The following fan theories are about Emile Danko.
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|Danko originally had abilities, but had a bad experience with other posthumans and ultimately had his abilities stolen by Arthur Petrelli.
||The conversation between Noah Bennet and Danko, where Danko tells Bennet to not "presume to know anything about [him]". (Cold Wars)
||+ It would explain who Arthur got his telepathy from.|
- • Arthur experimented on people with the formula (notably Nathan and the triplets and the elephant man). He could have easily taken powers from his test subjects.
+ He seems to have a motivation to work against people with abilities that is beyond a strong belief.
+ Angela talks like she knows Danko, so he may be an old acquaintance of the Petrelli family.
- - If he was an acquaintance, Nathan would know or remember him.
- • He hired nobody other than Danko for his operation, suggesting a prior favoritism. (Cold Wars)
- • Danko seemed to have been assigned for the operation by the US government.
- • Nathan had no idea about anything Arthur and Angela were up to. He couldn't even tell that Linderman was more than a client. It's easily possible that lesser relations were never seen by Nathan at all.
+ Angela pointed out that Danko was the only one who survived an incident in Angola. He got nervous and left.
- Danko regarded specials as subhuman at best. If he used to be one, that level of hatred would probably be impossible to develop.
- Danko underestimated the specials on a few occasions. If he had once wielded power himself, it seems unlikely that he would do so.
- • Matt tried to shoot Sylar at the end of How to Stop an Exploding Man, clearly underestimating Sylar's capacity to stop bullets. Just because one has an ability doesn't mean they understand (or are even aware of) any others, especially if they are unrelated.
|Danko's family or one of his loved ones was killed by an evolved human.
||+ This could be the reason why he hates the evolved human so much.|
+ Danko has no known family, and even has to create a false one for Alena. (Turn and Face the Strange)
|Danko hates the evolved humans because one of them rescued him in the Angola incident, but let the others die.
||Angela states in Shades of Gray that she knows about Angola and wonders how Danko managed to survive.
||• This would resemble "I, Robot", where the main character hates robots for the similar reason.|
+ Danko appears to be emotionally upheaved when his agents are slaughtered by James Martin, and even opens a manhunt in vengeance. (Into Asylum)
- Angela was more likely implying that Danko killed Angolan citizens and fabricated the "tragedy" to explain a) How he survived and b) To cover up his role in the atrocity.
|Danko was at Coyote Sands, and witnessed the deadly storm that wiped out the camp.
||• If he knew that a special was capable of wiping out an entire camp, he could probably gain a serious hate for them.|
+ This would explain the remarkable coincidence of Building 26 sharing the exact same name as the shack where specials were experimented on in the Coyote Sands camp.
- • The similar named buildings could simple be a story telling technique to emphasize the connection between what Chandra Suresh was doing and what Nathan Petrelli tried to do.
- Angela implies the Company eventually killed or brainwashed everyone involved with the Coyote Sands camp to hide the existence of evolved humans.
- + The Company's overall competence is somewhat questionable, given their track record with Sylar.
- • Sylar is the most powerful evolved human the Company has ever gone up against. Their track record before he surfaced is fairly good (on-screen they've only ever been seen failing to catch Nathan, Claude and Peter; Nathan most likely due to him being Angela's son, and Claude and Peter due to Peter being just about as powerful as Sylar at that point).
- • Sylar is proven to be a master escapist: he got away from Matt Parkman and Audrey Hanson in One Giant Leap, from Audrey again in Turning Point, from the police in Road Kill, from Mohinder Suresh in Parasite, from Candice in Kindred, from the Citizen Border Patrol in The Line, from Elle in Powerless, from Noah Bennet in The Eclipse, Part 2 (albeit Noah found him again thanks to Elle), from DHS Agents in A Clear and Present Danger and Building 26, from Emile Danko in Into Asylum, and from his father in Shades of Gray.
- Danko doesn't seem to be old enough to have been to Coyote Sands (or anywhere) in 1961, which is 46 years before the current timeline.
- + He could have been a small child at the time. Zeljko Ivanek is 52 years old, if Danko is the same age he would have been six years old during the incident. Childhood trauma shaping a character's actions later in life seems to be a recurring theme in the show. His young age at the time could also explain how Angela and the others missed him when eliminating all witnesses to the events at Coyote Sands.
- - Unless he was a detainee (which would not make sense, as he has been confirmed not to be an evolved human) there is no reason for a small child to be at Coyote Sands, a military-run concentration camp.
- + He may have been the son or nephew of a soldier, officer, or service personnel at the camp, visiting them at the time of the incident.
|Danko will be resurrected and return.
||Noah noted that Edgar did not try to kill him and his body was not visibly decapitated.
||+ He's a popular character who will anger viewers not to see him again.|
- - If writer wrote characters in and out just because they're popular, many more people wouldn't like it.
- Even if he wasn't killed, he would not have received medical attention until hours later. He would have bled to death if he was just injured.
- There is no purpose to bringing back Danko. That storyline has played out, so the character was killed off.
+ He may very well return in a flashback episode (as several other Killed Off For Real characters have), if only to explain his connection to the Sullivan Brothers Carnival and the compass, and also possibly reveal the source of his massive grudge against evolved humans.
- • It's easier to show in a graphic novel.
- • Danko's so-called grudge against evolved humans is no great mystery. He is terrified of people having that kind of destructive potential (a perfectly rational response). As Danko has shown himself to be an extremist, he didn't distinguish between people with harmless abilities and destructive ones.
|Danko has had some past experience with evolved humans, probably of a negative nature, prior to the events of Fugitives.
||+ In Cold Wars, when Bennet states that he successfully hid the existence of evolved humans from men like Danko for twenty years, Danko coolly replies that Bennet should not presume to know anything about him.|
- - Danko was a very secretive man, and most likely did not appreciate Noah making assumptions about him.