Arrow Review: All Coming Together

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The Arrow case of the week, referred to in the title "Broken Dolls," felt familiar in a Fringe sort of way - but overall wasn't really necessary to the story other than its relevance in relation to Quentin Lance and the daughter we know to be alive but still haven't received confirmation on yet, Sarah.

The Dollmaker was a hideous criminal who used women with lovely porcelain skin and turned them into his version of dolls.

Lance (since I can't call him Detective any longer and I don't feel comfy with Quentin) caught the case shortly after Sarah disappeared and all the victims were around her age. Eight girls died before the Dollmaker was caught, and now he had escaped from prison.

A Criminal From the Past

The Lance family was central to the episode in every way. Sarah, as Black Canary, used her "sonic thing" to free Oliver from his tough spot with Laurel, which left Oliver intrigued. He gave Roy his first assignment: to use his connections to find the masked woman, but not to engage.

So we were introduced to Sindy, who lead Roy right to Black Canary. I guess she can't really sing, but does what she can with her sonic gizmo. Neat trick. 

The police force has tied Lance's hands behind his back. He has virtually no respect and was shut out of his former case, so he went to the person he knew would help him without asking questions: The Hood. Their interactions gave him time to understand the motives behind the vigilante a bit better, as Lance saw a lot of himself in his new friend. They had both experienced great loss.

Lance was also better able to see what Laurel was doing as she told him he was using his guilt to justify a vendetta, and he pointed her thoughts right back at her. It was good to see Lance again, spending time with his daughter and even sharing his memories of Sarah and losing her with Oliver. It all made sense with both of them in such close proximity.

Somehow, it even made sense that Lance was the one to rename The Hood. 

Lance: Hm. Last year you were working with The Arrow. What a difference a few months makes.
Laurel: The Arrow?
Lance: Yeah, it seems more appropriate than The Hood. | permalink

He told Laurel that a guy with a bow and arrow wasn't going to be able to save a guy who had a building fall on top of him. Laurel was wasting precious time on a lost cause and she needed to figure out what was going on inside her head.

When Lance and Laurel were abducted, both Canary and Arrow sprang into action to save them. You really have to wonder if any of the people in Starling City have thought about having their cataracts removed because a small black mask wouldn't hide the identity of Sarah from Oliver any more than his smudged eyeliner would from her. Put all four of them in a room, with Oliver stopping for a full second directly in front of Laurel, and what do you have?

Laurel's realization that she was to blame for Tommy's death. Nooo... not recognition of Oliver. Nosireee! That light bulb flickering on in her head wasn't recognition at all. It was a memory. Really, that stuff does get grating after a while.

The day was saved and Oliver was concerned about the influx of vigilantes in Starling City. He should be. Sarah hasn't been hanging with a good group of people. Ra's al Ghul, a notorious DC Comics villain with whom Black Canary had an affair, sent for her to return at once. When her request to disappear went unheeded, she slit the messenger's throat. Apparently, she hasn't heard the old adage: don't kill the messenger!

Sarah seems like a confused superhero villain. She kills men who torture women, which means she must have been through some rough doodoo out there. She killed without a second thought when she didn't get her way. It will be exciting to see what this all means to the Lance family and to Oliver. Laurel's journey of self-discovery is obviously just beginning.

Other bits of note:

  • Diggle and Felicity get some of the greatest quips to say. Diggle questioning why Oliver would choose that particular time to chat with Laurel was priceless.
  • Moira seeks bail and discovers they want to give her the death penalty. The same group of ijits who are blackballing Lance from finding a serial killer. Why trust the Starling City Government?
  • Oliver made it off the island and onto a prison ship. Did Slade go, too? Is he back on the island? Is Shado dead? Is this when the island scenes stop? What a strange day on the island.
  • How awesome was Oliver's little smile when Felicity was doing her stuff with the lab ingredients and wowing Lance? 

The turnaround of Lance is wonderful. I like that he's more on the inside now, as he's insightful and caring. He could add a lot to the team going forward. With his hands tied by the force, he'll have no choice but to fight evil with The Arrow that he so aptly named. 

Now that Laurel has discovered her own guilty conscience was the driving force behind her desire to bring down The Arrow, and she knows her father is interested in working with him, how will that affect her work in the DA's office? How will all of them learning more about Black Canary come into play?

This gal has no idea, but the hour really has me pumped and ready for more. Arrow Season 2 is coming together nicely and I cannot wait to find out what's next!

Broken Dolls Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (142 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

As if porcelain dolls weren't creepy all on their own.


Oliver, what I would like to know is what you were doing at Laurel's office in the first place. She makes you public enemy number one and you figured this was a good time to chat?