Arrow ‘Broken Dolls” Episode Review
Just when I thought I had season two all figured out, Arrow threw this episode at me and raised my expectations for the entire series. “Broken Dolls” had so much going on that I’m not even sure where to start. We got an episode with the creepiest villain this show has ever seen, a full dose of a new hero/vigilante, a recurring character joins Oliver and his merry men, the Hood finally gets a new name, but most of all we got the mother of all teasers with the name dropping of a HUGE DC villain that could possibly change they way we view this entire show. Like I said, there was a lot going on.
One of the biggest problems Arrow has suffered from has been it’s lack of really good villains of the week, thankfully that all changed this week. The Dollmaker was a psychotic serial killer who brutally killed girls and dressed them up like dolls. This was not your normal bad guy, and the episode’s tone matched him perfectly. The resulting creepiness gave “Broken Dolls” an intense almost horror/crime vibe that really upped the drama. But more than that, the show finally had a non-main villain that made you feel like the city really did need a protector. The Dollmaker felt right out of a comic book (in a good way), he killed for crazy reasons that only made sense to him, and even the hero couldn’t stop him from claiming innocent lives. Letting the bodies pile up before Oliver could get to him created a lot of tension that made the conclusion of the story very satisfying. Arrow seems tailor made for these type of dark villains, lets hope we get more of them in the future.
This episode was Quentin Lance’s chance to make a season two impression, and man did he kill it. Truth be told, I’ve never really been a big fan of Detective Lance. The character has always been well acted and decently fleshed out, but he has always felt like the grouchy old man that yells at kids to get off his lawn. I know he’s always had good reasons for being that way, his daughter died, his wife left him, and his other daughter was helping a vigilante that kills people, but that still didn’t stop me from growing tired of the character. Then the Glades collapsed last season. He’s willingness to put aside his differences and help the Hood was the first time he started growing on me, and now after this week he might be one of my new favorite characters. First, he finally gave The Hood his new name…..Arrow. Not sure why we can’t just call him Green Arrow, but anything is better than the Vigilante. Second, he gave Laurel the backhand of truth. Telling Laurel that blaming the Arrow for a building falling on Tommy was stupid, all fans of Arrow agreed. It will be interesting to see how Laurel views the Arrow now that she no longer seems to blame him for Tommy’s death. It was also cool to see Quentin working with the Arrow, they had good chemistry and worked well together. It looks like he is destined to become Oliver’s own version of Commissioner Gordon. Overall, it looks like he is gonna be part of the Arrow team going forward and I think its gonna be great for the series.
After a way to brief cameo introduction in the premiere, we finally got a good look at Black Canary. Other than a ridiculous looking domino mask (if anyone ever wondered why the show never put Oliver in the domino mask he wore in the comic, stop wondering) Canary looked like every bit the bad ass she is in the comics. I particularly liked the way they did her signature sonic scream, it stuck to the real world vibe that the show has tried to follow without taking away an important part of the character. Other than a look at her fighting skills though, we didn’t learn a lot about her character, but the little we got…….holy crap. So apparently Black Canary is running from the League of Shadows and presence is being requested by none other than Ra’s Al Ghul. Yup, that just raised the bar for this show. That is a DC comic villain heavyweight and it would be a huge deal if he ends up being a main villain on the show. There has always been speculation that Arrow could be set up to crossover into the DC film universe, this could be the first signs of that. At the very least it shows that Arrow is not holding anything back as it continue to dives deeper into the rich pool of DC characters.
Even with so much going on this week, the writers still managed to cram a little more goodness in to the story. Looks like Moira is going to be fighting for her life, with the Starling City DA seeking the death penalty for her part in the Malcolm Merlyn Glades massacre. I doubt she’ll die, but it was interesting to hear her mention even more conspiracies that her kids can never know about. I’m not sure what could be worse for her kids than knowing what she already has done, but I guess we will find out. There was also some good island flashbacks where the tension is continuing to build between Oliver and Slade, this week was over their different views on attachments. I’m very interested to see the fallout from their base being bombed by the barge. With Oliver waking up imprisoned on the barge, Shado missing, and Slade being last seen on fire, things aren’t looking so good for our island dwellers. Also, I’m wondering if this is what causes Slade to lose his eye and wear the Deathstroke mask, I’m hoping not. I think it would be way cooler to have Oliver be the one that maimed him, would definitely increase the drama.
“Broken Dolls” is one of the best episodes of Arrow to date. Even though we are only three episodes into the new season, the writers continue to raise the raise the bar, and our expectations, at what this show can be moving forward. With an ever expanding roster of DC heroes and villains, Arrow is starting to become much more than a story about a guy with a bow trying to save his city. This show is growing into something better each week, and even though I’m starting to feel like a broken record saying it, I can’t wait to see whats next.
I give “Broken Dolls” a 9.5/10 because Ra’s al Ghoul commands it