Matt Parkman is a patrolman on the LAPD. He is played by Greg Grunberg and has appeared in most episodes to date.
Matt has dyslexia, which has inhibited his ability to pass his detective exams. His career frustration lead to some resentment of his wife's more successful career.
Powers and Weaknesses
- Telepathy — He can read surface thoughts from nearby people.
- In volume two he realizes he can also get into peoples minds and tell them what to do.
- Also in volume two he realizes he can trap people in their worst nightmares, and make them come real.
- Other psychics can inhibit his ability.
- Too many excited voices can disorient him and render him unconcious.
Matt Parkman was putting up crime scene tape outside the house where an suspected serial killer has murdered two people. He heard a little girl repeating "please don't hear me". He follows where he thinks the sound is coming from. Matt catches a thought fragment from FBI agent Audrey Hanson. She thinks Sylar is responsible for this. Parkman finds a secret door and discovers that the missing little girl Molly was safe and hiding inside.
Agent Hanson and her colleage want to know how Matt found Molly. Matt can't explain it. They're suspicious of him. Matt tells Agent Hanson that he didn't kill the family, "Sylar" did. She tells Matt that only 6 people assigned to this case know the name "Sylar". Agent Hanson arrests him.
Matt Parkman is being interrogated by FBI Agent Audrey Hanson. He tells her that he thinks the girl he found was talking in his head, like he could read her thoughts. He proves it by reading Audrey's thoughts. She's convinced, and offers Matt a chance to work with the FBI.
Audrey wanted Matt to talk to Molly and find out what she knows about the deaths of her parents. If Matt really can read minds, he can get the information even if she doesn't say a word. Audrey tells Matt that Sylar is a serial killer who has left a trail of death across a dozen states. His modus operandi is to impale people with household objects, and there's no sign of physical contact with his victims. Not all the killings involve any mutilation of the head or neck, so many people don't connect them with the Sylar killings.
In the basement of the FBI building, Matt and Audrey emerge from the elevator and see Sylar (a white man in a dark baseball cap and nondescript clothing) trying to take Molly. They race down the hall, passing an FBI agent who has been impaled with a chair. Sylar runs off and Audrey chases him. Matt pauses to make sure Molly is all right. She's thinking "how did he find me?" Matt tells her that he doesn't know. Audrey aims at Sylar, but Sylar telekinetically shoves her back into a wall and forces her to aim her gun at her own head. Matt races in and shoots Sylar six times. He falls down. Matt checks on Audrey, but behind him Sylar gets up. Matt whirls around, but Sylar has escaped, apparrently upward.
When Matt arives home, his wife Janice is angry at him for missing their marriage counselling session. He tries to talk to her, but hears her think that she just wants him to leave. He says "Fine, I will," and goes to a bar. He listens to the thoughts of various people in the bar, but when he tries with a strange man with the helix symbol on his necklace, he gets nothing. Matt gets off the bar stool, and suddenly passes out.
Matt wakes up strapped to a table. There are electrodes attached to his head. The Horn-Rimmed Glasses Man tells Matt to relax. They're apparently testiong the capabilities of his powers. "The Hatian" is blocking Matt, but he still pulls the name Claire from the Horn-Rimmed Glasses Man's head. He is impressed at how powerful Matt has become so quickly. He tells his associate to go deep, then wipe Matt's memory.
The next day, he wakes up on the couch in his house. Janice was frantic with worry after Matt vanished. Matt is surprised to learn that he's missing a day and has no idea where he was. Janice says that Matt's precinct said the he's now working with the FBI. Matt told her that it just started. Matt was surprised how much Janice still cared for him, and he used his telepathy to plan a "Marital Health" day to make her happy.
After a satisfying bout of sex, Matt goes to the drug store to get coffee-flavoured ice cream for Janice. While there, he hears the thoughts of a patron planning to rob it. Matt goes deeper into his mind and learns there are people who he cares about. He confronts the would-be robber and convinces himto put the gun down and get out of here. The robber does. Matt picks up the gun. Customers saw Matt with the gun and start thinking panicked thoughts. Matt tells them he's a police officer and everything is all right, but he gets disoriented and collapses.
Matt told Janice that their marriage was improving a bit. He was going to tell her about his telepathy, until he caught her worrying that he knew about her affair. He left the house. Audrey retrieved him at the police station to help investigate another mystery death – Dr. Robert Fresco, an oncologist was found burned to a crisp and radioactive, with a fingerprint seared on a bone. Audrey told Matt that this is the 9th death she can’t explain. The fingerprint was that of Theodore Sprague. Audrey and Matt went to Sprague’s house alone without backup. He wasn’t home but they found more burned objects and radioactivity. Matt discovered a bottle of chemotherapy pills for Karen Sprague – prescribed by Dr. Fresco. They went to Karen Sprague’s hospital room and found Ted. He took a nurse hostage and tried to explain that he lost control and didn’t mean to kill the doctor. Matt calmed him down by reading his wife’s dying thoughts, after that, Ted surrendered. Audrey told Matt that he did good work, noted that Matt had been dodging his wife’s calls all day. Matt called Janice and told her that he thought she was hiding something and he was worried about things going unsaid. Matt looked at the mug shot taken of Ted that day and noticed a mark on his neck. He saw the same mark on his own neck.
Audrey congratulates Matt for doing a good job. Matt said that Ted just watned to talk with his wife one last time. Audrey noted that Matt had been dodging his own wif'es called all day. She leaves to process Ted. Matt called Janice and leaves her a message. He told her that he's got a feeling that she's not telling him everything, and he's afraid of some things going unsaid.
Detective MacHenry told Matt that Audrey arranged for him to retake the detective test and get some interviews. Matt heard MacHenry think that he slept with Janice and punched him.
Matt was on patrol when he heard about a fleeing suspect. The car passed by Matt’s and he pursued, ignoring orders not to. He used his telepathy to predict the suspect’s moves and steer around bystanders and end the chase safely. His captain suspended Matt for a month – no pay – for punching MacHenry.
Matt and Audrey were given one hour to interrogate Ted before Homeland Security took custody. She was angry at Matt for hitting a superior officer. Matt told her he’ll handle it, and the man deserved it. Ted was agitated and threatened to become the bad guy. He started boiling a glass of water in his hand. Matt calmed him down by telling him they wanted to help him. He tells Ted that he can’t stop hearing thoughts, even if he wants. He heard things that can ruin lives and destroy marriages. He asked Ted to tell him what happened. Ted tells him that he blacked out. Matt asked him if he woke up with bruises on his armed. Ted thought “I’ll do you one better,” and showed Matt and Audrey the strange mark on his neck. Matt showed Ted and Audrey the identical mark on his neck.
Ted told Matt his story – he was in Kansas and was celebrating a big sale in a bar. There was a Haitian student there – Ted’s description matched Matt’s memory of the man in the bar. He blacked out and woke up two days later in Arizona, with strange cuts and bruises over his body. Flowers and plants started to die around him, he started getting headaches and Karen got cancer from radiation poisoning. Matt told Ted that the same thing happened to him – he blacked out after seeing that man and woke up two days later with headaches and enhanced powers. He hadn’t told anyone else, not Audrey, not even his wife. They were making progress, but Homeland security arrived and took Ted away, despite Matt and Audrey’s protests. Audrey’s fellow FBI agent told her that Matt shouldn’t be there, his badge was suspended. She was annoyed that he didn’t tell her everything he knew, but he told her he’d come running every time she asked for his help.
Back at his house, Janet admits that she and MacHenry had an affair, but it’s over. Matt wasn’t sure if their marriage was over. He got a call from Audrey – Ted escaped from custody.
Matt and Audrey investigated the death of Jackie Wilcox. Matt noted that Sylar seemed to have been interrupted before he got a chance to take her brain. Audrey didn’t think that the suspect the Odessa police had in custody, Peter Petrelli, was Sylar. They followed a blood trail from a school to a nearby hill where it vanished. Two additional set of footprints indicate that Sylar wasn’t alone. They went to question Peter. They told him that the blood on him was his own. Peter said his brother told him not to answer any questions. Matt tried to read Peter’s mind and got “psychic feedback”. He pulled out “Save the cheerleader” from Peter’s head and was surprised when Peter reacted to Audrey’s thought that the cheerleader was dead. Peter is one of “them”. Peter told them that the killer’s target was the cheerleader “Claire”, and they needed to protect her. Matt confirmed that Peter was telling the truth.
Matt watched from the observation room as Audrey talked with Claire Bennet and Mr. Bennet. He couldn’t get anything from either of them, but it was clear Claire was hiding something. After the interrogation, Matt introduced himself to them and told them they’ll do everything in their power to catch the killer. He told Audrey that he couldn’t get anything, but he felt the same static the night he passed out in the bar. He was suspicious, and convinced Audrey to follow Mr.Bennet. They staked out Primatech Paper. Matt caught a stray thought of Audrey thinking he was “cute”. He told her he loves his wife, but thought he’d be a chump by forgiving her. Audrey told him that if he wants his marriage to work, he’ll have to try and make it work, or else he really is a chump. Mr. Bennet came out and was met by the Haitian. Matt recognized him from the night at the bar. He strained to try and pick up something, giving himself a nosebleed. All he got was “Sylar”. Matt and Audrey know that Mr. Bennet knows more than he’s told.
Matt pulled over Eden McCain. She told him she stole the car. He tried to arrest her, but she used her power to tell him to go eat some doughnuts. Patrolman MacHenry found him doing that the next day and told him the detective test was in an hour. Matt failed it, and was despondent at home. Janice tried to comfort him, he heard her think that he’s her hero, but he was too full of self-loathing and pushed her away.
- 1x02 - Don't Look Back: Matt uses his power to rescue a little girl.
- 1x03 - One Giant Leap: Matt is offered the chance to work with the FBI.
- 1x05 - Hiros: Matt tries to reconnect with his wife.
- 1x08 - Seven Minutes to Midnight: Matt discovers a strange person who may be connected to his missing day.
- Cx07 - Control: Matt uses his telepathy to safely end a car chase.
- 1x11 - Fallout: Matt draws ever closer to uncovering the mystery of his missing day.