Warning: This Arrow review contains MAJOR spoilers forthe latest episode.
We finally know the identity of the mysterious Prometheus. The Arrowseason five villain was unmasked (at least to the viewers) in the middle of tonight’s episode. Prometheus is Adrian Chase, the seemingly benevolent District Attorney and friend to Oliver Queen.
What does this reveal mean for Arrowmoving forward? We talked to Arrowshowrunner Wendy Mericle and Prometheus himself Josh Segarra about how the Prometheus arc has been subtly shaped and what to expect next from Prometheus. Here’s what they told us…
Why is Adrian Chase Prometheus instead of Vigilante?
When Adrian Chase was first introduced to the Arrow-verse, it was under the guise of Vigilante — aka the alter ego Chase has in the comics. Now, we know that he is actually the much Bigger Bad. Why did the Arrowcreators decide to make Adrian Chase Prometheus instead? Mericle told us:
One of the reasons we did do it was because everybody would be thinking, ‘Of course he’s going to be Vigilante.’ Of course Adrian Chase is Vigilante in the comic books as you pointed out and we thought it would be a really fun twist to do what we’ve always done on the show which is to take the comic book mythology and turn it on its head and see what kind of story we can mine from a surprise like that.
It was also something different for this season. We wanted to change up how we introduced the Big Bad and change up when we did it, how we did it, and hopefully we succeeded in that this year.
Mericle also spoke about what it was like to virtually create a brand new Big Bad for Arrow. Though Prometheus exists in the comic book canon, he is completely different from the Adrian Chase version. Therefore, Arrowhad a lot of freedom in creating their Prometheus. Mericle elaborated:
One of the things we talked a lot about was American Psycho. We talked about, who are the big manipulators? People like Hannibal Lector and Kevin Spacey’s character in The Usual Suspects and also in Seven.
We talked a lot about those types of villains and how to bring that element into the series, because we were looking for something different to do in Season 5, a way to change it up and make it different from the usual kind of… The comic book characters are great, and they usually do end up in sort of a physical duel. We really wanted this to be different and have Adrian Chase and Prometheus be somebody who is manipulating and torturing Oliver, more psychologically than anything else.
Why reveal Prometheus now?
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the Prometheus reveal is the timing. Arrowcould have unmasked the villain at the beginning of the season, in the midseason finale, or in the season’s finale episode — all of which are much more traditional choices. Instead, we get the moment in Episode 15. Mericle explained the logic behind the timing, saying:
There are certain moments in the season where you obviously want to build to. We could have done it in 5×09, we could have done it even later in 5×18. But I think we try, as much as possible, we try to let the stories dictate when these big reveals happen. It just felt right here, and it just felt right also to do it in the middle of the episode, and that also, I think, played against expectations in a good way.
How long will it be until Team Arrow finds out Prometheus’ identity?
The Prometheus reveal still has some legs, as Team Arrow remains in the dark about the villain’s true identity. We’re about to enter the territory of Dramatic Irony, people. Strap in.
How long will it be before Oliver & co. find out? Though it seems like Team Arrow might find out in the very next episode, given the promo, Mericle told us:
When Oliver and the team do find out — which will happen later in the season, obviously it will happen somewhere after this episode and before the finale — I think one of the fun parts about what we’ve done is to really allow us to live with that reveal for a while and seeing the characters not knowing what their lives are like, still continuing to interact with Adrian Chase in City Hall and elsewhere without knowing his real identity. We really like the idea of doing that in story, and we’re going to play around with that for a little while before we let Oliver and the team find out.
That being said, it is an episode that the production has already filmed, given that Segarra knows how Oliver will react to the reveal. Segarra teased of the eventual big moment:
We’re not going to leave it to the end of the season. We’re going to get to watch it all stir, and we’re going to get to watch the pot get stirred a little bit. It’s hard because I already know how he reacts, and I love the way it goes.
You’re going to see Chase just kind of trying to burn the world around him. We’ve seen the reluctance [in] him to kill him. I never want to kill him. It’s just to make sure that we can make him stir a little bit, make him uncomfortable. So I think that’s where it’s going. Once they do find out, it’s how then to continue with my mission. I know how that goes, but you’ll have to see. [Laughs]
Playing Adrian Chase as Prometheus.
Josh Segarra gave us some insight into his acting decisions re: Adrian Chase, saying:
You can’t come out the gate as Adrian Chase as this like pissed off killer, right? This tortured soul. You can’t come out of the gates like that. So, I remember, at first, some of my close buddies who are the only ones I let talk to me like this, were like, ‘Yo, man, What are you doing up there, bro? Why are you smiling so much?’ And I remember just being like, ‘Ah, that’s good.’ Because I wanted to start somewhere.
So, with Chase, there was that part where you had to see him getting close to Oliver, you had to show why they trusted each other. You wanna make sure you do that within the confines which you’re given, which, in our case, in this form of art, it’s the episodes. So, each episode, I wanted to make sure to establish that this guy does get close to Oliver. Oliver does let him in, you know, and Oliver doesn’t let many people in. And you had to show why he earns Oliver’s respect, and that’s what I wanted to make sure of on the Chase side.
Will we learn more about Prometheus/Adrian Chase’s motivations?
The best part of the Prometheus reveal is that it will give the show a chance to more deeply explore Adrian/Prometheus’ motivations. Why does Adrian want to see Oliver suffer so much? How did Justin Claybourne’s death affect him? What is his plan? Now that Arrowcan show Prometheus without his mask off, will we get to understand — and, perhaps, even sympathize with — him a little bit? “I hope so!” said Mericle, adding:
Historically, we’ve always striven to have the villain be the hero of their own story and to really kind of get underneath the reasons why they are what they are and do what they do. Adrian Chase is no exception. We will get a lot more sense going forward, I think, of why he has become so evil, why he’s so bent on revenge.
That being said, don’t expect for the flashbacks to start telling Adrian’s story. Mericle said they don’t have any plans for Prometheus flashbacks at this point, but that it was a consideration…
We did toy with that because it’s a really great story idea. It’s something we definitely thought about. I think we ultimately felt the need that we could get what we needed to get out of his character and understanding of his character in the present-day story, specifically in his relationship to his interactions with Oliver.
What’s next for Prometheus?
Adrian is really taking his time in his plan to torture Oliver. What’s next in the Big Bad’s plan to slowly drive the Green Arrow crazy?
The closer you get into Oliver’s – the further he gets into Oliver’s head, the closer he gets into getting his confidence and getting his trust. Obviously one of the ways to do that is by gaining the trust and confidence of the people that Oliver cares about. So, it was definitely part of his long-term game, and it will – those chickens will definitely come home to roost by the end of the season.
Segarra hinted that, now we know Adrian is Prometheus, we might see some changes in Adrian’s behavior…
The best part with that Chase side is that, finally, now you get to see that turn. And I’ve been saying this whole time, I’ve been waiting to kind of pop that top off this can and I’m excited because now we’re starting to get to open that can a little bit. We’re starting to open that top a little bit. And next week, you start to see that top come off a little bit, and I’m very excited for you guys to see it. I’m very, very excited.
Be afraid, Team Arrow. Be very afraid.