'Heroes' Aftergasm: Why Would Danko Team Up with Sylar?
'Heroes' Aftergasm: Why Would Danko Team Up with Sylar?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Last night on Heroes, we followed three unlikely duos: Peter and Angela sought peace in a NYC cathedral, Nathan and Claire bonded over tequila in Mexico, and Danko and Sylar tracked a shifty shape-shifter who used his power “to screw with people… or to just screw people.” But is this new development of Heroes’ two biggest hunters, government agent Danko and serial killer Sylar, now working together (while terrifying and titillating, indeed) actually plausible? Is Danko really so hell-bent on rounding up and killing all the Heroes, because he knows how “dangerous” they are, that he is willing to set aside his convictions to work alongside the most dangerous one of all?

In a word: yes. (At least the writers certainly want us to believe so.) But why?

On the surface, it’s clear that Danko really wants—and needs—a win for his operation, especially after so many agents killed, and so few Heroes successfully detained. It may be that, faced with the stark truth that he doesn’t have the resources or the power to accomplish this on his own, Danko finally came around to HRG’s philosophy that succeeded for so many years with the Company: “One of us, one of them.” And Sylar, as “one of them,” can be very convincing. His attempts to woo Danko certainly weren’t met with disgust, and Sylar proved he was helpful in capturing others with abilities before Danko even knew who was helping him. But if Danko’s endgame really is to diffuse the threat to America, why would he help Sylar become even more powerful in the process?

It all seems to tie back to Danko’s cryptic past of battling insurgent forces for the military “from Havana to Kabul.” When HRG brought up this history, Danko denied any memory or knowledge of tactics in which he “co-opted the native population.” Danko could simply be hiding a shameful history of underhanded methods and unsavory outcomes from his apparently lengthy resume of doing government dirty work—work that seems to have been accomplished through the very same methods that HRG was advocating: “working with the enemy,” applying “focused manipulation,” using the native population as “assets,” et cetera. If those tactics worked before, Danko is suspiciously reluctant to embrace his victories, and recreate this working strategy.

In “Shades of Gray,” when Angela cited an “incident” in Angola with massive civilian casualties, saying she was surprised Danko even survived the event, the mention was enough of an implicit threat that Danko got up and immediately left their meeting. This went beyond shame for a mistake to genuine fear of exposure. Whatever Danko did in the past to get the job done, he wants to keep it buried. But he is still not above using underhanded or cruel means to seek his ends: pushing Nathan out a window, letting Tracy escape (and kill a man) to show she is a threat, or strapping a bomb to Matt Parkman to make him look like a terrorist. If he’s so open and unapologetic about these tactics, what could he possibly have done in Angola that is unspeakable? What is he hiding?

I don’t have any of the answers, but I hope we soon find out, because right now, while exciting, Danko’s end of the bargain with Sylar is missing some pieces. Ten minutes into the episode, the agent is diametrically opposed to the “One of us, one of them” mantra, and by the end, he’s flashing malicious smiles at his partner about wiping out all the other Heroes, making Sylar the only one left. Does he have a backstabbing plan up his sleeve, or does he truly believe that, once Sylar’s usefulness has run out, that The Hunter will still be able to overpower the only one left, the most powerful Hero of all?

Of course, it will never get to that point (we hope!), but—if given the chance, would Danko let it?

Read the Recap: Heroes Episode 3.21 "Into Asylum"

-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of NBC