We are only one week away from the season finale of Arrow and what a finale it is going to be! After two lackluster seasons that saw fans lose interest in the show, Season 5 returned to the gritty, street-level crime fighting that we haven't seen much of since Season 2, and it has put #Arrow back on track after the mystical Seasons 3 and 4. Much of the success that this season of Arrow has had can be attributed to the main villain of the season: #Prometheus.
The Big Bad of Arrow's fifth season has been 10 steps ahead of Oliver and his team throughout the whole season, and the culmination of his ultimate goal — to destroy Oliver — is finally coming to fruition. With this in mind, let's dig a little deeper and discover why Adrian Chase, a.k.a. Prometheus, is the best villain in the history of Arrow (specifically, the show, not the Arrowverse as a whole).
4. His Motivations
Chase's motivations are really quite simple when it comes down to it: revenge. Chase's father, Justin Claybourne, was a corrupt businessman who was taken down by The Hood and whose son, Simon Morrison, then swore vengeance against the man who had killed his father. Morrison became Adrian Chase, nearly completely erasing his old life and trained under Talia al Ghul, Oliver Queen's former teacher.
It's almost startling to realize that Chase's motivations are so simple, especially considering the lengths he goes to to bring down the #GreenArrow. It's an example of a simple origin and simple motivations done well. His reasons for bringing down Oliver are quite straightforward, just as Deathstroke's were in Season 2. However, Chase takes it further than Slade Wilson and succeeds in a way that Slade never did: He broke Oliver. While it may have only been temporary, Chase made Oliver shut down Team Arrow and admit that he enjoyed killing, something that no other villain on Arrow has ever done.
3. The Plan To Break Oliver
Unlike every other villain on Arrow, Adrian Chase isn't interested in destroying Star City. The only thing he is interested in destroying is Oliver Queen, and proving to both Oliver and those he loves that he is a danger to all those he comes into conflict with.
Chase has shown himself to be a formidable enemy, not because of the physical threat he poses (we'll get to that in a moment), but because of the mind games that he plays. Chase has studied Oliver and the Green Arrow ever since the death of his father and knows Oliver better than he knows himself. Not only does he know the identity of the Green Arrow, but he also knows the identity of the other members of Team Arrow and those outside the team who assist them. He has knowledge of Star Labs, The Flash and his team, as well as the Legends of Tomorrow. Not only did he bust Black Siren out of Star Labs to mess with Team Arrow, he was also aware that Sara, Laurel's sister, was traveling through time and tells Black Siren to use that as an explanation to get into Team Arrow's circle of trust (although that didn't last very long either).
Because of what he knows, Chase is the most dangerous opponent that Oliver and his team have ever encountered. The only other villain to come close to messing with Oliver was the aforementioned Slade Wilson, but Chase makes Slade look like an amateur.
Chase successfully earns Oliver's trust, working as the District Attorney of Star City, helping clean up the streets and doing Oliver a personal favor by exonerating John Diggle and assisted in the cover up of Billy Malone's death (a death that Chase himself was responsible for). Chase also turns Evelyn Sharp, a.k.a. Artemis, kidnaps Susan Williams, kills his own wife to keep his identity secret and then captures Oliver, torturing him into confessing that he enjoyed killing before letting him go.
The details of Chase's plan are too intricate to mention here, but the small summary above shows how brutal he is and the lengths that he will go to to defeat Oliver. While other Arrow villains have all had some sort of psychological advantage over Oliver, none have quite had the advantage Chase has, and none have known Oliver as well as Chase. In some ways, Chase has become a better Dark Archer than Merlyn.
2. Fighting The Green Arrow
Unlike other villains Oliver has encountered, Prometheus hasn't been obviously superior to the hero at any stage throughout the season. Their physical battles have, for the most part, ended in a draw, or been inconclusive at the least. Season 1 had Malcom Merlyn destroy Oliver in the mid-season finale and was only really defeated through luck in the end. Season 2's Deathstroke had Mirakuru in his blood, which gave him enhanced strength. Season 3's Ra's al Ghul was a superior fighter, as seen when he killed Oliver in the mid-season finale. Finally, Season 4's #DamienDarhk had magic.
Prometheus, on the other hand, has been on par with Oliver throughout the season, with Oliver maybe being a shade stronger, as seen when Evelyn had to give up her undercover role to save Prometheus after he was disarmed earlier in the season. His lack of physical prowess over Oliver, however, doesn't take away from how formidable Prometheus has been.
As I have already mentioned, Prometheus's goal is to break Oliver before killing him, and he doesn't mean to break his body (though a bit of that wouldn't be a bad thing, I'm sure). Prometheus's advantage over Oliver is in mental and it has been a nice change from Oliver taking on clearly superior opponents, only to overcome them by seasons' end.
1. Josh Segarra
Josh Segarra is AMAZING as Adrian Chase. Before the reveal of his identity, we earned a strong respect for Chase, enjoying the lengths he went in helping Oliver and the rest of his administration clean up the streets, as well as helping Diggle when he had been incarcerated by the military. Many of us comic fans were also looking forward to Oliver and Chase teaming up as Green Arrow and Vigilant respectively, as Chase is Vigilante in the comics.
The surprise reveal that he was, in fact, Prometheus, caught most of us off guard, and while there may have been some resentment towards the reveal, those resentful feelings were put to bed as we learned more and more about Chase. Moreover, Segarra reveled in the role of playing the villain. Need I remind you about his torture of Oliver? Segarra and Stephen Amell played those scenes perfectly and the casting of Segarra as Prometheus is surely one of the greatest castings of all time. If you need a reminder, re-watch the moment when Prometheus breaks Oliver:
Amell and Segarra pull off their scenes together with perfection and the above scene (and indeed, the episode as a whole) is possibly the best that Arrow has had to offer.
Those are my reasons why I think that Adrian Chase, a.k.a. Prometheus, is the best villain we have had so far on Arrow. Now it's over to you guys: Do you agree or do you still think one of Ollie's other enemies has been the better villain? Let me know down in the comments section below!