Just outside Arlington, Virginia, H.R.G. passes some construction workers on the highway and smells a rat. Explaining that there will surely be a roadblock ahead, H.R.G. pulls over his rental car and sends Angela and Claire to walk into Washington D.C. on foot. Warning them to make sure that Nathan is really Nathan and not Sylar, H.R.G. drives off to get captured and buy them some time. Meanwhile, Matt rides a bus bound for D.C.
With Nathan still unconscious, Sylar picks himself up off the floor and pulls Danko's knife out of his head. When Danko draws his pistol, Sylar paralyzes him against a wall to explain that shape shifting has its advantages, enabling him to move the position of the "off switch" at the back of his head. Danko warns that his team will arrive any second, but Sylar's plan is already underway. Hiding Nathan in the bathroom, Sylar explains that he'll kill him later, after he absorbs all his memories with the ability that Angela Petrelli fed him like a snack.
Sylar has a date with destiny. The President is slated to give a speech tomorrow at the Stanton Hotel. Senator Petrelli, a.k.a. Sylar will meet him directly afterwards, just to shake his hand, thus becoming the most powerful man in the world. Danko tells Sylar to kill him now, because there's no way he's going to let it happen. Sylar's not worried. As agents run down the hall, Sylar morphs into Danko, takes his gun and kills a few men. Releasing his hold on Danko, Sylar morphs into Taub to hold Danko at gunpoint -- this round is over.
Early in the morning, Angela and Claire arrive at the Capitol building. Claire is wondering if H.R.G. is safe, but Angela knows it was his plan to be captured. A parent will go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their child. Angela explains that she has to leave to find Matt Parkman, because she dreamed that he saved Nathan. When Claire asks Angela why she doesn't simply warn Nathan, Angela claims it doesn't work that way. She can't change what she dreams, but she can help push the outcome.
Sylar attempts to revive Nathan so he can access his memories, but no dice. Sylar's unconcerned, planning to soak up memories from all the mementos scattered across Nathan's office. An aide enters with Claire, so Sylar quickly morphs into Nathan to explain his intention to meet the President at the Stanton Hotel -- whatever it takes to shut down Building 26. When Claire asks how she can be sure that Nathan is really Nathan, Nathan/Sylar fingers her necklace, recalling their recent time in Mexico. Convinced, Claire insists on accompanying Nathan/Sylar to the Stanton.
Hiding, Hiro and Ando watch as a SWAT team escorts Danko into Building 26. Ando is concerned that Hiro is getting sick from using his power. Ando suggests using his Crimson Arc powers instead, but Hiro doesn't like the idea. Instead, he promises he will only freeze time once more to get them in the door. Ando still thinks it's too dangerous -- what if Hiro's head explodes? Meanwhile, the SWAT team throws Danko into a cell, where HRG emerges from the shadows.
Nathan wakes up just as Peter arrives. Together, they take off to stop Sylar. Back at Building 26, Danko flogs himself, admitting he screwed up because he refused to listen. HRG gets practical: if they can get out, they need to throw everything and everyone into getting a spike into the back of Sylar's head. Danko admits it's not going to be that easy, Sylar moved the spot. Realizing they're both in the same crappy position, H.R.G. and Danko reach out to shake hands and join forces when time stops...
Hiro and Ando open the cell door, shake their heads, and leave to find the imprisoned specials. Hiro is plagued by an excruciating headache and an ear bleed, but he soldiers on to the Coma Room, where tens of unconscious prisoners languish. Hiro quickly wakes Mohinder, then proceeds to wake the others, putting agents in their place. Hiro staggers, unable to keep time frozen. Danko and H.R.G. come to mid-handshake, realizing there's been a blip. They walk out of their open cell door into a deserted bullpen.
After thanking the guys for saving him, Mohinder recommends they hightail it, but Ando insists Hiro needs to be checked out. With dilated pupils, dizziness and a sore left arm, Hiro's body is trying to reject his power like a virus. Mohinder warns Hiro not to freeze time again. Back at the Stanton, Nathan/Sylar introduces Claire to his old boarding school buddy and the President's Chief of Staff, Liam Samuels. The President will be finished with his speech in 90 minutes, they can wait in his suite upstairs. Watching Nathan/Sylar sign in with security, Claire gets an inkling that he may not actually be Nathan.
Danko checks the monitors in the bullpen to realize that his entire team has been captured in the Coma Room. How could this have happened? H.R.G. told him long ago that his men alone were no match for people with abilities; so why should he be sure that Danko's plan will work? Danko displays a giant syringe. Even though tasers haven't worked on Sylar, this tranquilizer should be enough to put an elephant down. When H.R.G. turns to call Claire, Danko moves to plunge the syringe into his neck.
Time stops, and Danko comes to as he plunges the syringe into his own neck. H.R.G. turns in time to see him fall, revealing Hiro who has another bloody nose and burst blood vessel in his eye. Ando races to catch Hiro before he passes out, and Mohinder calls 911 as H.R.G. rushes off to the Stanton Hotel with another giant syringe. In the Presidential Suite, Claire's phone rings. H.R.G. wants to know if Nathan is really Nathan -- how does Claire know? Claire shifts back into Sylar to declaim, "Because it's me," and hangs up to luxuriate in Claire's hair. This is gonna be fun!
Sylar makes Claire into a puppet, forcing her to uncork and serve a bottle of pinot noir. Claire promises H.R.G. is on his way. He's going to stop Sylar, then she's going to kill him. Sylar's not bothered, preferring to wax romantic. He and Claire have so much in common: both orphans, both can't die. Claire promises Sylar he can die alright, but he thinks she'll get bored after 100 years of watching him systematically kill her loved ones. Eventually Claire may come to forgive Sylar, maybe even love him. Who knows? Claire might even become his first First Lady...
Liam doesn't want to let Nathan and Peter into the Stanton -- if Nathan's not upstairs, then who the hell is? Nathan informs them that Sylar is extremely dangerous, and Peter lays down the truth: if Liam sends men after him, they will die. When Liam asks if Sylar is a target, "one of them," Nathan sets things straight. Sylar is "one of us," and only "people like us" will be able to stop him. Floating off the floor, Nathan confesses that he's been lying to everyone, and vows to pay for his crimes when the day comes. Right now, all he needs is a five minute head start.
Brothers again, Nathan and Peter stride down the corridor to the Presidential Suite, committed to tearing him apart. The doors slam open, and Claire slams through them into the wall. Pulling herself out of the rubble, Claire orders the brothers to "Go!" They fly into the suite and the doors lock shut. Claire watches the battle rage through a crack in the door. It's only when everything is silent that she finally manages to open the door of the destroyed hotel suite. Peter staggers to his feet. He can't follow Nathan and Sylar because he sacrificed flying to take another of Sylar's abilities.
Just after Peter and Claire rush out, Nathan comes hurtling through the window, as Sylar floats languorously onto the balcony. Nathan struggles to his feet and Sylar draws a finger across his throat, then sits back to watch the bleed-out. Laughing that Claire will be furious, Sylar morphs into Nathan and walks out to meet the President. Angela meets Matt at the bus station to drag him off to save Nathan, but Matt desists -- he needs to take down Building 26 instead. Claiming they want the same thing, and without Nathan they have nothing, Angela prevails.
Peter is just telling Claire they should split up when H.R.G. rounds the corner with gun drawn. How does he know neither of them are Sylar? Once convinced they're okay, H.R.G. confirms that Peter stole Sylar's ability -- now Sylar can be stopped. Suddenly several armed Secret Service agents order them to the ground. Claire defies orders and walks right up to the guns. They can either listen to her now or after they shoot her.
Matt easily gets himself and Angela past the Secret Service and into the Presidential Suite where Nathan lies dead. Matt tries to keep Angela away. Angela wails, bereft and uncomprehending: in her dream, Matt was supposed to save Nathan. Meanwhile, Nathan/Sylar catches up with Liam, shaking hands. Liam informs that the President is leaving by way of the basement, and doesn't have any more time for Nathan. Nathan/Sylar could care less; the guy without any more time is Liam.
The Secret Service hustles the President through the hotel's basement and into his limo. Liam/Sylar catches up and climbs into the limo to shake the President's hand. But something's wrong; the President doesn't let go of Sylar's hand. Liam morphs into Peter, Claire, Nathan and finally Sylar. The President jams the syringe into Sylar's jugular, then morphs into Peter. Sylar's eyes roll back in his head and he passes out, leaving Peter to smile a grimace of hard-won triumph.
Back in the Presidential Suite, Angela and H.R.G. put the thumb screws to Matt. It's crazy, but they want him to permanently convince Sylar that he's Nathan -- they have it all worked out. It's their best chance. When Angela plays to Matt's sense of family and begs, he caves, and turns his attention to Sylar. In short order, Sylar starts convulsing, then morphs into Nathan, then wakes up and presto! Sylar is Nathan.
Hiro, Ando, Matt, H.R.G., Claire and the Petrelli family gather at Coyote Sands to incinerate James Martin, the shape shifter who died looking like Sylar. Nathan informs them that the President has given him full funding and deniability, and that H.R.G. will head up a new and improved Company. After the fire dies down, everyone goes their separate ways.
Volume Five, Redemption picks up three months later. Agent Harper returns to his apartment to find the kitchen sink overflowing. The puddle of water rises up to morph into a naked, soaking Tracy, who delights in informing Harper that he's Number 4...
In his office, Nathan reads the newspaper, featuring an article with the headline "Fourth Mysterious Drowning Boggles Authorities." He's lost in thought when Angela enters to drag him to lunch. He hasn't been in touch in weeks; she's been worried. Nathan admits that he hasn't been feeling quite himself lately, despite Angela's reassurance that now that the family's back together, it's Nathan's time. Nathan becomes transfixed by a clock. He instantly knows it's running too fast, causing daggers of fear to pierce Angela to her core...