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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Review of Arrow 5.13- Spectre of the Gun

After an incident at City Hall, there are divided opinions on the team about how to proceed, Diggle helps Dinah out, and we see how Rene became Mad Dog.

I have to say that I thought this episode handled gun control really well.  I actually went out and looked at comments on news articles and reviews to see what people were saying and I was sadly unsurprised to see people react as if they hadn't even seen the episode.  You had some people saying how it was some sort of liberal plot to take away guns and others saying that a show like Arrow is the wrong type of show to handle this sort of issue.

Regarding the second point, I think that a show like Arrow is the perfect forum for an episode like this.  Is the show violent?  Yes.  Do the characters kill?  Yes.  Do they use guns?  Yes. all of that is what makes this show the perfect vehicle.  Olive made a good point when he said that he was well aware that his past actions make him an odd choice to talk about violence.  The thing is that someone who uses violence is going to be more aware of the issues regarding it.  Notice that neither Oliver nor anyone else ever advocated for any type of ban.  They just wanted controls of some sort.  And as Oliver noted, there are controls on almost everything.  So having controls on guns really should be a no brainer.

Rene was the most predictable person there, but it was easy to understand why.  He blames himself for what happened and somehow thinks that having more guns would have saved his wife.  The weird thing is that with everything that happened, having more access to guns wouldn't have saved her, so I am not sure how his thoughts are going.  Curtis was also predictable when it came to his reaction to everything, but I enjoyed how the writers gave him and Rene a chance to bounce their views off of each other.

I think the thing that sort of got me here is that issue I have with shows a lot and that is a misunderstanding of the word "hypocrisy".  Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another.  Does Oliver use violence?  Yes, he does.  Was he preaching nonviolence at the same time?  No.  So there is no hypocrisy.  Same with everyone else.  The people who use guns never said that no one should have them (which would be hypocrisy).  Rather, they were saying that there should be some limitations.  Lance and Diggle are both well-trained in the use of firearms.  I would assume that Dinah has received training as well.  We also know that Rene has to have been trained since he was in the armed forces.  This training and their using firearms gives them a good perspective on how firearms should be used.  Has Oliver used guns in the past?  Yes, when he has a complete need to.

I guess my whole point is that there is no hypocrisy taking place in this episode at all.  Oliver is trying to do his best to make sure that as many people are as safe as possible.  And I think that is the problem he has with the Vigilante.  The Vigilante doesn't seem to care too much about collateral damage, whereas Oliver assiduously avoids causing collateral damage.  That is why the Green Arrow is someone I can stand behind.  He screws up on occasion, but he is always trying his best to do the most good for the most people.  The Vigilante doesn't really seem to care about anything other than killing the bad guy, which is not a good place to come from.

I did enjoy watching Diggle help Dinah get a place.  That made for a nice, lighter story in the middle of a fairly hefty episode.

Until next week!