From Day 1, this show has been about hope and family. Well, it’s been about bad guys and secrets and awesome action sequences and identity, but it’s also been about hope and family. Hope that StarlingÂ City could be saved and the familial relationships that make our characters who they are. Every single one of theÂ major characters on this show (and most minor, as well) has had a mother/father/daughter/sister/brother/sonÂ that has driven or influenced them in some way, whether for better or for worse.Â And in the aptly titled “Brotherhood,” we finally learned that one of Diggle’s major driving forces throughout the series, his brother, is not only alive but also nothing like the saint we always imagined, which presents an inevitable challenge for our beloved Diggle.
Anytime you learn something new about someone you thought you knew, it’s bound to send you in to a bit of tailspin. Especially when the information is big, as was the case for Diggle. Not only is Andy the opposite ofÂ the war-hero soldier weÂ hadÂ always believed, but he’s also knee-deep in HIVE, which for better or worse is what brought him to Team Green Arrow’s doorstep. After getting his file from Lance, Diggle’s heartbreak (masked as defeat) is pretty obvious as he presents it toÂ Oliver.
Oliver: John, this….
Diggle: It’s pretty definitive evidence that HIVE had Andy killed because his criminal operations conflicted with theirs.
Oliver: That doesn’t track at all with what you’ve told me about Andy.
Diggle: Oliver, that doesn’t track with what I knew about Andy. But I guess I never really knew him at all.
Oliver: There has to be an explanation for all of this. Maybe he was undercover?
Diggle: No, man, it’s all right there. The facts are the facts.
Oliver: All I’m saying is Andy was your brother and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Trust me, things aren’t always what they seem.
Diggle has always been very black and white with things, as we witnessed with his treatment of Oliver after the Nanda Parbat incident, and this is no exception. That being said, if you believe your brother is a stand-up guy and a decorated war hero, who was killed unnecessarily, I can imagine it’d be hard to rectify this new information.
But, of course, that truthÂ paled in comparison to the one Diggle had yet to uncover. After breaking in to HIVE HQ, Diggle came across a Ghost and unmasked him, only to discover the not-dead, very much alive Andy. Talk about family drama! Not to mention,Â yet another supposedly dead (or once-dead nowÂ back-to-life) family member on this show. Diggle admitted to Lyla that he once dreamed of Andy returning to life after learning of the Lazarus Pit; however, now that he knows the truth, everything is differentÂ and he is clearly ready to write him off.Â Fortunately, even after a near defeat, Oliver isn’t so quick to pull the trigger.
Diggle: Oliver, let this go man. I have. And you almost got yourself killed.
Oliver: I’ve been a lot closer to almost killed.
Diggle: Andy made his choice.
Oliver: You don’t know that. John, you saw what was going on tonight. Those men, they were under the influence of something. Whatever pill is scrambling their DNA is also making them susceptible to Dahrk’s suggestion.
Diggle: Okay, just because you have a blind spot for your family, don’t expect me to as well.
Oliver: That’s not what this is about.
Diggle: The hell it’s not. Family is exactly what this is about. Criminal or not. Under the influence or not. Andy let his son and his wife believe he was dead for eight years, Oliver, EIGHT YEARS!!! And there’s no excuse for that! None!
Oliver: John, you don’t know.
Diggle: Oliver, you don’t know. You have this inexplicable way of excusing everything just because its family.
Oliver: It’s not inexplicable. I’m asking you to….I’m asking you to hold out hope for Andy because I need that hope. I need to believe that no matter what happens in our lives, no matter how much darkness infects us, I need to believe that we can come back from that.
Diggle: It was exactly that thinking that led you to the League last year. It doesn’t seem like you learned much from that.
Oliver: Felicity told you?
Diggle: Getting in bed with Dahrk, Oliver. I don’t see how you can even consider it.
Oliver: We are gonna take this guy down and no idea is off the table.
Diggle: Look, you’re doing things differently Oliver, fighting Dahrk from the inside is just fighting Dahrk in the shadows. You want to do things differently? You want ideas? Fine. Let’s take this son of a bitch down in the light of day.
While everything Andy has done does seem pretty horrible, I have to admit, I can’t really blame Oliver for pushing Diggle to hold out hope and give Andy a chance. Because as bitter and angry as DiggleÂ may be, this is hisÂ brother and has been his motivation for so long that to just let AndyÂ go and believe the worst wouldn’t be healthyÂ for Diggle. And Oliver knows that. Not to mention that things are not always what they appear in Star City. Between faked deaths, Mirakuru madness, Lazarus Pit rage and now the mystical magic of Damien Dahrk, I feel like Andy’s behaviorÂ warrants an explanation. If he was a good guy at one point, then there has to be some reasonÂ for the change.Â And as Felicity pointed out, a HIVE Ghost had the opportunity to kill Diggle at the last fight and chose not to. If that’s Andy, that must mean some humanity is left in him, right?
That being said, I have to admit that while I’m not thrilledÂ thatÂ Diggle is ready to give up on his brother, I do love that he’s not ready to give up on the city or ridding it of bad guys. Even if one of those guys is Andy. This news may have shattered some of his personal beliefs, but it hasn’t defeated him.
I also love Oliver admitting that he needs hope and to believeÂ that noÂ matter what awfulness they face, they will prevail. It’s this belief that allowed him to survive the island, break freeÂ of ARGUS, return to Starling City and ultimately keep fighting even when it seems like an ever-losing battle. He may not have always made the best decisions and his confidenceÂ has definitely wavered, but ultimately it has served him well and hopefully, that will help inspire Diggle with his brother as well. Because I’m pretty sure he’s gonna need it. Seeing Andy’s empty, vacant eyes when Diggle confronted him in the end definitely made me wonder if Andy is past the point of saving. Obviously, I hope not, for Diggle’s sake, but I can’t imagine that it’s going to be easy. That being said, Diggle being willing to confront him and ask for an explanation is a giantÂ first step and I can only hopeÂ that it eventually leads toÂ some answers.
ArrowÂ airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.
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