Why Ben killed Locke

I just wanted to start a discussion on Ben’s deicision to save, and then murder John “Jeremy Bentham” Locke.

He walks into the room – Excuse me. He kicks the door in and storms into the room in an attempt to stop Locke from possibly killing himself. At that moment he wants Locke alive, for whatever reason. However, upon leaving the room, there is a dead Locke.

If Ben wanted Locke dead from the start, he either would not have went to the hotel or would not have convinved Locke to get down from the desk.

The trigger is after Locke gets down, Ben gets comfortable, takes off his coat, to start a conversation with Locke, when Locke brings up Eloise Hawking. What about Locke knowing her made Ben want to kill him? A few thoughts:

– The fact that Locke knows her makes him useless. Right before killing Locke, Ben said they would work together to find where to go next. Once Locke told him where, he didn’t need him anymore.

– The fact that Locke knew Eloise sparked something in Ben’s mind that made him know Locke had to die. Maybe some plan Ben had involved Eloise where that if Locke found out about her it was his time to die.

– Locke has too much information by knowing Eloise, and Ben wants to remain in control. When Ben tells Locke that Locke will lead everyone back on the island, he is lying, he obviously wants to be the leader himself.

– Locke’s death had to be fate and not choice, as the late (we think) Matthew Abbadon said. So Locke could not choose to kill himself, and Ben was destined to kill him anyway.

– Ben knew that Locke committing suicide would not fulfill his duties so Ben puts on an act that he wants to save Locke from death, knowing well ahead of time that he must be murdered or accidently killed. Ben went into the room with the intention of killing Locke, which explains why he has all the evidence-destroying equipment to cover up a murder.

– Once Locke tells Ben about Sun, and that he promised Jin not to bring her back, Ben realizes that HE could bring her back, and since Locke has the ring, Ben could reverse the message (as we see in the previous episode). The comment that Locke knew who Eloise was was not the spark, but it happened to be said at the perfect time for him to be killed (Locke facing the other way in a wheelchair, Ben with rope). Ben looked at the rope like “this is a rope in my hand. Ropes can strangle people” and saw the opportunity to kill Locke. And once Locke told Ben was instructed to go to Eloise, Ben had everything he needed to go on, without Locke.

So these are just some ideas I wanted to throw out initially. Feel free to agree, disagree, expand, or add!

Share with fellow Losties

Written by


29 thoughts on “Why Ben killed Locke

  1. Just wanted to add Ben’s “I’ll miss you Locke” line.

    It makes it sound like he either thinks Locke is dead for good, he doesn’t know what might happen to Locke, or he loves Locke so much that he will miss him until he gets back to the island.

    Since Ben tells Jack in the season 4 finale that they will have to bring Locke back to the island as well, he may know that something is going to happen to him.

    So all in all, Ben’s reasoning/decision to kill Locke could depend on if Ben knows the fate of dead Locke.

  2. The whole time I was thinking two things:

    1. LOCKE!!! How quickly you forget Christian’s instruction and discussion with you about Ben? And now you are listening to him, AGAIN?

    2. BEN, you dirty little monster. Control and power are his motivators…always have been, always will be. The writers have given us clue after clue after clue that the guy is ALWAYS lying with about as much consistency as him ALWAYS having a plan. He needed information from Locke, since Locke obviously figured a few things out since the last time Ben saw him. So Ben’s threatened, Ben wants the control, and when Ben doesn’t know things, he figures out how to find out quickly enough. So, Jin being alive shocked him and he didn’t know about Eloise. So he got more than he needed to proceed on, and then, he thought he would be done with Locke.

    I’m so rooting for Locke now, which has not always been the case. He had a tough go at it as Jeremy Bentham…I mean geez, Even Kate was harsh on the guy!

    Anyway, I think they have Ben wearing black for a reason.

  3. In response to Ben telling Jack that Locke has to come back, I think that is based on the directions from Eloise. And that obviously came after Ben killed him, so I will go with the line of thought that Ben didn’t know the complete ramifications when he killed John. (Which I think will have even more meaning in the episodes/events to come!)

  4. That was a lot of good thoughts. I could barely think of one good theory much less a half dozen. I am hoping your second theory is true. I’ve always liked the idea that Ben seems like a bad guy the whole time, but turns out to be helping the island. Although, last night’s episode does make me wonder about Ben’s intentions.

    Here’s my thoughts:

    Could it be that ever since John Locke has re-returned to the island he has had a different consciousness? Maybe the reason Ben says, “I’ll miss you Locke” is because he knows that when John goes back, someone else will have control over his consciousness (Jacob or Chirstian).

    Also, as almost everyone knows now, there is that anagram on the side of the van that spells “Reincarnation”. Which literally means “to be made flesh again” or to be “reborn into a new body”. So maybe John Locke’s body was that surrogate for someone else’s soul/consciousness trapped on the island. Perhaps, Jacob took Christian’s body and Christian is taking John’s body.

    Or maybe the whole reincarnation thing is just a way to say that John has been reborn since he knows for certain that the island is part of his destiny.

  5. I would agree that Ben fully intended to kill Locke before entering the room. Probably since he saw him with Abbadon. though he insists he was protecting Locke from widmore. Who is telling the truth? Why should we believe Ben afterall? Why would he protect Locke from Widmore only to kill him later.

    yet the whole outcome is still on Lockes side, with them all meeting up with Hawkings anyway and going back to the island as per his wishes. I think that Ben had to make sure Locke did not meet Hawkings for reaasons unknown. Perhaps she would have revealed something to him.

  6. I think that Ben was never supposed to go back to the island. He knew this and that is why he had to save John. He needed to get all the info that John knew, that he was not privy to, because he is not supposed to go back. So when he got the pertinant info he knew he no longer needed John. I also think this is why he did not flash off of the plane. I think Ben has been the “master manipulator” this whole time, and that he is evil, and Widmore is on the side of good. Ben also knew that John was the “chosen one” to lead, which made him a threat to Ben being the leader. Also, I don’t think we should discount Walt just yet. I don’t think John has discounted him yet, and thats why he went to see him in New York.

  7. Could the reasoning behind the murder be that he realized Locke was supposed to die and that he made a mistake by foiling the attempt?

    With all that happened I still have faith in Ben. It seems to me he genuinely intended to help Locke – partly perhaps becuase he believed Locke’s attempt at suicide to be an act of folly, but also because he honestly cared – but when John mentions Eloise’s name Ben probably experiences a flashforward which makes him realize that he cannot and must not save Locke and that Locke indeed has to die.

    A good reference on the subject is the conversation between the two that took place before Ben’s first attempt at Locke’s life. Ben said something in the lines of “I remember when I used to have dreams”, I think what he meant to say is that he used to be able to predict what is to come in his dreams but now has to rely mostly on flashes that come to him at sporadic times.

    Makes sense?

    Big P.S. I’m basing this on the “subconscious knowledge due to reoccurence of time” theory.

  8. I’m not really sure what I think about Ben’s plan here… did he intend to kill Locke or did he decide he had to during their conversation? I don’t think he knew that Locke would have to come with then back to the island and that he would come back to life when they got there… if he did it probably would have been better to let Locke off himself.

    It seemed at first like Ben was only waiting for Locke to tell him who he was supposed to talk to about getting back to the island before he killed him but John didn’t really give him any information other than a name. So Ben hears “Ms. Hawking” and knows exactly where to go and who she is? If he knows all that then it should have been obvious to him that John needed to see her about getting back to the island. He didn’t need John to tell him that…

    It’s funny though that Ben, the perpetual liar, was actually telling the truth when Jack asked him if he knew that John had committed suicide…

  9. I generally don’t put faith in murderers. I think Ben was grasping for straws when he tried to keep John alive. He was not quite sure of all the answers, but when he got what he thought was the final piece to how he could get back to the island, he no longer needed John. So he killed him. I think we will see the battle between Ben and Charles increase in episodes to come. Not to say one is evil one is good. I am not sure that they both were not expelled from the island because they were not the “one”. I would not be surprised by this because I think that both manipulate to a degree that we can assume that they both could be evil. Ben was not supposed to go back to the island! I just wanna make that statement up front.

  10. I think there are three sides here. Locke (on the side of the island), Charles (out for his own gain) and Ben (also out for his own gain). Neither Ben nor Charles are really trying to help Locke.

    As for why he decided to kill him… He didn’t really get any information from Locke. He got the name of someone he’s already familiar with and who (to someone who is familiar) is obviously the person Locke would need to go see about getting back to the island. He must have had some other motivation for killing him.

    I wonder if someone in the past told him that he’s supposed to kill John and he remembered that right then. We’ve seen that happen at least twice now with Desmond (his message from Daniel) and Charlotte (when she was dying and suddenly remembered Daniel from her childhood). Maybe Ben screwed things up by talking John down off the table then set things right again by strangling him.

  11. I really believe Ben is not supposed to go back to the island. I think that is why he continues to look for info. He does however seem to have a lot of resources, makes you wonder from where. I think once he found out about Eloise and Jin he no longer needed John. He must contact Eloise and coerce her some way or another to let him go back. Either that or Eloise thinks he is harmless. The reason he doesn’t flash out of the plane IMO is that he was not meant to go back to the island. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I also found it interesting that John was so easily letting everyone know that he was dead only a few hours earlier. Which lends itself to the fact that he might be the true leader. I don’t know for sure but he has changed since the first episode he was in. So maybe the transformation is complete. He is ready now to lead.

  12. It seems obvious to me that everything Ben does is for his own gain. Including killing John. I don’t think he knows John will come back to life on the island.

  13. I think a main point of Ben’s intentions in the hotel room with Locke is that he had all the supplies to cover up a murder. If he walks around with that stuff all the time, then that’s a different story, but I think he intended to kill Locke from the start, put on an act that he wanted to save him, waited for the information he needed, found the way he could kill Locke, and executed.

  14. By “all the supplies to cover up a murder” do you mean a pair of gloves and some all-purpose cleaner? He could have walked to a store across the street and bought those…

  15. I think that Ben prevent John’s suicide because this act is a great sin according Orthodoxy and maybe it has something to do with John’s future as a “good guy”. Despite that he HAD to die so the only way was to kill him.

  16. Ben always speaks with such apparent sincerity, always justifying his every action. And yet his actions always leave me wondering whether I love him or hate him. Ah, Michael Emerson really does an amazing job! Just wanted to start by saying that. :]

    I have to say I was struggling when watching Ben kill John, because I always try to make sense of his acts and keep telling myself that it’s all for the greater good somehow, but this… I was sadly thinking my Benny had betrayed me, but then you said this:

    “- Locke

  17. No problem, I like how you agreed with that theory, it is an interesting one.

    So Ben finds out Locke may kill himself, hurries over, put on the sympathy act, stops the suicide, gets some information in the process, and then kills him. Maybe he actually intended on going around with Locke as he says they will together search for where to go, and once Ben finds out he will kill Locke. But Locke tells him exactly what Ben needed from him, thus he kills him on the spot, Locke only getting in his way if Ben keeps him around for longer.

    Now Ben can get everyone back to the island HIS way, using the “suicide” of Locke as a catalyst.

  18. But if Ben is “doing good”, then why does he MURDER Locke. Even if he thinks that he is doing the right thing. I just don’t see the point of murdering Locke. Especially if by doing this he falls out of favor with say Jacob. I just think it was more likely jealosy or anger.

  19. The point that Iam trying to make is that if a higher being is at work here, especially one that Locke can see but Ben can’t and one that some believe has to do with faith/belief in some higher maybe religious power, you probably wouldn’t murder someone to gain favor. I think it might be more like jealosy and eliminating competition.

  20. Ben is watching Lock, that’s why he knew how to find him. I agree with an earlier post here that Ben played the nice guy to get the information he needed first and then killed him. I don’t think he was trying to save John’s soul or anything. I also don’t think John would have been successful in killing himself as the “Island” won’t let him.

  21. I thought it was obvious that Ben saved Locke from hanging himself because he needed some information on how to get back to the Island, which Ben knew Locke would of had been given by someone off the Island. As soon as he had this information then he killed him for what reasons nobody yet knows. I just thought of something but i’m not sure if it’s correct, but wasn’t Jacks dad murdered?

    Losthead, your theory about Locke having to die to be ready to lead sounds a bit like Neo in the Matrix hey? And we know that the Matrix was all about fate and free choice don’t we!!

  22. No clear explanation of how SPECIFICALLY Christian Sheppard died. Could have been foul play.

    Cleaning products are used in hotels every day to clean up rooms by maid service. Ben did not have to go across the street and buy some. The nearest service closet would do.

  23. I think the death of Christian was listed as a heart attack due to the high BAC he had.

    jonoldo – I think there is more to it than Ben saving Locke for information. I still think that Locke comitting suicide would break the rules, so Ben had to murder him.

  24. Ben killed Locke in order to get Sun to return to the island. For whatever reason, the O6 need to get back to the island (everyone seems to agree on this – except maybe Sayid). So, when Ben realized that Locke couldn’t bring Sun back because of the promise he made to Jin, he had to do something because, as a member of the O6, Sun MUST go back. After Locke tells Ben about Jin, Ben decides that if Locke won’t bring Sun back then he has to be killed (again, for whatever reason Sun MUST go back). Ben also realized that he could take the wedding ring in order to prove that Jin is alive, a fact that would ensure that Sun agrees to go.

    I don’t know whether Ben knew about Eloise or not. But Eloise alone is not enough for Ben to kill him. Locke was standing in the way of Sun’s return and that was a serious problem.

Leave a Reply