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|Portrayed by||Jimmy Jean-Louis, |
Sheku Fofana (in 1992)
|First appearance||One Giant Leap|
|Known ability||Mental manipulation|
|Nicknames||The Haitian, |
Spooky Euro Dude
|Home||formerly a village in Haiti|
|Occupation||Agent of the Company|
|Sibling||Baron Samedi (half-brother)|
René, commonly called "The Haitian", is a mysterious individual whom Thompson recruited to the Company from Haiti, who was partnered with Noah Bennet to aid in the investigation of evolved humans. In time, René and Noah became firm friends and later, due to emotional frustration and guilt over their actions on behalf of the Company, decide to rebel against their superiors and go on the run. Precious little is known about his past; however, René is religious and kept a necklace of the Symbol, which he later gave to Peter Petrelli. He is an evolved human with the ability to manipulate people's minds and was considered one of the Company's most valuable resources.
For an episode-by-episode summary, see René: Season One History.
The Haitian works as a member of Mr. Bennet's team at Primatech Paper Co. Together, the Haitian and Mr. Bennet bring in Matt Parkman, whose special ability is almost completely blocked by the Haitian. They proceed to attempt a similar abduction routine on Nathan Petrelli, but Nathan escapes. The Haitian assists in many other abductions of people with special abilities, including Ted Sprague, on behalf of an organization known as the Company. With Eden's assistance, the Haitian is able to capture Sylar and bring him back to Primatech, although he eventually escapes. The Haitian uses his power to erase the memories of Mr. Bennet's wife and son and others. Bennet orders him to erase his adopted daughter's memory as well, but he instead takes her into his confidence. When the Company learns of Claire's ability, the Haitian shoots Mr. Bennet and erases his memory and takes Claire into hiding. Claire, however, eludes the Haitian and travels to New York City to find Peter Petrelli. The Haitian gets there first and is waiting for Claire at Peter Petrelli's apartment with Claire's biological grandmother.
The Haitian remembers a story about himself as a young boy in his village in Haiti living with his father, Guillame. He discovers his abilities for the first time when he suppresses his father's abilities just by being present. Furthermore, when Guillame attempts to redeem himself, the Haitian wipes clean the minds of many villagers, reducing them to a zombie-like state. Guillame accompanies the Haitian to the crossroads, seeking penance and planning to kill his son. The Haitian becomes one with his father's mind by touching him and causes him to recall the two of them being happy together, such that Guillame commits suicide instead of murder. Afterwards, the Haitian goes back to the village and meets Thompson for the first time.
For an episode-by-episode summary, see René: Season Two History.
Shortly after the explosion, the Haitian appears in Bob's office negating Peter's powers. Several months later, he is sent to the docks with Elle to capture Peter and Adam Monroe. He forces Peter into a shipping container to be shipped to Cork, Ireland and takes his memories, but not before revealing that he is on his side and giving Peter his necklace.
Mohinder Suresh is sent on an assignment, which turns out to be a mission to heal the Haitian, who believes the virus he's contracted is a punishment from God. Suresh persuades the Haitian to try the antivirus, which succeeds. When Mohinder explains that he is working for "a company," the Haitian appears to take Mohinder's memory of the entire incident and flees. The Haitian then manages to track down Noah Bennet at the copy shop, and the two men greet each other, smiling.
Noah and the Haitian track a series of eight paintings to Ukraine. The two go to the home of Noah's mentor Ivan to force him to reveal the location of the paintings. Noah threatens to strip Ivan of his family memories if he refuses. When Ivan refuses to cooperate, the Haitian removes Ivan's memories of his first meeting with his wife, and only then does Ivan begin to cooperate. After Ivan reveals the location of the paintings, the Haitian goes with Noah to recover them.
For an episode-by-episode summary, see René: Season Three History.
Under the orders of Angela Petrelli, the Haitian travels to Berlin to secure her half of the formula. He is attacked by Hiro and Ando, who believe that he is out to steal it. While knocked out, his part of the formula is stolen by Daphne and he awakens to find Hiro and Ando completely shocked at what has happened. He takes them back to America and introduces them to Angela, who gives them the task to find Adam Monroe.
The Haitian is then sent to Haiti to find his brother, Baron Samedi, who escaped from Level 5. When the eclipse takes away his ability, the Haitian is joined by Peter and Nathan. Even with the Petrelli brothers helping him, the Haitian does not believe that he can stop Samedi without his powers. When Nathan is kidnapped, Peter convinces him that he can stop Samedi, so the two of them go to the camp to find Nathan. With his powers returned, the Haitian incapacitates Samedi and returns to America.
The Haitian becomes Peter's partner in his mission to kill Arthur Petrelli and when Peter has second thoughts about it, the Haitian tells him that it is for the greater good. He stops Arthur from using his powers but is unable to hold him for long enough, so Arthur is able to attack Peter. Sylar intervenes and after Arthur is killed, the Haitian rushes off to catch Sylar.
Noah calls in the Haitian to take all memories of Tracy Strauss from Danko. Later, Tracy comes to Danko's apartment to kill him, but realizes that the Haitian has erased his memory, because he doesn't recognize her at all.
When Noah finds out that Gretchen knows Claire's secret, he says that he will call the Haitian and have her forget. Claire persuades her father that she will handle matters on her own and the Haitian never becomes involved.
Claire goes to the Psi Alpha Chi sorority house to try and find Becky. They speak with Olivia and Ashley but find that they don't remember what happened. Noah and the Haitian then appear and Claire is happy to see them. Claire tells them what they are and aren't allowed to do and Noah tells her to go back to the dorm room. The Haitian insists that he goes with her but Claire is worried that he will erase Gretchen's memories. Noah tells her that the Haitian is just going to stop Becky's ability from working. Claire agrees that this is the best plan and asks for the Haitian to follow her, calling him René.
Claire and René then go to the dorm room and find Gretchen packing. She explains that she cannot live in fear and Claire reassures her that René can stop Becky's ability from working. Gretchen insists that she still cannot handle it and leaves. Claire gets René to follow Gretchen to the airport.
René explains that Angela sent him to wipe Peter and Nathan's memories, but he says that she is blinded by emotion. Peter notices that he keeps looking at Peter, but René says that it's not up to him to reveal Nathan's secret. He gives Peter an address and tells him to go alone, but warns him that what he discovers may be more terrible than he can bear.
Peter and Nathan arrive at the address René gave them, inside is a large metal case that contains a body. Nathan opens it to discover that it's his body. Nathan wonders why René wanted them to see it.
René comes to Mercy Heights Hospital along with Angela, in order to help Peter. Peter replicates René's power so he can face Sylar, and thanks René for what he is doing. René insists that it's the least he can do.
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In a projected memory of Noah's, Claire sees René enter her dorm room after Gretchen refuses to help Noah. Noah threatens to have René erase Gretchen's memories and Gretchen reluctantly accepts to help him.
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René has the power to manipulate people's minds. He can selectively interfere with the use of special abilities and selectively erase memories. He uses his power in conjunction with hand-to-hand combat skills to subdue other evolved humans, as shown in Four Months Ago... when he defeated and restrained Peter Petrelli. He can render individuals unconscious by physical contact. While he can nullify powers out to some indeterminate range without physical contact, his other mental abilities seem to require touch (The Eclipse, Part 2, Our Father). His powers do require mental effort, and sufficient resistance by another evolved human of sufficient power and/or skill can cause him physical and mental strain (Our Father).
"He sent me here to make you forget. Like he sent me to your friend, and your brother, and your mother so many times. He'll be here soon, expecting that you won't remember anything, but it is very important that you do. Tell me Claire, can you keep a secret?"
"What you can do, what I can do—that is God. Respect it accordingly."
"Of course, there is always a company..."
"Don't you need to write any of this down?"
"Memory is not an issue for me."
- René rarely speaks. In fact, Thompson was initially under the erroneous impression that he couldn't speak, as were Mr. Bennet and Eden McCain and presumably other agents of the Company until the events of Company Man. He finally broke his silence by speaking to Claire Bennet (Fallout). René also speaks French, as is customary in Haiti (Parasite).
- René is most often referred to as "The Haitian". However, he has also been called "The Man at the Bar", "Mysterious Man", "Mystery Man", "Mysterious Black Guy", "MBG", "Mr. Mute", "Memory Wiper", "Mr. Bennet's Assistant", "Mr. Bennet's Cleaner", "Spooky Euro-Dude", and "SED".
- He is also jokingly referred to as "The Haitian Sensation That's Sweeping the Nation" by Jack Coleman (Mr. Bennet) during cast commentaries.
- In the commentary for Parasite, it was revealed that before the casting of Jimmy Jean-Louis, the Haitian was originally intended to be a Maori warrior from New Zealand. Jimmy said he supposed the switch was made because Jimmy himself is from Haiti.
- Some fans—and even a photo caption on NBC.com—initially confused the Haitian with D.L. Hawkins because of their similar appearances.
- Although René's last name is not known, seven different times his father Guillame addresses him as "Boy". (It Takes a Village Parts 1, 2, 3, 4), and (The Crossroads)
- In The Eclipse, Part 1 it was revealed that René has a brother, Baron Samedi, which may suggest that they share a surname. However, Baron Samedi is also an alias and Samedi's real name is unknown.
- René says that he is his father's only son (It Takes a Village, Part 4), though later he says that Baron Samedi is his brother (The Eclipse, Part 1). Writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite explained that this issue was actually addressed in a line that was cut. "The Haitian only discovered his brother after he was recruited into the Company. Seems that Voodoo priest father liked to use his ability to sleep around. However, the line was cut because it was deemed 'confusing'."
- René appears to be personally loyal to Angela Petrelli, although he has occasionally defied her. He has demonstrated loyalty to other members of the Petrelli family as well, including both Nathan and Peter.
- Since his joining the Company, only one evolved human, Howard Grigsby, has been able to defeat René (excluding those characters with multiple abilities). Even then, we do not see how René was defeated.
- René's license plate number is 791 M72. (Parasite)
- René's picture is on Nathan's gallery of targets.
- René has never appeared in the last episode of a volume, but has appeared in at least one of the last four episodes of each of the first three volumes.
- René did not appear in person in any episode during Volume Four, but his picture is visible on the fugitive board in Building 26.
- Although René was introduced in the third episode of Season One, his name was not revealed until the eighth episode of Season Four, making "What is the Haitian's name?" one of the longest running mysteries ever on Heroes. It is confirmed in Thanksgiving as Peter and Angela call him René.
- For other uses of René, see René (disambig).
- For other uses of Haitian, see Haitian (disambig).
- For René's history in the "explosion future", see René (explosion future).
- For René's history in the "exposed future", see René (exposed future).
- For images of René, see Images of René.
- For articles related to René, see Related Articles:René.
Please refer to Theory:René for fan-created theories and other speculation.