First of all, let's have a quick and dirty list of (semi) major characters who died (or is presumed dead) in Season 3. Feel free to holler if I miss anyone:
Nathan Petrelli: The most shocking death of last season for sure. Killed by Sylar in the season finale. However, his memories reside in a shape-shifted Sylar that Matt Parkman has thought-pushed into believing he is Nathan.
Arthur Petrelli: Peter pulled the trigger with help from the Haitian, but Sylar sunk the bullet. Of course, he's been "dead" before and we know he has Adam Monroe's regeneration ability.
Knox: Killed by Tracy Strauss.
Flint Gordon: Died in the Pinehearst explosion.
Meredith Gordon: Died in the Primatech fire indirectly caused by Sylar from an adrenaline injection given to Meredith. However, Eric Doyle survived the fire, so who knows.
Adam Monroe: Killed by Arthur Petrelli.
Maury Parkman Killed by Arthur Petrelli.
Usutu: Killed by Arthur Petrelli, however he stills appears to Matt Parkman from time to time.
Bob Bishop: Killed by Sylar.
Elle Bishop: Killed by Sylar.
Daphne Millbrook: Shot by agents and later died.
Major Plot Lines & Power/Ability Developments
- As mentioned above, and the most important going into Season 4, Nathan Petrelli is dead, but his memories are housed in the body of Sylar who is shape-shifted to look like Nathan and been forced to believe he is Nathan by Matt Parkman. The only people privvy to this development are Parkman, Angela Petrelli, and Noah Bennet.
-Angela Petrelli, Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman, and Bob Bishop all met at a government relocation facility in 1961 called Coyote Sands. We find out that Deveaux was a telepath. Angela is now the only one still living. It was also revealed that Chandra Suresh worked at Coyote Sands, along with Dr. Zimmerman. We discover in an earlier episode that Angela has precog dreams and can even enter other people's dreams. Angela's sister Alice still lives at Coyote Sands in a bunker and can control the weather.
- We discover that Angela poisoned her husband upon learning that he had conspired with Linderman to kill Nathan, the automobile accident in which his wife was paralyzed and he ultimately learned he could fly.
- Ando gained a power, artificially from a formula injection, that can "supercharge" other people's abilities and that he can project as a beam from his hands.
- Matt Parkman, Jr. - Parkman's infant son - can activate and deactivate seemingly any sort of object, including people's abilities.
- Peter restored his ability to mimic powers with an injection of the formula. He can only borrow one at a time, though, and must touch the person with the power. He was last seen borrowing shape-shifting to impersonate the President and capture Sylar.
- We discover that Flint and Meredith are siblings, though it's unclear what implications, if any, there are of this other than mere coinicidence. It's also uncertain if Flint knows that Claire is his niece, especially since he's working with Knox for Arthur Petrelli to capture her.
- Micah Sanders is "Rebel" and helping people with powers to elude and escape government persecution. Tracy Strauss allowed herself to be bait to catch Rebel, but upon discovering it is Micah, her long-lost nephew, she helps him escape, in what appears at the time to be a supreme sacrifice.
- Tracy Strauss is still alive and out for revenge. Her ability to freeze things apparently extends to the ability to manipulate water and take its form. She is one of a set of triplets, her sisters being the deceased Nikki and the unknown Barbara. They were given their abilities artificially in DNA manipulation experiments conducted by Dr. Zimmerman. This would make her Micah Sander's aunt. She knows this, but Micah does not.
- Mohinder Suresh has the ability of super strength, initially given by an injection of his own making that nearly mutated him to death, but was corrected by an injection of the proper formula.
-The formula which can give people powers required a catalyst which was housed in Claire Bennet. Hiro and Claire travelled back in time to discover that the catalyst was originally housed in his mother. Hiro convinces his dying mother to give him the catalyst, which Arthur Petrelli subsequently steals along with Hiro's powers. It is presumed that the catalyst was lost with Arthur Petrelli when Sylar killed him.
- Hiro partially gained back his ability to stop time, when Matt Parkman's baby "activated" it. However it's apparently causing his brain to hemmorhage. Hiro discovers that, as with teleportation/time travel, whoever he is touching when he stops time is unaffected.
- Sylar's current list of abilties: healing, lie detection, shape shifting, psychometry, psychokinesis, electrical generation, vocal sonic waves, alchemy, the ability to vibrate objects until they disintegrate by snapping his fingers (a weird ability with no easy way to describe it). With his shape shifting ability, he has moved the "sweet spot" in his head that can kill him, to a new location. It's also discovered that he can acquire abilities without murdering his targets as he did with Elle's electrical ability, but he prefers to open their skulls the old fashioned way.
- Sylar discovers that his biological father murdered his mother and sold him to his uncle. He hunts down his father to discover he has powers and is dying of cancer.
- While holding one of Nathan's jackets, Sylar's psychometric ability reveals that Nathan has betrayed everyone, but he doesn't elaborate.
- The Petrellis and Bennets, with funding from the U.S. government, are reforming The Company.
- It's apparent that faux Nathan still has Sylar's qualities when he notices that a clock in his office is running a minutue and a half fast.
1) Unless I've missed something, Sylar can't fly and he didn't steal Nathan's ability when killing him. I would think that that would be difficult to explain to faux Nathan when he discovers he can't fly. Plus all those other abilities of Sylar should manifest themselves, instantly, in fact: the tingling when someone lies, knowing the history of things when he touches them. I just don't see how Angela and Noah could think this was a good idea. I understand the need to obtain the funding from the government since Bob Bishop's endless gold supply was lost, but considering how powerful and evil Sylar is, it seems like an extraordinary risk.
2) In Volume 3 during the eclipse, when Mohinder thought he was cured (and powerless), he immediately escaped Pinehearst with the intention of seeing Maya. But when he was truly cured (and still with powers), he makes no effort to go see her at all.
3) With Sylar incapacitated as faux Nathan, Peter's mimicry limited, and Hiro handicapped - Parkman is arguably the most powerful character. His mastery of his powers is nearing that of his father's. He effortlessly pushes thoughts and is becoming adept at altering people's perspective of reality. We find out that he can compel people to relive past memories so that Parkman can view them as he did with Noah Bennett. And after his spirit walk with Usutu, he can produce precog visual art like Isaac Mendez.
4) I was surprised, and saddened, that they killed Daphne. It was a neat ability and a fun character. I didn't really buy the whole Parkman/Daphne love story, but she was great when she interacted with Ando/Hiro.
5) Will Danko be part of the new Company or will he be an outside force to contend with trying to undermine and expose it?