Thursday, February 16, 2017

Arrow S05 E13: Spectre of the Gun

"Arrow" is in its fifth year. I've not only been watching it, but also doing this review/recap thing the whole time. Sometimes it's been pretty violent, the suicide of Oliver's father in the very first episode immediately springs to mind as fairly intense, but I've never seen a warning in an episode before now.

At the start of "Spectre of the Gun" the following message was posted: Tonight's episode of ARROW is rated TV-14 LV. It includes mature themes, language, and violence, which may not be suitable for all audience members. Viewer discretion is advised. Wow. More intense than Robert Queen eating a bullet, consistent gunplay, occasional torture, and constant arrows to chests? I wasn't thrilled, but I was intrigued.

As the episode opens, a shooter attacks the mayor's office, killing seven, wounding dozens including Adrian Chase. The sequence is pretty intense admittedly, and triggers flashbacks for Rene. Beyond impromptu gun control and gun violence discussions amongst Team Arrow, which seem rather hypocritical based on their own methods, there is a steady theme of why things like happen and how to prevent it from happening again. I do not disagree with the content, but I resent it as entertainment.

Essentially the flashbacks are the secret origin of Wild Dog. He is the product of gun violence, his wife having been murdered, and fighting fire with fire, he uses guns to do what he does. It's a vicious, violent, and hypocritical cycle. Gun violence begets gun violence and ultimately leads to the creation of Wild Dog. And the shooter is in the same boat, his family dead, and a gun in his hands.

When the shooter attacks the hospital, Oliver is able to talk him down, and later he pushes gun legislation. I have to wonder how does that affect Team Arrow's use of weapons, especially the guns? On the superhero side of the story, Green Arrow encounters Vigilante again and he doesn't seem all that worse for wear. Could Vigilante not be Adrian Chase? This one was more than a little preachy, but at least it was a one and done.

For my other reviews of the entire "Arrow" series, click here. And if you'd like to discuss this episode, anything else in the Arrowverse, or anything in the Marvel or DC television or cinematic universes, please join the Marvel DC Movies TV group on Facebook.

Next: The Sin-Eater!

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