#Arrow S5 Ep 13 "Spectre of the Gun" Recap & Review

This week, on Arrow, Oliver is met with a situation that he can't handle as the Green Arrow. During a meeting at City Hall, a gunman sneaks in and begins to open fire on everyone he sees. Renee, now Deputy-Mayor Lance's assistant, engages with a short firefight with he gunman before he escapes. The attack leaves several dead and many wounded. Among the wounded is DA Adrian Chase. 

While the team tries to find the shooter, they start debating about Star City's gun control policies.  Felicity discovers that the shooter is a man named James Edlund. Edlund lost his wife and kids during a mall shooting months before. They discover that Star City officials shut down a gun control bill that, Edlund believes, would have saved his family. While the team searches for information Edlund, Oliver meets with a city official who helped to shut down the policy. Oliver and the official try to negotiate a gun control policy that respects everyones rights and safety. 

The meeting is interrupted, when Oliver gets a call, learning that Edlund is going to attack the city hospital. Oliver goes as himself and meets Edlund. He manages to calm the man down and convinces him to see what he really did. Edlund surrenders to the ACU and faces justice. Later on, Oliver presents a gun control policy, that he and Renee worked on, to the public and is meet by support from all sides. 

This episode also gives us Renee's backstory. During S4, Renee lived with his wife and daughter. He is trying to make a good life for his family, but learns that his wife has been doing drugs. He scolds her, saying that she was suppose to leave it behind when they moved out of the Glades. He takes his daughter to a sports game and leaves his wife behind. Later on, he returns to find the apartment ransacked. He finds his wife being held by a drug dealer who is demanding payment for the drugs she bought from him. Renee manages to get his gun out of the safe in his room and a shootout occurs. Renee kills the drug dealer, but a stray bullet hits and kills his wife. In a more recent flashback, we learn that Renee lost custody of his daughter and is struggling with grief. He sees the Green Arrow kill Damian Darhk on the news and is inspired to hit the streets and become a vigilante as well.

This week's episode had potential to be a disaster. With something as controversial as gun control and gun violence, many were convinced that the episode would be preachy and anti-gun. I found, however, that this episode handled the topic really well. There were characters on both sides of the debate and even characters who didn't care and just wanted peace. Both sides were depicted fairly, and the episode did the right thing, by not picking a side. It instead found common ground and pushed for unity. Pro-gun people can be so, and pro-gun control people can be so, and everyone can find common ground. It was handled in a very respectful way.

The second big aspect of this episode was the reveal of Wild Dog's backstory. His story was compelling and added some much-needed sympathy for the character. It was tied into the theme of the episode and the events of the previous season. With that, the show ties Wild Dog more to the show's events before his introduction. He is also given some really good scenes with Lance, a budding friendship that I hope continues. With an episode around the controversial idea of gun control, it was a welcome sight to see the anti-hero Vigilante again. Though it was more of a walk on role, it was a good scene to keep the character active in the city. I would rate the episode a 9. 


-What do you think about Wilddog's origin?

-Do you want more Vigilante?

-What do you think Prometheus is planning, being absent since the mid-season finale?