With Diggle taking on the mantle of the Green Arrow and Oliver struggling with the quadratic formula, not everything went according to plan in Arrow 6×03
Last week on The CW‘s Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) gave up the role of the Green Arrow in order to devote the bulk of his attention to raising his son. Without knowing about John Diggle’s (David Ramsey) degenerative nerve damage, Oliver asked his friend to take up the mantle, and Diggle accepted. Along with the change in leadership came new opening narration by Oliver to introduce Diggle as the Green Arrow.
In “Next of Kin,” Diggle and the rest of the team began adjusting to the former’s new role as the team leader. Given that there is rarely a quiet moment in Star City, the team was immediately thrown into a challenging situation involving a rogue black ops team led by the mysterious Onyx (Chastity Dotson). Onyx and her team broke into Kord Industries to steal a deadly nerve gas. Despite Diggle being highly experienced in the field, he initially froze up and caused Onyx to escape. Rene (Rick Gonzalez), who was concerned about Diggle’s lack of clear leadership, went to Oliver for help.
RELATED | Arrow Roundtable 6×02 “Tribute”
Meanwhile, Oliver ran into his own issues in his life. William (Jack Moore) needed help to prepare for an upcoming math test. Oliver’s poor performance as a student led him to enlist the help of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to tutor William on math. After seeing Felicity interacting with William, he reached the conclusion that he wanted Felicity to have a larger role in his private life once again and gave her the key to his apartment. Despite Oliver no longer being the Green Arrow, FBI Agent Watson (Sydelle Noel) became even more suspicious of Oliver when he put anti-vigilante legislation up for a vote in Star City.
After receiving a solid pep talk from Oliver and other members of the team, Diggle managed to pull through and Team Arrow successfully stopped Onyx. To help ease him into his new role, Felicity and Curtis (Echo Kellum) made Diggle a crossbow (named “Green Monster” by Curtis), which he then fired without any tremors from his nerve damage. It was then revealed in the final scene of the episode that Diggle is secretly taking some sort of injection to help treat the tremors.
Team Arrow may have new leadership but Arrow has continued to prove to be an action-packed and complicated superhero show. Let’s meet this week’s roundtable and get into more of the details of “Next of Kin.”
Dani (@ENSM31) – Accountant, Brazilian, crazy about Arrow, not into comics though.
Adri (@lust_muffin) – Avid TV series watcher, Arrow fan from the beginning
Natalie (@amellxwood) – Film student. Zealous Arrow fan. Olicity are the ones who light my way.
Sars (@smoakoverwatch) – Writer, political science student, iced coffee enthusiast
Penny (@SAEBRfan) – Proud mother of 4, Jane of all trades, who loves reading, sports, TV and Arrow
1. “His name is John Diggle, and he is the Green Arrow.” Last week the show added a new title screen to include the entire team and this week we were given new opening narration. What do you think of these changes?
Dani (@ENSM31): It’s very weird to hear something that changes the narrative that you’ve been used to. You kind of expect Oliver saying, I am the Green Arrow. But somehow it feels well deserved, like a homage to what Diggle represents to the show. After years working side by side to build the myth of the Green Arrow, I can’t think of a better person to use that title.
Adri (@lust_muffin): I love the new title card with all of their symbols so much. I think I’ve spent a whole hour talking about it last week when the episode aired. It’s such a cool nod to every Team Arrow member and the fact that Oliver, Dig and Felicity’s literally spell OTA? Even better. The new voiceover gave me so many feelings. Oliver’s faith in his best friend will never not make me all warm and fuzzy on the inside and it’s only fair that with a new Green Arrow, comes a new voiceover. I loved it.
Natalie (@amellxwood): I’m loving the new intro. Both the narration and the title screen. I’m sure they will be changing again soon because John Diggle’s reign as Green Arrow can’t last forever even though I’m enjoying him taking up the mantle.
Sars (@smoakoverwatch): I like the changes! The new title change is a nice way to honor all the members of the team in a unique way, and I think the opening narration is a nice way to introduce this new arc in the story. I think it’s also a good dedication to John’s new role as the leader on the show.
Penny (@SAEBRfan): I love the new title cards! So cool and I’m glad they show the whole team. As far as the narration goes, I think it’s very appropriate for the next few episodes. Let’s face it, we all KNOW Oliver will be back as the Green Arrow but I’m excited to see Diggle learn a few things I don’t think he realized by taking on the mantle.
2. Dinah helped to propel Diggle through the air using her Canary Cry. Ignoring the likely problem with the physics of the scene, how cool was that as an introduction to Diggle as the Green Arrow?
Dani: Honestly? It made me laugh. It’s Diggle, and he is huge. I couldn’t pass it. But apparently, the mantle of the Green Arrow changed Diggle’s posture during the fight scenes. His body language is more brutal now. The entire sequence is great.
Adri: Okay, let’s all ignore reality here. This is a comic book show and the Canary Cry being used to propel someone midair is miles away from being the most unrealistic thing that ever happened. That was a really cool scene. I mean, all of the fighting scenes in this episode were amazing. The slow motion jump at the hotel? That was awesome. I just really would like to know what’s with Arrow and limos. They love to destroy the poor cars.
Natalie: That was an awesome introduction. I’m loving the current change in the team dynamics. While I miss Oliver on the team, it is refreshing. Also, David Ramsey looks GOOD in the Green Arrow suit. It’s been nice seeing a bit of role reversal between Oliver and Diggle with Diggle brooding and Oliver giving the advice for a change. But it also probably means that it’s going to be all the more hurtful when Diggle’s lie gets revealed.
Sars: I thought it was really cool! I love moments like that where the team uses their unique abilities to help each other.
Penny: It was very cool. I thought it reflected how well John and Dinah work together as team members as well as his trust in her. Definitely was a cool moment but still weird to see him as the Green Arrow ‒ we all need time to adjust, just as John does.
3. Agent Watson immediately noticed that the Green Arrow isn’t using arrows and later quickly reached the conclusion that Oliver is protecting someone. How do you see that particular storyline progressing? Will Agent Watson eventually come around to supporting vigilantes or will it result in jail time for part of the team?
Dani: I love to see a villain in her when she is only doing her job, a legal one. She can piss you off, but you want more. Her game of cat and mouse with Oliver is dynamic and their interactions are mostly hilarious and really clever. I love Sassy Oliver, by the way. I think she will continue to gather information about Oliver and the team, always as a present threat. I have no doubt that she will have evidence enough to put one of them, mostly Oliver, in jail. I have to mention how great Sydelle Noel has been so far.
Adri: She’s so determined to prove that Oliver is the Green Arrow that I can’t see her backing down. I’m enjoying her scenes with Oliver, actually. They keep sassing each other out and it’s really entertaining. Since she has Oliver’s friends on that case board of hers, I think they’re all in for some complications in the future. I honestly don’t know how she’s the first one in all these years to connect the dots through the people that are close to Oliver. I think Agent Watson is not giving up on her vigilante hunt anytime soon.
Natalie: I think Agent Watson is going to stop at nothing to get to the bottom of it. Since it’s the first slow burn plot of the season, I think it could be resolved sooner rather than later. I think Oliver is going to end up digging himself a hole even deeper and we will probably see him pay for it. It would be a surprising twist if after all this, Agent Watson ended up supporting vigilantes.
Sars: I don’t think Agent Watson will change her opinion on vigilantes anytime soon, and she’s definitely suspicious of the team’s new methods in trying to throw her off. As we saw at the end of the episode, she has photographs of everyone in the team on her board, so I think at least one, if not all the team, will be in hot water from her investigation.
Penny: She’s not wrong and based on her evidence board, she’s going to prove it, one way or another. I can’t really see jail time for anybody, but arrests maybe. Public sway is going to play a big role I believe.
4. Oliver is likely regretting not being a very good student. Recruiting Felicity to help tutor William in math was probably a smart decision. How do you feel about that leading to Oliver giving her the key to his apartment and the two of them kissing?
Dani: Oliver has a serious problem to connect parts of his life. He has William. He has Felicity. Until the last episode, he didn’t know how to integrate both. It’s understandable that both, Oliver and William, needed more time to adjust their lives. Now, with Oliver only being a dad and the mayor, it seems easier for him to move forward this aspect of his life. Also, it surprises me, in a good way, that now he thinks about himself as a package. He is not alone anymore, he has a kid. It will only be good for him If It is good for his son, too. Thank god Felicity is good for both.
Adri: This episode left me full of family feels. Felicity tutoring William came straight out of fanfiction. Oliver is including her in everything now. He’s asking her opinion, asking for advice and for help. That’s what she always wanted when it comes to William. The only reason for them to hold back all of these months was for William’s sake but he’s totally okay with her so they have no reason to keep pushing back their relationship. They’ve been through so much that a key to his place doesn’t feel rushed. They don’t need to go through all the steps again. In the words of Stephen Amell… My heart is full.
Natalie: Let’s be honest: they did a lot more than just kissing in that scene. Oliver and Felicity are easily the strongest element of the show. It was so nice seeing Felicity bonding with William over the thing she knows better than anyone. Oliver obviously loved seeing the two of them together. It was time Oliver finally realized how easy it could be for them to make it work and how much not only Oliver needs Felicity in his life but also how much William needs her. I’m excited to see Olicity take more steps towards becoming a family.
Sars: I loved all the scenes regarding that storyline this week. It was really nice to see Felicity and William bonding while she tutored him, and it was clear Oliver loved to see her bond with his son as well. I hope we get more scenes like that going forward. Also, that kiss had been a long time coming, in my opinion. I like that it came after careful consideration from Oliver and Felicity as to the William of it all, and I’m excited to see how this little family will grow in the season.
Penny: I think it’s a great step forward in their relationship, and also in hers with William. He’s evolved and learned to include her in the process by talking it over, instead of making decisions for her. It is wonderful and it’s about time. Who doesn’t like kissing?
5. With the introduction of a new Green Arrow, it only made sense to introduce some new toys. What do you think of Diggle’s new crossbow? Or as Curtis likes to call it, the Green Monster. Would Cisco be impressed by that name?
Dani: It was a clever idea to give him a different weapon – different from the bow, different from the gun. Diggle totally looks like a badass with the crossbow in his hands. It suits him. But I think that Cisco would come up with a better name for it.
Adri: Diggle has always been terrible with the bow, that’s not new. So it makes sense that he would need something different. The crossbow was a really great idea, since it seems more stable than the bow. He has to use both hands to shoot it, like you do with a rifle, for example. I think maybe that was the idea. To make it feel closer to a gun. That name, though… Cisco would be appalled at the name. Maybe Curtis should give Cisco a call and ask him for some new ideas for the crossbow’s name.
Natalie: The Green Monster is AWESOME and different. I hope we get to see a lot of that in upcoming episodes. It will be interesting to see if Diggle will still use it in some capacity when he is no longer the Green Arrow. I’m sure Cisco would be impressed by that name.
Sars: I like that they designed Diggle his own unique weapon rather than using Oliver’s. It shows that his role in the Green Arrow is different on the show, and so he gets his own toys to celebrate it.
Penny: I like it and it suits him. At first I had a hard time believing that he could shoot a crossbow but not a gun (before the closing scene). I think Cisco would approve but he’d probably name it something else (ha!).
6. Oliver put the anti-vigilante legislation up to a vote for the residents of Star City. That decision may protect his former team in the short term but this could have long-term repercussions for both Star City and his friends. Was that politically smart? How do you think Star City will vote?
Dani: First thing that I said while I was watching the scene, FINALLY! Let the city decide. The team is there to help the city. It affects the lives of its citizens. I am sure that the city will vote pro vigilantes. Who wouldn’t it? Every May they face a crisis. All hands on deck, please. Oliver has been a natural as a politician. He knows how to lead the crowd. He can make this political move works for all of them. But then again, we have Agent Watson, so we will see.
Adri: I think Oliver did the right thing. Star City’s residents never had a say in the whole vigilante thing, but if their tax money is going to be used to hunt vigilantes, maybe the city’s politicians should know if that’s what the residents really want. I think they would support the vigilantes, though. The Green Arrow and his team have been helping the city and saving people for years now and I think they see that. The SCPD should be working with them, not hunting them down. Oliver’s giving the people a voice. From a political POV, I think that’s smart.
Natalie: I hope Star City will vote to protect the vigilantes. Politically, it was AND wasn’t smart. Star City seems to like when Mayor Queen steps up to the plate and will hopefully follow his lead. But in the long run, it’s going to bite Oliver in the ass as it only makes him look more suspicious to Agent Watson for trying to protect Team Arrow.
Sars: I think this move was a little politically risky, given how much it could affect Team Arrow. I think Oliver hopes that being bold would work in his favor, but I’m honestly not sure how the citizens of Star City will react. Many of them have benefitted from the team’s efforts, so I’m hoping they’ll vote in our heroes’ favor.
Penny: I think it was a smart move. It allows Star City citizens to weigh in and get a say in what’s happening. Hopefully it will be favorable because it will be extremely helpful going forward, especially when Oliver returns.
7. Diggle is using some sort of injection to treat the tremors caused by his nerve degeneration. What is it? What do you think the long-term consequences of that injection will be?
Dani: I have no idea what it is, but it’s something really bad. In a long term, I can see an addiction, or worse, lose the effect that it has and jeopardized some mission leading to someone being serious hurt. Or maybe mess with his mind. Oh boy, I really don’t know. Too many possibilities. The only thing that I know is that he will disappoint everyone, especially Oliver.
Adri: Dear lord. I did not see that one coming. I have absolutely no idea what that can be, but this is Arrow so we know it’s no good thing. I feel like this is going to spiral out of control soon and I don’t think it will be pretty when it happens. Can you imagine if that thing is something like Mirakuru and makes him cray cray? *shudders* Talk to your friends, dude! Talk to Oliver, talk to Felicity. Talk to your wife. You’re supposed to be smarter than Oliver!
Natalie: PHEW. My first thought was that it could be Mirakuru and then upon reflection, I thought maybe that was too crazy of an option for John Diggle to turn to. I’m still entertaining the idea that it is Mirakuru though because we do have Slade Wilson back this season which is where these two storylines could tie together. Long term, the injections are going to get John Diggle deep into a dark hole. I think the team, especially Oliver will be very disappointed when everything building up with John gets put on the table.
Sars: I think the injection might be dangerous for Diggle in the long term. Whatever the substance is, it doesn’t look legal or cheap for him to acquire. There could also be side effects that he doesn’t know about that may affect his behaviour or time out in the field, and may cause a rift in the team.
Penny: John! What are you doing?! (At least now I understand how he can shoot the crossbow.) It’s probably experimental and it’s going to have repercussions. Let’s hope nothing bad happens, or that he has no adverse effects when he stops. Everyone is going to give him hell when they find out.
Final Verdict: Arrow demonstrated that there’s still plenty of life in it even with a different man under the hood
Arrow shook things up last week by having Diggle take over the role of the Green Arrow to allow Oliver to focus more on his family and responsibilities as mayor of Star City. The show moved Diggle into the leadership role without skipping a beat by immediately throwing him and his team into the action with an impressive (if somewhat implausible) shot of him being thrown by Dinah’s (Juliana Harkavy) Canary Cry. Not everything initially worked out well for Diggle or Team Arrow. However, our roundtablers greatly enjoyed seeing Diggle rise to the challenge of being Star City’s Emerald Archer as well as how the show has adapted to the story changes.
The continued threat of Agent Watson’s FBI investigation into the Green Arrow has consistently been an interesting subplot this season, and this week’s roundtable agreed. Oliver’s personal life is still very much entangled in Team Arrow and the prospect of him and Felicity growing closer again is very appealing to us.
Despite enjoying the shot of Diggle flying through the air, some of our roundtablers found it somewhat over the top. We’re also concerned that Diggle’s decision to keep a secret about his health issues and his usage of an unknown injection may create some devastating consequences down the road for both Diggle and the team.
“Next of Kin” left us with Oliver and Felicity presumably back together or well on their way to being back together, Diggle getting more comfortable in his role as Green Arrow, an FBI investigation continuing to close in on Oliver and his team, and Diggle taking an unknown substance to help control his tremors. This season has been a bit of a slow burn so far but it has continued to keep us looking forward to whatever will happen next.