The much anticipated “Suicide Squad” episode is finally upon us. On tonight’s Arrow, Diggle agrees to help ARGUS when Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) requests his help on an urgent mission. He’s unexpectedly partnered with a bunch of former foes, including Deadshot (guest star Michael Rowe), Bronze Tiger (guest star Michael Jai White) and Shrapnel (guest star Sean Maher).
I spoke with David Ramsey (Diggle) to get the scoop on the Diggles’s place on Team Arrow, relationship with Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), the Suicide Squad and even a tease about HIVE. Read on for excerpts of our conversation.
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It’s getting pretty crowded in the Arrow Cave. Diggle helped remind Felicity that she’s a valuable member of the team. Does Diggle have any reservations about what his place is on Team Arrow now?
I don’t know that he has any reservations about what his place is, I think obviously he always has doubts about more people finding out. This is a covert operation, as he sees it, and so he’s always concerned about that. Who we let in, if anyone. Diggle remains the voice, the one who says the things that what everyone’s always thinking. He’s seen some of the stuff that Oliver’s seen given that he’s a war-torn veteran himself. He’s dealt with his post-traumatic stress syndrome a lot better than Oliver has.
He can say these things with a certain amount of authority — the morally lofty things. And honestly he saved Oliver’s life. Without Diggle, I think Oliver would either be The Huntress, who’s just an assassin who kills indiscriminately, or he’d be dead. I don’t think he questions his place on Team Arrow. He’s a very needed asset.
It would seem that Oliver needs Diggle now more than ever with Slade’s return. So, how does Diggle justify leaving to go work with ARGUS and Waller?
At the end of the day, there’s a mission here that he sees as honorable and he agrees to do it before realizing he’s going to have to work with some dishonorable people in the Suicide Squad. He’s heavily recruited and gets on board with Amanda Waller and ARGUS because there’s an enemy that he absolutely knows is an enemy. It’s an enemy from his past, his personal past, and an enemy of the state. He’s being recruited solo to work with ARGUS to bring this enemy down.
That’s the justification. He’s going after a bad guy, ARGUS needs his specific skills to do that. When you see the episode, you’ll see why those skills are so specific. So you agrees. And, then Amanda hands him the box. And the box is that you’ll be leading a crew in this mission and that team is the Suicide Squad. He’s already agreed to the mission. He has an honorable reason at first, but then finds out he’ll have to work with some really shady characters.
We get the first flashback for Diggle back to his time in Afghanistan. How different is the Diggle of the past to the one we see today?
I think the Diggle you see in the past is very much the Diggle you see today. The reason Diggle left the military was because of the element of not being able to call the shots on who we kill and who we don’t. And, having to following the orders of who we protect and who we don’t protect. And those are some elements that he did not agree with. So, he left the military, but he’s a soldier at heart. That’s who he was and that’s who he always will be. What we see in the flashbacks is probably why he left the millitary or a big chunk of the personal reason as to why he left the military. In terms of who he is, he’s very much the same person — an honorable solider.
Diggle’s reunited with his ex-wife, Layla, does his feelings for her get explored at all?
Absolutely. You’ll Lyla and Diggle in some of their most intimate moments in this episode. You’ll absolutely see them intimately. You saw that in the Russia episode between Lyla and Diggle. You’ll see more of that. And you’ll really see what makes them attracted to each other, which is another form of intimacy. What made them connect in the first place which gets much more interesting than just about anything else you’d see in the bedroom. But, you’ll see that kind of intimacy. What really makes them connect romantically and intellectually.
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On the mission, Diggle is having to work with former foes. Does he trust them all? Or, is there distrust throughout the mission?
There’s distrust throughout the mission, but he’s a soldier and the mission has to move forward. Floyd Lawton is only understood as Deadshot. By the time this mission is over, he knows Floyd Lawton. That means tremendously more to Diggle than anything else. Interesting thing was in the first meeting between him and Oliver, he only knew that this was the Vigilante when he had to make the decision to join Oliver and he got to know Oliver. He got to understand who Oliver was and that made a difference to him.
It will make a difference here as well between Floyd Lawton and Deadshot. The distinguishing characteristics between those two people. And you’ll see him make a decision about Floyd Lawton. Their relationship will reach a crescendo in this episode. You will see more of Deadshot in later episodes, I think. He’s not done, but the relationship will take a turn between he and Diggle.
At the Walker Stalker Con panel, Stephen Amell teased that someone else is going to find out about Arrow’s secret identity. Is that something that will irritate Diggle?
Well, I know the way that person finds out and I know who that person is that finds out. And, the writers are so good. That person has to find out because we have no choice. It will be a matter of life or death.
Anything else you want to tease about Diggle’s upcoming arc?
You’ll see more of the Suicide Squad. You’ll see more of HIVE in the upcoming season. Diggle will remain the voice of reason. You will see further exploration of Andy Diggle and HIVE.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on the CW.
(Image courtesy of the CW.)