Station. His presence is generally kept a secret from the other castaways, although at one point Ben is visited by Mr. Eko ("Maternity Leave"); Mr. Eko asks his forgiveness for killing two of the Others who had tried to kidnap him. Sayid, believing that Ben is one of the Others, interrogates and tortures him. Ben insists that he is the wealthy former owner of a company that mined for non-metallic minerals. He also claims that he and his wife, Jennifer, are from Minnesota, and that they crashed into the northern shore of the Island while traveling by hot air balloon. According to Ben, the two hid in caves until she fell ill and died from a fever. He says that he buried her body in the jungle, and that he has forgotten the location of the burial site ("One of Them").
While imprisoned, Ben strives to exploit existing tensions among his captors. For example, noticing friction between Locke and Jack, Ben makes a comment to Locke about Jack calling all the shots, which upsets Locke and deepens the rift between Locke and Jack. After refusing to tell Jack, Locke, or Sayid the location of his wife's gravesite, he secretly tells Ana Lucia that he buried his wife near the crash site of their balloon ("The Whole Truth"), and draws her a map to that location. She keeps the map secret from Jack and Locke and quietly leaves with a search party. Ben later taunts Jack and Locke, revealing that Ana Lucia has left the camp to follow his map. He says that, if he were "one of these people you consider your enemies," he would draw a map to a secluded location where "a bunch of my people" would ambush the search party and then use them to trade for his freedom (adding that it is a good thing he is not one of them).
Later, the hatch goes into lockdown mode and Locke releases Ben so that he can help (promising Ben protection in exchange for his assistance). When Locke is pinned under a heavy security door, he tells Ben about the computer, the countdown, and the code numbers. Ben climbs through the ceiling, bypassing the security doors to get to the computer and enter the code. He returns to help the injured Locke, and reports that he successfully entered the code. Locke is grateful that Ben does not abandon him. However, moments later, Jack, Kate, Charlie, Sayid, and Ana Lucia arrive. Their search party found the balloon and the grave, just as Ben had described ("Lockdown"). However, Sayid, still skeptical of Ben's story, had investigated the gravesite further and discovered a dead man buried with a photo ID identifying himself as Henry Gale. Ben unsuccessfully attempts to explain the holes in his story ("Dave"), and panics when Sayid presses him to reveal the truth about the Others. Ben reacts with terror, saying that "He" will kill him if he reveals anything, implying that there is someone even higher up than himself in the hierarchy of the Others. Ben later refers to this mysterious character again later on saying that "He" is a great man and a brilliant man but "not a forgiving man." Ben taunts Locke by asserting that he never entered the numbers or pushed the button while Locke was pinned under the door, and that the timer went back to 108 minutes on its own. He states that the Hatch means nothing to the Others and that the button is a "joke". Jack decides to attempt to trade Ben for Michael's son Walt ("S.O.S."), despite Ben's assertion that the Others will never give up Walt. Later, Ben refuses to speak to anyone, and stops taking food and water.
Ben soon escapes from his captors. He attacks Ana Lucia, who comes to visit him, in retaliation for the Others she had previously killed ("Two for the Road"). He is subdued by Locke, and Ana Lucia later returns to the hatch with a gun, intending to kill Ben. However, Michael, under secret instructions from the Others, convinces her to give him the gun. He then kills her and Libby, who comes upon the scene, before shooting himself in the shoulder and releasing Ben from the storage closet. Afterward, Locke and Eko are unable to track Ben; he makes a clean escape and returns to the Others ("?"). He resumes a leadership position among them ("Live Together, Die Alone") and keeps the promise that the Others had made to Michael, allowing him to escape on a boat with Walt (telling him that "we're the good guys").
After Jack, Sawyer, and Kate are captured, Ben monitors the prisoners at a monitoring station, where all their actions are displayed on television screens. In "A Tale of Two Cities" Ben has breakfast with Kate on the beach and assures her that the next two weeks on the island are going to be very unpleasant for her. Faced with Sawyer's generally unabated disobedience against his captors, Ben cons Sawyer into thinking that the Others have put a pacemaker into his chest that will cause his heart to explode if he reaches an active heartrate; Ben also threatens to do the same thing to Kate if Sawyer does not cooperate. He later admits the lie while showing Sawyer that the Hydra station, their current location, is actually on a second, smaller island (preventing the possibility of escape). He reveals to Jack that the Others are in contact with the outside world (showing Jack a clip of the Red Sox winning the World Series), and promises that Jack can go home, like Michael and Walt, if he cooperates. Ben is alarmed to discover that Colleen has been shot and wounded while stealing the castaways' sailboat, and urgently tells Juliet to operate on her ("Every Man for Himself"). Ben initially objects to Jack's participation in the surgery effort, but allows Jack to try. Jack subsequently discovers that Ben has a malignant tumor on his spine, a revelation that alters the power balance between the two men.
Ben's life was placed in the hands of Jack. After Jack began the surgery, he deliberately cut open Ben's kidney sac. ("I Do"). Jack explains to the Others that Ben only has an hour to live before he bleeds to death, and Jack refuses to stitch him up unless the Others let Kate go. In "Not in Portland," Ben eventually comes out of his induced sleep, still in danger and aware of the current situation. He then asks to speak to Juliet. While Jack watches from the booth, he's unable to hear what they're saying, but it obviously affects Juliet greatly as she then goes off to help Kate and Sawyer escape. It's later revealed by Juliet that he told her that if she helped them escape, then she could finally leave the island. After they are finally safe, Kate calls Jack, who successfully completes the surgery.
In "Stranger in a Strange Land," Juliet is put into a holding cell awaiting trial in regards to her killing one of the Others while helping Kate and Sawyer escape. Ben's operation is completed, and he is stitched up. However, the wound becomes infected, and Juliet is released from custody to examine him. After much hesitation, Jack bursts into the room, after Alex frees him, and he examines the infection himself. He tells Ben that, if untreated, he will eventually become lame and never walk again. Ben agrees to cease Juliet's execution in exchange for Jack's services, and writes a note for Alex to give to Isabel, who is leading the verdict. However, so Juliet does not get away unpunished, Ben orders Isabel to "mark" her for her crime. Later, Ben and the Others decide to leave 'Alcatraz' island, taking Jack with them on their boat, and return to their own village.
In "The Man from Tallahassee," Ben is seen being wheeled out to Jack, shaking his hand, much to the despair of Kate, Sayid and Locke. After being taken back inside for a nap, he wakes to find himself at gunpoint by Locke. When Tom enters the room, telling him of Kate and Sayid's capture, Ben gives the order to separate and interrogate them. He also gives the order for Richard to get "the man from Tallahassee". Ben tells Locke that he knows he found the Flame station, and the accompanying C-4, and also that he knows he is considering destroying the submarine. When Locke tells him he knows nothing about him, Ben starts detailing different points of Locke's life, saying that he also knows how he became disabled. He then offers to share with Locke more of the island's secrets, if Locke agrees not to destroy the submarine. Ben soon questions Locke about the cause of his paralysis. When describing one of the island's secrets, he compares it to a box, knowing that Locke had worked in a box company before. He is then confronted by Jack and Juliet, reminding him that he would let them leave the island. Ben tells Jack that he will free Kate and Sayid after he leaves, and the two are then escorted to the submarine.
After Locke destroys the submarine he is captured and Ben visits him. Locke tells Ben that he knew he wanted him to blow it up. Ben explains that he allowed Locke to do so to avoid the power struggle that would emerge if Jack and Juliet were allowed to leave. Ben then leads Locke down a hallway, telling him that he knows he has a "communion" with the island. He takes Locke to a room where, gagged and bound to a chair, is Locke's father, Anthony Cooper. Ben tells him that Locke brought him to the island. Locke removes his gag, ignoring Ben's earlier caution. When they leave, Ben offers Locke to join them as they leave their village, to which he agrees. In "Left Behind", Ben takes off with Locke and the rest of the Others, leaving Jack, Sayid, Kate and Juliet behind. Before leaving, however, he speaks with Juliet privately about infiltrating the beach camp, and talks about the implant they gave Claire during her captivity as a guise for Juliet to be accepted into the group.
In "The Brig" Ben calls Locke away from pitching the tents and reveals that, because he is near, he is able to walk again. He then tells Locke about Juliet's mission to infiltrate the beach for pregnant women. He then goes on to explain that Locke is not yet ready to become one of them until he kills his father. That night, Ben approaches Locke and tells him the time to kill Cooper has come, and leads him to the altar where he is tied up. Giving Locke a knife, Ben encourages Locke to kill him, attracting an audience. However, when Locke is unable to kill him, Ben tells everyone that Locke is not the person they thought he was. It is later revealed the next day by Richard that Ben had intended on humiliating Locke because he knew he couldn't do it. The next day, Ben tells Locke that the camp are moving on, leaving behind him and Cooper. Ben explains that Locke can only rejoin them when he brings to them Cooper's dead body, and that they will leave behind a trail suitable for him to follow. He then heads off, leaving Locke alone to contemplate what he will do.
It is Ben's birthday in "The Man Behind the Curtain". He is visited by Richard, who sees him with a doll given to Ben many years before. After being told that Juliet's tape hadn't been returned to her, Ben approaches Tom. However, both are distracted when Locke arrives at their new camp, carrying his dead father over his shoulder, and demands answers to the island. Ben tells him that it's not as simple as he expects, but informs him of Jacob anyway. However, Ben refuses to take Locke to see him, as he is the only one who has ever had contact with him. Locke accuses him of lying, noticing his hand is shaking. Mikhail suddenly runs into camp, explains that the sonar panels weren't strong enough to kill him, and informs Ben of Naomi's arrival. However, Locke tells everyone that Ben cannot help Mikhail because he is going to take him to Jacob. When Locke attacks Mikhail, Ben yells for Tom and Richard to intervene, but they refuse. Ben and Locke set off, but Alex quickly gives Locke a gun and wishes Ben a happy birthday. Ben tells Locke that Jacob will be angry with them, which is why he was shaking earlier.
Ben and Locke's journey continues during the night. They eventually arrive outside a cabin, where Ben cautions Locke to switch off his flashlight. Ben also warns Locke that there is no turning back once he opens the door. Ben calls Jacob, and the two enter. Ben tells Locke to say hello to Jacob, but Locke is unable to see him. Ben constantly talks to the chair where Jacob is supposedly seated. Locke doesn't believe Ben, and constantly interrupts his argument with Jacob. As Locke turns to leave, he accuses Ben of calling to him. Locke shines his flashlight at him, only to enrage Jacob, causing a flurry of objects to float across the room, causing the cabin to set on fire. Ben tries to calm him down, but is thrown against a wall. After he recovers, Ben goes outside after Locke and informs him that what he saw was Jacob. The next morning, Locke is still skeptic, so Ben takes him to a pit filled with the deceased DHARMA workers that Ben worked with. He tells him about the brief history of DHARMA before shooting Locke, causing him to fall into the pit. He then asks him what Jacob said to him, to which Locke responds, "Help me." Apparently angry, Ben leaves him and walks away.
He arrives back at the Others' camp, returns the gun to Alex and orders an Other, Ryan, to head to the survivor's camp and kidnap their pregnant women that night, instead of tomorrow. He says that if Juliet hasn't had a chance to determine which women are pregnant, that Ryan should take them all and sort them out later, and that he should kill anyone who opposes them ("Greatest Hits").
Ben learns in "Through the Looking Glass" that Juliet and Karl have betrayed him from a communication sent by Bonnie, one of two crew members of the sunken Looking Glass Station. He sends Mikhail to the Looking Glass and after telling the others to move to the "temple," he unilaterally decides to trek out alone to meet with Jack and the refugees and convince them not to contact Naomi's ship. Alex insists on accompanying him, and Ben allows her to come, surprising the girl. En route, however, he reveals that he is planning to leave Alex with Jack's people. He and Alex argue over his antipathy toward Karl, and Ben admits that he "may have overreacted" by locking him in a cage and trying to brainwash him, but he was trying to keep Alex from getting pregnant. Ben and Alex head the refugees off as they are making the hike to the radio tower, and Jack allows Ben to speak to him one-on-one for five minutes. Jack swipes his walkie-talkie, but Ben tricks him into giving it back after proposing the deal that Jack turn over Naomi's satellite phone to him and they return to their separate camps. Jack refuses to hand over the phone even after Ben orders Sayid, Bernard, and Jin, who three of his strongmen are holding hostage on the beach, to be shot. After hearing the gunshots, Ben apologizes to Jack, who demonstrates that he does not accept Ben's apology by beating him bloody and dragging him back to the rest of the group, announcing that Ben will be taken to the tower with them and will be forced to watch as Jack's people are rescued before Jack will kill him. Word comes back from the beach that Sayid, Bernard, and Jin are alive and Hurley, Sawyer, and Juliet have killed the Others holding them captive. Ben surrenders Alex up to his enemies by introducing her to her mother, Danielle Rousseau, who later knocks him unconscious as he tries in vain to convince Jack not to follow through with establishing contact with Naomi's ship at the radio tower.
In the alternate flash-sideways timeline, Dr. Benjamin Linus is a European history teacher in a Los Angeles high school, first seen teaching a lesson about Napoleon's exile to Elba. While complaining about the fact that people do not throw away used coffee filters in the teachers' lounge, he meets John Locke (an Earl Greyer tea man), who has become a substitute teacher after losing his job at the box factory. The school's arrogant principal cancels Ben's after-school history club and assigns him to detention instead, and when Ben complains about it, Locke encourages him to try for the position of principal himself. While speaking with his favorite student, Alex Rosseau, he learns that the principal has been having an affair with the school nurse on school grounds (unknown), and conspires with his fellow teacher Leslie Arzt to hack into the school email to blackmail the principal into retiring and giving Ben his post. The principal thwarts his attempt however, by threatening to sabotage Alex's chance at getting into Yale, and Ben backs down, although he does get his history club reinstated.