In The Umbrella Academy Season 1, we learned that Ben Hargreeves died and Klaus was his only gateway for posthumous communication. Season 2 pushed the envelope a bit, implying the circumstances of Ben's untimely demise without outright confirming them. However, it's possible that Season 3 will finally reveal the truth. Actor Justin Min recently threw his support behind a popular fan theory about what happened to his character.
Spoilers ahead for The Umbrella Academy Season 2.
Following his death, Ben chose to stay behind rather than go into the light. He's stuck with Klaus ever since. In a Season 2 flashback, the Hargreeves siblings were seen attending Ben’s funeral and getting a stern lecture from their (alien) father Reginald. They were obviously torn up about their brother’s death and their discussion indicated that he died during a mission gone wrong. That’s the extent of what we know so far.
Fans have speculated the Hargreeves were responsible for the accident that led to Ben’s death. It would certainly explain their behavior in the aftermath and why they stopped going on missions. Min thinks the theory “absolutely” has some merit.
Speaking with Bustle, the actor discussed his reasoning.
“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.”
It’s possible Klaus is the most responsible for Ben’s death. We know was stricken with guilt at keeping Ben around for his own selfish reasons. However, it’s possible he felt responsible for a much bigger reason.
Klaus’ involvement could explain why he kept his connection with ghost Ben a secret from his siblings and why he often avoided speaking with Ben altogether. Perhaps keeping Ben around helped Klaus to feel like he was giving his brother another lease on life. After all, when Vanya and Diego reunited with Ben in Season 2, they were thrilled to see him. Their bright, guilt-less reactions implied that they harbored less guilt than Klaus (though they could’ve been happy to finally see their brother).
Meanwhile, The Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman told Inverse that the circumstances of Ben’s death and who’s responsible could be revealed in Season 3. However, Blackman was holding off on it out of respect for Gerard Way, who has yet to confirm the mystery of how Ben died in the comics.
Of course, Ben will be a lot different in Season 3 due to the alternate reality the Hargreeves created (hello Sparrow Academy!). But, it’s still possible that the clues teasing the circumstances of Ben’s death in Season 2 will lead to a major reveal in Season 3. Perhaps Klaus will have to address Ben’s death when speaking to this new version of him and that will push him to explain what really happened that day. Whatever the case, Season 3 will hopefully put the mystery of Ben’s demise to rest for good.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.