As has been the case all season, we don't wrap up last week's cliffhanger at all, and instead move on to other stuff: Namely, Hiro and Ando work to rescue Mohinder from the institution, by checking Hiro into it. Once they're all free, Ando uses his red lightning power to give Hiro immediate electroshock therapy and he teleports them the heck out of the swamps of Florida. He says they have to go stop Samuel Sullivan. I say it's about damn time.
Peter's getting called to the Carnival by Lydia (she put the compass tattoo on his arm), but he ignores it and goes to visit Emma (who calls him with her siren song). When he introduces her to his mom, she tells him she had a dream in which Emma plays a part in killing thousands and Peter can't save her. The implication is that someone else can, though, so Peter takes his mom's power and dreams a future in which Emma's playing her cello in horror (in the funhouse) as cries and screams are heard. Then Sylar shows up to "save her." Or so he says. So Peter goes to Emma's and breaks her cello. She's not buying the whole dream thing, even though Peter's been nothing but good to her and she met Samuel seven seconds ago, and she kicks Peter out and cries about her cello. (Oh, and we don't find out where Peter was flying with West's power. Shocking, I know.)
Bennet's also trying to take down Samuel, and he enlists Parkman's (whose?!) help after he tracks Vanessa (Kate Vernon, by the way) down and heads to California to see what she knows. Parkman gets her to talk, of course, and she calls Samuel for them. But Samuel brings Eli along with him and breaks up the ground and escapes with Vanessa, whom he takes back to the Carnival against her will. When Parkman and Bennet can't find her, they give up. Parkman goes home to make ratatouille for his family and Bennet calls him a coward. Parkman tells Bennet sometimes you can't save the world and should focus on home. He tells Bennet to go find Claire. So he does. And somehow Sylar's not still there, or something, and she's late for something. He gives her a heartfelt speech, but she asks to talk about it later. Then goes back into her dorm room and shuts the door, which is what people always do when late to get somewhere. Bennet gets home and Lauren shows up. He apologizes and they make up, then start to make out. Just then, Hiro, Ando and Mohinder show up in the apartment, apologizing for popping in when he has company. But Bennet's happy to see people who actually want to help. And I'm happy our heroes are finally coming together to start putting an end to this season.
A special message from Jack "HRG" Coleman from Heroes: If you'd like to contribute to relief efforts in Haiti following the devestating earthquake, please consider Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a foundation started by Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays "The Haitian" on the show. Donate here.
Before I get started, a serious note: Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays the Haitian on this show (and is actually Haitian), has organized an immediate-assistance relief effort through his charity, Hollywood Unites for Haiti. (And an update beyond that video on his charity's home page: He has heard from his family.) It's obviously an important cause and a crucial time, so give if you can.
Previously: Samuel visited Emma and told her he gave her the cello and that she's a siren. Bennet tried to work with Edgar to find the carnival. Hiro asked Mohinder to disappear for eight weeks, and when Mohinder said no, Hiro put him in a straitjacket in a mental hospital. Damien scattered Hiro's brain, so Hiro had a hard time telling Ando his plan, but Ando figured it out. Parkman got rid of his Sylon. Sylar came back to the carnival and Samuel told him he's in love with Vanessa. Lauren told Bennet he could make up with Claire, because burnt bridges can be rebuilt.
Now: HRG narrates as we see Claire in that shot of her first arriving at college. He talks about how everything isn't hopeful, as Claire sees it. Evil does exist (flashbacks of various nefarious deeds by Sylar, Danko, Samuel's crew, including Noah sliced up by Edgar and Samuel killing his brother, Joseph). HRG wonders how to protect her without losing her, and Samuel again asks Claire if her father hasn't lied and killed to protect her. HRG wonders how to rebuild the bridge, and we watch Claire once again tell him to give her time to grieve Nathan's death. The narration ends and Lauren and HRG are trying to figure out their plan. It's getting a little testy, because Lauren's sick of shooting in the dark with nothing to go on and would like Bennet to ask Claire for her compass. He doesn't want to do that, since Claire's mad at him with every right to be. He ends by yelling at Lauren that if she doesn't want to help, she doesn't have to. She's pissed, and he tries to apologize, but she just sits back down. Camera pans out to the full room as the "Chapter Fourteen: Close to You" chyron scrolls down the bottom of the screen. They've gotten much less clever than they were in the early seasons, haven't they?
Whatever database Lauren's using hits on Vanessa Wheeler, who Lauren reminds Noah is the girl who grew up on the estate where Samuel's family lived and worked. She pulls up a photo of her, and it is, in fact, Kate Vernon (nice job, drawing people). Lauren also pulls up an image of adult Vanessa and Samuel sitting on a park bench. HRG confirms to Lauren that that's Samuel. They dial Vanessa's California phone number, and Samuel identifies himself by first and last name. When he asks about Samuel, she claims not to know anyone by that name. HRG says he grew up on the estate her family owned, and Vanessa hangs up. HRG tells Lauren it looks like he's going to California and she just says, "Yeah, good luck with that." He tries to stop her, but she leaves.