Well, props to Arrow for going bold with “Spectre of the Gun”. I honestly was taken aback by just the opening credit of the “warning…”. Arrow has never done that, so to do that for this? It’s pretty telling.
Now, superhero shows and comics are all about lessons and morals in one form or another. Seeking justice, working together for the greater good, overcoming personal prejudices or flaws, etc. But sometimes there are issues that transcend the hero or overarching storyline. For Arrow tonight, that was about the issue of gun control.
It makes sense actually that Arrow would do this, as guns are a key part of the show. As is the violence they cause. So for the show to talk about it isn’t as “left field” as some may think. What was important here, was that they didn’t hold back in how the violence was portrayed, and they didn’t. The gunman going into city hall and killing many people randomly and merciless was a powerful image. One that was felt by all.
But what REALLY set apart this episode was the fact that it wasn’t solved by Green Arrow, or even Team Arrow, it was solved by Oliver Queen. As Quentin stated, Green Arrow might be able to catch the bad guy, sure, but to solve the real problem? Of people being able to get guns without registering and then killing with them? That was only something someone in power could change, like Mayor Oliver Queen.
Now, as with all real world issues, there are two sides to every story. And through Renee, we got one side, and through Curtis we got another. Here were two guys forged by their experiences and lives into thinking that guns were and weren’t the answer. Their chats were very poignant, as were the flashback sequences that showed how Renee became Wild Dog. His outfit above all the others looked the oddest because of its baseness, but here, we found out why, and it made sense.
Despite the political premise, there were some great character moments here. Thea’s return, and barbing of Ollie about his new girlfriend. Diggle helping Dinah get her life back. This is what makes Arrow special, and I’m glad it wasn’t lost in the shuffle of the bigger issue.
This may have been a simple episode in theory, but I hope that you dear reader don’t look at it as just a “political episode”. Arrow has never done one like this before, and they didn’t have to do it now. But they did, and I think the show is better for it.