Claire sits dejectedly in the campus dining hall, mashing her oatmeal with a spoon. Gretchen asks if she wants to talk, and tries to take Claire's hand. Pulling away, Claire doesn't know where to start, and prefers to be left alone. When she takes off for a study session across campus, it's not long before Sylar walks up to claim Claire's empty seat.
Having just teleported with Ando and Mohinder to H.R.G.'s apartment, Hiro isn't looking very good, though he claims to be fine. Mohinder is busy putting the finishing touches on the compass he built to lead him to the Carnival. He presents it to H.R.G. with his apologies; he has to make amends to Maya, and won't be going to the Carnival with them. As everyone shakes hands for good luck on Mohinder's departure, Hiro passes out...
Still freaked out, Vanessa wakes up in Samuel's trailer to behold a lovely summer dress, which he explains is a gift. He apologizes and offers to take her home right away, then changes the subject, reminiscing about their childhood together. Does Vanessa remember when Samuel broke her record player, and then fixed it? He knows that he's done wrong, and pleads for a chance to fix it. Using his powers of persuasion, Samuel convinces Vanessa to stop for something to eat before he brings her home.
Ando rushes after Hiro, who's being wheeled into a D.C. emergency room. Unconscious, Hiro drifts back to the court room, where Adam accuses him of repeatedly bending space and time for personal gain with total disregard for the consequences. When Hiro protests directly to his father, Adam states that Hiro is failing to recognize the authority of the court. Bewildered, Hiro points out that they're in a diner. And isn't he entitled to a lawyer? Kaito indicates that Ando is to be Hiro's defense lawyer. Ando knows it doesn't look good, but promises he has Hiro's back as Adam calls his first witnesses: Young Ando and Young Kimiko.
Claire asks Sylar if he knows how much she'd love to kill him, and he actually understands how much she must hate him, admitting he's a little off his game. Showing her his tattoo, Sylar explains that he's come so she can help him get his mojo back. The tattoo wasn't his choice, but his destiny, his desire. Lydia told him he needs human connection, and doesn't want to be alone. When Claire asserts that she wouldn't help Sylar if her life depended on it, Sylar points out that it isn't her own life Claire should be concerned about.
Realizing that Sylar has Gretchen stashed somewhere, Claire grits her teeth and tells him to get on with it. Sylar draws two columns on the blackboard to demonstrate their similarities: both Claire and Sylar were abandoned by parents who didn't want them, and adopted by parents that didn't understand them, both of their dads are cold-blooded killers, which is ironic because both of them are immortal. Sneaking a pencil up her sleeve, Claire disagrees. They're nothing alike. When she tries to leave, Sylar TKs her onto a couch and pins her there. It doesn't matter if Claire doesn't want to participate, because now thanks to Lydia, he can see into the depths of her soul with a kiss...
Sylar brings Vanessa to a small-town ice cream parlor to enjoy her favorite, a strawberry milkshake. Vanessa claims that it was her favorite a long time ago, which gets Samuel reminiscing again, about the dream home that Vanessa always talked about. A peaceful cottage surrounded by nature and happiness. Vanessa understands that Samuel is a romantic, reminding him that there comes a time when you have to realize the dream home is never going to happen. Refusing to be a pessimist, Samuel sticks two straws into the strawberry shake and takes a sip, then offers it to Vanessa.
Ando paces in the observation room as doctors begin brain surgery on Hiro, who's still locked in the courtroom of his mind. Adam asks Young Ando and Kimiko about the slushy incident, when Hiro selfishly interfered with the timeline. Public Defender Ando objects; Hiro helped two people fall in love, which if anything is a selfless act, and no one was harmed. Adam clarifies. Messing with space-time is okay as long as no one gets hurt? Hiro has to admit that's the rule he plays by. Adam calls his next witness... it's Sylar!
Back in court, Sylar claims that he's killed hundreds of people all because of the agreement he made with Hiro. As long as he saved Charlie, Sylar was free to kill whomever he wanted, will-nilly. Hiro leaps up in protest. He was trying to save Charlie without impacting space-time, trying to do what was right! Bloody cheerleader Jackie Wilcox shows up, as Sylar ticks down the list of his other victims. Adam concludes that saving Charlie was selfish.
Hiro flaunts Kaito's threat to cite him for contempt to insist that the world is a better place with Charlie in it. Adam counters, calling his final witness. Oh, that's right... he can't call Charlie, because she's lost in time. Hiro admits that he made a deal with a villain who double-crossed him. Satisfied that Hiro's goose is cooked, Adam rests his case.
Samuel explains that he can do amazing things with a little help from his friends. There will be no more traveling for him; he's made a real home for the both of them if Vanessa will have him. Backing away, Vanessa admits she never thought Samuel would turn a fantasy into reality. The trouble is, it's not her fantasy anymore, it's his. Despite the fact that Samuel changed everything for her, her life isn't here. Feeling terrible, Vanessa tries to bring Samuel back with a kiss, but his heart is broken. After a final and desperate kiss, Samuel thanks Vanessa for indulging him, and leaves in tears.
Claire sprints across campus to find Gretchen bound and gagged in their dorm room. She apologizes for getting her caught up, and gives her a hug, just as the lights dim and the windows blow out. Claire drags Gretchen to hide in a broom closet, and tries to explain this new emo-apologist version of Sylar, then apologizes for keeping Gretchen at arm's length. She wants to open up, but she's scared to get hurt and has been building walls instead. What Sylar said about her ending up alone wasn't wrong, but she just doesn't know how to fix it. She wishes that her powers were just one of her attributes, but knows that she's using them to close herself off. No wonder Sylar's so messed up!
Gretchen suggests that perhaps Sylar's answer would be for him to get rid of his powers to become normal again. As Claire contemplates Gretchen's wisdom, Gretchen's face morphs into... Sylar's! Sylar admits that he never kidnapped Gretchen, so Claire runs back to the dining hall, where Gretchen is sitting, happily oblivious to the day's events. With a big hug, Claire apologizes for being remote at breakfast; Gretchen claims it was her fault for trying to hold hands impulsively. Claire loves Gretchen's impulsiveness and wants to more like her, not beholden to any definition of who she's supposed to be. She wants to hold Gretchen's hand, and if Gretchen's ear is still feeling sympathetic, Claire has a lot to say. Sylar watches as the girls leave the dining hall.
Kaito instructs Ando to call his first witness. At wit's end, Ando calls Hiro to the stand to ask how long he has known the defendant. Hiro admits that his whole life has been motivated by his desire to be a hero, noble and true. When he discovered his ability, he promised to use it only for good. So far he's saved the world twice, and has never broken his code, even to spare his father from murder. Hiro admits that once he was weakened, he became desperate for a meaningful legacy, hopping into the past to right wrongs. If breaking his own code in hopes of making the world a better place makes him guilty, then so be it.
In the hospital, Hiro flatlines, so the doctors rush to shock his heart into beating. Back in the diner, Kaito pounds his gavel, declaring Hiro guilty! A set of doors open, leading into the light. Hiro walks towards them, but then has a second thought. If this is the end, he wasn't to go out a hero. When Kaito tells him to go and fight with honor, Hiro looks down to see his samurai sword in his hand. Adam has a sword too, and the swordfight begins, as hospital-bound Hiro continues to fight for his life. Adam drives Hiro towards the light, and just when the light looks darkest, Hiro's mother Ishi appears in flowing white robes.
Hiro's vitals tick up as he finds the strength to fight Adam, and finally vanquish him. Unsure of what to do next, Hiro turns towards the light and his mother, telling her he's ready to go. He thought he could beat science, but he can't. Claiming that destiny is stronger than science, Ishi has come to heal Hiro. She takes his head in her hands, kisses his forehead, and then backs away into the light from whence she came. Back in the hospital, Hiro's pulse returns. Ando is overjoyed.
Hearing the commotion, Lydia and the other carnies run from their trailers to a vantage point in a field, where they witness Samuel's destruction of the ice cream shop town. Looking insane, Samuel returns to his trailer, as Vanessa sadly contemplates a flower that she picked up by her dream cottage, having a hitched a ride back to L.A. Gretchen and Claire talk late into the night in their dorm room, as Hiro happily regains consciousness and is once again reunited with Ando. In Los Angeles, Janice is playing with Baby Matty when the doorbell rings. It's Sylar, and he's come to talk to Matt. It's really important...