The season premiere of the sixth season of Arrow certainly had its jaw-dropping moments while also setting up several storylines for the rest of the season. Season 6 has officially kicked off with a bang, as the first episode pulled out all the stops by outing Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow to the entire world. While that twist was certainly surprising, it actually paled in comparison to the giant bombshell Oliver Queen dropped on viewers at the end of the second episode:
Diggle Is Officially The New Green Arrow
Stephen Amell teased that there would be a huge twist at the end of "Tribute", the title of the second episode of the season. Fan speculation revolved heavily around some kind of reveal of what happened on Lian Yu in the Season 5 finale, but what we got was even bigger. John Diggle is now the new Green Arrow.
In this episode, Oliver finally accepts the gravity of the danger he puts himself in every times he pulls on that hood, especially since he's the only one raising William. At the conclusion of the episode, we see Oliver meet with Diggle to ask him to take over as the Green Arrow, and he accepts.
Looking back to a few seasons ago, Diggle actually suited up as the Hood in order to throw off the public for thinking that Oliver was the vigilante. When Oliver confronted Diggle at the end of this episode, he actually referenced this moment and said it wouldn't work a second time. The circumstances are different now, however, as this is the first time we see Oliver permanently passing over the mantle to another character.
Not only is this clearly one of the biggest twists the #DC show has ever dropped on us, but it's also one of the heaviest ones, with a slew of potentially negative outcomes. While this could easily be passed off as a one-episode event similar to Oliver being framed as the Green Arrow, I'm inclined to think that isn't the case.
How Will This Change The Course Of The Show?
Diggle is now the Green Arrow, responsible for the entire team. The preview for next week's episode "Next of Kin" hints that Diggle might be a bit over his head with some issues leading Team Arrow without Oliver's aid. Also, it doesn't help that he is heading into the field with a serious injury that's been proven to compromise his abilities.
This is where it gets juicy, because if Oliver knew about Diggle's nerve damage, he might have reconsidered handing over the hood. In fact, if Oliver didn't find anyone else he thought was worthy of taking on the responsibility, he probably would've felt obligated to stay after all. As of now, Diana is the only person who is aware of Diggle's injury, so it will be interesting to see what her reaction to this whole situation will be.
As mentioned, I believe this storyline will go on for much longer than the course of a single episode. Several intriguing elements are at play in this situation, such as mixing up the team dynamic and putting Diggle's physical limits to the test. I am most interested to see if the show will uncover how this will affect his relationship with A.R.G.U.S. and his wife, Lyla. Ramsey has stated that the unresolved issues between Diggle and Lyla would be explored this season, and making Diggle the Green Arrow is the most inviting way to do that.
The biggest reason to get on board with this change is that it's the best development Diggle's character has received in a long time. Diggle is undoubtedly a fan-favorite on the show, but he has stayed relatively stagnant in the past few seasons, and most of the material they throw at him usually ends up feeling forced. This storyline is something Diggle's character deserves, and making him the Green Arrow along with his secret injury is a game changer.
While Arrow is bound to take advantage of all the doors this change opens up, we do know that Diggle's time under the hood won't be indefinite. Oliver will be suiting up in the four-night crossover this year along with the rest of the Arrowverse superheroes. Also, Amell himself has even stated that he will eventually suit up as the Green Arrow once again. When asked if Oliver will never suit up again, Amell told the EW:
No, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t surprise people. If he suits back up again, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden it goes back to the status quo.
He continues on to explain how, for now, Oliver will have no role on Team Arrow and instead will focus on being the mayor of Star City and the father he promised Samantha he would be. Amell said:
He’s out. He’s totally out. We have an instance where he has to hop back in, but it’s not in the capacity that people would expect him to. It’s in an episode called “Reversal.” He does have to hop back in, but other than the occasional visit, he’s out.
Whatever happens next with Diggle's brief time as Green Arrow remains to be seen, but Arrow definitely has some more tricks up its sleeve. It's really satisfying to see this series take its time with its stories and watch the characters deal with repercussions from their actions, (*cough* unlike The Flash) and it's going to be exciting to watch all of this play out
How do YOU guys feel about Diggle taking over as the Green Arrow? Discuss below!