Arrow‘s writers made a bold move at the end of last week’s episode, and now they’re oddly backing away from it one week later. To recap, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), is being persecuted — by the media, the FBI, and even his own son — for leading a double life as Star City’s daytime mayor and nighttime vigilante. Ever the reactionary, Queen handed the Green Arrow mantle to his close ally and friend, John Diggle (David Ramsey). For keeps!
In a recent interview with EW, Amell implied that the move was permanent — even though we’ve already seen concept art for the big Arrrowverse crossover later this season, wherein Amell is clearly wearing the Green Arrow suit. But thumb’s up to Amell for keeping up the facade. This week, EW continues the story by talking with Ramsey, who casually exposes the lie and provides details on where the storyline goes from here.
Let’s not be shocked, Arrow is (at best) rather loose with their story-telling and secret-keeping. We’ve seen both Diggle and Arsenal (Colton Haynes) wear the mask (as tactical diversions) in past seasons, but this was supposed to be different… until a week later when it wasn’t. To be fair, Diggle is currently harboring a severe nerve injury, which compromises his effectiveness in the field, and causes emotional rifts with his teammates. Why Diggle is keeping this injury a secret from Queen is anyone’s guess.
Ramsey tries to explain his rationale and motivation:
“This ugly head of this physical limitation really rears its head in the field and it becomes glaringly obvious to the team that he has a problem, so he has to hide, he has to conceal it, he has to make excuses. He hides it from everyone, which is very unlike Diggle. But even as we roll through this, because he wears this mantle for several episodes, he becomes the leader he was at the beginning of Season 4. He becomes a very sound leader.”
That explanation doesn’t fly. Diggle is an Army combat veteran, and as a military leader he knows better than to put his allies at risk, and yet he does. It’s a confusing and somewhat inconsistent characterization. While Ramsey doesn’t explain how he finds redemption (hopefully without getting anybody killed), it sounds like he earns it.
When EW presses Ramsey to explain how this scenario plays out and how it affects the team long-term, he immediately throws Amell under the bus for telling lies:
“No. No, it’s Green Arrow. Stephen Amell is Green Arrow. It’s not going to last. Of course not, but I think it’s very interesting and it’s an interesting twist on how it fits into the ultimate theme of the season, I think it’s very clever. I think it’s an interesting detour. It also gives us some time with Oliver. I think it’s great, and he has some great writing. Stuff is happening between him and Deathstroke, and he and his son and he and Felicity. It’s awesome. I think holding it for the few episodes I have the mantle, that’s the appropriate amount of time.”
Lies, lies, and more damned lies! At least Ramsey is up front about the subterfuge, such as it is. More important, Diggle intimates that Deathstroke plays a role in all of this, which is cool — more Manu Bennett is always a good thing.
Ramsey closes the interview by implying that all of this deceit, risk, and hubris ultimately results in a closer team dynamic — just like any family, right?
“There’s still some growing pains. There’s still some trust issues. This is probably the season where they really — this will be the bonding season even more so than last season. We still have to work through some trust. There’s a reason why Diggle hides this secret from the team and that has to do with trust.”
Were you expecting Diggle to remain as the Green Arrow for the duration of Season 6? Let us know in the comments down below!
Arrow airs on The CW every Thursday at 9 p.m.