Well for those of us whole watched Heroes last night instead of 24 (or after 24 as the case may be), last night's episode was a bit lackluster. Generally I am all for an episode of character development and minor action, but after the past few weeks of gut-wrenching drama it seems like an episode entitled 'The Hard Part' should have a bit more oomph to it.
What did I like about this episode? There were some great, though understated, moments with Claire Bennett and Peter Petrelli; the part where Peter explains that Claire is the only person who can keep him from blowing up was rivaled only by the scene where the two bond in the plaza as Claire's adopted father shows up. As always, Mr. Bennett (better known as Horn Rimmed Glasses, or HRG, among fans) steals any scene he is in, showing that the character who many people thought was the villain may be a hard man, but he has a soft spot for his family. The scenes with Mohinder were well done, and it was nice to get some biological science subtly interjected into the scene. Most telling were the scenes between Sylar/Gabriel and his mother: finally we see why this guy is so crazy.
What I did not like about the episode is very simple: there was waaaaay too much going on. Normally the writers do a much better job of juggling all of the characters and situations, but this episode seemed like it was rushing to cover too many bases within its time slot. Hiro and Ando, arguably one of the best character pairs in the show, had very little time on screen (possibly to balance out the fact that they were the only characters from the 'present' in the last episode). The scene with DL and Jessica/Niki was good, but they did not do enough to develop the Linderman control issue. They again hint that the widow Petrelli has some kind of power, but yet again they fail to show it. Micah is obviously important, however I do not think that 2 fairly big (comparative to other vignettes) segments needed to be devoted to watching him interact with Candice, one would have been fine guys. Obviously the writers had a whole lot of stuff to do and wanted to touch on a number of subjects, so I understand why some of the decisions were made (though giving Sylar an existential crisis was a bit weird).
All in all, I love the show and enjoyed Monday's episode. So much has come together already, I cannot wait until next week so I can see how it all plays out.