Show/Episode: Arrow Season 5, Episode 13, “Spectre of the Gun”
Ship(s): Olicity (Oliver/Felicity)
Arrow takes a departure this week, talking about the very serious and real-world relevant topic of gun control. As such Oliver and Felicity’s relationship (or lack thereof) takes a bit of a backseat. Actually, most things Arrow related took a backseat.
On the upside, we had Thea back in town and she gave Oliver a (rightfully) hard time about his relationship with Susan. He tried to defend himself on that count, asking that Thea respect that he’s doing something serious with the reporter, but Thea seemed fairly firm on the whole thing make making her feel nauseous. We all feel you, Thea.
We did learn that Felicity is actively searching for the mother of Claybourne’s illegitimate child, the one they believe to be Prometheus. She’s gone off the grid so locating her is difficult, but Felicity is zeroing in on her, with the help of the Pandora drive.
The bulk of the episode centered around a shooting that took place at City Hall, killing seven people. They learn it’s not someone associated with Prometheus or with a crime family… it’s just a normal man. A normal man who lost his family in a mall shooting the year before. Under the previous mayor, a gun registry bill was shot down and that shooting was blamed on this so the man thought he’d take revenge on City Hall.
Listen. I could spend this entire recap going over all the inconsistencies in this but I’ll just say… it never really makes any sense. So let’s just go with it.
There’s a debate back at the bunker between the team members. Curtis comes out very strongly for gun control, where Rene is a believer in gun rights and the two butt heads. Felicity tries to get them both to stop arguing about it. And then Curtis lectures Felicity on how we should be able to argue about these issues in our society. And somewhere in here I developed a brain bleed.
Oliver needs to deal with this as the mayor, not as the Green Arrow. He consults with a councilwoman, one who voted down the gun registry before, so they can come up with an equitable solution. When the gunman shows up again at the hospital, Oliver goes there in plain clothes and talks the man down, even talking him out of shoot himself.
The episode ends with a vigil on the steps of City Hall where Oliver pays respects to the seven who were killed and says a lot of nice things about freedoms and safety and security and all of that.
To be honest, I actually found the flashback storyline to be more engaging than the present day storyline this week. We learned about Rene Ramirez’ backstory, how he came to be Wild Dog and joined Team Arrow. He’d been a husband and a father before, struggling to get by and raise his daughter in a safe and healthy environment. Unfortunately, he discovered his wife was back to doing drugs. When her dealer popped up, claiming she owed him money, a shootout ensued and the wife was accidentally shot and killed. Rene ended up losing his daughter to a foster home. The scene of him on the phone with a social worker really tugged at my heart strings because it’s apparent he really loves his daughter. Curtis promised Rene, in the present day, to hook him up with a good lawyer who can try to help him get his daughter back.
“It’s a violent world and sometimes the only response to violence. But we cannot dismiss the idea that we’re just feeding into a vicious cycle.”
“That’s fantastic work!”
-Oliver praising Felicity’s skills yet again.
“I know you want this pain to go away. And I know that you want to be with your family again. But if you want them to live on, it has to be through you.”
-Oliver to the gunman.
“People talk, Ollie. And some people vomit.”
-Thea to Oliver about his relationship with Susan.
Charting the Course:
Course? What course? There is no course this week. This week saw us putting pretty much everything on hold to deal with the gun-control thing, which is fine. But if I was looking for encouragement, this wasn’t the episode to find it in. Instead you had Oliver lamely defending his relationship with Susan to Thea. Insert my eyeroll here. But, to be clear, there is a rebuild in the works and not every episode has to reflect the evidence of it. There was plenty of evidence in previous episodes and there will be more to come. The key is Felicity’s arc this season, the fact that it mirrors Oliver’s arc from Season 1-2. Her light pulled him from his darkness. His light will pull hers. Just because we didn’t see it this particular episode, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Next week is 5x14, “The Sin-Eater.” It’s a girl-power episode like we haven’t really had since Season 2’s “Birds of Prey.” Both written and directed by women, the episode features a girl gang, escaped from prison, including Liza Warner, China White and Carrie Cutter. In it, apparently, the Green Arrow gets into a little hot water with SCPD when they show up to arrest him for the murder of Billy Malone.
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