Sylar gives the creepy opening in this episode of Heroes. Last week Peter tried to shoot his Father but only managed to give himself that notorious scar instead. Sylar finished the job and this week Nathan is picking up where dear Dad left off. Peter threatens to shoot his brother and again can't do it. So he punches him out instead and leaves with the gun.

HRG, Claire, Angela and Meredith are trying to leave Prymatech when Sylar puts the facility on lockdown with his mind. He decides he needs to torture all of them in order to show them that they are monsters, just like him.

Claire decides to go after Sylar because there's a spot in the back of her head, at the base of her spine where you can jab something in and she goes down. She figures Sylar has the same vulnerability.

Hiro is still hanging off the side of his Father's building and still stuck in the past with no powers. Ando, Parkman and Daphne go to Suresh's New York apartment only to discover that Suresh is still at Pinehearst.

Suresh is about to inject himself. The infection has spread to his lungs. He's hoping the injection will cure him. Peter tries to stop Suresh, saying the formula is a weapon and it must be destroyed. In the midst of their argument Daphne flashes through, stealing the injection Suresh was holding and zooming out before they can even move. Suresh freaks out and is about to retaliate towards Peter when Flint and Knox come storming in and get physical. Flint threatens to burn Suresh's face off.

Up to this point it's hard to find fault in this episode. If we're getting picky then why was it that Claire could tell HRG her plan and Sylar couldn't hear her and then a moment later their having a conversation and she's telling him off? If that's the only fault so far, this show is doing much better than at any other point this season.

Knox helps Peter trash the lab. Peter asks why they would help him. Flint says, "I help make this formula. I ain't so special no more." And in one of the best moments of the show the young, freshly injected Marine helps Nathan to get up and asks how he can help. Nathan tells him to stop Peter from destroying the formula. The Marine answers, "Consider it done." Then he turns towards the door only to run into Knox who totally snaps the Marine's neck! Did not see that coming. Nathan is not pleased. He asks if Knox is working for Peter now. Knox says, "Yeah, he's one of the good guys now." Of course Peter should question whether he's a good guy if these are his followers but people rarely check their motives while they're popular.

Daphne pops back into Suresh's lab and gives Ando the injection tube. Parkman tries to talk Ando out of injecting himself saying that there's no guarantee which power he'll end up getting. Ando asks if there was ever a time he did something that only he believed in even when others told him not to? Parkman looks at Daphne in a refreshingly honest moment and says yes. So Ando sticks himself with the needle and shoots up with the hero juice. At first he's disappointed that nothing seems to be happening then he passes out. At least it was something.

Meanwhile Hiro climbs down the flagpole and then up onto the roof and saves himself. Then he wanders back into the apartment and finds his ten-year-old self. Ten year-old Hiro says, "My Mom says if you fix it today then you won't have to fix it tomorrow." That, of course, gives Hiro a great idea. Why not destroy the formula in the past so he won't have to in the future. He forgets totally about the time/space continuum and the Butterfly Effect but as long as it works for him whatever goes, right? It is really cute how they nod the same way though.

Angela tells Claire that Sylar is starved for attention and he's throwing a tantrum. Claire says she wants to give him a good spanking. And there's all the reason many fans will need to fantasize about and maybe even act out that little scenario at Comiccon next year. Sylar calls her, she answers. He tells her he will let HRG, fire Mom and her go and all she has to do is put the shotgun to Angela's head and pull the trigger. Now how is this a test to see of Claire is really a monster. Everyone knows Sylar is a big old liar, pants on fire kind of villain. So he gets Claire to do his dirty work and then he kills them anyway duh. So what does Claire do? She wastes a bullet by shooting the phone. HRG specifically said she only had twelve shells and to be careful with them. She could have just hung up on him, guys hate when chicks do that. And for some reason Claire's hair looks great in this section. Did the producers shoot this at a different time or did they get a better wig?

Claire wants to know why he's torturing her like this. Sylar answers that her Father and Elle did this to him he, "could have been a nobody instead of a monster." Very nice play on the whole Brando "On The Waterfront" coulda been a contender line. Sylar continues to taunt her threatening to kill her Father. She threatens back saying if he hurts her Father she'll hunt him down and kill him. Sylar asks, "From cheerleader to stone cold killer. Who's the monster now?"

HRG lets the bad guys out including The Puppet Master in order to help kill Sylar. TPM asks what's going to stop them from escaping. HRG says Sylar has to whole place on lock down. They get to work. Meredith notes that they don't stand a chance. HRG tells her they're hunting a shark. Meredith suddenly realizes that he's just using them as bait. Yup, that's what bad guys do Meredith, wake up and smell the motivations.

Peter continues to trash the lab. Suresh reminds everyone that the formula is highly combustible. Then Flint knocks Suresh out. Peter gets concerned a little too late. Isn't that always like Peter, to remember his conscience after doing something bad?

Parkman and Daphne wake Ando up with some cold water to the face. Ando tries to blink like Hiro did in order to time travel but nothing happens. He gets frustrated and pounds him hand on a desktop. A kinetic red light dances over his hand and arm and a strange sound can be heard coming from his body. Ando asks, "What was that?" Parkman answers, "I don't know but it wasn't time travel."

Meredith gets hunted down by both Sylar and TPM. She sees the severed arm of the guy who can turn things into metal on the ground, half turned, half bleeding. A bottle of adrenaline rolls towards her. She picks it up and reads the label. Then Sylar appears down the hall from her and threatens her. Just as he is about to do something nasty to her TPM shows up and freezes him, hanging his arms up in the air like a puppet on a string. He says that Meredith is his, his to love and his to kill. Then Sylar makes TPM's nose bleed and forces him to either pass out or die, we'll only know for sure if we see him in a future episode. Then Sylar shoves a huge needle into Meredith's chest a la "Pulp Fiction" and pumps her full of adrenaline.

Instead of dying Meredith is out of control and in a cell on Level 5. HRG goes into the cell to try to help her. Sylar locks him into the cell with her and leaves a gun on the table that has just one bullet in it. Sylar tells HRG, "You helped to make me into who I am. I just wanted to return the favor." In retrospect HRG is really responsible for his own daughter being terrorized and Hero-raped by Sylar, ironic.

Knox holds Nathan captive in his Father's office until he gets too close and Nathan hits him in the head with a paperweight. A fight ensues. Knox has to upper hand until he suddenly freezes from the inside out and disintegrates. As Knox falls to the floor Tracy is revealed standing behind him, the obvious cause of full on body freeze. She looks at Nathan, smirks and says, "You miss me?"

Daphne, Parkman and Ando try to help Ando control his new power. Parkman touches Ando and can suddenly hear the entire city's thoughts. Then Daphne touches Ando and gets thrown back in time. A little convenient and a lot strange but it works as a desperate plot point to get Hiro back to the present. Daphne does her best Dorothy impersonation and says, "You were there and you were there. I think I traveled through time." She's really growing on all of us, isn't she? Parkman reminds everyone of Einstein's theory of relativity, that if Daphne can travel faster than the speed of light then she can time travel. Hiro and little Hiro have opened their Father's safe and taken the formula out. Their father catches them and tries to Samurai sword Hiro. Hiro rips the formula in half and is about to destroy it completely just as his Father is about to kill him when Daphne zips in and out taking Hiro back to the future with her and Ando. Hiro is very ungrateful towards Ando for saving his life. He says they need to destroy the formula. So Daphne zaps them over to Pinehearst.

Sylar continues to torture Claire, forcing her to make a choice between saving Angela or her Father. Sylar already knows she'll choose her Father saying, "The truth, it stings like a bitch, doesn't it?"

Claire tries to help her Father and Meredith escape from their cell. HRG tells Meredith to place her hands on the glass window and heat it up. She does then HRG fires at it. It cracks but doesn't break. Claire slams her body into it and breaks through it. Claire and HRG escape. Meredith tells Claire to leave her behind. Claire says she'll be back for her.

Tracy tries to micro-manage Nathan saying she can still protect him and that's why he hired her. So Nathan fires her and leaves. Tracy is still in the office and has the formula and doesn't want to give it up. Hiro punches her in the face and takes it. Then they zip out leaving Tracy on the floor, stunned and insulted.

Nathan tries to stop Peter from destroying the lab. Flint over-reacts and lights the entire place on fire. It's going up in flames when Peter injects himself with the formula in order to restore his powers. Then he grabs his brother and flies out the window saving himself and Nathan.

Sylar finally meets up with Angela. She tries to lie to him and manipulate him but she can't since he has the lie detector power. He begins to cut her head in half when she says she knows who his real parents are. He starts to kill Angela, as he demands that she tell him, suddenly he can't speak then he drops to the floor. Claire is standing behind him. She stabbed him with a shard of glass from the broken window. HRG helps Angela escape as Claire goes back for Meredith. Meredith won't leave and she can't control the fire. HRG forces Claire to leave as her Mother bursts into flames, engulfing the entire building.

The end montage wraps up some loose ends and opens new questions and Claire's bad wig makes a re-appearance. Apparently Tracy picks up a hitch hiking Suresh. Daphne and Hiro reunite with Parkman and Ando and Hiro rips up the formula and tosses it on the ground. You'd think he would burn it but then someone couldn't put it together again with tape and the skills of a kindergartener. And the African man who can paint the future suddenly shows up in Isaac's old apartment in front of Parkman. Looks like the loft has found a new painter to sublet while Suresh pals around with Tracy.

And "Villains: Volume 3" comes to an end. Then "Chapter 4: Fugitives" starts immediately with Nathan talking to a man in a limo. The Presidential seal is everywhere. The man looks over files with photos of Tracy, Hiro, Claire and Peter. Nathan says they're dangerous and he needs the funds to track them down and incarcerate them. The man agrees and says he will make all funds available immediately. Then Nathan thanks the President of the United States of America who just happens to be African-American and sound just like Barrack Obama but know one is noticing, right? Nice touch.

Everyone is hoping that since this last episode was more in keeping with the first two seasons that Volume 4 will continue to up the stakes and put characters not only in peril but actually kill them off. This closer to an otherwise lackluster and disappointing season was a refreshing change and hopefully a sign of more good episodes and plotlines to come. It just goes to show that Sylar was more interesting and believable as a bad guy and the rule holds true: the good guys can only be as strong as their nemesis.

Heroes stars: Hayden Panettiere / Milo Ventimiglia / Ali Larter / Masi Oka / Zachary Quinto / Dania Ramirez / Kristen Bell / Noah Gray-Cabey / James Kyson Lee / Greg Grunberg / Adrian Pasdar / Malcolm McDowell / more

Story by Erin MacMillan-Ramirez

Starpulse contributing writer