Recap And Review: ARROW ‘Broken Dolls’

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Last week’s episode of Arrow ended on an insane cliff hanger that put The Hood in a tight spot with not only Laurel, but about 50 armed policemen too. So you could imagine I was counting down the days on the calendar waiting for Wednesday to roll around so I could see how Oliver got himself out of this jam that he found his way in. Needless to say not only was I not disappointed in how he got out, but the whole episode was pretty great all around.

With The Hood surrounded, Laurel tells him to lower his weapon, and he reluctantly agrees. That’s when all hell breaks loose as we get to see Black Canary in action, complete with sonic scream. Relax it’s only a device that makes the noise, but it’s still cool. After she saves him The Hood tells her, “Nice mask,” and she’s off into the night and he heads back to base to reports what he has just encountered to Felicity and Diggle.

Broken DollsOfficer Lance hears a call on his scanner that he responds too but upon arrival he is told that Pike doesn’t want him anywhere near the case. Lance rejects this notion and makes his way to the body, which much to his distress has been posed like a doll. This leads him to believe that one of his old nemeses, Barton Mathis AKA The Dollmaker, has escaped from prison. While Oliver is talking with Diggle and Felicity about catching Canary, Felicity fields a call from Lance who is looking for The Hood’s help, a turn in the series that was a long time in the making and seem to fit this episode well.

After we see how Mathis is kidnapping his victims, we are whisked away to the rooftops where Lance and The Hood have a discussion on whether he is done killing or not. The Hood assures him those days are behind him and Lance hands him a file on Mathis. After some discussion in their headquarters, The Hood meets up with Roy where he tells him he needs information on Canary, but not to engage her.

Officer Lance meets up with Laurel where he tries to get info from her on Mathis’ lawyer. She tells him not to let a guilt lead to him obsessing over catching The Dollmaker, to which, in just absolutely fabulous writing, Lance points at her Hood collage and tell her to do the same.

The Moira story returns this week with Thea visiting her in jail, and bringing her clothes to wear during her pretrial hearing. Although it makes Thea uneasy Moira tells her she is willing to spend life in prison for helping with the dooms day devise. In a shocking turn of events the DA is seeking the death penalty for Moira which alarms both Thea and Oliver. In a private meeting Moira’s lawyer says they are going to fight it, but she needs all the information about what Malcolm Merlyn had on her, to which she refuses saying she just got her family back and that information could ruin their relationship.

The Hood and Lance’s next meet up, and I am liking the team up of the two, occurs at Mathis’ lawyer’s office. Here he refuses to talk, but after an arrow to the shoulder he is a little more willing to give up info they are after, which is that Mathis may be held up in an old museum. After they go there, they discover an old news paper article from where Mathis’ first arrest and a phone where Lance has to hear him murder the girl he caught earlier in the episode.

Broken DollsRoy is selling stuff to a guy we have no idea who it is, but he haggles the price to include some information on Black Canary. The guy doesn’t know anything, but leads him to a girl named Sin who would. After a foot chase to a clock tower Roy is knocked out by Black Canary. After he comes too, she tells Sin that he isn’t important and to let him go.

While doing some research the group discovers that all the girls that are attacked by The Dollmaker have a specific skin cream they buy in common. Diggle thinks the lead is nonsense, but Felicity offers to be the bait for a mission to try and lure Mathis out. While in radio contact with everyone Lance reveals the reason The Dollmaker case drives him so crazy is because it came shortly after the death of his daughter Sarah, who was on the boat with Oliver when it sank. In a really cool action beat, Mathis tries to grab Felicity, but she fights him off to which he pulls a gun on Lance. Oliver shoots the gun out of his hand with an arrow and swoops down. The cops arrive, and Lance tells The Hood to get out of here, he then is arrested for obstruction of justice.

After a brief argument with Laurel where Quentin, as I am sure most fans are like me and were excited for this, starts referring to The Hood as Arrow, she is able to get him free. He tells her that a guy with a bow and arrow couldn’t save a guy who had a building fall on him, and that she needs to stop feeling guilty about Tommy. She tells him to stay away from The Dollmaker case and walks away.

As Lance is leaving the police station he attempts to help a man knelt down which turns out to be Mathis who uses a stun gun on him and abducts him. When he throws him in the van it is revealed he has Laurel too. When The Dollmaker gets them back to his hideout he reveals to Quentin that he is going to take his SOAL, by making Laurel one of his dolls. Arrow swoops in and saves the say, but after he subdues Mathis, Black Canary shows up and kills him. Laurel confesses her guilt to Quentin about Tommy’s death, where it appears she is willing to let go some of her hate towards Arrow. Later that night Arrow shows up at Quentin’s apartment and he thanks him for his help and appears ready to fully trust him.

Back at the clock tower Black Canary is getting ready to take her mask off when a hooded figure shows up. After some back and forth it is revealed this ninja was sent by none other than Ras Al Ghul to bring her back. She tells him she isn’t going anywhere and to tell him such. He informs her that he cannot do that to which she responds by killing him and saying “Then don’t tell him anything.”

The Island flashbacks where a little bland this week, which is a shame because they use to be my favorite part of the show, so I’ll just cover them all here. In the first one Shado is investigating the Japanese corpses they found in last week’s episode. Slade convinces Oliver, against his better judgment, to leave Shado behind while they look for a new place on higher ground to set up camp. In the second flashback Slade and Oliver are arguing about whether caring for Shado or not will get him killed, and Oliver saves Slade as he slips off the mountain side. Once he pulls him up they look and see a boat firing shots towards the island. As they approach where Shado was Oliver is knocked out by a blast from the shots, as half of Slade’s face is engulfed in flames. Ollie wakes up in what we are led to believe is a holding cell in the boat as the episode ends.

What I Liked:

DC References: Some are subtle like The Clock Tower. Others, like Ras Al Ghul and Slade injuring half his face, not so much. Regardless, they are all really awesome.

Arrow: I’m so excited they are over calling him “The Hood” I guess it fit for what they were doing in the first season, but Arrow seems more natural.

Action: I sound like a broken record, but the stunts coordinators should win and award for this.

Arrow And His Sidekick Office Lance: This wont be an every episode thing, and it shouldn’t be, but I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lance and Arrow.

What I Didn’t Like:

Diggle: Diggle seemed to get lost in the everything that was going on in this episode. It really was like he was there only because he had to be not because he helped push the story along.

4.5/5

This is one of the better episodes I have seen. I had to knock a half star off for them not really knowing what to do with Diggle during this episode, but other than that this show is really making me look forward to Wednesdays.

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