This week on Arrow: The Royal Flush Gang, everyone’s favorite bank robbing crew with a poker related theme, arrive in Star City, starting a crime spree.
1.) The Royal Flush Gang redesign is really great.
Following Deadshot’s Gigantic Gentleman’s Monocle (which, to be fair, was spectacular for all the wrong reasons) and Deathstroke’s “Why Is My Mask Like This If I Still Have All My Eyes?” Mask, the costume department at Arrow didn’t have to work very hard to outdo themselves, but they certainly pulled it off this week. The Royal Flush Gang costumes were both stylish and effective, definitely feasible in the more realist world Arrow tries to set up. Also, the time they took setting up their backstory (the dad worked for Ollie and started robbing banks with his family, but now wants to get out) helped make it easier for the audience to care about these characters, especially when Mr. Flush took a bullet from a cop for his son. Hopefully the son will blame Ollie for his dad’s death and we can get some Harry Osborn revenge story lines going on down the road.
2.) The supporting cast is getting better!
This week had a huge focus on Meryln, Laurel, and Thea: three characters who are certainly… there… Yet, the romantic subplot happening between Merlyn and Laurel feels a lot more natural than the one with Laurel and Ollie. Especially when it comes to the moment Laurel kissed Tommy while Thea was puking in an alley three feet away. Thea, by the way, spent the episode thinking Tommy was crushing on her, but when she discovered otherwise she hit the booze and started talking like Vanellope Van Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph because that’s how all drunk teenagers sound.
3.) Ollie and Diggle: BFFS
Ollie and Diggle’s partnership also took a spotlight in this episode. Namely in the beginning when they were training shirtless. I’m not the target audience for those scenes, but if I were I would most certainly be gettin’ a case of the vaypahs. Anyway, the relationship between Diggle and Ollie works so well, because it allows for a character to keep calling Ollie on his crap and tell him to be an actual hero, not just a crazy vigilante. Sure, the crazy vigilante motivation certainly makes sense, but it’s nice to see them take steps to show that once Ollie gets through his list (something that I predict will take a season or two), he can be an actual hero too. Also, Diggle tells Ollie to help him stop The Royal Flush and instead of whining for a half hour he only whined for five minutes. That’s the magic of teamwork.
4.) Hey, Family Dynamics!
The Queen Family as a whole didn’t drag the show for once this week. Mama Queen even had some really neat scenes about how Ollie’s absence affected her that didn’t sound hamfisted. Thea and Ollie also acted like real siblings. As this show goes on, it seems the chemistry among the cast is getting much better. Also, a shoutout to the scene where Ollie thought Dr. Oz was a wizard. Ollie as a Steve Rogers-type who has no idea what pop culture is anymore is brilliant.
5.) Flashbacks and Fathers!
This episode had some really good parallels going on between the main plot and the Island flashbacks. On the island, Ollie sees a ghost of his dead dad who screams at him to take up his cause and kill the people on the list to make his death meaningful, eventually dragging . Mr. Flush, meanwhile, feels regret over dragging his son into bank heists, because he shot a cop named Stan Washington who you will never convince me doesn’t have the best porn name. Two people involved with murderous activities with fathers who regrettably dragged them into this new lifestyle? If Flush Jr. doesn’t become Ollie’s rival then The CW should hire whoever on the Arrow staff is a clumsy pitcher, because he just dropped the ball. Also, Ollie found the list of those he has to kill when the pages in the blank diary his dad had were exposed to flame and the invisible ink kicked in. That was ridiculous.
5 1/2.) Easter Egg Hunt
Not only did Meryln namedrop Coast City, but the final scene between Ollie and Moira took place at a Big Belly Burger. My hopes for a Goodburger style spin-off starring Nix Uotan are coming closer to fruition every day.
Next week on Arrow: An episode co-written by Geoff Johns!