He is a hospice nurse-turned-paramedic in his mid-20s with the power to absorb and mimic the powers of other evolved humans or "Evos". Sensitive and compassionate, the character was initially defined by his complex relationship with his older brother, Nathan. Since that time, Peter Petrelli has had to deal with the outcomes from the decisions that his abilities force him to make. In the start of the series, Peter absorbs the ability of a man who is practically a ticking time bomb. In desperation all the characters in the series race to try and save New York City in fear that Peter will "blow up" the city like a bomb. Minutes from when he's about to explode Peter's older brother Nathan flies him high above the skyline and saves the people of New York City.
In the premiere episode, Peter Petrelli is a hospice nurse living in New York City. Differences between Peter and Nathan, an ambitious politician focused on his congressional campaign, cause tensions between the two, which are exacerbated when Peter starts having extraordinarily vivid dreams of flying. He confides in Nathan, who passes them off as a sign of psychological distress. Peter summons Nathan to witness as he jumps off a building to prove he can fly. However, it's Nathan who flies, catching Peter as he falls. Peter blacks out after the brothers lose their grip on each other, waking up in the hospital with muddled recollections of what happened. Nathan claims neither of them flew and Peter is led to believe he's going crazy. To discover the truth, Peter threatens to jump from another rooftop if Nathan doesn't tell him what really happened. Nathan admits that they both flew. Peter first thinks Nathan is only telling him what he wants to hear, until Nathan points out that Peter is levitating as they argue. Peter's later attempts to fly, when away from his brother's presence, are initially unsuccessful.
Peter decides to quit his job as a nurse. He confides to Simone Deveaux, the daughter of his dying patient, Charles Deveaux, that he has loved her ever since he first saw her. The two of them spend a night together, even though Simone doesn't know how she truly feels about him.
The first hint of things to come arrive in the form of Hiro Nakamura, a man with the power to manipulate time and space, who travels back in time to give Peter a message: "Save the cheerleader, save the world." He urges Peter to be "the one we need". He tells Peter to go and visit Isaac Mendez, a painter and ex-boyfriend of Simone. Hiro notes how strange it is to see Peter without his scar.
Peter visits Isaac and convinces him to see past their amorous connection to Simone. He learns that Isaac has predicted an explosion will happen in New York soon, and they are both convinced saving this unknown cheerleader is connected to averting the catastrophe. While in Isaac's company, Peter also confirms, by mimicking Isaac's power, that his superhuman ability involves copying those of others. He finishes Isaac's painting showing the cheerleader being killed by Sylar.
Peter has a dream of showing Simone's ailing father that he can fly, and is awakened by her ringing his doorbell to tell him that her father died shortly after telling her that he had dreamed of flying with Peter and is worried about the state of the world. Peter told him that there are people who care, who will save the world from destruction. Simone then tells Peter that she has sold Isaac's painting to a man named Linderman in Las Vegas. Peter believes the painting will help him to save the world.
Peter goes to Nathan's house, hoping that his brother can help convince Linderman to give up the painting. When he gets there, he finds Nathan, their mother, and Nathan's family having brunch with a newspaper reporter. Peter saves his brother from adultery charges by claiming Nathan was arranging for a private clinic to treat Peter's mental illness. That night, Nathan tells a skeptical Peter he was temporarily kidnapped in Vegas, and warns that people will want to lock them up if they realize the two of them have powers.
Simone shows Peter a photograph of the painting which sends Peter to the high school in Odessa, Texas where he meets Claire Bennet, the cheerleader with superhuman regenerative abilities. Sylar soon shows up to kill Claire, and Peter manages to fight him off while Claire escapes. Sylar and Peter fall off the school roof together; Sylar survives the fall, but Peter seemingly doesn't. However, when Claire shows up, Peter mimics her healing power. As he begins resetting his bones, he asks Claire to call the police. They show up while Peter is still covered in his own blood and arrest him.
Six Months Earlier; During a dream, Peter sees Nathan and his wife get into the car accident that paralyzes her from the waist down. He realizes the accident was partially caused by Nathan's accidental first use of his flying ability (leaving the car with no driver). Peter later asks Nathan about "the other car" (one chasing Nathan's in the dream) involved in the accident, a detail no one else knew except for Nathan and Heidi.
Peter is in a jail holding cell when he has a dream in which he is visited by his brother, who metamorphoses into Sylar. Telepathic LA cop Matt Parkman then interviews him, and they telepathically piece together Sylar's attack on Union Wells High. Peter tells Parkman that Claire Bennet was the real target. Though Matt and his partner, Audrey Hanson, know that Peter is innocent, they refuse to let him leave until he tells them what they want to know. Claire visits Peter in his cell later, believing he shares her powers, and tells him that he is her hero. A short time later, Nathan gets Peter out of jail. Peter's health is visibly and quickly deteriorating for yet-unknown reasons. On their way out of the building, he passes out and has a vision in which he sees himself and the other main characters in a city street. In the vision, as Nathan walks up to him, Peter begins to explode. After recovering from the vision, Peter tries to explain it to Nathan, but falls into a coma.
Peter is comatose. In his comatose state, Peter continues to have the same vision, with a little variation. Eventually, a new face appears in his dreams. This man, a tall, bearded Englishman, is shown laughing. Another new scene indicates that Peter may be mimicking Ted Sprague's radioactive powers. Eventually, Peter wakes up, and decides that his next destination is "the desert". He makes travel plans, looking for a place where nuclear testing has been done. Las Vegas is recommended. As he's put on hold, he notices the Englishman from his dreams stealing from a purse. Peter confronts the man, who is shocked that someone can see him. The man, called Claude, tells Peter to leave him alone. However, Peter instead insists Claude teach him how to control his abilities. Claude declines, and again tells Peter to stop following him. Peter returns to his apartment to find Mohinder Suresh and Nathan there. Mohinder believes he can help Peter while Nathan is insistent that Peter not go running off again. To get away, Peter pretends to consider their help, then runs out the door. Mohinder and Nathan see an open window and assume Peter has flown out it; Peter is actually hiding invisibly with Claude. Claude agrees to train him.
The lessons commence in "Distractions". Claude tells Peter to separate himself from his loved ones. Peter fiercely disagrees, but Claude says that caring about people — particularly Nathan — is holding him back. Claude reminds Peter that he must learn to harness the powers he's previously mimicked intentionally and without their original users present. Claude tries to motivate Peter to do this by pushing him off a tall building and telling him to fly. Peter falls onto a taxicab and is fatally injured, but he survives by remembering Claire Bennet and mimicking her powers. Peter realizes that he does not need to push people out of his mind; he just needs to remember how those people made him feel to regain use of their abilities. He then starts to lose control thinking about too many people at once, so Claude knocks him unconscious.
In "Unexpected", Peter is shown to have more control over the abilities he has absorbed. During a sparring session with Claude, Peter uses telekinesis to shield himself from a blow, which puzzles Claude since none of Peter's acquaintances has that power. Peter surmises that he must have picked it up from the man in Texas. Later in the episode Mr. Bennet and the Haitian attack Peter and Claude due to Isaac's betrayal, so Peter stops their Taser darts in mid-air, then uses flight to save himself and Claude. After their escape, Claude blames Peter for bringing Bennet and Haitian after him, revealing that he has remained invisible in order to elude them, and leaves Peter on his own.
Peter then confronts Isaac about his betrayal but Isaac is adamant that what he was doing would save the world. Peter, however, concludes that jealousy motivated Isaac. When Isaac tries to shoot him, Peter becomes invisible. In a panic, Isaac demands that Peter reveal himself. When Simone lets herself in using her key, Isaac shoots her twice in the chest, mistaking her for Peter. Peter cradles Simone as he and Isaac both watch her die.
Peter goes to see Mohinder Suresh but Sylar attacks him upon arrival. Fighting him off, Peter becomes invisible, but Sylar foils the attempt at evasion by spraying glass shards everywhere, one of which strikes Peter in the back of the head, killing him. Suresh manages to knock Sylar out for a while and takes Peter's body to Nathan's home. Everyone believes him to be dead, but Claire, drawing from her own near death experience, finds and removes the glass from the back of Peter's head, allowing him to recover. At this time, Peter learns Claire is his niece, as she is the daughter of his brother, Nathan.
Believing that he will be the one to cause the catastrophe, he tries to convince Claire to stay, as her ability will allow her to get close enough to stop him from exploding. The moment Peter comes in range of Ted, Peter's hands begin to glow, but Peter barely manages to rein in the newly absorbed power. They decide to leave the city immediately and thwart the foreseen catastrophe, but the FBI captures Ted. Sylar attacks the transport vehicle carrying him and steals Ted's power, killing him. Realizing that Sylar now has Ted's power, Peter assumes that Sylar, not him, will cause the explosion.
Peter confronts Sylar face to face at Kirby Plaza in an attempt to stop him. Matt Parkman and Niki Sanders intervene as well, Peter managing to pick up Niki's enhanced strength. Hiro runs Sylar through with a sword. Peter discovers to his horror that he is unable to control Ted's ability and will in fact be the one to explode. Prompted by his daughter, Claire's, heartfelt words, Nathan arrives and averts the catastrophe by flying Peter high into the atmosphere where Peter explodes harmlessly. Immediately after the explosion, Peter regenerates, then saves his falling and badly burned brother.
After taking his brother to a hospital, Peter is apprehended by Bob and Elle and taken to a Company facility. Peter is told that the Company is developing a cure for his "disease," and that it would be best for him to stay in the facility until then. Peter, not willing to endanger any more lives after the near-miss at Kirby Plaza, readily agrees. Part of the treatment includes pills to suppress his powers, which Elle calls "Haitian pills."
Aside from dealing with an obviously smitten Elle, Peter leads an unremarkable life until he comes into contact with the inmate in the adjacent cell, Adam Monroe (who had been known as Takezo Kensei to Hiro Nakamura in feudal Japan). The four-hundred-year-old Adam insists that the Company has no interest in helping anyone. After Bob refuses to allow Peter to see his family, Peter comes around to Adam's point of view and covertly stops taking his medication. After five days, he is able to use his acquired phasing ability, to pass through the wall between his and Adam's cell. After the two finally meet face to face, they use the phasing ability to escape from the facility.
Fulfilling a promise he made to Peter, Adam goes with him to see his brother Nathan, who is still recovering from Peter's meltdown and explosion, in a Manhattan hospital. Mindful of his regenerative powers, Adam injects his blood into Nathan's IV, and the elder Petrelli's wounds begin to heal almost instantly. Knowing that Nathan's bedside would be the most logical place to find the pair, Adam urges Peter to flee quickly. They hurry, but Elle and the Haitian confront them. Adam tells Peter to meet him in a warehouse in Montreal, and the two split up. The Haitian pursues Peter and corners him in an empty container. Peter resists, but the Haitian tells him that he deserves a better life than one spent imprisoned by the Company. The Haitian says that Peter's mother helped him in his time of need, so he is returning the favor. Peter does not understand what sort of alternative the Haitian has in mind; the Haitian puts his necklace around Peter's neck, his hand on his forehead and erases his memory.
While Peter's family and friends mourn his death, a group of thugs led by Ricky McKenna find an amnesic Peter shirtless and handcuffed inside a cargo container at a port in Cork, Ireland. The thugs accuse Peter of stealing the cargo container's alleged contents, which they had intended to steal. After he and his henchmen beat him, Ricky is finally convinced that Peter is suffering from amnesia. He tells Peter his name and reveals that he has a box containing items (which were found on Peter's person) that will provide clues to Peter's former identity (credit cards, driver's license, etc.). However, Ricky will only hand over the box if Peter helps him and his gang with a job. Upon accepting and completing the job, helping the gang rob a gambling house, Peter earns the box but is initially unwilling to open it for fear that he might not like who he was before. Caitlin, Ricky's sister, encourages him to do so, stating that she believes him to be a good person. The two quickly form a romantic relationship.
In the episode "Fight or Flight", Peter experiences a sudden resurgence of his acquired precognition power and paints a picture of a street intersection in Montreal, specifically the intersection of Saint-Laurent and Boul. Saint-Jacques (spelled Boul. Saint-Jaque in the painting), with a building that appears to be La Cathedrale de Notre-Dame in the background. Peter is unaware of it, but this is the warehouse that Adam had told him to meet him at two weeks prior (Four Months Ago...). In "The Line", Peter and Caitlin travel there and find a note from Adam warning Peter about the Company. Peter accidentally jumps ahead in time with Caitlin to a desolate Times Square in New York City. A flyer on the ground, dated June 14, 2008, explains that Homeland Security had ordered an evacuation of the entire city.
In "Out of Time", Peter and Caitlin are captured and separated by a biohazard team in 2008. After being told he had already died, he meets his mother. His mother tells him that he is the one who can stop this future and save the world. When Peter sees Caitlin, they meet and briefly hold hands through the fence barricade separating them. Before he can help her escape, he unintentionally returns to the present, leaving Caitlin trapped in the future. Peter attempts to return to the future, without success. Someone enters the Montreal safehouse, startling Peter, who uses his acquired electricity power to attack the intruder. The person blocks the attack with his hand, which regenerates, and he reveals himself to be Adam Monroe. He curiously asks why Peter attacked him, and quickly discovers Peter's amnesia. He helps Peter restore his memories by encouraging him to use his acquired healing abilities to repair the damage to his mind. In "Truth & Consequences", Adam and Peter track down Victoria Pratt, who Adam says discovered the virus. Peter tells her he needs her help to save the future. When Victoria sees Adam, she shoots him and Peter, who both regenerate. Peter reads Victoria's mind to discover that the virus is at Primatech Paper in Texas. When Peter and Adam arrive at Primatech, time stops for everyone but Peter, a result of Hiro's powers. Hiro is shocked to find that Peter is working with Adam Monroe, then declares his intent to kill the man who killed his father. When Peter refuses to let Hiro pass, Hiro charges at him with his sword.
In "Powerless", Peter and Hiro fight in Primatech, though Hiro is ultimately knocked unconscious. Peter helps Adam Monroe break into the Primatech vault, but he is confronted once again, this time by a revived Hiro, Matt Parkman, and Peter's brother, Nathan. After a mental struggle with Matt, Peter is convinced by Nathan that Adam cannot be trusted. Peter turns to find that Adam had already slipped into the vault. Peter runs in to see the virus falling to the floor. He catches it with his acquired telekinesis power and destroys the virus radioactively. Together, Matt, Nathan and Peter decide to reveal what the Company has been doing. During a press conference, headed by Nathan, an unknown assassin shoots Nathan twice in the chest, preventing him from revealing his power. Peter tends to his brother as the crowd panics.
At the start of the third season, the shooter is revealed to be Peter Petrelli from four years in the future. In the future, those with abilities are hunted and killed, so Peter went back into the past to stop Nathan from revealing people with abilities. He seals the present Peter inside the body of Jesse Murphy, a prisoner of the Company.
Peter, still inside Jesse, is freed from imprisonment when Elle inadvertently disables the security system for the complex. Peter telephones Nathan in order to warn him about his future self, then follows the other escaped criminals in the hope of keeping them from hurting people. However, they quickly discover that Peter is not actually Jesse, and nearly kill him before Noah Bennet steps in. Peter discovers how to use Jesse's power (sound manipulation) and uses this to free Noah, but before he can finish, his future self removes him from Jesse and takes Peter to the future.
In the future, Peter learns about the spread of abilities through the use of the formula and the fate that awaits the world if it isn't stopped. Future Peter tells present Peter that Sylar's intuitive aptitude can help to understand the cause and effect of time travel, thereby enabling them to change history. However, future Peter is killed by Claire, who claims he is a terrorist, with the Haitian's presence preventing future Peter from healing. Peter flees and tracks down Mohinder for help, telepathically extracting the information he needs when Mohinder proves unwilling.
In Costa Verde, Peter finds Sylar has reassumed his former identity of Gabriel Gray, and is now raising a small child in Claire's former home. Sylar is reluctant to give Peter his ability, but in light of the fate that awaits the world, relents and teaches him how to use it, with the warning that he will also gain the hunger Sylar himself suffers from. Claire, Knox, and Daphne show up to kill Peter, and in the ensuing battle Sylar's son is killed. Enraged, Sylar loses control of his radiation ability, destroying Costa Verde.
Peter and Claire survive due to their regeneration powers and Claire takes Peter back to the base. While there, Claire, blaming Peter for the destruction caused by Sylar, begins to torture him with a scalpel in retribution, but is forced to leave when Nathan, now the President and married to Tracy Strauss, arrives to speak with Peter alone. Nathan attempts to reason with Peter, offering Peter the opportunity to read his mind to see if he's sincere. Peter nearly kills Nathan upon gaining a morbid curiosity of how Nathan's mind works due to Sylar's powers. Angry with himself, Peter stops short of killing Nathan and travels back to the present Level 5 to confront Sylar. Sylar recognizes that Peter suffers from his hunger and reveals that he is Peter's brother. Still angry, Peter snaps Sylar's neck and nearly kills his mother to get the truth out of her. Sylar regenerates and knocks him unconscious. Peter is then placed in a medically induced coma to keep him from harming anyone else.
In "Dying of the Light", Sylar revives Peter so he can help their comatose mother, only for Peter to decide to go to Pinehearst Industries after his failed attempts allow him to see the logo in her mind. Despite Sylar's attempts to stop him, Peter travels to Pinehearst, only to encounter his presumed dead father, Arthur Petrelli, who steals his abilities when they hug. Arthur holds Peter captive, intending to use him to further his plans. Peter manages to escape thanks to Sylar, who throws him out a seventh story window but slows his fall just enough that it doesn't kill him.
Having been rescued from Pinehearst by Claire, who had been visiting Pinehearst in hopes they could help her deal with her current power problems, Peter and Claire hide out in Peter's apartment, Peter revealing the truth of Arthur's survival to Nathan. When Knox and Flint attack his apartment to try and capture Claire, Peter and Claire flee, with Peter trying to convince Claire to leave so that she won't take the path that led to her killing his future self. Claire, however, refuses to leave, confronting Knox and Flint to buy Peter time to escape, only for Peter to turn the tables on them by tricking Flint into attacking him and igniting a broken gas main. Peter and Claire subsequently retreat to Primatech, where they are reunited with Matt, Daphne, Nathan, and the now revived Angela, the group vowing to defeat Arthur's plans to perfect the formula.
During the second eclipse, Peter travels with his brother to Haiti to find the Haitian, only for the Haitian to refuse to return without putting a stop to his half-brother, Level 5 escapee and Haitian warlord Baron Samedi. Seeing no choice, the Petrelli brothers vow to help him, only for Nathan to be captured. After Peter and the Haitian manage to infiltrate the village and rescue him, Peter stays behind to fight off Samedi's men, although in the end it is only the Haitian who can defeat his brother. Nathan, having come to the conclusion while captured that his father's plan of creating a superpowered army would help prevent situations like the one created by Baron Samedi, flies off to join Pinehearst, leaving Peter and the Haitian to make their own way home.
Having been told by Angela to kill Arthur, Peter travels with the Haitian to Pinehearst, only for Sylar to stop the bullet when he attempts to shoot Arthur. Using his new ability of lie detection, Sylar determines that Arthur is not his father and kills Arthur himself, although he leaves Peter alive due to his now powerless status. Knocking Nathan out in a subsequent confrontation, Peter proceeds to the lab, where he teams up with Flint and Knox to destroy the formula. As Flint prepares to ignite the whole place, Peter finds a vial of formula and, realizing it is the only way to save Nathan, who is trapped by the flames, injects himself and flies Nathan to safety. When Nathan asks Peter why he saved him, he notes that he will always love Nathan. Nathan flies away, admitting that he would have left Peter behind.
Now working as a paramedic following the battle with Pinehearst, Peter's new "normal life" ends when Claire calls him to reveal Nathan's government operation to capture people with abilities. Earlier, Claire had learned about this plan when she overheard a conversation between her father and grandmother, wherein Nathan reveals he wants Claire kept out of this entire operation and that he is planning to capture Peter and Matt next. Peter catches a cab, driven by Mohinder, with whom he has a brief discussion, after which Peter confronts Nathan, refusing to join his brother's plan and dodging his questions about what he is capable of now. When Peter refuses to join Nathan, Nathan subsequently captures his brother with the aid of Noah Bennet.
Peter is boarded onto Flight 195 with other captives, hooded, drugged and wearing jumpsuits, but is rescued by Claire, who was released by her father, Nathan, and given a free pass from this operation. However, despite Nathan sending Claire back home, Claire snuck onto the plane as a stowaway to free the captives. Peter tells Claire to force the pilots to land the plane, where Claire discovers her other father, Noah, is also involved with this operation. Meanwhile, Peter absorbs Mohinder's super strength to break his bonds and defeats the agents on the plane. However, Peter accidentally absorbs Tracy's freezing ability and shatters a wall of the plane when he turns it to ice, causing the plane to crash.
After the crash, Peter and Claire are caught by Noah. Claire convinces her father to let Peter go. While Claire remains under the protection of her two dads, Noah and Nathan, who release her again and they send her back home for a second time to live a "normal life," Peter desperately escapes and as he runs, he bumps into Tracy. They develop a plan and Tracy calls Nathan to negotiate a free pass by revealing she is with Peter. When they meet up, Tracy is captured but Peter copies Nathan's ability and flies away to rendezvous with the other escaped Heroes, quickly becoming the leader.
With Matt Parkman and Mohinder Suresh, they abduct Noah to learn more about Nathan's plans. However, after a close encounter with the Hunter's men, resulting in Mohinder being captured and a confrontation in which Nathan persuades him not to shoot the Hunter, Peter is left with further questions when a painting by Matt Parkman seems to show him involved in an explosion that will destroy Washington D.C. After receiving a tip from the mysterious "Rebel" about the still-alive Daphne's location, Matt and Peter break into Building 26 using, after Peter absorbs Matt's power, their shared ability to control people's minds.
While in Building 26, Peter determines that Daphne is not in the building, and then copies a video file pointed out to him by Rebel of the "fugitives" being put onto the transport plane. However, Peter and Matt don't both make it out of the building, as Matt allows himself to be captured to allow Peter to escape. Peter calls Nathan to arrange a trade - he won't release the video to the media if Matt and Daphne are released to him. Nathan agrees, and they arrange to meet. At that time, Noah Bennet shows up to take him into custody, as expressed verbally, but he silently by way of Peter's telepathy warns him of the sniper rifle trained on him. The operation's ruthless hunter, Danko, fires at Peter and Peter falls off the building, only to be caught and flown away by Nathan. The brothers gather and discuss the incident and the government's operation. Peter pretends to make nice with Nathan and then reabsorbs Nathan's ability while hugging him, subsequently fleeing and apparently passing the tape on to the media. Peter later returns to rescue his mother after Danko orders his men to take her prisoner, as Danko has seized control of the operation from Nathan. He flies into an elevator shaft to stage a rescue and retreats to the statue of liberty where they decide what to do next. Peter brings Angela to a church. Angela tells Peter she and Arthur were married in the church. Soon Danko's agents come inside the church looking for him and Angela. They hide in a confessional. Angela apologizes to Peter and makes amends with her son, despite the danger of being heard by the soldiers, now under Danko's command. Noah Bennet appears to hear them but covers for Angela and Peter by telling the agents that all is clear. Later Angela tells Peter after a dream that they need to find her sister and reunite with the rest of their family, Nathan and Claire, who are currently in Mexico where Nathan is working to keep Claire safe from Danko and his former operation. Their family reunites at Coyote Sands, with Angela, Peter, Nathan, Claire, and later Noah, all coming together to plan their next step. Angela, Noah, Nathan and Claire agree to Peter's plan that they all come together as a family, with Peter explaining that they are stronger together because they are a family.
Later, Peter and Nathan go after Sylar to stop him from shaking the President's hand and shapeshifting into him. The plan is to get Peter close enough to touch Sylar and absorb his shapeshifting powers, since Peter can only hold onto to one power at the moment. Peter and Nathan convince one of the President's aides and an old friend of Nathan's to allow them to do this. The two battle it out with Sylar, but Nathan flies out a window with Sylar, battling in the air while Peter is unable to follow because he managed to absorb the power of shapeshifting from Sylar (losing Flight as a result). Then Nathan crashed into a hotel room, as Sylar follows after and uses his ability and makes a quick slice to Nathan's throat bleeding him out, killing him. It then cuts to Peter, disguised as the President, who meets with Sylar, who is disguised as an adviser, in a limo as the Secret Service escorts the President from the hotel. Sylar is able to shake the presidents hand but finds he cannot shapeshift into him because it's Peter. This allows Peter to inject Sylar with a tranquilizer, knocking him out. He takes Sylar to Noah, Angela, and Matt. Peter is sent with Claire to look for Nathan so Noah and Angela can keep him and Claire unaware of Nathan's death at the hands of Sylar. With Matt's help, Noah and Angela cover up Nathan's death by shape-shifiting Sylar into Nathan's form and filling Sylar with Nathan's memories and personality traits. Along with the rest of his family, Peter witnesses the burning of what is apparently Sylar's body, with only himself and Claire unaware of the truth as they watch the fire consume "Sylar."
Six weeks later, Peter has returned to his job as a paramedic. Using the enhanced strength and reflexes he obtained from Mohinder, Peter is always the first one on the scene of an accident, and he saves many lives. Outside of work, however, Peter shuts himself out from his family and doesn't contact them. He also begins a mural of newspaper clippings of people he has saved.
In "Orientation", Noah visits Peter asking for help with a mysterious man who has superhuman speed and uses knives, who is searching for a key that Noah now has. Peter is intrigued by the speed power, and comes along. At a safe deposit box, they use the key and find an old compass. The knife man, Edgar, ambushes them. Peter manages to take Edgar's power and they fight in super speed. Edgar is surprised at how well Peter is fighting him, and retreats. Peter then leaves Noah, saying that he got what he came for (the power) but then later, he finds that Edgar returned, badly hurt Noah and took the compass. Peter rushes Noah to the hospital and later uses his speed to bring him chowder from Boston.
In "Ink", Peter prepares to go to work when he is delivered a notice that he is being sued by one of the people he saved. Peter goes to the hospital, where he asks for the man's information from Emma, and notices that he doesn't have her headphones plugged in to anything. Peter goes to meet the man, who is actually Samuel Sullivan. Peter is suspicious as he doesn't remember Samuel being at the accident in question, and thinks he just wants some of the Petrelli's money. Talking later with his partner Hesam, Peter finds out that some people believe that Peter himself has been causing the accidents, trying to get some glory for himself by saving people. Samuel later breaks into Peter's apartment and uses his ability over ink to insert a picture of himself into the newspaper clipping of the accident, which Peter sees. Peter goes to Samuel and apologizes for injuring him and not believing him about the crash. Samuel is pleased with Peter. He says that he will drop the suit, and shakes Peter's hand. Peter later observes Emma playing beautifully on a cello, and watches her as she runs away afterward. Later, Peter and his partner go to the site of a sinkhole that destroyed a house and killed three people. As Peter looks on, his arm starts to hurt, and he sees a new compass tattoo, spinning wildly.
Later, in "Acceptance", Peter goes to visit Noah and ask him about the compass tattoo, but finds that the tattoo has vanished. Peter leaves after sharing a brief reunion with his niece, Claire. At work, "Nathan" comes to visit Peter, and demonstrates his "new" abilities. Peter is surprised, but thinks Nathan is just taking after their late father, who also had multiple abilities.
In the graphic novel "Amanda's Journey, Part 1: When Everything Changed", Peter attends the call of a fire in New England, and there he meets Amanda while assisting her injured aunt Carol. Once in the hospital, Amanda runs into him again, but this time her ability makes all around her to burn. Peter uses his super speed to rush into safety and then approaches Amanda and makes her feel she is not a freak and she is not alone in this world. Ultimately, he convinces her to trust in her family, so she decides to find her mother, Lydia.
In "Hysterical Blindness", Peter tries to reconnect with his family, inviting his mother and Nathan to eat with him. Only his mother shows up, and throughout the entire visit she worries about "Nathan's" whereabouts. Peter, frustrated with her, leaves for work. On his way there, he saves Emma from being run over by a bus, and accidentally absorbs her ability to see sounds as color. At the hospital, Peter and Emma watch the color that emits from a children's choir, and both realize that they can see the same thing. Peter explains about himself and people with abilities to a stunned Emma, who initially thinks she has misread his lips. After playing a duet together on a piano, Peter asks Emma out for lunch the next day, saying it would be good for her to get out of the file room. Offended at this, Emma declines. Later that day, Peter is surprised when Hiro teleports into his apartment and collapses.
In "Tabula Rasa", Peter is already in the hospital keeping an eye on a passed out Hiro. When he wakes up, Peter tries to explain his condition but Hiro already knows it, a brain tumor is killing him, and tells Peter he is out to right the wrongs and help others, but Peter tells him he must be there so he can help Hiro instead, and then he mimics Hiro's ability. In his way out, Emma confronts him about her ability, which she wants to turn off; Peter finally tells her Hiro is the one that can help her understand powers, which she remains skeptical about, but Peter teleports out in that moment. He then appears at Noah's apartment and tells Claire and Noah about Hiro's brain tumor and the fact he needs Noah to find a healer for him. Claire offers her blood to heal him but Noah explains that it will accelerate its growth. Finally he and Noah teleport to Cainan, GA, to find a healer, Jeremy Greer, but they noticed several things dead around his house, and inside it are the corpses of his parents; Noah tells Peter that Jeremy would probably take life as well as he can give it. After avoiding Jeremy's shoots, Noah tells Peter to split while he talks to Jeremy. When Peter teleports in front of Jeremy, he shoots Peter and the time-freezing can't stop it at time. Noah then helps Jeremy face his fear to kill another person so he is able to heal Peter's wound. Once he mimicked Jeremy's ability, Peter goes to New York leaving Noah with the kid. Back in the hospital, he finds Emma who explains Hiro disappeared, and then finds the note "Save Charlie" which Hiro stated as part of his bucket list.
In "Shadowboxing", Peter is shown constantly using the healing ability mimicked from Jeremy to stabilize dying patients at accident sites and the ER. The abuse of this power starts to drain Peter's energy making him dizzy and weak. Emma notices this and ask him to stop; Peter asks her if she would use her medical skills to help the ER, making her reconsider her life as a doctor. Once back in his apartment, Nathan shows up asking for his help.
In "Brother's Keeper", the Haitian gives Peter the address of a storage facility, advising him to go there alone because the truth could be too much for him to bear. Despite this, Peter goes there with "Nathan", and they find Nathan's corpse. To find the truth, they visit the comatose Matt Parkman. Peter heals him so they can get some answers, but this revives Sylar, who jumps from Matt's consciousness into his own body. However, "Nathan" is still in control, and flies away with Peter to avoid the police.
In "Thanksgiving", Angela arrives Peter's apartment bringing Peter and Nathan the Thanksgiving dinner. After the servants are gone, both Peter and Nathan questions Angela about Nathan's death. Angela tries to deny it but the brothers get insistent so she threatens them to disappear from their lives if they continue asking; they stop and eat dinner. Later, Sylar gets the control of his body, subduing Peter and Angela at the chairs while he eats pie. Peter tries to stop him, but he can't reach Nathan inside Sylar's head. Once he starts scalping Angela, her pain makes Nathan fight back to take the control. After, Nathan takes control and flees, with Peter in pursuit.
In "The Fifth Stage", Angela tells Peter that for Nathan to be entirely gone, Sylar must be killed. However, Peter refuses to accept this, so he calls the Haitian, to obtain his power. In the building's elevator, a nurse turns out to be Sylar, making Peter run. Sylar follows him and gets trapped by Peter's newly obtained ability suppression. After fighting with their fists, Peter overcomes Sylar, and nails his hands and legs to the floor, asking him to bring Nathan back. Ultimately, Nathan retakes control and Peter lets him heal. Nathan still feels lost, so Peter takes him to the rooftop from which he once jumped, hoping it will help Nathan who is losing control to Sylar again. Unfortunately, Nathan jumps with the intent to kill himself. Peter manages to grab Nathan's hand, but in the end they both come to the conclusion that it is Nathan's time. Nathan tells Peter how proud he is of him and to watch over Angela and Claire for him. Peter lets him go and watches as a weeping Nathan falls. Midway through the fall, Nathan changes into Sylar, who hits a car at the street, then regenerates and leaves. Peter returns home and embraces his mother while grieving Nathan's death.
In "Upon This Rock", Peter calls Claire to inform her of Nathan's death. Later, at Nathan's funeral Peter eulogizes Nathan, telling everyone about how Nathan was like a father to him when his own father wasn't around. Having received the messages about Nathan's death from Peter and her father, Noah, Claire is devastated by the news of her father's death and attends Nathan's funeral, listening to Peter's eulogy.
In "Let It Bleed", Peter is at Nathan's wake and experiences much difficulty dealing with everyone's sympathies. He ducks into the kitchen with Claire in order to get away from it all. Peter and Claire have familial moments in sharing stories about Nathan. While Claire grieves her father, expressing her devastation and anger over Nathan's death, Peter avoids his own anguish and anger over the loss of his brother, struggling with his grief. When Claire cuts her hand and it bleeds, due to Peter accidentally suppressing her powers, Claire tells him to keep doing it so she can feel physical pain for the first time in a long time. Later, after hearing about a hostage situation, Peter heads to the office building where it is taking place. When a concerned Angela implores her grand-daughter to find Peter and help him cope, Claire follows Peter and tries to help but Peter knocks out a police officer with his power. He leaves Claire to tend to a wounded employee while he faces off with the shooting. Initially, he appears to convince the man to give up, but the man shoots him in the shoulder before Peter overpowers him. Later on, in the ambulance, Peter convinces Claire to allow him to copy her regeneration power and he regenerates from his wound. He decides to keep Claire's power and use it to keep finding people to stop in order to keep his mind off of Nathan's death. Claire eventually convinces him of the futility of this and she calls West Rosen so he can copy his flight ability, presumably as a way of remembering Nathan. After copying flight again, Peter flies off.
In "Close to You, Peter is thought to be the perfect new leader of the Carnival by Lydia as Samuel himself said that Peter could be "the next Joseph." Lydia makes the compass tattoo reappear on Peter's arm and he wakes up. Later, Peter is drawn to Emma's apartment by her new-found ability to call people to her using her power and cello. There he is shocked to see the compass on the cello and compares it to the compass tattoo Lydia made reappear on his arm. The two go to Peter's apartment where Emma identifies the man Peter thought was named as William Hooper as Samuel Sullivan, using the newspaper clipping that Samuel had altered. Angela shows up and Peter introduces her to Emma. Angela is clearly shocked to see Emma, and after Emma leaves, Peter demands an explanation, asking his mother to tell him the truth for once. Angela reluctantly reveals that she had a prophetic dream that reveals that Emma will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and that Peter can't save her. Realizing she means someone else can and not getting any more answers out of his mother, Peter copies her ability in order to see for himself. Before leaving, Angela warns him that dreaming the future is a curse, not a gift. Later that night, Peter has a prophetic dream about Emma. In the dream, Emma is playing the cello crying while people scream in the background, presumably dying. As the dream ends, Sylar shows up and offers Emma his help, saying he's there to save her. As a result of the dream, Peter goes to Emma's apartment and destroys her cello, causing her to angrily order him out.
In "The Art of Deception, Peter has the dream about Emma and Sylar again, but this time it shows that Eric Doyle is controlling her actions. Peter is later invited over to his mother's apartment where she asks for his help with figuring out what to put on Nathan's tombstone. Peter, knowing from his prophetic dream that Sylar is the only hope to save Emma, asks Angela where Sylar is. Though reluctant, Angela tells him and Peter travels to LA to Matt Parkman's home where Sylar is located. Upon arriving, Peter copies Matt's power of telepathy and reads his mind, learning that Sylar is indeed at the house. After learning that Sylar was trapped in a nightmare by Matt and that Matt has trapped him behind a wall, Peter travels into the basement and uses his copied telepathy to enter Sylar's mind to try to free him despite Matt's warnings that he may become trapped too. In Sylar's mind, Peter finds himself on an empty city street and calls out for Sylar and Matt.
In "The Wall", Peter eventually attracts Sylar's attention and tells him he's only been trapped for three hours not three years as Sylar believes. Eventually the two discover a massive wall that is exactly the same as the one in Matt's basement that forms Sylar's prison. When Peter brings himself to a point that he can forgive Sylar for killing Nathan the wall starts to crumble as the two continue to beat on it. Peter wakes up and Sylar uses his telekinesis to free himself. Peter and Sylar head off to save Emma, but the two are blocked by Eli and surrounded by his clones.
In "Brave New World", Peter and Sylar quickly and easily defeat Eli and knock him out, saving Matt as he was about to be killed by his clones. Matt is furious Peter released Sylar from his nightmare and Peter tries to get Matt to read Eli's mind to learn Samuel's plans. As Matt is too mad to, Peter reads Eli's mind himself and learns that Samuel plans to kill thousands of people in Central Park that night and tries to leave with Sylar who is stopped by Matt. Peter tries to convince Matt that Sylar has changed and Sylar has Matt read his mind to try to tell, but Matt can't although he lets them go. Peter, having presumably reaqcuired the ability of flight from Sylar, flies with Sylar to the Carnival where Peter heads to stop Samuel while Sylar heads off to save Emma. Peter uses flight to tackle Samuel off-stage while he's trying to kill everyone, breaking Samuel's concentration and stopping him. Peter copies Samuel's terrakinesis and battles him, his copied powers boosted like Samuel's is by the presence of other specials. Peter and Samuel fight to a draw, but Peter holds him off long enough for Hiro to teleport everyone else away, which strips Samuel and Peter's extra power from the presence of the other specials and renders Samuel practically powerless. Samuel tries to physically attack Peter, but Peter blocks him, punches him in the face, and throws him on stage before watching Samuel race out into the empty Carnival and fall to his knees in despair.
Peter is not shown or mentioned with in the series. Peter's status as of now is completely unknown. But in the eBook "Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World", which takes place between the events of Heroes and Heroes:Reborn", Peter has created the Petrelli Movement to aid and smuggle evos out of cities and away from the government and primarily to stand against the Evo Regulation Act. Some of the Petrelli Movements key members included Sylar, Claire Bennet (Briefly), Claude Rains, Mohinder Suresh (Briefly) and Micah Sanders. Peter has copied various abilities throughout the time skip and currently hold Invisibility from Claude to stay in hiding once the Petelli Movement got exposed by a captured evo. Micah has carried this movement into Heroes:Reborn currently becoming the leader.
In the alternate future of "Five Years Gone", it is revealed that Peter was the bomb that destroyed New York City. The rest of the world believes that it was Sylar who had exploded. In this alternate future, Peter resides in Las Vegas with Niki Sanders, with whom he is now romantically involved. He has a very prominent scar across his face, although it is never revealed how he acquired it. When he rescues Ando and "future Hiro" from Matt Parkman, he stops time and teleports them both away, subsequently telling Ando what happened to him after the explosion. He subsequently aids Hiro in infiltrating the building where his past self is being held captive, only to be confronted by Sylar, who reveals that he has been posing as Nathan for an undefined amount of time. Furiously denying Sylar's claims that Nathan betrayed the Heroes before Sylar replaced him, Peter and Sylar clash, Hiro and Ando returning to their original time as their battle shakes the building. This version of Peter has also gained a variety of powers, including pyrokinesis, enhanced strength and speed, and electric manipulation, though the latter two are only seen within the official graphic novels. In addition, this version of Peter Petrelli is the most powerful iteration of him as he has the widest array of abilities as well precise control over them as well as balanced frame of mind.
In the alternate future of "The Second Coming", Peter (with the same scar across his face as the "Five Years Gone" timeline) is running from something and enters a warehouse, where he encounters a black haired, much darker Claire, armed with a handgun, obviously planning to kill him. Peter tries to reason with her, but Claire merely says "I'm sorry, Peter. I always loved you," and fires. Peter stops time just as she does so, avoids the bullet, takes the gun out of her hand, and then teleports into the past and shoots Nathan. He possesses at least two abilities the present Peter does not have: a form of illusion casting to make himself look like present Peter and a form of body possession to hide his younger self in the body of Level 5 inmate Jesse Murphy, with Peter's being the dominant consciousness. After realizing that his actions have triggered a "butterfly effect" that he cannot predict- including Sylar taking Claire's power and the breakout at Level 5-, this Peter "extracts" his younger self from Jesse's body, taking him to the future to explain his actions. Future Peter subsequently tells his past self to find Sylar, whose power of intuitive aptitude will allow Peter to predict the long term consequences of his time traveling actions, before he is shot dead by Future Claire, the presence of the Haitian negating his ability to heal.
Jason La Padura, the casting director for Heroes, stated that the character of Peter Petrelli was the hardest to cast due to conflicts regarding the Petrelli brothers' ages. La Padura states the Petrelli brothers were originally written to be twins, and it became obvious in the production process that in order to have correct dynamic between the two characters, Peter had to be the younger brother. Milo Ventimiglia's role as Peter was one of the last to be cast and the most difficult. Greg Grunberg originally auditioned for the role of Peter Petrelli, but instead landed the role of Matt Parkman.
Powers & Abilities
Peter's original ability is to mimic the powers of others, acquiring powers simply by being near someone. Peter is eventually stripped of his abilities by his father Arthur Petrelli, before later regaining a modified form of this ability called ability replication through the formula.
Series creator Tim Kring stated that Peter's original ability is "based on his empathy and his ability to connect with people." As well, Claude refers to Peter as empathic. According to Dr. Suresh, Peter's DNA automatically resequences itself to mimic the abilities of those around him. At first, Peter could only mimic powers while in close proximity to their source, but then learned how to recall previously mimicked powers with greater and greater ease with the help of Claude. Angela Petrelli describes Peter as being "the most powerful of us all".
During a confrontation with his father in "Dying of the Light", Peter is stripped of his empathic mimicry as well as every ability he had previously absorbed.
Prior to his confrontation with his father, Peter used the following abilities, not including powers used by future incarnations of himself:
Precognition (expressed through visual art)
|Regenerative Healing Factor|
Abilities Exposed To
Other evolved humans had been within Peter's proximity, exposing him to their abilities. However, Peter never exhibited these abilities:
|Ability absorption||"Dying of the Light"|
In the mid-season finale, "Dual", he injects himself with a power granting formula and gains a new, more limited mimicry ability called ability replication. He is once again able to mimic others' powers, but now he requires physical contact to do so, and can only retain one ability at a time, losing the previous power each time he gains a new one. Heroes producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete said in an interview that, "Peter is still trying to get a handle on his powers. Just like during the first season, it’s going to take him some time to get a handle on these powers." By the time of the episode "Cold Wars", he has gained enough control over his mimicry that he can touch people without taking on their powers if he wants to.