Does Coach Ben Die in Yellowjackets? [Spoiler]

Image Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, the Showtime series ‘Yellowjackets’ tells the story of a New Jersey high school girls’ soccer team. After their plane crashes in the Ontario wilderness on its way to Seattle in 1996, the survivors find themselves struggling against an increasingly hostile environment as seasons begin to change and winter arrives. As the resources become scarce, the survivors are forced to make drastic choices, including cannibalism,

Portrayed by Steven Krueger, Ben Scott or Coach Ben or simply Coach is an important character in the 1996 timeline of ‘Yellowjackets.’ He is the assistant coach of the WHS Yellowjackets. When the crash happens, his right leg becomes mangled, prompting Misty to amputate it. Ben recovers, effectively becoming the only adult and one of the three male survivors. In the present day, he is noticeably missing among those who made it back to civilization alive. If you are wondering whether Ben dies ‘Yellowjackets,’ we got you covered.

Ben’s Fate in Yellowjackets

While Ben’s absence in the present-day timeline might indeed denote that he is dead, we can’t yet rule out the possibility that he is one of the survivors who made it back to civilization alive and now lives off the grid. Season 2 builds the foundation of what will be a bitter enmity between Ben and the other survivors. Throughout the season, as Ben struggles with his hunger, he has hallucinations about his secret boyfriend, a New York-based writer named Paul (François Arnaud). He imagines himself staying with Paul instead of joining the Yellowjackets on their fateful flight to Seattle and learning about the crash from the news.

As the other survivors become increasingly feral, Ben begins to think that he is in mortal danger, not realizing that he is also losing his sanity, even if the manifestation of it is drastically different from the others. Krueger reflected on this in an interview with Collider. “One of the big things was I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to just be — the best way to put this is I didn’t want it to be a generic token gay storyline, you know? I think a lot of times you have gay characters in shows and just as a way of servicing that, they kind of throw in a storyline that just kind of feeds something to the fans and say, ‘Hey, we’re paying attention to this part of this character,’” the actor said. “I wanted it to be actually something that shows where he came from and why he behaves in the way that he does, and I thought they did an incredible job of filling in his psyche and all this stuff that they hinted at in Season 1, but that we didn’t actually get to see.”

Image Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Krueger continued, “I know you’ve only seen through Episode 6 [of season 2], but as it goes along, you kind of realize that this is even more of a descent into madness for him. It starts off as a real flashback and all of a sudden, now some things from the real world are seeping into it, and he can’t really control it anymore, and he just kind of loses it a little bit over the things that he’s experiencing.”

This partly explains Ben’s actions in season 2. He is the only one who doesn’t take part when the others feast on Jackie’s flesh. After Javi, who has been missing for a couple of months, returns to the group, Ben realizes that he might have found a shelter somewhere with access to food and water. Otherwise, a young boy of his age wouldn’t have survived. He is proven right when he discovers a cave underneath a tree marked by the Symbol and finds canned food and water there. However, just as he returns to the cabin to share the news, he comes across Shauna butchering Javi.

Deciding to flee, he encounters Nat and urges her to come with him, but she reveals that she let Javi die. That night, while the others make Nat their leader or the Antler Queen, Ben watches from the outside. After the people inside the cabin fall asleep, he sets fire to it. However, Travis and the girls survive. This sets up the conflict between them and Ben in season 3 because they are bound to figure out who caused the fire. The future, or in this case, the past, seems particularly bleak for Ben.

Read More: Is Nat the Antler Queen in Yellowjackets?