When we left our hooded hero last week we were on the edge of our seats (okay, maybe it was just me) wondering how he was going to escape from a seemingly impossible situation: surrounded by police in Laurel’s office. All indications were that he was in deep doo-doo, but then we had seen him escape from similar situations before. This time I thought, “How on Earth is he getting out of this one?” Then the writers, as they always do, go and show me I know nothing. You’d think I would learn. As much as this episode may be titled Broken Dolls and consist of a plot involving some psycho who turns real women into dolls, it really is about only one very important person who is perhaps the biggest broken doll, the Hood’s masked savior in his time of need, the Black Canary. So, I am going to talk about her and no one else right now.
Let’s begin with her dramatic entrance. In the DC verse the Canary has a sonic scream that paralyzes her opponents. Following the precedent they have set for characters in this show, the writers chose to modify that characteristic in a more realistic way. Instead of some superhuman ability, her hallmark is a sonic bomb which she drops on the cops in some serious glass-shattering action. She totally saves Oliver’s skin but how did she know where he was and that he needed help? I do not doubt that answers to these and many other questions will be answered in due time. If I have learned anything about this show it’s that loose ends are not left dangling.
The mysterious blond reappears later when Roy in his zealousness gets caught in a trap set by new character and Glades resident Sin. The foot chase across the neighborhood was really intriguing to watch with great camera shots of Roy chasing Sin into an abandoned building with a bell tower. I keep thinking there is symbolism there, but I haven’t grasped it yet. Thinking Roy is bad news, Sin knocks him in the head and he wakes to an interrogation session with the gal he was really looking for. She keeps asking who sent him but lucky for him, his phone beeps and the message delivered distracts her. The distraction…psycho doll weirdo Bart Mathis has kidnapped both the Lances.
As this episode continued, I couldn’t help but care less about what was happening to Laurel. Oliver rescues her and Quentin in time and she has an epiphany that her guilt over Tommy’s death is driving her to catch the Hood, but I kind of don’t care. Sure, in season one I wanted to see her and Oliver get together, but once they did, I was good. I like Felicity way better and now that the Canary is around, there are plenty of other options…and potential for some soap opera scenes. The action sequence where Canary and Oliver defeated Bart Mathis was super cool, I especially liked Oliver’s landing after he nailed Bart with two arrows to the shoulders, but the best part of the whole show was the last scene, at least according to my brother the comic book dork. In fact he was so excited he called me as soon as he had watched the episode, which I greatly appreciated because I knew that I had not grasped some important candy apples (I couldn’t think of a Halloween equivalent of an Easter egg, okay!). Here’s the deal-eo…Canary returns to her hideout and just as she is about to remove her mask, a dark figure appears behind her. The outline looks like the Hood, but as he moves forward we see a figure costumed like the Dark Archer, but wait! It isn’t Malcolm! The man removes his hood to reveal an Asian face and a message: Ra’s al Ghul wants her to return. Now for those of you like me who didn’t immediately catch that reference, Ra’s is the leader of the League of Assassins which we first saw in the movie Batman Begins. Remember Bruce Wayne’s time in Tibet? Right, apparently the Canary is tied to that group in some way and, since the assassin costume looks like Merlyn’s Dark Archer outfit, we are quite possibly seeing the connection drawn between him and the League which would make possible his reappearance at a later time…which is great because who doesn’t love them some John Barrowman? I’m really asking because I don’t know of anyone.
So, we now have a fabulous foundation for some DC-oriented characters and stories. To quote my bro, “It was subtle and well-done, the groundwork is right there. Oh h-e-l-l yes!” What remains to be seen is how it will all happen, but that is where the fun lies. It will be loads of candy corn watching how the Canary is developed and perhaps, if we are lucky, this show’s writers can teach others how to create a female superhero.