Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
Prometheus’ identity was revealed during Wednesday’s episode of Arrow — and the twist hit very close to home for Oliver.
After news leaked that Oliver (Stephen Amell) helped cover up the circumstances behind Billy Malone’s (Tyler Ritter) death, the Star City mayor was targeted for corruption by Vigilante. After all his hard work, though, Prometheus couldn’t let that happen, going toe-to-toe with Vigilante, leading to the reveal that — shocker! — Adrian Chase is not under the Vigilante mask, as is his comic book counterpart, but Chase is actually Prometheus!
“Yes, we have a used the comic mythos to misdirect people, straight up,” Amell tells EW. “Although Vigilante does exist and he is somebody, Chase is Prometheus.”
Using the character’s comic book history against the audience was a plan the producers had actually decided pretty early on. As executive producer Marc Guggenheim explains: “We knew we were going to do Vigilante this year, we knew who the character of Prometheus was, we knew that the character of Prometheus was the son of one of Oliver’s early kills in season 1, we knew that he was going to be someone who was going to indoctrinate himself into Oliver’s good graces in the mayor’s office and eventually betray him. One morning, I was getting out of the shower and it occurred to me that if we called this character Adrian Chase, and we made him a district attorney, everyone would be so focused on when he becomes Vigilante that they wouldn’t be expecting that he really was Prometheus.”
For his part, Amell lauds the reveal, praising the work that Josh Segarra has done in the ensuing episodes. “A) you figure it’s going to take Oliver longer than it takes him to figure it out, but b) you figure once that reveal happens, Chase is essentially going to go into hiding and only show himself as Prometheus, which in fact he does the exact opposite,” Amell says. “He keeps up with his regular life as the district attorney because there is nothing that Oliver can do. It’s a full checkmate situation, and Josh has just been a rock star since that reveal. He’s been fantastic.”
Suffice it to say, Oliver is not going to handle the fact that he let the season’s big bad into his inner circle very well. “It’s going to be hard,” Guggenheim says. “It’s going to be harder than other big bads we’ve had because this is sort of the first time we’ve really played this personal relationship and being betrayed by someone that he had trusted. It’s very, very hard for Oliver.”
Though Oliver is determined to make Chase pay, that proves difficult because of Prometheus’ abduction of Oliver’s estranged girlfriend, Susan Williams (Carly Pope). “When he initially finds out,” Amell says, “it’s just very simple — ‘The first chance that I get, I’m going to kill you’ — and to this Adrian basically laughs, because Adrian has a full checkmate over his head — he has someone that Oliver cares about and if Oliver kills Chase, then that person dies.”
The question remains what Wednesday’s other big moment means for the Emerald Archer. Facing impeachment, Oliver was forced to denounce the Green Arrow, making him Public Enemy No. 1. “This really gets into what I think certain people have been waiting for, which is, ‘What is Prometheus’ plan?'” Amell says. “It really is in an incredibly cerebral and thoughtful way to make Oliver destroy himself from the inside out, but not so that he perishes from the Earth, so that eventually he can have a realization.”
The intersection of Oliver’s life as mayor and as the Emerald Archer comes as the show has really leaned into what Oliver’s legacy has wrought. “It’s a very traditional superhero trope — the superhero who has to separate themselves from their secret identity,” Guggenheim says. “With Arrow, we always say we don’t tend to spend a lot of story time on Oliver’s dual identity, but I think when we went into the season knowing that Oliver was going to be the mayor, we really wanted to play with that. We wanted to play with, what’s it like to be the mayor of a city that depends on a vigilante for the city’s safety? That places Oliver in a very interesting position.”
“In terms of the city trying to impeach Oliver and Oliver having to essentially throw the Green Arrow under the bus,” Amell adds, “as an actor, I’ve always really enjoyed the duality in those speeches and saying stuff through gritted teeth, but not really being able to show it is always a lot of fun.”
Oliver being the most hunted man in town also leaves Team Arrow’s existence in question. “It’s not going to be good,” Guggenheim says. “I will say that if the arc of this year is about Oliver putting together this new team, his lowest points, sort of the end of the second act of the drama, would certainly require us to threaten significantly that new team.”
However, a confluence of other events may render that point moot as Oliver faces even greater threats in the buildup to Prometheus’ ultimate plan. “He disavows the Green Arrow at the end of [season 5, episode 15] and then everything hits a total s— storm before we even get the main title credit at the beginning of 5-16,” Amell reveals. “Absolutely everything gets thrown for a loop. Through 5-16 and into 5-18, it’s a very strange arc for Oliver where we haven’t really yet had a chance to examine the way that the Green Arrow, and by extension the team, is going to be able to function.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.