When Oliver Queen went to prison at the end of Arrow's sixth season, he essentially disassembled the entire infrastructure he built during his years as a vigilante. His plea deal covered all of Team Arrow, but did not prevent them from being prosecuted for future crimes -- and that means no more costumed superheroes.
So far this season, Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), formerly Wild Dog, has been the member of Team Arrow the most predisposed to throwing that deal out the window and moving on with his life -- but will it happen?
Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Arrow, titled "The Slabside Redemption."
Well, during a recent visit to the set of Arrow, ComicBook.com was among the reporters who spoke with Gonzalez, as well as his co-star Juliana Harkavy, who plays Star City Police Captain Dinah Drake. And so far, neither of them seems to be exactly sure what, if any, role Team Arrow will play in the show's future.
"I don’t know. I think what we’re trying to do is establish this idea that, with him being in prison, everyone has found their own footing, in a certain way," Gonzalez said. "I think Rene, maybe out of all of them, is not exactly on solid ground. You know? But I think in the beginning, when we pick up in the premiere episode, we see that his choice was, well, I may as well go back to the Glades, where I’m from, and, you know, give back to the community. You know, take everything that I learned from Lance, and everything I learned from Oliver, and, you know, try to help the people in my community. Rene can’t be Wild Dog, but maybe if I can help these young people defend themselves, then they can, you know, do the right thing, and help their fellow neighbor."
Asked whether Gonzalez wanted to get back to superheroing or whether he thought Rene had another destiny ahead of him, he was ambivalent.
"I think he truly cares about people, and I think he wants to feel engaged in terms of wanting to help people," Gonzalez explained. "I think, whatever that means to him in the moment - you know, and I think, him becoming Wild Dog through a traumatic experience of losing his wife, and then his daughter ripped away from him and going into childcare, I think forced him to evaluate himself and say, well, how can I be of service, how can I be of value, even to myself? You know, and so, these traumatic moments kind of push him forward in terms of finding his footing. And I think with Oliver going to prison, and losing Lance, we’re establishing this year in how we see each character find their footing. Because they can’t use the mask anymore, they can’t be the vigilante anymore. So, if they’re not being that, then how can they be of value?"
While Oliver's return is likely to be a game-changer for everyone on the show, that doesn't mean it's for the worse.0comments
"I think the reason she’s really gone on this journey is because she does care so much about him, and I think that she regrets how the team kind of fell apart. So, no, I think Oliver’s return is gonna be very exciting for everybody, including Dinah."
Arrow airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow on The CW.