some thoughts about benreys motivations

i wrote all these words theorizing about why benrey acts the way he does and i didnt even get a free t-shirt out of it

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so, you know, initially his motivation is just doing his job. you see a guy with his dick out and without the credentials to be where he is, you do your job and ask for it. but at the same time, hes also literally been described as “openly lustful” after gordon by WRTV, and i think that plays a factor here too - benrey keeps following him b/c he just plain likes the guy. how he actually expresses that desire notwithstanding

but then u get into the betrayal and the final boss fight and everything. and my long-winded and unorganized rationale for all that stuff is: what i think is that benrey is, you know, self-aware as the title implies, and he knows that hes got a part to play here. hes kind of “supposed” to be the bad guy. and at first he has fun playing the game - he really gets a kick out of making gordons life difficult and stressing him out and scaring him a little sometimes. its all games to him! and if theres one thing benrey makes clear, its that he just wants to play games with people, whether its video games or thinly-veiled power play games. he likes pushing gordons limits and seeing him get all fuckin sweaty and anxious and hearing him yelp with surprise. you know, for normal reasons.

but at the same time, he also really seems to like making gordon laugh, and theres a constant push-pull between these aspects of him. benrey doesnt have a very high level of emotional intelligence/awareness/whatever you wanna call it, and he processes his feelings for gordon much like a fuckin kindergartner pulling their crush’s pigtails. benrey likes being mean, he likes being obnoxious, and he likes being condescending, that much is all true. but its all in service of one thing: getting a rise out of gordon, b/c he fucking likes the guy and likes having his attention, whether its positive or negative. (although judging from how much he goes out of his way to do silly shit to make gordon laugh, he really likes the positive stuff, too.)

(on a side note: its really, really funny how much more/harder gordon laughs at benreys jokes than anybody elses. he clearly likes benrey a lot, at least to an extent. like, whenever theyre underwater and theyre all going BBBBB, gordon only really laughs when benrey does it, and he only plays along and makes the noise himself when benrey does it. thats fucking cute, man)

its also worth pointing out that for all that benrey gets in gordons way and makes life difficult for him, hes also pretty protective of him and tries to be helpful in his own way. see: benrey stepping in to “protect” him from the other security guard at the very beginning, and leaping into action to shoot shit to protect gordon, and pulling him up from the ladder when gordons struggling to get out of fucking sewage, and attempting to help out with puzzles. he also gets jealous of other people being the target of gordons affection/attention, too. honestly benreys just really fuckin capricious, but at his core he does a lot of the shit he does b/c he really likes gordon. even if that manifests as him being a condescending asshole who does shit specifically to piss gordon off or scare the daylights out of him (b/c, at his core, he is also kind of a creep.)

he doesnt really seem to understand the consequences of his actions and the games he plays a lot of the time, either. at his core i dont think benrey wants to hurt gordon for reals - he sounds genuinely surprised and upset that the military was cutting off gordons hand. and he was probably Actually Unhappy to see gordon being in severe pain like that. thats not fun anymore, right, thats not playing the game that benrey wanted to play. my understanding is that he sold gordon out because he knows the part hes gotta play, right. somebodys supposed to be the “bad guy”. whether hes being pushed into it by gman or for whatever other reason. he just…….never anticipated that it would lead to that, i think. the entire science team was shocked at gordons hand getting cut off, too, and honestly theyre all culpable for what happened to gordon! they were all conspiring for one reason or another, whether deliberately or through being tricked into it

as like further justification for that idea, benrey intermittently forgets what the deal is with gordon missing his hand, like at the end of part 3 where he sounds genuinely worried about what happened to gordons arm. and he also doesnt really seem to “get” what the deal is with people being dead - stuff cant really hurt him, and he expresses surprise and confusion during part 4 when they keep running into dead scientists. probably all he really “gets” is that humans are supposed to have all their body parts, and theyre supposed to be, you know, alive and well, but his grasp on the concepts of severe bodily harm and death is…….loose at best. along with his grasp on “human concepts and needs” in general

and honestly during part 4 i get the vibe that benrey doesnt…….actually want them to get to the end. he doesnt want to have to be the big bad boss. he keeps trying to get them all to turn back and go back to black mesa proper. and hes really dialed up to 11 during this part, both in terms of being an obnoxious obstacle to gordons goals and in terms of doing as much as he can to be cute and nice and make gordon laugh. its really pointed IMO. like, the conflicting goals of thinking, “if i get in his way enough, hell give up and he wont go to xen and have to fight me” and also “maybe if im really nice to him and make him laugh a lot, hell listen to me and we wont have to fight”. hes really wringing the most that he can out of their interactions before they have to fight each other. unfortunately for benrey, that gives off some really mixed messages, and thats just not gonna work

theres also the bit during the final boss fight where gordon cant find the last passport, and benrey just so happens to pull one out and be like “oh nooo haha you mean this one? you better not shoot it and beat me”. which really hammers home the point that he doesnt necessarily want to be the big bad evil guy, and he doesnt really want to kill gordon. but he has to play the part he was given. all he really wants is to be friends, and also to suck gordon freemans dick. (why not both?)

but at the same time, i imagine that benreys really confused and unhappy by the mixed messages that gordon gives him, too. benrey sounds so like……..genuinely sad and dejected after gordon gets mad at him during part 4 over the events of the past day, focused on benrey alone. benreys probably really stressed out by all of this. he just wanted to be gordons friend, but gordon keeps taking out all his anger on him. and gordons mad at him for killing people, but gordons killed a bunch of people too. he doesnt get why the rules are different for gordon or why the rules keep changing or why gordon keeps getting mad at him and then laughing at his jokes like it’s nothing. the whiplash is probably hard to deal with and might well contribute to him being like “you made me bad!”

anyway god that is. so much to read and isnt super organized. tl;dr benrey may be mean and obnoxious and outright malicious at times, but not b/c he hates gordon or actively wanted to severely hurt him/kill him. hes just kind of a fucking creep with an alien sense of morality and a poor grasp on how humans work

thanks 4 reading,

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