Sylvia Parker is an orphaned teenage girl, whose mother was killed by the Thistle Man before the start of the series. She is brave and seems to be impulsive. She has a southern accent.
Sylvia Parker Sr.
Sylvia was named after her mother, Sylvia Parker Sr., and as a child she never though much about being named after her mother. " Folks don’t think twice if a man names a son after himself, or even if all the men in the family have the same name for generations. But a woman names daughter after herself and everyone gets so confused." as Sylvia once told Keisha. When she got a bit older, she noticed that this wasn't a common practice and got defensive over it, eventually, as a teenager, demanding to be called Skip instead. After her mother's dead however, she went back to Sylvia, understanding her mother more after her death.
Before meeting Keisha, Sylvia would occasionally travel with her mother, Sylvia Parker Sr. for Sylvia Sr.'s work. One day, the two of them stopped at a gas station in East Fishkill, New York at night. Before they got out of the car, Sylvia saw two figures on the ground, one of them twitching, and under her breath, she drew her mother's attention to the situation. Her mother told her to hide in the station, and got out of the car to confront the person attacking the other person. The attacker, a Thistle Man, dropped the body and turned to Sylvia Sr., attacking her. Sylvia, watching nearby, screamed and drew his attention to her. As Sylvia Sr. fell, an Oracle that appeared nearby caught her as she fell, and Sylvia Sr. saw something within the hood of the Oracle that shocked her, before she died. The Thistle Man picked up Sylvia and examined her "like a parent looking at a child", and before he could attack, the Oracle grabbed him, making him drop Sylvia, dismembered him, and left with Sylvia, hiding her in a safe spot across the street. Sylvia spent a couple of years thinking this person had helped the Thistle Man kill her mother until she and Keisha saw surveillance footage from the gas station.
Life Alone and Investigating Her Mother's Murder
Sylvia returned to her home state of Georgia for a time, being moved from place to place, presumably though foster care, where no one would believe her story about what happened to her mother. Eventually she ventured out on her own, travelling the country, looking for clues to who killed her mother and how to fight them. She met many people who had been affected by the Thistle Men along the way, and learned tricks such as using heather oil to defer them as the oil hurts them.
After hitting dead end after dead end, eventually one police officer took sympathy with her, Officer Campbell back in Georgia, and told her via e-mail, that he would give her what he had on her mom's case and potential leads if she met him at a specific gas station outside his jurisdiction. She encountered Keisha on the side of a highway, under one of the billboards Alice rented out in an attempt to get Keisha to go home. Figuring out correctly that Keisha was another person dealing with the Thistle Men and asked to hitch a ride with her. She convinces Keisha to take her to the gas station to meet the cop, but when they arrive, Campbell was no where to be seen, and the gas station attendant was clearly terrified. After persuasion from Keisha, he nods to the back, or the creek behind the station, and the two go outside to discover Campbell's police cruiser, empty, and with blood stains on the seats. Frustrated, Sylvia decides she is going to try and break into the police station Campbell worked at to get the files, as they weren't in the cruiser. After a bit of an argument, Keisha agrees to, at the least, drive Sylvia to the town, but as she watches Sylvia walk away, her conscious gets the better of her and she agrees to help Sylvia with the break in. After a tense break in, where Keisha retrieved the files and Sylvia provided a distraction for the people in the building, they go over the files, and are initially distressed, thinking there was nothing actually there. Then they find a list of places and Vector H, and realize Campbell had been working on the case as well. Keisha tells her she'll go to the last place on the list to spare Sylvia, an idea Sylvia does not like at first.
Keisha drives her to an undisclosed hotel where Sylvia holes up for awhile so that the Thistle Men can't find her. Some time later, Keisha tells her to run, as the Thistle Men know where she is, and Sylvia escapes just in time before a Thistle Man came to the hotel room to get her. She eventually meets up with Keisha once again, and asks her for help. After a strange encounter with a location-moving diner and a pair of siblings, they arrive at the Duchess County Sheriff's department and talk to a receptionist who looks up the case, reads the computer and then tells the two to go to the diner down the street, clearly wanting to tell them something but unable to do it at the department. She meets them there and gives them the box of evidence and paperwork surrounding the case, and tells them not everyone in the police department is complacent with the control the Thistle Men have over law enforcement, or, at the very least, not her. They take the box and discover a VHS of the surveillance footage from the night of her mother's murder. Finding a TV /VHS player combo at a pawn shop, they check into a hotel, set up the TV, and watch the tape. They watch the tape in horror, seeing the murder play out, Sylvia screaming as her mom is attacked, the mysterious figure (An Oracle.) cradling her mom and then saving Sylvia. Upset but just as determined as ever, Sylvia tells Keisha she is going to go find that Oracle, presumably to thank them and ask more questions, and the two part ways, Sylvia finally understanding what happened that night.
After Keisha and Alice team up, they encounter Sylvia once again when she shows up after a call for people to come help fight Thistle and Bay and Creek. She tells the two that she did indeed go looking for the Oracles, but that, just as they had found, the Oracles only appear when they want to and cannot be 'discovered'. No matter how many roadside stops she went to, she couldn't just 'stumble' upon them, they appeared to her and talked to her when they felt the need to, and that sent her on a different, more spiritual quest. She would meditate for hours on end in an effort to understand them and her own thoughts and thought processes, of which she came to realize were similar to her own. After awhile she began to realize that the Oracles were more of a cause than a solid thing, and that while she believed she couldn't help them herself, she could help in their fight, so she came to Keisha to help her. A short amount of time passes, and Sylvia shows up one day at Keisha and Alice's hotel room, looking ill. She tells Keisha she feels weird, before collapsing to the ground and saying "I understand." over and over, and Keisha says, in the narrative, that she too finally understood. Keisha cradles her head and takes her hand as she 'transforms', with Sylvia lamenting that she had a short life, but at least now she can " live it forever". Her form begins to blur, and she reappears as an Oracle, her face, for a minute, still visible under her hoodie. She tells Keisha, as a way of telling her this wasn't her fault, that she chose this pathway, she chose it and embraces it, before her face disappears and the darkness of the Oracles under the hoodies appears.
Notes, trivia and behind the scenes info
- She seems to be from Georgia.
- She went to therapy for her mother's death.
- She shares the same name as her mother.
- She, at some point, supposedly between season 1 and season 2, meets with Keisha in Los Angeles after hearing about a secret meeting of the higher ups in Thistle that is supposed to take place somewhere in the county. They search for a couple of days for the meeting place, and while Sylvia is asleep, Keisha goes to the meeting, having been told of the location by a friend, where she encounters a trap set up by the Thistle Men in order to feed on several people. She runs away, and goes back to the truck where Sylvia sleeps, before falling asleep. The next morning the two talk, Sylvia knowing Keisha went somewhere, and Keisha lies and says she found nothing. The two leave Los Angeles and Keisha drops her off somewhere around the Oregon/California border.
- Sylvia is probably the first Oracle Keisha encounters at the Fremont Troll statue. She later sees the Oracle in the video footage of Sylvia Parker Sr.'s murder, and again at the Crystal Springs Truck Stop. Keisha mentions that the Oracle at the Truck Stop smelled like heather oil, something Sylvia uses regularly to keep Thistle Men at bay.
- In the novel, she went by the name Ace instead of Skip