Gretchen bangs desperately on Claire's door, but Claire's not ready to talk, preferring to hit the books. Peter hangs another clipping on his wall: all passengers have survived the MTA bus crash, thanks to his heroics. Matt gets ready for work, pocketing his 30-day chip. When he spies Sylar in a mirror he quickly draws his gun, but Sylar's already gone. Or was he really there in the first place?
Samuel mixes a special batch of ink and puts on a suit, explaining to Lydia that he may have found someone to fill Joseph's shoes, so he's venturing out into the world. He hasn't dressed since this way since he was a kid; his parents forced their sons to be prim. When Samuel discovered he could control the earth under his feet, he was liberated to become -- filthy! But ever since Joseph died, Samuel feels like he's missing a part of himself. Joseph was Samuel's compass, and now he's unsure of their family's direction. Samuel draws the ink into his fingers, refuting Lydia's suggestion that he might want to go home while he's "out there."
Peter's alarm goes off, but he's already up, surprised by a knock at the door. The caller congratulates Peter for saving a cop's life, then crows, "You been served!" Peter's being sued!? Across town, Emma Coolidge doesn't want to wake up, despite her vibrating bed, and an alarm clock that would give most people seizures. She dons headphones that aren't plugged into anything, and is about to leave for work, when she notices light bursting out of the kitchen sink. Investigating, Emma concludes that it was early morning sunlight reflecting off the dripping faucet.
Matt and his partner Green stake out drug dealer Keppler's house, while waiting for a warrant to search it. Matt is impatient to get on with it, so Green reminds him that they're going to nail Keppler, find his stash, and both get commendations -- it's going to be a great day! Taking out his 30-day chip, Matt admits that he's keyed up because he slipped, he "used." He's still being haunted by the ghost of all the crappy things he's done in the past, and it got the better of him. When the DA calls, Green exits the car, leaving Matt alone with Sylar, who wishes he really was a ghost. That way he wouldn't be stewing in Matt's mediocrity.
Matt lays it out: he's a cop, and Sylar's a killer. If he has to lock Sylar inside his head for eternity, so be it. Besides, Sylar has no power over him; if ignored, Sylar will just fade away. When Green returns with the warrant, Matt assures him that he's put away his ghost and put on his game face. The partners kick open Keppler's door and search the house for him. Everywhere Matt turns, all he can see is Sylar! Sylar taunts and berates, finally revealing that Keppler is in the closet... and he's got a gun. Keppler shoots through the closet door. Matt dives out of the way, then quickly wrestles the young man to the ground.
Expecting Gretchen, Claire opens her door to find H.R.G., who's come with housewarming presents and a lunch invite. He heard about Annie's suicide, and wants to make sure Claire's alright. Claire claims she's fine, and runs to the co-ed bathroom to get cleaned up. Gretchen pops up to confront Claire -- they've gotta talk about what Gretchen saw the other night. Claire tries to make like nothing happened and runs back to her room, but Gretchen follows, urging Claire not to lie. When Claire opens her door to reveal H.R.G., Gretchen charms an invite to lunch, flummoxing Claire.
With Keppler handcuffed to a chair and Sylar lounging on the couch, Matt and Green toss the house, looking for the stash. When Sylar admonishes Matt to "grow a pair and end this idiotic sobriety" (i.e. read Keppler's mind), Matt leaves Green, promising to check the bathroom. Sylar pops into the bathroom, offering to help; he always thought he'd make an excellent cop. Matt tries to ignore Sylar, but heeds his warning that something doesn't fit in the bathroom: a dingy stuffed rabbit is lodged behind the toilet. Sylar warns that the house isn't being used for drugs, but something much, much worse.
At the hospital, Peter visits the file room where Emma works, to request a file on the guy who's suing him, William Hooper. Oblivious to Peter's friendly overtures, Emma points to a sign: all file requests must be made in writing. Peter chatters on until he notices that Emma's not listening, and her earphones aren't plugged into anything. Handing Peter his file, Emma knocks her coffee mug off the desk. When it shatters to the floor, she sees ribbons of colored light rising from the shards. Flustered, Emma hands over the file, and Peter rushes out to find Hooper, who's in physical therapy right now.
Peter opens the door to physical therapy to behold Samuel, whom he knows wasn't involved in the bus crash. Is he scamming for Petrelli money? Samuel explains the reason he's in New York. His brother died, and now he's responsible for his entire family. Peter yanked him off the bus so fast that he dislocated his arm. Now Samuel can't work and won't be able to feed his family. Peter turns to leave, intending to let the lawyers handle it. Samuel reels him back in. His lawyer knows Peter's been working two or three shifts at a time. Isn't it possible that Peter is so overworked he doesn't remember? Insisting it's not, Peter leaves.
Meanwhile, Emma has Dr. Coolidge check her vision, but nothing's physically wrong. Perhaps this is a case of synesthesia, when the senses cross. Maybe Emma's seeing sound as color. Maybe her body is trying to tell her something. Dr. Coolidge thinks the message is that Emma is disengaged from life, hiding out in her filing job, when she could be healing patients. Emma defends herself. She likes her quiet job. And the reason she wears the headphones? If she doesn't, people talk to her. And she can't stand the look on their faces when they realize she's deaf.
Lunch at the Indian restaurant is tense, and H.R.G. quickly realizes Gretchen knows about Claire's healing ability. Back in California, Green leaves Keppler's house to check the garage. Matt gets busy rifling through drawers, while Sylar pecks away at his mind and his manhood. Matt finds a tabloid with words cut out, which leads him to a ransom note: She dies in 12 hours if I don't see my $200,000. Sylar challenges: Is Matt man enough to save her?
When Gretchen gets up to go to the bathroom, H.R.G. pulls out his phone, prepared to call the Haitian to wipe her memory. Angry, Claire lays into her dad. Gretchen is just a girl, and the only friend Claire's made at college so far. She doesn't need H.R.G. to fight her battles. Claire threatens her own brand of punishment. She will not call, she will not email. It's her mess, she'll clean it up -- by herself. When Gretchen returns, eager for dessert, H.R.G. puts the phone away.
Holding the letter, Matt lays into Keppler. Where's the girl?! When Sylar warns that there's no time, Matt pushes into Keppler's brain to hear "under the stairs." Matt rushes to uncover a secret door under the stairs, but he's too late, the little girl is dead. Enraged, Matt starts beating the hell out of Keppler. Having found the stash, Green rushes in, catching Matt in the act. Matt explains about the little girl under the stairs, but when he goes to show Green, the little girl is gone. In fact, there's no rabbit, no note, even the words aren't cut out of the tabloid. Sylar explains: he's turned Matt's own powers against him.
Peter and Hesam discuss the lawsuit. Peter insists that Hooper wasn't in the bus crash, but Hesam's log says different. Peter's in deep; the hospital isn't going to take the fall on this one, Peter is. Peter insists he's been nothing but committed. Hesam scoffs. Yeah, Peter is always first on the scene, but there's a rumor going around that he's causing the accidents himself, hounding for glory. If anyone asks, Hesam will confirm that Peter's been acting reckless and suspicious. They may be partners, but Peter treats Hesam like his chauffeur.
Samuel enters Peter's apartment. Spying the wall of clippings, Samuel touches his finger to the MTA article, then darts out of sight as Peter enters. Peter goes straight for the MTA article, and is stunned to discover that Samuel, a.k.a. Hooper, is now in the picture. Maybe he was on the bus after all.
Gretchen accosts Claire in the hallway to apologize for being too pushy. She understands that Claire doesn't want to talk, and doesn't want her secret to get out. When Gretchen was in junior high, people used to call her Retchin' Gretchen, saying she smelled like puke because she was bulimic, so she knows how it is. She turns to leave, but Claire calls her back to explain that it's been a really long time since she felt safe enough to tell anyone the truth. But now she's tired of keeping secrets, so Gretchen can ask her anything.
With a whoosh, Peter finds Samuel in a park. Peter's sorry. He made a mistake, but he's going to make it right. Samuel tells him not to concern himself, but Peter persists, so Samuel asks if Peter has ever lost a brother. Peter hasn't, but he did used to work for hospice. Samuel's been thinking about visiting the home where he grew up with Joseph, but there's too many bad memories, no solace anywhere. Peter offers that sometimes the best salve for grief is the realization that you're not alone. Pleased that Peter is exactly the person he had hoped for, Samuel shakes hands and heads out, telling Peter he'll drop the lawsuit.
Emma sits in the same park, on a bench near a guy playing the cello. Great bands of color rise into the sky as the guy plays. When he leaves his cello to grab a cup of coffee, Emma can't stop herself from exploring the instrument, delighted by its cosmic rainbow. She grabs the bow and begins playing ethereal music, drawing a crowd, which includes Peter. When Emma concludes her reverie and stops playing, she's stunned by the applause, and runs off.
Samuel approaches a stately mansion, where there's a formal dinner party in progress. He rings the doorbell, and the woman of the house answers. Samuel explains that his parents used to be maid and butler of the house, and he grew up in the carriage house out back. Could he go back there and look around? Claiming it's not a good time, the woman callously denies Samuel's request, even if he is reeling from the death of his brother.
Back at the dorm, Claire and Gretchen are friends again, hanging out, talking and listening to music. Gretchen asks to see the healing so Claire hands her a scissors and offers her palm. While Claire's healing, H.R.G. calls to apologize. He can't help wanting to protect Claire, but he's going to back off and let her deal with her own problems. Claire happily puts down the phone and invites Gretchen to move in and become her roommate.
Both Matt and Green know that Matt went too far, beating up Keppler, and Green can't cover it up. Green advises Matt to get himself a good lawyer. Holding his head in his hands, Matt knows he's ruined his life. He hands Green his 30-day chip, then pushes into his brain: Keppler attacked Green, and Matt had to defend him. With his mind changed, Green leaves to call in the bust. Sylar congratulates Matt for finally becoming more like him, and poses an ultimatum: every day can be just like this one, or Matt can find his body.
Peter and Hesam walk through a huge accident scene as multiple bodies are wheeled out on stretchers. A fireman explains that they've called them out to the suburbs to help with the disaster, caused by a sink hole. The mansion that Samuel just left is no more than a pile of rubble surrounding a gaping hole in the earth. A grim smile curls Samuel's lip as he spies on Peter, who's hit with a searing pain in his arm. Looking down, Peter is shocked to see a tattoo of a compass on his arm, its needle spinning wildly.