4.16 “Pass/Fail”

Hiro has a near-death hallucination involving a mock-court session at the Burnt Toast Diner. Adam represents the prosecution and brings Hiro to account for his many temporal screw-ups, and Papa Sulu finds his son guilty of using his abilities irresponsibly. Hiro accepts his fate and resolves to die with dignity, but when Papa Sulu grants him a sword to fight Adam and Mama Sulu shows up to heal him, it seems Hiro wins the battle in the real world and overcomes his inoperable brain tumor. Sylar uses his Lydia-empathy on Claire, hoping to learn why she isn’t as screwed up as he is. It turns out she is as screwed up as he is, albeit without the psychokiller tendencies. Claire talks through her issues with Gretchen, and realizes that her ability has defined who she is and caused her to become emotionally closed off. Then it turns out that Gretchen is actually Sylar, which removes a lot of the impact from that conversation but at least affords Sylar the revelation that he needs to get rid of his abilities in order to regain… what, exactly? His humanity? His identity? His sweet, good-natured, kitten-loving, old-people-helping soul? Are you serious, show? Samuel takes Vanessa to an ice cream parlor and, after working his charm, takes her to the carnival’s Magik Valley, shows her the home of her dreams and asks her to move in with him. This, it seems, has been Samuel’s endgame all along. Two words: Frolicking. T-Bag. Not even kidding here. Vanessa gently tells Samuel to get over his childhood dreams and asks to be taken back to her real life. After letting her go, Samuel returns to the ice cream parlor, goes berserk on the poor waitress and levels the entire town.

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