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No, you're trying to play God. But you're not God. I AM!
~ Ben Gardner reveling in his insanity to Martin Moore.

Ben Gardner is the primary antagonist of the second season of the USA Network series The Purge. He is a college student who is warped into becoming a serial killer by the titular annual night of violence.

He was portrayed by Joel Allen.


Ben is introduced as an ordinary college student who reluctantly goes out on Purge Night with his friend Turner as part of an initiation for his fraternity. He is attacked by a Purger wearing a mask that reads "God", and a terrified Turner leaves him to die. Ben kills his attacker in self-defense. Killing changes Ben, bringing out long-repressed feelings of violent rage. He initially tries to control these feelings, but they keep surfacing, especially around his girlfriend Kelen.

Eventually, Ben loses control of his violent impulses and kills a farmer and his friend Andy in fits of bloodlust (although he killed Andy to keep his identity as a serial killer a secret after accidentally implying that he killed the farmer). Addicted to the God-like power of holding people's very lives in his hands, he becomes a serial killer, murdering people while wearing the "God" mask that his attacker had worn becoming known to the media as “The Campus Killer”.

Kelen finds the souvenirs Ben has kept from his murders, and, during a road trip, scrawls a plea for help on a piece of paper and leaves it in the bathroom. Ben finds it, however, and confronts her about it in the car; he admits his crimes, but promises that he will never hurt her, and offers to prove his love by handing her the knife that he uses to kill people. Panicked, Kelen stabs him in the leg and jumps out of the car. As he chases her, she is hit by a car and killed. Her death destroys the last lingering shred of humanity in Ben, and he withdraws from his friends and family, resolving to live only for the opportunity to kill as many people as he can on the next Purge Night.

Two months later, on Purge Night, Turner confronts Ben, telling him he needs help. Ben responds by holding Turner hostage while he massacres the frat house, and takes revenge for Turner abandoning him by forcing him to kill a member of the fraternity. He then chases Turner, intent on killing him, but is interrupted by a group of Purgers, who attack him. He kills his attackers, but moments later he is hit by a car driven by Dr. Marcus Moore and his family, who are trying to reach a triage center so Moore's injured wife can get medical assistance.

Moore takes Ben with them to the center, where Ben kills several doctors and patients upon regaining consciousness. He then attacks Moore, who injects him with a sedative and leaves him outside the center to be killed by Purgers. The season finale's last scene reveals that Ben survived Purge Night, however, and is eagerly preparing for the next one.



           ThePurgeLogo.png Villains

Grace Ferrin | Polite Army (Polite Leader) | Henry

Big Daddy | Old Elegant Woman | The Bikers (Young Ghoulface) | Lorraine | Diego | Hearst Brothers | Hanover Sisters | Mr. Hearst

New Founding Fathers of America (Edwidge Owens | Caleb Warrens | Harmon James) | Earl Danzinger | Eric Busmalis | Chief Couper | Kimmy | Uncle Sam

New Founding Fathers of America (Arlo Sabian | Dr. May Updale | President Bracken) | Capital A | General Smiley | Skeletor | The Smileys | Anna and Elsa


Season 1

Joe Owens | Henry Bodreaux | David Ryker | Rex | Good Leader Tavis | Mercy Cult | Ross Bailes | Lila Stanton

Season 2

Ben Gardner | Demon Purger | The Jackals | Haywood Diedrick | Andrea Ziv | Hector Carmona | Clint | Officer Reynolds | Silas Barker | Paul Barker |

The Forever Purge
Elijah | Purge Purification |