Perspective | Arrow “Spectre of the Gun” Review
While Prometheus roams free, another problem pops up in Star City. A masked man waltzed into the mayor’s office and unloads a military grade assault rifle. When Oliver realizes the man is going to do this again, it’s time to take action as mayor rather than the Green Arrow.
It turns out that the shooter is a nobody. He lost his family because of gun violence; they were killed in a mass shooting. He blames the leadership of Star City because a gun registration law wasn’t passed. Oliver decides to confront the man as the mayor, and he talks the shooter down. He lets the man know that he looked into the mass shooting. The party responsible was using unregistered guns. If that law would have been passed, it would not have prevented the mass shooting. Oliver was able to get the man to surrender peacefully. It looks like Oliver may finally be understanding the power of being the mayor as opposed to just the Green Arrow.
After Oliver learned of the gun registration law, he wondered why it wasn’t passed. Throughout the entire episode, Oliver never really took a stand on gun control. He understood that there was a problem with guns in the city, and he worked to keep both sides happy while actually trying to make a difference. He sat down with the councilwoman who was the one who wouldn’t let the registry pass the first time around.
The councilwoman didn’t want to see the government keeping tabs on certain types of people, aka those with guns. Oliver respects the second amendment, but everything in life comes with limitations. He wants a reasonable set of limitations that respects everyone’s rights; he’s upset that people are dying. Oliver and this councilwoman vowed to work together to find a way to set these limitations, and if you thought you were going to hear their brilliant idea, then you are mistaken. While there is a new policy in place in Star City in regards to gun violence, we will never know what the magic answer is. I’m not sure anyone in the world has that answer right now. What was so important about this is that it opened up a discussion.
The flashback scenes have been a part of the Arrow formula since day one. The Bratva flashbacks this season have been such a slow burn that they haven’t held any real shockers for awhile. This week we were delighted to something new. The flashback featured Rene rather than Oliver. Not much is known about Rene other than his dishonorable discharge and his hotheaded attitude. This week, we got his origin story.
Rene had a home, a wife, and a daughter. They were doing well. They got out of the glades, but Rene’s wife had a problem. She was using drugs and didn’t seem to be doing anything to quit. She was so upset that Rene kept a gun in the house, but he insisted that they needed it for protection. After Rene and his daughter returned after a hockey game, he found a drug dealer in his house threatening his wife for money. Rene promised to give him the money, while he struggled to get to the safe for his gun. When Rene shot the drug dealer, he fell to the floor. As he fell, the gun went off and killed Rene’s wife. Afterwards, the state took away his daugher. He tried everything he could to see her, but he fell into a dark hole afterwards.
This entire episode was about gun control, which has been a heated topic in the United States and around the world as of late. Now this is an extremely sensitive subject, where most people have an opinion one way or another. To put this into a TV show is very risky. You can lose viewers depending on how you portray the issues, but Arrow did it right. They did a good job showing both sides and letting the viewer decide how he or she feels.
Take Rene’s situation as an example. Rene is for guns and believes that they protect people and save lives. He believes that if he had his gun on him rather than it being in the safe that night, he could have saved his wife and kept living his life with his daughter. I noticed that you can look at it another way. The drug dealer didn’t fire a shot until after Rene did. So if Rene had never gone for his gun, would his wife still be dead? There’s no real way to know, and it’s always difficult to see all angles.
Curtis also made an excellent point during all of this. They all know that the gun violence is getting out of hand in Star City, but no one knows how to fix it. Curtis believes that guns are the problem, and they only make the violence worse. Rene believes that guns protect people and save lives. It doesn’t matter what any of us believe because Curtis may have opened some eyes to an even bigger problem. He asks why we, as a society, won’t debate things and listen to each side and still be able to respect one another.