Los Angeles. Eew: Parkman and his slut of a wife are having sex. And I say “slut of a wife” not only because she used to cat around with Parkman’s former partner, but also because now she’s doing it with Sylar. In Matt’s mind, anyway: his body was actually getting to do the deed. Or something. But there’s Sylar in the afterglow, smirking at him on the couch, saying that forbidden fruit is his favorite kind. Parkman glowers balefully.
Georgia. Benet watches impotently as the sheriff’s deputy manhandles Jeremy (a/k/a the Human Touch o’ Death) into handcuffs. Benet protests to the sheriff that Jeremy’s just a kid, but the sheriff is not at all interested in or intimidated by the man in the horn-rimmed glasses. After the sheriff leaves, Benet makes a phone call and sometime later, Tracey shows up. Oh eew, again – is he enlisting her as his new partner? I miss the Haitian. Benet brings her up to speed on the current situation and tells her that she’s going to be posing as Jeremy’s dear Aunt Tracey to get him released into her custody: it’ll be easy, just “[g]o in, talk to him, sign him out.” Tracey is unsure at first but Benet is encouraging, and she goes into the sheriff’s department.
Arlington, Virginia. Claire and Gretchen lie in their separate beds, unable to sleep after the Gretchen initiated lip-lockage, and Claire thinks they should talk about her roommate’s inconvenient crush. Gretchen backpedals that what she did was stupid and impulsive and bad. Claire protests that it wasn’t bad – “you’re a good kisser” – but she doesn’t want to mess up this new normal life she’s got going on. She likes Gretchen a lot but … “Just not that way,” Gretchen sighs. Suddenly, a bunch of small, hooded figures burst into their room and start grabbing at them. Claire fights back, slamming one attacker into the floor. The attackers stop cold and pull off their hoods: “Jeez, Claire, don’t go all Buffy on us!” It’s Becky and the girls from the sorority, here to “kidnap” the new pledges.
After the commercial, Claire and Gretchen have been shoved into the trunk of a car per their sorority kidnapping. Gretchen gets all flirty for a bit and presses Claire as to if she really doesn’t have a chance with her. Claire’s all, “I don’t know.” “Awesome,” grumbles Gretchen. This is so awkward and badly done. When they are released from the car trunk, they and two other pledges have been taken to an old slaughterhouse for a scary scavenger hunt. One of the other pledge panics but not Claire – after what she’s seen, this is nothing. Gretchen is keeping pretty calm too, I note grudgingly. They start working the game, Claire solving the first puzzle after one of the other pledge girls gets sprayed in the face with about a gallon of fake blood. Is this going to be some PG-rated version of Saw?
Georgia. Tracey works her cover story and gets in to see Jeremy, who is currently feeling Very Sorry for himself. She tells Jeremy demonstrates her power and tells him her story: that the first day her ability manifested, she killed a guy because she was unable to control her emotions, and her ability is tied to her state of mind. She manages to get through to the boy; he breaks down, sobbing; she is touched. However, out in the bullpen, the sheriff has found some angsty teen murder/suicide poetry and inky drawings in one of Jeremy’s notebook and is convinced this is proof of his guilt. He refuses to release the boy while Benet squawks at him.
Frustrated, Tracey goes outside to call in a favor with her friends up in D.C. When she hangs up the phone, Samuel is there (ooh!). He asks her what’s next after she saves young Jeremy’s life: where will this troubled boy go? And then he works some mojo and transports them both to the Carnival. She’s understandably wigged out and Samuel speaks soothingly to her, telling her that everyone in the Carnival is like her, ability-fied. What is this place? she marvels. “Home,” intones Samuel, and Tracey allows herself just a glimmer of a smile.
Los Angeles. Parkman is still arguing with Sylar’s manifested consciousness. Sylar taunts him some more, saying that Janice is kinda hot, and what’s more important, the next time he takes control of Parkman’s body, he’ll be able to do anything he wants to Parkman’s wife (and his son – and he’s not talking sex here, these are threats, not leers). Parkman worries about this.
Slaughterhouse. The other two pledges split off from Gretchen and Claire to try their luck on their own. As our girls go down some stairs, some water ripples behind them – it must be Becky in invisible-mode. As they explore, Claire asks Gretchen how long she’s known that she likes girls. Gretchen says that it’s really not one or the other with her and she’s actually had more boyfriends (6 or 7) than girlfriends. Claire gets twitchy because she is still a virgin and Gretchen isn’t. This touching exchange is disrupted when a heavy hooked chain comes hurtling towards them. Claire throws herself at Gretchen, knocking them both out of the way.
Carnival. Samuel gives Tracey a tour, giving her the hard sell: this is where Jeremy should be. “Living in trailers? Drifting from town to town?” she snarks. Samuel points out that Jeremy has a gift, as does Tracey, and the Carnival is a safe place for people with these kinds of gifts. Tracey just wants to go back to Jeremy, so Samuel gives her one of those magic find-the-Carnival compasses and sends her on her way. After she leaves, Amnesia-Sylar approaches Samuel, saying that he’s sure he knows Tracey from before, he remembers her. Samuel reminds him that he doesn’t think that these memories belong to Sylar. And Sylar’s like, well, if this isn’t me, where am I?
Los Angeles. Parkman is packing a bag, panicking, and telling Janice what happened with him, Sylar and Nathan. He tells her that Sylar keeps taking over his body – it’s not safe for her or the baby to be around him now. Since he’s acting so sketchy, Janice is like, okay, I’m taking the baby and getting the hell out of here. After she goes, Sylar tells Parkman that was pretty smart – even for him – but the main problem is still unsolved: Sylar’s consciousness still here, stuck in Parkman’s brain.
After the commercial, Parkman leaves an urgent voicemail message for MOHINDER [nooooooooooooooo!], begging for his help. Sylar says, look, Parkman, just give me back my body. Parkman grimaces, sucking on a beer. Which, curiously, gives Sylar a headache. Parkman finds this wicked interesting and takes a big ol’ shot of tequila, sending Sylar reeling. Parkman grins: “I think I finally found a leash for this dog.” Greg Grunberg is pretty cute when he’s not playing all tormented.
Georgia. Tracey’s favor from D.C. worked and the sheriff releases Jeremy into her custody. Jeremy asks what’s going to happen to him and Benet tells him that he’ll move to D.C., live in the apartment next to Benet and go to Georgetown high school, where no one will know anything about him. “You’ll be invisible,” Tracey says, with a slight edge in her voice. Jeremy sighs and it’s not clear whether he’s pleased by this or not. They walk out of the sheriff’s department together (in slow motion), where they are confronted by an angry crowd. One man lunges at Jeremy and the boy panics, working his death grip on the man. The sheriff pulls a gun; Benet pleads with the boy to save the man; and Jeremy trudges expressionlessly back into the jail. See, Tracey, Jeremy can’t live on the outside – he needs the Sullivan Bros. Carnival. You should listen to Samuel.
Slaughterhouse. Claire thinks that there’s another ability-fied person stalking them, with the goal of knocking off Gretchen. Gretchen scoffs at first, calling conspiracy theory … and then realizes that Claire’s life is not at all normal and this theory could be true. The other two pledges find them and the girls all decide to stick together for a bit.
Georgia. The sheriff has had it with these city folk and refuses to let Tracey and Benet talk to Jeremy anymore. Unbeknownst to him, however, some of the deputies have taken Jeremy out the backdoor and wrapped chains around his ankles. One of the deputies gets in his face, daring him to take his best shot. Poor Jeremy shakes, angry and terrified, but just clenches his hands into fists without touching the other man. The deputy gives the go and a truck lurches forward, the length of chain spooling out from around Jeremy’s ankles.
Los Angeles. Parkman is getting hammered and Sylar grimaces, finally fading from view. Parkman thinks that’s awesome, but now he’s really drunk too. Janice picks now to return with Parkman’s partner (who, if you will remember, thinks Parkman is an addict). Parkman greets them and then passes out facedown.
Slaughterhouse. The other girls decide they do not want to join up with Claire and Gretchen any more. Claire and Gretchen find the final clue in the “killing room” but then Invisible Becky wraps a strap around Gretchen’s throat, choking her. There is a very un-awe-inspiring fight between Claire and Becky which ends up with Claire getting impaled, and then stabbing Becky. The distraction/pain of the wound causes Becky to become visible. The other two girls come back just in time to see Claire healing herself after Gretchen pulls her off the spike and Becky invisibling herself as she runs off. The other girls shriek. “Now what do we do?” wonders Gretchen. Claire makes a face that says: where’s the Haitian when you need him?
Georgia. Tracey and Benet finally find Jeremy, who has been dragged to death and left in the middle of the road. Tracey is crying, saying that they could have saved him and given him a real home. Benet doesn’t know that she means the Carnival. She heads for her car, and he chases after her, apologizing. He laments that he did what he thought was right, trying to save and mainstream Jeremy, but he was wrong - he’s been wrong for so many years. Tracey tells him not to call her again. When he walks away, she takes out the compass that Samuel gave her: it spins, then stops, pointing the way home.
Los Angeles. When Parkman sobers up, his partner hands him another AA chip, saying that they’ll start over. Janice says she loves him and he smiles that she’ll love him more after he takes a shower. When he leaves the room, however, Sylar is there and – surprise – he’s taken over Parkman’s body, slipping in when Parkman passed out. Now Parkman is the free-floating consciousness and Sylar is corporeal. Or something like that: I guess that now whom the viewing audience sees as Sylar, Janice et al. see as Parkman, but where we see Parkman, Janice sees nothing.
Georgia. A vengeful, black-clad Samuel stands in the middle of the street, watching as the sheriff and his men go into the sheriff’s department. Samuel clenches his fists and the ground shakes, flexing, until the entire building has collapsed into a sinkhole. He turns his back on the dusty rubble, stalking away.
Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes
1 hour ago