Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennet.
|Last appearance||"Brave New World"|
|Portrayed by||Hayden Panettiere|
|Ability||Rapid cellular regeneration|
Claire Bennet is a fictional character in the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. She is portrayed by Hayden Panettiere and first appeared on television in the pilot episode of the series, "Genesis" on September 25, 2006. She is a high school cheerleader-turned-agent with the power of rapid cellular regeneration. Claire appears in more episodes than any other character (72, plus a 73rd through stock footage).
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2010)|
Claire was born to Nathan Petrelli and Meredith Gordon, two people possessing abilities. Noah Bennet and his partner, Claude, who are agents of the Company, arrive at Meredith's house to abduct her. Claude goes inside to "do the heavy liftin'" while Noah waits outside until Meredith combusts and blows the door open. Noah runs inside to find Claude on the floor. Claude then tells Noah to find Claire. Noah finds her and carries her out safely. Noah and his wife, Sandra, later adopt her. In the graphic novel Elle's First Assignment, which takes place before the series begins, Bob gives Elle her first assignment, which is to track and follow Claire, posing as a student at Union Wells High School. Elle is reluctant, but Bob informs her that Claire is important to the Company. Claire never realizes that Elle is following her.
Six months prior to the start of the series, Claire had just become a cheerleader at her high school, with the help of her friend Jackie Wilcox. During an argument on whether or not she wants to be a cheerleader with Jackie, Claire crashes into a glass case, cutting her hand. When they show Claire's parents, Mrs. Bennet says that Claire might need stitches. After Claire, Jackie, and Mrs. Bennet leave for the hospital, the phone rings and Mr. Bennet answers. It is Chandra Suresh, a scientist who studies paranormal phenomenon, informing him of Claire's power.
Several days later, Mr. Bennet asks if he can see her hand with the stitches. When they unravel the cloth around her hand they are both surprised to see not even a small scratch.
After discovering this abnormal ability Claire decides to try stunts which she gets a boy from her school to videotape.
In the pilot episode "Genesis", set six months later, 15-year-old Claire has discovered her power. Frightened as to what it means, she confides in Zach, a high-school classmate who videotapes Claire testing her regenerative power by attempting to injure – and even kill – herself. Her younger brother, Lyle, also discovers Claire's powers after finding the tape Zach filmed. Claire swears him to secrecy.
Claire has been through her share of harrowing experiences, including an attempted rape, being murdered during the attempt, and reviving during an autopsy. Claire is also consumed with curiosity about her birth parents, having been adopted when she was a year old.
After the first four episodes of the series, a story arc called "Save the cheerleader, save the world" begins. Claire's ultimate fate is implied to be tied to the fate of the entire world. A future version of Hiro Nakamura cryptically tells Peter Petrelli: "Save the cheerleader, save the world." Isaac Mendez, a drug-addicted painter in New York paints a vision of Claire being chased at her school. He also paints a picture of a blonde cheerleader with the top of her skull removed (which doesn't happen until "The Second Coming").
In the episode "Homecoming", Claire is elected homecoming queen with the help of her friend Zach. Claire's father grounds her, intending to keep her out of harm's way by preventing her from fulfilling Isaac's "prophecies", but she sneaks out her bedroom.
At the game, Claire meets Peter. However, since he saw the newspaper article where Jackie took credit for the fire rescue that Claire did, Peter believes Jackie is the cheerleader he is there to save. Sylar catches the two girls in the locker room and cuts Jackie's scalp telekinetically, but Claire manages to escape. In the hallway, she finds Peter and the two of them flee the building. Claire takes Peter's advice to run toward the stadium full of people as he tries to fight Sylar. In the end they fall off the roof and Peter dies, as Sylar tries to escape. As Claire approaches Peter she is then astonished to see him heal himself just like her. As Claire goes to get help, she runs into the arms of her relieved father.
When the story continues in "Fallout", Claire's father informs her that he has always known about her powers and has done things he is not proud of to protect her. He tells her Sylar has been taken care of, but warns Claire not to tell anyone about her powers, claiming there are others who would want to harm her. Claire recovers the remaining video tapes depicting her powers from Zach and destroys them. She warns Zach not to tell anyone about her healing abilities. Claire and her father are interviewed by law enforcement officials, including Matt Parkman, but Claire tells them both she and Peter must have been "just lucky" to have survived Sylar's attack. Claire later meets with Peter alone and is fascinated when he tells her he risked his life to save her (as he was not sure in advance if he had adopted Claire's healing factor).
Claire later discovers that both her brother and Zach no longer remember what they have seen regarding her unusual healing abilities. Claire panics and calls her father. Mr. Bennet reassures her that he remembers and everything will be all right. The Haitian then appears out of the shadows and tells Claire that Mr. Bennet sent him to wipe her memory of the preceding events, just as he has wiped the memories of Brody, Lyle, and Zach. The Haitian even states that he had to mind wipe Claire's mother "so many times" in the past. However, the Haitian then said that there is a reason Claire must remember and asks her if she can keep a secret.
Two weeks later, Claire is struggling with being alone again since the Haitian did not wipe her memory. She tries to reconnect with Zach, but between his lack of memory and resentment over the way their friendship ended in grade school, he is not interested. Desperate, Claire meets with the Haitian to discuss her options. He rebuffs her request to see Peter, stating he is being watched by her father. She asks the Haitian to give Zach his memories back, as she does not want to be alone, but he tells her he cannot. Before leaving, the Haitian also recommends she respect her abilities more, rather than see them as an affliction.
In "The Fix", Claire and Zach search for information on her biological mother. Their search leads them to Meredith Gordon, a woman reported to have died in a fire along with her 18-month-old daughter. They believe Claire to be Meredith Gordon's reportedly-dead daughter. When Claire contacts several people with the surname "Gordon," she finds a woman who identifies herself as Meredith.
The woman is shocked to hear that Claire survived and is revealed to possess the ability of pyrokinesis. In "Distractions", Claire and Meredith meet, sharing their powers with each other. Later, Meredith telephones Claire's biological father, who is revealed to be Nathan Petrelli, informing him that their daughter is still alive.
In the episode "Unexpected", Claire finds that her mother, Mrs. Bennet, is showing signs of temporary memory loss, at one point even forgetting the family dog, Mr. Muggles, only to revert to her normal self a few minutes later. Later on, Mrs. Bennet collapses while in the kitchen and is rushed to the hospital. When Mr. Bennet arrives, Claire is unable to suppress her anger against him any longer and admits to knowing about the repeated memory wipes that Mr. Bennet has had done on her mother. After this, the family returns home, where they are confronted by Ted Sprague and Matt Parkman.
In "Company Man", Claire and her family are held captive by Sprague and Parkman. After Mr. Bennet tries and fails to save the family, Claire and her father convince Matt to shoot her to get Sprague's trust. She attempts to free her family after she regenerates, but is captured by Sprague in the attempt. After Sprague is shot and his radiation powers go violently out of control, Claire uses her regenerative powers to get close enough to tranquilize him. However, Claire is seen healing from severe radiation burns by one of Mr. Bennet's superiors, who insists that Claire be turned over to their employers. In the end, Claire is given to the Haitian, who is to keep her safe from Bennet's company.
In "Parasite", she is supposed to go with the Haitian to flee the country but manages to slip away from him by stealing his passport at the airport. She then goes to Peter Petrelli's apartment, regarding him as the only person she can trust in the current chaos her life has become. However, she finds his mother, Angela Petrelli, there instead, and Angela reveals that not only is she Claire's grandmother, but that she and the Haitian have been corresponding for some time in order to protect Claire.
In ".07%", Claire learns that her grandmother, Angela Petrelli, knew of her existence all along, even though Nathan thought she had died in a fire as a baby. Mrs. Petrelli tells her that she still needs protecting and the two of them will be going to Paris until after the election. When the seemingly dead body of Peter Petrelli is brought to his mother's house, Claire comes downstairs to see Peter for herself. Claire finds a huge jagged shard of glass penetrating his skull. When she pulls it out, Peter comes back to life. Later, Nathan, realizing he cannot afford to have her in the city in the days leading up to the election—to avoid any scandalous issues and possibly to get her out of the way of Peter's nuclear explosion—asks Claire to go to Paris. Claire reluctantly agrees to go with Angela, and the two of them embrace warmly.
In "The Hard Part", two days before the bomb, Claire is still staying in the Petrelli mansion. She watches as Nathan greets his wife, Heidi and their two boys Monty and Simon, upon their return to the mansion, although Claire is not introduced to them. Later, Claire and her grandmother, Angela Petrelli, begin packing her bags for Paris. Peter walks into the room and talks to Claire about destiny, although she is convinced the best way for Nathan to protect her is to fly to Paris. Claire tells Peter about Sprague, who can manipulate radiation, after Peter reveals he will likely "go nuclear" and destroy half of New York.
Peter and Claire confront Nathan about Ted; with someone else capable of manipulating radiation, Peter is hopeful the explosion can be prevented. Nathan remains doubtful, pointing out that Peter's vision was of his own explosion. Peter reminds Nathan that he had a vision of flying as well, despite the fact that it was Nathan who could fly — a fact that impresses Claire. Later, Peter and Claire go to the Petrelli campaign headquarters to meet with Nathan. Upon arriving, they see Nathan talking with Thompson, whom Claire recognizes as her adoptive father's boss and the man she is running from.
Peter gives Claire a handgun, telling her she is the only person who can get close to him if he begins to explode. He instructs her to shoot him in the back of the head, a spot she knows will prevent him from healing. She reluctantly agrees to carry the weapon. The pair recognize a location from one of Peter's drawings of Ted, and decide to look for him. While waiting for Ted to appear, Claire and Peter discuss how their powers have changed their lives. Claire then sees Mr. Bennet walking with Ted and Matt Parkman. She runs to her adoptive father as Peter and Matt acknowledge each other. Meanwhile, Peter notices his hands begin to glow as he absorbs Ted's power.
In "Landslide", Mr. Bennet orders Claire to leave the city with Peter and Ted. They are making plans to make their way out of New York to Nebraska when Peter hears Sylar's thoughts and they hide in a building upon realizing he is nearby. When they re-emerge, Ted is arrested by the FBI. As Ted makes his way to a holding facility, Sylar makes the FBI truck transporting him crash, and Ted is subsequently murdered; his abilities having been absorbed by the villain.
Upon receiving this news in "How to Stop an Exploding Man", Mr. Bennet requests that Peter stay with his daughter at all times and he agrees. Claire, however, feels betrayed when, instead of finding Sylar on their own, Peter drives them to a parking garage where Nathan is awaiting their arrival. Firm in her belief that they cannot trust him, Claire sneaks out when Peter leaves her in the car to speak with his brother, only for her to run into Angela. Angela and Nathan have plans to leave the city with Claire to Nantucket but when she finds out that they have known about the impending explosion all along and are willing to let it transpire, she jumps out of Nathan's office window after bluffing them that she has accepted the situation. Rapidly healing after her fall, she runs off to Kirby Plaza where she catches up to the scene just when Peter is about to explode.
Mr. Bennet hands her a gun to shoot her uncle just as she had promised before, but Claire hesitates, pleading with Peter that there must be another way. Nathan flies down in between them at that moment and agrees with his daughter. Claire, Mr. Bennet, Molly, Micah, Mohinder, Matt, Niki and D.L. watch as Nathan flies away with his brother high into the air where Peter then explodes, saving New York City, but possibly sacrificing her birth father and uncle's lives in the process.
As the first season ends, Claire reconciles with her adoptive father and they make plans to reunite with the rest of their family.
Four months later, 16-year-old Claire and her family have moved to Costa Verde, California, where Claire starts her first day of 11th grade in Costa Verde High School under the last name of "Butler". She quickly meets West, who nearly runs her over when she accidentally runs in front of his car. Following her father's advice — "Be entirely unextraordinary" — she does nothing that makes her stand out.
In "Lizards", Claire, curious about the extent of her abilities and whether they could be used to help others, cuts off her own toe to see if it grows back. It does, but West, watching through the window, catches her in the act. Claire tries to keep him quiet about it, so he reveals his power, the ability to fly, to her. When Claire notices a two-line scar on his neck, he explains that he was "abducted by aliens" just after meeting a man with "horn-rimmed glasses", revealing that he was one of many caught and released by Claire's father.
In "The Kindness of Strangers", Claire pretends to make the cheerleading squad in order to have time to date West. Though the cheerleading squad leader, Debbie, will not let her join, she and West manage to get Debbie kicked off the team by abusing their respective powers.
In "Out of Time", West comes to Claire's house unannounced to bring breakfast. Despite her efforts, West discovers the identity of Claire's father and refuses to talk to Claire about it. At the same time, her father discovers the news report about the drunk cheerleader — vague details of Claire and West's prank are given — and insists on moving again. Claire strongly refuses, saying that she will not go with them.
In "Cautionary Tales", Claire takes a stand against her father's paranoia regarding the Company, claiming that this was all about him. At school, Bob Bishop broaches the subject of underage drinking to her, but slips up and calls her "Miss Bennet," tipping her off to who he really is. Claire dashes home and discovers the painting that sent Noah into a paranoid frenzy (Noah's death) before she is abducted. After they take her blood, Bob, Mohinder, and Claire meet Noah, West, and Elle for a hostage exchange: Claire for Elle. As Claire and West fly away, Elle zaps them down. Noah shoots Elle, but is shot by Mohinder, devastating Claire, who breaks the news to Sandra and Lyle.
In "Truth & Consequences" a heartbroken and devastated Claire, who does not know that her father has been revived by the Company, scatters what Bob led the family to be his ashes at the beach. After doing so though, she quickly discovers Elle Bishop observing her. Claire runs up to Elle and tells her that due to what the Company did to her father, she will reveal her power. Claire then punches through Elle's car window and says, "You'll be the ones running" and walks away.
In "Powerless", Claire is confronted by both her mother and West about her decision to reveal her power to the world. She and West fight, she breaks up with him and after he flies off, her father appears, effectively halting her plans.
In "The Second Coming", Claire, now 17, witnesses the shooting of Nathan on television, and calls Peter to ask about his condition, offering to give Nathan a blood transfusion to save him, though Peter tells her to stay put. She instead packs a duffel bag, apparently planning to go back to Texas to save him, only to find a newly empowered Sylar outside her bedroom, much to her horror and surprise. After a chase through the house, Sylar slices into her skull and examines Claire's brain. When Claire asks if Sylar will eat it, he states that the very idea is disgusting. After poking around, Sylar finds the source and gains the use of Claire's power. He then simply replaces her disembodied skull cap, which immediately reattaches to her body. Before Sylar leaves, he says to Claire that she's "different... special... and [he] couldn't kill [her] if [he] wanted to".
In "The Butterfly Effect", Claire discovers that she no longer feels pain, which saddens her deeply as she states that pain was the only thing that kept her believing she was human at all. Clearly distressed by this discovery, she resolves to experiment on herself to test her new-found ability. During one scene, Claire begins to videotape herself as she is about to step in front of an oncoming train. By labeling it her "seventh attempt", Claire is picking up where she had left off in "Genesis", where she had initially halted her experimentation at attempt number six. However, she is saved from getting hit by the future Peter, who she confides in about Sylar's attack and asks him to train her in her powers. Peter merely states that he can't and teleports away, leaving her by herself on the hill. At home, Noah Bennet, greatly relieved to see her still alive, shows Claire some files on several of the Company's escaped villains, stating his knowledge of their abilities and capabilities. When Claire inquires about the possibility of being attacked by any of these villains at home, Noah tells her he had thought about that idea and then reveals that he and Sandra Bennet had called in Meredith Gordon (last seen in Season 1's "Run!") to protect the family in Noah's absence.
In "One of Us, One of Them," Claire enlists Meredith to teach her how to fight back, to no longer be "the victim." However, when they leave to do so, Meredith "tortures" Claire by superheating the air in the building they are in, reducing the level of oxygen (this shows that while Claire is virtually immortal, she still may be vulnerable to asphyxiation). Eventually, she forces Claire to reveal the real reason she wants to learn how to fight: to get revenge on Sylar for what he did to her. Afterwards, a guilt-ridden Meredith apologizes to her at the Bennet household, and Claire leaves for an apparent cheerleader meeting; in reality, she has stolen some Company files that Noah had left on the counter and gone to track down some of the Company's escapees.
In the episode "Angels and Monsters", Claire has begun her mission to recapture the Level 5 escapees. Using the information from her father's files she tracks down Stephen Canfield, who has the ability to mentally create powerful energy vortices that act as miniature black holes. She finds Canfield, stuns him using a Taser, and explains to him that he is evil and how he must be brought to justice. However, much to Claire's surprise, Canfield is remorseful about the death of his neighbor (whom he accidentally killed after a heated argument over a lawnmower). He states how he just wants to be reunited with his wife and kids. Upon hearing this, and convincing Canfield that she was not with the Company, Claire agrees to help him locate his family using the information from her father's files. Shortly thereafter, Noah and his newly assigned partner Sylar (much to Claire's horror) interrupt her mission. Believing that Claire had set him up, Canfield opens up a vortex and escapes; Claire is very nearly sucked in, but is saved at the last minute by Sylar, who attempts to convince her that he is genuinely sorry for what he did; unsurprisingly, she is unwilling to forgive him, and Noah emphatically tells him to shut up and never talk to Claire again. Claire tells Noah that Canfield is truly sorry for what he had done and that the murder was an accident. Noah assures her that he would not place someone in Level 5 who didn't belong there in the first place, and agrees to talk to Canfield. That night, Claire meets Canfield at an amusement park, where it is revealed that his family never came. At that moment, Noah shows up and attempts to force him to kill Sylar in exchange for his own freedom against Claire's protests. However, the depressed Canfield uses a vortex to kill himself instead, feeling he has nothing left to live for. Later, Noah and Sylar drop Claire off at home. Sylar tries to sway Claire over to his side by claiming that Noah is a user who doesn't see people with abilities (including the two of them) as human and never will, but Claire refuses to listen. Inside the house, a relieved Sandra asks about Claire's well-being, and is relieved that Meredith found her, at which point Claire realizes Meredith went out looking for her and hasn't come back.
In "Dying of the Light", Claire has decided to search for Meredith. Despite the tension between Claire's mothers, Sandra does not object, and insists that she comes along, reinforcing the Company's "One of Us, One of Them" policy. Using Noah's files, they track down Eric Doyle's location. Sandra creates a diversion to buy Claire some time to rescue Meredith by telling Doyle that she is planning a birthday party for Lyle. However, the plan falls apart, and Sandra and Claire end up captured by Doyle. Claire is then forced to play a demented version of Russian Roulette; Doyle has placed the mothers-daughter team under his power and set a gun loaded with only one bullet on a table. After first using his power to control Claire's aim of the gun between both of her mothers, he forces her to shoot Meredith, but the chamber is empty. Meredith pleads to Doyle to release Claire, but he ignores her and continues his game. Next, Sandra is forced to aim the gun at Claire. Doyle releases his power over Claire's mouth and asks her if she has any last words. She reassures Sandra that everything will be okay and asks her mother to shoot. Her mother pulls the trigger until the live round fires, wounding Claire. Believing Claire to be dead, he releases his control of Sandra, which allows Claire to knock him unconscious, releasing the others. Noah later comes and sedates Doyle and takes him away. Claire is still angry with him over his partnership with Sylar and the Stephen Canfield incident and leaves the puppet emporium, followed by Sandra who attempts to calm her down.
In "Eris Quod Sum", Claire and Sandra return home from the emporium. Claire inquires about their situation ("We just starred in a human puppet show, my dad's working with a serial killer, and I can't feel pain"), but Sandra remains proud of her teenage daughter because of the latter's unwillingness to buckle under pressure. They exit the vehicle, and their house lights start flickering. Once inside, they discover Lyle on the floor groaning in pain; he alerts the women that "the bitch is back." Claire then traces the source of the electrical shortages; it is none other than Elle Bishop, who is sitting at Noah's computer desk. After a brief showdown between the two in which Elle's power proved useless against Claire's ability, she is stopped by Lyle who short circuits her body by throwing a pail of water on her. Elle then reveals that since her firing from the Company by new CEO Angela Petrelli, she has nowhere to go and come seeking the assistance of Noah Bennet. She then admits that she is losing control of her ability ever since the Level Five incident and that Pinehearst Industries may have the answers to helping her. Claire, who can identify with power mishaps as her own powers now negate pain, agrees to go with her. While taking a flight to Pinehearst, Claire taunts Elle over her hatred of heights. Elle fumes about her life under Primatech and believes Claire is an "idiot" if she wants any part in that life. Elle loses her temper, causing her body to overload uncontrollably, releasing electricity into the plane which nearly causes it to crash. Claire tells her to project all of her excess electricity into her body, knowing that she would not be harmed and thus saving the plane. Once they arrive outside Pinehearst, Elle apologizes to Claire for being "nothing but a bitch" when Claire was "nothing but sweet;" Claire, however, says she should thank Elle for convincing her not to give up, and Elle expresses her relief that Claire is "just as messed up as [she is]". As they make their way toward the building, they witness Peter Petrelli getting thrown from a seven story window. Claire goes to her uncle's aid, and to the shock of the ladies, he had survived the fall, yet his body is not healing. Claire asks Elle to help her carry him to the car, but Elle abandons her and heads inside Pinehearst in hopes of being cured. Claire then calls her biological father Nathan Petrelli at Mohinder Suresh's laboratory loft (formerly Isaac Mendez's loft) and alerts him to the day's events. Later, she and Peter meet with Nathan and Tracy Strauss, and Claire reveals to him the information ("Pinehearst") he needs to track down his father, Arthur Petrelli, whom Peter reveals is still alive.
In "It's Coming", Peter and Claire get into an argument about the future that Peter witnessed in "I Am Become Death" in which Claire becomes a ruthless killer herself, with Claire trying to prove otherwise. They are accosted by Knox and Flint (who is still unaware that Claire is his niece through Meredith). Believing them to be after Peter, Claire tries to hold them off, until they reveal that they actually came for her. Claire is surprised that Knox knows her name and ends up captured by the two villains, but she is saved by Peter, who overheard her shouts: Looking at the gas pipe, which was leaking, Peter warned Knox and Flint that he didn't need his powers to stop them, and provoked Flint into unleashing his pyrokinesis, which ignited the airborne gas, buying Peter and Claire time to escape. The biological uncle-niece team later arrive at Primatech, where Matt Parkman attacks Peter for teleporting him to Africa. After Peter convinces Matt (via thoughtspeak) that it wasn't him, but rather Future Peter, Matt and Daphne Millbrook take them to Angela Petrelli's room, where she is awake. Nathan arrives a few moments later, and Angela reveals that even though Pinehearst has both halves of the super-ability formula, a third element is needed; "a catalyst hidden in the blood of a human host," as Angela puts it. Claire recalls Sylar's attack on her and points out that Sylar had called her "different...special" after noticing something unusual about her brain; using this information, Claire theorizes that she is, in fact, the catalyst.
In "The Eclipse, Part 1," Claire is told by Angela that she must go into hiding to avoid Arthur gaining the catalyst, she is taken to Level 5 where she finds Noah Bennet waiting for her, he takes her to the house of Stephen Canfield. When they arrive there, he starts to teach her how to fight properly, as she struggles to fight him at first. Sylar and Elle are ordered to retrieve Claire for Pinehearst, but when they arrive they find that their powers are not working. Noah easily defeats the now-depowered Sylar and Elle, but Claire is shot by Elle when she throws herself in front of the gun to save Noah. Claire finds that after she is shot, she is not healing. Angered and worried, Noah takes Claire back to her home where Sandra and Noah try to treat her wound; Noah decides against taking her to a hospital, believing that the wound is not that serious and also because he doesn't want to risk Claire's power being exposed to the public should it return. Claire remarks that not being able to heal has finally allowed her to feel pain once again, and that even though it "sucks," it feels great. Sandra later returns to Claire's room with dinner on a tray, only to find Claire unconscious on the floor with blood pooling under her, showing that she was more severely injured by Elle's gun than Noah originally thought.
In "The Eclipse, Part 2," Claire is rushed to the hospital, where it's discovered that her entire bodily system is battling an infection; due to her ability, Claire has never been sick and possesses a very weak natural immune system. The nurse suspects Sandra of lying, as the infection is potentially lethal. When she is stabilized, Claire works up an apology to Sandra for everything that has happened since the events of Volume One, also expressing regret for ever wanting to be normal ("I'm so stupid. All I ever wanted was this ability gone. And now it is."). When police arrive to talk to Sandra (calling her "Mrs. Butler," as they are still living under the assumed surname), Claire falls into septic shock and ultimately dies of the infection. The hospital staff cover her body. Sandra uncovers Claire's face just as the sun pours in, and she is startled when Claire's wound heals and she abruptly wakes up. At home, Claire is still very angry with Noah for abandoning her again in her time of need, and explains that Noah still sees her as an "assignment." Following a suspicious though, Noah and Claire head downstairs to find Sylar and Elle holding Sandra hostage. When they explain their mission, Claire hastily agrees to go with them so that they will leave the family alone. Sylar and Elle refuse to relent until Hiro Nakamura teleports into the Bennet home and sends Sylar and Elle away. He then returns and teleports himself and Claire to Manhattan, 16 years ago. Claire reads the words in the comic's speech bubbles out loud ("I don't think I'd be a very good father;" "Once again, not a request;" "Don't get too close") and hears them repeated back in Japanese by Noah and Kaito. She realizes that they teleported back to the day that Kaito Nakamura gave 18-month-old Claire to Noah on the Deveaux building rooftop—a scene first shown as a flashback in season 1's "Company Man".
In "Our Father", while in the past, Hiro and Claire make their plans; Hiro is going to try to get his mother to heal him and gain the catalyst from her in the process, while Claire is going to try to convince Noah not to take the phone call from Kaito Nakamura. They lay out their plans to each other together in a rather humorous exchange, as neither of them understands what the other is saying. When Claire sees a slightly-younger Sandra struggling to support everything outside the Bennets' apartment, she introduces herself as "Bonnie, the neighbor's niece" and offers to help her. Claire proves to be very adept at handling her 18-month-old self, and tells Sandra to never let the baby out of sight. Claire's ruse is exposed by Noah, who is immediately suspicious of her. When the phone rings Claire, knowing who is calling, stops Noah from answering. She tells Noah that the Company will need to "borrow her for a bit," knowing that they plan to instill the catalyst into her past self. While fighting back tears, she tells him that the baby—his "Claire-Bear"---is "fine just the way she is." With a smile, Noah finally believes what "Bonnie" is telling him, and hangs up the phone. That night, on the Deveaux building rooftop, Claire meets again with Hiro, who, in English, tells her that he has been instilled with the catalyst. At that very moment, Arthur Petrelli appears behind Hiro and absorbs Hiro's powers as well as the catalyst, then telekinetically throws him off the roof. Arthur approaches Claire next and, before sending her back to the present day, tells her to relay the following message to Angela: "It's over; I've won."
In "Dual", Claire, Noah, Meredith, and Angela, are trapped in the Level 5 facility by Sylar, who initiates the lockdown mode. Sylar attempts to strike a deal with Claire, agreeing to let her, Noah, and Meredith go if she kills Angela, but Claire refuses and, after helping Noah escape from a trap, "kills" Sylar by stabbing him in the back of the head with a piece of broken glass. Claire goes back for Meredith, who has lost control of her pyrokinesis after being injected with adrenaline by Sylar, but is persuaded to leave her behind, telling Meredith she loves her and escaping with Noah and Angela as the building goes up in flames. She is then comforted by Noah as she mourns her biological mother's apparent death.
In "A Clear and Present Danger", Claire is once again staying at the Petrelli mansion in New York City, going over college brochures since she had earned her GED. Angela enters the room and presses that getting an elite college education is Claire's best shot at a normal life; an agitated Claire disagrees, as she has a gut feeling that Sylar is still alive. Angela counters this argument by telling her granddaughter that they were witnesses to the destruction of Primatech, and Sylar most likely didn't survive. Claire tells Angela of Noah's recent so-called "business trips" and of a news article she found of a man in Memphis who went missing and vows to go after Sylar herself. Later on, as she is leaving the mansion with her stuff, Claire overhears Angela on the phone. Picking up a nearby cordless, she eavesdrops and discovers Angela is talking to Nathan; she is telling him about Claire's suspicions of Nathan's plan to round up and capture people with abilities when Nathan names Peter and Matt as two of his next targets. After being spotted by Angela, Claire hangs up and dashes out. She calls Peter to warn him of these plans, then dashes over to Matt's apartment to warn him as well. Matt shows Claire some drawings he made using his newly discovered power. They are examining a drawing of themselves when Matt is tranquilized from behind. A team comes in to apprehend them.At an airplane hangar, Claire, who is hooded, drugged (becoming semi-conscious as she is seen moving her head which the other prisoners seem incapable of doing when she is brought to Nathan), and in an orange jumpsuit, is brought to Nathan, who puts her in a car out of the hangar, but on the way out she regains her composure and knocks out the driver before exiting the car and making a mad dash for the plane. She sneaks on board and unmasks Hiro, and then Peter, Mohinder, Tracy, an unknown female fugitive and Matt. Peter then distracts the guards to buy her time to get to the cockpit. She threatens the pilot with an "unexpected landing", only to discover Noah is also in the cockpit. However, the "unexpected landing" comes to pass after Peter accidentally unlocks Tracy's power and freezes a hole in the plane.
In "Trust and Blood", after the crash, Claire and Peter attempt an escape while she reveals Noah Bennet's involvement in Nathan's plans. They are accosted by Noah right then, but he lets Peter go and takes Claire to Nathan with plans to get her home. While Noah and Nathan converse in secret, Daphne Millbrook speeds into the tent and takes Claire to the crash site, where Hiro Nakamura, Ando Masahashi, Mohinder Suresh, and Matt Parkman are waiting. Daphne is then shot by The Hunter, and Claire is riddled with bullets until Matt manipulates one of the men to turn on his comrades. The Hunter then threatens Claire with a shot to the back of the head, but Nathan angrily stops him and takes her to Noah, who puts her in a car to take her home to Costa Verde and "live that normal life" that she used to long for. As Claire is sulking on her bed, Sandra enters and asks Claire what her college plans are. Claire tells her that she wants to stay close to home and get a part-time job. About a moment after Sandra leaves the room, Claire receives a mysterious text message from someone named "Rebel" telling her to hold out hope and fight back.
In "Building 26", Claire is texting "Rebel" at the dinner table at home. When Noah and Sandra discuss Claire's college trip, they decide that a community college would be better for her to take some of the pressure off. When Lyle asks Noah about a consultant's job, Claire leaves the dinner table, disgusted. Noah then asserts his authority over Claire, starting with having enrolled her at Costa Verde Community College. After Noah leaves, Claire receives a text from "Rebel" to warn an Alex Woolsley at a nearby Sam's Comics. When Claire goes to warn him, he thinks he's being pranked, until Claire demonstrates her ability. They then hide from Noah, who finds Alex and makes up a story to get Alex to go with him, but while Claire distracts Noah with a phone call, Alex knocks over several comics toward Noah to buy himself and Claire time to escape. When they find themselves far enough away, Alex reveals to Claire that he can breathe underwater, which he discovered while on his high school's swim team. Claire then notices a car in the rear view mirror that has already passed them twice, and she and Alex ditch his car and escape as Nathan's agents arrive at the scene. The Hunter tells Noah that they found Claire's car parked nearby. Noah goes to confront Claire about the lie; she retorts that she learned from "The Master" Noah. He maintains that bad things will happen if he can't control Claire anymore, but she asserts her independence from him and drives off. At home, while Noah is out, Claire tells Sandra the truth about Noah and his mission of capturing everybody with ability and she also tells her that the prisoners were drugged and wearing hoods over their faces and she was there (Ironically, she also suffered the same fate as the prisoners she mentioned earlier, but she wasn't meant to be a prisoner), and eavesdrops as Noah and Sandra have it out, with Noah turning the subject to make it about Claire. Noah later tells Claire that Sandra had kicked him out of the house for a while, and then says he wants to change and not keep so many secrets. A tearful Claire realizes how far she took the truth and hugs her father. Claire takes a sleeping bag to Alex, who is hiding in her closet, after Noah leaves.
In "Exposed", Sandra discovers Alex hiding in Claire's closet. After berating their actions, Sandra decides to help them. When two of Nathan's agents search the house to find Alex, Claire and Sandra manage to get rid of them after convincing them that Alex wasn't there, when in fact he was hiding in Noah's secret crawlspace. That night, Sandra and Lyle "go out to a movie" to distract the agents to buy escape time for Claire and Alex. With the agents on their trail, Claire and Alex hide underwater in a neighbor's pool, where he kisses her to give her some oxygen. After Alex escapes, Claire and Sandra congratulate themselves with popcorn and a "sappy love story," as Sandra describes her movie choice. Claire goes to get the popcorn, only to find the microwave empty and Eric Doyle standing in front of her. Doyle explains that he needs Claire's help, as "Rebel" had texted him, too: "CLAIRE WILL SAVE YOU."
In "Shades of Gray", Claire debates the idea of helping Eric Doyle escape the government agents. She applies for Alex Woolsley's former position at Sam's Comics as a cover to help more people with abilities to start over. As she leaves the store, Rebel sends her a text message telling her that Doyle was presently being captured by the agents. Despite reservations, she helps him and gives him a chance to escape. This, however, endangers her status with the government agents. Later that night, Rebel warns her that her free pass has been revoked (presumably since Danko now knows of her biological father's flight ability) and that the agents were going to capture her. She is saved by her biological father, Nathan Petrelli, and they are seen floating together outside of her house as agents search it.
In "Into Asylum", Nathan flies Claire to Patzcuaro, Mexico, where Nathan reveals Claire's free pass was revoked because he was exposed to Danko. They check into a nearby motel with the last of their money, and she later meets her father at the cantina with a wad of cash she got from selling Noah Bennet's necklace, and asks why Nathan gave her a free pass. Nathan gambles away their money by doing a last-man-standing competition from downing shots of tequila, forcing Claire to win it back by betting Nathan's watch and downing the shots of tequila herself, without any consequence due to her abilities. That night at the motel, Nathan, still coming down from his buzz, tells Claire that he gave her a free pass hoping to win her over in one move, and that he is willing to fix what he has wrought. Claire tells him that she has wondered about her real dad over the years, and when she met Nathan he'd surpassed her every expectation she had. She says that he has the ability to do anything before going outside to think, and is later joined by her biological father. Nathan, having pawned his watch, puts Noah Bennet's necklace back around her neck. They leave Mexico together.
In "Turn and Face the Strange", after a message from Peter and Angela, Nathan and Claire make plans to meet up with them at an abandoned settlement known as Coyote Sands. When they arrive, Peter visibly displays his anger and distrust toward Nathan, while Claire breaks up the fight. Angela tells them that they will be digging for answers, literally, and she hands out shovels; the family digs well into the night. Shortly after Nathan uncovers a human skull buried underground, Claire spots a vehicle coming to a stop near their digging site. Noah Bennet gets out of the vehicle and joins his adoptive daughter and her biological family as Angela plans to reveal the truth.
In "1961," Angela is finally revealing to Claire, Noah, and her sons Nathan and Peter the secrets that have haunted her for over 4 decades. When a violent storm suddenly hits Coyote Sands, Angela goes out to face her demons. When Claire ventures outside seconds later, the storm has subsided, and Angela is nowhere in sight. After reconciling with each other, Noah and Claire, along with Nathan, continue to search the settlement, while Peter and Mohinder (who had heard of his father's involvement) find her in the underground shelter of Angela's younger sister, Alice, who is revealed to be the source of the violent storms that ravaged the settlement. The group leaves Mohinder behind to confront his own demons and reconvenes at the eatery where teenage Angela had danced with a young Charles Deveaux in 1961, the night of "Hurricane Alice." Nathan tells Claire that he is going to own up to his mistakes and talk to the President. Claire notices on TV that another Nathan is already at a press conference doing the same thing. Nathan can't believe it, while Noah recognizes the fake Nathan as Sylar.
In "I Am Sylar", with Peter having taken off to search for Nathan, Claire is shown with Angela and Noah in his vehicle. They are stopped at a roadblock and swarmed by agents.
In "An Invisible Thread", Claire and Angela are shown to have escaped Noah's vehicle just before the car is swarmed with agents. Claire meets up with Nathan, and is instantly suspicious of his identity, especially when 'Nathan' fidgets with Noah Bennet's necklace. Claire's suspicions are confirmed when 'Nathan' starts taking control of her body and reverts into Sylar. Sylar then takes on Claire's form. When Noah calls her, Sylar/Claire answers the phone and tells him that Nathan is indeed Nathan, only to revert to himself and taunt Noah. Sylar then attempts again to sway Claire to his side of things, and lists things they have in common (both were adopted, both can't die), and taunts that Claire will grow bored of trying to kill him. He flings Claire out of the room just as Nathan and Peter arrive. When the Petrelli brothers go to battle Sylar, Claire is locked out of the room. After things quiet down, she enters the room to find it a mess, and Peter flies in. Claire and Peter go to search for Nathan and Sylar, only to run into an armed Noah, who wonders if Claire is Sylar in disguise. Claire proves it's really her just as agents hold them at gunpoint, and since they don't believe Noah's suspicions about Sylar, Claire saunters up to the guards and threatens them. That night, Claire, Noah, Matt, Hiro, Ando, 'Nathan,' Peter, and Angela are gathered around a burning centerpiece as they watch the cremation of "Sylar."
In part one, "Orientation," Claire is starting college in Arlington, VA, where she meets her roommate Annie (Rachel Melvin). Annie tells Claire to plan her life as she has done, which she calls a "trajectory," and asks what Claire's parents do; Claire tells her that Sandra breeds champion show dogs and Noah works for the government; Annie assumes that's how Claire got in. Whilst touring the campus, Claire meets Gretchen Berg (Madeline Zima), who to her surprise recognizes Claire from the Union Wells High homecoming disaster three years ago (see "Homecoming"). Claire and Annie meet again as they take their placement test for an advanced algebra class. Claire wakes from a nightmare in which one of Emile Danko's former agents tranquilizes her in the middle of the test and walks out, stating that "This class isn't for me." As Annie catches a visiting Noah Bennet up on how his daughter is handling college, Claire and Noah have a heart-to-heart about who they want to be; she tells him that she doesn't want to be anybody but herself. Annie invites Claire to a mixer that night, where Claire meets up with Gretchen. Annie challenges Claire to a round of Guitar Hero 3, which she brags about kicking butt in. Claire, who doesn't know how to play, agrees on the condition that Gretchen be her opponent. After the mixer, Claire returns to her dorm. She sees that the window is open and goes to close it, only to discover Annie on the ground below, dead, in an apparent suicide.
In part 2, "Jump, Push, Fall," Claire is interrogated about Annie's suicide by the police in the dorm. After the interrogation, she is too shaken to stay in the dorm and decides to stay with Sandra for the night. Upon her return to college the next day, Claire is questioned again, this time by Gretchen, who debates over whether or not Annie's suicide was actually a suicide or a murder and wonders why Annie would map out her whole life only to end it. Seeing that Claire is unsure, Gretchen meets her in the campus cafeteria with a pile of forensics textbooks and explains the "Jump, Push, Fall" philosophy that she had learned about from an episode of Crossing Jordan. Gretchen wants to recreate Annie's "suicide" with a dead-body dummy, which later that night gives Claire the idea to recreate it herself...as the dead body in question. Relying on "Jump, Push, Fall," Claire hurls herself off of her dorm window and lands in the spot where Annie's body was, and comes to the conclusion that Annie had, in fact, committed suicide. Claire puts herself back together and slides her ribcage back into place, only to discover that Gretchen had been watching.
In "Ink", Claire is constantly pushed by Gretchen to admit that she had slid her ribcage back into alignment following her fall from the dorm window, and when Claire tries to brush it aside, Gretchen gets annoyed. Noah comes to Claire's dorm to take her out to dinner; Claire accepts, and despite her objections, Gretchen invites herself along. Vaguely referencing Claire but not by name, Gretchen tells Noah about a girl she saw on YouTube who couldn't feel any pain, tipping Noah off that Gretchen knows about Claire. When Gretchen excuses herself, Noah is aghast and motions to call the Haitian to erase Gretchen's memory, but Claire tells him that Gretchen is the only real friend she's made in college so far and threatens to cut him out of her life entirely (no calls or emails) if he calls the Haitian. On the way back to the dorm, Gretchen apologizes and admits that she is pushy, then reveals to Claire that everybody in high school called her "Retchin' Gretchen" because she was bulimic. Whilst in the dorm, Claire allows Gretchen to cut her (Claire's) hand with a pair of scissors to demonstrate her healing ability, then she decides to make Gretchen her roommate.
In "Acceptance", Claire arrives at Noah's apartment as Peter is leaving. Claire suspects Peter picked up a new power, then checks in on her father to see how he is doing. Worried that Noah "Man with the Plan" has become "plan-less" since retiring from The Company and Sandra divorcing him, Claire takes it upon herself to find work for him. When Noah tells her about his usual line of work with The Company involving "bagging and tagging" for the last 20 years, Claire notes that he is a "people person" and checks the want ads for jobs relating to his line of work in addition to mock-interviewing him, reminding him that "You have to remember who you were to figure out who you want to be."
In "Hysterical Blindness", Claire and Gretchen are invited by a coed named Becky to a mixer to rush a sorority. While Gretchen is getting ready, a book "falls" off the shelf and when Claire picks it up, she notices Gretchen's computer, which is opened to various photos of Claire, the headline about the Union Wells cheerleader (Jackie Wilcox), and the "Jump, Push, Fall" philosophy, making Claire suspicious, believing that Gretchen is stalking her. Claire then lets Gretchen go to the mixer by herself, offering to join her later. At the mixer, Claire starts chatting up a fellow sorority rushee, but ends up pushing her out of the way of a flagstaff being thrust down between them. Claire looks up and sees only Gretchen looking nervous. Back at the dorm, Claire confronts Gretchen about what she found on the computer, including the stuff about Annie. Gretchen finally admits to "just a little bit" stalking Claire, kisses her and then admits to having a crush on her, to Claire's surprise. In the end, Claire and Gretchen are invited to join the sorority, which they do. Unbeknownst to either of them, it was Becky, who has the power of invisibility, who had been acting on Samuel Sullivan's orders to isolate Claire; staging Annie's "suicide", dropping the book, and thrusting the flagstaff, all to frame Gretchen and sever Claire's relationship with her.
In "Tabula Rasa", Claire visits Noah's apartment to do some laundry; there she asks Noah about his unsuccessful job search when they are interrupted by Peter. When she learns Hiro Nakamura is dying of a brain tumor, she offers her blood to heal him, but Noah tells her that her regenerative blood will only accelerate the growth of the tumor. Peter and Noah leave to look for a healer named Jeremy Greer, leaving Claire to glance at Jeremy's file.
In "Strange Attractors", Claire and Gretchen, as well as two other sorority rushees, are "kidnapped" by Becky Taylor as part of their initiation, and are sent on a "Screamin' Scavenger Hunt" through a horror-movie slaughterhouse. Claire and Gretchen talk about their relationship and Gretchen apologizes for kissing her, fueling Claire's curiosity about Gretchen's past relationships. They soon find themselves being attacked by several traps that Claire assumes are meant for Gretchen, fueling Claire's suspicion that maybe their hazing isn't a game. After saving Gretchen from choking to death on another trap, Claire and the other girls are attacked by an unseen force. When Claire, who was thrown against a stake on the wall, manages to hit the force, Becky rematerializes in front of the girls and takes off, going invisible and closing the doors she goes through. When Gretchen pulls Claire off of the stake, Claire heals in full view of all three rushees, freaking out everybody except Gretchen, who asks Claire what their next move will be since the rushees saw Claire heal, thus eliminating Claire's chances of a normal life.
The "Genesis" Claire is shown in "Once Upon a Time in Texas" when Hiro Nakamura travels back to this time period to save waitress Charlie Andrews. Claire is amongst the Union Wells Wildcats cheerleaders, including Jackie Wilcox, cheering their team to victory against San Antonio when she spots her father Noah looking on. Noah expresses his regrets about not being able to attend the homecoming game, but Claire tells him not to worry about it, and that they can hang out whenever they want to. Noah then lets her rejoin the cheerleaders.
In "Shadowboxing", Claire is determined to get answers about the sorority rush attacks. She convinces Noah and the Haitian to intervene to help her. When they arrive at the dorm, Claire is surprised to see Gretchen packing. Despite Claire's attempts to get her to stay, Gretchen is too scared for her life and leaves. After Claire gets the Haitian to accompany Gretchen, she is visited by Samuel Sullivan, who seems to understand what she and Becky Taylor are going through because of their abilities. That night, Claire tries to defuse an ensuing brawl between Noah and an invisible Becky, which ends when Samuel hits Becky with a taser. Noah walks Claire back to the dorm and tells her how special she is, to which Claire corrects him by saying she's "extraordinary." Afterwards, whilst trying to sleep, Claire becomes restless and feels more alone than ever without Gretchen around.
In "Brother's Keeper", Claire, still reeling from Gretchen's departure and the revelations regarding Samuel and Becky, arrives at Noah's apartment with a basket of laundry when she encounters Tracy Strauss, who had earlier force-frozen her way in. Claire arms herself but calms down and listens to Tracy, and gets her in a hot tub before making hot tea. Tracy only continues to lose control over her power and accidentally freezes Claire completely. Tracy tries to drag the frozen Claire into the hot tub but Claire's icy foot breaks off in her hands. Claire heals, however, surprising a hysterical Tracy. After everything calms down, Claire suggests that Tracy's problem is psychological rather than physical and that this is why Tracy cannot control her ability. Tracy and Claire talk about Samuel Sullivan and his offer for them to join the Sullivan Bros. Carnival, and Claire, whilst unsure of Samuel's offer herself, advises Tracy to take him up on the offer if she wants to break free of her old life, which she believes Tracy's body is telling her. Tracy is happy to find a confidant in Claire because of their abilities and how hard it is to trust people in the outside world, causing Claire to feel a pang of guilt, presumably over Gretchen. Noah returns home and after noticing Claire's severed frozen foot on the coffee table asks the women how their day was.
In "Thanksgiving", Noah Bennet hosts a Thanksgiving dinner at his apartment, which Claire attends, along with Sandra and her new boyfriend Doug, who bring with them Mr. Muggles and Doug's dog Ms. Lovegood; and Lauren Gilmore, Noah's ex-Company partner and ex-flame. Over Thanksgiving dinner, everyone goes around the table to say what they're thankful for. When Claire's turn to give thanks comes, Claire states that she isn't feeling the mood of Thanksgiving and announces that she is dropping out of school, shocking everyone. Claire explains that she is sick of lying and hiding her powers and being a freak, defending her argument by saying that "People don't like freaks!". When Doug tries to explain the normalcy of Claire's feelings, Claire snaps and cuts open her arm for all at the table to see, causing Doug to pass out. After everything calms down, Claire looks at Noah's corkboard of newspaper clippings detailing the Samuel-induced collapsings of the police station (see "Strange Attractors") and the New York mansion (see "Ink") and is disappointed that Noah is slipping back into his old life and treating her like a child. Noah answers a knock at the door, and Claire is surprised and happy to find that Gretchen had come. When everyone is leaving, Claire tells Noah that she has decided to return to classes starting Monday. Claire meets Gretchen in the car and reveals that she had taken the compass that almost got Noah killed, and, despite Gretchen's reservations about Becky, tells Gretchen that they are going on a journey to the Sullivan Bros. Carnival.
In "The Fifth Stage", Claire and Gretchen continue their journey. Claire receives a call from Noah admonishing her for taking the compass and going down a potentially dangerous road. When the girls arrive at the Sullivan Bros. Carnival, Claire begins to get cold feet believing that Becky is there, at which point they are greeted by Samuel. The girls tour the carnival, where Gretchen notices a man using his power to rip off a burly guy throwing balls at a pyramid stack of milk bottles, only to let a little girl win the prize. They arrive at a campfire where Samuel is telling a story to a group of kids, where Claire reunites with a now-clean-shaven Eric Doyle, who reveals that the new life he got from Claire during the "Fugitives" arc didn't work out so well until Samuel found him and took him into the Carnival, and tells her that they should talk. Samuel convinces Claire to tell the kids a story of her own, and she tells it based on her own life, personifying herself as a frog with a mother (Sandra), father (Noah), and a tadpole (Mr. Muggles), though she doesn't mention Lyle. Claire attempts to break up a fight between Samuel and the burly man who was ripped off at the milk bottles, who then shatters a glass and slashes Claire across her cheek. Claire's wound heals in seconds, scaring off the burly man, and Claire then tends to Samuel's wounds. As Samuel explains why he didn't fight back, he tells Claire that she has a purpose in the Carnival, and she seems convinced. Outside, Claire tells Gretchen that she is going to stay at the Carnival for a few days to figure out her purpose, and gives Gretchen a tearful goodbye hug before walking toward Samuel and Lydia. Samuel gives his next eulogy at Joseph's gravesite, where the members of the Carnival are in attendance; Claire is shown among them, and she and Samuel share a smile, indicating that she may be joining the Carnival after all, while remaining oblivious to Samuel's true intentions.
In "Upon This Rock", Claire has joined the Carnival, and is made nervous by Eli, the replicating man. Lydia tells her about him, then has Claire deliver some blueberry muffins to Samuel for brownie points. She walks in as Samuel covers Noah's Primatech files and becomes suspicious. Samuel tells Claire that he is going into the city to pick up someone for his plan and tells Claire that it is her choice whether or not to stay. However, when he leaves Claire, Samuel implies to Eli that he is to make Claire stay. Claire spots Eli again at the tables, then overhears Lydia and Amanda arguing. She strikes up a conversation with Lydia and asks why Samuel wanted them here. Lydia tells her that Samuel is obsessed with building his "family", but she doesn't tell her why. Claire knocks on Samuel's trailer, but is confronted by Eli and his clones, who tell her that Samuel is away. Claire carries a box full of stuffed animals to the attraction only to cross paths with Eli and his clones again. She runs away into the house of mirrors, and Eli and his clones move to trap her inside. Claire uses the mirrors to fool Eli and make her attack, then runs to Samuel's trailer and peruses the Primatech files, where she finds a map of the Valley and a photo of a teenaged Samuel and Joseph. She is then puppeteered by a crazy Doyle, who believes her to be a spy and angrily tells her that she will not ruin his new life at the Carnival. Claire is attempting to convince an unflinching Doyle that Samuel is twisted and evil, as Doyle explains how Joseph helped him change, then lets Claire go, telling her to talk to Lydia. She does, and Lydia tells her that Joseph, not Samuel, was the one in charge, and that she misses Joseph. Lydia chokes up, and Claire realizes that Samuel killed his own brother. Lydia begs Claire to find somebody to stop Samuel. After her conversation with Lydia, Claire is once again attacked by Eli and his clones. Samuel returns to the fray, and reminds her of her choice, and Claire demands answers about Joseph. Samuel tells her about Emile Danko and how Joseph exposed them to the government, comparing him to Noah Bennet, and Claire asks about the Valley. Samuel shows her Ian, a man who can create gardens, and Claire watches as Ian uses his power to grow grass and vegetation around the rock at an accelerated rate, transforming the Valley into a lush landscape. Samuel explains his plan to Claire, who decides she wants to go back to her regular home, and Samuel agrees, but he tells her that they will always welcome her back if something should go wrong. Checking her phone, Claire receives voicemails from Noah and Peter Petrelli wanting to talk to her. Claire gets out of a cab at the memorial service of Nathan Petrelli and tells Noah that she is keeping the compass.
In "Let It Bleed", after the memorial, Noah visits Claire and offers to give her a ride, however, Claire declines, sick of being lied to, and realizes that Sylar killed Nathan and that Noah had a hand in transforming Sylar into Nathan, and is upset at having been fooled all this time. Claire rejoins the funeral wake and reunites with Peter, and they walk into the kitchen together. While they cut up some food, Claire cuts her finger in anger, and discovers that she is not healing. She stalls Peter from getting The Haitian to stop using his power so that she can experience the normalcy of feeling pain, and remembers West Rosen, whom she dated in the "Generations" arc, and how he could fly, like Nathan. Later, Claire confronts Angela about her disappointment over Angela and Noah's deception; Angela tells Claire that Peter is on the roof, and begs her to help him grieve for Nathan's loss. Claire finds a police scanner and overhears a bearing, realizing that Peter is out to avenge Nathan. Claire confronts Peter about his intentions and tells her to suppress the bleeding of a woman named Wendy, who tells them of a crazy man named Adam Malamut. Claire tries to talk Peter out of his mission, but he refuses and leaves her to tend to Wendy. Claire is then confronted by the man himself, but Peter directs his attention to him and watches as he tries to calm the man down. He shoots Peter, and the wounded Peter wants Claire to continue the mission. After Peter copies Claire's power, Claire reminds him that Nathan would have been angry at how Peter is handling the situation, and they comfort each other and mourn together. Peter and Claire sit together on a rooftop, where Peter promises to be honest with Claire. Peter then asks Claire to call West. Claire returns to her dorm and discovers a note from Gretchen, then checks her phone, unaware that Sylar is hovering outside her dorm window.
In "Pass/Fail", Claire is back at Arlington University with Gretchen. Claire apologetically rebuffs attempts to get close to Gretchen, then leaves to attend an evaluation with one of her professors. She arrives at the room expecting her professor, but discovers Sylar instead having scribbled "Why Claire Bennet" all over one side of the chalkboard. Sylar tells Claire that she needs to help him as he "hasn't been quite himself" lately, owing to his time spent as Nathan Petrelli. Claire angrily refuses, but Sylar mentions how much alike they are, having both been abandoned by their birth parents and adopted by parents who didn't understand them, refusing to get close to people because of their abilities. Holding Gretchen's fate over her head, Sylar telekinetically pins Claire onto a table and kisses her, calling Lydia's ability. Fearing for Gretchen, Claire stabs Sylar in the eye and races across campus back to her dorm, where she finds Gretchen bound and gagged on the floor. After rescuing her, Claire tells her how alike she and Sylar are. However, the Gretchen in the closet with Claire is really Sylar, who reiterates his problem of identity confusion. Claire enters the cafeteria where she finds the real Gretchen, exactly as she left her. Claire apologizes for trying to keep Gretchen at arm's length, and tells her that she "wants to hold [her] hand," signifying their close relationship, and the girls begin to rebond with one another.
In "The Art of Deception", Claire goes to visit Noah at his apartment but runs into Lauren instead, and realizes Noah had left for the Carnival. Despite prodding from Gretchen to leave it alone, Claire drives up to the Carnival. Whilst there, Claire negotiates a peaceful surrender for Samuel, which is rendered moot when gunshots ring out, killing Lydia and wounding Claire and Samuel. Eli arrives with a semi-conscious Noah and pins the blame on the Bennets, and Samuel has Noah imprisoned in the house of mirrors and Claire in Samuel's trailer.
In "The Wall", Samuel decides to show Claire Noah's secret past in an attempt to sway her to his cause. She is taken to the house of mirrors and finally learns the truth about him, and is aghast to discover that Noah had a wife before Sandra, that Noah's joining the Company stems from his wife being murdered by a special, and that more recently, Noah had threatened Gretchen and told her what would happen if Claire stuck with the Carnival. Claire storms out of the house of mirrors to calm down, but Noah is taken to the souvenir trailer. Claire goes to free him, but as she does so, Samuel uses his powers to bury them deep under the earth.
In "Brave New World", Claire and Noah are still trapped underground in the souvenir trailer, with the Carnival having gone to Central Park. Noah warns Claire that digging faster will only deplete their oxygen faster, and tells her that she is down there so that she can watch him die. Claire cries and tells him that she wants to protect him like he's done with her, but he rebuffs this, stating that it's not her job. As things begin to look bleak, Tracy Strauss coalesces into the trailer and manages to get them out from underneath and back to the surface, where they meet up with Lauren. They go to the Carnival in Central Park, where Claire goes to rally the carnies as Noah goes after Samuel; neither are aware that Peter and Sylar are there as well. No one will listen to Claire until she brings up that it was Samuel who killed Joseph. Edgar, having previously threatened Noah at knifepoint, arrives at the meeting to back Claire's side of the story, and Eli, brainwashed by Matt Parkman, admits to killing Lydia and framing Noah. As Samuel and Peter (who had copied Samuel's power) cause a tremor, Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi arrive. Ando supercharges Hiro's power so that Hiro is able to teleport everybody away, knowing it will brutally weaken Samuel. Claire is teleported away with everyone but Peter and Sylar, who save Emma Coolidge from Eric Doyle; and Noah, who goes after Samuel.
Brave New World
Picking up from where Volume Five ended, Volume Six begins in the same episode of the same title, with Claire reuniting with Noah. Claire expresses that Samuel was right about the Heroes one day living freely amongst others. Despite Noah's protests, Claire goes to climb to the top of the Ferris wheel, watched by Noah, Lauren, Peter, Sylar, Hiro, Ando, Emma, and the press, who have arrived to cover Samuel's arrest. To everybody's shock, Claire performs her trademark swandive off the top of the wheel and faceplants on the ground. She then gets up and exhibits her power in front of everyone, and says to the camera, "My name is Claire Bennet, and this is attempt number... I guess I've kind of lost count."
- In the alternate future of "Five Years Gone", Claire has been hidden from the world by Mr. Bennet due to the world's newfound awareness and fear of those with special powers, having been shipped from place to place in an effort to keep her identity and whereabouts secret from her biological father and his "hero"-hunting Department of Homeland Security. She works as a brunette waitress in Midland, Texas, in the Burnt Toast Diner, under the alias of "Sandra". She discusses an upcoming wedding with her blond-haired fiancé, Andy (Kellan Lutz). However, upon learning that others are aware of Claire's existence, Mr. Bennet travels to Midland in order to once again erase Claire from the map. Although he succeeds in persuading her to pack up and leave, he is later betrayed by the merciless Matt Parkman, who telepathically discovers Claire's location and apprehends her at the diner.
Claire is taken to the Petrelli Mansion in New York, where she is visited by Nathan Petrelli. Nathan explains the necessity of the sweeping presidential measures he's taken against the genetically-advanced of the world. Though simply disgusted with her father at first, the situation takes a turn for the worse when "Nathan" reveals himself to be Sylar in disguise. He has killed both Nathan and Candice Wilmer, using her power of illusion to masquerade as Nathan. Sylar then telekinetically scalps Claire, but it is unknown if this killed her (given she was able to survive a similar encounter with Sylar in the 'normal' timeline).
- In the alternate future of "The Second Coming", Claire is revealed to have black hair and a deep hatred of the oppression of evolved humans in that timeline. She encounters the future Peter, planning to kill him with a gun, but he stops time to avoid the bullet and teleports into the past. Before she shoots, she states that she always loved him.
This version of Claire appears once more in "I Am Become Death", where she immediately shoots down Future Peter, whose powers are negated by the presence of the Haitian, and turns her attention to Present Peter. It is revealed that she is working alongside the Haitian, as well as Knox and Daphne Millbrook, to capture and/or kill Peter, who has been labeled as a terrorist. After Sylar's loss of control destroys Costa Verde, she captures Peter and begins to torture him with a scalpel in retribution for the deaths of the Costa Verde citizens, but doesn't get very far with it and leaves when Nathan arrives to speak with his brother alone. Peter's encounter with Future Claire continues to haunt him following his return to the present, to the extent that he attempted to force Present Claire to leave him alone even when he had lost his own powers in order to prevent her from becoming like her future self.
Powers and abilities
Claire can spontaneously regenerate any tissue in her body, allowing her to recover from almost any injury within seconds to minutes — though she does need larger, embedded foreign objects (such as a branch or a shard of glass) to be manually removed from her body, or bones pushed back into position for the wounds to heal properly. Although Sylar, after studying and taking her power, remarks that he wouldn't be able to kill her even if he wanted to and that she will never die, writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite have confirmed that methods such as decapitation or incineration would indeed kill her. On the other hand, she has survived nuclear explosions in "Company Man" and "I Am Become Death".
In addition to simple healing, Claire has been shown to regenerate at least small extremities. In the second season episode "Lizards", she experiments with the limits of her powers, cutting off a toe. A new toe rapidly grows into place. When her blood is injected into others, they are also healed, even if they were dead for a while, with no apparent ill-effects. In the graphic novel "Resistance", dark future-Claire is able to regenerate her entire right arm after detonating a grenade during a terrorist raid while working as a HLS agent.
In the episode "Into Asylum" Claire reveals that she cannot become intoxicated. She has a drinking contest with a man to get more money for her and her father, Nathan. She drinks over 20 shots and does not demonstrate any signs of being intoxicated. She pretends to be drunk to hide her ability from the man. She later points out to Nathan that her tissue regeneration extends to internal organs like her liver.
Thanks to her power, she has an incredibly high pain tolerance; Claire states in "The Butterfly Effect" that, when injured, she feels pain just as severe as anyone else who was injured in such a way, but her power quickly deadens pain. When asked about this, series writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite would only comment that she "feels pain, but not the way most of us do." Claire, describing her response to pain to West, says "I feel pain; I just get over it quickly." Between her tolerance for pain and seemingly unlimited healing potential, Hayden Panettiere compares her character to the X-Men character Wolverine, although she is "less hairy and without claws." Since having her brain examined by Sylar, Claire has stated that she no longer feels physical pain of any kind.
With the temporary loss of her powers in "The Eclipse", it is shown that Claire's abilities protect her from diseases, although this also leaves her natural immune system weak, as she has not built up a resistance to any sickness.
It is revealed in "Tabula Rasa" that her injected blood cannot cure tumors; her rapid cell reproduction would actually accelerate a tumor's growth due to it being living tissue.
In "Brother's Keeper" Claire is able to continue regeneration even after being accidentally frozen by Tracy Strauss; she thaws out and her frozen foot, which had broken off in Tracy's hands, is replaced with another foot that regenerates, going beyond Claire's experimentation in "Lizards" in which she cut off her pinky toe from the same foot.
Marc Hirschfeld, executive vice president of casting for NBC Universal Television stated, "When they were trying to decide who the cheerleader should be, I literally picked up the phone and said to the producers, 'You've got to meet Hayden Panettiere.'"
- Douglas, Edward (August 8, 2006). "Exclusive: Heroes' Hayden Panettiere". Superherohype.com. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
- "Behind the Eclipse: Episode 7". Comic Book Resources. 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
- "Kindred". Heroes. Season 2. Episode 3. 2007-10-08.
- UGO Team (January 21, 2010). "Best Heroes of All Time". UGO Networks. Retrieved April 3, 2011.