Arrow Recap/Review: "Broken Dolls" and "Crucible"

Megan Miller ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
After a misguided attempt to talk Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) into giving the Arrow (as her father, former-Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), now calls him) another chance to prove himself, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was stuck bringing a bow to a gun fight at the end of episode two.  However, with the arrival of Black Canary (Caity Lotz) and her sonic toy that shatters the windows and the eardrums of half the police force, he emerges from the fight unscathed but with more than a few concerns regarding the new vigilante in town.  He sends Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), his sister’s boyfriend who’s shaping up to become the Arrow’s new sidekick, out for information on Black Canary and ends up finding her lair in a clock tower in the Glades.
Meanwhile, the earthquake in the Glades meant the jailbreak of several dangerous prisoners, one of which being the Dollmaker, aka Barton Mathis (Michael Eklund), who was put away by Detective Lance six years ago for murdering girls by suffocation and displaying them like porcelain dolls.  Lance had picked up the case right after the disappearance and presumed death of his own daughter, Laurel’s younger sister, and became obsessed.  Now that Mathis is on the loose and killing again, he turns instead to the vigilante that he formerly hunted.  He teams up with Team Arrow, featuring Oliver Queen, John Diggle (David Ramsey), and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), who also has a heroic moment in offering herself up as bait for Mathis.

Related: Arrow Recap/Review: “Identity”

Laurel has completely forsaken the vigilante, still blaming him for Tommy Merlyn’s (Colin Donnell) death in the first season finale.  Now that she and her father have switched roles, he turning to the Arrow for help and she hunting him mercilessly, they still don’t see eye to eye on the subject.  He confronts her about her opinions of the vigilante, and she does not change her opinion until they are both kidnapped by Mathis.  She is saved from the same brutal murder that Mathis “gifted” to his other victims (believing that he is saving them from getting old and preserving their beauty) by the Arrow, and she comes to terms with the fact that Tommy died because he was rescuing her.
On the island in Oliver’s flashbacks, he has been camping out with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Shado (Celina Jade), but with new arrivals from the sea their lives are in jeopardy.  It is only after Oliver and Slade have a discussion about not getting too attached to people that they realize that the ship is targeting missiles at their hideout, where Shado is hiding.  It is unclear at the end of the episode whether they are too late to save her, but with Oliver unconscious and Slade appearing to be burning alive, for a second you wonder how any of them will survive.
Moira Queen’s (Susanna Thompson) chances of making it out of prison alive also grow slimmer.  She seems to have already made peace with her life imprisonment or possible death sentence, which the Defense Attorney asks that the judge take into consideration, believing it fair retribution for the damage she’s caused.  Thea Queen       (Willa Holland), however, is not ready to give up her mother, and Oliver promises her that he won’t let them kill Moira.

Ra’s Al Ghul, the Demon’s Head.
The crowning moment of the episode came at the end, however, with a mention of Ra’s al Ghul, a major super villain in the DC Universe, most heavily in Batman’s story.  However, in this case, it is Black Canary he is after, sending a man to collect her and bring her back.  After he refuses to lie for her and say that he didn’t find her or that she ran, she kills him instead, finishing off the episode with another murder after helping the Arrow finish off Mathis.
Through Arrow’s first season, many fans wondered if and when Laurel Lance, Oliver Queen’s  on-again-off-again girlfriend, would become Black Canary, another well-known vigilante from the Green Arrow’s story in the DC comics.  However, when Black Canary was cast with another actress, Caity Lotz, in the beginning of the second season, it seemed she would have no connection to the Lance family.  As it turns out, Black Canary’s true identity is actually Sarah Lance, Laurel’s younger sister who was believed to have been killed in the shipwreck that left Oliver stranded on the island for six years.
Sarah evidently returned to Starling City to check in on her family after the earthquake to make sure they were alright, but has not yet revealed that she survived the shipwreck and the island, and has not contacted them for five years.  When Oliver finds out who she is, he begins to work with her, and keeps her secret although he doesn’t approve.

Related: Arrow Review/Recap: Season 2 Premiere “City of Heroes”

Laurel herself seems to be on a downward spiral; she was pulled over for a DUI and appears to be drinking more than she ever has.  Her father, Quentin Lance, grows worried about her and talks to Oliver about trying to reason with her.  As a former alcoholic himself, Quentin speaks about his troubles to his support group as she takes pills and drinks wine in her apartment, having refused to listen to him or Oliver and insisting that she is fine.
Oliver is also trying to make amends in the Glades; he sets up a Cash-For-Guns program with the Defense Attorney to get weapons off the streets, remaining anonymous with his donation.  Unfortunately a man who calls himself “the Mayor”, a criminal that Oliver has been pursuing, crashes the event, wounding Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), a friend of Sarah’s and new acquaintance of Roy Harper.  Roy and Thea Queen bring her to a hospital, where Cin promises she’ll keep Roy’s secret, that he’s working Intel for the vigilante, in exchange for saving her life.  Unbeknownst to them, Oliver pays for her medical bills for Sarah, who he then convinces to tell her father and her sister that she is alive.  He tells her that he knows that her family will probably never talk to him again, but it will be worth it.
It is also revealed that Oliver did know that she at least made it out of the shipwreck; after being knocked unconscious and locked up by intruders on the island, he is shot and has to pull out the bullet himself to prove that he is strong and can survive.  After he does so, he is taken to another room, which Sarah enters, presumably to torture him for information as to the whereabouts of several graves on the island.

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