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Heroes: Chapter Seventeen - "Company Man"

companyman.jpgAgain, this ep was a great ep! By far, one of my favorites. Didn't see it? Check it out here.

The whole ep tells of HRG's beginning, middle and end(?).

Matt and Ted break into the Bennett home to get info on HRG and bag him, as they say. HRG comes home with the whole family. Matt pulls a gun on HRG from one side as Ted blocks them from the other with his glowy hands. I'm not who you think I am, I'm just a paper salesman, HRG says. Yeah, right.

Flashback to 15 years ago when HRG (sans the HRGs) gets his job at Primatech Paper and the underlying company. Eric Roberts is his shady boss, Thompson. A clean-shaven Claude (Christopher Eccleston) is his first partner. Claude looks like he could be a sibling of Ralph Fiennes.

Back to the present... Able to read minds, Matt reads Claire's mind. She's thinking about The Haitian and how it's all her dad's fault.

Flashback again. Very interesting " Fourteen years ago, HRG and Claude are on the same rooftop that Claude visits frequently with the pigeons. It is the day that Claire is rescued from Firestarter mom's fiery blaze/suicide(?)/death. We see that Hiro's dad is part of this Company of Creepy Coalition of Quirky Cohorts. Is he the head of the group? He holds a baby in his arms while a young Hiro (!) plays a handheld game in the background. HRG and Senior Nakamura have a conversation in Japanese (white guy speaking an Asian language and looks like Jack Coleman? SO HOT!) Senior Nakamura tells HRG that he will raise the young baby as his own but should she manifest powers then she will have to return to the fold. Reluctant to be a dad, he agrees and at that point has no problem turning her over.

Cut back to the present as HRG and Claire yell in their minds at Matt to shoot Claire. She can heal and it'll calm Ted the Geico Caveman. Matt shoots her. Mrs. HRG bursts into tears and cries over her dead baby. HRG tells Matt in his mind to get her out of the room before she heals. HRG and Matt take her upstairs and HRG gets Matt on his side.

It turns out HRG has really been protecting Claire all this time so the Company won't take her. He's been trying to hide her powers from them all this time. Matt believes him. He'll play along with HRG. Do as I think, he tells Matt. Not as I say!

Flashback again and we see the first time Mrs. HRG gets the Vulcan mind-meld when a young Haitian sporting a shiny Kensei symbol pendant comes to the Bennett home to erase her mind. He looks like only a teen then.

Back to now where Matt and HRG go to Primatech Paper to get a tranquilizer for Ted while Ted holds the rest of the Bennet clan hostage. HRG calls for the Haitian and in their conversation, HRG finds out the Haitian was following someone else's orders not to erase Claire's mind.

Flashback to seven years prior when HRG and Claude are driving in the middle of nowhere. Turns out Claude is the breach and HRG has been ordered to get rid of him. Claude was in the room when their superiors told HRG to kill Claude. Claude thinks he's a better man than that. Their old friends but he's gotta do what Thompson tells him so he shoots Claude. He shoots him again, but Claude goes invisible and you're not sure if he's dead or alive (but we all know the truth now).

Back to the present, HRG and the Haitian argue over what to do about Claire. The Haitian thinks he can't hide her forever, but HRG thinks he can.

At the the house, Ted goes upstairs to check on Claire's dead body. As he goes up the stairs, Claire comes downstairs to cut open the duct tape binding Mrs. HRG and Lyle. Ted has a stranglehold on Claire, burning her. She tells Lyle and Mom to run, but Mom comes back to try to help her. Ted releases his hand from Claire's neck, her neck fried from the radiation, but quickly heals. Mrs. HRG sees everything.

Matt and HRG enter and try to stop Matt. Like talking to a petulant child " Matt tells Ted that he can have revenge or the truth, but not both. Had I been Ted I would have exploded right there.

Haitian comes in and releases Mrs. HRG and Claire. In sneaks Thompson, who aims for Ted. Where did he come from? How did he know they were there? HRG tells him not to shoot, but he does anyway, setting Ted's nuclear powers off. Things in the house burst into flames.

HRG is set on trying to sedate Ted. Matt and Thompson come out of the house. Where's Dad? Claire asks as she runs in. HRG tries to sedate Ted, but can't get close enough. She has Matt get him out of the house and does his job for him, stabbing Ted with the tranq. She exits the house all charred and well done, but heals as she walks toward HRG. Her power has now been revealed to Thompson.

Thompson thinks Haitian turned on the Company and was hiding Claire's powers from HRG. Thompson thinks Haitian has disappeared, running away from HRG, knowing he would be turned in. Thompson thinks Matt will make a good partner for HRG. We see a newbie hero monitoring Matt's vitals. I understand we'll know more about her later. Thompson also wants Claire turned in to the Company. HRG tells him he'll turn her in now.

HRG and Claire drive down the same road HRG took with Claude seven years ago. HRG comes to a huge decision and has to let Claire go with The Haitian. He's upset that it has come to this, but he has no choice. Another quick flashback shows the day when Claire learns she's adopted. It's clear that HRG has grown to love his daughter " that even though she's not biologically his, she's still in every way his daughter and he, her dad. As love conquers all, HRG takes the bullet for Claire, literally, by having The Haitian shoot him so that Claire can escape from the Company. He instructs the Haitian to go deep just as the Haitian comes over him to do the Vulcan mind-meld-erase maneuvre. And in the end, we find that HRG is not a Company Man, but a Family Man.

MY THOUGHTS/COMMENTS:

I liked this episode better than any of them because it wasn't about action, but about people. How you got to see HRG's true nature and how his love for Claire evolved over time. It was great to see HRG go from a cold Company man to a loving Family man who would do anything to save and protect his family. Nice job, folks!

It's great to see that a two-line character in the pilot has evolved into such a deep persona.

I've always liked Jack Coleman since his days on Dynasty playing the gay son, Steven Carrington. I always wanted Heather Locklear's Sammy Jo to convince him to go straight!

I also liked how the many characters we are seeing are tied together in some way. I was not expecting Senior Nakamura to be part of the Company. Very interesting.

Next week's is sure to be just as exciting as we finally get to meet Linderman, who I believe is played by Malcolm MacDowell

What did you think?

--- K. L. Connie Wang


Posted by Connie on February 27, 2007 2:34 PM
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By far, my favorite "Heroes" episode. The series took a huge leap forward with this one.

-- Posted by: mac at February 27, 2007 2:52 PM

I enjoyed that episode more than any in a long time. For your review, Connie, I think HRG is telling the Haitian to go deep into his memory to excise Claire's whereabouts. If you recall, he told the Haitian to do the same thing to the football hero/rapist earlier this season.

Otherwise, fine job and can't wait for the next show

-- Posted by: timb at February 27, 2007 3:09 PM

@Tim - You're totally right. I didn't even catch that! :P

-- Posted by: Connie at February 27, 2007 3:39 PM

Absolutely loved the episode. Excellent line at the end, "He is no longer a Company Man, but a Family Man." Any father in the audience must have shed a tear as I did to think that all memories of his ClaireBear are about to be erased. I'm getting a little chocked up just writing this. HRG is now a true force for good.

P.S. Mac, glad to see you are a Heroes watcher as well. Love your Lost recaps.

-- Posted by: tweetjj at February 27, 2007 5:29 PM

My guess is that the Haitian has erased HRG's memory of his role in Claire's escape. This way, he had plausable deniability if there's another mind-reader in the Company.

To erase his memory of EVERYTHING about Claire would cause lot of threads of his life to unravel. I just don't think that's possible.

We'll see next week, I suppose.

-- Posted by: Chris at February 28, 2007 12:47 AM

The last few episodes of HEROES annoyed me to no end. The characters and actions were really rubbing me raw. However, the last fifteen minutes reminded me of the show I fell in love with. If Heroes keeps this up, then my faith in the show will be restored.

Some observations:
• Glad to see that Matt had more morals than I originally gave him credit for. The chemistry between him and HRG was very interesting. While he’s in captivity, what’s going on with his wife and I know she’s wondering about him. Besides, how did he travel from LA to Texas so quick?
• I almost had a little sympathy for Ted (Nuclear Man). Question, were those surrounding now exposed to radiation? Were the neighbors in the Bennett’s neighborhood “neutralize?” (ala “Men in Black) I mean they saw Claire go from burned crispy to almost normal, without a scratch?
• We see Claude (aka The Invisible Man) was HRG’s partner. Who did he hide and how did they found out? When Claude told HRG that he was in the room when they gave the order to have him killed, I wondered how they didn’t give the possibility of Claude being in the room. When HRG shot him, it looked like a “force” made his finger pull the trigger. Didja see how surprised he looked?
• Who’s the “higher power” that The Haitian refers to working for? Linderman or Nathan, perhaps??
• I also think “go deep” means remove ANY memory of HRG’s remembering Claire doing anything “special.”

All in all a good episode; enjoy the recaps very much. Looking forward to next week, which it looks like Linderman will FINALLY make an appearance.

-- Posted by: Poohbear324 at February 28, 2007 8:08 AM

I don't think it would work to have HRG forget everything about Claire being special. The Company already knows she's special, so it would make sense that the Hatian would leave that part intact.

I'm guessing he erased the planning of her escape entirely, as well "anything that would lead them to her." He'll remember Claire and that she has powers, but not a lot of the recent bonding stuff, as well.

-- Posted by: Heroics at February 28, 2007 11:06 AM

I want to know why Matt so readily aggrees with Ted that HRG "Did" something to them. Parkeman knows full well he had his abilities before he was kidnapped, yet when Ted accuses HRG of being the cause of their abnormalities, Matt agrees. It makes no sense.

And will the Bennets and their neighbors all have radioactive poisoning now? I mean, Ted was moments away from total meltdown, he should have let off enough radiation to kill the whole neighborhood!

Complaints aside, this was my FAVORITE episode of Heroes so far. I really dig Claire's story. I am excited to see where she ends up, and with whom- there are any number of heroes she can cross paths with, or maybe this will be a way we can meet some new ones.

When the Haitian said that he answers to an authority higher than HRG's in regards to Claire, I figured he meant Claire herself (she should be allowed to choose her own destiny or whatever), but maybe he means Linderman or Sulu Nakumura (speaking of which have you heard that Daniel Day Kim [Jin, on LOST] is up for the role of Sulu in the new Star Trek prequel that JJ Abrahms is writing/directing?!) or even Nathan (he bio-dad).

Only one more episode before a break, then probably only 4-5 left after that. I assume they'll air in late April/May.

-- Posted by: sarah c at February 28, 2007 2:29 PM

I loved the episode. Great one about HRG and very glad to see, from one dad watching another, that his love for the girl he raised comes before anything else.

I found the most intriguing question raised and never readdressed, was "Who was Claude hiding?" I caught that, like pooh did above, and think that will be important later.

HRG told Haitan to "go deep enough to remove anything that will help them find Claire." He has to remember her or he's a goner. He only needed the plausible deniability.

So if Haitian is taking Claire away from Thompson, who found him and introduced him to HRG, then who is his higher authority?

Yes, Malcom MCDowell is what I read as well. I was hoping for Donald Sutherland, but McDowell will do.

Can't wait to read Mac's thoughts on Hugo's LOST night!

Have a great day!

-- Posted by: David at March 1, 2007 10:40 AM

"HRG finds out the Haitian was following someone else’s orders not to erase Claire’s mind."

To the question, who was the Haitian obeying when he didn't wipe Clair's memories?... Well, I don't remember his line exactly, but it was something to the effect of, "...a higher authority than you..."

Maybe he was talking about God? Or, if not God directly, then to a moral code of some sort that he just can't bring himself to break?

In the flashbacks, when Claude and HRG were talking about Claude's betrayal (just before Claude was shot), it seemed like Claude had reached a point where he just couldn't bring himself to do those terrible things to "his people" anymore. Perhaps the Haitian had simply reached a similar point?

Just thoughts, of course... I've been plenty wrong before. :)

-- Posted by: Combat Chuck at March 2, 2007 1:30 PM

This was a really good episode, it answered a lot of questions about Claire's father I had, and made me much more sympathetic towards him as a character. I also liked that the plot became more isolated, focusing only on a couple of characters in this episode. I'm anxiously awaiting Monday's Heroes so I can finally see Linderman and of course find out what the other characters have been up to.

-- Posted by: Evan at March 2, 2007 3:26 PM

Well done! I learned some interesting things for me)

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