It’s been almost two weeks since John Diggle has taken over for Oliver, and stepped inside the Green Arrow suit. Arrow does not have the best track record of actually sticking with a decision made (people do rise from the dead quite often, for example), and so it comes as a surprise that it seems like Diggle’s GA will be around for quite a while.
Still, we’re not the only ones waiting for the other shoe to drop – our new hero, David Ramsey, admits to being surprised himself.
“There was a realistic sentiment to me taking over”, he told TVLine. “The fan base was mixed, and so was Team Arrow, so the sentiment within the fiction was realistic. Diggle was compromised and immediately Rene called him on it and went to Oliver, and this was not Diggle picking up where Oliver left off. He has some faults, and I’m glad.”
Evident in the latest addition to Team Arrow’s arsenal, John’s Green Arrow has a very different style when it comes to fighting with a bow and arrow. Lacking Oliver’s five years of training, John substitutes the traditional bow with a crossbow.
“I was surprised, pleasantly, that they really committed themselves to giving me even a different fighting style”, said Ramsey. “This is something Bam [supervising stunt coordinator James Bamford] and I have always talked about, that Diggle is a military-trained guy so there’s not a lot of elliptical, roundhouse [moves]. This guy goes straight forward, breaking bones, trying to end the fight. We wanted to show that difference between the way those two fight as well.”
John Diggle has always been the show’s moral center. Now, as we have seen in last week’s episode, he is struggling more and more with the nerve damage done to his arm, so much so that he has taken to self-medicating it.
“Diggle has always been kind of the bastion of integrity — I mean, this man wanted to go to prison over the guilt he felt over the Canary’s death and his brother’s death”, Ramsey agrees. “He’s been the model of morality. And now all that stuff comes into question. I think it’s a good arc for Diggle and a good arc for the team, because what’s he’s doing will affect the whole team and his family. This will have a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the first part of the season.”
That ripple effect might have something to do with Arrow’s latest villain Richard Dragon, aka Ricardo Diaz (played by guest star Kirk Acevedo).
“Ricardo Diaz ends up being someone very important to Diggle specifically”, teases Ramsey.
Diaz is not the only bad guy making Team Arrow’s life harder. In this week’s episode “Reversal” we are reunited with Helix, or rather, its founder. We finally get to meet Cayden James, who has teamed up with Black Siren to cause some trouble.
“You get to find out, ‘Who is Cayden James?’”, previews Ramsey. “And also, Felicity feels as if she can handle Cayden James and this revelation without the team, so there’s a moment for her at the end of this that’s helped by Oliver. Again, you have Oliver playing this position of almost Diggle, to the whole team, in a lot of ways for the next several episodes. It’s a much more mature Oliver — not just with what he’s doing with his son, but giving Felicity the key last week…. And that extends further this week as he helps her realize she needs the team to handle the Cayden James revelation.”
It seems that Arrow has taken the ‘reversal’ quite literally. While Diggle falls victim to the dark side, Oliver matures beyond comprehension. It will be an interesting take on not just the dynamic between the two men, but also between Team Arrow.
Catch Arrow Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.