Arrow’s season finale bid farewell to Oliver Queen and gave us all the briefest of glimpses of the lives his former teammates would go on to lead in the wake of the original Green Arrow’s death. The show’s heroes aren’t completely disappearing from the Arrowverse, but for at least one of them, Arrow made clear that things might be on the brink of changing in major ways.
Arrow’s always had something of a habit of finding novel, if slightly convoluted, ways of incorporating classic characters from DC’s comics into the world of live-action on the small screen (see: the multiple Canaries from different Earths running around.)
Late in the game as it is, the show found a way to do just that again in the finale’s final moments when an alarmed John Diggle (David Ramsey) happens upon a mysterious object that falls from the sky and sends him flying off the ground and into a van.
Despite being the most relatively grounded of the Arrowverse shows, it very much seemed as if Arrow’s finale was a nod to the longstanding theory that Diggle was destined to become the CW’s Green Lantern. Diggle recovers from the impact caused by the falling object, walks over to its impact crater, and discovers that it’s a small box. Whatever is in said box bathes his face in a blinding green light when he opens it.
Of course, none of Arrow’s characters ever utter the phrase “Green Lantern,” (though Ferris Air was namechecked a few times), but Diggle’s voiceover during the scene—about the universe being a far bigger place than he or any of his allies ever could have imagined—definitely comes across as foreshadowing that he might be venturing into space via ring power before long. According to Ramsey himself, all of that heavy-handed subtext was definitely intentional and meant to make audience’s minds immediately jump to the Lantern Corps, but the exact shape of his character’s future is still unclear.
In an interview with TV Guide, Ramsey explained that Arrow’s production team had to skirt around a number of restrictions handed down by DC Entertainment, one imagines because the company’s currently in the process of producing a Green Lantern series that’s set to live on HBO Max. But working within those restrictions—which executive producer Marc Guggenheim said they worked out with DC a year in advance—was part of the fun, Ramsey said, and the actor was none too shy about emphasising exactly which of DC’s properties his surprising scene was alluding to.
“We did have some restrictions from DC, so we had to kind of play within that. But it wouldn’t be Arrow if there wasn’t some question even after that opened-ended tease,” Ramsey said. “And it’s a huge tease, and obviously, your mind goes to only one thing—there being a ring and him becoming this wonderful character and joining this galactic police group—but it’s still open-ended, and that’s the way we wanted to leave it. It was great to have some sort of answer, but we’re left with some questions.”
One of Crisis on Infinite Earth’s more impressive tricks was the way it managed to rope in a number of DC shows like Titans, Doom Patrol, and Watchmen that don’t actually live on the CW, and one of the bigger questions raised by the way the event ended is where the Arrowverse’s unified multiverse will leave each series and their characters.
Going forward, Diggle’s meant to be moving to Metropolis where there’s a solid chance that he’ll end up bumping into Superman and Lois Lane in their upcoming spinoff series. For his part, Ramsey said he’s open to the possibilities for Diggle’s future.
“No matter what level you are, we are actors who work. And it begins on the page, so whether it’s John Diggle or John Diggle Stewart or however that works, of course, I would be open to that,” Ramsey said. “Greg Berlanti, however—it’s almost without a question. I think he’s prolific. Anything he wants to talk to me about, I’m happy to hear it.”