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Character Development: A Glimpse at Diggle’s Personal Life, Arrow “Keep Your Enemies Closer” 

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that we here at TV Goodness are big fans of Diggle. He’s tough, loyal and part of our favorite TV trio, which is why we were so excited that this episode was Diggle-centric. Not only did we learn a great deal about Diggle, but he learned quite a bit as well.

In season 1, we discovered that an eye-patched hit-man named Deadshot was responsible for killing Diggle’s brother, Andy, and ever since, we’ve seen Diggle’s hatred and need for vengeance all but consume him. So earlier this season, when he asked his “army buddy, Lyla” (more on that later) to look in to Deadshot, I felt it was about time to revisit this story, which I was starting to worry may be dropped by the wayside. Nevertheless, in this episode, Diggle is more or less kidnapped and informed that Lyla is currently MIA in Russia, which immediately spurns him to action. And since Oliver’s sense of loyalty is just as strong as Diggle’s, he insists that they all travel to Russia to take on this task together.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

While I enjoyed seeing Diggle front and center, it was the moment that he revealed his true relationship with Lyla that really hooked me. Diggle was married?! I don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t see this coming. Sure, I saw the friendly flirtation between Diggle and Lyla during their top-secret rendezvous, but I never expected this. That being said,  we actually know very little about Diggle, except that there is nothing he won’t do for the people he cares about. So getting himself thrown in to Russia’s most infamous prison in an attempt to break Lyla out is something he takes on without reservation.

And yet Diggle’s former marital status wasn’t the only surprise, for when he got tossed in to Russia’s form of solitary (basically seven hours in an ice box), he came face to face with non other than Deadshot himself. The hatred on Diggle’s face is clear and with Deadshot clearly “on ice,” I figured this was as close to a done deal as you could get. However, when Diggle breaks free thanks to an inside man, Deadshot is just one step behind him. Forced to work with Deadshot in order to find Lyla, Diggle repeatedly shows what kind of stand up guy he is.

After finding Lyla, he has the opportunity to kill Deadshot (more than once, I may add) and yet he chooses his honor over vengence. I can’t say that I’d be quite as noble but I really enjoyed seeing this since Diggle was the one who was giving Oliver such guilt over killing people. To be honest, I always thought that seemed a little unfair. He wanted to kill Deadshot, a criminal, and yet when Oliver killed criminals, he disapproved. Nevertheless, this cleared it all up and made it right with the universe in my opinion. Not to mention that I can’t imagine killing Deadshot would give Diggle the peace he seeks, especially after Deadshot helped him save Lyla.

But the real surprise came to Diggle as he was allowing Deadshot to walk away.

Deadshot: “I’m just curious, how do you think it is that your brother ended up dead?”
Diggle: “You shot at a client Andy was protecting and missed.”
Deadshot: “I don’t miss. Your brother was the contract.”

We never saw or heard much about Andy so I can’t say that this comes as much of a surprise to the audience (after all, haven’t we learned to be suspicious of pretty much EVERYONE?!). However, it clearly was the last thing Diggle had been expecting. To be honest, I like that Deadshot pointed him in the direction of H.I.V.E, an alias that was used to set up the killing, and that it gives Diggle his own personal side mission. Not to mention that it gives Oliver the chance to be the sidekick for once, which is a title he wears just as well as that of vigilante and leads to great moments like this.

Diggle: “Thank you, you had my back.”
Oliver: “And now you know what it feels like.”

So glad we got to peel back a few layers on the Diggle character because while we’ve heard a handful about his past and personal life, we’ve actually seen very little. Call me crazy, but it was actually nice to see him happy in bed with his wife…and apparently he’s a master of blueberry pancakes! Who knew?! Diggle is not the kind of guy who wear his heart on his sleeve (or on his face, like Oliver), so this little reveal went a long way. That being said, I hope they don’t wait until next season to revisit this thread. I know we have many other bad guys to catch and crises to solve, but we’re happy any time they allow Diggle the chance to be a part of the action.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.


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