The villain of The CW's "Arrow" this week is, in a sense, Robert Queen himself. Oliver and Diggle spar while debating their next move: Queen is intent to stick to the path of slowly but surely crossing out the names in his father's 'Book of People Who Have Failed This City' while his former bodyguard is leaning toward taking down a violent gang of bank robbers calling themselves The Royal Flush Gang.
Diggle attempts to broaden Oliver's horizons and the pair's mission from simply tackling the corrupt and wealthy to also helping those impacted by particularly horrific crimes. "Street crime is a symptom of what's wrong with this city, I'm trying to cure the disease," Ollie says. However, it turns out there is a connection to Oliver's father, as the 'gang' is actually a family whose lives were ruined when Queen Consolidated closed down their place of employment and ditched the workers' pensions.
Again, Diggle and Queen have differing opinions on the Reston family's transgressions. Where Oliver sees further evidence of his father's past crimes being just as bad as the people on his list, Diggle sees a cut and dried case of making the wrong choices. Oliver tries to talk Derek Reston, the father of the family gang, into walking away from his life of crime. There are some nice father-son parallels between Derek/Kyle and Robert/Ollie, which get underscored by the flashbacks to the island this week. On top of that, the bank robberies provide a fair amount of action to keep the plot moving forward even if it's nothing as spectacular as we've seen before.
Character-wise, the episode attempts to expand on the strained relationship between Ollie and his mother, particularly critical for Moira since her husband has left suddenly on a "business trip" after what happened last week. The Queen family (sans Walter) hosts 'perfect son' Carter Bowen and his mother for Sunday brunch, and damn those bank robbers just seem to strike anytime Oliver and his mother seem to be connecting.
Ironically enough, the real show stealer this week is the burgeoning relationship of Laurel and Tommy, who makes a welcome return this week after a few episodes of bit parts. Merlyn attempts to woo Laurel with a romantic getaway to Coast City. He intends to convey to her that he's done with his wild life and eager to start something more serious, but having exhausted his traditional pick-up lines is puzzled on how to go about it. Thea gives him some sound advice on winning a woman over, but seems to wish she was the object of Tommy's affections. With Laurel's CNRI advocacy group taking a hit on the financial side of things, billionaire Merlyn spearheads a fundraiser and cracks away at his lawyer love's icy veneer in a few sweet scenes while we get a little insight on what may be driving Thea's hard partying ways.
Unfortunately, a very middle of the road episode of "Arrow" this week. The characterization was sharp and effective, but the villains and the action that went with the main story left a bit to be desired. That said, a returning Kyle Reston intent on avenging his father's death could be an interesting story for the series down the line.
Final Grade: B