Lots of talk of origins this week. Sylar Thredson ends up blabbing his whole sad backstory to Lana, which boils down to: "Never had a mommy. Will you be my mommy?" Lana eventually tries to escape, angering Sylar. He decides she's like all the rest so he might as well kill her like all the rest. But she thinks quick and convinces him she understands him like a good mommy would. So instead of killing her, he merely starts breastfeeding on her.
Monsignor Howard is called in to perform the last rites on a wretched creature that's been in the news recently, but when he gets there, he finds the Shelley Thing. After recognizing her, he has a flashback to his first meeting with Dr. Arden, back when Briarcliff was a tubercular ward. That's when the monsignor was convinced to let Arden stay on and continue his groundbreaking "research." After Howard STRANGLES SHELLEY TO DEATH WITH HIS ROSARY BEADS to keep her from talking, he huffs and puffs his way into Arden's office, full of WTF. Arden is indignant about how Howard knew what he was getting into, and we get a window into just what Arden is doing. Apparently, he's injecting patients with a combination of syphilis and tuberculosis in order to create superhumans that could survive the impending nuclear war with the Soviets. Hey, so remember how we haven't seen Spivey in a while? It's because Arden has been turning him into "the next stage in human evolution." Which mostly means melting his face off like Shelley. Howard is HORRIFIED but he's in too deep to take Arden down now, so instead, he decides to shove Sister Jude out to a job in Pittsburgh.
Sister Jude has one last card to play, however, as she takes a bottle of cognac and two glasses to Arden to toast to his besting of her. Really, though, it's a gambit to get his fingerprints, which Sam Goodman needs as the last bit of proof that Arden is indeed Hans Grouper. But before Sister Jude can get the prints to Sam, he's visited by Devil Eunice, who needs Arden around so she can rise to power. By the time Jude gets to Sam, he's bleeding out in his bathroom, though he manages to croak out that one of Sister Jude's nuns did this to him.
All this, plus an evil little girl is admitted Briarcliff, bonds with Devil Eunice, and murders her family. And in our modern-day timeline, the "real" Bloody Face has murdered the three teen wannabes, called the cops to see his handiwork, and abducted Mrs. Channing Tatum.
Featuring Orphan, as performed by demon-child Jenny; the Blue Velvet "Mommy" scene as performed by Sylar Thredson; and the "You Don't Own Me" scene from The First Wives Club, as performed by Devil Eunice.
Ah! A return to the present day, however briefly. It's not like I'm hugely into these framing scenes, but I don't like to be left hanging. Speaking of which! We open on footage of police investigating the run-down remains of Briarcliff while we hear the sound of a 911 call mad supposedly by the "real" Bloody Face -- i.e. the one who charged those punk kids a few weeks ago. "I've been a very busy boy," says the voice -- the voice of Dylan McDermott, I should say, so I guess that's where his role fits into this season. "You'll know my name when you see them," Dylan Face continues. "They were imposters." The cops snoop around Briarcliff until one of them feels a drip of blood on his head, looks up, and sees the three imposter Bloody Faces, in full costume and mask, hanging head above the foyer.
Back in the '60s, Sister Jude is back at work after her barroom sabbatical, meeting with the troubled mother of a deeply troubled young girl. Jenny, the girl, is waiting downstairs with her coloring book, her hair in braids as befits any bad seed. Jenny's mom tells Sister Jude that her daughter always seemed like an adult, even as a baby. She never cried, not once. She tells the story of the time Jenny and her little friend Josie went out to gather leaves and Josie ended up dead in the woods with a giant pair of scissors through her heart. We see a flashback to the occurrence, with monotone Jenny telling her mother, "I tried to stop him. But he was bigger than me. And he said he would kill me too if I didn't stand very still and be quiet." She describes a tall, bearded man in a brown jacket to the police, but her mom tells Sister Jude that weeks later, she found a lock of blonde hair in Jenny's pocket.
Sister Jude is moved. She tells Jenny's mom about her dream of one day running a children's ward at Briarcliff. Such is the grand, perverse complexity of Sister Jude that she honestly wants a children's ward as a way to do good for children, despite the fact that we all know what a living hell such a ward would quickly become. Anyway, they don't have a children's ward yet (though, hi, remember when she was prepared to treat that little possessed boy back when she figured he was a chronic masturbator?). She says prayer is her strength and her ally in a situation like this. Jenny's mom begs Jude to just meet with Jenny. She just needs to know why. "Where does this evil come from? Could she have been born that way?"