Yes, we’re well aware that most of the Arrow fandom on Monday is consumed with the admittedly-awesome news that Manu Bennett is seemingly returning for the season 5 finale — despite what sorcery that Manu himself is trying to conjure up online. (Our take — he doesn’t like it that The CW and the show announces his return in advance, since he wants it to be a surprise.)
What we want to talk about instead is an announcement that probably should’ve happened a month or so ago but hasn’t — Rick Gonzalez becoming a series regular for season 6 as Rene a.k.a. Wild Dog.
Back when the character first appeared at the start of the season, we were able to get a sense of the internet reaction — admittedly, it was mixed. There were people who wanted only the Original Team Arrow around, and weren’t all that willing to accept new team members floating around instead of the likes of Roy or Laurel Lance. Over time, though, the writers have done a great job of integrating Rene into this world, and Gonzalez himself has been nothing short of brilliant making this character, despite being a bit brash at times, into someone you can get behind and root for.
The real test of strong character building is that you find something that you care about in a person even if you don’t agree with every opinion that comes of your mouth. What makes Rene a great character is that he has convictions, but will still listen to the ones of others. He’s unique, and he doesn’t mince words in an era where so many are afraid to speak his mind.
The real standout episode for Gonzalez this season was the gun violence-themed “Spectre of the Gun,” where we learned about his backstory, his daughter, and how it was gun violence and addiction that led to his family falling apart in the first place. It was a human story in the midst of a superhero world that can at times be over-the-top, and it caused us to have so much more respect for him as a character and him as an actor.
We don’t think that you give a performer this much of a showcase unless you have a further use of them. Therefore, we hope that a promotion happens for Gonzalez in the coming weeks. We know that the Arrow cast is fairly big given that Katie Cassidy is returning and we’re not even seeing Willa Holland every week anymore; still, Gonzalez is not someone we’re comfortable with losing at present.
Do you want to see Gonzalez become a series regular for Arrow season 6? Share in the comments!
Meanwhile, you can head over here in the event you want to get some other news regarding Manu’s return.