Who Is Dante in 'Arrow'? Adrian Paul Plays a Major Season 7 Villain
Arrow never did a good job convincing us Diaz was the true Big Bad of Season 7, and now we know why. After teasing a new enemy for several episodes, “Brothers & Sisters” finally introduces Dante (Adrian Paul) — in a major way.
But who is Dante in Arrow? Here’s what you need to know about why he’s the biggest threat in Season 7.
Spoilers for Arrow Season 7 Episode 14 below.
In Season 7, Diggle and Lyla restarted Task Force X as the Ghost Initiative. Because of his connection to Dante, a financier behind dozens of terrorist attacks, they brought on Diaz, the last Big Bad. However, it’s not until Episode 14 that they accomplish anything, mainly getting eyes on Dante (played by Highlander’s Adrian Paul) when he meets with another terrorist to fund her operation.
Unsurprisingly, Diaz betrays ARGUS, but Felicity and Diggle stop his attempt to escape. Dante, however, gets away, despite Oliver and Lyla’s efforts. He proves himself to be quite adept with a knife, more terrifying with a blade in one scene than Diaz has been in over one season.
Diaz never came across as much of a threat, especially not one that Oliver should have had any trouble taking down easily. Earlier in Season 7, Diaz even injected himself with a serum that gave him superstrength, and he still didn’t seem like Big Bad material. That’s likely because his introduction was weak and came at a time when Oliver wasn’t even the Green Arrow, plus it’s still unclear why he planned to let Cayden James blow up Star City when he was the real mastermind and wanted the city for himself.
Dante, on the other hand, slices throats with one move and cuts down Oliver’s arrows before they can hit him with his knives like it’s a walk in the park. He’s behind the funding of so many terrorist attacks and even has people in ARGUS, including the director (one of his victims in this episode), that just the thought of him was enough of a threat for Diggle and Lyla to bring together a group of villains to try to stop him. Diggle even calls Dante “a much larger threat” than Diaz, and we can see why.
Furthermore, Dante has a connection to Oliver that Diaz never did. Diaz wanted Star City, Oliver’s city. That was it. Anyone could have been the Green Arrow and mayor, and Diaz would have targeted that person.
Dante, on the other hand, knows Emiko, as one of the final scenes of “Brothers & Sisters” shows. Just as Oliver thinks his sister is (finally) warming up to him, despite her hatred for their father, it turns out she may be playing him.
When Dante visits Emiko, he comments that she and Oliver are getting along. She tells him Oliver trusts her. “The timing couldn’t be better,” Dante says in response. “It’s time for you to come home.”
Is Dante taking on Komodo’s role from the comics as the one to raise Emiko? Could Dante have trained her? She’s not as skilled with a blade as he is, but she also clearly knows her way around knives.
If Dante is trying to keep Emiko on the opposite side of Oliver, could he have told her that the Queens were involved in her mother’s death? Oliver does wonder if she could have any reason to blame his family for what happened. Could Emiko find out Dante had her mother killed and turn on him? Or could the season end with Oliver having to face off against his sister?
Finally, it’s also possible that Arrow is repeating a set-up from last season. In Season 6, Cayden James was presumably the leader of the villains, only for Diaz to reveal he had played him before killing him. In the last scene of Season 7 Episode 14, someone sets Diaz on fire in his cell. We don’t see who that person is, but could it be one of Dante’s associates? Did Diaz get a taste of his own medicine? He burned his childhood bully alive last season and killed his predecessor.
Diaz did owe Dante, and chances are, warning him that the meeting was a set-up didn’t settle that debt. Diaz also tells everyone early in the episode that they’d prefer “the mercy of a quick death,” like the bombs Lyla put in the Ghost Initiative members’ heads, to what Dante would do to them.
One thing is clear: In Dante, Arrow has introduced a major threat for Season 7.
Arrow Season 7 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Related video: Oliver and Felicity Learn Diggle’s Working With Diaz in Arrow 714 Trailer