Peter Petrelli continues having dreams of Emma Coolidge at the carnival, and subsequently being saved by Sylar. Peter meets with Angela Petrelli to help her come to terms with Nathan Petrelli’s passing, then asks Angela where Sylar is. Although Angela doesn’t want Peter to go anywhere near Sylar, Peter manages to to acquire his location. Meanwhile, Matt Parkman is stunned to see Sylar at his home, who has created the ruse that he and Matt used to work together as cops to fool Janice. Matt is able to privately talk with Sylar in the basement, who reveals he wants Matt to use his ability to mentally suppress his powers and be normal again.
Matt is unsure he can do it, but Sylar threatens Janice and Matt’s son. Matt’s initial attempt fails, causing Sylar to lash out and hold Janice with his telekinesis. Sylar explains these powers are what are making him insane, and Matt must get rid of his powers. Sylar lets Janice go, and Matt talks with her to make sure she’s alright. Janice realizes the man is Sylar and tells Matt he must bury him for good so that he can’t hurt anyone. Matt agrees, and then tricks Sylar into thinking he is ridding him of his powers. However, Matt explains he has trapped Sylar in his own nightmare: a world where no one exists but himself so that he will be alone forever. Matt takes the knocked out Sylar and begins building a brick wall around him in the basement to trap him for good, but he is then interrupted by the arrival of Peter. Borrowing Matt’s ability, Peter learns where Sylar is and explains he needs Sylar so he can save everyone. Matt warns Peter of Sylar’s state and that if Peter tries waking him, he may become trapped too. Peter touches Sylar’s head, and finds himself in a world devoid of anybody. Peter is shown wandering a desolate city, calling out for anyone.
After her encounter with Sylar, Claire Bennet visits Noah Bennet’s apartment to speak to him about it, but instead finds Lauren. After entering, Claire notices the maps and realizes that Noah is planning to attack the carnival. Lauren tries to convince Claire to wait for Noah, but Claire decides to leave for the carnival. Meanwhile, Samuel Sullivan discovers his family’s trust in him has shaken due to his demolishing of the town. Claire visits Lydia, revealing Noah’s plan to take out Samuel, and that Samuel must turn himself in. They explain the situation to Samuel, who finally agrees after Claire urges him to take responsibility and protect his family.
Claire calls Noah, who is watching Samuel through a sniper scope, and explains that Samuel will go with him peacefully. Noah agrees, and has Lauren head down to take Samuel in while he provides cover. Samuel addresses the carnival, telling them his decision to leave with Claire, but is interrupted by sniper fire to his shoulder. Shots continue to be fired, with many people injured, including Lydia, Claire, although she quickly heals, and even Lauren on her way down the surrounding hillside. It is then shown it isn’t Noah who is firing, who looks around and spots Eli firing with his own sniper rifle. Noah takes him out with his sniper, but realizes it was just a copy as the real Eli appears behind him and knocks him out.
Samuel finds Lydia, who is mortally wounded, and kisses her. In her dying breaths, Lydia uses her powers on Samuel, and is horrified to see Samuel had planned this, who explains he needed to create a villain in the form of Noah and have Lydia sacrificed. Eli brings Noah down for everyone to see, and the carnival quickly puts the blame on him and Claire. In his half-conscious state, Noah manages to tell Claire it wasn’t him who had fired, but Samuel has Noah locked up in the house of mirrors and Claire in his trailer. Emma Coolidge later arrives, who Samuel is pleased to see, telling her she can help them make a new world and show everyone how great they can be. Lauren, having managed to spot Eli carrying Noah down to the carnival, places a call to Tracy Strauss, telling her she was told to call if Noah was in trouble. Edgar arrives to see Lydia’s body, shocked to see her dead. Samuel then addresses the whole carnival, telling them it’s time to show the world who they really are.
“The Art of Deception” is the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes, and the seventy-fifth episode overall. The episode aired on January 25, 2010.
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