Ben Is Back Ending, Explained: Is Ben Dead or Alive?

Helmed by Peter Hedges, the 2018 drama ‘Ben Is Back’ is a refreshing and nuanced addiction movie about drugs and how they affect society. The film suggests that drugs do not have to be illegal and sensational, like cocaine and LSD, but they are pretty mundane in a broken, contemporary world. Ben (Lucas Hedges) has no father and has turned to overdependence on prescription medication. He has been to rehab a few times, and his return brings more menace than peace for the family of Dolly Burns (Julia Roberts), her second husband, Neal Beeby, and the family. Dolly seeks to accept Ben, but Ben has ways to mess things up. If you feel like encountering Ben’s outcome, let us give it a try. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ben Is Back Plot Synopsis

Symmetry opens the film. We see snippets of a sleepy town, zooming into a Christmas choir. Holly sees Ben standing on the porch on her way back from the church with children Liam, Lacey, and Ivy. Ben has been in rehab for quite a few months, struggling with an Oxycotin addiction. After Ben’s return, the situation at home is tense, although Dolly especially has faith in Ben. However, Neal and Ivy think differently – Neal, since he has paid for Ben’s rehab sessions, and Ivy, since as Ben’s biological sister, Ivy has seen Ben since childhood. Ben is also not confident in himself – and his sponsor asked him not to return home in the first place since there are too many triggers.

But on the plus side, Ben is natural with Liam and Lacey, although his seemingly benign song conceals a neurotic outburst. Dolly gets nervous, and Neal’s worries trouble her more since she wants to give Ben a chance. With the help of Liam and Lacey, Ben goes to the attic room and finds his old stash. Later, Ben and Dolly head to a community session, and Ben meets another addict who used to score from him. Later still, Dolly and Ben go garment shopping, and seeing Ben in possession of the drug, the guards throw them out of the mall.

Ben concocts that he took the drug from the girl at the meeting, but he later comes clean that he found the bit in the attic room. Returning from Ivy, Liam, and Lacey’s performance at the Christmas choir, they find that the room has been broken in. Ben takes note that there are no burglars, but at the same time, Ponce is missing. When Ben heads out on foot to locate Ponce, Dolly thinks it is good to go with Ben. In the nocturnal adventure, Ben visits the places of guilt to find a resolution for the present discontent. Does Ben relapse? Let us get to the ending.

Ben Is Back Ending: Is Ben Dead or Alive?

The journey of Ben and Dolly to find the family canine, Ponce, begins at the house of Mr. Richmond, the history teacher. Since Mr. Richmond’s wife had cancer, he could get all the prescription drugs. He exploited his wife’s prescriptions to become a drug dealer, and Ben perhaps owes him some money. However, Mr. Richmond did not abduct Ponce, making Holly and Ben move on to the next house. They end up at the home of Maggie’s father – Ben’s ex-girlfriend, who died from a presumed drug overdose.

Ben introduced Maggie to the drug, which seems to cause some amount of guilt in Ben’s mind. Although Maggie’s father smashes the windowpane of Dolly’s car out of vengeance, he seemingly has not abducted Ponce. Later at night, with little luck finding Ponce, Dolly and Ben try to reach a moment of clarity at a diner. At the restaurant, Ben meets his old buddy Spencer, who now goes by the name of Spider. Spencer seems drunk and in bad shape but has enough strength to knock Ben over.

But from Spencer, Ben gets a lead about the home invasion incident. Clayton, a local gang leader for whom Ben worked, sent men to break into the Burns residence. And since Clayton is the last person Ben imagined as the culprit behind the break-in, he does not want Dolly to go there. Clayton, according to Ben, is a dangerous person, and Ben is not ready to risk Dolly’s life when he meets Clayton. But Ben leaves with Dolly’s car, which gets Dolly worried. She ends up at Maggie’s house, and Maggie’s mother, Beth, gives Dolly an emergency overdose kit.

Dolly heads to a store to change the kit since it has expired, but they do not deal with such medications. Although Dolly has an outburst following this incident, she does not find the fresh batch she is looking for. From Spider, Dolly knows about the hideout in exchange for the drugs Dolly retrieved from Ben at the shopping mall. When Neal calls Dolly, Ben is still out of sight. Dolly says that Ben is with her, but Ivy has installed trackers on the cell phones of the house. She knows that Ben is in another town, but Dolly lies that they split up to cover more ground. However, later, Dolly reaches Ivy to find Ben’s location.

While Dolly finds the cell phone, there is no whereabouts of Ben. She even takes a tour of the river, where they all end up at the dead of the night. Lost and dejected, Dolly calls Neal, illustrates the situation, and goes to the police station to file a diary. However, with some help from Ben (he leaves Dolly’s phone number in the note outside the car), Dolly finds the vehicle parked by a house. In the place, Dolly finds Ben almost dead. While Beth’s suspicion conditions the audience, Dolly gives saving Ben one last shot. After the emergency kit does not produce results, Dolly even traverses taboo championing reason’s boundaries, giving Ben CPR. However, Ben returns to life at the movie’s end with a jolt. While the director meant to keep the finale subtle, we conclude that Ben is alive.

Can Ben Rescue Ponce? Does Ben Relapse?

Ben owes Clayton a great deal of money since he takes a wad of cash and Dolly’s expensive necklace to make it square. Abruptly leaving Dolly behind, Ben goes to Clayton’s place. Clayton is not convinced by what Ben has to offer, and Ben has to do another job for Clayton if he wants to take Ponce back. Following Clayton’s order, Ben agrees to do the job, sticking several belts of drugs onto his body. In fulfilling the assignment, Clayton offers Ben a pouch of the drug to reward Ben’s service in the smuggling operation. For the time, Ben only wants the dog back.

And the later scenes reveal that Ben has taken the drug nonetheless. He progresses to leave Ponce in the car, heading to a drug den to die from the guilt. When Dolly gets to the shabby house, she finds Ponce barking outside the home. Although Ben left Ponce in the car outside, Dolly finds Ponce in the place. Therefore, the chances are that the guy who read the note called Dolly to inform Ponce’s location. Meanwhile, Ben has relapsed into drugs, and Dolly has to decide whether to part with Ben. While Neal and Ivy may be against it, Dolly will probably reattempt to integrate Ben into society.

Read More: Where Was Ben Is Back Filmed?