Previously: Samuel told Claire she could always come back. Mama Petrelli told Peter Emma's going to kill people and he can't save her. So he took his mom's gift and saw that Sylar could save her. But first, Sylar came to Claire to find out how to be more human. He took the shape of her bff/girlfriend and taught her a very important lesson: Go gay! And he learned he needs to get rid of all his powers, then he showed up at the Parkman House. Vanessa turned down Samuel's offer to make her dreams come true, so he sinkholed a town.
We open on Samuel's trailer, which says, "Chapter Sixteen: The Art of Deception," for a moment before a snake-skin cowboy boot steps onto it. It's attached to Samuel, who's looking all mopey wrapped in a blanket. He sheepishly watches carnies pass, then finds Lydia. He asks why it's so quiet, and Lydia says the carnival's closed since everyone saw what he did to that town. He asks if they're all afraid of him, and she asks if he can blame them, since they finally had a home here. He says she doesn't trust him anymore, and she asks why she should. Samuel says, "Out of trust is faith" (whatever that means), and it must be hard for her to come by since she can look into people's souls. He says he's done so much for all of them, but he's the villain and she seems to be the one who's replaced Joseph in their eyes. She tells him no one respects him anymore, and he says he'll win it back, then adds menacingly that he loves them, needs them, and will do whatever it takes to prove his worth. Opening title.
Blurry dream vision of Emma playing a bloody cello as people scream. Then Sylar comes in on his white horse (he might as well, anyway), all, "Don't worry. I'm here to save you." Peter bolts upright in bed, panting, and calls Emma. He leaves a message, then his phone rings and he answers: "Ma?" Quick cut to Matt Parkman arriving home with groceries. Sylar greets him, and Parkman asks if he's back inside his head. Sylar: "That's so two months ago." Sylar responds to Parkman's fear with, "Calm down, Parkman. If I wanted you dead, we wouldn't be talking." What Sylar wants is complicated; he's on a fact-finding mission. Janice interrupts, though, and says she took Matty to daycare, then her client canceled so she was there to greet "your friend, Gabriel." Which is odd, since Janice was holding Matty when Sylar showed up at the end of last episode. Janice and Sylar tell Parkman that he's been filling her in on "stories" from when they were partners on the force together. So, Janice has put together a late lunch so they can catch up. Sylar actually tells him to "take a load off, have a nosh..." I prefer snarky Sylar to whispery evil Sylar. Commercials.