The actors behind John Diggle and Quentin Lance discuss how their characters will react, as well as their comrades
After the shocking death of Laurel Lance, Arrow returns from a short hiatus tonight with “Canary Cry.” It’s sure to be an emotional powerhouse, as Oliver and the rest of the team remember their fallen friend.
Arrow stars David Ramsey and Paul Blackthorne have been making the press rounds ahead of tonight’s episode to tease what’s to come. Ramsey tells ET that he was worried for most of the season that Diggle would end up being the one in that mysterious grave: “I was thinking, ‘What would hurt more and would tug at the heartstrings?’ Well, the mentor. Kill the mentor. What’s that going to do to Oliver? Where’s that going to take him? So I was thinking that Diggle is not safe.”
Ramsey goes on to reveal that the loss of Laurel and actress Katie Cassidy caused genuine sadness on the set:
“In that death scene, every single tear was genuine. Everyone was hurt and everyone was crying. Even the crew was crying, so we had to stop filming for a little bit so people could hug.
“That was a real genuine moment. Not to say that the other [Arrow deaths] weren’t, but that was very heartfelt and very difficult to get through.”
Ramsey tells Access Hollywood how Laurel’s death will change Diggle:
“Post-traumatic stress syndrome has happened to the whole team after Laurel’s death. He’s no exception, and so we’re seeing a Diggle that we’ve never seen before. What has happened to his brother – the betrayal, the not-death, the H.I.V.E., the not quite H.I.V.E. – he is on an emotional tailspin, his wife now a part of this organization, ARGUS, which clearly has its own agenda that he’s never really fully agreed with, so I think we’re looking at a Diggle who… this is a nuts and bolts kind of guy. And there was a great line that Lyla had during the Suicide Squad episode of Season 2. … She [said] very clearly, ‘You see the world in black and white, and the world is much more complicated,’ and I think that’s always been his Achilles heel … The same thing that makes Diggle strong in that he sees it black and white and therefore he’s honorable and super loyal and he will take the grenade, is the same thing that is his Achilles heel. He can’t really wrap his head around the gray areas. … You’re going to see a Diggle who has to deal with the gray and because of that, he is fractured and he is willing to do things that you never would have thought him to do.”
Characters are known for coming back to life on Arrow, something Ramsey says his is well aware of:
“In this universe, you never know. I know the producers have put whatever stamp they put on it, but if the show is blessed is to run a fraction as long as let’s say another CW show like ‘Supernatural,’ then you never know what can happen in this universe, particularly in our universe where people can run faster than light, there’s time travel and things like that. So, that was some of the conversation, but it was mostly ‘Hate to see you go,’ ‘Sorry to see you go,’ ‘Love you,'”
Ramsey elaborates on the betrayal Diggle feels toward his brother Andy in an interview with Zap2It:
“It was his trust of Andy and his mistrust of Oliver’s judgment that led to this happening. He’s wounded deeply by this, and we’re going to see a Diggle who’s willing to do things that he’s never done before to avenge his friend, to right the wrong.”
He continues the thread in a conversation with Comic Book Resources:
“Diggle might as well have put the arrow in Canary himself, in terms of how closely related to her death he is. He draws a straight line. He made the choice to trust Andy, to let him into the inner circle against Oliver’s wishes. There’s been a complete reversal of relationships here. That would have normally been Diggle’s sound advice given to Oliver that he didn’t heed, but it was Diggle, this time.
“Can he accept the dark side? Can he push away the dark side? Those are the questions Oliver usually starts to ask himself. Diggle goes to a different place. Diggle is dealing with this clearly catastrophic choice to trust his brother and does things we haven’t seen him do before. He makes choices we haven’t seen him make. He cracks. He’s a fractured man. This is a Diggle we haven’t ever seen. It’s going to be Oliver who helps reel him in. It’s great storytelling, and it’s a great place for Diggle, a guy who has been the mentor. There’s a fall from grace we’re going to see.”
Quentin Lance has been put through the ringer when it comes to his daughters. First, he thought his daughter Sara had died along with Oliver Queen when the Queen’s Gambit sank. Not long after he discovered she was actually still alive, she was murdered. Months later, she was resurrected via the Lazarus Pit. Now, he has to deal with the death of his other daughter, Laurel. Paul Blackthorne tells IGN that Captain Lance’s first instinct will be to revive Laurel, as well:
“The next episode is all about him sitting there going, ‘Hang on a minute, we’ve brought other people back from the dead – namely my daughter Sara – why can’t we do the same for Laurel?’ Also, she was the one responsible for bringing Sara back, so there’s even more onus upon us to bring her back. She brought somebody else back, let’s bring her back. Then the door’s shut in his face. It’s devastating for him to let go of any hope of bringing her back at all, especially considering the type of world they live in. It’s pretty soul destroying for him to not only have to face the grief of Laurel’s death but the fact that there is no way to bring her back unlike with Sara.”
Blackthorne also discusses the guilt that both Diggle and Lance now share:
“There’s a lot of guilt going around. David Ramsey’s character [Diggle] has guilt about Laurel’s death, Lance has guilt about it. He testified against Darhk and that didn’t exactly help the cause; Darhk threatened Laurel before. Everybody’s trying to work out what they could have done differently as people do in the event of death. Everybody’s wrestling with their inner demons and trying to work out what they could have done better, how they could have stopped it, but whatever it is, that’s not going to change anything – as Lance discovers. They all have to come to terms with life without her.”
It seems Felicity’s mother, Donna, will be Quentin’s saving grace, according to Blackthorne’s interview with Zap2It:
“I think the one saving light in his life is Donna Smoak. It’s hilarious, you know? This bubbly, vivacious character she it, but she carries so much weight at the same time. Charlotte plays her very well. That could be the ‘ditzy blonde’ character stereotype with no weight or soul of heart, do you know what I mean?
“It could easily fall into that trap, but it doesn’t. Whenever we do scenes together, you really feel the depth of her hurt that she’s gone through as a character. Now that she’s in Lance’s life, I think that’s really the one thing that may save him from jumping off a bridge with a bottle in his hand.”