Before Josh Segarra Played Lovable Himbos, He Was Arrow’s Scariest Villain

Josh Segarra's villainous turn in Arrow shows how wide the Abbott Elementary actor's range really is.

Josh Segarra as Adrian Chase and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow
Photo: Diyah Pera | The CW

This article contains spoilers through season 5 of Arrow.

When most people think of actor Josh Segarra, they likely think of the lovable himbos he’s become known for. From Lance in The Other Two to Pug in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law to Manny in Abbott Elementary, and even Danny in Scream VI, Segarra’s recent roles may not all be the sharpest tools in the shed, but there’s no denying that they’re all kind and loyal at their core. But before Segarra became known for playing these appealing dudes, he took a turn as Arrow’s scariest villain.

Adrian Chase a.k.a. Prometheus certainly wasn’t the first man to seek revenge on Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) for things he did in the past, nor was he the first to push Oliver to his physical limits. But for all of the other formidable villains that came before – Deathstroke, Malcolm Merlyn, Ra’s Al Ghul, Damien Darhk – none others came close to achieving the level of physical and psychological torment on Oliver that Prometheus did.

In season 5, Adrian Chase worked alongside Oliver as his District Attorney after Oliver was elected to be Star City’s mayor. After struggling with the burden of cleaning up the city as the Green Arrow mostly on his own, he is finally learning how to let people help him both in his role as mayor and as a vigilante. He’s learning how to trust people again and accepting that he doesn’t have to do everything by himself.

Ad – content continues below

This makes Chase’s infiltration all the more insidious, and where Segarra’s kindhearted personality truly comes into play. Up until the big reveal in episode 15, it’s not hard to believe that Chase is a good guy who truly wants to help Oliver clean up the city. Because of his name, many comic fans theorized that he was the slightly antagonistic antihero Vigilante, whose alias is Adrian Chase in the comics, but even then the reveal that he was actually the big bad Prometheus was a surprise.

Chase, whose real name was Simon Morrison, spent years crafting the perfect revenge plan after Oliver killed his father as The Hood in his first year as a vigilante. Chase’s plan began by taunting Oliver, using his alias Prometheus to kill civilians whose names formed anagrams of the people on The List Oliver acquired from his father and the source of his first crusade to save the city. He then began working to discredit Oliver’s work as the Green Arrow and all of the good he had done for the city.

Ultimately, after his true identity became known, Chase escalated things even further. He tortured Oliver trying to force him to confess that he enjoyed killing people, going so far as to pretend to snap the neck of a former ally, Evelyn, to try and break Oliver.

His final plan involved kidnapping everyone Oliver cares about, including his son William, and taking them to Lian Yu. Rigged with explosives and a kill switch linked to his beating heart, Chase planned to goad Oliver into killing him, and therefore killing everyone he loves. When that didn’t work, Chase killed himself just to make sure his plan didn’t fail.

Oliver has dealt with plenty of villains with a vengeance over Arrow’s eight seasons, but none with quite the same impact as Adrian Chase. So many of the show’s other villains are scary because they are more powerful than Oliver, have armies of goons behind them, and are willing to cross lines that Oliver isn’t, but few match Chase’s insidiousness.

Adrian Chase may not be as physically intimidating as Ra’s Al Ghul or Deathstroke, or have the mystical powers of Damien Darhk, but his scariness stems from something deeper. Aside from maybe Malcolm, who Oliver grew up knowing, Chase is the only villain that Oliver didn’t see coming until it was almost too late. And even then, the Oliver that faced off against Malcolm Merlyn is a different person than the Oliver that Chase decides to take on.

Ad – content continues below

Instead of getting revenge immediately, Chase trains with the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul and waits until Oliver is at a vulnerable place. The other villains enact their plans of domination and control without much regard for Oliver’s mental state, but that seems to be at the core of Chase’s. Chase also doesn’t care about taking over Star City or obtaining more power – all he really wants in the end is to hurt Oliver even worse than Oliver hurt him.

The total 180 that Segarra does personality-wise to portray Chase after the audience and Oliver learn of his true intentions prove that he has the range to play more villainous characters. If anything, this role makes him perfect for horror movies like Scream VI, where you don’t know who to trust until the very end.

Don’t get me wrong, Segarra should absolutely continue to play all of the lovable himbos he can, but he shouldn’t be pigeonholed into only playing these roles for the rest of his career either. Seven years later, and Adrian Chase still remains one of his best roles – I haven’t forgotten the chills I felt seeing his villainous turn in Arrow for the first time. Hopefully Segarra will get another chance to play the villain soon, because everyone deserves to see how wide his range really is.