Despite the jumpstart that the premiere provided, I'm not surprised that the story fell into a somewhat transitional mode so quickly. There were very few surprises in this episode, and the story didn't seem to flow very well from the previous installment. Perhaps that was the result of some of the changes taking place in the writing staff when these episodes were being prepared, but "Heroes" doesn't need any help lately when it comes to feeling disjointed.
Oddly enough, I liked some of the plot threads and how the writers chose to handle some of the natural issues that would emerge out of the newly federal witch hunt against the metahumans. Nathan's struggle to maintain control over his own program may not be original, but it does offer a few interesting ideas. Abby is essentially Nathan's chance to reconsider his decisions. If he wanted to, he could have let Abby be the one to shut the program down.
Instead, he made it very clear that he believes that the only means of ending the potential threat of metahumans is to keep all of them fully contained. (Well, all but the privileged few he selects.) Despite the bloodshed already on the books, he seems blind to the consequences. By sending men like Danko against those with abilities, he's giving metahumans a reason to go underground and form a resistance against the government itself. He's all but pushing them into the kind of extreme action that he's trying to prevent.
Danko's little gambit doesn't quite add up, even if it worked for the purposes of the plot. Tracy heard Abby's objections, and she's supposed to be a political expert. So, having seen Abby standing there by Nathan, why would she use her power at all? Why not call out for Abby to help her, claiming that she's being held for no reason? Her decision to kill someone with her ability completely undermines any opportunity to shut down the program and end the threat.
Less troubling is the "road trip" with Luke and Sylar. While it doesnât make sense in purely logical terms, since Sylar could simply rip the information out of Luke's brain at any time, it does provide some insight into Sylar's self-delusional capabilities. Sylar talks about how one must have an objective in mind, and how emotions need to be kept out of one's actions, but his recent history doesn't match his stated philosophy. The implication is that he's not even sure why he's letting Luke live, or why he saved Luke in the process of "intelligence gathering".
Much less successful was the Bennett subplot. Never mind that Noah had to be incredibly stupid or naÃ¯ve to fall for anything Claire did in this episode, let alone leave himself vulnerable in a public location. The real issue was Claire and the writers' decision to retread her teenage rebellion tendencies yet again, with yet another bland potential love interest. The "Rebel" storyline has some small potential, but right now, it seems more like a plot convenience than anything else.
The final subplot, involving Ando and Hiro, seems a bit out of place. For one thing, the basis for their adventure comes a bit out of nowhere; it took me a moment to realize that they were pursuing one of the drawings created by Matt in the previous episode. As much as the adventure reveals a bit of the tension between Hiro and Ando over their reversal of ability fortune, it fell a bit flat for me. Perhaps that has something to do with the overuse of the "precognitive drawings" motif over the course of the series.
I can only assume that this was all necessary to propel the story arc forward, however incrementally. Abby is now a true believer, which should prove both a blessing and a curse. Sylar is getting information he needs for his own resistance, and Peter's little gang now has their hands on Noah. As noted above, the Hiro/Ando thread doesn't seem to point to anything specific quite yet. In essence, there was nothing particularly shocking, but also nothing particularly nota