SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Arrow episode “Brothers in Arms”. Proceed with caution.
After six seasons of fighting along side Oliver Queen, Diggle has officially left Team Arrow. His departure came in the wake of numerous people leaving Team Arrow this season, including Thea, Wild Dog, Dinah, and Curtis. In the episode, aptly titled “Brothers in Arms”, Diggle and Oliver had a huge argument about who should wear the hood. Since Oliver couldn’t let the hood go, Diggle let him go. Let’s jump into why this is arguably the biggest shakeup on Arrow to date.
Everyone Wants to Wear the Hood
Diggle has been Oliver’s right hand man for over six seasons. Back in the pilot episode, Diggle was hired to be Oliver Queen’s bodyguard. Diggle saved Oliver’s life numerous times before he knew Oliver was the hood. When Diggle found out that Oliver was the vigilante, he suited up alongside him. He even pretended to be the hood to get Oliver out of criminal charges on a few occasions.
Fast forward to this season. Oliver was appointed Mayor and he accepted the responsibilities of being a father. So, Diggle stepped in and became the new Green Arrow. Diggle was well suited to be the new Arrow. He knew how to command troops, he inspired loyalty among Felicity, Wild Dog, Dinah, and Curtis. He knew how to make tough calls. But then Oliver took the hood back, and Diggle’s dreams were crushed.
“Boys and the Hood”@StephenAmell @david_ramsey @EmilyBett @CW_Arrow @ARROWwriters @ArrowProdOffice Between last week’s ep and last night’s, I thought we all could use a breather from all the angst😅 #arrow #ota #lordmesaart pic.twitter.com/o0XYndFQun
— Lord Mesa (@lordmesa) April 6, 2018
During this episode, Diggle and Oliver finally had it out over who was meant to wear the suit. Diggle asked Oliver why he hadn’t given it back yet, and Oliver replied with the truth: that the hood is part of Oliver and that he doesn’t feel whole without it. No matter how honest that sentiment was, Diggle and Oliver still came to blows.
Diggle even blamed Oliver for William’s mother Samantha’s death — which made Oliver blame Diggle for Diggle’s brother Andy’s death. The pair went around and around the training cave, throwing whatever proverbial dirt they could at each other: Diggle’s drug use, Oliver’s body count, every bad call the other had ever made. Felicity finally broke up the brawl.
Oliver and Diggle worked together on one last mission to take out Diaz’s stash of Vertigo, but then Diggle hung up his Spartan helmet and left Team Arrow. *insert shocked face gif here* When Diggle told Lyla that he left the team, she offered him a job at A.R.G.U.S., which he took. So now there are 3 teams at work in Star City: Arrow, A.R.G.U.S., and TerrificCanary working with the S.C.P.D.
Fans may have been able to appreciate the return of OG Team Arrow after Rene, Dinah, and Curtis left the team, but now there’s not even an OG Team Arrow. Now it’s just Oliver and Felicity. While Oliver and Felicity are more than capable of running missions together, Oliver no longer has backup. He doesn’t have his wing man, his armor bearer, his Diggle!
Back in Season 1, Diggle called Oliver “A white knight swooping in to save the disenfranchised, all by his lonesome, with no help from anybody.” Diggle was the first person to call him out on that behavior and the first person Oliver actually let in to help him. They have always had this kind of honest tension in their relationship, hopefully they can get back to working together because they need each other.
So what does this mean for the future of the show? The show was just renewed for a seventh season, so we know that there are more stories to tell in Star City. Is this all an elaborate plan from the Arrow writers to whittle Oliver down until he realizes that he can’t do anything alone? Or that he can’t “spread himself to thin,” as Diggle pointed out? Is this setting up Diggle’s eventual takeover of the hood, for real? Or will the show remain fractured, with separate groups trying to save Star City?
Arrow airs Thursdays on The CW at 9PM.