– by David Kozlowski

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.

Related – Did Last Night’s Arrow Go Too Far? [SPOILERS]

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.

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  • Weresmurf

    Oh dear… Im getting flashbacks of season 4 where the relationships interfered with the shows running smoothly bigtime. Fingers crossed huh?

    Also what the fuq? Donning the suit makes you a master archer???

    • jonathing

      plus nerve damage

    • David Kozlowski

      I think Diggle will rely upon a crossbow, which is closer to his standard firearm.

  • Kronx

    Does Oliver think no one is going to notice the Green Arrow is now black?

    I think they missed a great opportunity for a guest star. Or to have Slade come in for a few shows and pose as Oliver.

    I think the arc ends with Oliver’s son asking him to be Green Arrow again for whatever reason, Oliver losing his son through one of various means (dies, moves away, is a robot, etc.) or Oliver just decides to lie again.

    And yeah, there’s no way Diggle would’ve kept lying after the Wild Dog thing.

    • David Kozlowski

      That’s a great point, I would have loved a Slade Wilson Green Arrow!

      I suspect that William will become the next Arsenal/Red Arrow, to replace Speedy.

  • Jared Maxey

    Thanks for the spoilers in the picture and title. I’ve only seen the season premier so far and wasn’t expecting to come across spoilers on the home page of this site. I had hoped you guys were better than that.

    • Kebert Xela

      sure, we’ll all just slow down the news for you because you’re lagging behind.
      everytime a bell rings that means somewhere a spoiler baby is crying because he didn’t get his spoiler. and then i light up a cigar.

      • Jared Maxey

        I’m not saying they shouldn’t have made the article. That would be ridiculous since these kind of articles are why we come here. All I was stating was that it would have been nice if they had use the same discretion they normally use for their movie articles and not put it in the title (Ex. “Watch Jeffrey Dean Morgan Dodge This Question About Flashpoint Batman”, “This Random Iron Man 3 Actor Is In Avengers 4” or “SPOILERS! Justice League May Have This Unexpected Surprise In Store”). It is something as simple as a change to “How long will HE wear the mask” with the Arrow logo as the picture goes a long ways. But hey enjoy the cigar,

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.