TELEVISION EPISODE REVIEW: Arrow S6 Ep21 ‘Docket No. 11-19-41-73’

Star City’s Trial of the Century places our titular hero in a very precarious position. Can Oliver avoid incarceration, or will his mission in Star City finally be drawing to a close?

Arrow – “Docket No. 11-19-41-73”, Season 6, Episode 21
Airdate: May 3rd, 2018
Director: Andi Armaganian
Writer: Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim
Based on the DC Comics Created by: Mort Weisinger & George Papp

What You Should Know:

Last week, Oliver attempted to take on Diaz on his own and was defeated mightily. In the end, rather than kill Oliver and make him a martyr, Diaz used his pull to have Ollie arrested and have the trial moved forward.

What You’ll Find Out:

In the cold open, we see John Diggle, Agent of ARGUS, recruiting his ace in the hole, one Christopher Chance aka The Human Target (the reveal is later in the episode, but for comics fans who had seen the commercials throughout the week, I don’t too many were surprised to see our favorite master of disguise make a welcome appearance).

The trial itself is a circus. Jean Loring, Oliver’s lawyer (a character with a very interesting comics backstory) is hopelessly outmatched by outside counsel, Alexa van Owen, who touts a 99% conviction rate and is backed by a Diaz controlled courtroom. As the prosecution parades Oliver’s loved ones, those closest to him, and even acquaintances before the court, Diaz, and Diggle engage in a chess match in the attempt to win the case by any means necessary. Diaz manages to bully Black Siren and Rene into outing Oliver (at least Rene has the valid excuse of Diaz directly threatening his daughter. Black Siren is just weak and pathetic), but Diggle plays the role of the necromancer, resurrecting hope in the form of Tommy Merlyn (actually Chance).

tommy as GA

While Diaz has a counter-measure for Chance in the form of Cayden James’ files and a compliant “Laurel Lance,” Laurel finally grows a spine and defies Diaz, “confirming” Tommy is the Green Arrow. Alexa van Owen makes the fatal error of stating that, not one, but two men over the course of the past three years would be “willing to go to prison” to protect Oliver, her only real mistake in the rigged trial, although it would not impact the outcome. The jury found Oliver guilty.

Loring calls for a judgment from the judge overruling the jury, and, thanks once again to Chance, now posing at the judge, it is granted and Oliver is freed. As the epilogues roll, we see Oliver and Rene make up finally, Diaz kills the judge unnecessarily, and Black Siren finally remember that she’s a metahuman, only to discover she waited long enough for Diaz to get his hands on a power dampener. The endgame is upon us.

rene on the stand

What Just Happened?

The episode was better than many this season but mostly held afloat by the appearance of Christopher Chance. Oliver managed to beat the rap this time, but there is no doubt that Dinah pleading the 5th regarding the murder of Sonus and Rene perjuring himself on the stand won’t come back to bite our vigilantes in the ass. Not to mention that Rene admitted to being a vigilante in a city with staunch anti-vigilante laws. We will see if, in the final two episodes of the season, the writing team is astute enough to realize the cans of worms they opened in this episode.

Rating: 7/10
Final Thought:
The internet is abuzz with the title of the final episode being “Life Sentence”, although I suspect that the life sentence that is apparently impending could be for somebody other than Oliver, or perhaps only a metaphorical sentencing.

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