Spoilers ahead for the Season 6 premiere of Bull on CBS, called “Gone.”

Bull returned for the sixth season with an episode that may go down as even more memorable than the COVID-twisted fifth season premiere last fall. Bull’s daughter was kidnapped and held for a $1 million ransom rather than the show diving back into the familiar courtroom format, but there was one notable reveal that had nothing to do with the kidnapping. Bull had to explain why Benny Colon, played through the first five seasons by Freddy Rodriguez, was suddenly missing. Here’s how it happened, and whether the Season 5 finale really has to be the last time viewers will see Benny. 

News actually broke over the hiatus that Freddy Rodriguez had left Bull, so fans knew going into “Gone” that Benny was going to be… well, gone. But would Bull write him out by killing him off, like what happened back in the beginning of Season 3 when the show had to come up with an excuse for why Annabelle Attanasio’s Cable wasn’t around? Would he get that job as DA off screen after all and leave the team despite how Season 5 ended? Or would Bull simply not acknowledge the departure? Well, Benny fans got good news: the character is alive, well, and living in Italy with his new bride. 

The news didn’t come as part of some big dramatic announcement. Marrisa simply mentioned that Benny was “blissfully happy in Rome” with his “Italian bride” when the team was hanging out together at a karaoke bar. “Gone” also established that it took just a month of knowing the lucky lady for Benny to move to Italy for her. So, Benny didn’t get a big farewell and is on a whole different continent now, but he wasn’t killed off! Since Freddy Rodriguez was already gone, big Benny fans probably got the best news they could hope for. 

So, could Benny return? From a story standpoint, sure. He wasn’t killed off, and it’s clear that the character didn’t burn his bridges or leave bad blood with the friends and teammates he left behind. I’m not sure what would have to happen to bring him back from his apparent wedded bliss in Italy, but he left a lot of people behind. So it’s not hard to imagine a way for the story to bring him back. The bigger question may be whether Freddy Rodriguez could return.

Freddy Rodriguez’s departure from Bull was confirmed back in May, just days after the Season 5 finale aired on CBS, with no indication that Benny was on the way out. His exit from the series came along with showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron’s, following a workplace investigation. Rodriguez didn’t comment at the time on his departure, nor has he said or posted anything about Bull timed to the release of the sixth season. It’s possible that even though the door wasn’t closed for Benny, the character won’t be back due to the circumstances of Rodriguez’s departure. But we can only speculate. A recast is always possible, if unlikely. 

Bull has certainly been at the center of controversy before due to allegations against star Michael Weatherly, which were quite serious, but the show was not cancelled. The Season 6 premiere set up some new stories for the show to explore as it moves forward, without Freddy Rodriguez as Benny. See what happens next for Bull after Astrid was fortunately recovered safely, with new episodes of Bull on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS in the fall TV lineup.

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