Arrow Preview Diggle Dinah

Arrow's David Ramsey Previews the End of 'Sad Diggle,' Return of OTA Moments and Spartan vs. Prometheus

Tonight on Arrow (The CW, 8/7), John Diggle aims to embrace his (latest return to) freedom and a shinier/happier self, only to discover that one of his teammates is heading down a dark path.

TVLine invited David Ramsey to preview Diggle’s vengeance against General Walker, his concerns about Felicity, a personal face-off with Prometheus and more.

TVLINE | You’re out from behind bars, again. Can we keep it that way?
No, let’s make it three times! How about I just go back in?

TVLINE | I joked to [showrunner] Wendy Mericle that when you learned of Dig getting thrown back into prison, you must have been like, “Really?”
Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. But you gotta run with that. That was a bit of a loose end with that character, in terms of the general. And it was a great way of using that to torture Oliver, to show Oliver that [Prometheus] has control, that he can make his life into whatever he wants to make it. But I’m out now!

TVLINE | What is Diggle’s mindset now that he has been sprung, with regards to Walker? To deliver what is due the general?
I think so. And not just that, but he’s full throttle with the team now. We’ve seen “internal, sad Diggle” for long enough — but for good reason. It isn’t every day that your dead brother comes back to life, who you then kill! Also, there’s a direct line between his choice to trust AndyArrow and the death of the Canary (played by Katie Cassidy). Theres a straight line there, so his grief and guilt was well-placed. But I think he’s on the other side of that now. Now it’s time to get back to business, and he does. It’s about getting Prometheus, and for this [week’s] episode particularly there’s a crisis in terms of what Felicity is doing. Diggle will call Felicity out on where she’s going, emotionally and morally.

TVLINE | With regards to the dark net and her new Helix buddies?
That’s correct. Who are they? Who are these people? Obviously that’s a running theme on our show, the team members helping others who can’t see through the fog. We have “blinders,” as Felicity called them when Oliver was helping Black Siren, trying to find redemption. That theme is repeated with Diggle and Felicity, as she taps into her dark side, the way John did last season, the way Oliver does every Wednesday, to try to find a way of gaining an edge for the team. Diggle is the one that calls her out on that, for good reason.

TVLINE | Wendy said that coming out of his latest ordeal, Diggle won’t have the same level of fatalism. So if he ends up “in a room” with Walker, how might that go down? What’s the dilemma before him?
Well, Diggle is a highly moral character, right. And I think he’s done putting bullets in people as a way of delivering justice. He’s learned from that with his brother. So, he will see it to the end, doing whatever he can to see this man behind bars, by the letter of the law. That’s who Diggle is at this point. There’s also a new member of our team, in Dinah [Drake, played by Juliana Harkavy], Arrowand Diggle is the one that really welcomes her. He brings her into the fold and helps her get a job, get a place, with training. It’s Diggle who takes her by the hand; that’s where he is right now.

TVLINE | Why do you think he assumes that “welcome committee” role, as he did with Rene/Wild Dog?
It’s a place that he wants to go, needs to go. I don’t think it’s any secret, most people feel this way, that Diggle is the most evolved in the group. He’s had his demons, he’s fought in several wars, many tours. He’s been a civilian, he’s been a soldier, he’s been married, twice, to the same woman, he has a child. The only time we’ve seen Diggle at a place of true compromise was when he was faced with the “rebirth” of his brother, and his brother’s brainwashing.

TVLINE | Which as you said is a most incredible situation–
–that doesn’t ever happen. So we don’t really ever see Diggle shook in that sense, the way we’ve seen Oliver going back and forth with a number of things. So I think that he’s the one to [help the newcomers]. Number 1, Dinah needs a welcoming committee, someone to help her find her place. She’s still dealing with what she went through, so there’s an adjustment that she has to make and Diggle’s the one to help her through it. Same with Rene.

TVLINE | The sooner he can help these self-made vigilantes get into the right head space, the better.
And the better they can be more functional members of the team. There’s also that. That’s most important to him as a soldier.

TVLINE | When Arrowwe saw you on set in the fall, you were hoping for more “OTA” moments, with Original Team Arrow. Will we get some of those in episodes coming up?
That is the plan. We hadn’t seen much of that this season in general, and much of that is because we have new team members, and those stories facilitate the Big Bad more so than anything else. But now that John is out of jail, thankfully, you’ll see more OTA.

TVLINE | Safe to say that Adrian Chase scored some points there with Diggle?
Without a doubt. Adrian Chase is incredibly sharp, and I think he’s earned the respect of Diggle, which isn’t easy. They will be getting closer, you’ll see more of that.

TVLINE | Will we be seeing Lyla and his son anytime soon?
That’s a six-episode arc right there, isn’t it? The “new Amanda Waller” of ARGUS and the second in command of Team Arrow, married. With a child that they found out used to be a girl through Flashpoint. His wife, who has her finger on the pulse of the Suicide Squad. I mean, what does that dinner look like? For me, that’s a story.

TVLINE | Give me that on CW Seed — Dinner With the Diggles.
The Diggles! Pitch it!

TVLINE | Any other last teaser about what’s coming up?
There’s a nice little moment between John Diggle and Prometheus, in terms of a fight. [What’s ahead] is all about him, it’s all about finding out who this guy is and how he manipulates Oliver and the rest of the team, by showing Oliver that he doesn’t have to kill him, he can just take every piece of his life away. That’s a very interesting way that the story is told.

TVLINE | And in ways more painful that just whaling on a guy physically.
Which he also does! It makes for an interesting storytelling, so I’m very interested to see how we stop this guy.

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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22 Comments
  1. pnr says:

    I’m so exhausted with the newbies. This show does a terrible job at juggling the old and new. It’s like whenever a new character comes on, the old ones HAVE to be sidelined for no apparent reason.

    So I’m glad that there will be more OTA moments. They’re what I consider the heart of the show. I hope we get back to that in full form because this show is incredibly boring without them.

    • L says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I’m so tired of the core characters being sidelined because they have to prop the new ones. It actually makes me dislike the new characters a lot.

    • ian says:

      I think they missed a good opportunity of teaming-up DIggle with Adrian Chase/Vigilante. I thought that Adrian would have been convinced of Diggle’s innocence and his hands would have been tied by the legal system, so he would have been forced to break him out of jail, this time sending both of them on a most wanted roadtrip, on the run from the General, the two of them having a frenemy relationship, since Dig has been hunting Vigilante for a while.

    • Agent 86 says:

      I agree. All of OTA have their strengths and weaknesses, but I’d prefer to see more screen time with the long standing characters than their apparently constant attempts to introduce more and more new characters, especially the never ending line of apprentice vigilantes! It was crazy having Wild Dog, Artemis, Mr Terrific and Rag Man all join the team! They’re making some cuts, but still adding more with Black Canary V4.0.

  2. L says:

    So happy to see some scoop about Diggle! Thank you. I’ve missed his presence on the show, missed OTA. Just missed that core dynamic a lot. The show hasn’t been the same without it. I really hope we get some Delicity scenes too. I’d like the show to remember they were close friends but it seems they’re pushed out in favour of the newbies, who I’m bored of now. I hope it gets better.

    • L says:

      I will add that I’m side eyeing the fact that we’ve been begging for Delicity scenes for like 2 seasons now but instead we’re getting Diggle and Dinah scenes? Not what I wanted at all but ok.

  3. sarah t says:

    I agree, I’ve never been a fan of the newbies to begin with. They’re okay but not good enough to sideline the main characters. I still think this show would be a lot stronger if they would stick to the original team and occasionally work with others. it’s too busy. Especially out in the field. I would much prefer Oliver and Diggle teaming up than Oliver with any of the new guys who just drag the plot down.

  4. Trish says:

    It’s great to finally see a David Ramsey interview. I hope Arrow returns Diggle back to action and look forward to his fight scenes with Prometheus, the return of Original Team Arrow scenes, and hopefully the show remembering that he and Felicity have always held a close bonded friendship deserving of respect and the writing indicative of that. As for using him to prop another new teammate when he just did that with Mad Dog, out of the blue and inorganically, I’m just not interested. Diggle and David both deserve far better than season five has offered. There’s absolutely no excuse or justification for the absence of all of the show regulars to saturate the show with the presence of new characters this heavily. It’s a major turnoff that has left me bored.

  5. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview with David. Glad there will be more OTA moments in the upcoming episodes now that Diggle is a free man. Excited to watch new episode tonight!

  6. Jason says:

    Something I’m wondering about is whether we will see Diggle forced to go back in the Army now that he’s been cleared of the charges? Maybe make him go to work at ARGUS.

  7. JC1 says:

    Sounds like some great stuff coming up with Diggle. Looking forward to it. I noticed he didn’t really answer your question about seeing more of Lyla and son. I hope we do. I love Family Diggle. And I’d watch that CW Seed show – lol. :)

  8. Drew says:

    I’m still half-convinced that Adrian Chase is Prometheus, but either way, I think it’ll be good to learn more about Chase’s background through Diggle’s new friendship with him. And if he’s not Prometheus, how soon before Chase learns Arrow’s identity and/or gets killed?

  9. Stormie Woods says:

    First let me say I love David Ramsey. He’s such a sweet guy to the fans and a great interview. I’m happy to see OTA finally coming back because for me that relationship brought me into the show. Oliver’s relationship with them made him likable and human. Otherwise for me he was an unlikable a**hole performing cool stunts. I’m glad to see Digg and Felicity because that is such a beautiful bond these two have had since season 1. As for the newbies I don’t hate them but I can’t say I’m invested either. Plus the show not having a balanced writing for the newbies and the characters we love is really off. Thea is going on 2 weeks of no screen time and she’s not shown in this episode promo either. She’s done next to nothing this season and that pisses me off. Finally she has a season free of Malcolm and they give her nothing. She had a bright spot threatening worthless Susan but nothing has come of it. Willa Holland is so talented and she deserves better.

    • L says:

      I totally agree about Oliver. I think he’s become pretty unlikeable this season, probably because he’s so separated from people we’ve seen him grow with over 4 years. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing with Thea though.