After having to miss out on the live airing of Arrow this week due to piss poor reception of the local CW station at my hotel, I finally got to check out “Broken Dolls.” What a twisted, sick, positively brilliant piece of work.
We figured that Oliver was going to escape the peril of the cliffhanger, but I honestly had my money on Detective Officer Lance stepping in somehow. However, I’ll take the Black Canary, especially her cool sonic device that shatters windows. I do know, thanks to watching Smallville, that the Black Canary had a special power in her voice that debilitated everyone with one high pitched squeal, so is the presumption here then that heroes really don’t have special powers, just awesome high tech gadgets? I guess it always worked for Batman, so why not? Anyway, she saves Oliver and then goes away when he asks her why she saved him. We’ll put that in the mystery file for now.
I must say just how much I love Detective Officer Lance this season. I thought Lance last season was written annoyingly uneven to the point where we really didn’t know who this guy was nor did we care. There’s no question about it this season, he’s awesome and someone you want to root for. He believes in saving people and that the town needs help. The events of the undertaking really affected him, and he’s even taking this demotion to beat cop in stride. He gets to do things his way, because after what he’s seen, what’s the worst that can happen?
However, his new attitude toward the vigilante is so refreshing, he’s decided to call him “Arrow” now! Aww, a real name that doesn’t sound like a thug. This complete turnaround from last season where Quentin inexplicably was out to capture “The Hood” one week and working with him another is far more entertaining to watch. So, it made me very happy when a former serial killer that he put away gets loose and starts killing again, Lance decides to take matters into his own hands, especially when his boss is forbidding him to go near the crime scenes. Lucky for Quentin, Felicity Smoak’s cell phone number is one button push away.
Most of the villains on this show are very one dimensional, but by going very, very dark with The Dollmaker this week something extraordinary came from it. His lair was everything straight out of the most disturbing horror flick (minus the vomit inducing gore), and this sicko pushed limits that this show has rarely gone before (perhaps never, because I’m having trouble recalling most of the others). The squirmy scene where he literally smothers a young woman to death with porcelain goop being shoved down her throat through a tube is territory a lot of shows are afraid to tread (okay, not Supernatural). By going there though, it adds the pure evil authenticity that these villains are often lacking, even if it triggers terrible nightmares with the viewing audience (or lots of rewinds for the true masochists out there).
The big end though comes when “Arrow” and The Black Canary both take out the evil Dollmaker, who was strangely very hard to catch. Oliver in suit arrives just in the nick of time to save Laurel, but most of the action belongs to the strange blond woman in the black mask. She has some ninja fighting skills, that’s for sure, and she holds off the Dollmaker long enough for Oliver to arrive and deliver the now trademark arrows to the shoulders. He proclaims that the Dollmaker is ready for jail, but then the Black Canary delivers an arrow of her own, right through the bad guy’s heart. She obviously didn’t get the memo about the new “no kill” policy. No matter, because she didn’t know Tommy anyway.
Lucky for Laurel, she grows up a bit, even if the lesson was a really harsh. It’s Quentin that finally knocks some sense into her about blaming “Arrow” for Tommy’s death. After all, a building did fall on Tommy. How could he have prevented that? It didn’t really hit Laurel until she was super close to becoming a porcelain doll, but eventually she got it. She shoulders a lot of the blame, because she wouldn’t listen to Oliver and get out of there. Tommy came to save her. I’m glad they didn’t try to drag out her unfounded anger at “Arrow” (it’s canon now guys, let’s use it) all season long. It was really old last week.
The very end though triggered spasms in fanboys that know their comics everywhere. The Black Canary was summoned to come back, by some dude named Ra’s al Ghul. Yes I had to Google it. He’s a DC super villain! Color me surprised. 🙂 She says no and then kills the messenger. Something tells me there’s going to be retaliation for that. Also, did everyone notice that messenger had on a dark archer outfit? This is obviously related to Malcolm somehow. There are no coincidences in the comic book universe!
Other stuff happened too in between all this goodness of the main plot, so let’s just go through those quickly:
- Raise your hand if you saw the death penalty thing coming with Moira (everyone does). Raise your hand if you saw that she’s willing to get the death penalty to protect another secret (everyone raises both hands). Personally, I’d rather see her fry at this point, but let’s see how this plays out.
- Roy is certainly a clever tracker, isn’t he? You think he’s going to continue to be the messenger between Arrow and The Black Canary? It’s my guess he’ll get annoyed after one episode and manage to screw something up. This is after all the guy that dates Thea.
- Felicity, don’t ever, ever make yourself bait to a hard to catch serial killer that shoves porcelain down innocent young girls throats. You’re useless as a doll, despite your spunk and moxy.
- The flashbacks continued in their slow, “pay attention because this might be important later” pace. Was Slade injured back there? Why is past Oliver back in a cage? He certainly knows how to gets himself captured and thrown in a cage a lot.
I’ve got to say, I’m very, very impressed how consistent and entertaining these three episodes of Arrow have been so far! It seems like they’ve worked out the kinks they were experiencing last season and turning this more into an ensemble show that a single minded vendetta for Oliver is paying off. Fingers crossed next week they don’t make me look like an idiot by jinxing it.