In Season 5, Arrow has done a variety of different things to make it feel refreshing in comparison to years past, partly by changing up its flashback game and partly by building up an all-new Team Arrow lineup. And it sounds like the show's creative team will bring that same approach to how the faces of masked mystery men like Prometheus will be revealed, or at least when those reveals will happen. When asked about how soon audiences will get to witness a high-profile unmasking, co-creator Marc Guggenheim and showrunner Wendy Mericle tease a waiting game.
Guggenheim: I will say it happens later than we typically do it. How about that?
Mericle: Some will happen much later than we typically do it. [Laughs]
Both of those answers are quite interesting, but Wendy Mericle's extension of the point is somewhat befuddling one. Because tonight's "Spectre of a Gun" was Episode 13, and we're four weeks into the show's return from its midseason hiatus, so we technically already are beyond the point when Arrow usually unloads the goods on viewers where villainous secret identities are concerned. You could have told me that Mericle and Marc Guggenheim gave these answers about Prometheus and Vigilante back in November and I would have easily believed you. (YOU aren't Prometheus, are you?)
But no, those comments were made at a recent screening event for the episode, according to TV Guide, so we're still apparently nowhere near the point where we'll see the real names and noses of Prometheus and Vigilante are. Arrow tends to use the 18th episodes from each season to flip things on their head with twists and big moments, so that might be when one is revealed. And if we're taking some vague mathematical assumptions here, Wendy Mericle's ominous uses of "some will happen" and "much later" implies we may have to actually wait until the Season 5 finale to get some real answers. Unless...unless, of course, she meant that the show would hold onto its bigger secrets even beyond its final episode, keeping the mystery alive until...Season 6! Could that actually happen?
Any way it goes, this will definitely be a record of sorts for how long Arrow has kept a seasonal villain cloaked in mystery, though the show doesn't use the gimmick as widespread as The Flash does. In Season 1, the Dark Archer was revealed to be Malcolm Merlyn in the midseason finale, and while not an unmasking, Slade Wilson was revealed to be the villain at the same point during Season 2. Ra's al Ghul appeared early on without any showy costumes, and Damien Darhk was similarly out in the open last year. And even though the new Black Canary isn't a villain (yet, anyway), it took all of an episode for her to get a big identity reveal.
I'm all about keeping a mystery going if it's worth the wait, so here's hoping Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle have the perfect explanation behind who Prometheus really is. As well as Vigilante, who has several interesting comic book options to choose from.