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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.

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. He also does not want to hear Melanie/Tenís name again...
  • Dramatic Drop: Melanie dropped a bowl of soup upon hearing her familyís situation with Paxton Powers.
  • Dramatic Irony: Unbeknownst to King, he actually had his rematch against the old Batman.
  • Foreshadowing: When King goes to meet Paxton to deliver the Jaguar of Fedazar, he smiles when he sees Paxtonís assistant, Miss Sable Thorpe. This gives us the first sign that she and King have become lovers and are secretly working together.
  • 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.
  • HeelĖFace Turn: Jack. After being left to rot in prison by his parents, especially King, 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 tie-in 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.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: All the arrests in previous episodes and Melanie leaving them have left the Royal Flush Gang broke and shadows of their former glory, forcing them to take a job for Paxton Powers to get by.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: It would seem that as of this episode, Paxton's days of avoiding legal comeuppance are through.
  • MayĖDecember Romance: King's affair with the much younger Sable Thorpe.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Throughout the episode, Queen has almost done nothing but complain about her husband's incompetence in leading the gang. While he really isnít a good leader, Queen never seems to acknowledge that she was wrong to comply with his orders and decisions as well.
    • King likewise is still enraged at Melanie's abandonment of the Gang. And yet, it was his attitude and actions in the preceding Royal Flush Gang episodes — and the test during "Once Burned" in particular — that finally caused Melanie to 'betray' her family.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: King angrily hits Jack simply for mentioning that it was formerly Ten's job to deactivate security systems, while he was trying to deactivate a security system. Because of this, King winds up accidentally causing Jack to trigger the alarm.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: After the botched ransom, King's upper-class accent would notably drop and he's heard saying things like "shaddup!" as opposed to more posh phrases. While this could just be Lazenby slipping, the implication is that he was faking both in-universe as part of being a member of the Royal Flush Gang.
  • One-Steve Limit: 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.
  • 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.
  • Sequel Episode: To Season Two's "Once Burned", concluding the Royal Flush Gang Trilogy that began with Season 1's "Dead Man's Hand".
  • Sequel Hook: The fate of Wayne-Powers in the wake of Paxton's downfall. This story thread will eventually be followed up on in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Insult: 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!
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: 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 to hand; 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Both King and Queen. King gets mad at the very mention of Melanie's name and abandons Jack to the police without much thought. While Queen tries to rescue Jack, after being forced to leave him behind she begins constantly comparing the current King to her father, the previous one. King hates it.
  • 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.
    • Paxton likewise isn't immune to this. In his debut back in "Ascension", he was clever enough to play both his father and Terry. While he's still able to manipulate the Royal Flush Gang, he is most definitely not in his father's league.
  • 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.
  • Wham Episode: After having been recurring antagonists since early Season One, the Royal Flush Gang collapses for good. As a bonus, their downfall takes Paxton Powers with them, giving Bruce an opening to finally reclaim control of Wayne Enterprises (which will come to pass in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker).
  • 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 their hideout.

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