Arrow 5×15 “Fighting Fire with Fire” finally unmasked Prometheus. We look at why it’s such a good twist and what it means for the series.
Warning: If you have not watched Arrow 5×15 “Fighting Fire with Fire” and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now!
In a surprise mid-episode reveal, “Fighting Fire with Fire” revealed that Prometheus is someone we know and that Oliver has come to trust. Prometheus was revealed to be…
Adrian Chase. The district attorney.
Why this was a great reveal
Those viewers with comic book knowledge were aware that Adrian Chase is Vigilante in the comics. Introducing Vigilante in the same season as Adrian Chase was an effective red herring for Prometheus’s real identity. After all, Chase would have been an obvious choice to be Prometheus since he was a new character in the hero’s sphere (see Julian being Alchemy on The Flash) — except for the Vigilante connection.
There was strong setup for Chase to be Vigilante as well, as it seemed as though he was coming to the realization that he couldn’t always get justice as the D.A.
However, things started getting confusing when Vigilante targeted Oliver for his apparent corruption. Why would Vigilante, if he were Chase, do this since Chase was the one to suggest the cover-up of Billy Malone’s murder in the first place? Things started clicking into place when Prometheus defeated Vigilante in a fight and then revealed himself to be Chase.
Showrunner Wendy Mericle told reporters that this was exactly the plan: “One of the reasons we did do it was because everybody would be thinking, ‘Of course he’s going to be Vigilante.’ 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.”
Does it even make sense?
If we start looking back at some of Chase’s actions this season, they do make sense in terms of Prometheus’s plot. Helping Diggle get out of prison, for example, earned him goodwill from both men, which will only make the reveal of his true identity more shocking.
Trying to cover up Billy’s murder could have led to a number of situations, all of which would have worked in his favor. After the leak of the cover-up (and I would bet Chase did the leaking), Oliver had limited choices.
Chase knew Oliver wouldn’t let him take the fall, which meant Oliver either had to take the fall himself (and thus be impeached), smear Billy (which would both be a lie and hurt Felicity) or smear the Green Arrow (and thus make himself public enemy number one). No matter the route Oliver took, Prometheus would have hurt Oliver in some way.
Oliver choosing to throw his alter ego under the bus will now make his work as the Green Arrow harder. And it will make defeating Prometheus more difficult. If the Green Arrow were to take down Chase as Prometheus, there would be public doubt as to whether Chase was truly a villain or if he had been set up like Billy Malone.
And so on. The fact that he was shot in “Spectre of the Gun” also took our suspicions off of him since we wouldn’t expect Prometheus to be shot so easily. But he’s not a metahuman, and things happen that even the most arduous planners don’t account for.
What does it mean?
At this point, Chase has earned Oliver’s trust — which is not easily done. He even called Oliver a friend in the previous episode. And while the audience is aware of Chase’s dual identity, Team Arrow isn’t. That will definitely lead to some serious drama.
“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,” says Mericle.
“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.”
Adds Josh Segarra, who plays Chase, “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 [Oliver]. 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.”
At the end of “Fighting Fire with Fire,” we saw Chase confronting Susan Williams, who was on shaky ground with Oliver after she discovered he’s the Green Arrow and Felicity and Thea framed her for plagiarism. As for how this move plays out, Segarra says, “He’s moving pieces that he knows Oliver’s not going to be able to catch up with and I think that Susan is a very, very important piece of that puzzle.
“Susan is a very, very important piece and a very good move in the big chess game that’s going on. And then to get to see that relationship, how it develops between the two, because … Susan may feel betrayed by Oliver, so it’s interesting to see how Chase will try to let’s say navigate those waters, how he can get to his next move.”
Arrow returns with a new episode on Wednesday, March 15.