Heroes 1.17: Company Man review

Original US airdate: 26/2/07

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Written by: Bryan Fuller

Directed by: Allan Arkush

Starring: Missy Peregrym, George Takei, Eric Roberts


The One Where: We glimpse Bennet’s secret past…

As Matt and Ted Sprague hold the Bennet family hostage, we glimpse a series of
flashbacks into Bennet’s past:

Fifteen Years Ago: Bennet joins Primatech, working under cover as a regional manager. A man named Thompson partners him with Claude.

Fourteen Years Ago: Bennet meets with Nakamura (Hiro’s in the background as a small boy), who hands him baby Claire and tells him to adopt her. “If she manifests, we’ll take her,” he warns. Bennet later meets a mute Haitian boy with the power to wipe memories.

Seven Years Ago: Bennet and Claude are on a mission. Claude is exposed as a security breach – he says the vivisection of the superhumans upset him. Bennet has orders to kill him. As Claude is shot, he turns invisible and disappears…

In the present, Matt reads Claire’s thoughts about Peter and realises that she’s the cheerleader he has to protect. There’s a tussle with the guns and Bennet telepathically instructs Matt to shoot Claire. Ted believes that she’s dead, but she recovers in the bedroom. Bennet tells her to keep playing dead, fearing Ted will go nuclear, as threatened. He and Matt are sent to the factory (Ted wants them to return with evidence)…

Claire attempts to rescue her mother and Lyle, but Ted discovers her and they fight. Mrs Bennet sees Claire heal from the radiation burns. Bennet and Matt return, just as Ted begins to glow. The Haitian rescues the family. Bennet tells Ted there is no cure, just as Thompson shoots him. Ted begins to go nuclear, but Claire manages to tranquilise him in the middle of the inferno that destroys the family home.

Bennet is supposed to bring Claire in, but he hands her to the Haitian and tells them to “go deep”. The Haitian shoots him and wipes his mind…

A change of style for Heroes. Out goes the familiar plot-crossing multiple character pile-up. In comes a slice of drama that keeps its focus firmly on Bennet and his family. The flashbacks are stylishly done, with some genuinely beautiful black and white photography (Eccleston emerges from his recent tramp guise to look like a ’40s film star), and there are some great insights into the eternally inscrutable Bennet. “I’m comfortable with morally grey,” he declares, 14 years ago, a line we see return to bite him on the ass. More crucially, we learn that Hiro’s old man is also involved in this whole mess, suggesting a wider conspiracy than we first suspected.

Oh, and great moment where a blackened Claire emerges from the fire, looking like a real life version of Wile E Coyote after the ACME bomb has gone off.

Bennet: “You used to believe in what we do.”
Claude: “I used to believe in the tooth fairy…”

Nick Setchfield

SFX Magazine is the world's number one sci-fi, fantasy, and horror magazine published by Future PLC. Established in 1995, SFX Magazine prides itself on writing for its fans, welcoming geeks, collectors, and aficionados into its readership for over 25 years. Covering films, TV shows, books, comics, games, merch, and more, SFX Magazine is published every month. If you love it, chances are we do too and you'll find it in SFX.