Arrow Season 2 Episode 203 ‘Broken Dolls’ Review and Recap 6 Qs

Arrow Season 2 Episode 203 'Broken Dolls' Review and Recap 6 QsAfter an epic cliffhanger last week, Arrow returns with even more DCU goodness. The references were many, the action was intense, and bigger things were teased, and I mean BIGGER THINGS. And finally, Oliver’s vigilante finally has a name that will stick–pun heavily intended. There is lots to get to, so here it is; the 6 Qs of Arrow episode 203.

1. What is it?
Arrow Season 2, episode 203, titled ‘Broken Dolls.’

2. Who’s in it?
Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen/The Vigilante; Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance; David Ramsey as John Diggle; Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak; Willa Holland as Thea Queen; Colton Haynes as Roy Harper; Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen; Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance; Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson; Guest stars this week include Celina Jade as Shado; Roger Cross as Det. Lucas Hilton; Caity Lotz as Female Vigilante/Canary; Bex Taylor Klaus as Sin; Michael Eklund as Barton Mathis/Dollmaker; Dylan Bruce as D.A. Adam Donner; Teryl Rothery as Jean, the Queen Family attorney.

3. Who made it?
Broken Dolls was written by Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu. The episode was directed by Glen Winter.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 203 'Broken Dolls' Review and Recap 6 Qs

4. What is it about? (**spoilers galore**)
Broken Dolls opens with the resolution of last week’s cliffhanger. Ollie, covered in the red dots of SWAT weapon sights, is saved at the last second by the female vigilante, who uses a sonic device to disrupt the cops hearing, allowing for she and The Hood to escape. Ollie tries to question her but she leaves him in an alley.

The next day, Officer Lance (Blackthorne) responds to a murder on his beat and learns that Barton Mathis (Eklund), known as “The Dollmaker,” broke out of Iron Heights during the Glades earthquake and is once again kidnapping young, beautiful women and turning them into porcelain dolls by filling them with toxic chemicals. Lance was the detective who put Mathis away in the first place–nearly at the cost of his own sanity.

Lance, barred from the case by Captain Pike, reaches out to The Hood for help through Felicity (Rickards) and together, they investigate Mathis. Ollie and the crew are able to figure out how Mathis chooses his victims, and Felicity is once again tasked with going under cover as bait. When Lance and The Hood corner Mathis, he gets away, and Lance is arrested for obstruction of justice by Detective Hilton (Cross).

Laurel (Cassidy) gets Lance out of custody and father and daughter have a philosophical discussion about working with vigilantes and dealing with personal loss–Quentin dealing with losing daughter Sarah, Laurel dealing with the loss of Tommy.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 203 'Broken Dolls' Review and Recap 6 Qs

Roy (Haynes), on a mission given to him by The Hood, uses his connections on the street to find out the identity of the mysterious female vigilante. He follows Sin (Klaus) to an abandoned clock tower where he is knocked cold by a mystery person.

Lance, leaving the police station, is attacked and abducted by Mathis, in disguise as a homeless man. He wakes in the back of a van next to a bound and gagged Laurel.

Roy wakes up and is questioned by the mysterious new vigilante. He gets a text that Laurel was kidnapped, and the vigilante leaves to go help, leaving Sin to release Roy.

The Dollmaker is about to kill Laurel when The Hood–now called The Arrow by Quentin Lance–shows up to save her life. The female vigilante shows up at the same time and together Arrow and Canary team up to take him down. (I’ve waited all season to type that!) Unfortunately, the female vigilante kills Mathis and escapes, and Laurel and Quentin both realize that The Arrow is a source of good, and that Laurel’s campaign to catch him is because of her own mistakes in the cause of Tommy’s death. She essentially forgives The Arrow and both Lances have a new attitude in regards to the Emerald Archer.

The episode ends with a mysterious dark hooded archer showing up at the clock tower to confront Canary. He drops a pretty big name in the DCU, and then the Canary kills him. Ollie and the gang try to decide if the new vigilante is on the side of good, or the side of evil.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 203 'Broken Dolls' Review and Recap 6 Qs

Two subplots feature Moira Queen (Thompson) learning via a preliminary hearing that the State plans to seek the death penalty for her part in the destruction of the Glades. Moira tells her attorney (Rothery) that she is okay with the state’s decision, as her family is strong, and if certain secrets were to come out, more people would be hurt.

On the island, Ollie and Wilson (Bennett) leave Shado (Jade) to go seek out higher ground to try and spot the new enemy to the island, much to the objection of Ollie, who doesn’t want to leave Shado alone. Wilson says that people get hurt when you get attached and then the enemy launches an offshore missile strike at the airplane shelter. Ollie runs to try and save Shado, while Wilson risks his own life to run and save Ollie. Both men are severely hurt, with Wilson getting severely burned (and maybe losing an eye??), and Ollie getting captured and imprisoned in the brig of a huge tanker ship sailing away from the island.

5. Any revelations, tie-ins, easter eggs, etc.? (**possible spoilers**)
Hold on to your butts, as this episode had so many DCU references that my mind is STILL trying to wrap around them all. Canary’s young partner, Sin, is an established DCU character with ties to The League of Shadows; Canary and Sin hang out in an abandoned clock tower, taken from the comic, Birds of Prey; we had two different references to the number 52; there was a reference to a Metamorpho Chemical Company; Barton Mathis’ attorney was named “Tony Daniel,” which is the real name of the Batman comics writer who created the character The Dollmaker; the tanker at the end of the episode was named Amazo; and last but not least, Ra’s Al Ghul was mentioned by name!

6. Will we watch next week?
Yes. This week, next week, and every week. Arrow has essentially become the comic book TV show, and with the entire DCU in their toolbox, anything can and will go. Heck, I’ll be completely honest; I expected a Christian Bale cameo at the end of this episode. That’s where Arrow is in the greater DCU mythos. Yes, it’s officially on the level of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. I do not say that lightly, but I mean it wholeheartedly. Marvel Studios could learn a thing or two here.

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