‘Arrow’: Team Arrow Gives Diggle a Starring Role

Published 9 months ago by , Updated November 19th, 2013 at 10:53 am,

Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards in Arrow Season 2 Episode 6 Arrow: Team Arrow Gives Diggle a Starring Role

[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Things have been fairly fast-paced on Arrow for the last few episodes, but more than that, they’ve also been fairly interconnected in terms of plot revolving around the return of Sara Lance, the introduction of the League of Assassins, and even smaller, yet-to-be-developed aspects like Brother Blood and the green stuff he’s injecting into people while wearing a scary mask. With all that Arrow-related plot going on there hasn’t been a lot of time to focus on the other side of the vigilante game; namely, Oliver Queen’s civilian identity and the personal lives of his closest allies, John Diggle and Felicity Smoak.

To be fair, there’s not quite as much personal stuff going on with Felicity as there is with Diggle in ‘Keep Your Enemies Closer,’ but what we do get points the audience to a better understanding of where she is emotionally in terms of her relationship with Oliver. That Felicity seems to have developed feelings for Mr. Queen doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise (and that’s not just because of the way Stephen Amell looks), but it’s also not an entirely unwanted direction for the characters to take either. And after Oliver sleeps with Isabel Rochev while Team Arrow is gallivanting around Moscow – showing Strike Back that network television likes to break into prisons too – there’s a surprising amount of discussion between Felicity and her boss about his illicit encounter that felt welcome in its ability to not only add some much-needed levity to what is an action-heavy series, but it also demonstrated a level of understanding between Oliver and Felicity that went beyond their usual discussions of bad guys and computer stuff.

But the real focus of ‘Keep Your Enemies Closer’ is John Diggle, a man who is typically doing yeoman’s work on Team Arrow, as a constant, reliable presence mostly backing up his green-hooded point man whenever he’s needed. There’s a nice, not too overt example of this early on in the episode, which also serves to give the audience its weekly-recommended allotment of Arrow, since the hood and the bow seemingly stay back in Starling City.

Michael Rowe in Arrow Season 2 Episode 6 Arrow: Team Arrow Gives Diggle a Starring Role

Of course, Diggle wouldn’t even be headed to Moscow were it not for the appearance of Amanda Waller, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson – who, thanks to a brief appearance by Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson, managed to make the episode a mini Spartacus reunion. Unfortunately, Waller doesn’t have much to do, but bark orders at Diggle and let him know A.R.G.U.S. is fully aware of his extra-curricular activities cleaning up the streets of Starling City with Oliver Queen. But the most important takeaway from their encounter is that Dig’s ex-wife, Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson), is rotting away in a Russian Gulag that’s earned a charming nickname, which roughly translates to “Nightmare,’ and that she has a line on where Deadshot’s been since we saw him late last season.

It all leads to another satisfying episode of Arrow that demonstrates a more compelling and cohesive approach to things like the flashbacks and Moira Queen’s legal troubles, as well as Thea and Roy’s relationship, becoming more complicated by his apprenticing for the Arrow.

But mostly this was a chance to take a step away from heavy plotting and look at where these characters are now in this abnormal life they’re leading. The biggest development, then, is Diggle taking a play from his partner’s book and opting not to kill Deadshot, despite plenty of motive and opportunity – something that works out as well for both characters, as it does the audience.

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Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘State vs. Queen’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. What was up with Felicity being jealous of Rochev? It felt awkward, she never struck me as wanting a relationship with Oliver. Also I’m almost positive Rochev is Talia al Ghul, but you would think Sara would know she was in Starling. Awesome show, i can’t wait for Death Stroke to be born.

    • Isabel isn’t Talia because Talia isn’t Russian as they revealed and she has been in business her whole adult life. Also Felicity would do anything for Oliver and their close proximity fed her desire to be with him. The writers say once the Flash comes on the scene Oliver will get jealous of them. So a relationship is coming.

      • It´s simple.
        Talia learned to speak Russian,too.

    • Isabel Rochev is an actual character from the comics who is rather important in several Green Arrow story lines. It’s highly unlikely that they would make her and Talia into one character.

      • ah good stuff, i did not know this

        • Like it would be beyond Talia to lie about her past/upbringing in order to get closer to Green Arrow. Honestly the proof is in the putting; in “League of Assassins” Al-Owal states to Black Canary, “The child of Ra’s Al-Gul demands your return”. Plus, Summer Glau recently gave an interview in which she said a big shocker was coming up for her character. I rest my case. I personally think casting Glau as Talia is genius. Really enjoyed this ep too.

    • I think Felicity’s reaction was more so about whom Oliver hooked up with. When its Laurel, Felicity understands. But Isobel? Felicity made it clear that Oliver can and should do better. I think she now thinks, why not me? And thats where the mild jealousy came from. It was a little out of left field, but really its been brewing since last season.

  2. This was a great episode, really enjoyed it. And the H.I.V.E organization was name dropped so I’m excited for that. One thing that I’m not really a fan of is the whole Felicity and Oliver thing. It seems like such a cliche thing for the writers to do, of course get the awkward assistant to fall in love with the boss lol. Felicity is a great character, just wish they did something different with her love life. I’m starting to like Isabel though, I’m hoping they use more of her in future episodes.

    • They are going to do a bit with her love life if you read the synopsis for episode 208. Looks like there may be….sparks…..between Miss Smoak and Barry Allen.

      • I can kinda get on board with that. It feels like the writers are making the same turns Chloe made in Smallville. First the main hero of the show then the second hero that appears lol.

  3. im a fan of Diggle, i have been waiting for him to get some story

    • I have a theory on Diggle. Let’s start with the facts: His first name is John, he worked in the army, and is best friends with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. My theory is that John Diggle is John Stewart/Green Lantern.

      • I’d definitely be cool with that but one thing that I have an issue with is, how are they going to support the budget of all the effects of Green Lantern’s powers on a show like Arrow?

      • Oh wow, I like that. I would be on board with that idea. If they do something like that it probably won’t be a season or 2 down the line especially now with the rumors of Nightwing coming this season. Nightwing and The Flash in season 2? Love it!

      • Justice,

        John Stewart is best friends with Hal and Hal is best friends with Oliver. I’m sure there is a relationship that is friendly but Hal is, in the comics, Oliver’s best bud.

        • I would personally love to see diggle become Cyborg. He already has a ton of knowledge when it comes to computers thanks to Felicity. Cyborg would serve the series well.

  4. Does anyone know which episode Flash is supposed to appear?

    • Episode 208. “The Scientist” December 4th.

      • Cool, thank you!

  5. Ohh Diggle, just type H.I.V.E. into BING, why didn’t I think of that!?

    • I found that part really funny aha.

    • Microsoft product placement abound… even with the Surface 2.

  6. This show gets absolutely better and better!!
    I’m loving the Roy character. I didn’t care for him at first but he’s really grown on me and I hope we see him as red arrow sometime in the series.
    Diggle is a badass.
    I felt so bad for felicity. It wasn’t awkward or anything cuz she’s dropped hints before. It’s clear she’s in love with the guy. I actually hope they end up together.

    Slades face!!!!!! It’s pretty clear when they find the serum that slade is gonna be the one it’s tested on. I hope they don’t rush it cuz I want to see them as allies and closer friends before they get torn apart

    • I agree Felicity loves Oliver but I don’t feel it’s a romantic love so much as hero worship. The city needs a hero and here’s this guy who could do anything–and he’s trying to save people. It’s why we all love superheroes and I think she personifies “the fan” in all of us. I feel that’s the reason she took offense over the Olibel pairing.

      As for the serum, I have to wonder if Slade doesn’t find it first and use it to whip up on the pirates. Sarah clearly has a history with the guy and I’d like to think it’s a heroic one. :)

  7. Looks like we’ll finally get the super powered Deathstroke.

    • I’d look forward to seeing him be a season-long villain … or even a spin-off character.

  8. Felicity and Oliver better get together soon or i might die

  9. Where going to Tahiti..lol..is this a dig on the weak storyline from Agents of Shield…

    • LOL, right

    • It’s a magical place.

    • I caught that too. It had to be a directed at AoS. They could have picked from any other location in the world and they chose that one.

  10. The mention of HIVE sent me back to Teen Titans.

    Also
    Arrow has gotten a very extensive female cast now.

    • YES! That plus Brother Blood gave me a big Teen Titans vibe. Haha

    • I want to see the CW adapt Teen Titans. Wouldn’t that be cool?

      • no.

  11. So many great things to talk about on this episode of Arrow which may be my favorite of this season so far. The production quality and development of the storyline is several notches up this time around. Characters that seemed sidelines were pushed to the forefront, and one while watching it forgets that Oliver Queen only suits up once as the Arrow….at the beginning. Some elements can be seen coming but still entertaining while watching it. Very enjoyable and lot of developments:

    -A.R.G.U.S is featured in a larger capacity. Field agents are effective of retrieving Diggle. Amanda Waller appears for the first time and showcases a knowledge of Oliver Queen’s extracurricular activity.

    -The development of Oliver’s relationships to the Russians is explored both present day and in the flashback. The change in setting allowed the series to breath a bit more.

    -Roy Harper was utilized greater at the beginning (although I wished he would stop getting weak at the knees when speaking to Arrow) and the small moment between Officer Lance and Roy was good.

    - Dr. Anthony Ivo is introduced again, this time to Oliver Queen, and further develops the overall plot of the flashback. A serum that essentially can potentially produce super soldiers with enhanced strength and healing factors. A serum called Miracle in Japanese,…Miraclo.

    -Is this the same serum, or a derivative, being used by Brother Blood to create an army of his own in the present day storyline? I think there is direct connection. Nice to see Slade Wilson and Shado again, although Slade is in pretty bad shape. I wonder if this serum would be used to salvage Slade and transform him into the Deathstroke character we expect.

    -Wait isn’t there another DC property that is intended to brought into the CW- Hourman? Although the behind-the-scene team is different, Hourman in the books at least used Miraclo as a source of his abilities.

    -The particle accelerator that has been a brief Easter egg throughout this season is put more into the forefront this time around, with the project from Star Labs being controversial. It seems that this subplot will do more, than just serve as the Flash origin. It seems the birth of the Flash will be a side effect of a larger scheme.

    -H.I.V.E. A connection to Slade or Brother Blood? Perhaps. Deadshot seemingly to return as part of Suicide Squad. I like the extra dimension of Diggle’s brother death being revealed. Similar to the reveal of Sara Lance.

    So where is all this leading to. Individuals want to create a new breed of super soldiers both in the past and present.
    The League of Assassins serve as a nice continuation of the Malcom Merlyn plot from the first season, introducing aspect of his past and training. They are still out there as well as Black Canary- with Sara left for dead as Oliver said. Do they revive her?
    Who is Isabel Rochev really? Why was she in the list? Could she be the employer of Edward Fryers from the first season?
    Who is going to use the particle accelerator for a larger purpose?

    The story has a lot more going for it this season, than last. What is the connection between all these plots? The world is definitely changing in the Arrowverse.
    Nice to see Diggle have his moment to shine, and more development of Deadshot and Isabel.

    I felt the break up subplot of Roy and Thea was boring and inconsequential. Thea could have just told Roy what the lawyer said and keep the relationship hidden from the public eye.

    But everything else was perfect. Especially not having the melodramatic Laurel subplot this time around. Great episode.

    • Wow. I agree with almost this entire statement. For me it was particularly interesting keying in on the potential subplot of the particle accelerator and the likely tie-in with the origin of the Flash. But I personally feel that the incident that turns Barry Allen into the Flash needs to be bigger than that with a well thought out plot storyline of his own in order to give justification for his own IP to take off. Also, I’d like for the Flash’s origin to have a link to Jay Garrick in order to give it a feeling of a more complete story and history of this character but that is just me. Also, for those concerned about the Felicity and Oliver relationship my personal opinion is that it’d be wiser and more intriguing for her to continue to develop as a female character instead of becoming another cliché female character vetting for the main protagonist love. Their relationship seems to work best when she sort of plays the older sister or sibling of a similar age to give a constructive criticism of how Oliver lives his life in order for him to better develop double life while not losing site of those matters of the heart. Not a major plot use in that use but avoids potholes and cliché territory. Hopefully they develop the Flash carefully. Also, what do you mean by revive her?? Sara Lance isn’t dead, or is she?? When did that happen?? Last question, I thought that Brother Blood was more (and better) tied to the storyline of Zatanna, is she or is she not?? I thought this because it would’ve provided an ideal opportunity for them to introduce the more Supernatural side of the DC Universe and the Science Fiction as well. Would really appreciate someone enlightening me. Thanks.

      JL

      • My apologies for my writing being a bit difficult to read, I really wish there was an edit button to fix bad posts.

        • No it was perfectly fine. Thank you :)

      • I am not too sure about Brother Blood and Zatanna to answer the question. I think they are going into the realm of science fiction more or less this season and leave any and all probable supernatural stuff with the League of Assassins.

        I did not articulate correctly about what I meant with Sara Lance so pardon me. I was referring to how Oliver states that he thought Sara died. Oliver says he thought she died on the boat, but then found her roughly a year later as we saw in these last couple of episodes, but then he says he thought her dead again- hence Oliver’s shocked reaction to finding out that Black Canary is Sara.

        So the question is does Oliver simply think she died, or was he certain that she died and thus the shock of her being alive after all these years. This will be answered through a combination of dialogue and flashback no doubt, but if the latter is the case, as I speculate, then perhaps that is Sara’s ties to the League of Assassins. She could die and then be brought back to life through them, specifically by either Talia or Ra’s Al Ghul.

        Felicity and Oliver’s relationship would be fine but yes I do agree we need to see more of her prior to that. We need to get different aspects of her which I am sure would come out with the arrival of the similarly brilliant Barry Allen a few episodes from now.

        I was worried that Barry Allen’s origin as the Flash would have been forced with everything being written around it. Almost building the means to the end. But with the talk of the particle accelerator becoming much prominent this early on, perhaps Flash’s origin is just the natural conclusion the writers arrived at when formulating the plot and endgame of season 2. I could be wrong, but that is my take after this episode. Especially with all the various elements I mentioned being set-up and developed quite well so far. So I am sure they give plenty of opportunity building up to this moment when Allen is transformed. I hope so at the least.

        His connection with Jay Garrick could be cool. Maybe we will see or hear a connection. I mean we did get to see Dinah Laurel Lance’s mother- who played the original Black Canary- and they did mention Officer Quentin Lance’s middle name as Larry- the original name of the character. But just as they made Laurel’s sister- a character that does not exist- into the character of Black Canary, anything is possible.

        The writers are having a good time playing around with the established canon of the comic books of Green Arrow and DC in general to tell their own brand of the story- with more success than failures (ahem *cough* the Huntress *cough*). So for the time being I trust the writers to give us another great build up and end game. They did so in the first season which had many stumbles at the beginning and some underwhelming elements that led to a great latter half and finale.

        With Season 2 starting so well and finally cementing the several plot lines, I cannot wait to see the ever growing Arrowverse

    • Good thoughts!

    • Not to mention Waller was wearing red heels and a skirt, like Fryers employer….

  12. Another awesome ep. Glad they finally showed Slade after his face was half burned. Diggle kicks ass =p

  13. What do you guys think of Summer Glau’s character, Isabel Rochev, so far?

    • Uh… too easy? :)

      Haven’t seen enough of her yet. Still thinking she’s an emotionless Terminator from the future.

      • @ Big Nerd, too easy? If anything she made Oliver in to her *****. LOL. She doesn’t need to cuddle.

        I liked yesterday’s episode. Diggle’s smart mouth makes him stand out. I’m feeling the H.I.V.E. conspiracy. I’m glad they’re stalling Felicity and Oliver hooking up. Kind of heated at Canary in the flashbacks so they did that right. Can’t wait for Flash and Deathstroke. The Red Arrow and Dt. Lance nod was cool. I like where it’s all going. Still didn’t top ‘Broken Dolls’ IMO, but it’s up there.

  14. This season is sooooooo much better than last season. It’s giving me confidence in the introduction of Barry Allen. I’m also really enjoying how they’re connecting things and going back to things that just seemed like convenient plot devices back in Season 1 like how Oliver knew Russian mobsters and was somehow a captain. Turns out he’s actually really good friends with a Russian mobster and looks like he helped him escape from that ship at some point. Very excited to see where this all goes.

    • i was waiting for the tie in back to russia, which is another story to explore but as i recall, the first time they showed him with the russians trying to get info on the bullet didn`t he have those gulag tats to show proof of his connections to the mob

  15. I enjoyed this episode, especially in the way that it brought several loose ends together in order to propel the series forward. It would have been more interesting to have had only Diggle & Oliver go to Russia, as the B-story there felt forced and unnecessary. The changes in Oliver and, especially, Isabel were too forced and convenient, plus the actors don’t share any chemistry with one another. Likewise, I didn’t come away from the episode think that Felicity was jealous, just offended. Isabel hasn’t exactly been a friendly face and, as Felicity said, Oliver can do better. It was a bit too out of character for him but I guess someone had to be this episode’s Laurel and Isabel fit the bill. In fact, if nothing else, this episode seemed like a good test run to decide whether or not the show could function without Katie Cassidy–who was the only regular character not featured. Clearly it does.

    I really like the pace of Roy’s story. At first I didn’t care for the actor but he and Thea have been allowed to mature at a very nice, organic pace this season without the teen angst that the CW is notori — famous — for.

    If I remember correctly, Diggle was named for one of the comic writers/artists who had a successful run on Green Arrow. Is his (ex-ish) wife also an original character in the series?

    • Also, I wish the actor portraying Deadshot was a little less “Peter Petrelli”-esque.

  16. Olicity Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone give Oliver a smack to the face. Open your eyes, man, look at the signs. You need Felicity.

  17. This was a great episode for a number of reasons. We got to see a brief view of a burnt faced Slade. Diggle finally got a an episode where he was the focus of attention. I am one of the few who likes the simmering attraction between Felicity and Oliver. I hope they continue along those lines. This show just keeps on improving where some shows like Supernatural are showing their age.

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