Arrowverse fans were devastated when Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer was written out of Legends of Tomorrow season 5. Thankfully, the Atom only left the Waverider to get married to Nora Darhk and settle down, so the option is always there for him to return for a guest spot at some point. And the latest episode of The Flash season 7, which featured the comeback of another Arrowverse fan favorite, might’ve just explained how that could happen.
Episode 7×16 “P.O.W.” saw David Ramsey’s John Diggle drop by Central City, following his recent trip to Gotham over on Batwoman, to aid Team Flash in the Godspeed civil war. Spartan brought a few nifty gadgets with him from ARGUS to use in the fight. One of these included nanites, which effectively temporarily incapacitated one of the Godspeeds. “Nanites,” Diggle explained to the speedster as he deployed the weapon. “Courtesy of Ray Palmer.”
In an episode that already provided us with Diggle’s return, this nod to Ray was another pleasing bit of fan-service, but its importance could run deeper than that. As pitched by ScreenRant, this namedrop may confirm that Ray has gone on to work for ARGUS after leaving the Waverider. Cisco Ramon was confirmed to be employed by ARGUS after moving from Central City, so it would make sense if the organization had also offered Palmer a job, now that he’s back in the present.
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As far as we know, there are no current plans for Routh to make a return to the Arrowverse. Considering the actor has spoken about how Ray’s exit was a decision by the producers and not his own, and how the way he was informed of this development was handled poorly, The CW owes it to the actor to bring him – and Courtney Ford’s Nora – back sometime. And having Ray work for ARGUS would be the perfect way to go about it.
In the meantime, The Flash season 7 kicks off its two-part finale storyline next Tuesday on The CW.