Arrow Docket No. 11-19-41-73 Review
In The CW‘s Arrow: Season 6, Episode 21: Docket No. 11-19-41-73, it seemed like everyone was on trial. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) faced the possibility of exposure and prison, but not without an excellent defensive strategy. Filled with twists and welcome surprises, Docket also felt like a big bundle of apologies. There were a few key issues to examine.
Oliver did not put up much of a fight. When the verdict came down, it was easy to go through the mental motions of transport sabotage and prison breaks, because no way was Oliver going to prison ever! Thanks to an unforgettable illusionist, Christopher Chance (Wil Traval), Oliver would not see prison bars. Chance’s portrayal of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) was a beautiful red herring (good one guys!!!), but co-opting the judge was just brilliant. Still, Oliver seemed too resigned to the possibility of losing, and that was a message.
This was never meant to be “forever”, he says. Oliver wants to be free of the hood. He wants to live a normal life. So basically, Oliver admitted he was burning out. We heard this kind of talk before when he went away with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), but that adventure in domesticity was treated as a respite from his true self as the Green Arrow. At that point, he was resigned to the idea that normalcy was beyond his reach. Not now. Now, he wants the mission to end.
What does that say about Oliver’s situation when he thinks no one is willing or able to help him? In his mind, he was surrounded by corrupt individuals and “frenemies” that wanted to see him destroyed. Honestly, I loved how Curtis (Echo Kellum) was all about lying through his teeth on the stand. They all break the law every day. What would it matter to perjure themselves for a fellow masked hero. What I did not like was Curtis, Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Dinah’s (Juliana Harkavy) hesitation about helping Oliver at all. “Why do we care?” You should care, because you’re next! Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) would not stop at the Green Arrow.
Pressure mounted throughout the episode not just for Oliver, but for every member of what used to be Team Arrow. Felicity worried about losing Oliver and raising William (Jack Moore) alone. Rene had to choose between nobility and fatherhood under oath, which really was not a choice, since Diaz threatened his daughter. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) chose bravery over intelligence and will likely pay the price. It was like everyone’s history was under a microscope while their spines were being stress tested.
Loyalty was tested too, especially with Laurel, because she was determined to prove that she was not a puppet. I mentioned how Diaz and Laurel’s relationship resembled an abusive one. Well, more evidence to that fact came in the form of Diaz manhandling a dazed Laurel twice in one episode. I have to give it up though, Laurel tried. She asserted her independence, helped Oliver, defied the bully Diaz and…… of course, Diaz had a protective device that would suppress Laurel’s sonic scream. How else would he feel confident enough to be so demanding of and demeaning to a weaponized woman.
Because of Laurel, Diaz’s long game got cut short. He would have to become the typical villain that, I don’t know, kills his arch nemesis instead of implementing a grand plan of incarcerating them. Thing is, the last couple episodes with the burning of pleading victims and excessive beatdowns of wounded adversaries, makes it clear that Diaz is capable of sneakily killing everyone Oliver loves. He is a snake after all (or should I say dragon, which is a giant, magical reptile anyway). No one knew Diaz was poised to snap Rene’s daughter’s neck in the courtroom, let alone who he was. So, when he causally threatens Oliver’s family, you tend to believe him.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of reconciliation, Rene turns the corner on his foolishness. Good for him. Both he and Oliver were properly apologetic. Unlike when Diggle (David Ramsey) apologized, this time Rene was conscious of his own part in the misery he caused Oliver’s family. It was a mature moment between equals. It was well past needed.
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