In the last episode of Arrow, "The Devil's Greatest Trick," there was a major status change when it comes to this season's Big Bad. Turns out, Cayden James (Michael Emerson) wasn't the real villain. That distinction goes to Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), something fans found out in the final moments of the episode when Diaz tells Cayden how he's played him right before killing him.
This surprise turn sets Team Arrow and New Team Arrow up for a huge fight the rest of the season. Diaz tells Cayden that not only is he responsible for the murder of Cayden's son, but he set up Oliver Queen with the FBI and has several city officials as well as the police captain on his payroll. The city, Diaz says, is ripe for a takeover. But there may be more than simply a takeover of Star City in Arrow's future. In comics, Richard Diaz is the alias of The New 52's take on Richard Dragon, the son of a drug kingpin killed by John Diggle while Diggle was Green Arrow. As we've seen this season on Arrow, Diggle (John Ramsey) has had a turn as Green Arrow and already has something of a connection to Diaz. Diaz is the drug dealer that Diggle was getting the drug he was using for his arm from.
This similarity between Arrow and the comics has some fans wondering if part of Diaz's endgame on the show is as much about going after Diggle as it is taking down Green Arrow and taking over Star City and, specifically, wondering if the show will introduce the Longbow Hunters. In the New 52, the Longbow Hunters are a group of some of Green Arrow's enemies who come after the heroes after Diaz places a $30 million bounty on the hero's head. Green Arrow is able to defeat the three villains -- Brick, Killer Moth, and Red Dart -- with help and is then reunited with Diggle after Diaz attempts to kill Dig by throwing him out a window. As it doesn't end up being the most effective way of killing Diggle, he and Green Arrow are able to fight and eventually defeat Diaz.
The story ends with Oliver getting is act together and sees him come to accept that he doesn't have to always do things his own way or even do it alone, a lesson the hero likely wouldn't have learned otherwise. While there are some key differences in comic book story there are just enough elements that having Diaz target Diggle as well as bring in the Longbow Hunters might just fit. After all, one of the things we've seen all season is there is a team of villains in play. While it's now clear that Cayden James was never really in charge, it begs the question who on Cayden's team were in on the real plan and if there are more villains that he plans to bring in as his plan to take over Star City unfolds. And if Diaz does bring in more villains, maybe it will finally heal the fracture between Team Arrow and New Team Arrow for the sake of saving the city.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.