Deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere, two hands claw through the dirt of a newly dug shallow grave. Although Nathan was the man who was buried, Sylar is the man who emerges. Sylar staggers to a road, drawing the attention of a cop, Captain Lubbock. When Lubbock gets a load of Sylar, who's filthy, bloody and barely able to speak, he orders him to get down on the ground. Sylar obeys.
It's early in the morning, and the carnival denizens gather for a community breakfast. Thrilled to be alive, Samuel addresses his flock, thanking heaven and earth for his family. Although Joseph's death has left a glaringly empty seat at their table, there are little lost lambs out there that desperately need what they have -- unconditional love and trust. Today is an important day! Samuel promises that by day's end someone will fill Joseph's empty seat, and their circle will be complete once again.Claire is blissing out over early morning chocolate milk in the university cafeteria, enjoying the spoils of a "normal" life. No snipers, no serial killers, only the pure possibility of becoming whoever she wants to be. Gretchen is just joking about the thrill of tedium when destiny calls in the form of Becky Taylor, Psi Alpha Chi Rush Chair. Clair's a "legacy" since her mom was a sorority sister -- why not come by the house and meet the girls, no strings? Claire agrees, horrifying Gretchen, who thinks sororities are a crutch for people who can't make their own friends. Promising not to turn "Stepford," Claire convinces Gretchen to go with her.
Lubbock is skeptical when rookie Dr. Madeline Gibson shows up for her very first criminal psych consult, but she's focused on her subject. Sylar doesn't know his name, what day it is -- nothing. When Madeline comments that amnesia can be complicated, Lubbock offers to simplify, Madeline is going to take out her rubber stamp and mark Sylar insane. Madeline asserts that she doesn't have a rubber stamp; she's going to need to talk to her patient. Sadly, Sylar, who's handcuffed to the interrogation table, can't string a sentence together.
Sylar is a mess. Crying and struggling against his cuffs, he's still filthy and bloody, his clothes riddled with bullet holes. Lubbock stands aside as Madeline tries to get through to Sylar, asking what happened. Amidst memory flashes, Sylar explains that he was lost in the forest, trying to get out, and now he's here. Madeline asks Lubbock to unlock Sylar's cuffs. When he refuses, she orders him to leave her the keys on his way out. Once Lubbock is gone, Madeline takes Sylar's hand, promising to help him put his pieces back together.
Emma is breakfasting at work when she's accosted by Dr. Coolidge, who's been thinking about Emma's synesthesia, and has become up with an alternate explanation: Theory Conversion Disorder, a.k.a. hysterical blindness. Irate, Emma wants to know if Coolidge follows up with all her patients by calling them crazy? "Only the ones who happen to be my daughter," is the reply. Coolidge thinks Emma has been hiding from her promising medical career in the file room. It's been six years since Christopher's death. Emma needs to stop grieving and take her life back. Claiming she's not grieving, and furthermore, that she's not anything, Emma stalks off.
Since a bunch of people have told Peter that he's working too much and closing himself off to human connection, he's invited Angela and Nathan over for breakfast. Lost in Peter's wall of newspaper clippings, Angela is inattentive, beside herself with worry over Nathan, who hasn't shown up. Whenever Peter makes a move to connect, Angela turns the conversation to Nathan -- where is he? When Peter gets called into work, Angela stays behind to wait for Nathan -- maybe he's just running late -- then tells Peter that he works too much.
Running late, Claire and Gretchen awkwardly enter the sorority house, where the pledges are assembled for G.T.K.P.P.D.S., aka Get to Know Perspective Pledges Speed Dating. Walking in between Claire and Gretchen, Becky splits the pledges into two groups, separating the new BFFs. Claire is going with the flow and having fun, utilizing her new policy of telling the truth-ish... until she realizes that Gretchen is telling the other pledges stuff about her! When Becky plops down next to Claire, saying she feels like she knows her already, Claire says, "Let me guess. Gretchen?"
Distraught after her conversation with Coolidge, Emma charges down the street. As the noises of the city throw chaotic bands of color around, Emma grows more disoriented, backing into the path of an oncoming bus. Luckily, Peter whooshes in to pull Emma out of the way in the nick of time. Peter tries to make sure that Emma's okay, but she rushes off without a word. Trying to speed off, Peter is disgusted to find that he can't, and kicks a garbage can. When the ensuing crash creates a ribbon of color, Peter realizes that he's inherited a new ability from Emma. Cool.
Lydia finds Samuel planting seeds in a field. She wants to know about the new family member. Is it Petrelli? Nakamura? Finally, Samuel admits that he doesn't know who it is, but he felt something in his bones; the dust hasn't yet settled. Lydia scolds Samuel for gambling, making promises to the family based on a feeling. Samuel understands the risks, but the rewards are potentially great. There's lots of candidates out there, just like the many seeds he's planted. Who will break ground first? With a wave of his hand, Samuel covers the seeds that he's planted with dirt.
Getting dressed for the Psi Alpha Chi Mixer, Claire is just looking for her white sweater when Gretchen enters wearing it. Sensing that Claire's peeved, Gretchen offers to take it off, but Claire lets it go. When Gretchen leaves to go to the bathroom, a book falls off her shelf, bouncing off her laptop onto the floor. Retrieving the book, Claire can't help noticing that Gretchen has several browser pages open, all with stuff pertaining to Claire. Creeped out, Claire tells Gretchen to go ahead to the mixer without her, she'll catch up.
Sylar drinks tea, amazed. It feels like he's doing it for the first time. He knows the words for his feelings but they're not in his head. It's scary, but also overwhelmingly beautiful. Madeline points out that this is "jamais vu," the opposite of dÃ©jÃ� vu, common in cases of amnesia. Convinced something traumatic happened to Sylar, Madeline takes him through a memory exercise, asking him to close his eyes and describe the first thing he sees. Sylar is distracted by ticking; Madeline's watch is running faster than the clock on the wall. Amazed that Sylar has picked this up -- her watch has been running five minutes fast for years -- Madeline thinks it's a subconscious clue to his past.
Back at the hospital, Peter goes in search of Emma, but she's not at her desk. Catching the strains of a children's choir performing for patients in the lounge, Peter stops, amazed by the colors the music gives off. He spies Emma across the room, and lets her know that he can see the same thing she does. Afterwards, Peter explains that he must have taken Emma's ability on the street. Realizing she's a rookie, Peter informs her that there are people like them who can fly and teleport. Amazed, Emma sits at the piano, and before long she and Peter are playing an amazing duet. When Peter asks Emma to lunch, offering to get her out of the file room, Emma flashes back to her conversation with her mother, and takes off.
Awkward and nervous, Claire shows up at the Psi Alpha Chi mixer in a hot red dress. Becky is immediately at her side, drawing her into the party, and introducing her to another former cheerleader and fellow pledge, Kara. The girls are just bonding when Claire senses something amiss. As a flag with a pointy spearhead plunges towards them, Claire pushes Kara out of the way in the nick of time. Stunned to see Gretchen staring down from the balcony from whence the flag came, Claire walks out of the party.
When Lubbock gets a fingerprint match on Gabriel Gray, he sends Madeline home and confronts Sylar. He knows Sylar is a watchmaker from Queens who murdered his mother. Lubbock unplugs the video camera cable and demands a confession, but Sylar exclaims that he didn't kill anyone. When Lubbock threatens to throw Sylar down a dark hole forever, Sylar flashes on being buried alive and freaks out. Putting his hands up defensively to ward off Lubbock's blows, Sylar sends the sheriff smashing through the glass of the observation room, knocking him out. Stunned, Sylar looks at his hands. What fresh new hell is this?
In her car outside the police station, Madeline is just reading Gabriel Gray's file when the lights flick off, and Sylar slams against her window with a gun, pleading for help. Meanwhile, Gretchen races back to the dorm. She knows Claire thinks she threw the flag spear, but she didn't; why would she? Claire doesn't know, but she does see a pattern of weirdness, which includes the stuff that was on Gretchen's computer. Gretchen promises that it's not what Claire thinks it is -- she's not exactly a stalker -- and leans in for a kiss! Claire's jaw drops, as someone knocks on the door...
Becky opens the door to reveal the Psi Alpha Chi sisterhood, holding candles. They've come to summon Gretchen and Claire to join the pledges. Back at the carnival, Samuel puts his pen to Lydia's back, but nothing happens. He throws a rag in frustration, which hangs in the air. Realizing who's invisibly there holding the rag, Samuel calls Becky out, and asks her for a report on Claire. Is Becky doing everything she can to isolate Claire and push her in their direction? Claiming that all she does is push, invisible Becky describes pushing Gretchen's book onto her computer so Claire would see; pushing the flag spear off the balcony, and finally, pushing Annie to her death.
When Samuel asks if Claire is on her way, Lydia has him consult her back. What he sees there makes him laugh. Samuel sends Becky back to campus, and gets ready to pull up stakes. Meanwhile, Madeline drives Sylar down a country road. Even if Sylar's not a killer, she reminds him that he's now a kidnapper and carjacker who just beat up a precinct full of cops. Pulling over, Madeline gets out of the car, telling Sylar to take her keys and go, but he wants to stay, and begs for her help.
When Lubbock and his men pull up and whip out their guns, Madeline tells Sylar to turn himself in; only then will she be able to help him. Sylar drops his gun, amazed when blue sparks fly out of his hands. Stunned, Lubbock opens fire, blasting Sylar four times in the chest. Sylar falls onto Madeline, sending the two of them tumbling down a ravine. When they get up, both are stunned to watch Sylar heal, the bullets popping out of his chest. They hear dogs and cops charging through the brush, so Madeline tells Sylar to run!
Emma returns home, surprised to find a crate from the carnival, opened to reveal a cello. She sits down to play, and great joy gives over to violent grief, when she spies several photos and her medical diploma hanging on the wall. Finally, the wall cracks violently, shocking Emma. Did she do that?! Meanwhile, a smirking Becky rematerializes behind Gretchen and Claire, as they carry candles on a procession of pledges through the dorm.
Peter returns home, shocked and happy to see Hiro, who has teleported in from somewhere. Hiro steps forward to greet Peter and passes out, crumpling to the floor. Sylar runs through the woods, cops and dogs on his tail. Suddenly, there's a flash of light up ahead. At the top of a crest, the carnival appears, with Samuel beckoning at its entrance. Sylar looks back at the cops, then moves forward into Samuel's waiting arms. Samuel promises Sylar that he's safe -- he's home. When the cops catch up, they're amazed to see... nothing, just an empty field.