“Oliver Queen is a hero, but that doesn’t mean he’s not also a criminal.”

After last week’s avalanche of action, this week’s Arrow takes a rather more political path, as we finally find ourselves witnessing Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) time in court as Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and the Star City government try to imprison him for being the Green Arrow.

With his trial brought weeks further than it should have been, it’s time for Oliver and his defence to move quickly in order to build up a solid case to prove something that is true to be false – no easy task for his representation, Jean Loring (Teryl Rothery). However, with pretty much all of the government on Diaz’s payroll, and Oliver sitting there with cuts and bruises all over his face, it looks as though they are fighting a losing battle from the start, especially when the prosecution is being represented by Alexa Van Owen (Catherine Dent), a lawyer with a 99.9% success rate. But this is Team Arrow (or at least the parts that used to make up a team) and there’s always a way to fight an impossible battle.

Like a judicial homing device, Oliver’s trial brings together all his former comrades, even if it is because they have been subpoenaed by the court. Whatever problems he has had with Oliver in the past, Rene (Rick Gonzalez) can’t help but feel responsible for the position his former leader currently finds himself in, and not wanting to see Oliver taken from his son and thrown into prison, he is determined to defend Oliver until the end. In fact, it seems that all of the new team have had a change of heart, as when the reality of Oliver being imprisoned for the same things that they have all done, they are reluctant to simply let justice take its course – especially when they no that there’s no real justice involved. However, the issue with Rene, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), John (David Ramsey), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) taking the stand to testify for Oliver’s defence, is that there’s no shortage of skeletons in their closet which they can be punished for, and Van Owen is more than ready to send them down alongside their friend if it means winning the case.

It’s another bad week for the Vigilante Kids, as for some reason, Oliver and Felicity thought that it would be a good idea to bring William (Jack Moore) along to the trial which would almost definitely end with his father being sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison, because of course you would. This does bring with it an interesting twist however, as we learn that Raisa (Kathleen Gati) has known that Oliver was the Green Arrow all along. If William’s ordeal wasn’t enough childhood trauma for you, this week also sees Diaz pick up Rene’s daughter Zoe (Eliza Faria) from school, as leverage to pressure her father to confirm Oliver as being the infamous Green Arrow.

As spoiled by the promos for “Docket No. 11-19-41-73” this episode sees the return of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) who comes to Oliver’s aid, dressed as the Green Arrow himself, and claiming to have been the masked vigilante from the start. Although it would be nice to be able to say that Tommy was indeed back from the dead to become another of Star City’s vigilantes (still bitter that they didn’t run with the ‘Tommy is Prometheus’ arc from the comics), this week brings back our old favourite cop-out hero, and Arrow’s answer to Jaqen H’ghar, Christopher “Human Target” Chance, who wears all the different faces in order to help his old friend out of this sticky situation.

Elsewhere, it’s a tough week for Laurel (Katie Cassidy) as questions about the Green Arrow are thrown her way in her role as the Black Canary – of course, this Laurel isn’t the fallen hero, and she begins to worry that any attempt at answering the questions will reveal that she isn’t the person she has been claiming to be. Torn once again between Diaz and her father, when asked for the identity of the Green Arrow, she tells the press that she would be more than happy to reveal the hero’s identity, if and only if she is called into court to do so. Things only get more complicated when Diaz confronts her about how distant she has been since he got his “justice” against his bully (he set a man on fire, she’s well within her rights to take pause for thought) threatening her to ensure she takes this opportunity to outrightly confirm that Oliver is the Green Arrow.

This episode really proves how strategic Diaz is in comparison to some of Arrow’s other ‘big bads’, as it seems that no matter the eventuality, he has a contingency plan in place. However, when things don’t seem to go his way in the trial’s verdict, Diaz’s planning takes a dark turn, leaving Oliver and all the people he cares about in mortal danger.

VERDICT:

Full of twists and turns, Arrow once again proves in this episode that Ricardo Diaz is a force to be reckoned with, and if Oliver is to have any hope of defeating him, he will need a strong team behind him. With only two episodes of Season 6 remaining, stakes are only set to get higher from here – what does Diaz have in store for Oliver? And are our vigilantes prepared to fight side-by-side once more in order to defeat him?

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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