Like most long-running shows, The CW’s Arrow has had its ups and downs throughout the course of its first four seasons. Kicking off what viewers now know to be a fully functioning DC TV Universe, the series offered a new take on Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his life as a crime-fighting vigilante known as the Green Arrow that fans hadn’t really seen before, neither in the comics or in his previous, limited live-action incarnations. And with its current fifth season, Arrow has changed up the game in some major ways, introducing multiple new heroes and villains faster than it ever has before. At the center of it all too, is the mysterious new villain, Prometheus.
Not much is known about the character as of yet, other than the fact that he’s basically learned and copied all of Oliver’s fighting and archery skills, and walks around wearing what looks like a twisted version of the Green Arrow costume. The Arrow creative execs have previously teased that he’s a result of Oliver’s murderous actions in the show’s first season, but other than that, Prometheus’ identity and backstory has remained clouded in a dark veil of mystery.
From the way he handles himself and orchestrates his actions, though, it’s clear that Prometheus is much more cold-blooded and tactical than perhaps any of Oliver’s previous foes. Speaking with ScreenerTV recently, co-showrunner and executive producer Wendy Mericle talked about where the idea for Prometheus’ role in the season came from, and who his more well-known film inspirations actually are:
“One of the things we talked a lot about was ‘American Psycho.’ We talked about who are the big manipulators? People like Hannibal Lecter 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.”
In a way, these inspirations have been fairly clear to see from the second that fans really got to see what Prometheus was up to. His actions were especially reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter or Se7en‘s John Doe in the midseason finale, where he single-handedly manipulated Oliver into accidentally killing Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) boyfriend at the time.
In a show where Oliver has faced off against a fairly varied lineup of villains — from Malcolm Merlyn, Ra’s al Ghul, Deathstroke, to the mystical Damien Darhk — a character inspired by those kinds of characters is an immediately interesting way to throw yet another unique villain at Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow. Already, through his patience and ability to infiltrate even the most trusted of the Team Arrow members, Prometheus has proven to be a villain hellbent on making Oliver pay for his past sins. So far, he’s done a pretty good job at completing that mission. Now, all that’s left to be seen is just how far he’s going to go to try and break Oliver, Felicity, and everyone else he deems worthy of vengeance.
Arrow season 5 continues next Wednesday with ‘Fighting Fire With Fire’ @8pm on The CW.