Eighty-six hours ago, Peter meets H.R.G. on the side of a road just outside of New York City. H.R.G. has Nathan's corpse in his trunk. H.R.G. is more than capable of setting the plan to fake Nathan's death in motion, but Peter insists on being a part of it. Back at the Carnival, Samuel spends quiet time with his pen and inks, drawing a portrait of a beautiful woman. The reverie is broken when Doyle hurtles through the air. Samuel scrambles out of the way as Doyle smashes through his work table.
Doyle apologizes; he wasn't able to stop Sylar. Samuel orders Doyle to get everyone to safety, then turns to Sylar, who's thrilled to see that Samuel has brought in more people; that will make him more powerful. Samuel insists that more people will make him more powerful. If Sylar strikes, he'll never know what might have been... Sylar poises his finger to cut into Samuel's forehead, but something stops him. Samuel uses the opportunity to crank up a violent sand storm, which engulfs Sylar, flaying off his flesh until he passes out cold.
H.R.G. stops by Claire's dorm room to offer a ride to Angela's. Reeling after Nathan's funeral, Claire admits that she'd prefer that H.R.G. didn't come to the wake. He lied about Nathan's death. How could he forget what Sylar did to Claire? H.R.G. dressed up Sylar with Nathan's face... H.R.G. admits that he did the wrong thing for the right reason, in an attempt to contain Sylar and keep Nathan alive at the same time. Claire insists that H.R.G. shouldn't have done it. Now she needs to grieve without him reminding her why.
Angela tries to comfort Peter, who seems to be functioning like a robot -- that is, until she mentions Sylar. Angela knows that Peter is full of rage, but cautions that revenge will only get Peter killed. When Peter spies Claire entering, he escapes with her into the kitchen to cut lemons and limes. Claire admits that she told H.R.G. not to come, and she's pissed at him for lying to her. Although their parents were clearly lying to protect them, Peter and Claire are in the same boat. Suddenly, Claire cuts her finger, which stubbornly refuses to heal!
Peter realizes that The Haitian's power must be preventing Claire from healing, and offers to turn it off, but she prefers to feel the pain. It feels more normal. Peter offers a band-aid as Claire reminisces about Nathan. She laughs, remembering the endless grief he gave her for dating a guy who could fly. Now West goes to NYU and is Claire's Facebook friend. Claire encourages Peter to tell some Nathan stories of his own -- it helps -- but he's wracked with pain and in complete avoidance mode.
H.R.G. returns to his apartment and opens a window, seemingly unaware of a shadow flittering outside. But when Edgar enters with knives drawn, H.R.G. is ready for him and tasers him to the ground. H.R.G. buys out the sushi restaurant downstairs for the night and calls Lauren, a.k.a. "The Iron Maiden," as she was known back in the day. After admitting that Claire told him not to attend the wake, H.R.G. asks Lauren if she brought the Sodium Thiopental. Knowing that cold slows down speedsters, H.R.G. has tied Edgar up in the restaurant's walk-in freezer, and is planning to inject him with truth serum.
Lydia confronts Samuel -- why did he put Sylar in her trailer? Samuel insists that Sylar isn't dead, but something is wrong with him, and Lydia is going to help him, Sylar had the change to end Samuel's life, but he couldn't, and Lydia is going to find out why. When Lydia protests that she's not some piece of flesh that Samuel can just toss around, he reminds her that everyone has to do their share of work at the Carnival. Lydia's soft hands are made for plying out the demons that haunt men's souls...
Lydia wakes Sylar with a soft, manicured hand on his bare, but healed belly, letting him know she's there to help figure out what's wrong. Sylar insists there's nothing wrong, but Lydia knows better. As things heat up, she gets several flashes of Sylar's memories. She tells Sylar that he's lonely and afraid to die alone. He just wants love, but doesn't think he deserves it. Pissed off, Sylar gets threatening, but Lydia stays gentle, refusing to back away. Sylar accuses her of trying to manipulate him for her own agenda -- killing Samuel. He has her power, and furthermore, he doesn't have to kill. It's just what he likes doing.
"Not anymore it's not," Lydia whispers defiantly. "You're impotent." Sylar grabs his shirt and storms out. Back at the wake, Angela finds Claire staring at a photo of Peter and Nathan. She tried to find one of Claire but... Claire knows the story. Angela convinced Nathan not to tarnish his career by acknowledging his illegitimate daughter. Claire admits she's disappointed in her elders. How can she believe anything they say?
Angela can't blame Claire, but it's Peter she's worried about. He's amazingly empathetic, but he has no idea of how to grieve. He needs a shoulder to lean on, and he'll probably never trust Angela again. Telling Claire that Peter is searching for rough justice on the rooftop, Angela leaves Claire to investigate. There's no sign of Peter on the roof, but he's left behind all his EMT gear, including his radio. A hostage situation is underway in a nearby office building, with six confirmed dead.
Cut to the office building. A cop radios in a call for all available units, and never sees Peter coming. Peter lays hands on the cop's head and Haitians him into unconsciousness, then runs off to join the fray. When Claire finally finds him in a cubicle farm applying pressure to a woman named Wendy's leg wound, she lays into him. What the hell does Peter think he's doing? Peter's helping, and now, so is Claire.
Wendy explains that a co-worker named Adam Malamut got fired, then went crazy and started shooting up the office. Telling Claire that he needs to be more than just a band-aid, Peter runs off to join the action, as screams and a gunshot are heard nearby. Back at the sushi restaurant, H.R.G. is shaking down bloody Edgar, trying to find out what Samuel wants with Claire. When Edgar swears he doesn't know, H.R.G. picks up one of Edgar's knives -- the same knife that Edgar used to cut him -- and admires its heft. When she realizes H.R.G. is about to get medieval, Lauren pulls him aside for a talk.
H.R.G. claims it's not about revenge; he just wants answers. Lauren counters: she may have been the "Iron Maiden," but she's changed and torture doesn't work. Besides, H.R.G. is emotional. He needs to get objective and get the facts. That's when it dawns on H.R.G. that Edgar is traveling without a compass. Back at the office building, Claire is still nervously applying pressure to Wendy's wound when she's surprised by Adam, the shooter. Luckily, Peter is right behind them to shift Adam's attention away from Claire.
Peter tells Adam that they're the same, both having the worst days of their lives. He just buried the brother whose death he helped deny. He's just a kid from New York; how can he pretend everything's normal? Peter understands, because he wants to torture the guy who killed Nathan. It's all he can think about. But he's trying to be hopeful and strong, the hero he promised Nathan he'd become. One step away from Adam, Peter asks him not to turn him into a liar. Adam opens fire...
Later, Claire tends to Peter, who lies on a stretcher with a bullet in his arm. Peter saved the day, and now it's time for Claire to do her part. Claire balks; healing Peter isn't going to solve anything -- it's only going to heal him up so he can go on another suicide mission after Sylar. He's gotta stop. She takes Peter's hand and transfers her power so he can heal, but he's still determined to keep acting on instinct. That way he doesn't have to think about Nathan, and maybe none of this is real. When Claire insists that Nathan would be pissed that Peter is lying to himself and the family, he finally starts to soften up, and admit he misses his brother.
Back in the cooler, H.R.G. asks about the compass. Edgar admits he's been exiled because he found out that Samuel killed Joseph, and apologizes for slicing up H.R.G.'s gut. When H.R.G. comments that Edgar doesn't seem like a hit man, Edgar confesses that he's actually a juggler, taught by Joseph to balance anything. He was planning to kidnap H.R.G. and present him to Samuel in hopes of being welcomed back. H.R.G. can't understand why Edgar would go back to Samuel until Edgar explains that he's afraid of what Samuel is going to do to the family. With family to protect in common, H.R.G. and Edgar decide to work together to stop Samuel.
Samuel finds Sylar crashing through his stuff, then asks if he wants a tattoo. Lydia told him why Sylar won't kill, and knows that Sylar needs a friend. Sylar's not special -- everyone needs someone who cares. Sylar asks about Samuel's drawing of the beautiful woman. Vanessa is the love of Samuel's life, but he's afraid that he'll reject her for what he's done -- same as Sylar, he doesn't believe he can be loved. And Sylar can find acceptance and forgiveness at the Carnival, just like Samuel has. Sylar prefers to wait and see what the tattoo tells him.
With Edgar handcuffed to a chair in H.R.G.'s kitchen, Lauren and H.R.G. pore over a freshly drawn schematic of the Carnival planning their raid. Lauren suggests using Claire's compass to find the Carnival, but H.R.G. prefers Edgar's mode of entry through Lydia. Edgar wants their assurance that Samuel will be the only one taken, but Lauren and H.R.G. have different plans, claiming that the other carnies are no more than brainwashed lambs. They should be separated and integrated back into the real world. Feeling cornered, Edgar picks the lock on his handcuffs. Knowing that H.R.G. will sacrifice his family to protect his daughter, Edgar grabs the schematic and speeds off.
After making a fresh batch of ink, Samuel puts his magic pen over Sylar's heart. The ink swarms around his body creating images of Nathan, Matt, Peter, Samuel and Lydia, but doesn't come to rest. Samuel instructs Sylar to stop thinking and just let it happen. The ink finally comes to rest on Peter's forearm. Although Sylar's new tattoo can't be seen, it's enough to send Sylar packing -- he doesn't belong at the Carnival. Back in New York, Peter and Claire re-visit the rooftop to say their good-byes. They promise to always be honest with one another, and Peter asks Claire to hook him up with West.
Without a working schematic, H.R.G. laments that he blew his way into the Carnival. Lauren thinks he's being hard on himself and her peaceful tactics were the right move. She's seen this kind of thing with other cult leaders, and Samuel has his hooks into Edgar. Of course, H.R.G. is more concerned about hooks in Claire. He has to warn her, but she won't trust a thing he says. Lauren reminds him that the thing about broken bridges is that they can be rebuilt. H.R.G. picks up his phone to dial Claire...
Later, Peter gazes at the photo of him and Nathan before flying off. Samuel finishes off his portrait of Vanessa, and puts it in a drawer with several others. At the dorm, Claire's phone rings, but she doesn't answer it, knowing it's her dad. She lies on her bed, reviewing the day's events, unaware that Sylar hovers outside her window, sporting his brand new tattoo -- a portrait of Claire!