Season 4 of Arrow has brought the show back to basics and reminded us fans of why we watched the hit CW series in the first place. While reintroducing us to the kind of action that made the show great in the first place, Arrow has also fuelled the fires of speculation: who is in that damned grave?
There have been dozens of theories trying to explain the running question of the series, ranging from speculation that Felicity is dead, to the suggestion that Thea or Detective Lance will be leaving us this season.
But what if it's Diggle (David Ramsey) who is destined for the grave? John Diggle was a character created specifically for the Arrow television series and has become a serious fan favorite along with Oliver Queen (Steven Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).
So here's why I think Diggle might not last the season; I say "might" because the jury is really out on this one, but let's go through it.
1. Mr. Terrific.
For starters we have Curtis Holt waiting in the wings, a character who has been introduced, built-up, then left to sit and stew for a while. Holt has been revealed as being Arrow's answer to Michael Holt, a.k.a. Mr. Terrific from DC comics, a persona we're definitely going to see at some point in the future.
However, as I said, they're keeping Holt back from joining the main cast of Arrow, possibly due to the already over-encumbered team; so could Curtis be set to replace Diggle when the current heavy-hitter for team-Arrow is ultimately killed off?
2. Spartan's Helmet.
It's been noted by a few sources that Diggle's vaunted helmet doesn't suit him and that it's a pretty small addition to his character considering this was Diggle's chance at finally receiving some form of vigilante persona.
But what if Diggle is serving as more of a placeholder, and the helmet will find itself being passed on to Curtis Holt? The visor does seem to look like a 'T', which would be a good means of incorporating this symbol into Curtis Holt's future outfit, which was often some form of 'T' alongside the words "Fair Play".
Adding some weight to this theory: it's worth noting that Executive Arrow Producer, Marc Guggenheim, recently tweeted a shot from a pre-release arrow storyboard. This shot reveals John Diggle in full Spartan gear and in these images the 'T' on his helmet is pretty conspicuous.
When first quizzed on his new helmet, David Ramsey defended his gear (in an interview with Zap2it), claiming that we'll see what the Star Labs helmet is capable of in the future...
"...And we’re going to get into what the helmet can do, what the gun he has can do."
We've seen Diggle's gun in action and it's damn good gear, but so far the helmet hasn't been overly impressive; is it possible the helmet will receive an update after Diggle is done using it?
3. Who else could it be?
The beginning of Arrow: season 4 presented the question of who is in the grave and since then the number of possibilities has been falling. Whoever dies has to be close to Oliver and Barry, naturally. At first I thought it would be the mother of Oliver's son, but the following quote from Executive Producer Wendy Mericle, in an interview with EW, argues against the possibility of a minor character dying.
"If it doesn’t mean something to the characters, it won’t mean anything to the audience either.”
So the death must be someone of significance in order to rial-up the characters and make even Felicity want the perpetrator dead.
We know that Felicity is sticking around... but who else could it be? Thea has already died once, so she gets a pass; Laurel has taken something of a back-seat recently, which makes her an unlikely candidate.
Moreover, the writers went to a great effort to keep Roy alive after his last "death", so bringing him back into the fray just to kill him off seems somewhat unlikely and frankly, this would be lazy writing.
When we see Felicity and Oliver speak in the graveyard flash-forward they both seem equally destraught, meaning they must have a similar level of affection for the deceased. In my opinion that means Felicity's mother is likely to survive.
By my count that leaves just two candidates for the empty slot in the graveyard: Diggle and Detective Lance. I've spoken to many people who believe that Lance is the likely choice and I won't debate this solid argument, which has plenty of support. But it seems possible that Arrow is readying its fans for Spartan's last stand, as he becomes a martyr... the catalyst which causes team-Arrow to go dark and give the team a real shake up. Simply, could this death Arrow have been teasing finally tear-up the original team-Arrow?