The Trial of Oliver Queen begins, with Black Siren posing as Laurel Lance acting as the prosecution's star witness! An unexpected ally may help sway the jury, but with Diaz running the DA's office and the judge in his pocket, does Oliver have any chance of getting out of this one
The Fall of Green Arrow storyline (Oliver Queen exposed as Green Arrow, facing murder charges) and the Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick (Oliver Queen forced from office after being revealed to have sponsored vigilante activities, general theme of heroes fighting each other instead of villains who are portrayed as being far smarter and more competent to a comical degree.)
Rene's justification for suddenly wanting to help Oliver after being ready to see him die last week don't make a lot of sense, as Dinah points out. It would be far more believable for Rene to see he feels guilty for having betrayed Oliver (which he sort of hints at) than the wishy-washy "I still hate him, but I don't want to see him in prison" speech he gives.
Quentin tries to goad Black Siren into standing up to Diaz by saying that his Laurel is like Black Siren in that neither of them would tolerate being ordered around. This flies in the face of every bit of characterization we've seen of Black Siren so far, despite it being totally illogical that she should let a powerless punk like Diaz boss her around. The hell of it is Black Siren also has a point about Laurel having been kind of an idiot who got in way over her head and died because of it.
Reference is made to John Diggle's child being abducted at some point in the last four years.. Oliver abducted Lyla and left Baby Sara Diggle alone back in Season 3, but there is no story where either John Diggle Jr. or Sara Diggle was abducted. (Perhaps this was a change caused by Flashpoint?)
Diaz gets upset about Black Siren not saying Oliver Queen is Green Arrow on TV, yet he's having her held in reserve as a witness at the trial, where her saying he's Green Arrow would actually do some good in his grand plan to send Oliver Queen to prison.
There's so much irony to Diaz criticizing Black Siren for being an unconvincing actress.
Again, there's no reason for Black Siren NOT to kill Diaz once she has her breath and some distance.
It's unbelievable that Dinah and John would take the chance of attacking Diaz in broad daylight on the courthouse steps while the trial is going on, given how many cops are around. Nearly as unbelievable as the fact that there's no media around to notice this happen!
Granting that it's possible for Diaz to have connections that let him get a hold of CIA records, how on Earth will they explain Laurel Lance - captive Assistant DA for two years - having access to those kind of records legally?
Again, we have to wonder why ARGUS isn't brought in to testify that "Laurel Lance" is a wanted fugitive from a parallel Earth after there's a threat of CIA files being turned in. It's not like the trial could get any more convoluted or crazy with the prosecution claiming that a master of disguise is impersonating a dead man to protect a superhero mayor's secret identity.
Black Siren and Quentin talk about her plan to "bury Oliver" some 15-20 feet away from a horde of reporters who are taking pictures and filming their conversation.
It's also unbelievable that nobody, except Curtis, thinks that Diaz might also be threatening the jury after also taking control of the judge and the DA's office.
Technically. since Oliver is being tried in a criminal court, Jean Loring should be requesting a Judgement of Acquittal rather than a Judgement Notwithstanding Verdict. They amount to the same thing, but a Judgement Notwithstanding Verdict is used in civil court cases.
Why doesn't Diaz kill Black Siren for turning against him once he has her powers neutralized?
Brief though it is, it's nice to see Colin Donnell smiling his way through a performance as "Tommy".
Emily Bett Rickards hasn't been given that much to do this season, but she turns in a powerfully understated performance in this episode even though she has little to do but be the dotting wife. Still, she gets some very powerful speeches.
The muted camera tint on the opening sequence of John Diggle in Kasnia is a nice touch, putting a grey aura over everything that suits the gloomy tone of the episode.
The episode title - Docket 11-19-41-73 is a reference to the very first Green Arrow appearance in the comics. Oliver Queen's first appearance came on November 19th, 1941 in More Fun Comics #73.
The episode's opening scene is set in Kasnia - a fictional Eastern European country which was first introduced to the DC Comics Multiverse in Superman: The Animated Series.
Jean Loring - Oliver Queen's lawyer - is quite a different character in the original comics. She was the original love interest and eventual ex-wife of Ray "The Atom" Palmer. She later went insane and became a host for Eclipso.
The episode's opening title stinger once again only has the Arrowhead symbol rather than all the symbols for Team Arrow.
The special prosecutor brought in to try Oliver Queen is said to have taken down Intergang and Bruno Manheim. In the classic Superman comics, Bruno "Ugly" Manheim was a crime boss in Metropolis and the leader of Intergang - a criminal organization who acquired high-tech weaponry from Apokolips.
Ironically, the end result of this episode is the opposite of the trial in The Fall of Green Arrow. There, Oliver Queen is found innocent of murder charges despite the evidence against him and a full confession, because the jury felt he was saving their city in the wake of an attack by the villain Prometheus who killed thousands of people in their city. The judge in the case says that he cannot send Oliver Queen to prison with a verdict of Not Guilty, but he can exile him from Star City for the rest of his life. This is, to put it mildly, a major violation of basic legal rights under the United States Constitution.
A pixel-level analysis of a digitally altered photograph will show almost undetectable light shifts and resolution inconsistencies that would not be present in a natural photo.
Judgement Notwithstanding The Verdict is a type of legal judgement that is sometimes rendered by the judge at the end of a Federal Civil Jury Trial. This allows the judge to override a jury's verdict in the rare circumstances in which a jury's response seems unreasonable in the face of the evidence presented. While defense attorneys often request this, it is rarely done. A Judgement Notwithstanding The Verdict can only be used to overturn a guilty verdict. A judge has no power to declare a person guilty after they have been found innocent by a jury trial.
It is revealed that Diaz has some kind of device that can cancel out Black Siren's sonic scream.
(John enters into a hovel. He sees a shirtless man, his face hidden in the shadows, tied to a chair.)
Mystery Man: John!
John: I'm getting you out of here.
(John moves forward and starts to cut at the man's bindings.)
Mystery Man: (laughing) What the hell are you doing here?
John: I need your help. In Star City.
(Rene, Curtis and Dinah walk into the courtroom.)
Curtis: This looks bigger than The OJ Trial.
Dinah: How would you know? You were in, like, fourth grade?
Curtis: Yeah, but I watch American Crime Story.
Alexa Van Owen: Oliver Queen is a hero. He is. He's saved this city more times than anyone can count. But he's done it all from behind a mask, so that he could take the law into his own hands. In fact, he's taken as many lives as he's saved. So yes, Oliver Queen is a hero. But that doesn't mean he's not also a criminal.
Jean Loring: Three weeks ago, Oliver Queen was mayor of this city. In that time he has gone from being under indictment, to impeachment to being on trial. How?! How could everything go wrong so quickly for him? I think intuitively you know the answer. Corruption. It runs through this city like a cancer, compromising some city officials while discrediting others. Like... ike the defendant. Even the anti-vigilante law that he's being charged under is the work of the corrupt men and women who are holding our city in their grip. This may sound like a conspiracy theory, but at the conclusion of this trial I'm going to ask you what is most likely - that our city's government has been compromised or that we elected a superhero as our mayor?
Oliver Queen: I'd be putting a target on my back. I'd be putting a target on my wife and son's back. I've been The Green Arrow for six years. I didn't plan on doing it forever! I thought that one day my mission wound end and I would finally, after all this time, get a chance to actually live my life! (pauses) That will never happen if I tell the whole world that I'm The Green Arrow.
Oliver: I don't want you in a position where you perjure yourself because of me.
Felicity: (sarcastically) Oh well. Let me add it to the long list of felonies I've already committed for you.
Oliver: Look, John has something planned. You don't have to take the chance.
Felicity: I will take any chance if it keeps you from being taken away from me and William.
Alexa Van Owen: If you're The Green Arrow, how come Rene Ramirez testified under oath that Oliver Queen is?
Tommy: Well, I would suspect that he was being pressured to.
Alexa Van Owen: Are you saying he perjured himself?
Tommy: Well, I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. I'm just The Green Arrow. And I am telling you I am the only man that has ever worn this hood.
Judge McGarvey: Mr. Merlyn, you are under arrest on suspicion of murder, assault, and violation of the Anti-Vigilante Act of 2017. The bailiff will remand Mr. Merlyn into custody.
Alexa Van Owen: Objection, Your Honor! It is The People's contention that Mr. Merlyn here is not The Green Arrow.
Judge McGarvey: Be that as it may, I can't just let him walk out of my courtroom.
Tommy: (smiling) You know, if it's any consolation, my team is going to extract long before I ever get to prison. So...
Judge McGarvey: Get him out of here!
("Tommy" obligingly puts his wrists out for the bailiff.)
(Felicity says that she can take care of protecting herself and William so Oliver doesn't have to worry.)
Oliver: That's not how wedding vows work.
Felicity: Well, we didn't exchange vows. But if we did, exchange means "goes both ways." So we fight for each other, Oliver. We protect each other. We're gonna save each other.
John: Thanks again man. I owe you another one.
Christopher Chance: Yeah, well - after Kasnia, let's just call it even.
Oliver: Chris. Thank you.
Christopher Chance: Yeah. Always happy to help. Just try not to need me again... for at least... another year. Okay?
Diaz: (as he strangles Black Siren) When you take the stand, I want you to give the jury a much better performance than the one you've given me.
The opening sequence sees John rescuing an unseen man who recognizes him from a hovel in Kasina. John says they need his help in Star City.
Jean Loring, Oliver's lawyer, was last seen in 615.
Alexa Van Owen is a special counsel brought in to try Oliver Queen's case on behalf of the Star City DA's office. She has prosecuted both CEOs and Serial Killers in her day and employs a team of CIA-caliber investigators that can find out anything about anyone. She has a 99% conviction rating. Loring does not believe her to be in Diaz's pocket.
Oliver is offered a plea bargain - a single count of manslaughter with a 15 year minimum sentence. Oliver refuses to take it.
Loring says that Judge McGarvey, who is trying the case, almost certainly is under Diaz' control.
Rene and Dinah have both been called to testify against Oliver in court. They agree to lie to protect Oliver, because as mad as they are at him, they don't want to see him go to prison. Rene also feels guilty about having betrayed Oliver earlier in the year when dealing with the FBI in 609.
Quentin gives a television interview where he says that Oliver is not Green Arrow, pointing out that he arrested Oliver on charges of being The Arrow six years earlier and that Oliver passed a polygraph saying he wasn't in 105.
The first witness for the prosecution is John Diggle. He is not present and a bench warrant is issued to have him brought to court.
The second witness for the prosecution is Dr. Eliza Schartz - the doctor who has secretly helped patch up various Team Arrow members. She last appeared in 615. She is an attending physician at Starling General Hospital. She refuses to testify regarding Oliver's medical history and any injuries he might have suffered, citing Doctor/Patient confidentiality.
Dr. Schwartz is asked about the events of 418 and an incident in which The Green Arrow brought The Black Canary to her for treatment. Schwartz says she was too focused on treating Laurel Lance to pay attention to who The Green Arrow was under his mask.
John arrives at the courthouse just before he is declared in contempt of court. He apologizes for being late, saying he was delayed by business out of town.
John testifies that Oliver Queen is not The Green Arrow, saying that as Oliver's bodyguard from 2012-2016, he'd know if he were running around with a bow and arrow at night.
The prosecution brings up John's abduction at the hands of Damien Darhk (409), the abduction of his child (a lost adventure caused by Flashpoint?) and his hospitalization with nerve damage (601), saying he either runs in dangerous circles or has the worst luck ever.
Dinah is the third witness called by the prosecution. She claims to have had limited interaction with Oliver as Mayor, despite being head of his security detail at City Hall. She is later questioned about the death of Sean Sonus in 511 (over Jean Loring's objections of relevance) and pleads the 5th Amendment when asked if she murdered him.
Raisa - Oliver's housekeeper - knows that Oliver is The Green Arrow.
Rene says he will go to jail before screwing Oliver over again. He changes his mind after Diaz shows up in the court room escorting Zoe.
Rene apparently still has immunity from prosecution, but Curtis says that won't mean anything if he tries to plead the fifth or refuses to testify.
Rene winds up testifying that Oliver is Green Arrow, that he was part of his vigilante team and that he saw Oliver Queen kill and/or maim too many people to count.
Oliver tells Jean Loring that he is The Green Arrow. She suggests he confess to that and they restructure their case around proving that he doesn't deserve to go to prison and hope they can nullify the jury. Oliver refuses, saying that he'll never be able to live in peace if the world knows he is Green Arrow.
Felicity graduated Summa Cum Laude from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Masters Degrees in Cyber Security and Computer Sciences. She is accepted as an expert witness who testifies that the photo of Oliver as Green Arrow from 601 is a fake.
The prosecution challenges the relevance of a faked photograph showing Oliver Queen is Green Arrow. Felicity responds by pointing out that there's no reason for anyone to create a fake photograph of Oliver Queen as Green Arrow if he actually is Green Arrow.
Felicity is questioned about her wedding to Oliver being rushed, occurring as it did one week before his indictment. She is also questioned about her father, The Calculator, and denies having known he was a master hacker criminal until he reformed. She also denies having committed any cyber crimes herself.
Oliver testifies that Roy Harper was not a vigilante. He says that Roy sacrificed his life to protect the identity of a man who was alternatively called The Hood or The Arrow at that time. He says that he has learned since then that The Hood/The Arrow has taken up the name The Green Arrow. Oliver says that he is not The Green Arrow. He says he does know who The Green Arrow is but that he has promised to keep that information secret.
Alexa Van Owen acquired a photograph from Susan Williams - the reporter Oliver dated briefly during Season 5 - which shows him in Russia during his fifth year in exile away from Starling City, when he claimed to be trapped on Lian Yu.
Oliver admits that he spent part of his five years missing in Hong Kong and Russia.
The trial is disrupted by the arrival of Tommy Merlyn, who claims to have faked his death during the events of 123 so as to better hide his identity as The Hood. He confirms Oliver's story that Roy Harper lied and died to protect him.
"Tommy Merlyn" is revealed to be Christopher Chance AKA The Human Target, who was last seen in 505.
Black Siren tells Quentin that she is being forced to testify, pretending to be Laurel, and that Diaz somehow got his hands on The Human Target's CIA file to bring into evidence regarding the stunt they just pulled.
Felicity refers to how the team broke John out of prison in 504.
Oliver asks John to take Felicity and William into ARGUS Protective Custody if Oliver goes to prison.
Black Siren testifies that Tommy Merlyn is The Green Arrow. She claims that Quentin inspired her to stand up to Diaz.
Oliver is found guilty of all 26 charges against him.
Jean Loring moves for a Judgement Notwithstanding The Verdict. Judge McGarvey grants it, freeing Oliver.
It is later revealed that Christopher Chance replaced Judge McGarvey. He and John Diggle agree to call it even on the owed favors, but he does ask that he not be asked for any favors for at least another year.
It is revealed that the plan to have Chance replace the judge was all Rene's doing.
Rene and Oliver make their peace over everything that happened between them.
Diaz kills Judge McCready.
Black Siren tries to make a move against Diaz. It turns out that he has some sort of device that cancels out her sonic powers.
Kasnia - 2018.
Apparently John Jr. was kidnapped at some point in the past. (Perhaps, as a result of Flashpoint, Oliver kidnapped John Jr. instead of Lyla when he was with The League of Assassins?)
The Fridge Factor
Black Siren finally stands up to Diaz, only to have her powers negated and be totally useless after that.
The Winick Factor
Black Siren's not killing Diaz long ago is justified by his just happening to have a device to negate her powers when she finally does turn on him. Despite this, he does not kill her.
The Bottom Line
It says a lot about a show when the most stupid and unbelievable aspects of it do not involve a master of disguise pretending to be a man that's been dead for five years in order to protect a superhero mayor's secret identity.
The fact of the matter is that this episode's biggest accomplishment is making the second half of Season Six an even bigger waste of time by having Diaz abandon his grand scheme of putting Oliver Queen in jail (something he could still presumably accomplish by having the police raid his bunker, which he should - based on this episode - know the location of) in favor of just killing him and all the vigilantes whose identities he's known for at least a year.
The one bright side in all of this is that the show is finally taking steps to bring Team Arrow back together, albeit in an incredibly rushed and half-assed way. Still, I'm beyond caring. Just as I'm beyond caring that Black Siren finally chose a side only to be rendered completely useless because it's more important to sell that Diaz as a threat than to sell her competency.