Tonight’s episode of ‘Heroes,’ titled “Company Man” was arguably the best episode of the series to date. Rather than jumping back and forth between heroes, the story stayed with the Bennet household and occasionally flashed back to HRG’s past, providing us with some much needed answers regarding the man’s motives. The episode began with two heroes on a mission and ended with two heroes on a journey and two heroes sedated at the Primatech lab.
Through a series of flashbacks from the mind of Mr. Bennet, we learned that a man named Thompson hired him to work on the heroes project. Thomspon teamed Bennet up with Claude, the invisible man and explained that all of their agents work with a hero. In the flashbacks, Mr. Bennet is sans horn-rimmed glasses.
In the next flashback, Claude and Mr. Bennet are on the Deveaux rooftop (Claude’s pigeon place). Also there is Kaito Nakamura (Hiro’s father) and a very young Hiro, sitting at a table playing a Gameboy. Kaito hands Mr. Bennet a baby (Claire) and explains that her mother, “the firestarter” must have died in the fire. From the conversation it appears they were trying to capture Claire’s mother prior to the fire. He tells HRG that he has to be Claire’s father. HRG is hesitant, saying he doesn’t think he’d make a good dad but Kaito orders him to take her and tells him not to get too attached to her because if she manifests, they will take her back. Kaito’s actual position in the project was never explained but it’s clear that he’s one of the important people.
The next flashback takes place seven years prior to the present day. Mr. Bennet and Claude are in a car driving over a bridge. Mr. Bennet has been ordered to kill Claude because he was hiding a hero from them. Claude knew this was coming and tries to argue with HRG about it. When they get out of the car, Mr. Bennet shoots Claude twice. Claude manages to become invisible and HRG assumes he fell over the railing of the bridge.
In the final flashback its three years prior to the present and HRG and Claire are sitting at a table looking at eyeglasses. HRG tries on a few pairs and explains that his father and grandfather both needed glasses when they got older. Claire asks if she’ll need glasses too some day and Mr. Bennet decides its time to tell her she’s adopted. When she questions him about her real parents he says that even though she didn’t grow in her mother’s (Mrs. Bennet) body, she grew in their hearts. It is a somewhat corny but touching scene in which we realize that despite being ordered to care for Claire and not become emotionally attached to her, he really does love her as though she were his own daughter.
Now on to the present day:
Matt and Ted broke into the Bennet house to look for answers. When the Bennet’s return home with the recovering Mrs. Bennet, things get ugly. Ted, as unstable emotionally as he is physically, demands answers. Both he and Matt believe Mr. Bennet had something to do with making them the way that they are and they want a cure. HRG tries to deny everything, saying he has no idea what they’re talking about but without the Haitian around, his mind is exposed to Matt’s abilities.
Between reading Claire’s mind and also hearing HRG’s thoughts, Matt quickly learns what’s been going on at the Bennet house. He starts asking questions about it and it is then that HRG learns that the Haitian never wiped Claire’s memory. Matt and Claire talk in private and Peter Petrelli’s name comes up. Matt explains about meeting Peter and how he asked him to protect Claire. He also realizes that Claire has a gift as well. Claire admits that she doesn’t trust her father but that she doesn’t know what his involvement in this whole thing is.
When everyone is together in the living room, HRG thinks “a safe in the den.” Matt and Ted go to find the safe and HRG goes for a gun under the mantle of the fireplace. They tackle him and Ted grabs the gun. He points it at Mrs. Bennet. Matt points his gun at Ted and tells him to calm down. Ted becomes more and more agitated and prepares to shoot Mrs. Bennet. Both Claire and HRG tell Matt (through their thoughts) to shoot Claire. Matt hesitates but when he realizes Ted is about to shoot Mrs. Bennet, he pulls the trigger. Everyone thinks Claire is dead. Matt and Mr. Bennet carry her upstairs where Claire heals and spits out the bullet. Mr. Bennet tells Matt that the answers they need are at the Primatech lab. They go back downstairs and convince Ted that they need to go to the lab. Ted tells Matt to go and insists on staying at the Bennet house, threatening to nuke the neighborhood if they don’t return within the hour.
At the lab, Mr. Bennet somehow summoned the Haitian unbeknownst to Matt. When he arrives, HRG confronts him and asks him why he didn’t erase Claire’s memory and why she knows he can talk. He tells HRG that he was following the orders of someone else that is “in his daughter’s life.” After this argument, they agree to get the info and return to the house.
Meanwhile, Claire snuck downstairs and tried to escape with her mother and brother but Ted catches them. Lyle gets away. Ted ties Claire and her mother up again and the two discuss her abilities. Claire expresses her doubts about her father but her mother believes her abilities are a gift from God. When HRG, the Haitian and Matt return, Lyle runs up to them outside and says he called the cops. The three men go into the house. Ted is upset because he realized Matt tricked him when he shot Claire. HRG offers him a binder containing information about how they found him years ago when he was emitting low amounts of radiation.
Just then, Thompson, HRG’s boss (whom we recognized from the flashback shown earlier) shows up and points a gun at Ted. HRG tells him not to shoot but he does anyway. It looked like he only hit Ted’s arm though. The gunshot sets Ted off and he begins to glow and light up. Matt tries to calm him but is thrown back. HRG is also thrown back. Ted’s body is going nuclear and the house sets fire. HRG gets a tranquilizer out to sedate Ted but he cant get close enough. Claire takes the needle and tells Matt to get her dad out of the house. They leave and Claire approaches Ted who is getting brighter and flashier by the second. Her skin begins to melt off as she walks towards him. From the outside of the house we see a small explosion. Claire comes out looking like an overcooked chicken wing, her clothes significantly burned. She approaches her father as she begins to heal. Mr Bennet brings his wife, Lyle and Claire in for a group hug. Thompson witnesses all of this, including Claire’s power.
In the next scene, Ted is strapped to a table in one of the Primatech cells. Matt is in an examining room, also unconscious. Thompson talks about the Haitian betraying them and hiding Claire’s abilities from everyone, including her own surrogate father. He apparently doesn’t realize HRG was in on it. They mention that the Haitian must have taken off, knowing he would be killed for his betrayal. They switch their attention to Matt, saying he would make a great partner and given his mind-reading abilities, would keep everyone in line. We also see another hero working in the examining room but no details about her are given.
Thompson tells HRG that he’ll have to bring Claire in now. He agrees. We next see him and Claire in a car, driving over the same bridge where HRG shot Claude. She asks where she’s going and he says he doesn’t know. He stops on the bridge and gets out. The Haitian approaches. Claire and her father say their good-byes. Then Mr. Bennet steps back and tells Claire to turn around. He tells the Haitian where to shoot him so the wound wont be fatal. The Haitian shoots Mr. Bennet and then approaches him. HRG tells him to “go deep” so that he’ll have no memory of Claire and wont be able to give them any information as to where they might go. With Matt’s abilities and now the possibility that he’ll be working for Primatech, it makes sense that HRG would want his memory wiped in order to protect the daughter he’s come to love as his own. He tells his Claire-bear that he loves her and the episode ends with the Haitian putting his hand over Mr. Bennet’s forehead.
What an amazing episode. We learned that despite what HRG might have been doing with his job at Primatech, he definitely loved Claire and wanted to protect her. Now he’ll probably heal from the bullet wound and return to his job with no memory (or very little) of his daughter. Its probable that Thompson will realize that the Haitian wiped his memory but he will have no reason to believe HRG consented to it.
Will Matt stay to work at Primatech? Probably. He has no reason not to at this point. Where will Claire and the Haitian (whose name I’d really like to learn already) go? New York? I hope so. I also liked how they managed to work Hiro (in child form) into the episode. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure he’s the only character who’s been in every episode since the beginning. And speaking of Hiro, what is his father’s involvement with Primatech? This definitely justifies the seemingly random run-in that Hiro had with him a few episodes back.