This goes without saying but it bares repeating: Dolls are CREEPY. With those dead doll eyes that seem to follow you around. Like I said CREEPY.
In the wake of the earthquake, some inmates of Iron Heights prison have escaped. Not that you’d hear about it from the police who are keeping it all hush hush since they are already doing such a bang up job policing the city. It’s also a really good narrative reason to introduce new villians. One such escapee is Barton Mathis, the media called him the Dollmaker. He would murder young women by pouring quick setting liquid plastic down their throat as part of transforming his victims into immortal beauties.
It’s the kind of case that a young grieving Detective Lance needed early on his career. Dollmaker killed 8 women before he finally caught him. When new murders begin popping up and the police department try to shield him from it, it’s a move that seems more respectful than anything else. It isn’t, the Police want to keep this quiet as to not spook the city they are already failing to protect. This also could have just the cases needed to get Paul Blackthorne out of the beat uniform and into the o’ll suit and trenchcoat. With his actions tonight that seems unlikely, at least he didn’t eat that hot dog.
When Dollmaker first popped up in the comics we didn’t really see him. Just word bubbles in a dark cell with the Joker and then the splash page of Jokers face tacked to the wall. We didn’t see him or know anything about this guy. Arrowkeeps the Dollmaker limited in a character perspective and treats him like a classic slasher villain or movie monster. Striking from the shadows suddenly and with no discernible pattern. The latter is of course revealed but the lack of time spent with made him even more freighting. Not that when we did spend time with him it was cheery. Keeping with the convention that it is always more freighting what we can imagine, director Glen Winter keeps the camera glued to the plastic tube slowly transferring the liquid plastic to the victims throat and not the victim. “Broken Dolls” had quite the body horror going on and most of it was left to the imagination.
Last week Katie Cassidy and her wooden delivery of reasons why she is hunting the Arrow was pretty terrible. Cassidy expressing a moment of catharsis, realizing that she is shifting blame for Tommy’s death onto the Arrow and not herself (where it belonged), wasn’t a great cathartic moment worthy of the theater. But she is helped by solid writing and the overall tone of the show to really sell her moment of realization. Thank goodness they didn’t stretch this one out. It was flimsy reasoning at best and would have come down like a house of cards sooner rather than later. Now Arrow has two friends within the SCPD.
Arrow has himself a stalker in the form of the Canary (not that anyone calls her that yet). Having her save Oliver’s butt was a logical way for them to first meet.Arrow has made no bones about sexualizing and playing up Stephen Amell’s abs. The same goes for Caity Lotz, whom they constantly remind is decked out in black leather and moves up and down polls like an exotic dancer. When she is interrogating Roy she wields one of her eskrima sticks(?) as if it were a whip, giving everything a BDSM vibe. In typical Arrow fashion this camp element are a bit understated and covered in a healthy dose of “dark and gritty”. She’s also beating the crap out of would be rapists there’s a substantial girl power vibe to the Canary at the moment. She is being treated like a darker Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. It’s next weeks episode “The Crucible” that appears to go deeper into the Canary as a character and not vague symbol of justice.
Arrow season 2 is all about expanding the world. We’ve got The Flash coming down from Central City. More costumed vigilantes are popping up. Now things are going in a mystical direction with the appearance of another man in Dark Archer-ish garb. No he wasn’t Malcolm (or Tommy) Merlyn reborn but a messenger of Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. O goody, especially since they are the name of a future episode.
Last weeks action was a bit claustrophobic compared to what Arrow had previously done. There wasn’t much fistic violence in “Broken Dolls” but the cinematography in the Roy-Sin chase was excellent. Tight waist high shots likely handheld as they run through the tight corridors of a parking lot. Giving everything the chase the POV of the amateurish Roy Harper before the cutting to a still medium shot that shows off the parkour skills the series employs.
The Bits At The End
Speaking of things with Dolls Eyes