With alread 2 seasons the supernatural show ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is now under Netflix’s belt, the action-packed season two finale firmly set up where the series goes next. Just like season one rounded off with a tantalising tease, ‘The End of Something’ cued up season three’s main arc thanks to the introduction of the Sparrow Academy. While the regular cast of Luther, Vanya, Klaus, and co. are all sure to play their part, it looks like there’ll be a lot more to come from Justin H Min’s Ben.
The often forgotten member of the troupe is Number Six, aka, The Horror, aka Ben. Even though Ben has featured briefly in flashbacks to the family’s younger days, it was also confirmed the young hero died at some point in the line of duty. Plenty of theories about what really happened to Ben have rained down on the comic-book caper, but now, Min himself has thrown his weight behind one of the most popular ones.
So far, there have only been hints of what happened to Ben. Although he was alive and kicking during the opening bank heist – where fans got a glimpse of why he’s called the Horror – Ben died shortly after. While some think the demonic presence inside Ben drove him mad and caused him to take his own life, season two alluded to the tragedy that his adoptive siblings had something to do with his untimely demise.
Discussing the idea that one of the other six is responsible for Ben’s death, Min told Bustle: “I think that that’s one of the main reasons why the family split apart after Ben’s death, because not only were they dealing with their crazy father, but they were also all dealing with the guilt of having some sort of responsibility for their brother dying.
“Who holds more of that guilt and responsibility is a mystery still, but I think to a certain extent, all the family members feel that.”
When the family gathered at Ben’s funeral, Sir Reginald Hargreeves skimmed over what happened to Number Six with his usual stern stance. Being the typically caring father figure he was to the children, Reginald used Ben’s death as a lesson to the superpowered group. However, if you delve deeper into what happened, there’s a likely candidate for who is ultimately to blame for Ben’s death.
There’s a prevalent theory that Robert Sheehan’s Klaus will have to carry that cross in season three. More than just owing to Klaus’ powers and the fact he’s dead, Ben has been linked to Klaus the most.
There have been brief interactions with Diego and Vanya, but when it comes to partners in crime, Ben and Klaus are something of a double act. Klaus has struggled with addiction because he’s haunted by the horrors of the dead, but what if this goes one step further and also includes the Ben situation? As well as losing his boyfriend and suffering with PTSD from the Vietnam War, it would be a real kicker if Klaus was the one behind Ben’s death.
Showrunner Steve Blackman previously told Inverse how Ben’s death would be revisited in a hopeful third season, but explained that he’s kept a lid on it due to respect for The Umbrella Academy creator, Gerard Way. “That answer will come later on, hopefully in another season if we’re lucky enough,” said Blackman. “It’s something that I think Gerard wants to hold off a little longer in the graphic novels. I’m trying to respect that. So I think something down the road.”
One thing’s clear though, season three’s Ben is not the quiet and sidelined one fans have come to know and love across the show’s first run of episodes. The season two finale rounded off with the major reveal of the Sparrow Academy and a very different version of Ben. With Klaus and the others caught up in all that 1963 drama, Ben presumably didn’t perish during the botched mission. Brooding and moody “Emo Ben” also looks like he’s the poster boy of the Sparrow Academy. Where Number Five’s picture once hung above the fireplace in the Hargreeves homestead, it’s now Ben who’s top dog.
What happened to OG Ben is definitely on the periphery of Blackman’s story, and with news that Sparrow Academy Ben will be different from the Umbrella Academy version also means the original timeline will have to be revisited at some point to fill in the gaps.
One of the most poignant moments of season two’s emotional roller coaster was Ghost Ben’s heroic sacrifice and farewell with Vanya. Not since Casper have audiences felt so much for a ghost, so here’s hoping season three doesn’t rob Min’s character of that emotional swansong. Whatever is on the way, The Umbrella Academy is sure to add another tragic twist to the tale of poor Number Six.