It’s not often that actors within the superhero sphere receive mainstream recognition. In terms of the Emmys in particular, it almost rarely happens. Krysten Ritter received some buzz for Jessica Jones, but it didn’t materialize into an Emmy nomination. Meanwhile, the last time we openly lobbied for actors from this world was back following The Flash season 1, when both Grant Gustin and Tom Cavanagh were worthy in our eyes.
Now, we find ourselves doing so again … and it’s before Arrow season 5 is even over. This season is a resurgent year for the CW tentpole. You see many critics out there in agreement on it, and there are many different reasons why. You have flashbacks that connect more to the main narrative, a focus more on grounded, dark storytelling as opposed to the tonal and stylistic shift of seasons 3 and 4, and also several new performers that have brought interesting dynamics. Joe Dinicol as Rory helped to explore Felicity’s grief, and Rick Gonzalez was incredible in “Spectre of the Gun,” one of the season’s best character-based episodes.
Above anything else, though, Josh Segarra is elevating this season to legendary status thanks to his role as Adrian Chase / Prometheus. He’s the shining light of the season, which is ironic given just how evil he is. It’s a little early to proclaim him the best villain Arrow history — we haven’t seen the ending just yet — but he’s well on his way there based on the performances of the past two episodes alone.
Even when we just knew Chase as the District Attorney, there was enough prevailing darkness in his tone and body language that you knew something more was at play. The writers did a brilliant job with misdirection through much of the early part of the season, allowing us to attribute Chase’s jaded side to him potentially being Vigilante. It was a wonderful little trick to bring in Chase’s alter ego in the comics, only to leave him in the hands of someone else. (There’s still no word on the Vigilante alter ego, and there may not be this season.)
Now that we know Chase is Prometheus and we’ve seen his interactions with one Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), we know how terrifying he can be. His physical presence is imposing, but more than that his nonchalance is terrifying. He’s a man who has no problem going into work and defying Quentin Lance to his face. He can take care of himself physically, and completely dismantle even the strongest of men psychologically. The way he challenged Oliver in “Kapiushon” was almost haunting. He conjured up the ghosts of Oliver’s past in his mind and made him understand his true motivation: He wanted to break him, and make him realize that he had every bit the bloodlust of any of his past foes. We often hear about villains who want to psychologically dismantle their opponents, but rarely does it feel as earned or as effective as it was here. The writers bear some responsibility for the words, and then Segarra delivered on them to tremendous effect.
Perhaps the most incredible part of this is how Segarra is able to be so incredible in the role without the story being fully written. There is still more about Prometheus to learn, and we’re sure that will be unraveled in the coming weeks.
For now, it feels easy to say with confidence that Segarra should be an Emmy contender. Whether or not he will is an entirely different question. As mentioned, there’s often a bias against superhero shows from the Television Academy; moreover, they’ve been less willing to nominate CW series than the Golden Globes or other awards shows. We do still implore — and we’re doing this early to reinforce the point — that they look at Segarra for playing to date one of the most well-crafted comic-book villains the medium’s ever seen. We could watch a full season’s worth of just scenes featuring him and Amell alone.
Emmy voters, the ball’s in your court — or at least it will be after Arrow brings this thing home over the next couple of months. Let’s hope the story of Prometheus is every bit as compelling and fantastic as it is today.
What’s your take: Should Josh Segarra be an Emmy contender based on what you’ve seen so far? Share now in the comments.
Meanwhile, you can head over here to retrieve some further news when it comes to Arrow. (Photo: The CW.)