Previously: Emma created some sort of earthquakey, laser power that cut through her wall, thanks to her rainbow of sounds. Peter picked up her ability, but she didn't know what he was talking about. Hiro planned to undo the wrongs he's caused. He told Kimiko he was dying and then disappeared, arriving an episode later in Peter's apartment. Mama Petrelli wants HRG to be the man with the plan, but he's depressed at how he's never done anything good in his life. Sylar didn't know who he was, and the cops figured out he's a murderer. He got away, and ran straight into the arms of Samuel the carnie leader.
We open with narration from Samuel -- the new Mohinder -- as Sylar takes off his shirt to look at his wounds in a mirror. Samuel wonders what a man is without memory: a ghost? A body in search of a soul? Cut to Nathan's office, with a mini Empire State Building figurine, a ticking clock, and a picture of Nathan and Peter on the desk. Is this our way of saying goodbye to Nathan for good? Samuel continues wondering -- "With no compass to guide us, how can we know if our destiny is to obey the good? Or obey the demons that whisper in our ear?" -- as we first see Peter sitting next to an unconscious Hiro in the hospital and then Emma looking fearfully at the giant crevasse she left in her wall. I imagine she's thinking, "Now I'll never get my deposit back!" Samuel goes on about how a blank slate hungers to be written upon as we move on to HRG on a computer. He finishes with, "The body thrives, when the heart has a mission," as we pan up Hiro's hospital blanket and across the words "Chapter Five: Tabula Rasa." Not exactly the most original episode title (see Buffy, Lost, and various others.
Hiro wakes up and Peter wonders how he's feeling. Hiro doesn't answer, so Peter reminds him that he collapsed and asks if he remembers. Hiro doesn't exactly say yes, but he surmises that Peter must have brought him to the hospital. Or, you know, called an ambulance. After all, I don't think he's carrying anyone anywhere with that lame seeing-sounds power he's been dragging around. Although, I guess he could have borrowed Hiro's power and teleported them both to the hospital. Peter tells Hiro that the doctors told him Hiro's very sick. And it's so appropriate for the doctors to tell Peter this, right? Hiro says he knows he has a brain tumor and is dying, but he didn't want to admit it would happen so soon. Peter thinks that perhaps Hiro was brought to him so that Peter could help Hiro through this time since he's helped a lot of people at the end of their lives (back when he was a hospice nurse). Hiro says maybe, but maybe not, since destiny's mostly been sending him to places where he needs to undo wrongs. Now, first off, why would Peter act like destiny brought Hiro here instead of him coming on his own? Peter wouldn't know that Hiro's lost control of his power, would he? So shouldn't he have assumed that Hiro came here on his own? Anyway, Hiro thinks maybe destiny brought him here to fix a problem in Peter's life. Peter says his life is perfect (except for the emptiness inside, the Sylar brother, the evil mother, the fact that he can no longer be the all-powerful hero he once was, and his unrequited crush on Emma), so it can't be that. He offers that maybe Hiro came here so Peter could fix him, since there are ways to heal sick people -- just not with doctors. Peter borrows Hiro's power (so he didn't have it before!) and takes off to get help. Before he leaves, though, he bumps into Emma. She wonders if he sent a cello to her apartment (he didn't), and then says there's something wrong with her ability. He brushes her off and says to talk to Hiro, who knows more about powers than anyone he can think of. To prove this, Hiro's reading a superhero comic book in his bed. I guess he carries that with him in case of sudden teleportation.
Samuel and Lydia the Tattooed Lady are discussing Sylar. Samuel can't believe how he doesn't live up to the hype he's heard about the guy for years. Samuel wonders what happened to him to make him so beaten and afraid. Lydia's not sure, but she thinks there are two sides at war within him. At this, Samuel jumps up and goes to Sylar's trailer, where he looks in and sees him asleep. He knocks on the trailer's giant sliding glass door (which is very cool; who wouldn't want a trailer with a giant door like that, though it might be impractical for hauling purposes -- which isn't a problem for these guys, since I doubt they ever travel by driving). Sylar comes out and Samuel greets him by name and asks how he slept. Sylar asks why Samuel would call him Sylar, and Samuel says it's his name. Sylar says the police told him his name was Gabriel, which makes Samuel even more puzzled that Sylar doesn't even know his name. He tells Sylar he thinks a great damage has been done to him and that he came to the carnival to heal. Or maybe he came to the carnival because it appeared to him right as he was running from police with dogs and guns? I don't know. Just another theory. Samuel asks Sylar to spend the day among the carnies and, with time, his memories will return. He asks Sylar what he'd like to be called, and Sylar says, "Call me Nathan." Mysterious music plays, which is silly since this IS NOT A MYSTERY TO VIEWERS. I think the writers need to realize that just because a character's memory has been erased doesn't mean ours has. We know what's going on, so cool it with the build-up. Opening title card.
Sylar and Samuel are strolling through the carnival, as Sylar wonders why Samuel would take him in and hide him from the police, since he doesn't even know him. Samuel says of course he knows him: "You may not realize it, but you're a man of great powers." The word "powers" gets to Sylar, and he tells Samuel how he raised his hand at the police station last night and threw a man across the room. He wonders what's wrong with him, and Samuel says nothing's wrong; Sylar's special, just like everyone else here. He asks a random guy pushing a cart full of stuffed animals to show him what he can do, and the guy makes the cart and animals invisible and then brings them back. So maybe he made the carnival invisible when the cops came into the meadow? Samuel applauds and Sylar finally figures out that everyone here is like him. Samuel calls Lydia over, introduces her, and they shake hands. As they're shaking, there's a zapping noise and Sylar jerks away as if he's been shocked. Samuel asks what's wrong, and Sylar says, "I remember shaking a lot of hands. Like I was a politician or something. Is that possible?" That's the dumbest thing ever, because first of all, why would that make him so shocked he jumped away from shaking a hand and second, THIS IS NOT LEADING TO A BIG REVEAL FOR US. We know he has been living as Nathan. We also know he's actually Sylar. Unless we find out he's actually HRG shapeshifted into Sylar, this storyline is not going to tell us anything surprising. (I really am trying not to be annoyed, but why is this being built up so much just to reveal something we all already know?)
Claire shows up at HRG's to do laundry and to check in on her dad and find out if he's found a job yet. She asks for quarters, and then suggests he do some volunteer work since he hasn't found a job yet. He doesn't have time to reply, though, before they hear a noise coming from the bathroom. HRG gets a gun and they walk toward the bathroom when Peter comes out.