A descendant of one of Bristol Cove's leading families, Ben is an environmentalist and works as a marine biologist at the Bristol Cove Marine Research Center alongside his ex-girlfriend Maddie Bishop. He is the boyfriend of Ryn. He is the son of Ted and Elaine Pownall, as well as the brother of Doug Pownall.
A bright marine biologist who finds himself drawn to a mysterious new girl in town.
During his academic career, he has attended grad school at the University of Washington earning a degree in marine biology. Later, he acquired a job at Bristol Cove's Marine Research Center.
He has short brown hair, blue-green eyes, sharp jawline. As the series continues, his hair becomes longer.
Ben is both kind and caring, willing to go out of his way to help anyone in need. He didn't even know Ryn or what she was when she jumped out in front of his car. A complete stranger, yet he didn't hesitate to help her. According to Ben's mother, he has always wanted to save the "damsel in distress".
However, Ben becomes obsessive when he becomes enthralled by Ryn’s Siren Song. Several characters are concerned by this when he starts acting out irrationally in order to try and hear the song whenever he can. He eventually starts to seek help for his unique addiction to Ryn and her siren song and struggles with whether his feelings for her are real or a product of the song.
Throughout the Series
He is Ben's father, in the beginning of the series he was annoyed with his son's absence from family events such as the statue unveilling. As Ben inquires about the truth about their ancestor Charles Pownell, he is rather ambiguous to him telling him only half-truths with some lies. He is approached with the idea of eco-friendly fishing by Ben, and after running the numbers he decides to change Pownall Seafood's methods, which will result in a 6% increase in profits.
In the 2nd season, he begins working with Klesco Oil, Ben learns of this when he is with some executives, he informs Ben that his company Pownall Seafood is leasing a strip of land to Kelsco to build an oil pipeline which will create new jobs for the residents of Bristol Cove, he earns the animosity of his son Ben. In "Leverage" at the gala, he witnesses the well on Klesco's drillship collapse on the live feed. He sees Ben and Maddie leave and he suspects their involvement, he later expresses his anger and frustrations towards Ben, about how he has indulged him to unrealistic points of view. Two weeks later, he receives video footage of the drillship's feed from the CEO of Klesco. He then learns of his wife's hospitalization and the clinical trial that she took, Ted informs Ben about the video footage and wants to help him leave town in the case an investigation ensues from his involvement, Ben refuses as he will not leave his mother Elaine in the condition she is in.
In "Mixed Signals", he learns his son's polyamorous relationship with Maddie and Ryn. Ben's premonition in "New World Order" is when he witnesses his wife Elaine getting out of her wheelchair and on her two legs, he learns about the news regarding the discovery of mermaids and how the authorities are after Ben. He reveals to be a traitor as he assists the U.S Military in tracking down his son along with Maddie and Ryn at the U.S/Canada border. At an abandoned cabin, he tries to make peace with his son who is hostile towards his actions.
Season 3 is when he picks up from the penultimate episode: he begins focusing more on learning about what he saw on the night of the boating accident, when Elaine lost her ability to walk. With Helen's hope he pinpoints the coordinates to Carson Sound, the same place where his ancestor Charles Pownall's ship sunk in 1864. Ted decides to take a boat out to Carson Sound in the eye of a heavy rainstorm, he falls overboard and sees a mermaid in the water (Tia) only to find that it tries to attack him, Ben dives in and rescues him in time. He wakes up at his son's boathouse, he tells Ben that the mermaid he saw in the water is what he saw on the night of his boating accident. Ben believes him and tells them the're real, Ted immediately figures out that Ryn is one of them.
He continues his search for answers all the way until "A Voice in the Dark" where he meets Ben and Ryn again in the midst of Tia's attack on Bristol Cove, rather than choosing to help he berates Ben for putting his trust in her, he perceives all mermaids to be dangerous and that Ryn is polluting his son's mind. Ben's hand comes into contact with a crate of fish with salt water, Ted sees his son's webbed hand form very much to his surprise. Ted subsequently blames Ryn for it thinking that his son's transformation was her doing. In the Season 3 finale "The Toll of the Sea", he finds his Ben asking about what was going on with what formed on his hand, Ben does not answer his father's questions. Later he looks for Ben but doesn't find him anywhere.
She is Ben's mother, in "The Mermaid Discovery", she attends Bristol Cove's Mermaid Days Festival and watches the statue of her husband's ancestor Charles Pownall be unveiled to the public. She visits Ben at his boathouse expressing Ted's concern about his absence from family gatherings. In "Showdown" she hosts a fundraising gala at her residence, there she meets Aldon Decker and learns about his research in using stem cells from an aquatic creature (Donna) and becomes impressed with how it can benefit human paralysis. She and her family attend Sean McClure's funeral in "Being Human".
In Season 2 she becomes concerned about Helen's monetary gain from her family, she steals her coffee cup and runs an online DNA test, she shows Ben that Helen has a distant relative who lives nearby. She, along with her husband and older son work with Klesco Oil, she feels very proud that Klesco bring funding to Bristol Cove's school programs and creating new jobs for the residents who need them despite Ben's animosity towards it. At the gala hosted by Klesco she witnesses the drillship's well collapse and is shocked, two weeks later she is admitted into the hospital because her paralysis has worsened. After Ryn alleviates her pain with her song, she wakes up next to Ben, she concedes that she did get the clinical trial but expresses disappointment how it can help other patients except for her. However, after the U.S military acquired some of Ryn's stem cells, they gave them to Elaine and the paralysis in her body is partially eliminated.
In Season 3, the mermaid stem cells she was injected become a subplot for her and Ben. Her husband Ted suggests to David Kyle that dosages should be increased. In "Survivor", Elaine was practicing her swim exercise when she decided to give her legs a try, she immediately sunk to the bottom of the pool. Ben and his father see this, Ben dives in to rescue her but Elaine says that she is fine. Later in the episode she takes a spirometry test, she and Ben learn that her lung capacity has increased (one of the affects from the aquatic stem cells). Unfortunately, Ben informs his mother that David Kyle is no longer in command and that her stem cell treatment has been terminated. In the finale, Ted calls her from their home and he tells her that Ben has been self-experimenting with the same aquatic stem cells, surprising her.
He is Ben's older brother who attends the Mermaid Days Festival in "The Mermaid Discovery". He is more focused on the family business bringing invoice reports and doing paperwork. At a pool party at the Siren Song Motel, he talks with Ben about getting more involved with working with the fishery, Ben repels. However, he later suggests to his father Ted from Ben that Pownall Seafood switches to a eco-friendly method of catching fish. This is later official in "Showdown", at their mother's fundraising gala, he informs Ben that their father has agreed to an eco-friendly method, raising their profits by 6%.
In Season 2, he along with his parents, work with Klesco Oil to bring new jobs to Bristol Cove as well as form a partnership. After the sabotage of Klesco's drillship, he informs Ben on "No North Star" that Pownall Seafood is in serious debt after many hard seasons on top of their mother's medical expenses, these are the real reasons they wanted to work with Klesco Oil. He reappears in "Mixed Signals", he meets Ryn and have an evening dinner. After Maddie reveals her polyamorous relationship with his younger brother Ben and Ryn, he casually takes it well.
Ben has known Helen ever since childhood, believing to be a close friend to his family. After Ben learns, he goes to her shop to ask about the stories he knew as a child. Helen decides to show him that his family's history is much darker and bloodier, he learns from Helen that Charles Pownall and his crew lead a massacre and slaughtered Bristol Cove's mermaids in cold blood. In the following episode "The Lure", Ben and Maddie stop by with the lure device, she tries to get them to leave, but Ryn exits Helen's apartment after hearing the sound she perceived to be her missing sister. Helen allows Ben and Maddie to look after Ryn, but warns that it is not a matter of trust and that history might repeat herself. In "Aftermath", she leads Ben, Maddie, and Ryn to a hallowed grave site where many of her family members were buried. She reveals that the illegitimate daughter of Charles Pownall lived a normal life in Bristol Cove after her deformity was cured by the Haida, and she is her last living descendant. Furthermore, Ben learns that Helen is his distant cousin.
In Season 2, she is startled by the Merfolk who are in her apartment. Ben, Maddie, and Ryn take charge of keeping them fed, clothed, and safe. She is able to acquire money from an account with the help of Ted, much to Elaine's discomfort who runs an online DNA test using her coffee cup. Ironically, she helped Helen learn of her distant relative Rick Marzdan. At the end of "Natural Order", she has a check for $125,000 which she uses to help Maddie and Ben with Ryn's colony. In "Leverage", she acquires a falsified guest ID to attend the gala hosted by Klesco Oil when Ben, Maddie, and Ryn's colony sabotage the drillship, she calls Rick to disconnect the signal from a satellite dish to prevent Ryn's colony from being caught on the live feed.
She and Ben were a couple in the beginning, who loved each other equally. In "The Mermaid Discovery" while leading a tour of the Marine Research Center she meets Ryn in her human form. Ben shows her the footage captured on the bay cameras and learns that mermaids do exist, from then on they help Ryn find her missing sister Donna while learning more about her kind along the way. "Curse of the Starving Class" is when Ryn first expresses her feelings to Maddie with a kiss, in the next episode Ryn kisses Ben.
In the series' second season, she and Ben arrive at the scene where many whales are beached, she and Ryn reunite. Soon after learning of Klesco Oil's sonar mapping, many more Merfolk come to land one of which is Levi. She, Ben, Helen, and Ryn spend the first half the season keeping Ryn's colony safe from being discovered. "Primal Instincts" is when she, Ryn, and Ben are established as a polyamorous couple and live together.
Their relationship continued on until "Borders" when Ben tells the truth about how he decided to let Ian Sutton drown in his car to save Ryn's species from discovery. Maddie breaks up with Ben; however, their relationship with Ryn still remains. Maddie she learns about Ben's self-experimentation with the mermaid stem cells when he sees webbing form on his hands and gill slits appear on the side of his body, she is hostile towards him for trying to become a merman. She has Ben promise that he will dispose of the cells.
Ben first meets her when she appeared in the middle of an empty road barely clothed, he exited his car offering help, she tried to walk away from him but then lost balance and fell. Ben took him back to his houseboat where he waited for a local doctor to arrive, Ryn wakes up clothed she looks at Ben in silence. Ryn sings her Siren Song to Ben for the first time enchanting him, she escapes while Ben went to answer the door. She wanders through Bristol Cove where she runs into Helen, eventually she ends up at the Marine Research Center where Maddie is leading a tour. Ben sees her again, attempting to communicate Ryn introduces herself. Ben notices the scaling on her and goes to grab some medication from a storage unit, by then Ryn needed to go back into the water. Ben thinks that she was drowning and dove in to rescue her, he then learns that Ryn is a mermaid, however she does not see Ben as a friend and attacks him before swimming away.
After Ben and Maddie learn that Bristol Cove's mermaids really do exist, they cross paths with Ryn again, this time at Helen's shop where she hears the recording of the lure thinking it is her missing sister. In "Interview With a Mermaid", Ben and Maddie learn more about Ryn's intelligence and physiology, and how it is in her specie's nature to fight in the water. Ryn accompanies Jerry to a pool party, after the local police shut it down Maddie hides Ryn. Later that night she sleeps in the same bed as Ben and Maddie. By the time of "On the Road", her scaling has become a concern, but Ryn refuses to return to the water until she finds her sister Donna. Ben and Maddie give Ryn a necklace with a tracking device on it, Ryn decides to wear it as she now trusts them. After the climax in "Aftermath", Ben nearly drowns from hearing Ryn's Siren Song, fortunately Ryn swims to him and rescues him. She tells Ben that she did not know her song could lead someone to their death. For the safety of Ben, Ryn leaves Bristol Cove for some time.
Ben reunites with her when a number of whales have been beached, Ryn dives into the water and finds a deceased mermaid in an underwater wreck, then is suddenly bombarded by a dissonant sound wave that pains her ears. Not long after, they discover that an oil company called Klesco Oil is using sonic cannons to map the ocean floor for oil, Ryn's colony have come to land because of this. Throughout the first half of Season 2, Ryn begins having dreams and visions of Ben, indicating that her romantic feelings for him are true. In "Leverage" she, Ben and Maddie make love to each other as a polyamorous couple. Beginning in "All In", she begins participating in the U.S Military's research with free will, despite this he still sees it as oppression. When mating season was close, Ben allows her to depart to the water to procreate with her people.
Unfortunately, the merfolk's mating season was unsuccessful in their waters due to the pollutants, after failing to procreate on land Ryn decides to resort to the military taking two of her eggs and using IVF to make them viable. Ben's distrust towards the military prompts him to steal the viable eggs to take to Caspian Ranch, Ryn participates in a ritual where her tail sheds into a new one. In "New World Order" Ian Sutton records video of Ryn's mermaid form and is kidnapped by her. Ryn attacks Ian and forces his car to plummet into the ocean. Ben rescues Ian, while Ryn escapes. Two days later, Ian exposes the merfolk's existence to everyone on the news which results in Ryn becoming everyone's attention. Two months later, with Bristol Cove under martial law, Ben and Maddie decide to retreat to Canada where they are offering asylum to any mermaids. They make their way to the border, however the military is catches right up to them, Ryn witnesses Maddie get shot and is taken away. It is revealed that Ben is back underwater with Ian trapped in his car, he has envisioned a bleak future and has therefore decided to let him drown. Ryn feels disappointed to how her fertilized egg is no longer viable.In Season 3, Ryn continues accustoming to life in Bristol Cove, then she meets Tia who she listens to until learning of her true intentions with the human race. She continues her relationship with Ben, even after Maddie broke up with him. By this time, the relationship between Ben and Ryn became more intimate and totally drawn into each other.Ben admits to Ryn that he has been self-experimenting with the stem cells, at first she isn't concerned. They share an intimate moment underwater to find out Ben's new ability as he can stay underwater longer than usual. But in "Til Death Do Us Part" they both agree to dispose of them. Later in the same episode, Ryn talks with Ben telling him that land will never be her home. However, they vows to stay together for the rest of their lives with Ryn's ring as a symbol of their beautiful vows. She and Ben take a boat out to where Tia's warriors are keeping Hope prisoner, she lures them away while Ben breaks her out. Ben goes missing and despite Maddie's suggestion to move on, Ryn remains hopeful that Ben will return. At the end of "The Toll of the Sea", she lays on a rock on off the coast of Bristol Cove looking out into the sea.
Ben first encountered him in "Dead in the Water" when he, Donna, and Katrina attacked the North Star, they were both hostile to each other until "The Arrival" when Ben removes excess fluid from his lungs which allowed him to breath better, their friendship slowly began to form as his colony continued to be looked after Ryn and her human allies. "Oil and Water" is when he gets his faked ID made by Jerry and spends a day with Ben. Levi learns a lot from Ben, and later declares him an "unofficial" member of his colony. Levi becomes imprisoned with Xander when Katrina and Cami take control of the North Star, there their hostilities begin to diminish as Levi explains that he was ordered to kill Xander's father. He works together with his human allies to sabotage Klesco Oil's drillship.
In "Mommy and Me", he promises Ben that he will protect Hope while he and Mate teach her to hunt and survive in the ocean. He sees Ben again when he reunites Hope with Ryn on the beaches outside of Bristol Cove.
|“||I'd have to see one.||”|
|“||So if you're a descendant of Charles Pownall, that means...||”|
|“||This isn't some kind of ancient history, Dad. I have a relative in town, one that I've known my whole life.||”|
|“||So we just act like it's got nothing to do with us? Like it never happened.||”|
|“||We won't let anyone hurt you.||”|
|“||It's definitely not poison.||”|
|“||You're working with them. Dad, you lied to me.||”|
|“||We just had a beach full of dead whales, Mom! That's their impact!||”|
- He is second Pownall to encounter a mermaid; the first having been his paternal ancestor Charles Pownall.
- Unlike his ancestor, however, Ben did not become obsessed and turn evil.
- He is also the second Pownall to hear the Siren Song, when Ryn sings it to him for the first time.
- After his mother Elaine's treatment with the stem cells were terminated, Ben decides to dig up the half-transformed mermaid that was buried in "The Arrival" and starts injecting himself with the mermaid stem cells to test the side effects does to human beings. He has discovered that the cut on his hand has healed. After many more doses, he begins to exhibit faster, better reflexes an increased sense of hearing, and greater lung capacity. Unfortunately, he also exhibits side effects of the doses such as webbing between his fingers and gill slits forming on the sides of his torso.
- These are signs that he might be transforming into a merman.
- Ben rescues Hope from the plane wreckage and is chased by two of Tia's mermaid warriors, his fate is unknown. He is last seen in the final moments of "The Toll of the Sea", still underwater going towards a bright light.
- ↑ TV Series Final—"The Deep: Alex Roe to Star; Production Begins on Freeform Pilot" (October 6, 2016)