H.R.G. enacts his plan to take down the Carnival with the help of Lauren and Suresh. Sylar visits Matt looking to understand his desire to make a human connection, but Matt has a plan of his own. Meanwhile, Peter warns Emma of Samuel's intentions after his grim vision of the future.
- "Heroes" - "Chapter 16: The Art of Deception" - Jan. 25, 2010
Samuel, rocking a sweet blanket, exits his trailer, stepping onto the title, and surveys his peeps. They're not exactly feeling the love for him this morning. He asks Lydia where everyone is. She says the carnival is closed since everyone saw what he did to that town. He asks if they're afraid. She says yes, they'd finally found a home and he destroyed it. He asks if she trusts him. She asks why she should. He says faith and derisively calls her the empath that has replaced Joseph, and now everyone seems to be looking to her for guidance. She says it's because no one respects him anymore. He says he will do whatever he has to do to prove his worth to his people.
There are broken visions of Emma playing her cello, blood flowing along the strings, and Sylar saying he's there to save her as people run and scream. Peter wakes up breathless from this nightmare. He tries to call Emma, but she's nt there and leaves a message with someone to call him if she does show up. His phone rings as soon as he drops it on the bed. It's Angela.
Matt Parkman comes home from the grocery store and calls out to Janice for help, instead he is confronted by Sylar. He thinks he's back inside his head. Sylar says "that's so two months ago" (even tho it was barely like two WEEKS according to other arcs) and takes the grocery bag to prove he's real. Sylar says he's on a fact-finding mission and that his life has changed. Janice comes in and says Matt's friend Gabriel is full of stories from their time on the force. She dropped Matthew off at the sitter's, but then her afternoon appointment cancelled, so she made them a late lunch so they can all catch up. Sylar tells him to take a load off and "have a nosh."
Claire and Gretchen go visit Claire's dad in D.C. They're holding hands as they talk. She decides it's not a big deal and maybe she shouldn't tell him about Sylar, the Carnival, and other matters. Gretchen says she has to tell him about Sylar's "pie-charting". Claire counters that when Sylar killed Nathan, Noah didn't tell her. Gretchen wants her to stop holding a grudge. Claire, squeezing Gretchen hand, is going to try. Gretchen pulls her hand away, wishes her luck and tells her she'll feel better when she has it off her chest.
Claire brings two coffees up and knocks. Lauren answers. She lets Claire stand in the doorway, blocking her view and she wonders where her dad is. Lauren says he just stepped out before letting her in. Claire notices weird stuff on the desk and the map. She asks why Lauren is there. Lauren tries to explain that they're together and that's not what Claire meant, she couldn't care less who her dad was banging and was referring to all the PrimaTech files and junk. Stuff that Noah said he was leaving behind forever. Lauren says it's not that simple and shows Claire the footage of the town burial. Claire wonders if Samuel can do that. Lauren says he can with more specials around. Claire wonders what they're going to do. Lauren says for her to wait to talk to her dad. Claire, annoyed, says it looks like she and her dad have it under control and she has to go to class and takes off.
Sylar, Matt, and Janice eat and chat. Gabriel is going on he and Matt went through some intense therapy group sessions together. Matt's getting annoyed and says it's time to show "Gabe" his projects in the basement, which Janice makes a snarky comment about. Matt asks about the "fact-finding mission." Sylar says he wanted to see if he remembered it right, he's impressed that Matt has found a way to live a normal life with his ability. Parkman is stronger than him for that. Matt says he's not afraid of him. Sylar says he doesn't need to be, he wants to change and he wants Parkman to take his powers away, since they're what's making him insane. Matt wonders how. Create a mental block? Sylar theorizes. Matt says it's too late for him. Sylar says he's asking nicely. Matt wonders why Sylar thinks he'll help him after what he did to him when he was inside his head before. Because I'm loco? And I'll kill your wife...and your kid? Sylar points out. Parkman says he'll try but Sylar has to let them go. Sylar agrees as a gesture of good faith.
Peter goes to his mother, who's having a problem with the stone cutters and wants to work out the words for Nathan's head stone. She's shaken by it and said she needed to see that Peter was okay. He says he knows it's because of her vision, he had the dream too and that Sylar was trying to help Emma. She did and says that whatever the vision is, one isolated act doesn't make Sylar Emma's savior. He asks for her help to find Sylar. She begs him not to go. Peter says people's lives are at stake and that Nathan wouldn't turn his back on that and she knows he can't either.
Back at college, Claire is ranting to Gretchen about how this will all end badly if Noah goes up against Samuel. Gretchen doesn't know what to tell her, and tells her to maybe try going to class for once. Claire is confused. Gretchen says her dad was right, going to the carnival was a bad idea and Samuel's a bad guy. Claire counters the rest of the carnival is all families and kids and sunshine and puppies. Gretchen points out they're the ones that give Samuel his powers. Claire doesn't think that they actually know that. Gretchen wonders how she could possibly know that from her short sojourn with the carnies. Claire asks to borrow Gretchen's car. She balks and Claire can't believe she isn't backing her up. Gretchen says Claire talks a good game about wanting a normal life, and maybe she should just let her dad handle it. Claire leaves. Gretchen tells her to bring it back full.
Noah calls Claire and leaves a message. He's frantic. Lauren wonders what they should do. He says they have to go do it since they don't know what Samuel might be up to. Lauren is worried that because he's emotional he might not be at his best. He says she doesn't have to worry about him. She says that's not an option anymore. He smiles at that, locks and loads, and says it's time to go.
Claire is back at the carnival and runs into Lydia, who touches Claire and figures out Noah's plans. Lydia is worried, Claire says she's seen these things go bad and they don't have a lot of time to move. Eli the multiple man overhears this. Lydia says Samuel will never turn himself in and they have to run. Samuel appears and says he can't believe it's come to her running away. He can't blame her given what he did that to town. Claire wonders how he could do it. He says he wishes he could take it all back, and other things like what he did to Joseph. This is all the confirmation Lydia and Claire need about his death. He reminisces about the trapeze artists that he and Joseph first saw, hoping they were Special, too, and muses on gravity and that's how Joseph was that for him. He says he's lost his way and now his family is afraid of him. Claire tells him to surrender. Samuel points out that Noah is not known for mercy. Claire and Lydia plead with him and say Noah won't hurt him if he surrenders.
Noah and Lauren have Samuel in their gun sights and then Lauren sees Claire through her binoculars. Claire's on her phone in front of Samuel. She's calling Noah. She tells him Samuel wants to surrender to protect his family and keep them under the grid. She says if there's a chance to do it without anyone getting hurt they have to try. He agrees and tells her to go to the field as a meeting place outside the carnival.
Noah tells Lauren who can't believe it. Claire tells Samuel. Noah says if it's a set-up Lauren will just have a better shot. She decides that instead she'll go down and walk him out and for Noah to keep him in the crosshairs. Noah does that. Samuel walks through his people arms out. Lauren rushes to meet him. He hops atop a small stage and says he knows that some are questioning his heart's motives and he regrets what he's done and that his impulsive acts have brought an agent to their door. They start to balk. He says they just want him, Claire has arranged a peaceful surrender, and he will go and it's the only way to ensure their safety which is what matters most to him and if that means he has to leave than so be it. Shots ring out and hit Samuel in the left shoulder. The Carnies are scattering, one shot almost hits Eric Doyle. Lauren, almost there, turns around and runs back. And then there's an open fire on all of them. Claire is hit in the neck. She and Samuel are down near each other.
Janice has left and now Sylar wants Parkman to do his part. Matt turns and focuses on Sylar and is pushed off violently. Sylar says nothing's changed and he knows Parkman can do it. He wonders what's wrong. Parkman says he doesn't know and tries again. He fails again. Sylar tells him to try again. Matt says maybe Sylar is fighting it. Janice re-enters and Sylar flings her against the wall. Matt begs him to let her go. Sylar thinks he needs more motivation. He tells Matt he will make it work and purge him of his powers or he will use them all, creatively.
We see that Noah isn't the one doing the shooting. He looks around and finds the shooter. It's Eli the multiple man, who now hits Lauren. Noah hits the shooter and he disappears. He looks up and the real one is there and smashes him in the face with his rifle. The shooting stops and Doyle calls out and brings Samuel to Lydia, who has been shot, dead center. Claire tells them to put pressure on the wound and goes to get first aid stuff with Doyle. Lauren bleeds and pants in the woods. She hears a noise and hides behind her tree. She sees Eli carrying Noah and tries to shoot but can't keep her gun steady. She watches them walk off. Samuel holds up the bloody Lydia. He tells her that she has to know what's in his heart and he kisses her. She makes a face and says "you did this?" He apologizes and says they needed a villain, someone worse than him and she gave that to them. He thanks her for it. She dies. Claire returns and Samuel says it's too late, she's gone. Her tattoos disappear. Claire stands there in shock instead of pumping her blood into the woman. The group is shaken and holding one another.
Claire calls her dad to no avail. She eyes Samuel who approaches her portentously. Eli drags Noah by the ankle to the center of the crowd saying he found him on the hill with the rifle. Noah whispers to Claire that he didn't do it. A fireball guys says Claire brought him here so she's a murderer. Samuel tells them to stop, saying they're better than this. Doyle stops her from fighting back. He instructs them to tie up Noah in the house of mirrors and Claire in his trailer.
Matt and Sylar debate about whether they are not just their abilities, but people first. Sylar lets Janice go. He asks to make sure Janice is okay. Sylar says this is his last chance. Around the corner, Matt says he's been in his mind and knows Sylar is serious but he can't do it. Janice says it doesn't matter, she's dealt with monsters like this and they need to bury him once and for all. Matt says okay and goes back to Sylar, grabs his head, we see black and white flashbacks of all his various murders flashing by: Elle, Virginia, Clint Howard's character, his bio-mother as a boy, etc. He stops. Sylar says he doesn't feel any different. Matt asks him to try something on him. Sylar tries but can't do anything. He's excited his powers are gone. Matt gleefully tells him that they are not gone he's just buried them somewhere Sylar will never get to them. He saw that Sylar's biggest fear is living alone with his evil forever now that he's immortal, and so what he did was trap Sylar inside his own mind where he will have to live with himself forever. Sylar is confused since Matt said he'd help him. Matt says he must still have a little Sylar inside because he lied. The best part is, he says, when he leaves, Sylar won't remember what he did. Sylar starts getting weird flashes, as Matt disappears, leans over his shoulder, and whispers, "Enjoy hell." We cut to Matt bricking up Sylar in his own basement, all "Cask of Amontillado"-style, which seems like a bad idea right? We hear banging at the door. It's Peter. Parkman, about 3/4 of the way done, goes to answer the door.
Back at the Carnival, Emma wanders in and looks around, confused. Doyle greets her happily, saying Samuel said she'd come and that they need her help. He is, glad to have a doctor in the house. He says they were attacked by people who don't understand them and fear them. He says that doesn't matter now that she's here. She's not going to just heal people she's going to help make a new world and show them how great they can be.
Matt answers the door, sweaty and dirty. He's surprised to see Peter. They shake hands and Peter immediately takes his power (thanks for asking!) and reads his mind. (Manners!) Peter realizes Sylar is there and that he has to take him. Matt explains that he went inside his head and trapped him in his worst nightmare. Peter says he has to get him out. Parkman begs him not to, saying if he goes in he may never come out. Typically, Peter does not listen, grabs Sylar's head over Matt's protests, and is transported to a seemingly empty metropolis where he wanders around yelling "hello?!"
Lauren gets her bearings, grabs her phone and makes a call. She says Noah told her to call if anything went wrong. Tracy Strauss pauses to consider this.
Samuel closes Lydia's eyes as she's lying on the bed in his trailer. Edgar the speedster shows up, still wounded from Bennet's interrogation, and takes Lydia's dead hand and kisses it. Samuel says "look what they've done, the so-called normal people." Edgar asks how Samuel could let this happen. Samuel walks out of the trailer, his arm in a sling, and his people fall in line behind him. He addresses them saying he knows he did wrong but he was willing to sacrifice himself to save this family but the outside world has proven again that they will never be accepted. That as dazzling as they can be to regular people they are also revolting to them and that's what killed Lydia. He says it's time to put the fear behind them and show the world what they really are. Claire listens from the trailer window. Lauren gets up in the woods.
To be continued...