Last season, Arrow revealed that in addition to their Flashpoint-gender-swapped son John Junior AKA JJ, John Diggle and Lyla have an adopted son, Connor. We also learned far more about Diggle’s childhood than before, with the introduction of his stepfather, General Stewart, in an excellent guest-starring role from the one and only Ernie Hudson. Den of Geek spoke with David Ramsay, who plays Diggle, to learn more about how this theme of fathers and sons will play out on Arrow season 8, the final season, this fall.
For many viewers, the surprise that JJ was gender-swapped (and no one really seemed to care?) had only just worn off when it was revealed that Connor Hawke was actually Diggle’s grown, adopted son in the future. But what was David Ramsay’s reaction when he found out?
“I was like, ‘For real?!’ That was really my reaction. Like, [my voice] really went up in inflection, the whole thing. Just like that, like, ‘Really?’ I was really like, ‘Really?’”
However, the inclusion of Hudson’s character brought Ramsay clarity: “He married my mother, but, ultimately, there was a process where he took me under his wing. But that opens up the door to me understanding that there’s someone else that needs my help…and that’s such a John Diggle thing. Right? That makes total sense, that John Diggle would do this. But my initial reaction was, “What, really?” But after it was explained, I totally got it.”
Viewers have, of course, already met Connor Hawke in the future. But when we last saw him in the present, he was a small child and his father, Ben Turner (former alias: Bronze Tiger), was very much still alive and out of Slabside maximum-security prison. One of the mysteries season 7 left for the final season is what happens to Ben Turner and how Dig and Lyla come to adopt Connor.
Ramsey is playing things coy, for now anyway. “I can’t tell you what episode, but you’ll find out. You’ll find out the circumstances in which all this happens, and how and why it happens. But I can’t tell you what episode that is.”
What we do know is that Charlie Barnett has been cast as future-JJ, Dig and Lyla’s other son, whose appearance next season has been teased heavily. “I’ve seen Charlie’s work, and I was like, ‘Yes!’ And he looks like he could be me and Audrey’s son,” referring to Marie Anderson, who plays Diggle’s wife Lyla.
“I haven’t met him yet…I can’t wait to, ultimately, hopefully, work with him. Fingers crossed.” At the time of the interview at the Summer TCA press tour (August 4, 2019), Ramsay said they had just finished working on episode two.
The Diggle family tree seems to be in good hands and poised to play a crucial role in Arrow season 8.
Arrow returns for its eighth and final season on Tuesday, October 15 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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