Episode 1.06 Writers: Moira Kirland and Marc Guggenheim Director: John Behring
THE ONE WHERE: The Royal Flush Gang targets the banks of Starling City while Oliver discovers a dark side to his father’s business decisions. Tommy, meanwhile, makes a play for Laurel while throwing a fundraiser for her law firm.
THE VERDICT: There’s a distinct echo of The Dark Knight in this episode’s bank job opener – the gang may not be parading around with creepy clown faces but the playing card motifs that decorate their hockey masks make for an equally striking visual. Sure, the idea of a criminal family taking on one last job is a fairly rusty old trope but it fits thematically for a story that’s out to explore the sins of the fathers – Oliver’s confronting ghosts in so many ways here, from the haunting vision on the island to the very real economic consequences of Queen Snr’s business machinations. We also see a slightly more morally flexible Oliver in this episode, one whose inherited guilt leads him to believe in the possibility of redemption (while also taking care to cover his bases, like any true vigilante badass). Some of the Tommy/Laurel/Thea material approaches the vacuous gloss of Melrose Place but director John Behring brings some genuine style to the action sequences here – he swirls the camera around Dig and Oliver in their training session and favours some effective low angles as the cops arrive at the bank. Dig’s increasingly fulfiling the Alfred role, but in a way that possibly owes more to the ‘60s TV incarnation than the Nolan version – given his portrayal here as a discreet, soft-footed early warning system it’s easy to imagine him stepping close to Adam West and murmuring that Commissioner Gordon is on the Bat-phone…
TRIVIA: The Royal Flush Gang are established DC villains, albeit a lot more flamboyant than the hockey-masked incarnation we see here. The creation of Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, they first appeared in Justice League Of America 43 in 1966.
DID YOU SPOT?: More namechecks taken direct from the DC gazetteer: Coast City is the home to Green Lantern while Keystone City is the Flash’s turf.
Felicity (to Oliver): “Guess you didn’t have Facebook on that island.”
Diggle: “Nope. Not even a MySpace account. It was a very dark time.”