Claire and H.R.G. are trapped in a trailer buried 50 feet underground. After untying her father, Claire shouts for help and tugs at the door, while dirt sifts down from the seams. Up above, Lauren paces the same spot, worried about Claire and H.R.G., who seem to have vanished from the face of the earth. Lauren picks up her phone and dials. In Los Angeles, Matt has his head buried deep in the refrigerator, gathering ingredients for the perfect sandwich. A blast from the basement prompts him to withdraw, arms full of food, to find himself surrounded by multiple Elis.
Sylar busts out of the brick wall in Matt's basement. He and Peter have been trapped in his nightmare for about half a day, even though it seemed like five years. Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by Elis. Upstairs, Eli tells Matt that he's come alone, so to speak. Samuel sent him to make sure his buddies in the basement aren't a problem, a directive that probably includes Matt, too. Matt tries to push Eli's thoughts, but the clones are pretty much thoughtless. Realizing he's outnumbered, Matt picks up a kitchen knife and charges.
It's dusk when a triumphant Samuel finally takes the Carnival's stage in Central Park to address his minions. Tonight will be a night like no other! For years they've been shamed into believing they're second class citizens, when the truth is they're king of the hill. People should aspire to be like them - not the other way around. Tonight they'll pull back the curtain and reveal themselves for who they truly are, and be respected for it. Amongst the adoring upturned faces in the crowd are Doyle, Ian, Edgar and Damien.
Matt is slammed to the floor as one of the Elis dislocates his knee. Another hands out kitchen knives to the clones. Matt is trying to talk them down when the knives clatter to the floor and the Elis pop out of sight. Peter helps Matt to sit up and fixes his knee. Matt spies Sylar in the background, taking down Eli Prime and demands, "What the hell is he doing here?" Back in Central Park, Samuel finds Emma backstage - it's time for her solo. Now it's time to put her unique gift to use.
Stricken, Emma can only think of Peter's dream - he was right about Samuel. Claiming he can't force her to do anything, Emma turns to leave, only to spin in place as Doyle steps out of the shadows. He would have preferred she was a willing participant, but sometimes these things happen. Besides, Doyle's always had a thing for blondes. Ando wakes up at the hospital, to find Hiro dressed and ready to leave. Ando had a wonderful dream; he, Hiro and Kimiko were all back working at Yamagato - the simple life. Claiming he's all healed up, Hiro tells Ando that they'll have to fight Evil Butterfly Man to regain that simple, happy life. Just then, a nurse stops in with a note accompanied by an origami crane - from the patient in Room 1106!
Matt accuses Peter of loosing Sylar from his nightmare prison. It's a long story, but right now Peter needs to know what Samuel's planning and where - will Matt read Eli's mind to find out? Matt refuses, unable to fathom how Peter is in cahoots with Sylar. Still in possession of Matt's power, Peter goes into Eli's head himself to learn that Samuel intends to show the world his powers tonight in Central Park - he's gonna bury them all! Peter wants to hurry off to Central Park, but Matt refuses to let them go, and begins pushing thoughts around, creating an impasse.
Underground, Claire digs around the door frantically with a crowbar. H.R.G. convinces her to stop, already well aware of the score. The more they dig, the faster their oxygen runs out. Claire's lungs will regenerate, but his won't. Samuel imprisoned them in the trailer together so that Claire would have to watch her father die. Meanwhile, Emma plays the cello, her fingers bloodied by trying to resist Doyle's will. The microphone in front of her cello is hooked up to stacks of speakers, drawing huge crowds through the Carnival gates.
Hiro and Ando visit Room 1106, which is occupied by an 85-year old woman. Hiro apologizes and turns to leave, but Charlie recognizes him, even though it's been 65 years since she disappeared from the Burnt Toast Diner. Underground, H.R.G. insists on using his last moments with Claire to talk about what she saw of his memories in the Hall of Mirrors. It was the truth, but not the whole truth. We're all the product of our experiences, both the good and bad. When Claire insists that he's always been daddy to her, H.R.G. snaps - she shouldn't try to protect him - that's his job!
Claire asks H.R.G. if he still doesn't believe that people like her can live out in the open. It doesn't matter what H.R.G. believes, because the whole world is about to find out her, thanks to Samuel. Claire hopes it doesn't turn out too bad; maybe people can change? That, H.R.G. doesn't believe. All it takes is one Sylar to make the pitchforks come out and all hell breaks loose. Claire sobs as H.R.G. hammers his point home: things change but people don't.
Back at Matt's, Sylar explains that he's changed completely. Peter backs Sylar up, explaining that they were trapped in the nightmare for five years. Pleading with Matt to help them save the people in Central Park, Sylar offers to let Matt into his head, to prove he's changed. Matt senses that Sylar's mind has changed, but what about his heart? Sylar promises to prove it if Matt will give him the chance, and Peter demands that Matt trust them. Matt relents, as long as they get out of his house. Once alone with Eli, Matt pushes a new thought into his head...
As the crowd gathers, a delighted Samuel finds Edgar backstage, sharpening his knife. Emma has done an incredible job, so many people have come! Edgar's skeptical - what are these people gonna do, watch their carnival acts? And what's with all the TV news crews? Pawning off his nervousness as excitement, Samuel tells Edgar that tonight will change everything for all of them. It'll be the biggest show they've ever done.
Charlie tells Hiro and Ando the story of her past. When she left the Burnt Toast Diner that day, Arnold teleported her to January 26th, 1944, and dumped her on a Milwaukee street corner. So, she got a Rosie the Riveter job in a munitions factory and got on with her life. Plagued by what should have been, Hiro is devastated, claiming it's all his fault. He led Evil Butterfly Man to her, and ruined her life. Down in the trailer, H.R.G.'s breath grows ragged. He begs Claire to find a way to forgive him, but she's struggling to find a way to thank him for making her who she is.
H.R.G. asks Claire promise him one last thing: that she'll hide. She balks, but he holds her to his dying wish. When he passes out, Claire claws away, trying to dislodge the dirt impacted around the door. Suddenly a river of water pours into the trailer. It's Tracy, come to the rescue - H.R.G. will just have to owe her one. The two girls get H.R.G. to his feet, take off his glasses, and prepare to sluice their way to the surface. H.R.G. pops out of a muddy hole in the ground first, followed by Claire, but Tracy is nowhere to be seen. Lauren pulls father and daughter out of the hole to report that Samuel's in Central Park. Lauren has called in a chopper which is arriving... now. No time to find Tracy.
Old Charlie tells Hiro not to beat himself up. She would have waited for him, but by the time he was born, she was middle-aged. She's just glad she got to see him again, before... When Hiro realizes that Charlie's sick, he promises to fix everything. Ando steps in to remind Hiro that there's no such thing as stepping on a small butterfly. Hiro insists that he's only doing it so that Charlie can lead a normal life - it has nothing to do with what he wants whatsoever. Disgusted, Ando leaves the room.
H.R.G. and Claire stroll the crowded midway, searching the Carnival for Samuel. They split up to cover more ground, as do Peter and Sylar. H.R.G. places an emergency call to Ando, telling him to get Hiro there as fast as possible. He's just hanging up when Edgar puts a knife to his neck. Sylar finds Emma playing cello in a tent, and assures her that he's come to save her. When he tries to take the cello from her, he's slammed back, as Doyle emerges from the shadows.
Claire runs to the backstage area, climbs on a crate and speaks to the carnies, begging them to get as far away from Samuel as possible. When Ian objects, Claire explains that no one wants to believe that they'll all live in the open as much as her. But it's not their coming-out party - it's Samuel's. Samuel emerges from the shadows - Claire's not part of their family. Claire agrees, then outs his real plan: he's going to kill everyone! Led by Ian, the carnies rally to Samuel's side - he would never do something like that!
H.R.G. tells Edgar that he never tried to hurt the Carnival family, unlike Samuel, who they both know killed his Joseph. H.R.G. is only in Central Park to prevent Samuel from killing a lot of people. Agreeing that they have the same goal, Edgar lets H.R.G. go and asks for a plan, as H.R.G. spies Eli. Meanwhile, Hiro tells Charlie his plan: he'll be waiting for her on the street corner in 1944, and they can finally build a life together. Charlie objects as her granddaughter Sally runs in. Charlie's already lived a wonderful life. What will happen to her four children and seven grandchildren, her cherished memories if she goes back now?
Ando pops in to tell Hiro about the call from H.R.G. - they're needed desperately in New York. Looking through the observation window at Old Charlie surrounded by her family, Hiro knows his damsel has found her happy ending, and his hero's journey has ended. Blowing Charlie a kiss, Hiro and Ando pop out, heeding destiny's call.
Sylar promises he won't hurt Doyle; he merely wants him to let Emma go. When Doyle engages with Sylar long enough to lose focus on Emma, she lets out a mighty stroke of the cello, smashing Doyle to the ground. Now free, Sylar clenches an invisible hand around Doyle's neck. Doyle blubbers that Samuel made him do it, and what does Sylar care about Emma anyway? They're both alike! With new conviction, Sylar states his case: He's not like Doyle. He's a hero, and he's come to save Emma.
Backstage, Claire continues her verbal assault on Samuel. Do the carnies know that they're the source of his power? Without them, he's nothing. Joseph knew that Samuel couldn't be trusted to control himself, just like when he buried that town. When she blurts out that Samuel murdered Joseph, the tide finally starts to turn. Edgar and H.R.G. walk out of the crowd to confirm Claire's story, and Eli admits that Samuel had him kill Lydia and blame it on H.R.G. Claire urges the carnies to walk away - then Samuel will be powerless. Finding himself entirely alone, Samuel rushes to the stage to carry out his ultimate plan.
Onstage, Samuel raises his fists and the ground starts to rumble. The crowds panic and a full-on stampede ensues. As Claire and H.R.G. hustle to get the carnies as far away as possible, Peter flies in to tackle Samuel off the stage, while simultaneously picking up his power. They conduct a battle of moving earth. Meanwhile, Hiro and Ando teleport into the crowd of carnies. Claire explains that Hiro needs to teleport the whole group to safety. Hiro doesn't think he can but Ando offers to supercharge him, as H.R.G. puts Claire's hand in Hiro's. She should go with them; he'll stay to take care of Samuel.
With the carnies gone, Samuel loses his power entirely. Peter joshes - how is to be ordinary? Furious, Samuel punches Peter, but he dodges and easily knocks Samuel to the floor. Samuel runs to the stage, but the park is deserted, and he falls to his knees in defeat, ending Volume 5.
Volume 6: Brave New World begins in the aftermath of the Carnival disaster. Peter hugs Emma, then finds Sylar, who's strung Doyle up like a Christmas tree. Claire gets the download from H.R.G. Lauren called in a few favors from an old company who'll take care of Samuel, and is currently holding a press conference to explain it was all a ruptured gas main. When reporters approach, H.R.G. has no comment, but Claire has second thoughts, and runs to the Ferris wheel. As the cameras roll, she climbs to the top and jumps off, then stands up to face the camera as she snaps her dislocated shoulder into place and heals. "My name is Claire Bennet, and this is attempt number.... I guess I kinda lost count."