Arrow: Broken Dolls Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013
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.
Mania Grade: B+
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