SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow.
John “Dig” Diggle may not be Green Arrow for much longer. In “Thanksgiving,” the latest episode of Arrow, Dig’s nerve damage problems got a whole lot worse. Because of that, Oliver was forced to put the hood back one for at least one more mission — and it’s unclear if or when Diggle will recover.
During a mission to stop Cayden James from acquiring part of a bomb at AmerTech, Diggle suffered a debilitating muscle spasm in the middle of a fight. He sank to the floor with a groan, and Black Canary had to swoop in to save him. Even as the team debated what to do next, Diggle ordered them to continue the mission without him — something that didn’t go unnoticed by James. The episode also caused Black Canary to confess to the rest of the team that Diggle had suffered nerve damage for months, and that she had known about it for some time.
Diggle’s episode landed him in the hospital. His doctor friend drew a blood sample in order to determine a cause for the attack, but didn’t have an answer for him straightaway. “If I had to guess, you’re suffering withdrawal from the drug you’ve been taking in combination with Mr. Holt’s experimental treatment,” she said as she took the sample away.
Oliver came to visit Diggle during his hospital stay, and the two had a brief falling out. “I didn’t want you to worry, Oliver, which is why I didn’t tell you,” Diggle explained. Oliver countered, “No, John, you didn’t tell me because you knew I’d never let you go out there compromised and that I’d certainly never let you compromise the team.”
The two subsequently began to argue, with Oliver saying he was disappointed and Diggle and Diggle telling Oliver he “gave up the right to judge” when he stepped down from being Green Arrow. Diggle stood to confront Oliver, saying he blamed Oliver and himself for his current predicament, “for putting your needs, your goals, even your family above my own. I’ve done that from the very beginning. That was my biggest mistake.”
“Mine was trusting you to be the Green Arrow,” Oliver spat back, and left.
He later returned to apologize, which Diggle reciprocated. Diggle then revealed his dire test results: the nerve damage had spread to his back — and because of the steroid, he caused permanent damage. “If I continue out in the field, I could end up paralyzed,” he admitted.
As they mended their friendship, Diggle revealed one final truth: becoming Green Arrow was one of his greatest desires. “I never should have said I was doing it for you. Remember last year, when the Dominators put us into this alternate Star City? We got to see what our perfect life would be. Mine was being the Green Arrow,” he explained. “So you asking me to take the mantle was not selfish. It was giving me the one thing in the world that I never knew I wanted.”
The episode ended on a note that made Green Arrow’s future unclear. Though Oliver donned the hood to save Star City Stadium, he made it clear he had no intention to do it again. However, Dig is in no condition to be Green Arrow again, despite how badly he wants to be. This is likely why he will be out of commission for the big Arrowverse crossover.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer (well, not currently), Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.
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