Maggie put it best at the start of the season, “Ben is in a world of hurt”. That was seen no better than this weeks episode. Homecoming was about the return of Karen, who was found while Maggie and Hal were on patrol, barely alive and deharnessed. But it wasn’t just about Karen, it was about Karens intent to take Ben with her. Little did the 2nd mass know, but the overlords wanted Ben badly.
Pope was out cold and wasn’t able to warn them in time about Karen. It seems they ambushed Pope and questioned him about where Ben was. It seems they know Ben is apart of the skitter rebellion and they want Ben to question him, and likely torture him for information. This confirms the claims of red-eye and Ben, but this realization by Tom and the others is too late. Ben is gone with Karen.
Karen worked very hard to create a rift between Hal and Ben, and it worked so well that Hal was convinced Ben was out to hurt her. Karen also played Bens emotional heart strings and got him to trust in her and go with her believing that nobody in the 2nd mass trusted them anymore.
Maggie and Hals growing relationship was also tested this week as Karens re-introduction caused for Hal to lose all focus and turn on his brother. Maggie saw right through her crap but Hal just couldn’t. Hal was growing ever more pissed at his brother for being a ‘tool’ and hating on Karen so much. Maggie however knew she was manipulating Hal, just as Ben did.
In last weeks episode we heard red-eye call the harness ‘chemlock’. In truth it makes sense, given Weavers reaction to the bite he received in the harness factory and Bens changes. This thing does more than pump opiates into the childs system allowing for the aliens to control them and keep them docile, it pumps in other chemicals that changes the child.
Ben now feels he has no place to go, and everyone around him is getting hurt or killed. First Jimmy, than Rick, now Maggie is hurt and Hal hates him.
This weeks performances by Jessy Schram, Sarah Carter , Drew Roy and Connor Jessup were outstanding. You had 4 dynamics from this week. First was Hal versus Ben, in which Hal was paranoid and afraid of Ben and his dislike for Karen. The second was Maggie versus Karen, where Maggie saw through Karens manipulation of not just Hal but Ben too and she feared for Ben. The 3rd was Hal versus Karen, where she convinced Hal that not only was she a friend and afraid, but that Ben was trying to do things to her and hurt her. The final, and in my opinion creepiest, lowest and most brilliant dynamic was Ben versus Karen in which Karen broke his defenses down and got Ben to believe he was no longer wanted and got him to run off with her. All 4 actors were class acts pulling off the dynamics extremely well. This was most definitely an episode for the younger cast members to shine in.
Overall, 6 episodes into the season Ben, Karen and Maggie have grown to be the most complex characters of this season. We just hit the tip of the iceberg with Karen and Maggie but we have seen the onion peeled back, as Connor would say, on Ben. He has gone through the stages of grieving over everything he has gone through from anger, sorrow, fear, numbness and finally isolation. Just how much more Ben can take is anyones guess. He is in danger on all fronts, put in the middle of a war between 3 sides and he is being torn apart by all of them.