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Quick, think of two modern TV shows whose plots are based heavily on being shipwrecked on an island. There are a few choices to pick, but I am willing to bet that many of you chose Arrow and Lost. However, it now sounds like the similarities don't stop at the island itself, as Michael Emerson's mysterious upcoming Arrow villain will apparently feel reminiscent of his fan-favorite Lost villain Ben Linus. Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle explained:
This character that we're having [Michael] play is somewhat similar to people has [sic] has played in the past. But we had many conversations with him about how to make it different, and what elements we could bring to the character to change it up.
We still don't know much about who Michael Emerson is playing on Season 6 of Arrow at this point, but those remarks help paint a picture of what to expect. Arguably his two biggest characters in recent years are Person of Interest's Harold Finch and Lost's Ben Linus. With that in mind, if he's going to play a villain on Arrow, then it stands to reason that Linus is the clearer source of inspiration. If he is anything like Ben Linus, then we can expect him to take the form of a more cerebral villain who can hide in plain sight and manipulate characters against each other. It's not that he can throw a punch or kill an army of men. He can outthink you at every turn. If someone as badass as John Locke had difficulty dealing with him, then it stands to reason that Oliver Queen may struggle as well.
Of course, it's also worth noting that Michael Emerson isn't even a stranger to the world of DC Comics villains. He admirably took on the role of The Joker in the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and delivered a performance that could arguably stand alongside the work of Mark Hamill or Troy Baker.
Do we think there will be shades of Joker in Michael Emerson's Arrow villain? Not necessarily, because Wendy Mericle's comments to TVLine seem to draw distinct parallels to his live-action work. That said, voicing one of the most iconic (if not THE most iconic) DC villains of all time can only help.
How Michael Emerson's villainous character will factor into Arrow Season 6 is yet another mystery. It has already been established that the core conflict of Season 6 will center on a force from Oliver's past coming back to haunt him (because Arrow), but some have already assumed that this refers to established DC villain Richard Dragon coming to Star City. With so few important details known about who Michael Emerson is playing, his gripe against the Green Arrow will likely not become entirely clear until the show finally returns.
Arrow will return to The CW for its sixth season on Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET -- right after the Season 3 premiere of Legends of Tomorrow. Until then, check out CinemaBlend's summer TV premiere guide and our fall TV premiere guide for more up-to-date info on the rest of the upcoming small screen debuts!