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Recap / Batman Beyond S3 E2 "King's Ransom"

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The stability of the Royal Flush Gang has begun to crumble since Ten quit, with Jack getting arrested and Queen beginning to increasingly doubt King's competence as leader. King, however, insists that he has a master plan at returning the gang to its former glory: by kidnapping Wayne-Powers CEO Paxton Powers and demanding a large ransom payment from Bruce. Unfortunately, Bruce does not budge from this threat and, in an attempt to save himself, Paxton offers the Royal Flush Gang an alternative deal to help him murder Bruce.

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Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: A pretty harsh one for King's voice actor, George Lazenby.
    King: I couldn't stand it anymore, the constant comparisons! Do you have any idea what it's like living in someone's shadow?!
    Batman: Actually, I can relate.
  • Always Someone Better: King continuously lives under the shadow of the former king, Queen's father, which she constantly reminds him of.
  • Badass Finger Snap: Bruce does this, signaling Ace to attack King.
  • Berserk Button: King DOES NOT like being compared to his father-in-law.
    • Also, King does not want to hear Melanie/Ten’s name again...
  • Dramatic Drop: Melanie dropped a bowl of soup upon hearing her family’s situation with Paxton Power.
  • Gambit Pileup: A massive one, somewhat lampshaded by the card-thematic of the whole episode. Paxton was using the Royal Flush Gang without paying them. In turn, King kidnapped him for ransom. Paxton then offered to give the gang even more money if they killed Wayne during the exchange. When it failed, it's revealed that, from the beginning, King had a secret affair with Paxton's assistant and went through the whole plot to get Paxton's illegal art collection. Quite an achievement for a guy who is constantly chewed for not being as good as the previous King.
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  • Heel–Face Turn: Jack. After being left to rot in prison by his parents, he gets bailed out by his sister Melanie and joins her to work in a restaurant. Whether or not this lasts depends on whether the sequel comics should be considered canon or not.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In refusing to pay for Paxton's ransom, Bruce points out that the company policy to not negotiate with terrorists had been written by Paxton himself.
  • Impoverished Patrician: After a fashion: Paxton is said to live entirely off corporate perks, with all of his assets tied up in investments. Which leaves him with...no money.
  • Irony: Unbeknownst to King, he actually had his challenge against the old Batman.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: It would seem that as of this episode, Paxton's days of avoiding legal comeuppance are through.
  • May–December Romance: King's affair with the much younger Sable Thorpe.
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  • Never My Fault: Throughout the episode, Queen has almost done nothing but complain about her husband's incompetence in leading the gang. All the while suspiciously not mentioning her own compliance with them.
  • Not So Different: Terry and King due to constantly being in a predecessor's shadow. Guess which one handles it better.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. The fact that Bruce's dog and the android from the Royal Flush Gang are both named Ace gets lampshaded:
    Bruce: What kept you?
    Terry: They had an Ace in the hole.
    Bruce: Luckily, so did I.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Queen didn't trust Sable, though only because she worked for Paxton. She didn't remotely suspect her affair with King.
    • Bruce says he always knew about Paxton's illegal art collection, just not its exact location.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After multiple arrests and losing a key member, the Royal Flush Gang are practically broke. Made even worse that they made themselves enemies to the other criminal groups for their previous acts against them.
    • When the Royal Flush Gang hold Paxton Powers hostage, they demand a ransom payment of 20 million credits from the man himself. Paxton informs them that he doesn't have that much money, his lavish lifestyle is due to company perks and all his wealth is tied to investments that he'd have to sell in order to get the credits.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Despite giving up crime and now having a legitimate life as a restaurant worker, Melanie/Ten sadly learns from Batman that Terry has decided to put her out of his life.
  • Spanner in the Works: King almost gets away with his real plot, but then Queen shows up at the hideout and Batman's not too far behind. And on top of that, if The Queen hadn't objected to Sable Thorpe being the courier for the ransom (like the King wanted) then Batman would have never even been the wiser to what they were doing.
  • Take That!: Barbara gets a pretty hilarious one on Paxton (and Blight) after he is arrested for plotting to murder Bruce:
    Paxton: They're lying, I tell you! Bruce Wayne's my mentor! He's like a father to me!
    Barbara: Except he doesn't glow in the dark.
    Paxton: Hey, I resent that! Where's my lawyer? I'll sue!
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As bad as King and Queen were before, they seemed to have some feelings for their children. Here they get mad at the very mention of Melanie's name and abandon Jack to the police without much thought.
  • Unwitting Pawn: King reveals Paxton and Queen were this to him.
  • Villain Decay: The Royal Flush Gang. They no longer have Ten to help them to disable alarms; they are barely able to keep their fighting robot Ace operational; they lose Jack during a robbery; and have to steal stuff for other people for a living. They didn't have to work for anyone other than themselves in their previous appearances.
  • Villainous Breakdown: King has a massive one at the end of the episode, attacking both Queen and Batman as he is sick of her constant comparisons of him and her father.
  • Woman Scorned: Queen, upon discovering that King was having an affair with Sable Thorpe, is livid and attacks both of them in a fit of rage.
  • Would Hit a Girl: King blasts Queen for leading Batman to their hideout and nearly sends her falling out a window.
  • You Fool!: King to Queen after Batman reveals he followed her to the hideout.

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