He is an evolved human with the power of telepathy. He can go in your head and control your mind. Matt is also detective of the Los Angeles Police Department, though he had immense trouble getting to his desired position because his dyslexia made it difficult for him to pass the entrance exam. After being hunted by Homeland Security, Matt has now decided to embrace his role as a father and protect his family at all costs.
Matthew "Matt" Parkman is introduced in volume one as an LAPD officer. He has long desired to become a detective, but because of stress problems when taking exams, he is unable to complete the testing necessary and is stuck as an officer. However, while Matt is at a murder scene, he begins to discover the power to hear an individual's thoughts. This first appears as he hears the pleas of a young girl, still inside the house where several murders took place. The voice is Molly Walker, a girl who Matt grows attached to throughout the volume, and results in him and Dr. Mohinder Suresh taking her in as their 'daughter.'
Matt Parkman's powers grew during Season 2, acquiring an active element similar to his father's ability, which enabled him to project his thoughts to others and make them obey his orders to an extent. People with stronger wills, like Noah Bennet or Angela Petrelli, require more effort, energy and concentration to even to make them talk, but his commands go beyond mere hypnosis as he can make people comply with orders they would not normally obey.
During Volume 3, Future Peter Petrelli teleported Parkman into the African wilderness, where he went on a spirit quest that imbued him with the power of Precognitive Painting, like Isaac Mendez, but it is not something that he can consciously activate as other precognitive painters have learned to do.
Matt is living in New York with Daphne. Claire Bennet arrives at his apartment to warn him about a government operation to round-up evolved humans. Claire learned about this operation when she overheard a conversation between her father, Nathan Petrelli, and grandmother, Angela Petrelli, wherein Nathan reveals he wants to keep Claire out of this entire operation, having granted immunity for Claire, but he intends to capture his brother, Peter, and Matt next. After calling Peter, Claire warns Matt about this operation when they are both taken by Danko's agents. While Claire is given a free pass and released by Nathan, who sends her home, Matt remains hooded, drugged and in an orange jumpsuit at an airplane hangar.
He is seen shackled to a female fugitive and, along with other captives, is boarded onto Flight 195. He is unhooded by Claire, who sneaks aboard the plane as a stowaway. After the plane crashes, Matt survives. He is angry when Daphne Millbrook was shot and is able to get inside the minds of Danko's team, causing them to shoot each other. He then worked with Mohinder and Peter to read Noah's mind, where it was revealed that Daphne was alive. When Mohinder was captured, Matt and Peter worked to rescue Daphne, which resulted in them finding out that the fugitives being loaded onto a plane was recorded, prompting Peter to use that against Nathan. Peter was able to escape but Matt was caught and placed under Danko's care. That ended with Danko putting a bomb onto him in an attempt to 'give the terrorism threat a face'. Nathan went to stop the bomb. Matt was able to read the mind of a bomb specialist and was able to stop the bomb by pulling the black wire. Nathan then punched Matt, knocking him out, and takes him into custody. Hiro and Ando go to try and save Matt Parkman but instead they find his child, Matt Parkman Jr, with his ex-wife, Janice.
Matt having pushed Sylar's memories out of his body is forced to cope with keeping him inside his own head. Sylar starts appearing to him, and is very real to him. Soon Sylar starts being able to control his body so Matt tries to get him out. However Matt also realizes that the only way is to give him his body back, unleashing the menace once again. Matt reluctantly heads on a journey to New York, and while traveling he tries to stop, now because Sylar can take over his body he has to listen to him. His journey comes to an end when Matt controls Sylar (who has taken over Matt's body at the time) to subconsciously scribble a threatning message on a napkin and hand it to the waiter who phone's the police.While Sylar attempts to flee, he's confronted outside the diner by a large group of police.Matt manipulates Sylar/matt into putting his hand into his upper pocket, tricking the police into thinking he's getting out a gun after he pulls put his hand in the shape of a gun, the police shoot him right when he does, and he falls to the floor.Matt barely survives and is admitted to a hospital in Texas under strict guard from police.While there, he is visited by Peter Petrelli and Nathan Petrelli (the real Sylar stuck in Nathan's form). Matt seems to gain control of himself enough to warn them about Sylar's attempts to reconnect with his own body,however Sylar manages to regain control. Pretending to still be Matt, he urges Nathan to grab his hand,eventually resorting to using Telepathy to do so. As he's doing so,Matt remains in his illusion form attempting to yell out for Nathan not do it. As Nathan is about to grab Matt's hand, peter attempts to intervene.In the chaos,Nathan's hand brushes against Matt's allowing for Sylar's subconsciousness to be transferred back into his own body thus allowing him his body back and freeing Matt from Sylar's control. He screams "is he in you?" as Nathan gives him and the rest of the room a glance before flying out of the window.
Matt later calls Janice and leaves her a voicemail telling her that Sylar's gone and he would be free to return home and be with his family once again
Skip months later, Matt is now happily at home looking after the baby while Janice goes to work. As Janice leaves,Matt offers to make ratatouille. He's visited by Noah Bennet who asks for his help. He refuses as he wants to stay away from all the drama to look after Matt Parkman Jr. Noah informs Matt about Samuel Sullivan and how he's recruiting others with abilities and insists that unless Matt helps stop him, Samuel could eventually end up recruiting or taking Matt Parkman Jr. Matt, albeit reluctantly, agrees to help out.They go to visit Vanessa, a former lover of Samuel's. While at first she disagrees to talk, Matt uses his telepathy to make her sit down with them and talk about Samuel. They later attempt to use Vanessa to bait Samuel to coming to her.Matt heads in through the front while Noah circles around but however by the time they get into the lobby, Samuel and Vanessa are nowhere to be found. Matt later drives around and picks up Noah and they leave.Noah on Matt's help again but he refuses citing that he's done for good now.
While eating dinner with the family, he asks Janice if he's a coward (most likely referencing his refusal to continue Noah in trying to help bring down Samuel Sullivan) but Janice asserts that he's not one.
Matt is visited by Sylar ( lies to Janice and pretends to be a former cop that worked with Matt) at a later stage. While at first, Matt questions whether Sylar has reappeared as a illusion in his head again, Sylar affirms that he is very much real. After Matt continues to look hesitant, Sylar insists that he wanted Matt dead he would be already and that he's here for his help. Sylar explains how he wants to change and that the only way to do that is for him to somehow turn off his powers. He wants Matt to use his telepathy to somehow put a mental block on his powers further preventing him from being able to use them ever again. Matt takes him downstairs and insists that in exchange for helping him out,Janice and Matt Parkman Jr go free,to which Sylar agrees. Once they are alone, Matt attempts to do what was requested but struggles as feedback causes him to recoil in shock.Matt tries again but again to no avail.Their arguments about it resorts to a shouting match which attracts Janice's attention. A clearly frustrated Sylar decides to up the antes and telekinectically pins Janice against the wall and threatens to slice her head open if Matt doesn't block out his powers. Matt convinces Sylar to let Janice go and he does so. While checking on Janice, he explains what Sylar wants and his inability to do so. Janice affirms to him the suggestion of instead trapping Sylar in his own head,thus eliminating the threat he poses to them and the world. Matt agrees to do that and asks Janice to take Matt Jr and leave and he will call them when it's safe to come back.He tries again and uses his abilities to, at first, make Sylar believe that he's succeeded. However he then reveals that he had read his mind and found Sylar's greatest fear:being alone. So with that he's trapped Sylar in his greatest fear which is being in a mental universe where he's completely alone. He takes the real unconscious coma-like state Sylar downstairs and begins to bury him against a wall.At that Peter,having tracked Sylar down as he needs his help, knocks on Matt's door. Matt answers stating he was doing work downstairs and that he didn't hear Peter knocking. Peter asks where Sylar and affirms that he needs to see him.When Matt refuses,Peter grabs his hand,replicating his power, and reads his mind that he's downstairs. Peter pushes past Matt and heads into the basement while Matt follows insisting that Sylar is a monster and he's done what he needed to do.When Peter spots Sylar and asks matt what he did,Matt explains about Sylar's request and how he's trapped Sylar in his own mind. While at the insistant of Matt not doing so, Peter attempts to use telepathy to get Sylar out and his instead trapped his nightmare as well.
While Matt is upstairs rummaging through his fridge, he hears an explosion sound from downstairs. He turns to find Eli and some of his clones standing there. They're here to deal with him,Peter and Sylar. Matt attempts to mentally command them to leave but to no avail.Eli explains that unlike the real one, the clones are practically brainless and don't think for themselves. Matt grabs a kitchen knife and attempts to fight them off but is pinned to the counter. One of the clones kicks his hard in the back of the knee dislocating his leg. The Eli clones all hand each other knives and are about to stab him to death, when they suddenly burst into a pile of dust. At that moment, the real Eli is telekinetically thrown into the kitchen. He asks what Sylar is doing free and Peter explains that he needs Sylar's help.to save his friend Sylar tries to convince Matt that he has indeed changed and insists that Matt reads his mind to prove he's telling the truth. Matt does so but as they're about to leave Sylar suddenly says he's not leaving. Matt used to telepathy to manipulate Sylar into staying. Peter eventually manages Matt to let Sylar go and he does so telling them to "get out of his house".
As Prime Eli begins to stir, Matt uses his mind manipulation on Eli to make him do "what he tells him to"
It's later revealed that Matt had manipulated Eli into admitting Samuel's schemes in front of all the other Carnies. He confirmed Samuel's hand in Joseph's death. He also admitted how,under Samuel's orders,he had shot at people in the carnival during the night Samuel was supposedly going to surrender in order to further deceive the carnies into believing the human's discrimination towards people with abilities.
In "June 13th - Part Two", Matt Parkman enters the room, Noah (2014) is shocked to see that he's working for Renautas, Matt sold his ability to whoever payed him the most. He tells Noah that Erica Kravid has taken good care of him and his family. He reads Noah's (2014) mind and learns that Noah's adoptive daughter, Claire Bennet, is in Odessa but she's already dead, having died during childbirth. Matt is sorry for Noah's loss. Prime wants to know where the baby is but then a penny rolls in the room, thus making Noah forget everything, this is clearly the work of Caspar Abraham. Harris tries to shoot him but Caspar comes in and knocks him out, Matt picks up Prime's gun but he can't bring himself to pull the trigger, so Matt lets them leave.
In "Sundae, Bloody Sundae", He is revealed to be the director of Sunstone Manor, he is on the intercom while at the same time in the heads of all of the captured EVOs. James Dearing is knocked out and captured, he wakes to the sight of Matt. He gets into Dearings heads and makes him kill himself. Later he finds Carlos Gutierrez, he's just waking up, Matt gets into his head as well. He learns about the time Carlos spent in the war and with Farah Nazan, Matt knows his secret. He then uses his ability to send Carlos into a empty room and relive a moment that terrifies him.
In "11:53 to Odessa", Matt is on the phone with Prime, he he tells Harris that the EVOs will be ready to taken to Gateway. Matt enters a room and begins talking to Farah Nazan, she is handcuffed to a chair. He wants to know the location of Malina but Farah is skilled, she is able to keep him from reading her thoughts. Matt can't find what he wants, he makes Farah aware of Carlos Gutierrez presence in hope that he can get her to open up. Matt's plan is working, he can now read her mind, he learns of what she and Carlos went through during the war the he learns that they still love each other, Matt uses this opprotunity as leverage, he points a gun at Carlos' head. He becomes angry, he threatens to kill Carlos, Farah finally agrees to tell them the location of Malina. He enters his office to find Erica and Taylor Kravid, he reads both of their minds and realizes that it's not really Erica but before he could do anything, he is tazed. He wakes up and then the door opens, it's Prime but Henry has shape-shifted into Matt, somehow, Harris knows which is which and he shoots Henry. Matt alerts Prime of Taylor Kravid's arrival, he also tells him that the team is moving in on Malina.
In "Send in the Clones", he is at his desk when Taylor Kravid and Rene come busting in, they demand to know where Micah is but he tell them. Rene tries to remind him of the man he use to be and Taylor attempts to convince him that her mother is lying about his pass to Gatway but he doesn't believe them. Matt pulls a gun from under his desk and shoots Rene in the ear. He then makes Rene leave and he keeps Taylor as leverage. He reads Taylor's mind and finds out that she is fighting with her mom because of her EVO boyfriend Francis, then he learns that she's pregnant with his child. As they're leaving Matt is confronted by two of Primes clones, he uses his ability to make the clones shoot themselves. Then he and Taylor head to Odessa, Texas, they are 1,165 miles away.
In "Company Woman", Matt comes storming into Erica's office with Taylor Kravid as his hostage, he demands three one-way tickets to Gateway for him and his family. He hands his gun to Taylor and forces her to put the gun to her head, Matt threatens to kill Taylor and her unborn child. Erica is shocked to hear that she has a grandchild, this leads her to giving Matt what he wants, after receiving his watches, he lets her go and leaves. 3 hours until the H.E.L.E hits and Matt is on the phone talking to Janice Parkman's voicemail, a telephone poll falls and Matt loses control, this causes him to swerve off the road and crash into a ditch, he cant do anything as he helplessly watches the Gateway watches drift away down the river.
- Telepathy: Matt has the ability of telepathy, an ability that he was originally only able to use to hear thoughts. Matt is able to project his thoughts to another in a moment of crisis, though he cannot explain what happened afterward. Matt's power grows as he is able to bring Maury into the "nightmare" that Maury places Molly into. Matt then overcomes his father's advanced use of telepathy to trap Maury the same way Maury trapped Molly. Matt's mind reading abilities have improved, able to read Daphne's thoughts quickly with little effort and only needing to concentrate to read more complex thoughts. Matt was able to use his power to enter Angela's mind and release her from her coma after Arthur "unbound" her mind, even managing to bring Daphne in with him. Though Matt was initially unable to control his abilities and would often become overwhelmed, he has apparently overcome this obstacle. In fact, he has gained considerable control over various aspects of his ability. For instance, Matt was able to use his ability to discern Daphne's location when she was nearby, but hidden from view. The range of this aspect of Matt's ability is unknown. Recently he has displayed the ability to scan people's memories as a form of interrogation, as shown when he used it on Noah Bennet. Attempting to resist Matt's telepathic interrogation causes the person pain. He sees these memories in the form of a flashback. Matt is also capable of entering Sylar's mind when he's motivated enough, but instead of blocking his powers, he uses telepathy to trap Sylar in a nightmare where he has no powers and is all alone, similar to how Maury Parkman once trapped Molly in a nightmare. Anyone who enters it gets trapped as well, such as Peter when he replicated telepathy and entered the nightmare, but eventually, Peter and Sylar were able to free themselves after considerable effort.
- Mind Control: Matt eventually learned how to use his abilities to command others mentally. Matt also implied that he can kill with his power, and forced Homeland Security agents to shoot at each other after they shot Daphne.
- Illusions: Matt can implant telepathic illusions in another's head, making Knox think he killed Matt and Daphne when they were actually in the other room. The illusion was convincing enough to fool Knox's sense of touch, something his father Maury was seemingly unable to accomplish (Daphne was able to reach through Maury's projection of Linderman).
- Power Negation: Matt has also attempted to use this ability to remove Sylar's powers by placing a mental block on them. Matt experienced feedback that prevented this, but was able to read Sylar's mind enough to know he was actually serious about his request.
- Precognition: An illusion of Usutu appeared to Matt and told him he must become the prophet. Afterwards, Matt was able to access the same place of consciousness that other precognitives are able to.
From the beginning Matt was left alone by his father, so far there has been no reference to his mother or other siblings. Matt settled down with his wife who was pregnant in the first season. During the season it was discovered that his wife had been committing adultery with his colleague in the police force. Matt subsequently punched his colleague resulting in a suspension without pay for striking a superior officer. Returning home he read his wife's mind to discover that she was pregnant. With a baby on the way they both vow to make their marriage work. Matt later leaves his wife after apparently discovering that the child was not his but Matt later expressed doubts about whether this was true or not. Upon being given his son by Hiro and Ando and discovering that the child (also named Matt) was his, he returned to his wife until Sylar forced him to leave.
At the beginning of the volume "Generations" Matt is living with Mohinder Suresh and both are taking care of Molly Walker, the young girl Matt encountered after her parents were brutally murdered by Sylar. Molly is placed in a coma due to Matt's father after she used her power to find him. With Molly's life on the line, Matt faced his fears of finding his father and managed to awaken Molly.
Matt and Mohinder later sent Molly to live with Mohinder's mother in India, fearing New York to be too dangerous for the young girl.
- According to the deleted scenes on the Season 1 box set, Matt Parkman is a huge heavy metal fan. The tune he whistles in episode 14 is 'Run to the Hills' by British metal group Iron Maiden.
- The un-aired episode in season one shown that Matt had a wife before Janice and that their relationship was not doing well.
- Matt went back home to raise his son with Janice.