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Arrow #203 - Broken Dolls Review

4

Dollmaker has escaped prison and detective Lance is determined to put him away. Meanwhile, Arrow asks Roy to find out more about Canary.

*Yes, this review contains some spoilers! Watch the episode before reading. Otherwise, you're only failing yourself!*

Now THAT is how you drop a cliffhanger, Arrow! Last week, no one really believed Ollie wouldn't be able to escape that scenario and, sure enough, he's able to escape not too long after the episode begins (numerous comments called it but at least it's a nice take on the canary cry). Conclusions like that just feel hollow because it's teasing something that we know is incredibly unlikely to occur. Based on the show's history, the chances of his identity being revealed this soon was beyond unlikely based. This ending, though? Perfect. Masterful. Amazing. Pure fan service. Okay, I'm done with synonyms, but man, talk about getting us stoked, right? Not only does it tease a massive character, it adds so many potential new plot lines to this season, makes a certain character far more intriguing and further solidifies Arrow as part of a much bigger universe. To everyone who helped create that ending: bravo.

The second best thing to stem from this episode comes after the Dollmaker plot is cast aside. Laurel was slowly becoming a very frustrating character. Yeah, she's blaming herself and in her shoes it's understandable. But as a viewer from the outside? It has the potential to grow more and more frustrating. Instead of going all Andrea on us, she undergoes a much needed epiphany and the result's a solid moment between her and her father. It definitely makes up for her being painfully frustrating with him earlier on. Aside from all that, the Dollmaker storyline unfortunately comes off as pretty generic. Every time anyone important is in any kind of danger, you can bet an arrow will prevent something bad from going down! Anyone not important, though? Yeah, they're boned. This story does, however, include a few little easter eggs for us fans. The one man connected to Dollmaker? His name is Tony Daniel, which is also the name of the writer and artist who helped create the character and introduced him in DETECTIVE COMICS #1. Oh, and room 52 had to be a nice little nod to the New 52.

Sadly, the island material wasn't anything truly gripping for most of this episode. It's clear Slade's hurt after seeing Ollie with Shado, but must we really include another love triangle? I sincerely hope they focus on the greater mystery at hand and don't weigh it down with a plot element we've already seen in the show. Oh, and Slade on fire? Please tell me it damaged one of his eyes! Maybe that would help me forget about his totally uncoordinated slip!

A large portion of this episode felt fairly generic for a fair amount of time. I was certain I'd give "Broken Dolls" 2-3 stars at most, but then the show impressed me to infinity and beyond with the final few scenes. There's huge (and much needed) development for Laurel and Arrow comes out of left field with a shocker no one would be able to predict. It seriously stepped up its game and has opened the door to some ginormous potential.

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Posted by AllStarSuperman

Loved It!

Dollmaker was scary, Green Arrow and Detective guy's team up was awesome. Loved the Ras Al Gul name drop. I knew Black Canary was gonna use sonics, instead of having a real canary cry.

Any body notice the Tony Daniels reference?

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Here is my review on the episode:

Posted by KEROGA

WHen does this show come on? thurs? weds? tues?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@keroga said:

WHen does this show come on? thurs? weds? tues?

Wednesdays.

Staff
Posted by EvilPenguin543

I don't know if anyone else caught it, but I'm pretty sure the name of the ship at the end said "Amazo".

Edited by CheeseSticks

Wow, what an amazing episode!!!

The Dollmaker was a very good villain, Black Canary was handle very well and Ra's Al Ghul being named, what a good surprise. I'm keeping loving this show more and more. I'm starting to really enjoy Laurel's father and Roy. Laurel is crazy like usual. I can't wait for more episode!!! I'm even hype for the island story with Slade being injured.

Edited by batsymyplaything

"Maybe that would help me forget about his totally uncoordinated slip!"

I Know! I was flabbergasted seeing a man of his stature, just slip, lol.

I also like how they're developing Roy's character, some encouraging moves his showed during the chase, but the basic still alludes him like being caught off guard, lol.

Posted by Darwolf

room 52 had to be a nice little nod to the New 52. The best nod to the new 52 came over Officer Lance radio. You can hear officer Lance say dc 52.

Posted by darkbeam

Loved this episode my favourite one yet.

Posted by CuddleBear

walking dead gets 3 stars and this get 4 stars? i hope this is because it is graded on the CW curve

Posted by Pokeysteve

Maybe the people on the boat are experimenting and that is where Slade gets his enhancements which HE BETTER GET!

I don't know if anyone else caught it, but I'm pretty sure the name of the ship at the end said "Amazo".

Totally caught that! Sort of fits with my theory.

Edited by CheeseSticks

walking dead gets 3 stars and this get 4 stars? i hope this is because it is graded on the CW curve

or because it's just better.

Posted by Lurkero

They never go straight for the mask!

Posted by Cyborg6971

Best yet. This show has not taken its foot off the gas yet. I'm very impressed considering where this show was the same time last year. I hope agents of fail kicks it in the rear soon.

Posted by Eivion

Best episode this season so far. Still, I have to wonder why they are obsessed with turning Ollie into Batman.

Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: Good score on the review Gregg, but I have admit your reasoning behind is pretty poor. I don't think a name drop should make you give a 4 star if you didn't really like the episode.

Edited by viin

this episode was awesome. Its hard for me to believe that Detective Lance still doesn't know that Ollie is Arrow seeing them work together taking down the villain this episode. I love seeing Roy Harper getting more spotlight as well as Black Canary especially because I believe its Sarah Lance which will be a weird change but I cant wait to see what they are going to do with it. I was wondering how they were going to bring in the canary cry as well. And most of all first we got Bronze Tiger but now Ras al Ghul...I love the direction this show is going. Im hoping with the appearance of Sin we might get to see Lady Shiva at some point. Ever since about episode 13 I think of the first season Ive been hooked and cant wait for more.

And the number 52 pops up alot. especially this ep. I wonder if they are gonna only try to show it or mention it 52 times. ha ha.

And no I did not catch that name on the ship till I saw a comment on here...good eye....Im not crazy about everything thats happened on the island (and possibly whats coming up) but I guess Im just use to the idea that Ollie was just there and survived on the island. But Im anxious to see where it goes.

Posted by kgb725

Gonna watch it later

Posted by Gotham331

This is easily becoming my favorite show. The writers are doing a great job with the story. I really like the idea of giving Oliver's mom the death penalty. Really raises the stakes to me and add a new dimension to the show. Not many shows would use the death penalty, so hats off for going there.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@iceslick: eh? Merely saying a certain name isn't the sole reason for the boost. I elaborated that I'm pleased with how the events with Laurel played out and that final set of minutes would be stellar without even including a specific name. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough in the review.

Staff
Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Lol why is this show stealing Batman villains haha. And hope Liam Neelson reprises his role as Ra's just for the fun of it haha XD

Edited by TheFirstLantern

That name. This confirms that Merlyn was part of the League of Assassins. Also, they called him Arrow!!!

Posted by tjs4759

Loved this episode. Was really enjoying the Dollmaker storyline, although I wish they hadn't killed him off like they do so many other villains. The Ending was absolutely brilliant, I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about what if they brought in Ra's Al Guhl but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen. I'm going to assume that he is the man Malcolm Merlyn mentioned meeting at Nanda Parbat.

Edited by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: Oh ok, it didn't seem clear enough on the way you reviewed it. Sorry about that. I kind of disagree though, I hated Laurel's performance of events. She is just so contradictory annoying. lol If that makes any sense. I really like what they did with Black Canary personality wise. I kind of didn't like the canary cry tech aspect. But this episode still felt good to me.

Posted by bunkerbuster05

This show is finally reaching its potential. We're getting not just an Arrow show, a DC universe show.

Man oh man this is exciting!

Edited by Guardiandevil83

@ultrastarkiller: Because this show was originally intended to be Batman. Also I think Bruce has more human villians to use against the Hero. Not to mention cooler ones. It would be hard to bring someone like Brick to this world.

Edited by scouts1998

Never saw Ra's Al Ghul name coming it must be leading to big things! It also mean we are getting plenty of Ra's Al Ghul because he is in beware the batman as well.

Also did anyone see the number 52 3 times.

Posted by DCM92

Was the guy in the mask for next weeks preview scarecrow? because he looked like the Scarecrow from Batman Begins

Edited by Commander_Kane

Using CV on my phone right now so (SPOILER ALERT)

Really hope Raas is portrayed well, one if my favorite baddies. Also hope Slade gets his performance inhanced here. Because its not really a super power persay. So it could fit into the universe. The people on the ship are using an expiramental drug and are testing it on their prisoners possibly? Slade becomes the perfect test subject already being one hell of a soldier. Idk I maybe jumping ahead. And I really don't see JUST his eye being burned after that scene. But I'm sure it was burned a long with the rest of his face. Which would give him good reasoning to wear the mask again when he does so happen to escape.

Posted by fil123

could the new canary be talia?

Posted by batpala

@fil123: It's Laurel's sister; Sarah.

Posted by batpala

Also the Canary we're seeing at the moment is called The Canary, not Black Canary. It's been confirmed repeatedly by the showrunners.

Posted by GodDamnIronMan

this is the best episode so far in season 2. But I worry 1 thing though... if they're going to feature Flash in future episodes, wouldn't it be too unrealistic as compare to what direction this show is going? I mean Black Canary uses gadgets instead of real canary cry, which mean so far, no super powered being showed yet... but at some point they going to show us Flash?!! that just seems unnecessary for them to replace Canary Cry with gadgets...

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

@goddamnironman: um they got permission from WB to allow super power to be in it also i think when super power people do pop up it going to be barry becoming the flash

Posted by Vitalius

@ultrastarkiller:

Actually Black Canary (while on Birds of Prey) had dealt with League of Assassins while she couldnt use Canary Cry and need Lazarus Pit to be healed. Plus one of currents foes of Black Canary is Lady Shiva .Merlyn and League of Assassins kidnaped Sin due to her skill and they saw her as a messiah that could unite their splintered and then leaderless group.

Posted by SupBatz

Am I the only one who is sick of the names on this show? Calling Oliver "Arrow" is a step up from "The Hood", for sure. But why not just go all the way and call him Green Arrow? It rolls off the tongue more easily than "the Arrow". And don't get me started on "the Canary". I really hope they get their names changed soon.

That little qualm aside, best episode yet. I love seeing Detective Lance working with Ollie. In fact, it's just really great seeing how big Ollie's supporting cast has become as the vigilante. The Dollmaker was very creepy. It's a shame that he was killed off so quickly, though. And there is some great set up for future episodes. Bravo, "Arrow". You have officially won me over.

Posted by SupBatz

@haydenclaireheroes: Great review. But Dollmaker is an established DC character since the start of the New 52. He's not based on Toyman.

Edited by Crackdown

The easter eggs of Metamorpho (the chemical company) and Amazo (the ship Ollie is on in the end) are great ones too!

Edited by ULTRAstarkiller

@vitalius said:

@ultrastarkiller:

Actually Black Canary (while on Birds of Prey) had dealt with League of Assassins while she couldnt use Canary Cry and need Lazarus Pit to be healed. Plus one of currents foes of Black Canary is Lady Shiva .Merlyn and League of Assassins kidnaped Sin due to her skill and they saw her as a messiah that could unite their splintered and then leaderless group.

O never knew that XD.

@ultrastarkiller: Because this show was originally intended to be Batman. Also I think Bruce has more human villians to use against the Hero. Not to mention cooler ones. It would be hard to bring someone like Brick to this world.

O never knew that either. Wouldn't it be cool if Bale and Ra's reprises there roles in the show, not to fit into NOlan canon but just for the heck of it? XD

Posted by longbowhunter

I dropped off last season. Came back in for season two. Still don't love the show but as a long time Green Arrow fan, seeing someone in a green hood firing arrows and jumping off rooftops does get me pretty hyped. This season has some improvements over the last. More Felicity, Black Canary, trick arrows to help Ollie with his no kill policy, I'm starting to come around I guess. I'm enjoying the working relationship between Used-to-be Detective Lance and Arrow. This show's biggest strength is the supporting cast I think.

Posted by spidershamrock

I really hope Bats makes an appearance sooner or later if they are going the Ra's route. Hope it was just Slade's eye that got burned. Another good episode though, this season has really stepped it up

Edited by comicbookfan93

@supbatz: how was he taken out I haven't seen the episode yet, but he may return after all deadshot took a kill shot in his first episode and he's still around

Posted by Jayso4201

Haven't watched in a while, but decided to watch this one and enjoyed it. Help me understand something though. If Laurel Lance is supposed to be Canary who is this other character?

Posted by Superbat420

I love the show but I really don't like them using batman villains.

Edited by doombot890
Posted by danhimself

why don't they just make a Batman show????!!!!!....it's pretty clear that is what they wanted to do instead of this....everyone on the show could easily be replaced with a Batman character and no one could bat (hehe puns) an eye

Ollie/Bruce

Diggle/Alfred

Felicity/Barbara

Laural/Vicki Vale

Detective Lance/Commissioner Gordon

and they're using pretty much all of Batman's villains also

Posted by blackkitty

For me it's the small things that lets me geek out a bit. I was amused by the introduction of Sin, Black Canary and the fact she's staying in a watch tower was just awesome.

As for the Batman / Green Arrow comparisons... yes, I think they're pretty obvious. But then again, Green Arrow was a batman spoof in an attemptto capitalize on his popularity when he first came out until he involved into a character of his own,.

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