This was a terrific Arrow episode. They got just about everything right this week. First off, copious amounts of DC Universe mentions: Keystone City, Coast City, another visit to Big Belly Burger, and mentioning Stagg Industries, the main donor to Laurel's legal group. Could Simon Stagg, Sapphire Stagg, Java, and Rex (Metamorpho?) Mason be in the offering down the line? We are definitely getting a villain based on Count Vertigo soon. (examiner.com) Plus there was a shout out to John Broome. Not to mention Trick Arrows!
The character interactions this week were off the charts good. This cast is super comfortable with and knows how to play off each other. The variations of brother-sister relationships with Thea and Oliver and Thea and Tommy were especially good, with both guys calling her Speedy to her chagrin. The return of Drunk Thea taking the place of Worldly, Wise Thea and her throwing herself at Tommy. Poor messed up kid.
This was the best Tommy showcase so far. We found out he's a billionaire and his company is the Merlyn Global Group. More importantly, we found out he's a pretty good guy, contrasted to Oliver, who's very dark and driven by the memories of getting yelled at by the Force Ghost of his dead father. I'm rooting for Tommy and Laurel. How's a swell guy like Tommy Merlyn gonna become the Dark Archer one day?
Best of all was the rapport between Oliver and Diggle. Diggle taught Oliver a little something about extending his personal holy war beyond The List and helping other people in need of someone to stand up for them. I especially liked the running gag of Moira trying to have a conversation with Oliver, Diggle whispering in his ear, and Oliver blowing her off and heading out to do whatever it is he does.
Meanwhile, The Royal Flush Gang bank robberies where very The Dark Knight-esque, which in turn were obviously odes to Heat. I liked the juxtaposition of King making his wife and sons into bank robbers and Oliver being the vigilante at the behest of his dead father. The fathers turning their sons into reflections of their sins. And the fact that the Royal Flush Gang exists directly because Oliver's father laid off King and the entire Queen Factory and outsourced all the jobs to China.
What a reveal at the end of the Island Flashbacks too:
That's amazing. Oliver's dad wrote his List of Evil Starling City People on a journal with Harry Potter magic Maurader's Map ink. #Arrow
The interaction between Tommy and Thea feels like another multi-episode arc that they just burned through in about half an hour. When it started, I thought about what would happen if she just threw herself at him later in the season or early next season, but 20 minutes later, BOOM! I hate how rushed these things feel.
Everything with Ollie and Diggle felt great and the one major issue that they are dragging out is the moral complexity of Oliver's mission. Is he a vigilante? Is he an agent of vengeance? Is he a hero? Will he eventually BECOME a hero? This is the kind of story I'm here to see and they're playing it perfectly.
I finally caught this due to the kid's midnight feeding. I didn't hear much of it, but I got the jist of what is going on. I like the fact that while he was resistant to it, Diggle is now balls deep into this. The training was pretty good too. I am also with Its False, they could have built Speedy/Meryln for at least another episode or two. I understand for the first season to go all out, but they should pace some of these things out. The show is a hit, maybe they can slow down a bit. I hate to see them burn through all this stuff.
Loved the Royal Flush Gang and I love how they could easily return wanting revenge. I am digging not Oracle, but acts like Oracle. With the Royal Flush Gang, I wonder if they are going to start using other DC villains that are in other people's rogues gallery. I would imagine Lex or Savage would be in that book.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.