It would appear that the fans are not the only ones concerned with the lack of originality and character development on "Heroes". Following the previous episode, two prominent members of the writing staff were fired and Tim Kring resumed control of show-running responsibilities. To be honest, I think this is a case of scapegoating. The problems come right from the top, and Kring's inability to make good on his promises (both to the fans and within the story).
This is yet another episode that takes us back to a time just before or concurrent with the first season, retroactively changing the context of certain scenes and choices. When this was first done, it was impressive and clever. Now that it's been done several times, and almost always to adjust the continuity to explain away contradictions caused by more recent plot twists.
Take, for example, the decision to recast Sylar as a man driven less by psychological need for power, acceptance, and recognition than a "hunger" that drives him to accumulate those things. This was already in flat contradiction to the first season. Instead of trying to find a way to reconcile the discrepancies in the "present", the writers chose to use this episode to shoehorn the new "reality" into past events.
The problem is that it doesn't fit. Elle wasn't working for Noah during that time; the first season clearly shows him working constantly with the Haitian. Also, it ignores the established aspect of Sylar's ability that allows him to recognize when someone has a power. He does not recognize that Elle has an ability, and he trusts her far too quickly to be believable. It's just an attempt to reform Sylar from total villain to misunderstood hero. Far better to have killed him off in the first season finale.
The Arthur/Angela story was better, if only because it actually clarified a few things, even if it was just as much a retcon as the Sylar plot thread. I don't like the idea of Angela being mind-warped for so long, and I don't buy Linderman's decision to open her eyes to the truth. But it does remind us that Angela is just as capable of real evil as Arthur ever was, but she draws the line at harming her own children. (Which continues to suggest, in my book, that the "solution" to this conflict will be Peter, Nathan, and Gabriel charting their own independent course.)
At least the first two plot threads seemed to connect to the rest of the ongoing arc. Meredith's plot thread seemed to suggest a lot more importance than the character currently deserves. I'm not sure there's anything about Meredith that inspires enough interest to justify the time spent on her. It's entirely possible that she'll factor into the end of the current arc, thus explaining her prominence here, but I think it's equally likely that the writers just needed a way to fill out the episode. Where the other plot threads had an obvious relevance to the arc, this one felt unusually isolated.
And then, there's the end of the episode. It seems ludicrous that the precognitive Magical African Man would be killed so easily, even by someone with Arthur's power. It's possible, however, that precognition in the "Heroes" universe sometimes follows the same rules as seen in the "Dune" mythos: those with prescience of equal power tend to cancel each other out. Even so, it felt contrived, and with so many other plot elements looking equally questionable of late, that's exactly how it will be taken by disaffected fans.
The bottom line is that this episode wanted to be special, and instead, it came across as desperate for attention. So do the changes to the writing staff and the promises for a tighter plot and deeper character development. The fans have heard it all before, and they're no longer giving Kring credit before the deed is done.