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Don’t call it stunt casting in the later seasons, but Ghostbusters alum Ernie Hudson joined up with Team Arrow this week — just in time for a surprise death to shake up the season-long mission to take down the Ninth Circle.
Spoilers ahead for “Spartan,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, April 23, 2019!
It’s been a while since we got a Diggle family-focused story, and this made for a fun one. Oliver and Diggle turn to Ernie Hudson’s General Stewart with some help on figuring out what’s up with the Ninth Circle. Oh, and come to find out Hudson’s character is also Diggle’s stepfather. Yeah, it was a fun twist. Apparently Diggle has lived his entire life resenting him (how could anybody not like Ernie Hudson?!), because he always thought Stewart had gotten his father killed on a mission — then swooped in and started dating his mom.
But the truth is a bit more complicated. Turns out Stewart had taken the hit to let Diggle grow up thinking his father was a hero, when it turns out Stewart was the real hero who saved the day. But he didn’t want Diggle to think less of his dad, so he took that hate and spite his entire life to let Diggle believe his father was a great man. Diggle finally learns the truth, and makes a long-awaited new connection with his estranged stepfather. It’s hard to say how much Hudson’s character will be sticking around, but regardless, the story was a great opportunity to see another side of Diggle’s life and tackle another part of his story.
There’s also another absolutely fascinating big of geekiness to be had in this story: Turns out John Diggle’s stepfather’s last name is … Stewart. You know, the same last name as famed Green Arrow John Stewart. We’ve gotten some multiverse hints that other versions of Diggle could be a Green Lantern. So, if Diggle adapts his stepfather’s name he would be John Diggle. Sure, this is likely just a clever little nod to fans on the topic. But, with the Crisis on Infinite Earths coming up next season (and Arrow ending with it), it’d be a great time to pay off those teases and let John suit up one time with a Power Ring.
Diggle’s family story also dovetails into a surprise death as that hunt for the Ninth Circle finally lets Oliver catch up with Emiko for a heart-to-heart. Oliver is able to tell Emiko her mentor-turned-protege Dante is actually the one who killed her mother. So Emiko puts a half-dozen arrows into him and leaves him for dead. That’s right, the mid-tier baddie who looked like he could be the new Big Bad is (apparently) dead. Between Diaz and Dante, potential Big Bads are dropping like flies this year.
The future mission pushes forward with the flash-forward team trying to track down those bombs. We also got an interesting twist in that Archer story, as present-day Felicity is forced to delete the surveillance tech once it's stolen by the Ninth Circle. So, where does this future version of Archer originate, exactly? Is it rebuilt? Did Felicity’s hacker pal steal a copy and release it herself at some point? Still some questions with that arc.
The Future Diggle family is even more complicated than the present-day one. Turns out one Diggle kid is a good guy fighting with the Canaries, and another is a member of the future Deathstroke gang? Yeah, there’s a good story somewhere in there.
Next week: There’s murder afoot, and Oliver is Suspect No. 1!