Arrow Season 8: Charlie Barnett Cast as JJ Diggle

Arrow has cast Charlie Barnett as the adult version of JJ, Diggle and Lyla's Flashpoint-born son

While it might feel like Arrow is getting ready to say goodbye with its final, 10-episode season starting this fall, there’s still time to say hello to at least one new face. At Comic Con, Arrow’s producers announced that we’re finally going to see JJ, John Diggle’s (David Ramsey) son, in Arrow’s flash-forwards, played by Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll, Tales of the City).

So far, we’ve only met JJ (short for John Jr.) in the present tense where he’s a baby. JJ is a living artifact of the Flashpoint storyline. In the original timeline, Diggle and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) had a daughter they named Sara, after Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) who was – at the time – deceased. Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) time travel shenanigans on The Flash changed all that, leaving them with a son and no memory of the daughter they once had, something everyone has been surprisingly chill about.

Last season’s future timeline let us get to know most of the children of Team Arrow, including Diggle’s adopted son Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones), Felicity and Oliver’s daughter Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara), and Oliver’s son and Felicity’s stepson William Clayton (Ben Lewis), whose mother Samantha (Anna Hopkins) died in an explosion on Lian Yu at the end of season five.

In the present tense, Diggle and Lyla haven’t adopted Connor yet. His father is Ben Turner, AKA Bronze Tiger, who worked with China White, was a member of the Suicide Squad, and an inmate with Oliver at Slabside before getting free and helping take down Emiko and the Ninth Circle. We still don’t know what exactly transpires to make Ben no longer Connor’s father, though it’s a decent guess that he could die or otherwise go into hiding.

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Last season showed Connor in the future hiding his working for the corrupt intelligence agency Knightwatch while moonlighting with Mia Smoak as a vigilante. Meanwhile, a flash-forward in last season’s “Spartan” episode teased his brother JJ’s introduction as the leader of the decidedly dangerous Deathstroke gang. It’s not hard to see why Connor and JJ would be on a collision course with one another next season.

We don’t yet know how Oliver’s adventures with the Monitor or the impending Crisis on Infinite Earths might affect the next generation of vigilantes (or not). Connor Hawke seems like a prime candidate to play into either this, given his past history of showing up across the multiverse over on Legends of Tomorrow.

The preexisting members of the next gen crew had already been promoted from guest stars to series regulars, so while neither iteration of Felicity Smoak will be there, get ready to see more of Mia, Connor, William and JJ on your screen this fall, as Mia and Connor team up to take on JJ and his gang. 

Arrow returns for its eighth and final season on Tuesday, October 15 at 9/8c on The CW.

Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!

Delia Harrington a freelance writer and photographer focusing on social justice and pop culture through a feminist lens. She loves post-apocalyptic sci-fi, historical fiction, and feminist comic books. You can follow Delia @deliamary.

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