Michael Slezak
October 10, 2006 AT 12:00 PM EDT

It’s no mystery to PopWatch readers that Ugly Betty is my favorite new female character of the fall 2006 TV season, but after last night’s episode of Heroes, I’ve got a guy to serve as her male counterpart. Indeed, unlike scores of historical superheroes who seem all too blasé about their skills, Hiro (Masi Oka, pictured), the zany (and rather dapper — loved the green jacket!) Japanese office worker of Heroes, treats the recent discovery that he’s got the gift of teleportation with a giddiness that I find relatably dorky. Watching Hiro pose the question, ”Perhaps a costume?” was the funniest moment of Episode 3, but even better, his primary set piece — in which he stops time to rescue a schoolgirl from getting crushed by a delivery truck — was its most visually thrilling. Add him to a band of misfits including indestructible cheerleader Claire, mind-reading teddy bear Matt, and mysteriously two-sided Niki, and you’ve got a show that’s filled my Monday-night dance-card from now till Christmas.

Since there’s only so much time in the day, however, and since I need to purge last night’s Bachelor episode sooner than later, I’ll leave it to you guys to dissect some of the show’s burning questions, after the jump:

  • Why did the ”previously on Heroes” voiceover paint the show as a tale of ”five strangers across the globe” and then go on to describe seven folks and their superpowers?
  • How come Niki’s shovel was so glisteningly silver, even after she’d buried the baddies’ bodies in the desert?
  • Anyone else wondering about the similarities in the names of Heroes‘ murderous morpher Sylar and Battlestar Galactica‘s villainous Cylons?
  • Does drug-addicted artist Isaac also have the power to regenerate? When I watched an advanced screener of the pilot episode, it appeared he’d cut off his own hand with a saw, but since then, he’s been a two-fisted predictor of the future. Did NBC change that part of the pilot when it aired, or is there some other explanation for his miraculous recovery that I didn’t pick up on?
  • After seeing Hiro’s pal, Ando (James Kyson Lee), checking out the pervy action at LasVegasNiki.com, did anyone else go to the site? (Hint: It’s not what you’d expect!)
  • And finally, when Claire woke up to find that someone was midway through an autopsy on her own freakin’ body (GAH!), do you think it was the local medical examiner’s table, or perhaps the laboratory of her eeeeevil daddy (Horned Rim Glasses)?

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