‘Arrow’ (Season 5): The Prometheus Twist

After months of teasing and speculation, Arrow pulled a masterfully planned fast one on viewers by revealing the identity of Prometheus as District Attorney Adrian Chase. Though such a reveal would’ve been painfully obvious in any other season – one usually only needs to look to a show’s newest characters for likely Big Bad suspects – a mix of playing off comic book origins and intentionally misleading clues along the way kept the reveal a surprising one. And it’s all thanks to the presence of the other masked thorn in Oliver Queen’s side, Vigilante.

Because the comics, as well as the show, would lead a viewer to believe that Chase had to be Vigilante. A DA that takes a hardnose approach to crime beyond even Oliver’s? One that enters the show right around the same time as the crook-killing Vigilante? Throw in plenty of misdirects and the fact that in the comics, Adrian Chase is Vigilante, and all the build up for a major betrayal by one of Ollie’s allies was there.

But things went in a different, much more interesting direction, by revealing that Chase wasn’t the forgettable Vigilante after all, but the season’s major villain Prometheus. It made for a great moment as the two foes battled it out on a Star City rooftop, and leaves the show with one of its best villains since Slade Wilson.

The question, then, is who Vigilante really is, as well as the question of if that even matters anymore. The list of suspects for either role was always short, and removing Chase from the running leaves us with slim pickings indeed. The only other major new characters this season are Susan in the present and Talia in the past, neither of whom seem to fit the body type of Vigilante. Captain Pike, meanwhile, has been as present on the show as ever in a background capacity, but would he really make sense? Heck, I was even suspecting Curtis’ soon-to-be ex-husband Paul at the end of the most recent episode?

Again, though, does it even matter who Vigilante is? At this point, a generic Star City citizen looking to fight crime might be all that’s needed, the possibility that Vigilante was only ever around as a red herring seeming more plausible by the week. Simply put, with no immediately obvious suspects left, does the show need to waste much time on this character as the battle with Prometheus begins to ramp up? Perhaps the show still has some big twist in store for Vigilante, but if not, no big loss; he’s already offered a far more exciting moment than I’d have ever expected from the character.