MY NAME IS CLAIRE BENNET. ☣ A basic personality overview.
I HEAL. IT'S, LIKE, WHAT I DO. ☣ Claire Bennet and her ability.
THIS AGENT THING ISN'T SO HARD. ☣ Claire's feelings on what she might have been.
"I like to think of myself as just a girl who happens to have powers. And it's just one thing in a list of attributes—loyal, friendly, regenerative, good skin, you know."
Anyone you ask (aside from Lyle) would be happy to assert that Claire Bennet is a friendly person. She's easy to get along with, she's nice, she's more willing to help people out. In fact, helping people out happens to be one of Claire's favorite things to do. Partially because she really wants to help, but also partially because she likes feeling useful and productive. She's polite, she minds her manners, she was raised in a good, Christian home with good, Christian values (even though since discovering her ability, she hasn't thought too hard about God. She just prays when she feels the need to pray and doesn't worry about the rest). She's witty, she's intelligent, she's engaging, she's loyal to a fault. Claire has exceptional taste in literature, particularly since she's gotten more time to read after the end of Fugitives. She likes classics; Wuthering Heights, Catcher in the Rye, The Awakening. Jane Austen's another favorite, though it's a guilty pleasure. Claire is, by anybody's definition, a refreshingly normal, exciting, likable girl.
While she was in high school, she was on the fringes of the popular crowd because of this, scrambling at Jackie's heels. She wanted the more confident, assertive girl's approval, just like she wants everyone's approval. Her fathers' approval (yes, both of them), Peter Petrelli's approval, West's approval when she first meets him, and even the world's approval when she dives off the Ferris Wheel in the series finale. However, the means of this approval evolve as the series progresses. With Jackie, she wanted to become what Jackie would approve of, but as she came to learn about her ability, and realized that she was set apart from other people, she gained a kind of independence that lost her Jackie's respect and approval. There was no going back from this independence, so she instead turned to Nathan and Peter and Meredith, trying to get theirs. Wanting to be this strong, grown up, independent woman for two seasons so they could see her and be so proud. In season three, knowing that her father is back and alive, she instead focuses on trying to get Noah's approval, wanting to know that she hasn't let him down. Wanting to be a good agent and prove herself to him. And, in Brave New World, she finally settles on just wanting to make the world approve of who she wants to be. She wants to carve a place for herself in their hearts instead of waiting for them to open it and changing herself to fit in it.
Claire has always been a spirited individual. She puts her heart and her soul into everything she does, regardless of what that task is necessarily. Pre-Genesis, she put her heart and her soul into cheerleading and trying to be the girl that everyone likes without sacrificing her values. During Genesis, she puts all of that spirit in trying to discover who she is. She puts all of her passion into herself in a pretty selfish way, but it's nonetheless a kind of headstrong determination that shows how she really throws herself into whatever her plan is at the time. In Generations, she throws that into trying to live this lie that her father is forcing on her and eventually into trying to expose the Company, only stopping due to Noah's wishes. And, then, she throws herself headfirst into trying to be an agent in Villains and Harriet Tubman in Fugitives and a co-ed in Redemption. She doesn't know how to half-ass anything. She has one of the most intense personalities possible and has to do everything with her entire soul involved, which often leaves her open to get hurt when she's disappointed or let down.
She's become this fiercely independent person to the point where it's almost painful for those around her, but she's only been doing it to try and make them proud and show them that she can be what they are, she can try to aspire to that and try to gain their approval that way, not realizing that the reason they've had to become that is in order to protect her. She just wants to be self-sufficient and hold responsibility for herself without making other people save her like they had to in Volume 1. She doesn't want to have to rely on a hero, because she wants to be able to be the hero. There's this inherent desire to be like her father and be able to save people -- she idealizes the whole thing and wants to be able to do that. For example, when Bob comes to her in Season 2, kidnapping her to draw her blood to save people, she's eager to give it to him, begging him to take it from her and save people with it because it means she's finally getting the chance to use her ability to do some good. But, at the same time, she has this darker side. Claire has this burning desire for revenge and a need to be like some kind of guiding force that delivers judgment and justice, when really all she's doing is exacting her revenge and paying back the people who've hurt her in the past. She does this when she drives Brody into the wall, and when she tries to become an agent in order to kill Sylar for what he did to her. She internalizes all of that hatred and that pain and tries to turn it into something good, but in the process becomes self-destructive in her need for revenge, all her passionate and spirit making her single-minded about "helping people," and in 3.03 her mother, Meredith, calls her out on this and makes sure that Claire becomes aware that what she's doing is selfish and calling it justice or altruism is insulting.
Because when it comes down to it, she's not a nice person. Claire is petty and selfish and bitter. She's obsessive, she holds grudges, she has an addictive personality to whatever cause she's signed up with most recently, and worst of all, she's got a rebellious streak that comes with a side order of spite. She has all this bitterness over her father and his lies, over Sylar and what he's done to her (which, it should be noted, she's more bitter about what he did to her than what he did to all of the others combined, see: 3.03), over Peter forgiving Sylar. The only thing that moderately curbs her bitterness is knowing that it could have been much worse -- she could have been Elle Bishop. Her father at least protected her from that much, and it keeps her bitterness from reaching excessive levels, but it's still there and it doesn't stop her from making spiteful comments with the sole purpose of being hurtful on occasion when it gets too much.
Anytime she has an argument with someone, it comes down to what she feels and how she's hurt and she tunes out with an extreme ignorance any of how the other person is feeling until it gets to an extreme. She doesn't do it maliciously, but she only sees her needs. She saw her need for approval, so she tried to become an agent, but she didn't see her father and Peter's needs to keep her innocent, to protect her, to get the best for her so that she didn't have to turn herself into a monster and protect herself. All she could see was her act of rebellion and not getting her way. She holds the worst of grudges, bringing up ancient arguments with her father all the time, and he's the lucky one who gets forgiven in the end -- every time. Poor Elle wasn't so lucky in Eris Quod Sum, but she was lucky enough to have something that Claire wanted for herself as well.
She completely disregarded Zach and used him in Genesis, and only realized that something was wrong when he couldn't provide the same services to her that he usually did. When he was no longer there to support her was when she realized something was wrong and was hurt by it, but up until that point she was horrible to him -- arrogant and dismissive. Even when he snuck in her window to try and get her to go to homecoming, she acted like she was better than him, after he was the one who got her elected queen, she acted as though she was doing him a favor by going with him. The only people she manages to be selfless with are those who are closest to her. When it comes to Peter and Nathan and Noah she really does just want to help, she really just wants what's best for them and nothing else because they're the people who mean the most in her life. She sees in them these incredible people who have had some of the worst luck and hardest trials and really deserve to have something good, which makes her concern and worry for them completely altruistic. Once someone gets into that inner circle, they get honest, selfless affection.
She treats the people around her like dirt and demands they give her unbridled attention. Her stunts of suicide were the first of her attention-getting, but it was limited because of her shame and fear. It slowly cumulated, trying to get away with West and cheerleading in Generations, trying to out the Company. The way she needed to be an agent because her parents were. She always wants to be the center of attention, despite retreating from it in the first few episodes when she doesn't want to stake her claim as town hero, and makes moves for it by throwing herself into dangerous situations where she knows people will try and protect her despite her ability. She's not aware of her attention-seeking habits, and she's not doing it on purpose, but that doesn't change the fact that she's self-centered and has a hard time seeing other people as actual people with actual feelings, because she's generally too wrapped up in her own.
In particular, she spends a lot of times, ironically, worrying about who she is. For as obsessed with herself as Claire can manage to be, she doesn't actually know what that word means. Life was much simpler when she was Claire Bennet, 13-year-old daughter of Sandra and Noah Bennet. But, with the adoption coming out, and her ability coming out not very long after, it's been a constant mission to search for who she is and what these abilities mean for her. Claire feels that without knowing what she is, she can't know who she is. She says in Redemption that she's learned to try and think of her regeneration as just another personality trait, but it's obvious by this point that she's let it define her life to such a degree that she's lost sight of what those other traits are. In the sorority house, she finds herself at a loss of things to say because so much of what she wants to say that's interesting about herself are things that she's not allowed to talk about. She has to lie and be completely disinteresting in every way and, over time, that lie became part of who she is. She spent so much time worrying about what she is that now she needs to remember the who. Is she Claire Butler of Costa Verde Community College and Sam's Comics, or is she Claire Bennet, the co-ed who can, by the way, regrow her foot?
Most people are afraid of death. Claire Bennet is more afraid of what comes next for her. She never gets to die, and this is one of her greatest fears, around which most of her other fears circulate. As a social person who gets most of her gratification from the attention given to her by others, living out the rest of her life until she's entirely alone in the world because the rest of it's dead is the worst possible thing that could happen to her, and she can't do a damn thing to stop it. She and everyone else who usually protects her are entirely powerless to do anything about the fact that she's going to live forever, and a lot of people don't seem to realize that her attempts at suicide are actual genuine attempts, even if she doesn't think death is a real possibility. She wants it. She doesn't care if it's now or later or somewhere in between. She'll take it whenever she can get it because the alternative is not getting it at all. And if she doesn't, she has to go on living without her dad, the person who matters most to her in the world. Not only that, she has to go on living without anyone she cares about; she has to watch them all "drop like flies" (Sylar, 3.25 An Invisible Thread) and know that she's going to stick around forever, and that terrifies Claire. It makes her so terrified, in fact, that she's wholly unwilling to build new connections with people because that means getting them get close, and Claire knows that as soon as she gets close to someone, it's only going to end in heartache. The best case scenario is that they break her heart and leave her before they die, the worst case scenario is that they remain friends/together until they grow old and, oh, die. And then she's left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart while she tries to deal with the loss.
The only person who is going to be there with her is her other greatest fear. Sylar. As much as she threatens and hates and tries to seem aggressive and defiant, just seeing Sylar rattles her to her very core because he's violated her in a way that would for anyone else be impossible. He's seen inside of her mind and he's seen the inside of her soul and he's taken everything from her and he's just going to keep taking. Even redeemed, Claire doesn't want to accept Sylar because she can't hide herself from him. She can't distance herself from him like she can the rest of the world because he's been there and he's seen the inside of her and knows what the truth is. He knows her, better than she knows herself. All of the walls she throws up under the assumption that people will never understand what it's like to be her are useless around him, because even though he may never have to go through the pain of getting his head torn apart or losing his parents, he's had equal or worse pain and he's felt hers through empathy. The man who broke her is the only one who can really get her. [For more, see: CLAIRE, THAT'S DISGUSTING.]
She has all of these carefully constructed walls because even the people who do get her to some degree, like West and Peter, Claire knows they will never really understand her. There will always be a discrepancy because no one knows what it's like to be standing in the face of living forever and losing everyone who matters. Even those who have abilities and understand what it's like to be a freak and outcast and feel separate from society, she finds it in her to claim that it's easier with their abilities because they can at least still have mostly normal. They won't look 16 forever, they won't watch everyone grow old and die and live their lives while she's stuck in some frozen time. She uses it as a barrier and even though in 4.16 Pass/Fail she claims she doesn't want to do that anymore, it's never really clear whether or not she will be capable of breaking down those walls when push comes to shove. Letting Gretchen in when she's in a good mood is one thing, letting her in and letting her stay there when Claire is the master of pushing people away is another story entirely.
Beneath all the rough and tumble, Claire's incredibly fragile, and that's why she feels the need to protect herself the way she does. Even when she tries to best to hide her emotions, they show through and she doesn't have very much of a hold on them at all, despite being an incredible liar when she needs to be. They get the better of her because of her inherent empathy, most often. When she becomes close to someone (Peter, Nathan, Gretchen) it becomes incredibly easy for them to break her heart and seeing them hurt is the worst thing for her. Even in her selfishness, she wants to protect the people closest to her because she doesn't want to suffer through losing them. When people hit the spots and say the things that really get to her, it hits her hard. It's another reason for those walls -- in 3.01 The Second Coming, she felt more vulnerable than she ever wanted to feel because she'd already gained a distaste for that feeling, and she'll never be comfortable with it again because Sylar took her and broke her down and left her ruined after he had her vulnerable. She puts her heart out and her father disappoints her time after time and she continues taking it because she has this silly hope that it will be better, she has this stupid faith that she knows is misplaced but she gives anyway because she convinces herself that she should believe, but every time the disappointment is greater and the pain cuts deeper.
The bottom line is that Claire has delicate princess feelings. She doesn't like being told that she's done or said something wrong, or that there's something wrong with her. She doesn't like acknowledging her own imperfections or having people point them out, and when people are cruel, she lets it cut her deep before turning around and returning the favor.
But, despite how open she is with her copious emotions at times (i.e., crying on cue), she's really a strong person. She allows people to rely on her. She makes her own decisions regardless of fear of consequence and while that may be considered reckless at times, it's brave. At her best, Claire is brave and headstrong. She's a natural born leader who wants to make the world better by being there -- no, she needs to. She feels compelled to fix people who are broken, which is why she agrees to help Doyle and Elle and it's why she's drawn to the Sullivan Brothers' Carnival. She sees a place where she can make a real difference just by being herself, and when it comes down to it, that's Claire's dream, which is why even after the carnival fails, she takes that dream and she makes it a reality by jumping off the ferris wheel. She wants to show the world who she is and use it to make a difference.
The reason it's doubtful she'd be able to let Gretchen stay there is because Claire doesn't like to say what she means. She has this piece of herself that, as assertive as she is, she keeps hidden and private. There are many times when she chooses to avoid conflict or avoid divulging information about herself because she feels uncomfortable with it. She doesn't like giving these things away to people for a lot of reasons, the greatest of which being that the only people who have seen all of her personality and her quirks have been people who hurt her. Her father, who lies to her constantly. Sylar, who violated her in every way possible short of the sexual. Brody, who took care of the last one and killed her, sending her to a place that she'd never come back from.
I HEAL. IT'S, LIKE, WHAT I DO. ☣ Claire Bennet and her ability.
"Poor girl. There's so much about yourself you don't even understand. Your brain is not like the others, Claire. You are not like the others. You're different. You're special. I couldn't kill you even if I wanted to. You can never die. And now, I guess...neither can I."
It's not exactly a secret to … well, anyone, at this point in canon, that Claire's the cheerleader who can't die. She's capable of RAPID CELLULAR REGENERATION, a passive ability that enables her to heal at an accelerated rate, regrow limbs, heal broken bones, etc. She's immune to all viruses and infections, excluding cancers, which it's confirmed in canon that her body would simply worsen because it would replicate the cancer cells at an accelerated rate as well. She can't suffocate, because her lung tissue regenerates too quickly, but she can be psychosomatically stimulated into having the same effects, and she can drown.
Because her cells replicate so fast, Claire uses up fuel (carbs, oxygen, water) at a faster rate. While she can't die, it can suffer exhaustion and slowed healing if she doesn't get a ready supply of these. It increases her metabolism to be able to feed all of those cells and their division, which is part of the reason she remains thin. Her increased metabolism increases her appetite, so she often eats when bored. On top of that, her metabolism is what prevents her from getting drunk. (Even though in Into Asylum she claims that it's because her liver tissue regenerates, this makes no logical sense and is an explanation I chalk up to Claire's C in Biology.) Because of her accelerated metabolism, she processes the alcohol too quickly for it to have any more than a passing effect on her system. In theory, she could drink copious amounts in a short span of time (i.e., chugging a handle of Captain Morgan) and get buzzed at least, but her stomach wouldn't be able to sufficiently hold the amount of alcohol she'd require to get thoroughly drunk. Think of it as trying to chug a gallon of milk in an hour.
In 3.01 The Second Coming, Sylar stipulated that Claire is different from the others because her ability means that she cannot die. While there's some debate here, Word of God says that Sylar was probably just fucking with Claire. She does have a temporary "off switch" in her brain stem, which when something is stabbed into it and remains there (i.e., a piece of glass, a knife, a tree branch, etc.) it cuts off all brain communication with her body and doesn't allow regeneration to happen, but this is because without brain connectivity or a pathway to send signals, she can't give the order for the rest of her cells to replicate. As long as her brain remains intact and attached, she will survive. What this means is that decapitation will kill her -- Adam Monroe is quoted as saying that there's no coming back from getting your head blown off, and it's to be assumed that his ability operates in a way similar to Claire's. Also, in a deleted scene from season 3, Angela has a vision where Knox decapitates Claire and she appears, for all intents and purposes, permanently dead. Despite this fact, she makes comments in season 1 to the Haitian about being able to live through a trip through a meat grinder, implying that she'd be able to survive something that would butcher her body that badly, though it's not clear how exactly that would work and her brain would need to remain intact. It's also implied when Claire is killed by Brody that her brain cells can, unlike a normal human's, replicate to replace damaged ones, because she suffers no apparent brain damage despite the fact that she had a six inch tree branch embedded deep into the center of her brain.
Another important aspect that keeps Claire from dying is the fact that she will never age, as implied by Adam and confirmed in season 3 sometime [needs citation]. Despite the fact that an increased rate of replication in normal humans usually comes with sloppy copies of the cells, which would further damage the chromosomes which is the chief cause of what we call aging, it appears that Claire's body has perfected replication. She makes perfectly identical copies of her cells with no mutations and no missing factors that would cause cancers, and no wearing away at the chromosomes' edges. Her ability is the fountain of youth, the perfected immortality, and she doesn't want any of it. Even after she comes to terms with the fact that maybe being a freak isn't so bad, Claire absolutely loathes that she's going to have to live forever and watch all of her loved ones "drop like flies" (as Sylar puts it in 3.25 An Invisible Thread) and she's still going to be kicking around to have to suffer on without them. Rather than deal with the pain of losing loved ones over and over again, this realization makes her close herself off entirely, building up emotional walls (4.16 Pass/Fail) to keep from letting people in when she'd only get hurt in the end. Feeling nothing, to Claire, is easier than feeling that agony over and over again, because she's scared. As scared as she is of being alone, she's proven time and time again that being hurt scares her even more. On top of this, she now knows that Peter isn't going to live forever with her anymore because of the alterations to his abilities, so it really is just going to be her and Sylar, which is pretty much one big nightmare for her, but there's more on that in CLAIRE, THAT'S DISGUSTING. [EXPAND]
There's a lot of speculation that her inability to feel pain after 3.01 The Second Coming is due to something broken due to Sylar's digging around or a progression of her ability, as it's not ever explicitly stated that the two events are connected. However, due to timing and the fact that Adam never lost that ability, I stand by the interpretation that Claire's symptoms are entirely psychosomatic. Just like she builds emotional walls (4.16 Pass/Fail) to protect herself from getting hurt, she has built this mental block that keeps her from feeling real pain so that no one can ever hurt her like Sylar did. Even knowing that she's broken and worrying about that is better than allowing someone to ruin her like that. Without having to fear pain, she never has to turn and run from a person like Sylar anymore, even though he's still a huge fear of hers. She thoroughly blames him for her lack of pain due to the timing, and feels that he broke her. That something is wrong with her because of what he did, and it only fuels her rage and her willingness to hurt him like he hurt her. Claire's inability to feel pain leaves a lot of room for assumption in regards to how it feels instead. She still grimaces when she gets hurt and when resetting her bones, etc., so it can be assumed that she feels at least slight discomfort. More than likely it's a pressure and discomfort issue while she's in pain, so she can still feel something, it just doesn't hurt. When it comes to the times when her ability to feel it returns, if those pain receptors were to atrophy because of disuse, they would eventually become hypersensitive and when Claire's ability was turned off and she did allow herself to feel pain again, it would be exaggerated and feel a hundred times worse because of the long periods without it.
In terms of non-canon logistics of her ability, there's a lot of speculation about Claire's fertility and her ability to carry a child. The producers have admitted that she's an eternal virgin, a fact which is practically negligible given her inability to feel pain, this is just about the only thing that would hinder her childbearing and even then it would be a non-issue as she can't feel the pain of having to force a child through that barrier. All eggs are produced prior to the full development of the fetus and Claire would not produce any more than a normal human due to her ability because her regeneration only replaces existing cells. Given that every human female has 400,000 eggs at the time of puberty, and assuming that every 28 day cycle releases one egg, this would allow Claire to remain fertile for as many as 30,600 years. A little higher than that, actually, but approximations are my best friend. In terms of carrying a child, we can assume based on the fact that Claire donates blood to everyone all the time [though, they would have to filter out the plasma, because even if she were the "universal donor" there are still RH values (positive/negative) to take into consideration and the plasma of type O blood would still reject the plasma of the other bloodtype's blood and cause blood poisoning] that she is type O negative, the universal donor. What this means is that as long as the fetus' RH value was negative, it would be viable in Claire's body because her system would not view it as an intruder. However, if the fetus had a positive RH value, it would be miscarried sometime in the first trimester because her own body would attack it.
In a similar vein, contraceptives would in no way interfere with her ability or be hindered by it, because her ability is focused in the metabolism, adrenaline and cell division centers of her body whereas contraceptives deal with hormones. The pill, patch and shot all artificially raise progesterone levels to trick the body into thinking it's in the early stages of pregnancy perpetually, which is managed by a body system that's completely independent of what handles Claire's regeneration. So, don't worry, safe sex is still safe with a regen.
In the beginning of the series, Claire despises her ability. She thinks it makes her a freak, someone who will never be able to live a normal life, someone who will never be able to form normal connections or tell the truth or be open with people. In Claire's eyes, it puts a barrier between her and the rest of the world, which makes her in turn put up an emotional barrier. She uses her ability as an excuse not to get close to people, something she admits to with Sylar's help in 4.16 Pass/Fail. Though in season 2 she appears to overcome this problem by getting close to West, it's only because he's just as much of a freak and she feels like she can separate them both from normal people and put them both behind that wall. She feels secure in the fact that he understands her, because she doesn't yet know that she cannot die. Even then, she winds up pushing West away because of her own inability to maintain a relationship with someone else because she simply doesn't feel that anyone else is ever going to understand what it's like to be her. [More on this in the personality section.] However, post 3.01 and 3.25 (The Second Coming and An Invisible Thread, respectively), it becomes even more impossible to break that barrier because she knows that in the end, it's her alone, and she'd better get used to it. In 4.16, Sylar calls Claire out on her inability to make connections and it appears that she wants to try and amend this by taking steps to trusting Gretchen, however there's no telling how successful her attempt will be as soon as strain is put on the relationship.
THIS AGENT THING ISN'T SO HARD. ☣ Claire's feelings on what she might have been.
"I wish I had your problems, Cheerleader."
The entire reason Claire got to be the cheerleader is because of Elle Bishop. Noah Bennet saw what Elle was becoming, saw what the Company was doing to her, and sacrificed everything to give his daughter a better life than that. Elle is the reason that Claire will always continue going back to her father and forgiving him no matter how many times he lies to her and keeps secrets, because in the end he's not Bob Bishop. Elle is her perfect foil because she's all of these good, vulnerable things on the inside while she's bitchy and judgmental and a huge screw-up on the outside, while Claire is bitchy on the inside and all of these good, open things on the outside, but at their core, they're both just little girls with daddy issues who want to make them proud and gain approval. In the original plans that Heroes writers made for Elle, she was meant to be Claire's biological maternal half-sister just to further represent the way they're meant to foil each other, but due to plot holes and time discrepancies (like the fact hat Elle is probably halfway between Meredith and Claire's ages) it was tossed out. Either way, it confirms that Elle may as well be an AU Claire. Claire was coddled while Elle was scorned by her mother, who didn't understand her, and overworked by her father who wanted to prove something to himself. They both share a love and allegiance to their respective fathers that surpasses all other orders and situations and relationships, and they both took the opportunity when given to free themselves of their father's strings and make an attempt at a new life; with Elle, that was Pinehearst, with Claire, jumping off the ferris wheel.
When Claire looks at Elle, she doesn't fully see a person there. She sees a reminder of what she could have turned into. For all the fierce fronts that Elle puts up, Claire can see her better than that because when it comes down to it, she knows they're the same on the inside. They're vulnerable and scared and seeking approval, and that's the reason she doesn't like Elle from the get go. In Elle, she sees the worst qualities about herself -- the ones that get buried and disguised by this Claire Bennet persona that she uses to distance people.
But, maybe it's better to start at the beginning. Elle and Claire don't get off to the best of starts. The first time Claire meets her (even though Elle was stalking her long before that), Elle shoots Claire and her boyfriend out of the sky with electricity, and is directly involved in the death of her father. Now, Claire may be the nicer of the two, but she still holds grudges something fierce and that essentially set the tone for a lot of their relationship. A lot of what the Company did to her and her family, she associates with Elle and Bob. When they're disposing of "Noah's" ashes, they meet again, and Claire appears, for all intents and purposes, ready to kill Elle. In fact, if she'd been more like Elle, she probably would have done it. They don't see each other again after this until 3.07 Eris Quod Sum when Elle asks for Claire's help and it's obvious that based on her grudge, she doesn't want to agree. At this point, she's been informed that Elle is a product of the Company and the reason that Claire was saved from it, so it makes her more bitter towards her. This is where it really becomes clear that Claire hates Elle. She holds her responsible for everything that happened in Generations and considering she zapped Lyle, it only adds to her list of reasons to dislike her.
The only reason Claire agrees to assist Elle is out of a selfish want to get the same treatment -- to have her ability fixed so that she can feel pain again, because Elle's malfunctioning leads her to believe that it's possible she's feeling the same effects. It's one of the few times Claire's selfishness really comes through, particularly because in Villains she shows it more. In this instance she's not helping because she wants to be the hero, she's helping because she sees something in it for herself, the same as when she wanted to be an agent and was actually doing it for her own revenge and justifying it with heroism. On the plane, Claire actually becomes spiteful, trying to taunt Elle with adverse effects including nearly taking the plane down. She wants to make sure that Elle knows she's the better version because although Elle seemed capable in Generations to Claire, seemed like the agent who she wanted to become, she learned in Villains that she was anything but. She set free the prisoners on level 5 that Claire collected, and the cheerleader felt the need to hold this over Elle's head because of her arrogance and pride. When it became clear that Elle acknowledged the fact that Claire was the better version, that she was jealous of what Claire had the opportunity to become and of the way that Claire was getting this chance to choose her own path and how angry she was that the girl was squandering it on following the same destructive path, that's when the floodgates finally opened for them to connect.
That's when Claire realized that she should want to help this girl, instead of hating her for what she was forced to become. It brings to light the fact that Elle never wanted this for herself, but she did it because it's what her dad wanted for her, and she wanted to make him happy above her own happiness. In a way, it's Elle that motivates Claire to go against her father's wishes more because she knows that even if he has the best of intentions, she needs to make her own choices so she doesn't wind up unhappy with the life she has because it was just some model of what her father wanted to make her. Claire sees this broken, disappointed, vulnerable girl and she decides to bond with her. When Elle channels her electricity through her on the plane, though it seems there's still some grudging tension between them, it's clear that Claire no longer detests her to the same degree that she had in Generations. Really, at this point, it's more that Claire is annoyed by Elle's rashness, snarkiness and assumptions about Claire than she is pissed at her for getting her father killed.
So, when she tries to stop Elle from going into Pinehearst, it's actually out of genuine concern, and a lot of her is disappointed when she winds up hiding out in the abandoned house in Costa Verde during the Eclipse and gets shot by Elle. Seeing Elle turn around and become an agent again after what the Company did to her and seeing her unable to rise above what her father made her into is just horrible for Claire. In a way, she doesn't blame Elle, because she can't help what Bob made her into, and she never had many other options; not like Claire has. Her disappointment, however, turns into that familiar grudge quickly because it's what's easy and although Claire knows Elle had no choice, it doesn't change the fact that she got her dad killed, electrocuted her brother and boyfriend and shot her. She wants Elle to understand that she makes her own choices, even though she never actually tells Elle as much. She doesn't get the chance, unfortunately, because after she's revived from the Eclipse and gets ready to give in to Pinehearst, Elle is killed.
The last note that Claire gets left on with Elle is her and Sylar storming her house and holding her family hostage. She gets that grudge revived just in time for Elle to die and all the anger she feels is fresh and all the frustration that no matter how she reached out to help, she couldn't fix what was broken in Elle, is more present than ever. The most important thing to know is that Claire doesn't like Elle. They're not friends; if anything, they're bitter antagonists who can never manage to see eye to eye because they're never in the right place for accepting help from the other at the time when the other's offering that help. But, knowing Elle was able to help Claire grow as a person, it was able to help her realize that her father doesn't need to rule her life, and if she lets him, that's what will happen. Being grateful that he kept her from being the next Elle Bishop is one thing, but she doesn't owe him complete, unquestioned faith. Elle isn't just a cautionary tale about the Company, she's a cautionary tale to Claire about following her father without question.
Because she learned so much from her, she's actually disappointed to hear that Sylar killed her. For all the crap that Elle put her through, Claire wanted to get the chance to fix her, to show her that if she sets aside what her father made her, she could find something better, and it depresses her to find that this isn't going to be possible. However, it resolves her to do more for herself and not Noah as a kind of homage to Elle's life.