Monday, February 20, 2017

That One Arrow Episode About Guns

Last week, the show Arrow decided to tackle gun control.  No, it wasn’t a side-story, it was the main story of the episode.  Basically, the beginning featured a man walk into City Hall, where the protaganist Oliver Queen is working as mayor, and gun down a bunch of people.

It turns out later he was a gun control activist who lost his family to a shootout (he was an activist before he lost his family) and decided to go on a gun rampage in response to this.

That’s the brief overview of the episode.  There really wasn’t much of a story to it other than that.  But I am going to give a review of the episode because unlike Supergirl which did a gun control episode where Supergirl was pro-gun control, this one was little more well-balanced.

The Good

So over all, the gun-control debate was pretty balanced.  On the gun control side, you had Mr. Terrific.  On the other side, you had Wild Dog.  Both presented their points well, for the most part.

What I give more credit to is the fact that the pro-gun side was presented well enough for a primetime television show.  Often times, even serious news outlets don’t even bother to present the pro-gun side as being nothing more than dumb hicks.  In this case, you had a serious debate with characters who were invested in their sides.

On top of that, neither of them came to physical blows over the debate and even had a bit of reconciliation in the end.  They made the point in the show that people used to debate political issues without breaking friendships or creating bitter enemies.

Another good aspect of the episode is that we get a back story for Wild Dog and a sense of why he’s so angry most of the time.  Basically, his wife was a drug addict whose dealer shows up to collect a debt from her.  Rene (aka Wild Dog) tries to trick the dealer by saying the money is in his safe when his gun was actually there.  The gun was there largely because his wife didn’t want him carrying it around.

Tragically, while Rene is able to take out the dealer, the dealer’s gun goes off and hits his wife.  In the aftermath, Rene loses custody of his daughter with CPS stating that his home was an “unsafe environment”, even though it was his wife who was the unsafe element.

So we get a jab at Child Protective Services in the episode as well, which is a bonus.

The Bad

Oliver Queen as mayor advocates for gun control in the wake of the shooting.  So the main character, who moonlights as a vigilante and occasionally kills people with a bow and arrow, decides that guns are too dangerous.

On top of that stupidity, the shooter was a gun-control advocate who lost his family in a mass shooting and decided to go on a mass shooting himself.  In the end, we’re supposed to feel sorry for this asshole, despite the fact that he’s killed 7 people in a mass shooting.

The Ugly

The resolution that Queen reaches at the end of the episode is a city ordianance that supposedly restricts gun access but at the same time allows for guns to be owned and operated by all the citizens.

In other words, it was an impossible compromise.  This is highlighted by the fact that the details of the law aren’t really spelled out other than “both sides win”.

Overall, it wasn’t a very good episode and I generally don’t like it when television shows get all preachy.  This is why I stopped watching Supergirl.

The only real good aspect of this was that we got some backstory with Wild Dog and what some of his motivations are.

But even if you’re a hardcore fan of the Arrowverse, this is one to skip.