Arrow: Docket No. 11-19-41-73


The man knows how to make an entrance.

After the rough ending to last week’s episode, things continue to look grim for Oliver Queen in “Docket No. 11-19-41-73.” It starts off with a unique form of trial preparation as Diggle goes overseas and does a great impression of an 80’s action hero to go find someone. Never doubt that Diggle is a bad-ass in his own right.

In the courthouse back in Star City, Oliver and Felicity wade through reporters to get to a conference room. When his attorney, Jean Loring, asks the escorting officer to let her have a private meeting with her client, she finds out just how corrupt Star has become. She warns Oliver that they have brought in outside counsel, Alexa Van Owen, played by Catherine Dent, who joins the list of actors in both DC and Marvel Universes since she’s been playing General Hale over on Agents of SHIELD this season. Despite being offered a deal and being warned the judge is in Diaz’s pocket, Oliver won’t bargain. Well, we knew he was stubborn.

The trial is rattling other people too, as Rene tries to get Dinah to do a mock-court with him to prepare them both for testifying. Dinah has a plan for her testimony that Rene doesn’t like at all. Curtis, for whatever reason, has escaped both subpoena to testify in this case and FBI interview. I really hope they explain that some day. Rene still thinks Oliver is a jerk, but at least is aware enough to acknowledge Oliver is in this position because of Rene’s betrayal, which also set the ball rolling for this entire split team issue and arguably Diaz’s takeover. Take a bow, Rene, you’ve done a great job here.

Quentin gets interviewed and goes over his arresting Oliver years ago and having it proved that Oliver wasn’t the Arrow. “Laurel” walks in during this and says she knows who the Green Arrow is and will testify if asked. Quentin glowers at her, not that I blame him. The trial starts off as Oliver’s allies gather, with the notable absence of Diggle. Everyone is worried, including William.

Van Owen starts off with an interesting tactic, praising Green Arrow for saving people and the city, but saying he did it behind a mask so he broke the law. That right there seems ridiculous to me, but then, I’m simple. Jean has a great rebuttal that I enjoyed. A warrant is threatened for the absent Diggle, and then they summon Alicia Schwartz. She’s the doctor the team has used so many times when they were wounded, and she does a great job of not lying, but not helping the prosecution at all.

I don’t get why he’s still hanging out with her, but Quentin and Black Siren are watching the trial together when she gets called to report to Diaz. Quentin tosses a few barbs at her about that, but she goes anyway. Why the powerful mutant who is a skilled fighter is afraid of a thug, I’ve never been clear on. If this is an abusive relationship kind of thing, it came out of nowhere. Cisco needs to come over from Central and just breech her home. She leaves with a really nasty comment about the “real” Laurel.

Diggle finally shows up, just in time to avoid a contempt of court summons. He flat out lies for Oliver, going over being his bodyguard and knowing Oliver couldn’t be the masked hero. Dinah does less well and gets hemmed up with some other matters that any normal judge would have excluded, but this guy is in Diaz’s pocket after all.

Laurel reports to Diaz as ordered, and he’s the abusive punk he’s been the last several episodes. Diaz clearly has some suspicions about her, and proceeds to threaten her. He gives her very specific instructions for her testimony, and then leaves to take in the trial for himself. William and Raisa are both worried about the trial. She never says anything, but I have a hunch that Raisa, too, knows more than she’s telling about Oliver’s night life. Rene says once again he won’t testify against Oliver. Rene’s resolve crumbles when Diaz shows up with an insurance policy in tow. Several of the characters go after Diaz outside the courthouse, which is dumb to start with, and he surrounds them with crooked cops, weapons drawn.

In the conference room, Jean isn’t comforting, but she’s honest. She doesn’t know who Diaz is, so that name doesn’t help her at all. She finally asks Oliver straight up if he’s Green Arrow, and he admits it, which gives her a series of entertaining facial expressions. She then shifts gears and says he should admit and play up his heroism. All they need is one hold out juror for a hung jury. Oliver won’t go for this, saying he has always intended to retire from the hero life, and also he won’t put a target on Felicity and William’s backs. Speaking of Felicity, she gets put on the stand next and the prosecutor brings up her criminal father, the Calculator. Felicity spins a few lies from the stand herself. If any of this ever comes out, most of both teams are going away for perjury and conspiracy at the very least.

No doubt against his lawyer’s advice, Oliver takes the stand. He talks about Roy Harper sacrificing his life to protect the Hood/Arrow, who Oliver claims to know is now Green Arrow. He gets caught about his time in Moscow and Hong Kong while he claimed to be on the island, but all that gets interrupted by a surprise witness. With Oliver on the stand, the Green Arrow suddenly smashes through the skylight, dropping in to the court room. Now, that’s a hell of a rebuttal witness.

After everyone gets settled down, the special surprise Arrow reveals who he is, and it’s a familiar face. He tells his tale, which actually sort of hangs together when you think about it. Van Owen sputters and tries to recover, but it’s a hard blow. The corrupt judge refuses to dismiss the case as Jean asks. As the Green Arrow predicted, he gets liberated from the police before even leaving the building by Spartan and Wild Dog. There’s a sort of double reveal, and I really like what they did with this surprise.

Felicity and Oliver talk in the conference room about the new developments, and we find out who knew what about what was going on. Quentin comes in with more bad news; somehow, Diaz knew all about this, too, and has prepared to make it look bad in the trial. This is beyond ridiculous to me. There’s no way Diaz should have been prepared for something only two people knew was coming. Oliver, a realist at times at least, starts making preparations for if he loses the trial.

Black Siren takes her turn on the stand, still posing as this world’s Laurel Lance. She makes a few surprising choices that leave everyone stunned. After testifying, she leaves, gets in a few words with Quentin, and takes off. The two attorneys make their closing arguments, and some of the heroes wonder if Diaz has gotten to the jury, like he has everything else.

Oliver, Felicity, and William have a family meeting about what might happen. Oliver does a decent job of explaining why the deck is stacked against him so badly. Personally, since Diaz has done every other damn thing, I don’t see why he didn’t bug the conference room. He’d have all he needs by now. The jury comes back, there are legal maneuverings, and a surprising decision. Much of the team meets up later and we see what was behind the surprising ending of the trial, which was a brilliant plan and made a lot of sense. This is followed by a nice scene where credit for the idea is given and an apology extended. Maybe this so far not-so-good season has hit bottom and is rebounding.

The final scene shows the fate of one of Diaz’s pawns. While I hate what the guy did, I do feel a bit bad for him. Just a bit. Then there’s a big fight where we see that Diaz does come prepared. I wasn’t expecting what he did, but it made a lot of sense. There are going to be a lot of loose ends to clean up in these final few episodes of the season.

What I liked: The story behind Green Arrow showing up at the trial was great. They were clever with that and the reveal at the end. The final apology scene was really nice, too. I liked how the doctor testified, and Jean doing her best to keep up with the twists and turns of the case.

What I didn’t: Diaz being ready to counter the surprise made no sense. There’s no way he could have known. We’ve gone beyond him having contacts everywhere and into the realm of him having some kind of super powers or something. The team dropped the ball with Diaz’s pawn at the end.

This was a much better episode than most of what they’ve dragged us through this season. I’m giving it a solid 3.5 out of 5, and hope things keep getting better.