The Heroisms: The Bennet Family Secrets
The anticipation for the episode was definitely worth it. Unlike the previous ones, this episode focused primarily on the Bennet family, continuing from the cliffhanger of the last episode where the radioactive man named Ted and Matt Parkman teamed up to confront Mr. Bennet at his home. The episode begins with them breaking into the house, though Matt is more reluctant of endangering the family than Ted is. They just want answers of their unexplained abilities and why he abducted them, however things start going awry because of Ted's uncontrollable anger (kind of like the Incredible Hulk but with radioactiveness), which leads to more discoveries and revelations not only about Mr. Bennet but about Claire and what she could do, too. There's betrayal, unlikely alliances between characters, the revealing of Claire's healing ability to not only Matt but everyone else, and an incredible back story of Mr. Bennet. In the end, answers to questions since the beginning have been given, along with more questions, and a heartbreaking sacrifice at the very end.
Probably one of the best episodes of the season yet, especially because it was unique in style and different from the other episodes that have combined character storylines; this primarily was about Mr. Bennet and his involvement with this mysterious company that tracks down people with abilities. Revealing more about his relationship with Claire, his promise and dedication to his family, and letting the audience know, once and for all, his true intentions.
The Characters: From The Ashes They Shall Rise Again
Claire Bennet. I continue to be impressed with not only the character of Claire, but Hayden Panettiere's performance throughout the series. It's apparent how much Claire has grown and matured since the pilot, and Hayden really brings in the emotional scenes. You really care and feel for her in the situation she's in, and this episode is no exception to that. Her anger shows when she realizes that her father may be the cause of her abnormal ability, and tired of all his lies she reveals to Matt and Ted that he isn't everything he appears to be. The scene that I loved the most was her and Matt conversing about their abilities; it's nice to see Claire meet another person with a power other than the Haitian and Peter Petrelli, and thankfully Matt connected the dots that she was the cheerleader that needed saving. Getting inside her head I knew would reveal more about her than she was telling her family, and I'm glad that she's finally understanding that there's more people out there that have extraordinary powers like herself, that she isn't alone. Another scene I liked was despite her hatred about being lied to about who she really was, she still loved her father no matter what. The scene where she went back into the house while Ted's radioactiveness was exploding violently was the freaking best scene ever. When she walked out, completely burnt to a crisp and rapidly healing as she walked to her father was so awesome.
Another thing I'd like to mention is her relationship with her mother, that after she discovered what she could do that she didn't freak out like Claire had thought she would've. Mrs. Bennet pretty much described her ability as a miracle, like a miracle from God. Almost reminiscent to the description the Haitian explained her before. The ending scene on the bridge, though, broke my heart.
Mr. Bennet, a.k.a. HRG. In short, this episode was all about him. Even the director of the episode, Allan Arkush, said that 95% of the shots were all Jack Coleman. Mostly the questions we've had about his character have been revealed, partially anyway since there's still some mystery over what kind of company he worked for. The partnership between him and Claude was revealed, making sense about why Claude dislikes people and his genuine fear about being captured, and Mr. Bennet's involvement with adopting Claire. I have to say, along with Hayden I am thoroughly impressed with Jack Coleman and his portrayal of such a fine character. Over the course of the series we've speculated and questioned whether he's on the good side or the bad side, and now we finally know. He was just a good man involved with a bad business he didn't realize would lead him to take such sacrifices to keep his family safe. He sincerely loved Claire, even when he wasn't supposed to get too close because he was told if she showed signs of any abilities that he would have to turn her in, and therefore did everything in his power to protect her, no matter what the cost. In the end of the episode, sacrifing himself to protect Claire was probably the most emotionally pact scene I have witnessed in this show. That's the act of sacrificial love, folks, making Mr. Bennet the best TV father and family man on screen.
Matt Parkman. Everybody was thrilled that Matt finally gets some action in this episode, so I have to echo their excitement too. In the past several episodes there was potential for his storyline though nothing really stood out, well this episode really places his character involvement on the plate. Teaming up with Ted to get answers was the best direction, though I guess not so great if you're Matt because having a radioactive partner who can cause a nuclear explosion with just a blink of an eye isn't the safest way to go about things. Though what I loved most about this episode was his connection with Claire, reading her mind (as for a fan of the show, I was really waiting to see some interaction with her and our other heroes), and most of all the unexpected alliance between him and Mr. Bennet. The mindreading scenes where Mr. Bennet knows that Matt is reading his mind, communication that way was definitely awesome. It was sad in the end, though, since after all that happened Matt gets recaptured by the company once again. I wonder how everything will turn out for him.
Ted, a.k.a. Radioactive Man. He's one mighty angry mofo. Him contacting Matt in the previous episode was definitely a surprise, though understandable since Matt is the only one he's met with an ability and has been abducted by Mr. Bennet and branded with the mark on their necks. He also met Hana that has the wireless ability, though we know little to nothing about her, unless one has read the graphic novels. Although he took more drastic decisions than Matt, and was certainly planning on killing one of the Bennet family members in order to get what he wanted (taking into consideration what Matt mentioned that he could "hear him puliing the trigger in his head"). That last scene with him exploding uncontrollably was the greatest scene ever, amazing. I feel bad for him though, all he wanted was answers and a cure and he ended up right back in the hands of the company.
The Show: Glees and Squees!
¤ Focusing on the Bennet family all throughout the episode, especially Mr. Bennet, is definitely the best way of getting to the answers without giving away all the secrets. The flashbacks were amazingly creative, black-and-white creating that noir feeling. Now that's how you create a flashback sequence, connecting the scenes so they meld together. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
¤ Mr. Bennet and Claire never cease to amazing me. Their chemistry, even when Claire is angry and defying him, is simply wonderful in every single way. Even when finding out the truth, even after realizinig her life she'd lived was a lie to who she really was, Claire loves her father no matter what. And that scene at the end with the bridge? Oh my God, gets me every time I watch it. I've said it before and I shall say it again: Hayden Panettiere and Jack Coleman better get Emmys for their performances! Otherwise I'll be royally pissed if they don't.
¤ Wee!Hiro with his GameBoy = utter cuteness! So technically, he has met the cheerleader that's supposed to be saved. Hee.
¤ The younger version of the Haitian was excellently cast, he looked so much like the adult version! Wow. Also, the Godsend symbol necklace is definitely awesome. I have to say, the Haitian has really won me over and I think is becoming the mysterious favorite character of mine. His alliance with Claire and dedication to protecting her, especially since he mentioned about their powers being something from God and that he defied Mr. Bennet because he follows orders from somebody else in Claire's life. Whatever all this means, he's definitely becoming one of those characters that has more answers than they're leading on.
¤ I love Claire. She's endured so much, yet still stays strong. I cried, I cheered, I held my breath, and my heart breaks for the poor girl. She's my favorite character of this entire series.
¤ Yay, Claude! Clean-shaved, suave and just...Claude! The speaking in Japanese part was made of awesome, throughout the show actually.
¤ Now I'm wondering about the friendship with Zach that Claire just renewed. Since now we know that the company will be looking for her, will she ever return to say goodbye, or see him again ever? More importantly, where will she go from here? Who does she have that she can trust, besides the Haitian?
¤ Oh, and the woman in the labatory after all the events took place in the end isn't Hana, as some are thinking it is. It's a new character altogether which, if the article I read with Kring is true, will be featured in the second season as part of the all new character cast. Hopefully, along with Hana.
¤ The flashback scene with Claire and Mr. Bennet choosing the horned-rimmed glasses was the cutest scene ever. I especially loved how they made Claire look younger than she is now, with those cute pigtails and her hair just a little curlier than usual. That was amazing. Also, the cuteness between her and Mr. Bennet was so adorable, my heart broke because of what was happening during present time. I always loved how close Claire and her father were, and how much she loved him dearly. Now, with everything falling apart, I'm sad that he will no longer remember her as his "Clairebear" or their relationship ever again. Wah! Still, I'm happy that scene was thrown in, and I liked hearing that it was Jack Coleman that suggested that particular scene. It's adorable and it fits perfectly with the sequence it was in.
¤ The mindreading scene where Claire gets shot was purely amazing. And Matt's expression afterwards was priceless, because he knew that she could heal but actually shooting to kill a girl was an OMG moment for him. Though it was very clever, especially with Mr. Bennet communicating with him through his thoughts.
Final Thoughts: This was certainly a wonderfully shot, excellently written and just an amazing episode all-around. The acting was top-notch, the flashbacks told the background information without really giving too much information away. The style was incredible for telling the story, and I think I have found another level of respect for Mr. Bennet than I had before, simply because he truly loved Claire and it showed in this episode more than any other episode. That ending scene kills me, from both the acting and the emotional connection between the character, and the audience feels for them because we know their chemistry from the very beginning. Amazing episode, and I can't wait until the next one.