Arrow: “Broken Dolls” Season 2 Episode 3 Review

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Broken Dolls was a tense, creepy hour that featured one of Arrow‘s best villains yet.

But what better way to start off the week than with the mysterious new vigilante in town (the comic book fans know her as Black Canary). With the Arrow surrounded by Laurel and her SWAT team, one of DC’s more notable female superheroes crashed through the roof to save her colleague of sorts. It was a nice touch that in this superpower-less world (so far at least), Black Canary had a device that emulated her power from the comics, a terrible shriek capable of shattering glass. Of course she escapes into the night before Arrow has a chance to catch her name or anything.

Moving forward, Quentin Lance got some much needed character development tonight as an old nemesis from his days as a detective broke out of prison due to the quake. Known as the Dollmaker, this murderer takes beautiful women and force-feeds them a substance that hardens their esophagus, turning them into porcelain dolls. Lance solved the case soon after his daughter died, with eight women dying before he caught him.

Now that Lance is a beat cop he doesn’t exactly have the resources to catch him. But the vigilante does. In a neat twist, Laurel and her father have found themselves on the opposite sides from where they were last season. It was also pretty cool to see Lance working alongside Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity, a team we never thought he would be a part of last season.

He gets too close to Dollmaker, however, getting himself and Laurel kidnapped.

Meanwhile, Oliver has Roy on the hunt for the new hero in town. He manages to track down her partner, who knocks him out. Roy wakes up to Black Canary and her partner questioning him on whether “they” sent him. Clearly he has no idea what they are talking about and is released.

This allowed Black Canary to join the final confrontation with Dollmaker. As Arrow saves Laurel and her father, Dollmaker runs for it, only to be stopped by the songbird. He manages to subdue her, allowing Arrow to put two non-lethal arrows through his chest. But unfortunately, this creepy villain will not be returning, as Black Canary delivered a final blow before escaping.

The climax did also include that very poorly acted scene where Laurel realizes she was feeling guilty about Tommy’s death, not actually angry at the Arrow. Laurel is annoying this season, there’s just no way around it.

At least we had one last scene with Black Canary where she was approached by a hooded figure. Turns out he works for Ra’s al Ghul. Yes, that Ra’s al Ghul. AWESOME.

One subplot this week dealt with Moira’s trial and the possibility of her facing the death penalty. It’s great to see her and Thea not acting like soap opera characters this season. Although I have to wonder what secrets Moira is still keeping.

The island was the most exciting it’s been yet this season. Oliver is getting attached to Shado, something Slade advises against. They find a ship offshore that explains the men they found. But the ship starts firing and they run back to save Shado. But of course they get stuck in the crossfire. Slade appeared to be on fire (could this be what gets rid of his eye?) while Oliver lied helpless on the ground. Last we saw he was in a prison cell on a ship called Amazo (for the DC fanatics). This could be going somewhere intriguing, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Broken Dolls did a lot of smart things. Quentin Lance feels much more well-rounded and it seems Black Canary is here to stay! But with Dollmaker dead it does feel a bit more like “monster of the week” type episode. Still though, Ra’s al freakin’ Ghul. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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