Ben Mason 2.0: The Real Savior of the 2nd Mass?

With the Ben-heavy events of “Homecoming” and “Molon Labe” I thought it was appropriate to take another look at my favorite character and his interactions with the 2nd Mass. To peruse more of my previous thoughts on Ben, navigate over to the “Ben” category on the right, and especially check out Ben Mason: Quiet Strength or Dangerous Instability?

The all-encompassing fear that I previously said motivated all of Ben’s actions has evolved and changed over the past 3 weeks. As the interactions with Red Eye were revealed and the (possible) truth of Ben’s connection with him came out, this fear turned into a guarded optimism and hope for the future, and then a kind of revolutionary zeal. Ben’s urgent and intense need for something, anything good to come out of his being harnessed was finally realized. In the last two episodes we saw a roller coaster of emotional turns. Fear to optimism, back to fear during “Molon Labe”, then optimism again at the end of the episode.

We start to encounter the optimism in “Love and Other Acts of Courage” when Ben is willing to defend an injured Red Eye with his own life against other humans. Ben believes in Red Eye’s mission so strongly, he never even mentions the fact that Red Eye killed Jimmy ever again…

As the next three episodes unfolded, we learn not only was Ben essential to bringing about a dramatic and positive change with possible galactic ramifications, he is uniquely suited to bridging the gap between humans and renegade Skitters, and bringing more Previously-Harnessed-North-Americans into Red Eye’s fold.

We also see fear again when Ben realizes, after the events with Karen and the Overlord, he has selfishly put his family and the 2nd Mass in danger by trying to hold on to the life he had. It is long past time for him to devote himself entirely to the cause of the Skitter Rebellion.

In Karen, we have met the anti-Ben. Now, it is easy to paint Karen as this one-dimensional villain. Even without the harness, she betrayed the 2nd Mass, followed the will of the Overlord, and gladly re-harnessed herself. She attempted to re-harness Ben, talking about what it felt like to be connected. There are a lot of factors we need to consider about these actions of Karen’s. Karen was harnessed for a long time. She was under the control of the Overlords, not the Skitters, she mentions being in a pod, which none of the other de-harnessed have ever mentioned. It is entirely possible any number of these things could have worked to complete her total control by the Overlords, even when temporarily de-harnessed.

This article didn’t come out entirely like I wanted it to, I was hoping to make it longer, but I think it is a good start to a re-examination of Ben. Also, I got through a Ben article without using a form of the word “desperate”!

Keep the Resistance Strong!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on July 30, 2012.

4 Responses to “Ben Mason 2.0: The Real Savior of the 2nd Mass?”

  1. I totally forgot that Red-Eye is the one who killed our beloved Jimmy. Why isn’t Ben more upset about that fact?

    Jennifer

  2. Probably for the same reason Hal didn’t give a damn when Karen was taken, Anne doesn’t mourn her aunt and uncle,…

  3. I don’t think Red Eye killed Jimmy deliberately. He swatted him away and he happened to smack into a tree spike. Bad luck more than murder. Maybe he explained that to Ben and Ben understands.

    Tom really said it best when he said that Ben is a teenager who wants to save the world. We were all idealistic at one point, but Ben may actually be able to save the world. Of course, that idealism has already led him astray when he followed Karen (still not really understanding that, but oh well) in spite of all evidence that she was an Overlord pawn.

    Ben has been abducted, traumatized, and now ostrasized. Borrowing a page from Tom’s playbook and citing history, this is nothing new. Victims are often shunned: the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were considered tainted and not allowed to marry non-survivors. More recently, victims of rape in countries under sharia law are actually executed for bringing dishonor on their families. Ben was rescued, but is unwelcome among his own people. Given human nature, I don’t see that changing even after the victory. That has a lot to do with his decisions. Hmmm, might write a guest article about that alone.

    I agree with everything you wrote. I also hope to see Ben come out of his shell a bit in the next season.

    • I know he didn’t do it on purpose. (Unless he knew that Jimmy would never let Ben go along with this “rebellion” story?) But, intentional or not, he still killed Ben’s only friend and Weaver’s surrogate son.

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