The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project: Episode 2.03 – “Broken Dolls”
|May 12, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project|
We start where we left off last episode, with Ollie surrounded by cops. “Put your weapon down,” Laurel says.
As he slowly lowers it, Black Canary crashes through the, um, skylight (sure) and holds up a glowing blue device. It emits a sound that shatters all the glass in the office and forces everyone (except Ollie, for some reason) to their knees. Then she grabs Ollie and they leap out the now glass-less window ahead of a hail of bullets.
“Nice mask,” Ollie tells her as they enter an alley. “Why’d you help me?” Her only response is to parkour up a fire escape and away.
Arrowcave. Felicity and Diggle are relieved to see Ollie, having heard about the action on the police scanners. He tells them about Canary (side note: the characters don’t call her that, only I do) and Felicity heads to the computer to see what she can dig up – ID, motive, anything. Diggle’s more concerned that Ollie was hanging out at Felicity’s office, and Ollie admits that he was wrong to think he could talk her around.
Flashback. Team Island have brought a skeleton back to the plane because they are morbid as hell. Slade grouses about it, but Shado starts poking at it and wondering aloud what the men wanted with it. Slade is more concerned with whether more are coming.
Ollie notes that Shado seems to know what she’s doing, and she says she was pre-med before she was kidnapped. Slade tosses Ollie a pack and tells him they need to get to higher ground to see where the enemy is. Ollie doesn’t want to split up, but the others assure him Shado will be fine.
Present day, street. Quentin buys a hot dog from a friendly street vendor, picks up a call on the radio, throws out his hot dog, and says he’s coming in. Dispatch tells him to stay out of it – Lt. Frank’s orders.
Crime scene in a parking garage. Forensics photographs a woman dressed up like a frilly doll and posed as if on display, her feet dangling. Quentin storms in, demanding to know why he was warned off the case, then freezes when he sees her: “Barton Mathis.” Mathis is supposedly doing consecutive life sentences in Iron Heights, but Detective Exposition exposits (hey!) that several inmates escaped during the quake. Lt. Frank warned Quentin away from the case because he became obsessed with Mathis last time, and if Quentin goes near the case now, he’ll be arrested for obstruction. Quentin duckfaces broodingly at the girl’s corpse.
Arrowcave, night. The boys are sparring on the floor. YES TO THIS. THANK YOU, BERLANTI. Felicity interrupts (GODDAMMIT, SMOAK) to tell them she’s found a bunch of police reports on Black Canary, who has made a career of “attacking…attackers. She put five would-be rapists in the hospital so far.”
As Ollie says they need to stop her, even if she’s on the side of the angels, Felicity’s phone rings. “Hi, Detective,” she says as she answers.
A rooftop, night. Ollie, hooded up, asks why Quentin’s calling Felicity. Quentin says Felicity claims Ollie’s trying to help without killing, and he’s willing to be convinced. He speechifies a bit about how he never wanted to go outside of the law for justice, despite his frequent and flagrant violations of procedure, then gives Ollie the file on Mathis. “The media calls him the Dollmaker. ‘Cause he suffocates his victims with a flexible polymer that he pours down their throats and then he dresses them up like dolls. I put him away. Because of the quake, he’s out, and he’s killing again.”
Ollie notes that this seems personal to Quentin, and Quentin says Mathis killed eight girls last time: “I don’t want any more on my conscience.” The police are spread too thin, so it’s gotta be Ollie.
On a dark, empty street, a girl walks to her car. She unlocks it, then pauses, hearing something. She quickly turns around, but there’s nothing there. She relaxes, gets in the car – and a man lunges out of the backseat, muffling her scream with his hand. “You have such beautiful skin,” he says. I’ll say it now: this episode is terrifying.
Arrowcave. Team Arrow pores over the file. Diggle notes that Mathis tends to kill every three days, which means they have two to catch him. The victims are all young and pretty but otherwise not obviously connected in any way. And Mathis has no known associates – but he does, or did, have an attorney, Ollie realizes. He tells Felicity to set up a meeting with Quentin at the office of whoever represented Mathis; meanwhile, he’s off to solve the Canary mystery.
Verdant alley. Roy is taking out the recycling when Ollie appears. “There’s someone new in town,” Ollie says. “A woman. She’s targeting men who target women.” I love Target Women! Roy says he’s seen her, and Ollie tells him to find her.
Laurel’s office. She and Donner are discussing the Hood’s visit when Quentin comes in. He tells her Mathis is out and he’s looking for his court records. She points out that he’s no longer a detective and notes with concern that the case “took you to such a dark place last time.” “Yeah, well, I think we both know that it wasn’t Mathis who did that,” he replies. Based on the timing, this would’ve been right after the Gambit sank, so…yeah.
Quentin says he’s got the best chance of catching Mathis and any girl Mathis kills is on his conscience. Laurel says he’s just using his guilt to justify a vendetta. “Maybe I’m not the only one,” he replies, and leaves.
Prison. Thea and Moira hug. Moira seems to have calmly given up hope of winning her trial, but Thea says they should take things one step at a time. She’s brought an outfit for Moira’s pre-trial hearing, but Moira wants her to take this seriously: “Five hundred people are dead, and there is a measure of guilt that is owed me. I’m ready to accept my punishment.”
Lawyer Tony Daniel’s office. Quentin walks in and asks where Mathis is. Daniel says he won’t talk about one of his clients unless Quentin has a detective shield or a court order. Quentin smirks, and Ollie slinks in from…somewhere. Wow, Quentin, when you give up on proper procedure, you give up hard.
Ollie tells Daniel that Mathis escaped and asks where he’d be hiding out. Mathis insists he doesn’t know, and Ollie shoots him in the shoulder. “You said you were done killing!” Quentin says. “He’ll live,” Ollie growls. He twists the arrow and Daniel screams and says Mathis was obsessed with this one place he was always drawing: the Bisque Museum. I’m just going to go ahead and imagine it’s a museum devoted to bisques, chowders, and other hearty, seafood-and-cream-based soups.
Ollie leaves. “I’m sorry, I guess he just gets enthusiastic sometimes,” Quentin says, and follows. It’s a pretty funny line. Too bad you are all dicks.
Apartment building across from the Bisque Museum. Quentin tells Ollie that someone matching Mathis’s description is staying in “room 52” (sigh). They stop outside the door and Quentin tells him they’re going to arrest Mathis, not torture him. Oh, now you care.
They burst into the room, but find nothing but a porcelain doll with a newspaper article about Quentin arresting Mathis pinned to it, and a rotary phone (!), which rings. Quentin answers. It’s Mathis, of course. Ollie tells Felicity to trace it. A landline that she’s nowhere near? How is that gonna work?
Mathis is smug, Quentin’s all “I’ll catch you again,” Mathis puts his victim on the phone and she sobs incoherently. We see Mathis in his lair, where he’s bound the girl in place so that she’s standing upright, with a tube over her mouth. Quentin pleads with him to let the girl go and Mathis says her beauty should be preserved forever as he carries the liquid polymer over to her. It’s really gross and upsetting.
Mathis pours the polymer into the tube and waxes rhapsodic about murder. Felicity tries frantically to trace the call. Quentin begs Mathis to stop but it’s too late. I don’t like this episode. 🙁
Later, the girl’s body is found, mounted for the police. Quentin shows up and stares at it.
Arrowcave. Ollie asks if there are any new forensic clues. Unfortunately, the police have farmed it out to a private firm since someone has hacked into their systems one too many times. “Then we do it like we did the Merlyn job,” Ollie says.
“Granger Laboratories.” Ollie uses a dart to knock out a security guard and he and Quentin sneak in. Ollie plugs something in and tells Felicity she’s up. She hacks into the toxicology reports, listing everything in the cosmetic products the victim was wearing, and Quentin recognizes one of the ingredients. It’s in a skin cream, Mermaiden, which one of the other victims had in her purse – Quentin had the lab analyze it back in the day. Why would anyone want skin like a fish?
“Two victims with the same taste in skin cream, that can’t be a coincidence,” Ollie says. CAN’T IT??? They decide this is how Mathis is choosing his victims. Sure, why not.
Flashback. Ollie’s worried about Shado being alone. Slade tells him again to avoid attachments: “It’ll save your life.” “Maybe I don’t want to live under those terms,” Ollie says. “Maybe you’re an idiot,” Slade replies. I love them. Island Ollie > Regular Ollie!
Ollie insists that caring about people is the way to go. Slade contemplates kissing him right on the mouth – then nearly falls off a cliff. Ollie grabs him and hauls him back up: “You should be glad I haven’t avoided attachment to you.” LOVE. IT.
Present day, some…place. Roy hauls a box to…the black market? IDK. He sells some top shelf booze to a scraggly-looking guy and asks for information: “A blonde? Black leather?” “Sounds like your type,” Scraggly says. “And beats the crap out of guys with a bo staff?” Roy adds. “That still sounds like your type,” Scraggly says. Hee!
Scraggly tells Roy to find Cindy, a.k.a. “Sin,” who sometimes hangs out with Canary, and gives him an address. Side note: Colton Haynes is profoundly unconvincing as someone who would have black market contacts.
Arrowcave. Felicity tells the boys that Mermaiden is made from crushed mother-of-pearl and sold in high-end boutiques – only four in the city. They realize staking out all four could still take days, so Felicity volunteers to act as bait and buy the skin cream. Diggle doesn’t like the idea, but she points out it’s no more dangerous than some other things they’ve had her do: “It’s my life. It’s my choice.” FELICITY. <3
Flashback. Slade and Ollie reach the top of a mountain, pull out binoculars that they have somehow, and spot a ship just off shore. As they watch, the ship starts firing missiles at a fixed location – probably the plane. Ollie runs back for Shado, Slade behind him.
Present day. Felicity leaves a boutique with a bag over her arm, asking via headset if Ollie’s going to reimburse her: “I saved my receipts.” Hee! Ollie tells her to head to the rendezvous point. He’s watching from a rooftop, Diggle from a car, and Quentin on foot in the street. Quentin doesn’t love the idea of using her as bait, and Ollie somehow turns that into whining about Laurel. Shut up, Ollie.
Quentin says Laurel’s suffering from loss, which they both should understand, and mentions Sara. The Dollmaker case came along less than a month after her death, and he projected hard.
Felicity startles them out of their manpain by saying, “Someone’s coming.” She admits that she’s scared, but the man goes into a restaurant and she relaxes – and walks straight into an alley, and Mathis’s arms.
As she screams, all three guys run towards her and Quentin calls for backup. Ollie shoots Mathis in the shoulder. He hurls Felicity away from him; she hits her head and falls. Mathis yanks the arrow out and takes off. As Ollie bends over Felicity to make sure she’s okay, Quentin bolts after Mathis. Ollie leaves Felicity with Diggle and follows.
Quentin chases Mathis into a warehouse, and Mathis gets the drop on him and wallops him with a board, then picks up Quentin’s gun. Gloating, he’s about to shoot Quentin when Ollie shoots the gun out of his hand. Sirens blare and Mathis runs for it. Quentin tells Ollie to go, then goes outside and tells the arriving cops what’s going on. DE sends the other cops in, then arrests Quentin for obstruction – Lt. Frank’s orders.
Courthouse, day. As Ollie approaches the building, Felicity tells him over the phone that she sent out an email blast from the Mermaiden site to the stores that carry it telling them it was defective, which will slow down purchasing.
Ollie enters the courthouse and quickly greets Moira as they begin her hearing. Moira’s lawyer, who we will eventually find out is Jean Loring (!), asks for bail and the judge refuses. Donner says something about “Rule of Criminal Procedure 15,” at which Jean freaks out. She asks for a conference, he refuses, and she insists: “I would like to have a conversation with you before you seek the death penalty.”
The crowd murmurs in surprise. Moira looks resigned; Ollie gives Thea a comforting look but looks worried himself. Donner says that Moira aided and abetted mass murder: “Five hundred and three conversations wouldn’t convince me that Moira Queen shouldn’t be the 504th fatality.” Ollie leans forward and assures Moira that they’re going to fight this.
Flashback. Ollie and Slade run towards the plane, through the shells(?). Slade is hit; Ollie’s knocked off his feet by an explosion. He sits up groggily, ears ringing (nice effect on the soundtrack) and sees Slade screaming, his face on fire. Then Ollie passes out.
Present day, police station. Laurel, irritated, gives Quentin the keys to his handcuffs and says she could only get him out because she and Lt. Frank are on the anti-vigilante task force together. “Last year you were working with the Arrow. What a difference a few months makes,” Quentin says. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, dude.
Laurel’s like “The Arrow?” but yeah, Quentin has apparently unilaterally renamed Ollie. I feel like this could lead to a lot of Who’s On First-style shenanigans (“Get me the Arrow!” “Uh, the person or the thing in evidence?” wah-waaaaaaah) but whatever. He asks if she’s still angry at the
Hood Arrow because of Tommy, and “a guy with a bow and arrow can’t save a guy who’s had a building fall on top of him. What’s going on with you isn’t about the Arrow.”
Laurel asks what he’s getting at and he says clearly she feels guilty about Tommy’s death for some reason and it’s killing her. She basically tells him to mind his own business, and also stay away from the Dollmaker case.
The Glades. Roy’s wandering around when he spots a girl who matches Scraggly’s description drinking out of a paper bag and throwing it on the ground. This is some real Community Theater 101 blocking. I should note at this point that I like TV Sin fine, but the character is Asian in the comics (and her backstory is totally different, but that part doesn’t bother me), so this whitewashing is completely bullshit.
“Step off, Abercrombie,” she says when he approaches. Hee! When he calls her by name, she asks what he wants, and he says he’s looking for her blonde, black leather-clad friend. Sin considers him, then bolts. “I guess that’s a yes,” he mutters, and takes off after her.
He chases her through a few sets that allow him to show off his parkouring, then into a building and up the stairs to the clocktower. He reaches the tower – and is immediately knocked out. Roy you dope.
Parking garage. Quentin hears someone muttering and finds a homeless man hunched away from him. He bends to ask if the man is okay – and the man turns and tases him. It’s Mathis, of course. He throws Quentin into a van – where Laurel is already lying, wrists bound.
Verdant. Thea’s wondering what happened to half her champagne delivery when Ollie comes in. He tells her Moira will be okay. “They wanna kill her,” Thea says. “I won’t let them,” Ollie replies.
His phone buzzes – Felicity, with a text saying “News. Now.” He asks Thea to turn on “Channel 52” (siiiiiigh) and they both stiffen as the anchorwoman says that Quentin and Laurel have been abducted. Why couldn’t you just call him, Felicity? Is there only one news channel? Why did they air the story so Felicity could see it and then re-air it for Ollie’s benefit?
Arrowcave. Felicity has security footage of Quentin’s abduction, showing that he was pulled into a van from “Metamorpho Chemical.” Hi, Rex. Diggle exposits (his only job on the show now, alas) that Metamorpho has been closed since the quake, making it a perfect hideout. Ollie suits up.
Clocktower. Sin wakes Roy by slapping him (hee!). His hands are ziptied. And Black Canary is standing over him.
“Did they send you?” she asks. “Who?” he asks, sitting up. She whacks him in the face with her staff. Hee! She asks again if he’s one of “them,” and he’s clearly terrified. His phone buzzes and she checks the screen, then gives it back to him. “Let him go,” she tells Sin, then clambers out of the tower. Baffled, Roy checks the text, which is from Thea: “Where R U? Laurel kidnapped. Need you!!!”
Mathis’s lair. Laurel’s strapped into the polymer tube thing, understandably freaking out, and Quentin is tied to a nearby pole so that he has to watch. Mathis gloats and Quentin begs him to let her go, saying Mathis’s beef is with him, not Laurel. Mathis replies that this is the worst way to hurt Quentin, and pours the polymer into the tube as Quentin screams that he’ll kill him. “Laurel, sweetheart, close your eyes,” Quentin says as the polymer reaches her mouth.
Suddenly Ollie drops down from the ceiling! Somehow! He shoots the tube, splitting the polymer onto the floor and freeing Laurel’s mouth. Mathis rabbits, and Ollie sets Quentin free so that he can untie Laurel, then goes after him.
Mathis runs off – and suddenly Canary is there, spinning down from the upper story on a long black cloth like she’s in Cirque du Soleil. She pulls out a bo staff and starts wailing on Mathis. He scrambles away and manages to pull a chain, causing a bunch of metal pipes to drop on her.
As he approaches her, Ollie shoots him in both shoulders, knocking him back. He tells Mathis he’s going back to prison – and part of a bo staff hits Mathis in the heart, killing him. “No, he’s not,” says Canary, but when Ollie turns, she’s gone.
Quentin leads Laurel out of there. She can’t believe Ollie came to save her, even after she tried to have him arrested. “He came to save me,” she says, and when Quentin says he knows, she clarifies that she means Tommy: “Tommy was only there because I was too stubborn…too stubborn to get out when I had the chance. You were right. I was blaming the Arrow because…oh my God…it’s all my fault, Dad. It’s all my fault that Tommy died.” She dissolves into tears and Quentin hugs her, while Ollie watches from above.
Laurel’s apartment. Quentin tucks her in, then walks into the living room to find Ollie, still in costume, waiting there. He tells Ollie Laurel will be okay, and thanks him.
Iron Heights. Jean greets Moira and tells her not to worry about the death penalty. Moira says she’s not afraid to die, and Jean says the trial will show that she was acting under duress: “It’ll reveal everything.” “Yes, and that’s what I’m afraid of,” Moira says. Jean asks what other secrets Moira’s keeping, and Moira says “there are some things which must never be spoken of.” This is some contrived-ass drama.
Clocktower. Canary returns home and is about to take off her mask when she realizes someone in a hood, similar to Malcolm’s outfit, is standing behind her. “You shouldn’t have come here,” she says. “I had no choice,” he replies. “Ra’s al Ghul has ordered your return.” He unmasks, and it’s…an Asian guy we’ve never seen before!
“I’m not going back. I can’t,” Canary says. “Tell them that you couldn’t find me.” When he refuses, she kills him.
Arrowcave. Team Arrow puzzles over the Canary mystery, and Ollie wonders what side she’s on.
Flashback. Ollie wakes up. He’s in a cell, one of many, all filled with prisoners. Armed guards walk back and forth outside the cells, and there’s water dripping everywhere. A wide shot shows us that he’s on the boat that was firing on the island: the Amazo.