|“||I will, I'm your brother, I'll die before I let anyone hurt you.||”|
— Ben to Alexis
Benjamin "Ben" Mason is a major character in the first, second, third and fourth season. He is the middle child of the Mason family. Prior to the first season, he was captured by the invaders and harnessed. He is recaptured by the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment at the beginning of the series and reassumes a prominant role in the resistance. Despite having the Harness removed, Ben continues to feel its residual effects. He has superhuman senses as well as greatly enhanced strength, stamina and agility, and he can communicate/translate with Skitters. However, the residual parts of the harness make him vulnerable to manipulation by enemy Skitters and Espheni at close range, and it is theorized that if the spikes are not eventually removed he will die in less than a decade.
Sometime after the invasion his mother went out to get supplies. Ben remembers this being the last time he saw her, just seeing her feet as she was leaving through the window. He remembered how when Tom brought her back after she died she was missing one of her shoes, he regretted not going to look for the missing shoe. However, is mentioned by Matt, that when the aliens came down, Ben was at his friend Nick's house.
Months later while Hal was scouting a road, he noticed Ben among a group of harnessed children, later reporting this to his father, he argues with Tom about going after Ben, and Hal says he is going with or without him but is stopped by Tom.
After the situation with Pope and his gang, Weaver allows Tom three days to find and bring back Ben.
Tom leaves with his group to bring back the harnessed kids, Tom looks through the binoculars and sees Ben gathering scrap metal on the roof. Upon Porter's arrival, Porter reveals that they have been able to get the harness of, but they died a few days later. Porter gives Tom the option to bring back only one harnessed kid, and use their new safe way to take of the harness. Later that day, Tom tells Harris that Ben is a prisoner, harnessed and that they are going to go get him. When they go to the building, they do not find Ben, but Mike finds Rick. As the mission fails, and Hal and Karen are stunned by a Mech, Hal wakes up to find Ben dragging Karen away to be harnessed.
A few days later, Hal comes up with a plan to retrieve Ben and the other harnessed kids. Hal places a deceased Harness on his back and during the night walks behind the other kids to the room where the Skitter sleeps with them. Hal, calls out Ben and the Skitter wakes up, Hal stabs the Skitter and is saved by Tom as he shoots the Skitter. They take Ben and the harnessed kids back to the school where Tom, Lourdes and Scott assist Anne in removing the harnesses. As the Mason family wait with Ben, he wakes up and calls to his dad, then falls back to sleep.
Battle of FitchburgEdit
Four weeks after the First Assault on Boston, Ben is learning how to shoot from Hal. Hal tells him the first thing Tom taught him was to keep the grip tight, but not so tight that he was tense. Also to fire in short bursts. Ben said he understood, Hal then asks if Ben is really up for learning how to fight. Ben said it was time he stepped up since Weaver’s patrols have been reporting a lot of activity, he then noticed a pillar of smoke then he noticed Dai was near it. When Dai got closer Hal told Ben to kill the Skitter on the right, Ben hesitated however and Hal was forced to kill the other as well. Hal asked why he hesitated; Ben said he didn’t have a clean shot and that he’d do better next time. Ben later volunteered to go with Griffin, Hal and Maggie to find a gap in the enemy lines, Weaver turned him down due to his age and lack of experience.(Battle of Fitchburg Chapter 1)
Later, Jimmy asked Ben when he couldn’t shoot the Skitter when it was about to attack Dai. Ben responded he’d never killed anything before, that it’s harder than it looks. Ben quotes Tom, quoting Sun Tzu saying "To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.” Jimmy responds saying they’re in a war with them, that they want all humans dead. Ben says Jimmy doesn't get it. He does know the Skitters. He knows they killed his mother, and that they took his father. He knows what they did to him, that he knows them better than anyone. Ben says he hates them more than Jimmy could possibly know. He tells him how he wants to kill them all.(Battle of Fitchburg Chapter 2)
When Weaver overheard Anne say they had run out of medicine, Weaver called Ben and Rick over. Weaver told them the enemy was surrounding them. He said under normal circumstances he wouldn't go to them but he was out of choices. Weaver wondered if they could still sense the Skitters. Ben said there's a buzz, but he can't understand them, he also stated he'd never let them control him. Weaver understood, but felt he could use them to find a way out between the enemy lines. Ben felt he could sense them if they were close enough. He then allowed them to leave, telling them to keep their heads down and not to engage the enemy. Ben said he make them proud. After traveling for some time Rick sensed the Skitters were close and told Ben, Ben said he knew. Rick then heard something else and asked Ben if he did. Ben said he did and that something was following them. Jimmy revealed himself to the two boys and said he was making sure they didn’t get into trouble. Rick and Ben then heard the buzzing, meaning Skitters were nearby so they hid in a pharmacy.(Battle of Fitchburg Chapter 3)
To Be Added
When Tom returned Ben went to see him with Hal at the Liberty Tree. Ben was surprised to see Tom wasn’t hurt. Ben joined Hal and Tom to go see Matt, Tom told his sons how he was captured at the Pickett’s farm. Ben asked about the Picketts’ Tom told them they were gone when he got there. When he heard Anne and Lexi were in the same tower as Tom, Ben asked if he saw them and if they were with him. Tom told them they weren’t, Matt asked if they were ok, Tom told them weren’t. Tom told Matt to take the pain he was feeling and use it. Tom told them they were going to go after Karen, he said they’d grieve for Anne and Lexi when Karen was dead. As Tom left to talk to Weaver, Ben reminded Tom about his speech about hate. Tom told Ben that was a long time ago, and that hate was all he had left and he didn’t plan on wasting it. After the bomb went off, Weaver had Ben use his advanced hearing to tell everyone where to dig. Weaver asked Ben what he could hear, he said he couldn’t be sure. Weaver said hearing through 40 feet of rock was miracle enough. Matt later figured if they went through the storm drains maybe Ben could hear the people below better. They told Weaver who told them to do that. When he and Matt arrived at the storm drain, he thought he could hear better but said he couldn’t. Matt said he was worried, Ben said he was worried too that the others might be dead. Matt said maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, since Tom had changed, Matt believed Karen did something to him. Ben said Matt would change too if that happened to him. Ben said he didn’t want to let anyone die down there. Matt told Ben was the only one Karen couldn’t kill, Ben said he could die just like anyone. Matt said that whatever would happen, Ben would be there to see it. Ben said if Matt wasn’t there he wouldn’t want to be there either. Ben was still in the storm drain when he heard Maggie banging on a pipe. He called up to them and started banging on the pipe as well. Hal responded to them, Matt told him to stay there and that he’d go get Weaver and a crew to help. Hal said they were almost out of air, Ben said to open the pipe; Maggie yelled that she couldn’t, but with Hal’s help she was able to. She then pulled Hal over to get some air. Hal weakly said they got the pipe open. Ben sighed with relief and told them to hold on.(Journey to Xilbalba)
22 days after travelling back to Charleston and safety, the 2nd Mass is finally near home. However, things are not so simple as the Espheni attack. As the Espheni is dropping large obelisks that create a grid that keeps everyone grouped together on the 2nd Mass forces, Tom asks where Matt is but does not know and is told to find him, however as they are separated, Ben grabs Lexi and runs off with her to safety along with Lourdes and Maggie.
4 months pass, after the attack from the Espheni, and Ben wakes up in a bed, suffering from a brain injury when he tried to protect Lexi. As he opens his eyes, a girl walks up to him and says that he finally awake, when Ben stands up Maggie runs up to him and explains what has happened and shows him around Chinatown. He runs to a girl, he thinks is Lexi, then Lexi says to Ben "Don't you remember your own sister". Ben becomes agitated as he is confused and he notices Alexis's necklace and ask her what it is, to which she replies unity, confused he asks her who she means and she calmly replies "the three of us". Lexi then comforts Ben and tells him that she is protecting him now instead of the other way around. Confused by the situation, Ben tells his half-sister that they should find Hal and the other family members, but Alexis promises Ben is safe in Chinatown. As Maggie is showering, Ben walks up to her and asks her if she has stopped fighting the Aliens, and Maggie mentions that they don't need to fight, and they just need to follow Alexis' orders, and mentions a situation when a Mega-Mech found Chinatown, and Alexis gave the order not to shoot at it, then a bolt of lighting came from the sky and struck the Mech, and Maggie shows him the Mech which is now melted into the floor. (Ghost in the Machine)
|Season 1 appearances|
|Live and Learn||The Armory||Prisoner of War||Grace||Silent Kill|
|Sanctuary (Part 1)||Sanctuary (Part 2)||What Hides Beneath||Mutiny||Eight Hours|
|Season 2 appearances|
|Worlds Apart||Shall We Gather at the River||Compass||Young Bloods||Love and Other Acts of Courage|
|Homecoming||Molon Labe||Death March||The Price of Greatness||A More Perfect Union|
|Season 3 appearances|
|On Thin Ice||Collateral Damage||Badlands||At All Costs||Search and Recover|
|Be Silent and Come Out||The Pickett Line||Strange Brew||Journey to Xilbalba||Brazil|
|Season 4 appearances|
|Ghost in the Machine||The Eye||Exodus||Evolve or Die||Mind Wars||Door Number Three|
|Saturday Night Massacre||A Thing With Feathers||Til Death Do Us Part||Drawing Straws||Space Oddity||Shoot the Moon|
Prior to the alien invasion, it is revealed that Ben Mason was a good student; he is refered to on several occasions as having been a "math geek." At the onset of the series, the effects of the harness have turned him into a semi-mindless drone working for the skitters.
The removal of the harness generally sees his return to a former self, albiet wearied from the effects of war and the death of his mother. Throughout the first season he maintains a lighter personality despite the darkness of the situation consuming the 2nd Mass. One of the major themes of the second season is Ben's personal transition into a darker and more serious character as a result of his growing anger and confusion.
Ben's personality changes drastically following the disappearence of his father at the end of season 1. The lack of a father figure allows Ben to step forward and take on the role of a fighter in the resistance. By the time that Tom Mason returns to the 2nd Mass, it is clear that Ben has lost the naivety that had been afforded by his fathers previous attempts to shelter him.
Additionally the mistrust and alienation that many among the 2nd Mass place in deharnessed children weighs heavily on Ben's character. This, and perhaps the growing psychological effects caused by the maturing harness, have caused him to seek solace in his own anger. This anger serves as his sole motivation for killing the enemy, and at times he has put himself and others at risk in order to satiate his desire to kill.
That said, Ben cares deeply about his family and friends. A prominant theme with his character is the struggle to understand the balance in his life between anger and love. While his anger drives him to kill, he is deeply upset for instance after the death of his friend Jimmy .
In the third season, Ben seems to have partially recovered from his dark personality in the second season. He is more carefree and not so bent on killing every skitter he sees, though he still does fight. He seems to have made peace with his spikes, and likes being a person people can count on because of them. He still does not, however, enjoy being a ' freak.'
In On Thin Ice Ben had showed a love towards the manga "Black Butler" also known as "Kuroshitsuji". While talking to another friend, Denny, he talked about some of the characters. He said it was based in the 19th century [England], had a 12 year old earl (Earl Ciel Phantomhive), had a butler (Sebastian Michealis), and had Grim Reapers (Undertaker, William T. Spears, Grell Sutcliff, etc.). Then he said to Denny that "it was a manga."
In At All Costs, Ben is given the opportunity to be rid of the nucleus of the Harness that dwells in his body. This means that he will lose his physical augmentations and his connection to the skitters, two powers that make him useful to the human resistance. At the same time, losing his spikes will stop the name calling and more importantly, prevent him from dying prematurely from the damage the nucleus is doing to his vertebrae. Deciding that the pros outweigh the cons, Ben keeps the it in his body. This whole process Ben goes through shows that he feels an overwhelming need to feel useful, whatever the cost happens to be, and that he has an addiction to the power the nucleus grants him.
Weaver - "What in hell were you two doing out there, Ben?" Ben - "Hunting skitters." Tom - "What were you and Jimmy doing hunting skitters, Ben?" Ben - "They put spikes on my back, they killed mom, they killed everyone...I need a reason?" Weaver - "Like we don't see enough combat, you have to go looking for it?" Ben - "Till every last one of those things is dead...yes." (Compass)
Ben - "Wanna know my secret... to make sure they can't control me? Hate. I hate what they did to me with all my heart and soul. I hate that they turned me into a freak." Tom - "You're not a freak." Ben - "Better hold on to your hate dad. If you can do that, it doesn't matter what they've done to you. They won't be able to change you inside." Tom - "You're right. Hate is a very powerful emotion. And I hate them too. But if all you've got left is hate, then they've already changed you. It wasn't my hate that kept me going the last couple months. It was my love. For you, and for Hal, and for Matt." Ben - "Got to go..." (Shall We Gather at the River)
Prior to the harness, Ben Mason never exercised and was noted to be physically underwhelming. The harness stimulates rapid growth in his body and following its removal, Ben has extraordinary strength and endurance. He is shown doing hundreds of pushups and jumping rope for several hours.
Hal notes that "Swimming across a river is nothing for Ben. Since those spikes, he can run for miles without breaking a sweat. He has ears like a jackrabbit and can see like a hawk."(Shall We Gather at the River, 10:56) He uses these abilities to become an accomplished figher for the 2nd Mass.
Ben can also pick up the radio waves that are used by Skitters to communicate. He uses this ability in season 1 to help the resistance jam skitter communication and fend off an oncoming attack.
During Season 1, the relationship between Ben Mason and his father is relatively good. Tom actively tries to shelter his son and keep him away from the fighting. During the 3 month absence of his father at the beginning of the second season, however, Ben takes on a greater role in the resistance and in general becomes more independant. Upon the return of his father, Ben has lost the innocence afforded by his father's earlier protection.
Ben's relationship with his brother is rather complicated and while close, the two fail to find common ground throughout much of the series. Despite the apparent tension between the two, Hal displays great care for his younger brother, although his reaching out is generally met with much dismay due to Ben's troubled self-image.
Not much is known about Matt Mason and Ben Mason's relationship with each other, as Matt is not yet a central story character. However, in the brief interaction presented thus far, Ben clearly cares for Matt and is very protective of him. At times Ben confides in Matt over complicated personal issues before telling his father Tom Mason or his older brother Hal Mason. This occurs, for instance, in episode 15 when Ben shares with Matt his tentative plans to leave the 2nd Mass without confiding in anyone else.
In general, Ben Mason interacts with Captain Weaver as a soldier might interact with his commander. On several occasions during the second season, he opens up to the Captain to a greater extent. After the death of his friend Jimmy, he symbolically returns Jimmy's compass to Weaver and breaks down, crying on the captain's shoulder.
Captain Weaver initially is more ready than Tom to acknowledge Ben's abilities and utilize him in combat. When Tom returns from captivity, Weaver explains to him that Ben is often "the right...man...for the job."
Ben and Denny are known to be good friends, and have a close relationship. They have been known to hang around and talk most of the time. Ben and Denny often talk about their spikes and are also battle partners. Both Denny and Ben often joke with each other and compliment each other. It can be seen that Denny cares deeply for Ben, as when she arrives to Chinatown she immediately hugs Ben.
Role In Skitter UprisingEdit
Ben's role in the rebel skitter uprising is still relativly unknown however during the season Finale of Season 2 its revealed that Ben is Red Eye's goto guy not only for talking through him but having Ben make other humans understand the rebel skitters intents and purposes.
Its also shown breifly that Red Eye cares for Ben much like Tom cares for Ben. This is illustrated when Hal locates where the rebel skitters are holding out near the Charlston compound and Red Eye confronts Hal by blocking the way to Ben. And also during Red Eye's death where he puts his arm around Ben as he dies and communicates to Tom to keep fighting.