Season 1 was classic enough of a story, yet still kept you wondering what was going to happen. All events led to 1 thing. You had the major problem, and everything built towards it.
Lately everything has branched off in too many directions that you don't have one single problem anymore. Look at this season, what's the main problem everyone is working towards? There are too many little pieces and side stories that are too confusing to even the most hardcore of fans.
The same thing is happening this season. Season 1 was basically stopping Sylar becoming all too powerful and becoming a threat to the world (i.e blowing up, genocide, etc.). Of course you had that twist that it was eventually peter blowing up but the main focus was Sylar k!lling people and becoming powerful. There were a few side stories as well.
This season is the same:
But instead of k!lling, Samuel is using manipulation to become super powerful. And it appears Samuel can become so powerful that Sylar pales in comparison. So now the story gets rolling to stop Samuel. And it appears that Samuel is holding a few of the carnies captive. Edgar (Darth Maul) doesn't seem thrilled to be there and we already saw Samuel strong arm him (literally) with the ink choke. And Lydia is showing her displeasure as well. Now he has Hiro who is also there against his will. With Tracy soon coming on bored.
I'm telling you, this season is looking very Season 1 esque. I'm just hoping they learned from their past mistake and make the finale epic.