Diggle is back! After being largely separated from Team Arrow for much of this season, David Ramsey's character John Diggle is back in action with the rest of the gang. But even though he's been sprung from the federal prison by Oliver and Lyla, all was not peachy for Dig in last night's episode, "Human Target."
After all, Diggle is still a wanted man, framed for the events in Chechnya. Also, when he returns, there's a lot of new recruits that take some getting used to. Oh, and then there's the threat of Church and the mystery of Prometheus.
Thankfully, Ramsey was willing to talk to us about all of that! During a set visit to the Arrow production in Vancouver, David Ramsey sat for a chat about Diggle's current arc.
What did it feel like rejoining Team Arrow after being separated for the beginning of the season?
Honestly, for me as an actor, it did feel kind of weird. You come into a new set, literally. Everyone was really … new. I felt a little like Stephen did when he was gone for a while. Everyone kind of inside jokes he wasn’t a part of, a little bit. They kind of had this little camaraderie I wasn’t a part of. I was like, uh, no more OTA [Original Team Arrow]. But they were great. The adjustment happened very quickly. Now we’re having fun.
Does Diggle have a new helmet?
It’s been majorly tweaked. Originally this was supposed to be a STAR Labs collaboration, but now my understanding is it's going to be a STAR Labs, Felicity, some other worked on it combination. I don’t know if they’ve completely figured it out, either. Originally that was the pitch; you’re going to get a new helmet. There’s actually a scene when I crossed over in the King Shark episode of The Flash, and we have a brief moment where he asks, “How do you like the helmet?” And I say, “It needs some tweaking,” and he says, “I’m working on it.” That kind of connects us to this season where you see a completely new mask. We haven’t quite gotten into what the mask does yet, but I talked to Marc, and he says it definitely has X-Ray Vision. I’m kidding! He said there’s a lot of stuff it can do, and we’ll get into it this season.
We get to see Diggle hang out with Wild Dog last night, but do you get to spend time with other new recruits?
I do but Wild Dog and I form a special relationship. He is a military guy, like I am. He also has some post-traumatic stress as well. There is kind of a similarity in their background. We kind of take to each other in a real way. We have some really nice scenes, he and I particularly. So the new recruits, I do fraternize with them a bit, but Wild Dog and Diggle really hit it off.
Is he a Yoda to these other guys?
I think Diggle is kind of a Yoda to everybody, a little bit. That is kind of a role he falls into naturally. He’s the oldest of the group, and he kind of falls into that mental place. Last season, Oliver and Diggle switched roles a bit; Diggle was compromised with how he felt with his brother. Oliver could see through the fog, and Diggle couldn’t. It was a reversal of the roles. But, for the most part, he does serves as a mentor, and older voice, and definitely does with the new recruits.
Does this mean the OTA is done?
That’s a power-that-be question, but I don’t think so. We get back to it. I like that they’re breathing new life into the show, and bringing in new characters. They are all interesting, all awesome. And there is more stuff to come with these characters. But I don’t think we’re done with the OTA. That’s the bedrock of the show, and I don’t think I’m misspeaking when I say that. I think we’re really getting into what we talked about at the beginning of the season, which is the show getting back into the Season 1, Season 2, nuts-and-bolts thug street-level crime fighting show, which I think the show got away from. And these characters serve that.
Diggle is going through some personal trauma, coming to terms with what he’s done. How does that color his relationship with Oliver, given that Oliver is going back to his far more aggressive vigilante type?
Some of that Diggle needs to hear. Diggle needs some of his own medicine right now. Just like he did last season. He is still dealing with that. We still see some of the remnants of that role reversal, where Oliver is serving as a mentor, a helpful hand, a reasonable voice for Diggle who is still in grief. It is not just his brother; it’s Canary. You can probably draw a straight line between his choices and Canary’s death, and trusting his brother who betrayed him. There is still some of that feeling as if he deserves this punishment.
Is there more Felicity/Diggle stuff coming up?
Yeah, Delicity, right? … Yeah, I hope so. I hope you get to see the three of them more in general. I think the show really misses … you know, I remember watching the show in the first and second season and there was like an assignment they would go on and Felicity would be at the helm and Oliver and Diggle would be like in the field and she’d be controlling things and opening up doors that shouldn’t be opened up by a computer, and that was so much fun, right? I miss that a little bit, so I hope we kind of get more of that. But there’s 23 episodes. That’s a lot of writing. That’s a lot of work. Nine months we’re shooting this show. So there’s a big story to tell and now you have more characters to tell that story. So I think they’ll get back to that. That again is more of a producer question. But, like I said before, I don’t think I’m misspeaking in that I think the show really does hinge on those three and that relationship between the three. I think they’ll get back to that in full.
Are there growing pains with the new recruits?
It’s funny, when I first saw him get back in the field, I was just like, I called up Marc and Wendy and I was like, "You know, I think Diggle has to really be the sh-t when he gets back out in the field. And the new recruits need to know that. They need to come correct and recognize. You know? And recognize the juice." I’m completely serious. And they were like, "Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. They do." So they rewrote the scene, and it’s so funny now and I hope it makes the cut. The new recruits are like, "Oh, he’s so badass."
We’re taking great strides holding that close to the chest, so I can only say so much about that. I can say that he and Oliver have a lot in common.
What does Diggle think about Prometheus?
Listen, Digg gets awed by every other piece of the puzzle that comes together. Like, "Oh, you know it’s because of that. Oh, he’s that or he’s that." But I think what’s great about Diggle is that he’s the guy you can depend on. There’s been less of that part of last season and part of this season, but, for the most part, he’s the guy you can depend on to cut straight to the chase. He’s a bad guy. He needs to be taken down, and that’s it. Oliver’s the one who kind of struggles with, "Oh, well maybe this, maybe that." But Diggle’s always the one that’s like, "Listen, he’s a criminal. We need to take him out. Don’t necessarily kill him, but he needs to go."