Arrow: Broken Dolls Review -

Arrow Review

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  • Episode: Broken Dolls (Season 2, Episode 3)
  • Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Katie Cassidy, Emily Bett Rickards, Manu Bennett
  • Written By: Marc Guggenheim, Keto Shimizu
  • Directed By: Glen Winter
  • Studio: Warner Brothers
  • Network: The CW
  • Series:

Arrow: Broken Dolls Review

Black Canary rescues Oliver

By Tim Janson     October 27, 2013

Arrow: Broken Dolls Review
© Warner Bros.

Last episode ended on a cliffhanger as Green Arrow (and yes I have resolved from here onward to call him GREEN ARROW, despite the CW, Warner Bros., and DC Comics continuing to dance around doing so) is caught in a trap and surrounded by a police SWAT team in Laurel Lance’s office.  Just as it appears he will have to surrender, the Black Canary bursts into the room using her sonic scream to stun the police and lead Oliver to safety.  She quickly departs without an explanation as to why she rescued him.  Oliver sets both Roy Harper and Felicity to finding out more about the mystery woman.

Officer Lance finds out that a serial killer he helped capture several years ago managed to escape from prison during the earthquake in the Glade and is on the loose again.  Barton Mathis, known as the Dollmaker, uses a chemical solution that he fills the bodies of his victims with, killing them but making them pliable so he can pose them to make a life-sized doll.  Green Arrow and Black Canary both have their sights set on stopping Mathis although they intend to do so by different means.  Felicity is used as bait to attract Mathis.  In a stunning development, the district attorney announces he will seek the death penalty against Oliver’s mother Moira.

On the Island, Oliver, Slade Wilson, and Shado are trying to discover who the new intruders are on the island and see a large ship in the harbor.  The ship begins firing on the island and later the three are captured and imprisoned aboard the ship which is named “Amazo”.  

The incorporation of Black Canary into the show is indeed welcome.  But again DC and Warner Bros. are hesitant to commit to the show being about superheroes as Black Canary’s sonic scream is produced by an electronic device rather than being one of her powers.  It’s certainly not a deal breaker, though, and fits well into the context of the show’s grittier style.  Perhaps the most interesting development is that Black Canary is tracked down by an agent of Ra's al Ghul, best known as one of Batman’s primary foes.  This is especially intriguing since the villain was used in the recent Christopher Nolan Batman films and doesn’t really have a strong history with Black Canary or Green Arrow.  Episode five this year is titled “League of Assassins” and in the comics Ra's al Ghul was the group’s leader.  I like the direction even if it is vulturing Batman’s mythology.

The ship Amazo is named after the DC character of the same name although that is likely just a little insider nod.  In the comics Barton Mathis is the third and most recent villain to bear the name The Dollmaker.  He’s a disposable villain but at least one that has a background in the DC Universe even if, again, it is with Batman and not Green Arrow.
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LooneyBinJIm 10/26/2013 11:52:37 PM

I'm starting to think they are using scripts from a pitched Batman: Year One series, that got nixed when the films took off. Everywhere Batman was, they scrached out and replaced it with Hood/Arrow.

The League of Assassins has popped up in Beware the Batman also, so maybe at one time it was meant to tie in if the Batman Series had gotten green-lit.

Speculations / Possible SPOILERS











Having the sonic scream device makes it that much easier to kill off Laurel's sister again, and have Laurel take up the mantle of Black Canary I'm afraid.

Speaking of reusing old scripts, I wonder if this season with his mom maybe going to jail, and Blood possibly picking up Laurel's cause to capture the Arrow (they made half the name official this ep finally), this season will end with Oliver being caught / turining himself in as trade. Maybe having season three center around the SUPERMAX idea that was being tossed around awhile back.

egoist 10/27/2013 7:21:53 AM

 I'm a superhero fan and I'll watch most anything in the genre, but I don't really get why this show tries so hard not to be a about superpowers. They should just call it Robinson Crusoe: Vigilante. I guess they will have to get Usain Bolt to play the Flash (or the BOLT as the BLUR was already taken) when he guest stars.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the show, but who do they think mainly watches this show, Law and Order retiree's, or comic book enthusiasts?

Oh and one last thing, if you're gonna have Detective Lance busted down to street cop, make the guy shave off his 2 day scruff and attempt to look the part for Pete's sake.



hanso 10/27/2013 12:38:58 PM

 I like it.

GreatOne 10/27/2013 10:19:54 PM

The only on-going complaint I have about the show is Det. Lance - both the way it is written and the actor.  Would it hurt the writers to actually consult with a law enforcement officer before writing such tripe?  Telling the lead detective for an escaped serial killer to stay away because of a demotion would never happen, much less having the officer arrested for obstruction.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  And the number of laws he breaks is astounding.  And the actor simply doesn't convery the grit and grizzle of an experienced detective.  Perhaps that's more to do with the writing.

Highly doubt Laurel's sister gets bumped off - she's League of Assassins-trained, presumably over 5 years.  Very difficult to have someone untrained/barely trained get to that level in any believable amount of time.  Too bad they won't be using the same actress from the pilot.



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