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Gabriel Sylar (formerly Gabriel Gray), is Chandra Suresh's "patient zero". He is a serial killer who specializes in impaling people with household objects, and seems to be the villain in Season One. Although he first appeared as a shadowy figure in One Giant Leap, he did not actually appear on screen until Six Months Ago.
Gabriel Sylar is called Patient Zero by Chandra Suresh. While researching the next step in human evolution, Chandra Suresh came into contact with Sylar and may have made him aware of his abilities. The "awakening" of his powers also caused Sylar to develop an "uncontrollable hunger" that caused Suresh to cease contact with him.
Speculation based on the map of super-powered individuals found by Mohinder Suresh in what appeared to be Sylar's apartment indicates that Sylar's addiction is somehow tied to the various murders he has committed and that he specifically targets the brains of powered individuals. Sylar may be using Chandra Suresh's research to track supers, although his precise method for uncovering their exact identities remains a mystery.
In the future, dictated by a collaborative painting by Isaac and Peter, Sylar can be seen standing over the mutilated body of Claire Bennet, the cheerleader who the fate of the world apparently hinges upon.
Powers and Weaknesses
- Intuitive Aptitude — (Base Power) Sylar has an intuitive understanding of how things work. It allows him to see and manipulate patterns within complex systems. It also allows him to alter his own DNA to acquire powers from his victims.
- Telekinesis (Stolen Power) — This was Sylar's first "stolen" power, he murdered telekinetic Brian Davis and somehow learned how to harness his power. Sylar can move objects at great force using the power of his mind. When attempting to attack Molly, the daughter of two of his alleged victims, Sylar forced FBI Agent Hansen to point her own gun at her head before she was rescued by Matt Parkman.
- Cryokinesis (Stolen Power) — Sylar can emit ice from his hands and freeze some people solid. A frozen body at a confirmed Sylar killing site strongly implies that.
- Eidetic Memory (Stolen Power) — Sylar acquired Charlene Andrews' memory ability after killing her.
- Molecular Manipulation (Stolen Power) — Sylar stole Zane Taylot's ability, which lets him melt inanimate objects.
- Super Hearing (Stolen Power) — Sylar stole Dale Smither's auditory ability that she said allowed her to hear rain 40 miles away and distinguish the slightest change in a hearbeat.
- Sylar claimed to Eden that he can't be hurt by bullets. This seems likely since Matt unexpectedly shot him six times and he was able to flee seconds later, and since Eden threatened him with a gun and he made no move to stop her. He was also shot directly by Mr. Bennett and showed no signs of injury soon afterwards.
- Sylar is susceptible to mind control.
- His powers can be nullified by some unknown means in his cell at Primatech Paper.
Sylar killed the family of Molly Walker in Los Angeles, impaling her mother to the wall with metal implements, freezing her father James and removing his brain. He failed to find Molly, who was hiding in a secret compartment, but after she was taken into protective custody by the FBI, he made an attempt to abduct her, killing at least one FBI agent. Audrey Hanson pursued him, but he used his telekinesis to immobilize her and attempted to force her to commit suicide with her gun. Matt Parkman shot at him, but he may have used his telekinesis to stop the bullets, and escape when Matt's back was turned.
Sylar was in the Burnt Toast Diner in Midland, Texas, shortly before Claire Bennet's Homecoming. While he was there, he murdered the waitress Charlie, who had the Eidetic memory power. He removed the top of her head and her brain.
Sylar continued to Odessa. He went to Union Wells High and saw the articles on Jackie Wilcox, who ran through fire to rescue a man. Believing she was the one with abilities, he ambushed Jackie and Claire in the girls locker room. When Claire tries to stop him, he used his telekinesis to throw her against the wall with such force it broke her arm and face. He used precision telekinesis to carve an incision in Jackie's head. When he saw Claire healing, he realized his mistake and dropped Jackie. He followed Claire out. Peter Petrelli was in the hall and helped Claire escape. Sylar used his telekinesis to fling locker doors at Peter, but none hit; Unusual, as Sylar appears to have very precise control over his telekinetic projectiles. This may indicate a reflexive use of Sylar's power mimiced by Peter. Sylar pursued them to an auditorium. Peter Petrelli unexpectedly grabbed him and threw them both off the roof. Sylar wasn't badly injured and limped away, only to find Eden McCain. She used her power to put him to sleep.
Gabriel Gray was the son of a watchmaker who became a watchmaker, Gabriel was unhappy, but resigned to his lot in life until Chandra Suresh came along. Chandra told him he was special, and Gabriel was eager, but after the initial tests failed to detect anything, Chandra brushed him off, thinking he made a mistake. Angry, Gabriel stole the address of someone else on Chandra's list, Brian Davis, a telekinetic. He called Brian Davis to his shop. He told Davis his name was Sylar (taken from a watch Gabriel was making.) Davis wanted to know if Sylar could make the power go away. Gabriel was able to see how Davis's mind was broken. He told Davis that he could make it go away. He hit Davis on the back of the head with a heavy crystal, killing him. He somehow acquired Davis' telekinetic power and demonstrated it to Chandra, so they could work together and find more supers.
- 1x03 - One Giant Leap: Sylar attacks the FBI and tries to abduct a girl he failed to find before.
- 1x08 - Seven Minutes to Midnight: Sylar murders Charlie, a waitress.
- 1x09 - Homecoming: Sylar attempts to kill Claire.
- 1x10 - Six Months Ago: The origin of Sylar is revealed.
- 1962: A newspaper clipping in Sylar's Queens apartment mentioned the birth of a "Paul E. Sylar" in 1962.