Arrow: State V. Queen Review -

Arrow Review

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  • Episode: State V. Queen (Season 2, Episode 7)
  • Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Summer Glau
  • Written By: Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg
  • Directed By: Bethany Rooney
  • Network: The CW
  • Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics
  • Series:

Arrow: State V. Queen Review

Vertigo returns and the fate of Moira Queen decided

By Tim Janson     November 22, 2013

Vertigo Returns!
© The CW
If you ever wanted to criticize a show for packing too much into a single episode this week’s Arrow would win the prize.  There was so much happening this week that it’s a wonder it fit into an hour.  As a result, the episode felt somewhat hurried but in light of all that took place and several huge bombshells, this was still a great episode.

The opening takes us back six months in time to the destruction of the Glades which damaged a prison and allowed Count Vertigo to escape.  Back in present day we learn that the Count has been working with Brother Blood and infecting the City’s supply of flu vaccinations with the Vertigo drug.  One of those infected is Diggle who collapses in the office.  Meanwhile, Moira Queens trial for murder begins and it seems as if the prosecutor has an airtight case against her when it’s revealed that she had an affair with Malcolm Merlyn years earlier.  When the Assistant District Attorney is kidnapped by the Count, a conflicted Laurel Lance is forced to take over the case against Moira.

Oliver and Thea anxiously await the verdict but Oliver is forced to leave the courthouse when Felicity is kidnapped by Vertigo as well.  With Vertigo threatening harm to Felicity, Oliver has little choice but to break his vow against killing in order to save her.  On the Island, Oliver is leading Professor Ivo and his crew in search of the cave with the graves of the Japanese World War II soldiers to find an arrowhead that will lead them to the abandoned sub.  Shado and Slade Wilson save Oliver and Sara and flee Ivo’s men.  Shado reveals she has the arrowhead and the sub carries a serum which can heal the badly wounded Wilson.  The final segment drops not one but two startling developments leading into the two-part mid-season finale.

As mentioned there was so much going on this week that the plotlines felt rushed. Moira’s trial started and ended within hours seemingly instead of the weeks you would expect it to last.  The Vertigo plot was also given the express ride.  But both hastened plots had a reason.  In the case of Vertigo it shows that Oliver will have to kill if needed to save a life and eliminated one of the show’s minor villains.  Oliver made it very clear to Felicity that it was not a tough decision in light of possibly losing her.  Moira’s trial was more about what came after and how the jury reached a quick not guilty verdict when even Oliver expected her to be found guilty.  One bombshell was certainly anticipated but the second one?  Not so much!  Brother Blood continues to be setup as a major both as the person aiding Vertigo.

Again there was another reference this week on a background newscast of S.T.A.R. labs getting ready to turn on their particle accelerator and if you watched next week’s preview you know Barry Allen is set to make his first appearance in what is shaping up to be a blockbuster mid-season finale.  It might be just in time as Oliver is going to have his hands full with two top tier villains.  Oh and if you missed the news earlier this week it was announced that Katrina Law from the Starz Spartacus series has been tapped to play Ra's al Ghul's other progeny, Nyssa al Ghul in episode 13 of the second season called “Heir to the Demon”  It’s going to be a busy next couple of months for Arrow!
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SarcasticCaveman 11/22/2013 1:16:51 AM

 I'm still really enjoying the show, but seriously...somebody should have told Seth Gabel that he is supposed to be playing Count Vertigo in a live action television show, not The Joker in a Batman cartoon.  The people who run the show don't usually let actors get that over the top.  I know, I know, he was some kind of drug kingpin...I stand by my statement.

samson 11/22/2013 2:39:47 AM

 Sarcastic caveman, yeah, I thought Gabel was waaaay over the top. It came across as being forced and almost cringe worthy. But, I enjoyed the episode nonetheless.

Iridan 11/22/2013 4:29:54 AM

I think he was still crazed by the shot of Vertigo that Oliver gave him in season one, so it made sense to me.

I had two problems with this episode. The first has pretty much been there all season. There is no way Laurel would have been working on the case. She would have a clear conflict of interest that everyone in the city would know. Even if her boss and she wanted her to do it, a judge would not allow it.

My second issue was with Felicity going to the truck and getting caught so easily. Just seemed to be too much for me. Some lazy writing.

I loved the rest of the episode and I'm still more intrigued by the flashbacks then the present day story line. B plus seems like the right grade to me.

LivinLaw 11/22/2013 6:29:49 AM

 @ Iridan:  In regards to Laurel being on the case, there wasn't a conflict of interest ... technically.  Starling City is a made up city in (to my knowledge) some unidentified state, so we can't say for sure what the jurisdiction's Rule of Professional Conduct actually say, but generally, an attorney is only disqualified from a case if they previously represented the opposing party, had some financial stake in the outcome, i.e., a prosecutor who owned stock in a company being prosecuted, or has a personal relationship with the other party.  HOWEVER, conflicts of interest can be waived by the parties assuming that everybody knows the situation and both parties "knowingly and intelligently" waive an claim of conflict.  The judge would only have the right to remove counsel if the opposing party made a motion requesting the court to do so.  Clearly the district attorney (as legal representative of the state) had no problem with Laurel handling the case despite her history with the Queen family.  Presumably, Moira Queen had no objection.  If so, then Laurel can serve as counsel in the case.  Now, by meeting with Moira behind her boss's back and outside the presence of Moira's counsel (whom she knows about) ... well, there was enough wrongdoing there have her disbarred (as she acknowledged).

Iridan 11/22/2013 8:34:33 AM

She was a childhood friend of Moira's son and knew her since, since then. Even if neither side objected, I still think the judge would have. What are the odds of someone claiming a miss trial after the verdict if the prosecuting attorney had a friendship with the defendant? I actually have to waive conflict of interest issues in my job from time to time. Those are certainly different than one of the prosecuting attorneys being a friend of the defendent.

Look what happened in the episode, she went to see Moira 'off the record'. Whether that was realistic or not, would depend on how you view the character, I guess. I have less issues with that than with her being on the case.

That being said, it is a minor quibble for me. I still love the show.

WarCry 11/22/2013 8:52:01 AM

 I have less issue with her being on the case - though her romantic involvement with Ollie in the past CERTAINLY would have be grounds for CoI - than I do with the prosecution having a secret "smoking gun".

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure there are these little things called "rules of discovery". Prosecution has to give the defense any information they have pertaining to the case. They don't get to call "surprise witnesses" or hold back evidence they plan to submit. The closest they could come is if they call an unscheduled witness to directly rebut statements made by the other side.

In a lot of jurisdictions it works both ways, where the defense has to present their information to the prosecution beforehand also. The courts are truly not fond of and generally don't allow "gotcha" moments like you see on TV shows and in the movies.

SarcasticCaveman 11/22/2013 9:06:01 AM

 I guess Indiana is a little backwards, WarCry...I was on jury duty once, and the prosecution tried a "gotcha" moment, but it was entirely laughable.

WarCry 11/22/2013 12:26:41 PM

 Well, I always figured IN was a bit backwards anyway.

Not to start the debate about the case, but in the Zimmerman trial, BOTH sides were called out by the judge (and had or have pending separate hearings) for discovery violations. That's FL law, but I know at least the prosecution side is pretty well the standard across the country. In the case you were a part of, I wouldn't be surprised to hear the prosecutor got hit with the same thing (discovery objections and issues are handled outside of the jury's presence).


Cimmerian666 11/22/2013 3:41:00 PM

 I liked this episode alot. I told my wife when Vertigo showed up that hopefully Ollie would make an exception for this guy. Ra's better not waste a lazarus trip on that clown. Glad to see Malcolm back.

GreatOne 11/22/2013 8:06:45 PM

As a prosecutor, let me add to the discussion.  First off, while I greatly enjoy the show, every aspect of it dealing with law enforcement/the court system is ridiculous.  People here have already discussed, for example, the poor writing about the hijacked trucks (why at night & without police escort after prior hijackings).  The Quentin Lance character is a parody - combination of poor acting and poor writing. 

As for the prosecutor, there is no way a District/County Attorney would ever assign a case to someone who has such a personal relationship with the relative of a defendant, as that would call into question the prosecutor's ability to do their job properly.  Also, any defense attorney who would not bring a motion to have that prosecutor removed would be committing malpractice.  As already pointed out, no way a judge let's her stay on.  And there is simply no way a prosecutor would speak with a represented defendant to try to convince that person to not testify at trial.  Aside from being unethical warranting a suspension, it would also form the basis for an appeal if a defendant followed the prosecutor's advice.  

I do disagree with the discovery issue.  Prosecutors are only required to disclose (a) evidence that they would use in their case-in-chief to convict a defendant; and (b) evidence that would be considered exculpatory (i.e., evidence that could show the defendant is not guilty).  The things discussed between Laurel and Moira is for cross-examination purposes, and does not fall under either category.  That being said, I don't know if that is proper cross-examination material - just because Moira and Malcolm had an affair years ago is hardly relevant as to whether she conspired with him.  If the affair were current, then yes.  I don't even think charges would have been brought in the real world.  Conspiracy cases fall apart when a person recants, particularly in the public way Moira did.  Perhaps some less charges, but certainly not capital murder.

I could go on.  Still a great show, but they really need to bring in some law enforcement/prosecutors to help write those scenes.    

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