John Diggle is a free man. After spending the first half of “Arrow” Season 5 as a fugitive, he can finally get back to normal. Of course, to Diggle, “normal” means donning a costume and patrolling the mean streets of Star City as Spartan. Though his name has just been cleared, he’ll get right back into the swing of things by heading to Russia with the other members of Team Arrow to stop a nuclear arms deal.
According to David Ramsey, who plays Diggle, this is exactly how Dig likes it. Speaking to CBR, Ramsey discussed how jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire makes Dig feel right at home as a soldier and a serviceman. He also teased Dig’s friendship with Dinah Drake, the new Black Canary, as well as the looming threat of General Walker and Team Arrow’s visit to Russia.
CBR: Clearly, General Walker really has it out for Dig. Will Dig be seeing him again anytime soon?
David Ramsey: I wouldn’t say soon, but you’ll be seeing him. We’re going to play that out to its finality. I think Diggle’s probably done putting bullets in people for now, but I think you’ll see General Walker prosecuted to the full extent. We’re going to see that to the end for sure, but — for now, right after his immediate release — I think he’s man enough to get back to some sense of normalcy. Oliver said, “You’re free. You can go home to your wife and child,” and I think he wants to get back to that kind of quickly, figure out who Prometheus is.
Almost immediately, he has this bond with Dinah. Dinah is a new recruit on the team, and Diggle is really sort of rolling out the welcoming committee. He’s the first to really help her make the adjustment, very similar to what he was doing with Rene [Wild Dog]. Dinah’s been through a major tragedy, a major trauma. She’s a new meta with new powers. You know, Diggle’s the most evolved. He’s our normal guy, and so he’s the one that really helps Dinah kind of get a grasp on a sense of normalcy in the beginning. So that’s what we’ll see in terms of him getting back to work in that capacity.
Dig is out of prison, but is he out of danger, at least where Walker is concerned?
For now! For now, yes. He’s legitimately a free man now. In terms of using the law to get back at Diggle, there’s not really anything that Walker can use, but there are other places and other ways — by force. So we’ll see how that all plays itself off. But yes, for the immediate time, he’s out of danger.
Considering that Walker was able to manipulate Lyla’s voice, is Dig concerned for his family’s safety?
Oh, we think that was more Prometheus! I think that was more Prometheus that kind of imitated the voice to get him trapped by the local authorities and by the federal authorities… To that end, Prometheus has been able to reach all corners of Oliver’s life places everybody in a compromised position. So we’ll see how that plays itself off, because clearly Prometheus could touch any of us whenever he wants to.
Dig owes Adrian Chase a great debt after Chase helped get him out of prison. Will we see those two interact again?
You are going to see it, and — obviously — people in our stories are built up just to be brought down, and brought down just to be built up. No one in our stories stays in our good graces for too long. But, for now, Adrian Chase is his hero! He has a lot of respect. He has major points with Diggle. So we’ll see where that goes, how that plays out. But, for now, he is very highly regarded in Diggle’s eyes.
Between Russia and Walker and the New Recruits, Dig has a lot on his plate. How worried is he about Prometheus right now?
I think Prometheus is the clear and present danger. I think he is the one. Diggle sees Prometheus as number one on the list to get and to take down. Walker is still there, but I think the one that was able to manipulate the team to hurt Oliver is clearly the bigger threat this time, and I think Diggle absolutely sees that.
There are other things we’re going to play with in this next episode, and Diggle’s going to really serve as… he’s kind of always been the moral compass, if you will, for the team. There are some dark places that Felicity goes to with this new, somewhat nefarious group that’s giving her this shit. Diggle’s going to be the one to call her out on it.
We’ll see Diggle trying to heal. I call Diggle, for the first part of the season, “Dark Diggle” because he’s been so introspective and then kind of in mourning, really, because of the deaths that happened in Season 4: the death of Canary, which he blames himself for, and — for good reason — the death of his brother. So now he’s coming out of that, and part of coming out of that is helping. That’s who he is! He’s a serviceman. He’s a soldier. He’s the guy who lays on a grenade. So that’s what he immediately gets to. He gets to helping Dinah. He gets back to helping the team. He sees that Felicity is compromised, and he calls her on it immediately. Before he gets back out on the field — which he does! — we’ll see him kind of getting back to service, of being a help, which is in the best possible way I could say that… but the moral help, I should say. The moral compass. And the team needs it. When he comes back, the team needs it. Dinah needs it, and Felicity particularly needs it.
Now that Dig’s name has been cleared, will he take on a role in Mayor Queen’s office?
No, he won’t. He’s best in the field. So, again, Diggle’s a soldier and he’s best at Oliver’s side, in the field as Spartan. That’s where he serves the best. In those moments of looking at the big picture, he’s that guy, again — that soldier mentality of being able to see all sides. So that’s his strength. I don’t think he’ll be taking a role in the administration. He’ll be getting back to his duties as Spartan quickly.
As we saw in the promo for tomorrow night’s episode, Dig is headed to Russia with Team Arrow. Will he be surprised by what he finds out about Oliver’s past?
I think he is! But, again, Diggle walks the light and dark tightrope probably better than any of the other characters. Felicity normally doesn’t delve into it, so doesn’t worry about it. Oliver plays with it every week; he goes too far, then doesn’t go far enough. He’s there. The other characters are kind of finding their footing in terms of that, and Diggle probably is the most fully involved in it next week.
I think, you know, he’s watching. From a military background, he’s watching Oliver’s back just to make sure nothing happens while they’re in enemy territory. Though they’re not enemies, they’re not good guys either, the Bratva. But I think Diggle kind of serves in that capacity of, “How far will Oliver go? How far will he go with this thing just to take Prometheus out? How far will he go in the dark? How much will he work with these guys — these criminals — to take down this bigger criminal?” I think Diggle sort of serves that medium, that voice of “Hey, you’re going a little bit too far.” Again, we’ll see that in his conversations with Felicity, from her making those choices, and he’ll serve in that same capacity for Oliver in Russia.
Will he see any people from Oliver’s Bratva days, like Anatoly or Talia?
Oh, yeah! Anatoly, he knows. So he met Anatoly, and there’s a camaraderie there… But, again, this is playing with fire to some degree. It’s not like we’re sitting across from anyone over at STAR Labs. These aren’t friends. So it’s not exactly antagonistic, but it’s not exactly friendly, either. We have to see how all that plays out for the rest of the season, in terms of that, because Diggle is always such a high moral character. He constantly has to compromise about what he does or doesn’t — and most times he doesn’t.
How he gets around that is the interesting part of Diggle’s psyche. I think we’ll see more of what that means with Lyla. Lyla is the leader of A.R.G.U.S. and another group that walks that line of light and dark, good and bad. And he’s married to her! He’s married to the new Amanda Waller, so to speak. It’d be interesting to see what that relationship is like. He’s very introspective; he’s killed his brother. He’s lost his best friend in the Canary because of his own choices. So what does that mean, to be married to a woman who has her finger on the Suicide Squad? What does that mean to him? So it’ll be interesting how those relationships, particularly that one, play out.
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.
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