There are a lot of guilty feelings in the "Broken Dolls" episode of "Arrow," as two families face their own failings. Moira tries to find peace, Lance fights an old nemesis, and Laurel takes her anger out on Arrow as he tangles with both a serial killer and a new vigilante.
The No-Win Scenario
We left Arrow with a vengeful Laurel and a roomful of guns pointed straight at him. This is the perfect time for Roy's mysterious blonde savior to jump in. She's got a sonic device that incapacitates the police long enough for both of them to escape. Oliver asks why she's helping him, but she disappears into the shadows without answering.
Another fabulous side effect of the earthquake was that it released a few maximum security prisoners, including a serial killer who uses a lethal polymer drink to make dolls out of his victims. Officer Lance is banned from assisting on the manhunt, even though he originally captured the Dollmaker. It was his first big case after the death of his daughter, and he added each young woman's death to the overwhelming guilt he was already feeling.
Desperate times call for help from Arrow. Using Felicity as bait, they smoke out the killer, but our hero's non-lethal methods allow another escape. Before you can ask "Why isn't Laurel in protective custody?" the Dollmaker has kidnapped her, forcing Lance to watch as he begins to turn his daughter into another dead doll. Just in time, Arrow swings in for the rescue, but there's no arresting the killer this time. The blonde vigilante turns up to play judge, jury, and executioner.
Arrow's New Friend ... or Enemy?
Arrow sends Roy out to discover where the blonde is hiding out, and we can't help noticing that all the guys are a little fixated on the "hot woman in leather" thing. Roy chases down Sin, an associate of the vigilante, and nearly gets himself killed by his former rescuer. Luckily she's busy tracking down misogynistic villains, and he gets a pass.
A hooded figure later shows up in her lair, but it's not the one we know. It's an emissary of Ra's Al Ghul, whom you may know from the "Batman" universe. Apparently the big boss wants our blonde back home, but she decides it's the right time to kill the messenger instead. She's as ruthless as Arrow used to be, but is she a hero waiting to happen or a villain in the making?
After her near-death experience, Laurel is overwhelmed that Arrow would still come to her rescue. She's forced to face the fact that some of her father's earlier psychoanalysis was right, that she was taking her own guilt out on the vigilante. She confesses that her pig-headed refusal to leave the Glades on the night of the earthquake is what brought Tommy to her rescue, and caused his death.
Meanwhile, Thea Queen is suffering, seeing her mother in prison and facing a life sentence. Turns out it's much worse than that, as the DA announces in court that he's looking for the death penalty. Oliver promises his sis and mom that he'll get her out of this somehow, but Moira's pretty calm about paying the piper for her part in the Glades massacre. She tells her lawyer that her concern is about what will come out in the trial, and how certain revelations could break her family apart again.
Slade and Ollie head to higher ground to look for their new enemies, while Shado stays in the plane to examine one of the freaky deformed skeletons. The guys are having their usual argument about attachments making you weak, when Slade slips and nearly tumbles off of a cliff. Good thing that emotional softie is there to save him, right?
Unfortunately, no sooner do they spot a giant freighter off-shore than they see it launching missiles at their base camp. Slade and Oliver rush back to save Shado, arriving just in time to get themselves blown up. Slade's facing some serious burns if he survives, and Oliver gets knocked out by the blast. He wakes up in a prison cell...in the belly of that mysterious freighter.
Maybe Slade was right about that whole emotional attachment thing after all.
"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.