The latest episode of “Arrow” brought Oliver closer to the identity of his newest masked nemesis, Prometheus. During a clash between new recruit Artemis and the copycat archer Prometheus, Artemis cut Prometheus’ arm. When Oliver arrived, Prometheus blew the roof off the train and vanished. Later in the episode, after waking up from what looked like a drinking binge, Quentin Lance looked down and discovered he had a deep cut on his arm. The episode cut to black and ended there, leaving a terrifying clue to the identity of Prometheus.
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At first glance, his cut could be a misdirect- a coincidence even – Lance could have cut his arm doing any number of things while drunk. However, reflecting upon Lance and Oliver’s rocky history over the course of five seasons, a case can be made for their connection. When Prometheus was first announced as this season’s villain, “Arrow’s” Executive Producer Wendy Mericle told IGN that the character “has a very personal grudge and axe to grind with Oliver and he’s going to come at him in a really interesting, sociopathic kind of way.” If Lance finally cracked under the grief of losing Sara twice and watching Damien Darhk kill Laurel, he could have suffered a mental break. Considering Quentin has blamed Oliver for everything bad in Star City since the pilot in Season 1, Quentin’s alter ego of vengeance could be manifesting as Prometheus – a dark archer – who knows about The List, who can take the Green Arrow’s arrows out of evidence, and who knows just how and where to hurt Oliver.
A Decade of Animosity
When Oliver Queen returned from Lian Yu after half-a-decade of being presumed dead, Quentin Lance was a broken man. It had been five years since the death of his daughter, Sara Lance, who reportedly perished on the Queen’s Gambit, along with Oliver’s father, Robert Queen. Quentin and Oliver clashed in every episode of Season 1, as Oliver’s return served as a constant reminder of Sara’s death. At one point, Quentin even thought Oliver was The Hood and staged an elaborate trap to catch him. It was only by Diggle playing decoy that Oliver narrowly escaped from Quentin’s grasp. That game of cat and mouse, Quentin versus The Hood, played out for years. Quentin did reconcile with both Oliver and The Hood/Green Arrow, but only after Sara was revived by the Lazarus Pit following her second death in Season 4.
The Loss of His Career
Not only did Oliver’s return from Lian Yu dig up Quentin’s trauma over losing Sara, but the arrival of The Hood in Starling City completely turned Quentin’s life and career upside down. When Season 1 began, Quentin was a respected detective of the Starling City Police Department. Throughout the course of the season, he devoted resources and man power to bring down The Hood. This manhunt cost Quentin his title, and he was demoted to an officer. Quentin spent all of Season 2 as an officer and then spent the time between Season 2 and 3 in a coma. After he was revived from the coma he was promoted to Captain. In Season 4, Quentin began working for Darhk. When the SSPD discovered this truth, they took Quentin’s badge. By the end of Season 4, Laurel was dead, Sara was lost in time, Quentin had no job, no family – and no future.
The Death of Sara Lance
When Sara was pronounced dead for the first time, ten years ago, it destroyed the Lance family. Quentin and Dinah Lance divorced, Quentin developed a drinking problem, and Laurel became an alcoholic. When Oliver was revealed to be alive, all the repressed anger, blame and aggression Quentin had built up over those years came spilling out.
Quentin’s anger towards Oliver also compounded on The Hood, who showed up right as Oliver returned. This anger was softened a bit when Sara came back in Season 2, alive and well. But when Malcolm Merlyn killed Sara in the opening of Season 3, Lance suffered all over again. When he found out the Green Arrow knew about her death and kept it from him, Quentin unleashed a city-wide manhunt for the Arrow. This resulted in the arrest of the Arrow and his “death.” (Roy Harper pretended to be the Arrow and faked his death, which led the city to believe both Roy and the Arrow were gone.) For the first three seasons of “Arrow,” Quentin was constantly at odds with both Oliver and The Hood, without realizing they were the same person.
The Death of Laurel Lance
If experiencing Sara die twice wasn’t bad enough, Quentin then watched Laurel be brutally murdered by Darhk in the middle of Season 4. While the Green Arrow didn’t kill Laurel himself, his crusade is what put her in Darhk’s crosshairs. Watching Laurel die was the final blow to Quentin’s sanity. With Darhk dead, Quentin had no one left to blame for Laurel’s death except the Green Arrow, which he had discovered was the same Oliver Queen who took Sara on the Gambit all those years ago. Laural was also killed by one of the Green Arrow’s arrows, which felt like an oddly personal and metaphorical choice at the time. That’s another clue that Quentin could be Prometheus. In this week’s episode, Felicity tested the alloy of Prometheus’ arrows and throwing stars. They are the same compounds that the Green Arrow uses in his arrows. Could that be a coincidence – that Prometheus using the same weapon to hunt the Green Arrow that killed Laurel Lance?
A Wound That Won’t Heal
As “Arrow” EP Mericle said, the grudge that Prometheus has with Oliver/Green Arrow is very personal and has been brewing since Season 1. No other character on “Arrow” has suffered as much as Quentin Lance. Thea, Malcolm Merlyn, Diggle – they’ve all experienced tragedy, but Quentin has literally lost everything and everyone he cares about. Quentin would be more than justified in hating Oliver and the Green Arrow for all the chaos he has brought into Quentin’s life. If he does turn out to be Prometheus, that would explain the drunken hazes, his lapses in memory, the metal throwing star on his table, and the cut on his arm. Since Quentin is not naturally a killer and Prometheus has dropped a few bodies already, Prometheus could be Quentin’s very own alter ego – his “Mr. Hyde” – the raw, powerful, vengeful, sociopathic side of Quentin. Next week on “Arrow,” in “Vigilante,” Quentin will confess a shocking secret to Thea. Does he know the truth about Prometheus or is he hiding something else?
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.