Heroes, Masi Oka

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

When Masi Oka, the nicest man in Hollywood, takes time out of his busy world-saving schedule to chat with some of us reporter types about the second half of the the first season of Heroes (premiering Jan. 22), you clear your calendar, 'cause you know you're gettin' scoop. And the adorable Hero did not disappoint. Here's what we learned:

What's Next: If the first half of the season was about each Hero's discovery of his or her power, then the second, according to Masi, is about the development of those powers. Says Masi about his character's abilities, "Hiro's powers, from the way they have been described, are attached to his emotional state. We'll learn later on what that means. We've seen Hiro lose control of his powers, but the next seven episodes feature Hiro and his quest for the sword, which he believes will let him focus [and regain] control over the powers. We'll see interesting new effects because of his lack of control that are tied to his emotions. He comes to the realization he can't change the past—that fate is fate and the same with destiny."

Back (and Forth) to the Future: Masi reveals we'll learn more in flashbacks, not to mention some flash forwards. "I think [we're going] 12 or 15 years [back], so we might see a young Hiro in that. And from what I understand, we will see future Hiro again, in that form, sometime this season. That is the plan, but it's nothing concrete. It could change at the drop of a hat."

Father, May I Sleep with Danger? Star Trek's George Takei shows up Jan . 29 as Hiro's dad, and we'll find things aren't exactly peachy with the Nakamura family. "The relationship is complex but simple," says Masi. "You find out that Hiro is his [father's] only son, who he expected to be the heir to his company. Because of that, there are some expectations, and he views Hiro's journey as very foolish and childish and wants Hiro to grow up. Hiro has always seen his father as an intimidating figure and someone he has to live up to, and we will see some of that conflict when his dad comes to find him in America."

FutureSexy! Creator Tim Kring has promised Hiro some smoochy-smoochy action comin' up, most likely in the form of a new character. Probably not the dinosaur, although...

Dino Might? We won't have to wait long to find out about the prehistoric critter. "The answer will be given in the first episode back, episode 12. You see the dinosaur come into play," teases Masi, who in real life is a computer graphics wiz: "All I can say is I do work for [special-effects company] Industrial Light and Magic, and we did work on a great show called Jurassic Park, so what does that mean? I dunno..."

—Additional reporting by Michael Berner

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