Arrow season 2 episode 3 review: Broken Dolls

Review Caroline Preece 25 Oct 2013 - 15:58

Arrow's second season darkens this week with the introduction of a particularly sinister villain...

This review contains spoilers.

2.3 Broken Dolls

This week’s Arrow was a bit dark wasn’t it? With a villain whose speciality was turning young, beautiful women into ‘dolls’ by suffocating them with flexible polymer and dressing them up - who also happened to be an old arrest of Quentin’s who had escaped from the prison during the attack on The Glades - this third outing for Arrow’s second season continued its streak of solid, entertaining instalments. It also gave Quentin a whole hour to prove why he’s a great addition to Oliver’s cause, even if the fact that he hasn’t figured out The Arrow’s identity makes him the worst detective in history.

Broken Dolls was another procedural episode of Arrow, but it was a top notch example of how this show can balance out its story threads. Having Quentin as the main focus on the case of the week builds upon his presence in the season one finale, and it’s lovely to see Oliver have someone else to work with other than Felicity and Diggle. Although Felicity, with her ‘secret identity’ already revealed to Quentin, is as much a part of this episode’s adventure as she would be with any other.

Everyone is busy redefining themselves this year, including Laurel, who got an ending for her current story arc. It was an annoying thread, with her blaming The Hood for Tommy’s death rather than accepting the element of blame that was hers. It was ridiculous, clichéd and was starting to annoy me, so I’m very glad that seems to be over. I’ve never liked Laurel, but the writers seem intent on making her much less likeable this year. Maybe now that she’s accepted The Hood (or The Arrow – whatever) is a good guy, she’ll start filling her days with something else. Though, like with Thea, I have no idea what that will be.

We also deal with the incoming League of Assassins in the episode, and we even get our first mention of Ra’s al Ghul – best known to non-comic readers as Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. The origins of the character go way back of course, and it’ll be these stories from the page that we deal with here. We knew it was coming, what with the bevy of new villains cast for season two, and I wonder how long it will be before the big bad appears in Starling City. It’s ambitious for Arrow to even attempt this kind of character, and a card that I thought they would be saving for later.

For now, we’ve got Black Canary (along with the introduction of Sin), and we got our first real look at the character this week. With rumours, speculation and, finally, spoilers confirming that this incarnation of Black Canary is actually Sara Lance, her rescue of Laurel and Quentin at the end of the episode make a lot more sense than it might have done. With Oliver asking an eager-to-please Roy to track her down while he dealt with the Dollmaker, the Red Arrow in training went above and beyond. Like with Quentin, I’m enjoying the way Oliver has expanded his team of helpers to include people who don’t actually know his secret identity.

The next couple of weeks will likely focus on the threat of the death penalty for Moira, and how Oliver and Thea react to her acceptance of such a fate. What could be so horrible that she would rather die than have her children find out? It seems like a rather silly excuse to inject more drama into Moira’s story this year, and I very much doubt the show would go through with something like that. My bet is that she’ll be out of jail by Christmas, and the return of Malcolm Merlyn has to have something to do with that resolution. See you next week!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Identity, here.

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