Oliver Queen is back in court for being the Green Arrow, but this trial is unlike anything you’ll see on Law & Order.

Previously, on ARROW

There’s a lot of craziness that becomes the norm with ARROW, but it’s a little surprising that an episode that takes place almost entirely in a court room goes absolutely over-the-top insane.

Since he murdered hactivist Cayden James, Ricardo Diaz has grown his power base in Star City and every episode has put him in a stronger position. Neither Team Arrow nor the TERRIFICS have had anything close to resembling a win over the last batch of episodes and it’s gotten to the point where even the thought that Diaz can be defeated seems like a ridiculous notion. Diaz has all the police in the city in his pocket, every city official except the Mayor and it’s noted in this episode he has the judge and has managed to influenced the jury.

Oliver Queen – despite have friends with superpowers; a best friend who is second-in-command of a paramilitary organization; an ex-girlfriend on a time-traveling spaceship; an ex-wife who could command an army of assassins if she so chooses; and allies on another Earth in the Multiverse who are superstrong aliens – just can’t seem to get the better of a street thug with a Napoleon complex. All the troubles Oliver has had should be frustrating to the viewer. I know there needs to be a suspension of disbelief with anything based on comic books, but sometimes these little things can snowball into larger issues. Thankfully, episodes like this one make up for some of these logic holes, because this episode was so great from top to bottom.

The trial of Oliver Queen was a farce, featuring witness intimidation, witness tampering, perjury, a biased judge, a bought off jury and fights on the courthouse steps. While Diaz pushed his side to get Oliver thrown into prison, the Terrifics (now with Diggle on board) do what they can to fight back.

Their best gambit is to get the Human Target, Christopher Chance, to use his amazing ability to become others through Mission: Impossible facemasks and try to convince the jury that the Green Arrow was none other than Tommy Merlyn, Oliver’s childhood best friend who died at the end of the first season. It was good to see Colin Donnell back on the show for that bit. I always thought it a shame they killed him off at the end of the first season.

Wild Dog tries to recant his testimony that Oliver is the Green Arrow, but Diaz walks into the courthouse with his daughter. The prosecutor, who we’re repeatedly told isn’t on Diaz’s payroll, gets Oliver to admit he wasn’t on Lian Yu for the whole five years he was missing. And Black Siren, who Diaz ordered to testify that Oliver was the Green Arrow because the world thinks she’s this Earth’s Laurel Lance, decides to stand up to Diaz and say that the vigilante is Merlyn.

Half of that happening on Law & Order would drive Jack McCoy into an early retirement. But the judge cares not one whit and sends the jury to deliberate. After roughly 20 minutes (I assume, the total deliberation time is never referenced on the show but it couldn’t have been long), the jury comes back with a guilty verdict. But Oliver’s attorney, Jean Loring, challenges the decision and the judge – surprisingly! – agrees and vacates it, leaving Oliver a free man.

Yeah, Diggle and Wild Dog kidnapped the judge and replaced him with the Human Target. It would be a happy ending if Diaz didn’t then kill the judge for not following through. Laurel makes one final attempt to stand up to Diaz, but he has a power dampener, leaving her in the custody of his henchmen – who seem to have dampeners of their own – and he decides it’s time to just kill Oliver and everyone he loves.

The craziness of this episode makes it one of my favorites of the season so far, as they fully embraced their comic book roots and just went nuts with the episode to get Oliver out of a jam that seemed hopeless from the opening gavel. The show continues a run of fun episodes with two remaining, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Show Notes

• The episode title is a reference to Oliver Queen’s first comic book appearance, the 73rd issue of More Fun Comics, which was released on November 19, 1941.

• The prosecutor, Alexa Van Owen, is said to have taken down Intergang and Bruno Manheim. Bruno “Ugly” Manheim was another criminal boss who led Intergang and funneled weapons from Darkseid, the leader of Apokalips, to Earth. Created by Jack Kirby in the 1970s, Manheim and Intergang were perpetual thorns in the side of Superman for decades.

Things are heating up in Star City, and it looks like Team Arrow has a fight on its hands next week.