I have to admit, this one was a big improvement, although the storylines are still wildly uneven. Nathan and Tracy are boning, and she tells him about killing The Greatest American Reporter. She thinks she should turn herself in, but he doesn't want her to tell people about them, and reiterates his belief that God gave them their powers. Tracy, however, disabuses him of that notion, at least when it comes to her ability. Meanwhile, Peter, unable to control Sylar's power, almost kills his mother, only being stopped in the nick of time by Sylar. Nathan and Tracy then come to see Mama Petrelli, who tells them Zimmerman was instrumental in developing "synthetic abilities" -- one of which was given to Nathan. He's stunned, of course, that she and his father used him in this experiment, and although she begs him for help to find the formula so the synthetic abilities can never be given out again, he tells her to go to hell, and suggests to Tracy that they need to go see Mohinder. This is not the greatest idea, however, as Mohinder is keeping up appearances with Maya, but is secretly kidnapping people and cocooning them, so it looks like he's becoming a spider, as it seemed might be the case last episode. Maya gets wind that something's wrong and tries to free the neighbor from last week, but Mohinder catches her, and although she initially keeps him at bay with her black tears, he talks her into stopping, only to capture and cocoon her. DUMB. Back at The Company, Mama Petrelli has another horrible dream, this one of Tracy and Nathan and Peter all dead, and then a mysterious man she knows and fears shows up and seems to imprison her inside her own body. I hope her dreams at least get a little less scary, because that's all she'll have to keep her company for a while.
Across the country, Sandra figures out that Claire is going after a villain, and worries that she might be targeting a guy whose power is to create vortexes -- vortexes that could make even invulnerable Claire disappear forever. Meredith, however, is more worried that she's going after "Eric Doyle," whom she knows to be a "horrible man" and who's nearer to them, so she goes to check him out. Sandra's instincts are correct in that Claire does confront the vortex guy, but even though he gets her in his power, he merely tells her that The Company forcibly separated him from his family, and he never meant to hurt anyone. Claire ends up helping him set up a rendezvous with his family, but things go pear-shaped when Sylar and Bennet show up. Vortex Guy uses his power to escape, and it's again Sylar who saves Claire from being sucked away for good. This does not stop Claire from being HELLA pissed at her dad for working with her attacker, but he does talk her into giving up Vortex Guy's location. Claire finds him distraught, as his family didn't show up. Things then get really tense as Bennet appears, puts a gun to Vortex Guy's head, and instructs him to use his power to get rid of Sylar. Vortex Guy kills himself rather than kill anyone else again, though, and from Claire's face it doesn't look like she's ever going to trust Dad again, even though she tells him she understands why he does the things he does. Oh, and Meredith wasn't kidding about that guy, by the way. I mean, he likes puppets -- how much scarier could he be?
Finally, Hiro tries to get Adam to tell him who's behind the formula theft, but we find out independently that it's Linderman, who's apparently running that Pinehearst company from last episode, and tries to get Daphne to recruit others who have "lost their way," such as Knox and Mohinder, to their cause. Adam takes Hiro and Ando to a bar that's apparently the go-to place for hiring "specials," but this only results in Hiro getting knocked out and Adam escaping -- only to be knocked out in turn and kidnapped by Knox. Hiro and Ando drown their sorrows, but things turn when Daphne and Knox show up, and Hiro and Ando fake interest in signing up with them. Knox asks Hiro to demonstrate his loyalty by killing Ando, WHICH HE DOES, to Daphne's chagrin. Of course, he'll probably time-shift back or something and save him, but that was still quite a twist. Linderman pooh-poohs Daphne's distress before ordering her to recruit Matt. But when she's gone, the world is overturned -- it turns out Linderman isn't really Linderman, just a vision that Maury Parkman has been causing to appear to Nathan and Daphne, at the behest of the man who attacked Angela -- PAPA PETRELLI! He's alive! ALIIIIIIIVE!
The guy who sometimes voices over the previouslies is back. Considering everything he tells us is then explicitly depicted in the scenes shown, I'm not sure why they bothered. On the other hand, anyone who chose to skip the first four episodes should be rewarded for such foresight. But as I said in the recaplet, this episode is a big improvement, not least because Peter's in it for only about fifteen seconds. Onward!
Nathan's awake as he spoons the sleeping Tracy in her bed, and apparently some people on the show are listening to some degree, because Mohinder's voiceover has been replaced by one by Nathan. Either that, or Mohinder is too unruly to get into the recording studio now that he's a spider. Nathan talks about getting touched by God and second chances and purposes and it's repetitive and boring, so know that the VO goes on in this vein as we see a replay of Peter materializing and grabbing Sylar, and considering we saw this not only at the end of last episode but also IN THE PREVIOUSLIES LIKE TWO SECONDS AGO, they could have cut this part out. In her car, Claire shows us some sort of weapon before putting it away in her jacket, and then we get another replay, this one of Adam grabbing Hiro by the throat. That one I could stand to watch a few more times. We see Mohinder sitting in a wooded park, watching someone shiftily, as Nathan concludes by wondering if God, or he, knows what he is. "Am I an angel, or a monster? A hero, or a villain?" Given that the next shot is of Nathan in a tight v-neck, I know which one I'm going with. He stumbles to the refrigerator, and when he opens it, we see a chyron with the episode title on the door; then, we switch angles to the other side, so when he shuts the door, it reveals Linderman standing there. He doesn't even flinch, which is impressive, merely holding the milk out (hmm, drinking milk, just like Mohinder. Probably a coincidence, but what is he, twelve?) and offering Linderman a drink. Linderman doesn't react, so Nathan gets all "Ah HA" about the whole thing, saying that Linderman isn't really there. Nathan catches the viewing audience up some more on the events of last episode by way of asking for "some straight answers," and Linderman suggests that his timely rescue of Tracy was due to guidance from a higher power. Nathan is skeptical that Linderman is a messenger from God, but Linderman babbles about the burning bush and the Virgin Mary and Samuel and man, between the previouslies and this boring scene I sure was surprised that this episode ended up being worth watching. Linderman wraps it up: "God resides within. The answers will come." Tracy then calls from behind Nathan, and when he turns, Linderman is gone. Tracy uncertainly asks Nathan who he was talking to, and his response is nobody. "Just clearing my head." Tracy looks at him like, "Could you maybe do so by taking a walk or doing some yoga? Or anything that's not certifiable?"