Arrow: Spectre of the Gun

arrow spectre of the gun

Some of my favorite Green Arrow stories were the ones that involved Ollie dealing with serious, political matters like the Green Arrow/ Green Lantern stories. This episode was like one of those stories and I really enjoyed it. Spoilers for Arrow follow.

So this week Arrow did something that it’s never really done before, it tackled a serious issue that is ongoing in America today: gun violence and control. In terms of the overall season this episode looks like it will be pretty self-contained. But this episode was more aiming towards character development rather than moving the plot or story along.

So the story for this episode is that a man named James Edlund sees his family killed due to gun violence, this forces Edlund to take out his frustrations on the city by resorting to gun violence himself, he enters the mayor office and kills seven of Oliver’s staff and injures Adrian Chase, this naturally forces Oliver to reevaluate the laws Star City currently has in place and even has his team disagreeing with each other over what should be done on the subject.

Like I said above, this episode was all about character development and showed us the most development of Rene we’ve seen yet and it gave us a lot of new development for Oliver as well. The flashbacks focused on Rene this week and showed how he was a family man who had gotten out of the glades with his wife and daughter, it was heartfelt and showed us a side to Rene that we haven’t seen at all yet, seeing that he had a wife and still has a daughter does give us more insight to why he does what he does and seeing him move forward to try to get his daughter back will be a nice arc.

When I heard that this was going to be a Rene focused episode, I assumed (and hoped) that it was going to be about how he was dishonorably discharged from the military and I was looking forward to that, after seeing this episode I’m happy with the story they went with but I still hope we get to see Rene’s military career in a future episode. Rick Gonzalez brought his A-game this week and while the last few episodes have started to make Rene grow on me as a character, this episode really solidified him on the show for me.

In terms of Oliver’s development, it was a lot to do with him as mayor and how he needs to become more of a political figure and this is seen in how he deals with the reporters after the shooting. One of my favorite Oliver Queen scenes comes from this episode, the reporter says that he should owe it to the families of the victims to say something and Oliver simply replies with “Yes I do…… but I don’t owe it to you” and he walks out, when Stephen Amell delivers that line you can hear the sadness in his voice and it’s amazing.

But that wasn’t all Oliver got, he had two more outstanding scenes that Amell really knocked out of the park. Towards the end of the episode, Edlund comes to the hospital to do another mass shooting but Oliver talks him out of it, he tells Edlund that the people he’s about to kill are just as innocent as his family was and none of them deserve to die. And of course the final scene of the episode when Oliver announces his new plans going forward and how Star City will be better, may I also mention how amazing it is that all of these scenes were him as Oliver Queen and not Green Arrow?

Vigilante showed up in this episode for a maybe 30 seconds, and while more Vigilante is always a win in my book, he really didn’t need to be there, he did nothing other than tell Oliver that gun’s are okay and that him and Oliver are the same, cool……. . Also Thea’s back.

Arrow has been very different this season, seasons 1 and 2 are very similar, seasons 3 and 4 are very similar but season 5 seems to be taking certain aspects from every season and I really like it, I’m really excited for the next few episodes and hope we get some more ground on the Prometheus storyline soon.

 

THE VERDICT

Arrow delivered a very strong episode that felt like a real Green Arrow story with amazing performances from its cast

9/10

 

Connor Cunningham covers ENTERTAINMENT for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Connoriscoolio

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