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Background

Matt Parkman at age 13 was abandoned by his father, Maury Parkman, and raised by his absent-minded but well-meaning mother. Matt suffers from dyslexia and has a relatively low self-esteem thanks to his father's abandonment of him, his status as being overweight, and his dyslexia. Matt married Janice in his adult years and because of his lack of belief of himself in combination with his bad career as a beat Los Angeles cop with Janice's problems have strained their marriage but have nevertheless have been married 11 years.

Six months before the series premiere, Matt, while working as a traffic cop in L.A., came across Eden McCain, then known as Sarah Ellis, during a routine traffic check. When he asks for driver's license and a registration check on the car, Eden bluntly tells him that she stole it. When he asks her to step out of the stolen Lamborghini she tells him no and says that he should eat some donuts, like all cops. Obviously offended and upon seeing an open bottle of alcohol, Matt suggests she get out of the car quickly and Eden then uses her power of persuasion to tell him to leave her alone and go eat some donuts. Matt unable to resist does exactly that until he is snapped out of it by his good friend and partner the next day who encourages him to go in and take the detective exam for the second time. Matt fails because of his dyslexia and his wife, Janice, tells him to admit it but he refuses. He accidentally reads her mind but is unaware of it when he catches her think that he is her hero, thinking she actually said it.

Genesis

Matt Parkman is an officer for the LAPD , busy securing a crime scene , when he discovers he has the power of hearing people's thoughts . This enables him to locate a missing girl . However, upon mentioning the name "Sylar ", Matt is arrested, but proves to Audrey that his power is real, and goes to work for the FBI . Meanwhile, after a row with his wife , Matt goes to a Los Angeles bar , collapses, and wakes up strapped to a table in a medical factory . Mr. Bennett instructs a mysterious man to "clean Matt out ". Later, he discovers he has two marks on his neck, something he shares in common with Ted Sprague , the FBI's newest target.

Obsessed with Mr. Bennet, Matt orders a SWAT raid on Primatech Paper CO ., which ultimately proves to be a bust. He is suspended from his job, takes a job as a body guard, and take some  diamonds . Desperate, Matt joins with the fugitive Ted to confront Mr. Bennet in his own home . When things turn sour, Matt is apprehended by the Company , but quickly escapes his cell with Bennet's help. He joins with others to head to New York City and destroy the Walker System , and is horrified to learn that the system is actually Molly. Matt uses Molly's locating ability to hunt down Sylar at Kirby Plaza . However, just as he shoots the serial killer, Sylar telekinetically stops the bullets and flings them into Matt's abdomen, leaving him wounded.

Generations

Matt is now a detective with the NYPD and lives with  Mohinder to take care of Molly . When picking up Molly from school , her teacher shows Matt frightening drawings that Molly made of eyes intertwined with the symbol and informs him that she thinks Molly is living in a bad environment due to his recent injuries and divorce from Janice . At their new residence , Matt and Molly eat, and Matt tried to talk to Molly about her drawings and her nightmares but she refuses. Later he uses his telepathy to listen to Molly's dream and discovers that she is dreaming about the someone who can see her. She awakens and tells him that the person in her dreams is extremely dangerous, and if Matt tries to go after him he will die.

Matt is assigned with the investigation of Kaito 's death. Detective Fuller shows Matt a portion of a photograph of Kaito with the symbol drawn on top. He informs Matt that Ando was a witness and that he saw Kaito being pushed off the building despite there being only one body found. Fuller continues and tells Matt that the photo had Angela Petrelli 's fingerprint on it. While interviewing Angela, Matt hears her thoughts , and finds out that someone is seeking revenge for something terrible they did. Matt meets Nathan when Angela starts screaming in the interrogation room, and Matt breaks through the glass in the adjacent room. Nathan holds her as Matt asks who did this. Matt finds Angela holding another picture fragment of her with the symbol also drawn across her face.

The next few days, Matt and Nathan try to figure out who killed Kaito and attacked Angela. Nathan recognizes the photos that the killer sent to Kaito and Angela and shows the original to Matt. Matt sees his father in the photo and tries to get Molly to find him. Molly uses her ability and becomes unconscious after revealing Matt's father's location. Matt and Nathan find Maury , and after finding that Maury is stronger than Matt with the same ability , Maury escapes using his ability. Nathan and Matt find a picture of Bob , and go to warn him. Working with Niki and Mohinder , Bob plans to capture Maury using Matt's ability. However, Maury outsmarts Niki and turns her against Bob, Nathan and Mohinder. After dealing with them, Maury finds himself in his old home where he is keeping Molly, and where Matt has found her. Matt argues with his father, then leaves the nightmare with Molly.

Matt discovers his ability allows for him to implant thoughts into other people's mind, and uses it to his advantage on Molly and Det. Fuller. Matt interrogates Angela Petrelli to find out who the last woman in the photo is, but is too late to save her. Later, Angela explains to Matt and Nathan that 30 years ago , Adam decided the world needed to be wiped clean, and so the founders locked him away. Matt and Nathan are told to put a bullet through Adam's head to stop him, and before leaving, Matt hears Angela's thoughts, telling him to kill Peter, too, if he must. Matt and Nathan go to Primatech Paper CO , and they run into Hiro. They go to the Company vault . Matt tries to use his telepathy to convince Peter to stop Adam, but Peter resists and starts pushing Matt back with telekinesis . Later, after Peter destroys strain 138 , Matt, Nathan, and Peter discuss how they will expose and take down the Company . With Matt's telepathic assistance, Nathan calls a press conference to expose the nature of the various evolved humans and the Company. During his speech, he is shot twice in the chest by an unknown assailant . Matt looks up at the crowd, and tries to catch a glimpse of the shooter before he exits the building.

Villains

Matt rushes after Nathan Petrelli 's assassin with Peter but arrives too late to catch him. Matt later finds "Peter" searching for the gun and demands some answers. Future Peter reveals himself and teleports him to Africa, where he meets Usutu . Matt travels with Usutu until they come to his camp, where numerous paintings of Matt are located. The paintings depict many different events in Matt's life and Usutu reveals that he can paint the future and that Matt has been one of his main subjects. Usutu proceeds to paint over an image of Matt in a happy family and instead paints Matt clutching the dead body of an unknown woman. After discovering that in the future, he is married to a woman named Daphne Millbrook , Matt goes home to America to find her. Daphne finds him instead and attempts to recruit him to Pinehearst . Matt tries to convince Daphne about the vision he had in Africa but she does not believe him until he mentions the name Daniella, which is the name of Daphne's grandmother. The two of them continue to talk and Matt tries to get Daphne to leave Pinehearst. Daphne tells him that she can't and runs away . While at home, Matt is once again approached by Daphne, who has been ordered to kill him. Matt convinces her that she can't do it as she is a good person and the two of them go to Primatech to speak with Angela Petrelli. While there, Matt uses his Telepathy to get inside Angela's comatose. Matt is almost killed by Arthur Petrelli but Daphne manages to get inside and helps him. They rescue Angela but Daphne runs away, not wanting to be found by Arthur. Matt, Hiro and Ando go to Kansas to find her and after a new eclipse occurs, Matt discovers that Daphne is unable to walk without her powers. When their powers return, Matt convinces Daphne that she is not a villain and that he does love her. The two of them return to Ando, who informs them that Hiro is missing in time.

Matt, Daphne and Ando return to New York to find the final 9th Wonders! comic. After finding it, they learn that they need another time traveler to help Hiro, so Daphne steals an injection of the formula for Ando. Matt's ability is amplified by Ando's new power so Daphne and Ando use their combined powers to rescue Hiro.

Fugitives

Two months later, Matt and Daphne are trying to live normal lives but are finding it hard to do so with Daphne's need for speed. Matt begins having visions of Usutu and is told by him that he is destined to become a prophet. Matt gains the ability of precognition and is then captured by the government. After escaping from the crashed Flight 195 , Matt teams up with Mohinder and Hiro to try and escape from them. The three of them meet up with Daphne, Ando and Claire and Daphne is shot by some agents, resulting in Matt going on a path of revenge.

Matt, Mohinder and Peter kidnap Noah Benett and use Matt's telepathy to get information out of him. Matt manages to discover that Daphne is still alive and goes with Peter to try and get evidence to use against Building 26 . Matt is captured and placed under sedation until he is freed by Tracy Strauss . Matt frees Daphne and takes her to the hospital, where he tries to give her a storybook ending. Daphne dies in his arms and Matt goes after Danko , seeking to kill the one person he truly loves . Matt is unable to kill Alena and is rescued by Hiro, seconds before Danko shoots him. Hiro and Ando introduce Matt to his infant son, baby Matt .

Now a father, Matt seeks to protect Baby Matt by returning him to Janice . He faces many problems, as he does not know how much of a family they will be once they are all together once more. After returning Baby Matt to Janice, Matt goes to shut down Building 26 to ensure his son's safety. Before doing so, he is confronted by Angela Petrelli, who informs him that he is the only one that can save Nathan from being killed. The two of them go to Nathan's suite but arrive too late, as Nathan has been killed by Sylar . Noah and Angela quickly come up with a plan to kill Sylar and bring back Nathan, and they get Matt to carry it out. Matt uses his telepathy to wipe away every memory and thought that Sylar has and replaces them with the memories and thoughts of Nathan, causing Sylar to fully become Nathan. Matt, angry and guilty over what he has done, leaves them and returns to his son. 

Redemption

Matt is playing with Matt Jr. when his phone rings. He answers it and discovers that Angela Petrelli is on the other end. She asks Matt  to erase Sylar's memories again but Matt denies her, stating that what he did was wrong and he has quit using his ability. Angels states there is no such thing but Matt tells her to deal with her own problem. He hangs up.

Matt goes to find Matt Jr. and almost trips on one of his toys. He discovers his son in the arms of Sylar , who calmly tells Matt that he wants his body back.

Matt confronts Sylar , saying that he is not real. Sylar tells Matt that he is part of his mind now and will not leave without his body. He comments that Janice is coming home and Matt worries. Sylar chucks baby Matt to Matt and disappears. When Janice arrives Matt discovers that Baby Matt is fast asleep in bed.

As Matt prepares for work, he discovers the water cooler guy, Roy , playing with Baby Matt. Matt isn't happy that he is on a first name basis with Janice and complains to her that he isn't sleeping well because he needs the name of this big drug lord but isn't using his ability just like he promised. Matt goes to an officer's recovery group and talks about his problems. Sylar appears and taunts Matt, causing him to flip out in the middle of the group. Matt's partner witnesses this. He and Matt begin to interrogate a suspect but find him unwilling to talk. Sylar appears yet again and taunts Matt, causing him to eventually throw a chair, narrowly missing the suspect. Out of fear, the suspect gives the name to Matt.

Returning home Matt finds Roy there yet again. Matt offers him $100 to stay away from his family and then mentally persuades him to obey. Sylar is pleased with this and tells Matt that he got him.

Matt goes to work again with his partner and the two enter a suspected drug dealer's home. Sylar appears to Matt and tells him that he doesn't want to be stuck in his mind. Sylar warns Matt of the drug dealer's actions and Matt listens, avoiding gun shots. Matt then captures the dealer and he and his partner begin searching for the drugs. Sylar teases Matt, stating he could find the location from the dealer but Matt refuses to listen. Sylar leads him into a bathroom and tells Matt that something isn't right. They both notice a stuffed rabbit and Matt goes on to find a ransom note.

Matt beats the suspect and demands to know where the child is. He uses his ability and discovers that the little girl is dead beneath the stairs. Matt, outraged and appalled begins to beat the dealer until his partner arrives, stating that there is no body. Matt is shocked to learn this and Sylar reveals that he used his own ability against him.

Matt's partner tries to figure a way out of the situation but doesn't find one and tells Matt to get a lawyer. Matt tells him this will ruin his life and telepathically alters his partner's memories, causing him to forget what he saw. Sylar congratulates him on using his ability.

Matt has a nightmare in which he is making love with Janice . Suddenly, Sylar takes over and continues making love with Janice. Matt awakens, believing it to be a dream. Janice hugs him and tells him that he was amazing. He then looks at Sylar, who is sitting and remarking that he enjoys "forbidden fruit". Matt soon finds Sylar, who continues to taunt him about the fact that he can take over his body. Matt warns Sylar that he will find a way to get rid of him.

Later, Matt is caught packing to leave by Janice. She asks him what he is doing and Matt explains that he has to leave to protect the family. Janice demands to know what has happened and Matt explains that he used his ability to make someone believe he was another person . He then says that the man he did this to is a killer and that he has somehow latched onto his mind and can take control of his body. Janice tells him to stay at home and deal with it while she and Matty leave for the night. After they leave, Matt sits alone and drinks. Sylar appears and talks about how Janice wishes that Matt were more like him. Matt then notices that every time he takes a sip of his alcohol, Sylar grimaces and groans in pain. Matt then drinks until Sylar disappears and he passes out.

"Matt" soon awakens and informs Janice and Mike that he is fine. Sylar then walks to the shower and Matt, now a telepathic projection, says that Sylar won't get away with this. Sylar laughs and asks if Matt would like his body back.

Sylar is an airport, intent on finding out the truth of how he was trapped in Matt's body. As he passes through the X-Ray, the guards arrest him for bringing a gun. Matt tells him that Sylar thought he packed socks earlier but was actually packing a gun . Matt tells Sylar that even though he's controlling his body, he won't let Sylar control his ability. The police aptly takes him away.

As they are on the road, Matt and Sylar stop because they encounter a flat tire. Matt mocks Sylar, who though that he was in the "driver's seat". A truck comes along and stops. A man steps out and offers to help. Intent on proving that "the world is his hostage" and that he is really in the "driver's seat," Sylar kills the man. Sylar demands no more sabotage in exchange for no more killings.

They arrive at the Burn Toast Dinner where Sylar tells that he almost killed a waitress there once. Sylar demands to know the truth from Matt. Matt eventually tells him that he, Angela Petrelli and Noah Benett "changed" him into Nathan. Sylar sets out to kill everyone who was even "remotely involved" to what happened to him.

While Matt and Sylar are still at the Burnt Toast Dunner , Matt makes Sylar subconsciously write down on a napkin that he has a gun. Sylar gives the napkin to Lynette . When they go outside, Sylar is surprised to see the police, but Matt has it all planned out. Matt forces Sylar into pretending to take out a gun from his jacket, thus prompting the policemen to shoot him.

In an ambulance, the paramedics try to resuscitate Matt.   

Matt was taken to a hospital in Texas where Peter and Nathan arrived to seek for answers about a dead body who looks a lot like Nathan.Matt told them that Sylar killed Nathan by cutting his throat and used his telepathy ability to transforms Sylar into Nathan and purge out his conscious but somehow Sylar trapped into Matt head and now whit one touch, Sylar can go back to his body which happens and after a fight with the local hospital guards, 'Nathan'  and Peter escape.Matt played the dead body and after erasing the guards memory of the happens he took it's clothes and went home while calling his wife Janice telling him that all of this nightmare is over.
 
Few weeks later, Noah Bennett came to Matt for asking his help to track down a guy named Samuel Sullivan at first Matt agreed to help and they took answers from Samuel girlfriend, Vanessa but after a clash with Samuel and his right hand man, Eli Matt gave up and suggested Noah to do the same before someone gets hurt.
 
Few days later Matt arrived home from work only to found Sylar with Janice talking.Matt asked what is this and Janice claimed that Gabriel has come to them for dinner.Matt took Sylar downstairs to talk and Sylar wanted Matt to go inside his head once more and purge out his powers or he will use all of them at once to end everyone nearby.
 
After a long discussion and threatening Janice, Matt agreed to help but trapped Sylar's mind in his own fears of being-living and dying alone.
 
Later that night, Matt began burying Sylar into his wall where he will suffer for eternity due his rapid cellular regeneration which slows down the aging and can live for hundreds of years,but suddenly someone knocked at the door:It was Peter Petrelli who entered the house,took Matt's ability and went downstairs where he entered Sylar's mind to get him out from the 'cage' so he can save Emma from killing thousands of people on Samuel's order.

Powers and abilities

Matt is a telepath, but he is not a fully realized telepath. Initially he was unable to activate it at will and only able to passively overhear thoughts and had trouble figuring out whose thoughts he was hearing. Through practice and repetition, he learns to read specific thoughts from people, going deeper if needed and to tell the difference.

The very nature of Haitian's powers is able to nullify Matt's, naturally shielding those thoughts of others in his vicinity. Matt's sheer power as a telepath has enabled him to briefly overcome Haitian's psychic shielding twice, the second time giving him a nosebleed due to the strain. But generally he is completely unable to read the Haitian's mind, something he describes as a sort of silence similar to white noise.

Against other telepaths such as his father, Maury Parkman, and Peter Petrelli who are using their telepathy, Matt finds it difficult to read or enter the minds, often causing an uncomfortable feedback. He also states in the episode Nothing to Hide that he has a problem discerning and locating the specific thoughts of people in crowds causing him to feel overwhelmed and pass out. Matt also has trouble understanding the thoughts of those who speak a foreign language.

As of Volume 2: Generations, Matt is on his way to being a fully realized telepath. Bob Bishop, the head of the Company, and his own father have stated that Matt should be able to exercise complete control over all aspects of the mind, memories, thoughts, actions, senses, etc. He first begins to use his telepathy on another scale when he begins to telepathically communicate with others like when he and Nathan Petrelli were trapped in a nightmarish illusion and with a comatose Molly Walker.

Later, when he confronts the Nightmare Man AKA his dad, he learns that he is able to enter the minds of others and warp it to trap them in a coma or a catatonic state with a dream or nightmare scenario. He uses this ability to overpower and imprison his father in a deep sleep with his own nightmares and fears.

In the episode, Cautionary Tales, he learns that while he can read the thoughts of other people and psychically converse with them by allowing them to hear his thoughts, then he can twist and influence the thoughts and actions of others by implanting mental suggestions and commands as a form of mind control. With practice, he seemingly masters this ability easily making Molly and his boss change their mind and do things and overcomes Angela Petrelli's formidable will. In the season 2 finale, Powerless, he was able to engage in a psychic tug-a-war with Peter Petrelli, signaling that telepaths can easily combat other telepaths and can win or lose, as he does when he overpowers Peter, forcing him to let Hiro go.

 In Volume Four, the combination of the growth of his telepathy and the precognitive visions induced by Usutu grants him access to the "same plane of consciousness" that other precognitive characters access for their own powers, allowing him to draw the future.

Alternate future

In the season 1 episode, Five Years Gone, when Hiro and Ando travel into the future accidentally, Matt is the director of the Department of Homeland Security and is directly involved with President Nathan Petrelli, who is actually Sylar in disguise. He has become ruthless and misguided, hunting down other super-humans and arresting them for terrorism. He mercilessly kills Hana Gitelman, Mr. Bennett, and Future Hiro but still has a soft spot for his family, Janice and his son, Matthew Jr. He has a developed a great deal of control with his powers, being able to affect memories and not only thoughts, and relive those memories. Also, he is able to endeavor deeper into the mind, reading and understanding more complex thoughts and painful rip thoughts from others.

 In the alternate future "I Am Become Death" , in which abilities are publicly available, Matt is living with his adoptive daughter Molly, his wife Daphne, and his own infant daughter. He attempts to talk his wife out of tracking down Peter. He watches Daphne die in his arms when she returns after trying to escape the nuclear explosion in Costa Verde.     

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