Arrow 2×03 – Broken Dolls

"This city needs help; I just became less particular on where it comes from."


Although I’m not too well-versed in the Arrow mythology, I do know that The Black Canary is an enormously integral part of the hero’s history. Broken Dolls was our first real look at Starling City’s newest masked vigilante, and her appearance did not disappoint.

Last week’s cliffhanger was a doozy, and it allowed the Canary to swoop in with one heck of a badass entrance – crashing into the DA’s office and saving Oliver with a nifty sonic-scream device. Caity Lotz made an immediate impression as a buttkicker with a vendetta against “misogynistic” thugs. But that’s not all, she also has a sidekick called Sin, AND she’s on the run from none other than Ra’s Al Ghul. For the uninitiated, Ghul is one of Batman’s most iconic villains – most recently seen in Batman Begins. I honestly never thought the character would make an appearance on Arrow, so I’m immensely excited about this development, and the backstory behind Canary’s association with the League of Assassins.

Although our villain this week was a one-shot guest star, The Dollmaker managed to be sufficiently creepy within the span of 40 minutes. His terrifying ways supplied the hour with a ton of grisly imagery, and a darkness that’s different from what we’re accustomed to on the show. Furthermore, his kidnapping of Quentin and Laurel added a healthy dose of excitement to the proceedings.

Speaking of Detective Lance, I absolutely hated the character in season one – so imagine my surprise when he took center-stage this week and built a fantastic dynamic with Arrow. I’m genuinely shocked by how likeable he’s become, and how much I’m enjoying this partnership. Now I’m more pumped than ever for the day he eventually discovers Arrow’s true identity (which should be a hoot as he doesn’t have much respect for Oliver).

A lot of fans have been vocal about their hate for Laurel recently, so I’m pleased the writers finally got her to a place where she could realize that Arrow wasn’t responsible for Tommy’s death. Katie did an outstanding job with her final breakdown, and I’m eager to see where they take her character next. Let’s hope she crosses paths with The Black Canary soon.

As for Moira, she’s bravely resigned to a life in prison. However, we now have an added complication as Laurel’s boss has decided to come after Mama Queen with the death penalty. How is she going to get out of this one? And what kind of secrets is she still hiding from her kids? We’ve been down this path before, so I do hope it’s a reveal that takes Susanna Thompson to some fresh new places.

Although we didn’t spend too much time on the island this week, we got a pretty intriguing development with Oliver ending up imprisoned on the “Amazo”, the mysterious ship circling the island. I have about a zillion questions – chief among them being what happened to Slade after we caught that haunting glimpse of him on fire. Majorly creepy.

Bits & Arrows

– It’s funny how the Black Canary manages to overcome her goofy mask with a pretty sexy voice that doesn’t make me laugh (I’m looking at you Arrow, and that terrible growl).

– What was the point of Oliver saving Slade from falling off the ledge? Is this an act Oliver is going to regret in the future (when Slade hopefully becomes his arch-nemesis)?

– Incredible cinematography with Island Oliver running through the explosions towards Shado. Blockbuster-worthy.

– After referring to our hero as “The Vigilante” and “The Hood”, someone (Lance) finally called him “The Arrow”. It’s about damn time.

– The parkour chase sequence between Roy and Sin was terrifically filmed, although I did spot Roy’s stunt double at one point.

– Standout emotional beat of the hour: Lance resigned to his daughter dying as he sobbed and begged her to close her eyes. Really tugged at my heartstrings there. Beautiful performance.

– Love the way the Black Canary spins in from above and lands on her feet. She did it twice this week and it’s like something out of a Cirque Du Soleil spectacle.

– I sort of groaned when weak little Dollmaker knocked out Canary with those beams from above. It was a much too convenient way to get Arrow to save her before she could deliver the killer blow.

– The operative who came for Canary at the end looked EXACTLY like the Dark Archer. For a second there I thought Malcolm Merlyn was back from the dead.

– Do not Google anything about the Black Canary if you’ve managed to avoid her identity until now, because it’s a big one.

Starling Quips

Arrow: He won’t talk to anyone.
Lance: How do you know that?
Arrow: Because he has another shoulder.

Lance: (to a fallen thug after Arrow beats him) I’m sorry, I guess he gets enthusiastic sometimes.

Lance: (to Laurel) A guy with a bow and arrow can’t save a guy who’s had a building fall on top of him.

Roy: (after getting hit) Not my face – I have a disapproving girlfriend.

Oliver: We’ve gotta find her.
Felicity: To find her or to send her a thank-you note?

A thoroughly entertaining and exciting hour from Arrow‘s sophomore season.

Nad Rating

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