Tonight's episode of Arrow happened somewhat in a bottle, and didn't have quite as many opportunities as usual for winks and nods. A somber tone to the episode, after all, would likely have been somewhat distracted from if every couple of minutes you were saying, "Oh, look! There's a cool thing!"
There were a few, though, and they're cerainly worth mentioning...especially as the mystery of Sara's death deepens and some of these more conspiratorial beats could very well turn out to be important to the big picture.
Here's what we spotted. Let us know if we missed anything, since it tends to be common early in the season when I'm out of practice for this kind of thing!
The fictional nation in the DC Universe is often a source of trouble for the world's heroes. Today, it's the birthplace of the financier killed by an archer with suspiciously similar motives to Sara's killer.
The country was also mentioned in the Season Two episode "Suicide Squad." Felicity mentions that Sara had also talked about working in Qurac, which may be covered in Arrow Season 2.5, a story that sees her working the the Squad, according to Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim.
3rd and Lemire
The construction site where Tim Kauffman is killed is located at 3rd and Lemire, a street named after Jeff Lemire, formerly the writer of Green Arrow and the creator of Komodo, tonight's main villain.
Lemire recently left the title, replaced by Arrow writers Ben Sokolowski and Andrew Kreisberg.
"Off the Board" and "Amazon"
Felicity refers to Sara as like an Amazon, which some of our readers are already clamoring is a reference to Wonder Woman (this is unlikely, as "amazon" is a common cultural reference).
Moments later, Flashback Ollie is told that Amanda Waller wants Tommy Merlyn "off the board," a chess metaphor.
Which is interesting because Waller is, in the comics, often in charge not of A.R.G.U.S. but of Checkmate, a similar but often more evil organization.
Queen's new color scheme
The green "Q" on Queen Consolidated's logo has been replaced with a blue one as part of Ray Palmer's rebranding scheme. Blue and red are the colors on The Atom's costume -- Palmer's superhero identity in the comics.
...Speaking of whom.
Simon LaCroix is one of only a handful of characters in the series created during the New 52. That we see him survive the experience suggests we might see more of him...and that he's in custody might mean we see him on the Suicide Squad.
This has popped up on posters for The Flash, so expect some crossover.
Even beyond that, though, Ameritek shows up from time to time in the DC Universe. John Henry Irons used to work there, and it's kind of the evil version of Stark Enterprises in the DC Universe, making it a huge potential source for conflict down the line.
This little Gotham suburb is mentioned from time to time in Arrow, but it's been long enough that it seemed worth mentioning that it got a shout-out today as Komodo's alibi.
That locale where we see Thea training in the end? It isn't just the name of an Italian comic book about a globetrotting adventuer. It's also the name of a fictional DC Comics nation which most famously appeared in The Dark Knight Returns. A reference to the country was a recurring Easter egg in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman.