Why Didn’t John And Ben Trust Each Other In Rabbit Hole Season 1?


There is a popular quote going around on Instagram that says something like trust issues are the result of lying issues. We suppose that forms the basis of the relationship between John and his father, Ben, in “Rabbit Hole” Season 1. As a child, John loved his father and even idolized him to an extent. However, even as a child, John was aware of the kind of paranoid man his father was. When he broke the phone because his wife complained about a ticking noise from it, which Ben thought must be some sort of spying device, it must have made quite an impression on John’s young mind. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that this was the start of John’s own paranoia in “Rabbit Hole.” When John goes off to boarding school, he gets into fights with others because he imagines what they are thinking. This is how far-reaching Ben’s effect was on John.

Ben’s suicide scarred John in numerous ways. For a long time, he was not able to accept that his father was gone. John’s mother had turned to drinking heavily, and we don’t think she was able to provide the child with the emotional support and guidance he needed. When John, in one of his more desperate fits, tries to blow up the lock on his dead father’s safe, his mother sends him to boarding school instead of counseling. In a completely new environment, John’s paranoia heightens, and he has trouble fitting in. Luckily, he finds Miles Valence, the one person who has the patience and understanding that John so desperately needs in life. He proves to be John’s anchor because, unlike others, he doesn’t dismiss John’s questions about his father’s safety. In fact, Miles helped him figure it out. It must have been quite a moment for John to understand that he had been the password for the safe all along.

John and Miles eventually built a career together through what they learned from the contents of the safe. It is their business to deal with manipulations and secrets, and it is going well until one day, Ben shows up at John’s house. That messed up John more than his assumption of his father’s suicide ever had. The fact that his father had been alive all these years but never bothered to contact John was a little too much to digest. The adult John understood the need for his father’s actions. He was in the same business as his father had been; therefore, he understood why his father had to take such drastic steps. But the child trapped in John couldn’t get over it and continued to hold it against Ben, especially since it was clear that Ben had not come back into John’s life out of fatherly love but for his help in taking down Crowley.

We are sure that Ben apologized plenty, but we don’t think he ever did it without following it up with an excuse. Yes, he did what he had to, but that did not make everything okay. Now, we personally believe that guilt is a useless emotion, but some real remorse for one’s actions can soothe a lot of wounds. We never saw that remorse in Ben, and neither did John. However, they continued working together for almost a decade. But it did not help that it required John and Valence to split up. Valence was probably John’s only friend, the one person who understood his eccentricities, his paranoia, and his deep-rooted trust issues with his father. As John tells Hailey, it was only Valence who knew how to bring John back to reality when he started spinning circles with the conspiracies in his mind. Valence was John’s one tether to reality, and his death hit him hard. It wasn’t just the loss of a best friend but the suspicions that followed for a while that he was not who John knew him to be. Ben had fed into those suspicions instead of just coming clean about what he had done in “Rabbit Hole.”

When John found out that his dad’s actions had led to the deaths of his entire team—people he actually cared about—something in his heart just shut down. Similar to Valence, these were people he worked with and saw on a daily basis, ones she shared banter with and could be open about how his brain worked, even though he might never have revealed anything personal. They mattered to John, and he couldn’t forgive Ben for what he had done. It is debatable whether Ben was actually responsible for their deaths. It was his excessive vigilance that had caused him to tail Kyle, who had caught on to that and killed John’s team to get rid of any and all evidence. But can you really blame anyone for being extra careful in this industry? But Ben can be blamed for not telling John about this, especially when he had started talking about contacting them and bringing them into the ongoing mission.

Maybe Ben was scared about what John would think if he told him the truth since they already had a strained relationship. But by hiding this information, Ben destroyed any professional credibility he had in the eyes of his son. This time, when Ben apologized, he did not make excuses. His apology was sincere, and he was genuinely remorseful, but it was already too late by then. John’s mind had shut off to his “sorry,” and it was spinning various scenarios where he was the culprit. Additionally, his trust had been taken for granted for far too long by his father, and we don’t think John had it in him to let his father do that, even if he considered the events an honest mistake. Ben and John were less father and son and more people who worked together in the business of lies, but it couldn’t be all professional because they shared a familial bond in “Rabbit Hole.” The matter is that we honestly think that they loved each other, but like most relationships, when trust and respect are lacking, it is just a disaster waiting to happen.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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