The Biggest Surprise of Arrow's Gun Debate Episode Was Mayor Oliver Queen

An episode like "Spectre of the Gun" runs a higher risk of receiving notes that seek to make the show offend the least amount of people. Let's jump into this very special TV-14 LV episode! The episode opens in an all-too-familiar scene, with a mass shooter busting into city hall and mowing down civilians with an AR-15. Oliver returns to the councilwoman with a gun control ordinance that should make things right without making it harder for people in Star City to buy or own or carry a gun, or to protect themselves - which sounded a little contradictory to me when I heard it (and as I write it out, the same applies). While the Team searches for the shooter and Oliver struggles with how to address the question of gun control in his administration, we're treated to the tragic origin story of Wild Dog. Mommy would go but she's got a bad drug fix that needs attention and sparks an argument. She is mad because Rene wants to take a gun with him to the game. Rene goes for his gun, shoots the dealer who falls and shoots Rene's wife, killing her. Tragically his wife was killed after Rene and the dealer exchanged gunfire. It is he event that inspired Rene to put on the hockey mask and channel his anger into helping Star City, becoming Wild Dog. If things don't work, everything just becomes a big mess. But conversely, Arrow has also had a ton of debates about the use of lethal force in the past, and getting guns off the streets and out of potential criminal's hands also would be logical. "There are things about Oliver's killing that you have yet to learn". Add to that the fact that this show centers on a vigilante, who has been a serial killer but now makes nearly every effort to not kill people, and who has recently added to his team a man with anger issues who uses guns nearly exclusively, and there is plenty to work with here.

Arrow is going a little off book with an episode that's tackling real world issues tonight - gun violence. So, in theory, there's fertile ground for a good episode here. An extremely hot topic that can never be boiled down to 45 minutes, Arrow manages to present both sides of gun control through its main characters in an easy to follow format. He is James Edlund, a man whose entire family was killed during a mall shooting. Rene's always been one of the most broken members of Team Arrow, and now we know why. It also serves as a very crucial milestone in the development of Oliver Queen beyond being just the Green Arrow and into something much more vital to the future of Star City.

The best parts of this episode were in Rene's backstory, ultimately. Notably, Rene is for guns (more on that later) while Curtis is anti-firearms. "But for the rest of the season, we'll definitely be exploring the ramifications of that decision - not necessarily with regards to the gun control laws now that they exist, and what does that mean for the team when they're out in the field, but definitely in respect to Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards] and to some extent Curtis [Echo Kellum] as well, with what they're going through". This is the first time we've seen that he'd previously succeeded in bettering himself and improving his life. He tells his wife to either flush them or leave because he will not have drugs in the house with his daughter. One last trip to Rene's past shows him despondent in his apartment, a social worker on the phone explaining why the instability of his home will keep his daughter with foster parents. I would've liked for the flashbacks to have been given more room to breathe, in fact, since my only real complaint here is that the beats of this story were rushed so it could wrap up quickly. When Curtis learns about Rene's family, he says he knows a lawyer who can help get Rene his daughter back. A lone gunman walks into the mayor's office with an assault rifle and starts indiscriminately opening fire. This will replace the conventional and monotonous Oliver-centric flashbacks fans used to witness over the past five seasons. They did it with the newbies in the first half, with the exception of Curtis, and now again with Dinah. Vigilante shows up once more in the wake of Adrian Chase's near-fatal injury, and I'm now officially leaning toward this whole thing being a massive misdirect and Vigilante being somebody else. That said, I'm liking Dinah and how the actress, Julian Harkavy, is playing her so far.



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