Jack Coleman as Noah Bennet
|Last appearance||"Brave New World"|
|Portrayed by||Jack Coleman|
|Spouse(s)||Sandra Bennet (div. 2009)
Kate Bennet (wife from 1985)
|Children||Claire Bennet (adopted daughter/protegee)
Lyle Bennet (adopted son)
Noah Bennet, also known as the man in horn-rimmed glasses (aka HRG) or simply Mr. Bennet, is a character from the NBC drama Heroes played by Jack Coleman. The role was initially recurring, but became regular as of the 11th episode. His first name was not revealed until "How to Stop an Exploding Man", the first season finale. Along with his adoptive daughter Claire, Noah is the most frequently seen character in the series.
At first glance, Noah Bennet appears to be an ordinary businessman who works at the Primatech Paper Company and lives in Odessa, Texas, with his wife and two children. However, he and his associates have actually traveled the world for a number of years investigating superhuman phenomena and tracking down people with these "gifts." Bennet claims that he assists them in learning to use their powers, although a flashback conversation between him and Thompson reveals that he knows his job is morally questionable and that it will often produce unintended consequences; in one episode, he plainly states that he is comfortable with being morally gray. Though he is a "Company Man," he deeply cares for his family and will do anything to protect them, particularly his adopted daughter Claire, and puts their safety above all else. He is also known as "Glasses Man".
Bennet has had a number of associates, most notably a mysterious man most commonly known as "The Haitian," who has the power to prevent other heroes from exercising their powers in his presence, as well as to remove select memories from people's minds. Bennet's other known associates have been Eden McCain, a woman with the power of mind control who kills herself to keep Sylar from gaining her ability; Claude Rains, Bennet's first partner who has the power to turn invisible; and a romantic couple composed of Hank, a doctor with unknown abilities and his significant other, Lisa, who also has unknown abilities. Rains is the first person to question Bennet's actions and those of The Company. Bennet is charged with executing Rains for his insubordination on moral grounds, but Rains escapes by literally disappearing into thin air.
Bennet's true agenda and overall affiliation are mysterious. In response to Matt Parkman's inquiries as to whether he works for the FBI or the CIA, Bennet said he doesn't work for "any organization that has initials." Furthermore, he has worked for and against The Company and for and against Mr. Linderman. These factors cloud his true allegiances. His one allegiance that is clear, however, is that to his daughter, Claire; his son, Lyle; and his wife, Sandra. Bennet loves his daughter profusely, but is also overprotective of her. This sometimes leads him to use his authority and associates in unsavory ways. Past, present and future events all indicate that Bennet has lied about Claire's biological origins multiple times.
According to his driving license, his previous address is 9 Juniper Lane, Odessa, Texas. Noah Bennet speaks Japanese and also appears to speak at least some Ukrainian. Although he does not seem to possess any powers, his extensive experience in dealing with beings with superpowers allows him to be able to handle them effectively. Also, he displays considerable prowess in hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship.
In the episode "The Wall", Samuel uses the ability of Damien to reveal Noah's life before joining The Company to Claire. In 1985, Noah lived in Los Angeles with his first wife Kate as a used car salesman. Soon after learning Kate is pregnant, the two are attacked by a telekinetic named Richard in their home resulting in Kate's death. Before wanting to find the killer, Noah develops signs of psychotic depression and paranoia before he spends the next year mapping and tracking people with abilities. After encountering one of the people he is tracking, Noah demands that he tell him where he can find Richard, but is attacked and is forced to kill him in self-defence. Soon after, Noah is approached by Eric Thompson Sr. with an offer to join Primatech and assistance in finding Richard. After two years and several deaths on his cases Noah is encouraged by Thompson to get married to calm him so there are fewer incidents, suggesting to Noah to look at the waitress working at the restaurant, who turns out to be Sandra. Soon after, the two meet and then get married; they spend their honeymoon in West Berlin, Germany where Noah acts as informant for Thompson's assignment (From the Files of Primatech, Part 5: 1988).
In "Company Man", a flashback episode, it is revealed that Noah Bennet's former partner years ago was Claude, with whom he rescued Claire from the fire her biological mother caused by pyrokinesis. However, because Claude was hiding "one of them", Bennet was forced to kill him. However, Claude later turned out to be alive—he had used his powers to become invisible when Bennet shot him, disappearing from view. In "Company Man", an episode that takes place over 16 years before "Genesis", Kaito Nakamura arranges for Noah to adopt Claire as an assignment and Bennet later allows them to plant the catalyst of the genetic modification formula— a formula that can grant superpowers to any and all who are injected with it— into Claire's body. In Six Months Ago, he turns the wanted criminal and mind controller Eden McCain into one of his operatives. At about the same time, he is contacted by Chandra Suresh, who has found Claire's picture on her high school's web site after identifying her as having potential powers. After Chandra leaves, Bennet orders Eden McCain to become a neighbor of Chandra Suresh and remove Claire's name from Chandra's list of superpowered humans.
Noah Bennet first appears in "Genesis", the first episode. He is found in the apartment of Chandra Suresh in Madras, India. Chandra's son Mohinder enters the apartment, but leaves quickly after realizing Bennet is there as well. Bennet seems to notice Mohinder, and later follows him to New York.
In the next episode, "Hiros", Bennet and the Haitian attempt to force Nathan into a car, but he escapes by flying away. Bennet is then seen at Texas hospital visiting Claire. Claire explains that Brody is a rapist and attempted to force himself on her. After speaking to one of his victims, Claire was motivated to do something. She only wanted to "scare" Brody, but as he sat in the passenger seat and said he wouldn't stop raping girls, she ultimately crashed his car intentionally. Claire begs her father not to tell anyone, and Bennet merely says he'll take care of it. Bennet then appears in Brody's room, followed by the Haitian. He says that she is going through 'a confusing time', telling that he knows of her powers. He tells the boy that he is being given a chance to start over in life and Bennet then tells the Haitian to "hollow him out" and "take everything" (erase all of Brody's memories, including that of his own name).
Finally, in "Better Halves", Bennet has set up a meeting between Claire and his two associates, Hank and Lisa. Bennet presents the two as Claire's biological parents. While carefully watching the two with his wife Sandra, Bennet receives a call from Eden McCain, his spy in New York.
In the episode "Fallout", Claire's father reveals that he knew about her powers long before she was aware of them. He acknowledges doing things he was not proud of to keep her safe, and tells Claire that Sylar had been taken care of, but that she must keep silent about her powers because she is in danger from others like him. Bennet later meets with Sylar, confined in a prison cell, and tells him that the cell is keeping his powers suppressed. Sylar taunts Bennet telling him that Bennet is just like him.
In "Godsend", Bennet believes Claire's memory has been erased. Claire acts as if it has, as well. However, Bennet and Claire are slowly drifting apart. At Primatech Paper, the FBI investigates the building as well as Bennet and his associates. Though they find nothing, Officer Parkman knows Bennet's up to something and has realized that Bennet kidnapped him. Bennet is unfazed, however, and simply tells Matt "good luck" in regards to his vendetta.
In the climax of "How to Stop an Exploding Man," Peter, Noah, and Matt confront Sylar in the plaza. Bennet is immediately thrown against a wall, rendering him incapable of stopping Peter if he explodes.
Four months after the incidents in New York, the Bennets have gone into hiding, having moved to Costa Verde, California, and assumed the last name of "Butler." Noah takes a subordinate job at a copy store called Copy Kingdom, and makes it very clear that he won't stand for his younger superior's bullying management style. Despite going into hiding, he is still working to take down "the Company" with the help of Mohinder Suresh.
In "Lizards", Noah tells his wife about a series of eight paintings done by the late Isaac Mendez, each depicting the death of a single person. He possesses the first, which predicts the death of Kaito Nakamura, and intends to locate the other seven. At the end of the episode, Noah is reunited with the Haitian; the accompanying graphic novel shows that Mohinder directed the Haitian to Bennet.
In "Kindred", Mohinder finds the last of the eight paintings, this one depicting Noah's death. He is lying on the ground with a bullet hole through the left lens of his glasses. A girl resembling Claire is in the background, apparently being held by someone.
In "Fight or Flight", Noah and the Haitian travel to Odessa, Ukraine, to find the remaining paintings. While there, he receives a call from Mohinder explaining that Molly Walker has fallen into a catatonic state and he wishes to take her to the Company for observation. Noah is unable to talk him out of it, though he warns that they'll have Mohinder as soon as he relinquishes that which he cares about.
In "Cautionary Tales", Bob, Elle, and Mohinder arrive in Costa Verde to take Claire. Though they are eventually successful, Noah manages to capture Elle. Noah brokers a trade with Bob, getting his daughter back in exchange for Bob's. When Elle breaks free and tries to kill West and Claire, Noah shoots her in the arm. He then prepares to execute Bob, citing that Claire will never be free so long as the Company survives. But Mohinder shoots Noah, mimicking Isaac's painting exactly, and Noah is struck in the left eye and dies. While his family believes him to be dead, the episode ends with Noah in a Company facility, strapped to a gurney and being given a transfusion of Claire's blood; his destroyed eye subsequently regenerates and he returns to life.
In "Truth & Consequences", Mohinder tells him that he was revived with Claire's blood and that Claire is at home, thinking he is dead. During the episode, with Noah still in the hands of The Company, Bob visits the Bennets' home with an urn telling them that it contains Noah's ashes.
In "Powerless", Noah returns to his family, clearly shocking them all as he is allegedly dead. He tells them that he was brought back using Claire's blood, and that he made a deal with The Company which will allow his family to lead a normal life with one condition; he must stay with the Company. Noah then leaves his family.
In "The Butterfly Effect", Noah is imprisoned by the Company. Elle releases him from his cell so that he can help in the apprehension of Sylar during the attack on the Level 5 facility. After Elle inadvertently knocks out Sylar and causes a breakdown of the complex security system, Noah---fearing the worst after seeing Sylar demonstrate Claire's ability---places Sylar in a cell and makes his own escape. Later, when Noah visits the house and sees Claire alive but traumatized, he explains that he cannot stay as he has to recapture the superhumans who escaped during Sylar's attack, stating "They're villains, Claire, and I'm one of the only people on the planet who knows how to stop them," and even showing her some info on the escapees. Before leaving, Noah tells her that he's enlisted Claire's biological mom, the pyrokinetic Meredith Gordon, to help protect the family.
When Claire, Meredith, and Sandra take down the puppet man Eric Doyle, they call Noah to take him in. Noah is impressed that Claire was able to help take out a very dangerous man, but Claire brushes him off, still angry with him about the Canfield incident and his partnership with Sylar. Noah then asks Meredith to accompany him as a partner.
Following a phone call from Nathan Petrelli in "Eris Quod Sum", he and Meredith travel to Mohinder Suresh's laboratory in the loft of Isaac Mendez, where he advises Nathan and Tracy Strauss to get checked out by the Company.
In "The Eclipse", when Pinehearst begins looking for the catalyst needed to perfect Mohinder's genetic modification formula, which is assumed to be Claire, Noah goes into hiding with her at the now-abandoned Canfield house and begins to teach her how to fight, but the father-daughter duo are soon attacked by Sylar and Elle. As their (and everyone else's) powers are negated due to a solar eclipse, Noah is more than a match for them, even dislocating Sylar's arm, but is ultimately forced to retreat when Claire takes a bullet from Elle that was meant for him. Angered and worried, Noah takes her home where he and Sandra treat her wound, and he decides against going to a hospital, believing it to be minor and unwilling to take the risk of her powers returning while they are there. He then leaves to get revenge on Sylar and Elle for Claire's injury.
In "A Clear and Present Danger",Noah is seen to be working with Nathan Petrelli. When Mohinder Suresh is running away from Homeland Security, Noah arrives in a SUV and rescues him. As they escape, Noah asks him who he’s been in contact with. They get to the exit only to discover that the hunter and his men have cut them off. Noah apologizes and then tasers Mohinder. When Peter Petrelli arrives at his apartment, Nathan is waiting for him. After he and Peter talk, Nathan smiles and asks for a hug, and Noah tasers Peter from behind. At the end of the episode, Noah is revealed to be the co-pilot of the cargo plane.
In "Trust and Blood", Noah survives the crash of the plane like almost everyone else. He is retrieved by Danko and his soldiers. Bennet chases after the captured heroes and finds Claire and Peter running together. Bennet quickly grabs Claire but wants to shoot Peter, but Claire manages to convince Bennet to let Peter run. Bennet takes Claire back to Nathan.
In "Building 26" Claire reveals to her mother Sandra that Noah has been hunting down individuals with powers, and Sandra forces him to move out. He tells Claire that he will be around, and expresses a desire to be more honest with the family. He is later shown at a bar, where he is drugged and kidnapped by Peter Petrelli, Matt Parkman, and Mohinder Suresh.
In "Cold Wars" Noah is being interrogated by Matt Parkman, Mohinder Suresh, and Peter Petrelli. Matt Parkman manages to pluck out memories at the expense of Noah being in pain, learning about the operation hunting people with abilities. Noah is rescued by Danko's men, and tells Danko that he will henceforth cooperate with Danko's more heavy-handed approach to their job. However, he later meets with Angela Petrelli, where it is implied that he is working with her against Danko. Their precise goals are unclear.
Followed in "I Am Sylar", as Nathan leaves the diner and Peter follows him, Noah, Claire and Angela decide to leave too, only to be intercepted in the road by Danko's agents.
In "An Invisible Thread", Noah is captured by the agents operating Building 26 shortly before Danko is framed for murdering several of his soldiers by Sylar. While captured, the two share a brief discussion about forming a partnership, which is ultimately short-lived. Once the two are freed from their cell by Hiro Nakamura, Danko waits for Noah to reveal what he knows about Sylar's plans and attempts to tranquilize him. Saved by Hiro, Noah intercepts Claire and Peter shortly after their encounter with Sylar and assists in convincing the Secret Service to help Peter save the President. Later, once Sylar is defeated, he works with Angela Petrelli and Matt Parkman to bring Nathan's personality to the forefront of Sylar's mind, thereby allowing Sylar to assume Nathan's life posthumously. After disbanding Building 26's personnel, the money is reallocated on "Nathan" and Noah's advice by the President into a new supervisory branch. When asked what to call this branch, Noah suggests, "The Company."
In the wake of the events from "An Invisible Thread", "Orientation and Jump, Push, Fall" shows that Noah Bennet has begun to revive the Company under the auspices of the United States government, but with a slow start. Tracy Strauss is still unaccounted for and appears to be murdering anyone who had a hand in her incarceration.
Despite her attempt on his life, which Bennet survived with the help of Emile Danko, he refuses to start hunting down superhumans as a vigilante, preferring instead to try and start the new Company under better pretenses. While eating in the restaurant underneath his apartment, Tracy Strauss approaches him, apparently to taunt him of his impending death. However, Bennet offers her a unique opportunity to simply walk away; if she does, he pledges to get Danko off her trail—permanently. After recruiting The Haitian to erase Danko's memories, Tracy shows up to kill him, only to find that Danko no longer remembers her. As she leaves, she hears Danko being attacked by an unknown assailant, Edgar, from the carnival, only to be attacked herself. Afterwards, she calls Bennet who discovers a key the assailant was after on Danko's body.
Throughout these events, Bennet also tries to help Claire adjust to her new life in college while managing his own divorce from Sandra.
In "Tabula Rasa", Peter comes to Noah looking for a healer to save Hiro's life; Noah drops the name of Jeremy Greer, a past target of a bag & tag mission, so both teleport to Cainan, GA. After finding Jeremy's power change from heal to kill when he got angry at his parents, killing them, Noah helps him conquering his fear of killing anyone else, and then he is able to heal Peter; Noah states that his own power is to understand people with abilities. Peter leaves once he mimicked Jeremy's healing touch, but Noah stays to assure Jeremy will get the help he needs, mainly because Noah feels he let Jeremy down in the past.
In "Brave New World," after being rescued from near-death by Tracy Strauss, Noah, Claire and Lauren travel to the Carnival to stop Samuel's plan to kill thousands of people. While Claire tries to convince the carnies of the truth, Noah tries to find Samuel, but is caught by Edgar. Once he clarifies that he is there to stop Samuel and not to hurt anyone else, Edgar, who also wants to stop Samuel, teams up with him to do so. The two arrive in time to back up Claire's allegations that Samuel killed Joseph and was responsible for the death of Lydia and what he plans to do. When a brainwashed Eli backs them up, the carnies believe them and abandon Samuel who starts his earthquake while Noah and Claire try to get everyone to safety. Thanks to Peter battling Samuel, Noah and Claire have enough time to locate Hiro and Ando and have them teleport all of the carnies away. Noah stays behind to finish the job and arrives after Peter defeats the powerless Samuel who collapses in despair at everyone's abandonment of him. Noah has him arrested and covers up the incident with the help of Lauren until Claire climbs the Ferris Wheel to expose her powers to the world which he tells Lauren is breaking his heart. Noah watches as Claire jumps off the Ferris Wheel in front of all the news cameras.
It has been confirmed that he will return.
- In the alternate future of "Five Years Gone", Noah Bennet (who is not wearing his trademark horn-rimmed glasses) works together with Hana Gitelman to protect people with superpowers from being persecuted by a now fearful government. It is revealed that he is trying to keep Claire hidden from the registry. Though he is estranged from Claire, he visits her at the diner to warn her to get away. When he arrives back at work, he discovers Hana has been killed, and Matt Parkman, now head of the Department of Homeland Security, and his men are waiting for him. He does not realize Parkman has murdered Hana and broken their agreement, and hands Parkman a picture drawn by his son. Parkman holds a gun to him and demands to know where Claire is. Bennet refuses to answer, so Parkman reads Bennet's mind to extract Claire's location. Parkman then shoots Bennet in the head.
- In the alternate future of "I Am Become Death", as depicted in the graphic novel "Resistance", Claire notes that she has lost both of her parents.
Noah Bennet is initially introduced as "the man in the horn-rimmed glasses," based on his distinctive eyewear. The glasses Coleman wears in most scenes are actually browline, not horn-rimmed, but none of the characters seem aware of the distinction. In the third episode, "One Giant Leap", his name was confirmed as "Mr. Bennet" and he has been occasionally referred to as such since. Still, "Horn-Rimmed Glasses" (or a variant of it) is the more often used name by the characters, albeit indirectly. For example, characters who don't know him personally usually describe him as "the man with horn-rimmed glasses." With regard to Bennet's given name, Coleman has admitted that it was intentionally avoided. This is evident in "Distractions", where Mrs. Bennet remarks that she is amused that everybody called him "Mister", and almost states his first name before being interrupted. His driver's license, displayed by Sylar in the same episode, did not show a first name. According to Coleman, the character's first name was written out of a draft script because "it stopped the scene cold." In the final episode of season one, "How to Stop an Exploding Man", Mr. Bennet tells Peter Petrelli to call him "Noah."
Ironically, likely in a nod to the character's inaccurate name, Bennet tries on an actual pair of horn-rimmed glasses in a flashback sequence at the end of "Company Man". He decides not to wear them when Claire describes them as "grandpa glasses." Claire subsequently selects the browline glasses (declaring that he now looks "like my dad"), which he then wears from that point forward.
In an interview with TV Guide, Jack Coleman was asked "were the horn-rimmed glasses your idea, or the writers?" Coleman responded:
|“||That was always in the script. Tim's original description in the pilot was "an everyman but unknowable." The idea was based on Max von Sydow['s role] in Three Days of the Condor, that seemingly benign but anything-but-benign character. I tried on many, many pairs of glasses to find the right look. The thing that's great about them is that they're so anachronistic, they kind of make him into this '50s Cold War warrior, which is perfect because he is this mystery guy who doesn't quite fit in. Putting those glasses on does half the work. They make you instantly suspicious [Laughs], because nobody wears glasses like that anymore.||”|
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