View Poll Results: What did you think?

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  • 10 - Fantastic

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  • 2

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  • 1 - No more "very special" Arrow episodes please

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  1. #1
    The artist formerly known as "KryptonSite" KSiteTV's Avatar
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    Loved It? Hated It? What did you think of "Spectre of the Gun?"

    What did you think of this "Very Special" episode?

  2. #2
    The Force is Strong!!! darkphoenix21's Avatar
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    This was just one long PSA on gun violence.

  3. #3
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    Some early thoughts:

    -Wild Dog gets his origin episode. Finally, we get some insight into him (though none about his meta dislike). We could have had flashbacks about him much earlier in the season, but at least we're essentially getting a bit of an origin story for him now. Not surprisingly, the team had differing opinions on gun control --Curtis wants it, Rene hates it (these were the two that were preachy about it)-- but what I didn't get was Felicity wanting them to not get into debates about it because she didn't want to see the team to get into a kerfuffle. Curtis was right that it is better to have any dialogue, even if you disagree, than not have any debate just to keep the boat from rocking too much. I think this was the underlying point about the whole issue.

    -This one was heavily political for a variety of reasons, its taking on gun control issues may not be as volatile/controversial in the rest of the world than it would be seen within the US. I was surprised they'd address the whole gun control issue and have it threaded into the main plot -- though if any show in the Berlantiverse would do it, I'd expect it to be Arrow.

    Yeah, the Berlantiverse does tend to get on soapboxes a lot, this is no exception, but I think in the context of Arrow they made a wise decision that it would have to be Mayor Queen -not GA- that should find a solution to the problem in SC. He can do much more to save his city as mayor than he could ever do as GA, and I feel this notion will be reinforced the longer he stays in the mayoral chair. They could have easily defaulted to comics Oliver's canonical left-leaning views (comics Oliver would be in Curtis' camp definitely), but they managed to make him appear to be more centrist ... though by the end of the ep I'm still not clear what exactly his SC ordinance actually does.

    I get the sense TPTB, having gone there in bringing up a complex issue wrapped up in 2nd Amendment rights etc, they weren't prepared to go the full nine yards and take the risk to actually say what the solution was. So, yeah, while it was bold of them to actually bring up gun control (I can't see any of the other DC shows doing it), this is all they did. It's left up to the viewers to figure out what his ordinance actually achieved, which I feel is playing it safe. Their point seemed to be: keep communication channels open, or there will be no chance for a solution.

    -I'm glad Thea is finally back ... but, yeah, she is out of the loop on many things. While she is right in still being suspicious about Susan (even Quentin chided her about naysaying Oliver's gf, he's Team Susan now?), she did throw some inexplicable shade at Rene when she saw him in a suit as Quentin's assistant, even thinking that Quentin was arresting him! Didn't you get the memo, Ms. Queen? I think she was in this ep for attendance, that's it.

    -I'm thinking the Bertinelli mob is like Hydra, cut off one head -- two more shall take its place. They're still kicking around after five years. I like the continuity nod from earlier seasons, but it would be nice if Bertinellis resurfaced in S3 or S4 too.

    -I liked the Dinah and Diggle scenes (where was Diggle's level headedness back in Russia???) What was realistic: Dinah having difficulty getting an apartment lease, with her checkered history. What wasn't: she got that job at SCPD faster than a speedster being chased by a time wraith.

    Maybe some viewers might bristle at an ep being political, esp. with a topic as controversial as gun control, but knowing GA's history and where Oliver finds himself after five years -- he's actually a politician now, I think they made an attempt to address a complex issue without stirring the pot so much.

    They played it safe -- and being a CW show about a costumed superhero airing at 8p -- I think they could only push that envelope so far.

  4. #4
    Chlark Addict BkWurm1's Avatar
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    I found that episode really poorly executed.

    It's not that is was a "very special episode" of Arrow that was the problem but that it didn't really ring true to Arrow. We have Curtis on one side and Rene on the other and for some reason Felicity gets to represent the people that think it's impolite to talk politics. It's so out of character as to be absurd. Her current arc RIGHT NOW is returning to her Hacktivism roots. We've never seen Felicity hesitate to express opinions before and right now they even have her doubling down on her return to her more overt activist phase of her life but we're supposed to think someone that was actually shot and paralyzed after being shot doesn't have anything she wants to say on the subject of guns?

    What's worse is that in MG's interviews about this episode he talks about and complains about almost word for word what he had Curtis lecture Felicity on, the whole not talking about it thing. It's so clearly not anything but MG putting words in the mouth of a character that wouldn't normally say them. I've always hated plot over characterization but it's extra awful that they don't even acknowledge that she'd ever been shot.

    It's so clear that MG was writing this thing without taking into account who the characters are and what they've been through except at the most shallow level. Everything was talking points and statistics.

    And why was THIS shooting at City Hall the tipping point? Why not last year when the police department was shot up of the city council killed. Or even the mall shooting they referenced in the show that had 18 dead. Why was this shooting the one that sent the team over the edge into debates and politics when they've never shown any interest in it before? Without answering that question, the whole episode rang hollow and false.

    And Rene's wife wasn't randomly shot. She's not just minding her own business. He's her drug dealer. First off I don't get why he was trying to kill her for not having paid just for her last fix (that's what he says she hasn't paid me for her last fix). I mean, if he ever wants repeat customers killing them if they are a bit slow with the payment doesn't make sense (and you know it's a bad episode if I'm thinking they are writing drug dealers out of character as well. But putting that aside, why muddy the gun debate theme with the wife already bringing the criminal element into their home? I would have thought the flashback PSA was on the danger of drugs not guns if not for MG's interviews.

    And the whole premise for the shooter fell apart by the end. He flat out agreed that the failed bill had nothing to do with why his wife died. He knew it without Oliver having to speechify on him about it so what was the point in making the failed bill his motive if he even says he understands the two weren't connected? By the end he was shooting up places because....he felt like it??

    And that bill they passed that did apparently nothing meant that Oliver's Mayoral speech was about nothing. And I can't believe they had him talking about all the people in his life that had been hurt like his mom, Tommy and Thea and when NONE of them were shot. But he doesn't mention the ex fiance that the public knew about that was shot?

    And how can he justify saying Susan was good at her job when she couldn't even show up for the big press conference, lol?

    I also can't believe that we still don't know why Oliver hates guns. Wouldn't this have been the perfect time for him to explain how he'd come to that belief?

    And I also can't believe that Rene would rather his daughter lose both parents and be left in foster care than work on getting his act together. He's just left her there this whole time while he beat people up and joined a team to do it even more full time?? Had Curtis not offered to help would he have even tried on his own? Was this episode supposed to make me like him more??? Cause I think a lot less of him now.

    This episode was just one big mess. An hour of being talked at while ignoring the history of the show that is trying to talk about the episode. I mean, just two episodes ago didn't Oliver, Rene, Tinah (she was Tina then) and Curtis shot and kill like fifty people in one episode? (Yes like twenty were flashback but still!)

    This could have been a really interesting and complex character driven story but it didn't take into account the show's history, was more interested in just spitting out facts and and I'll bet nothing about the topic will carry over into any future episodes. Which makes this attempt at making a statement a waste of time. You can really tell that MG wrote this during the height of the election chaos.

    I'm just so disappointed in the lazy writing.
    Last edited by BkWurm1; 02-15-2017 at 11:33 PM.

  5. #5
    It's the mileage... costas22's Avatar
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    I am not against shows tackling political issues from time to time, but Arrow (a show that has poorly addressed the kill/don't kill dilemma for so many years) addressing gun control? No thanks. I have a very specific and passionate opinion on the matter, but I don't watch this show to be lectured at. Sorry. Same goes for Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow and their social commentary. While I usually find myself agreeing with the points being raised, said points are also lost in a sea of shoddy dialogue, poor writing and a tendency to hammer the audience over the head with them. What also hindered this episode was the villain. His backstory looked interesting at first, but the resolution felt messy and contrived.

    There were very few positives in this episode, but they need pointing out: Rene's flashbacks helped add some depth to his character (although him wanting to get his daughter back while working as a vigilante is messed up), Oliver shone a bit as Mayor, Thea was back and Felicity was hardly annoying. Although, I did have one bone to pick with Felicity in this episode. Like others have mentioned, she, more than anyone else on team Arrow, has been the victim of gun violence. Why isn't the character written to have an opinion on this matter? She just brushes it off, just like her whole paralysis storyline was brushed off last year.

    As for Tina, nah, still not interested in anything about her. I do get a good chuckle at how everything just magically happens with her though. She's magically a badass on Oliver's level because she's a cop and she's magically an expert with a Bo staff because she worked undercover with a gang. And people had an issue with how this show developed Laurel and Thea as fighters...

    3/10

  6. #6
    Chlark Addict BkWurm1's Avatar
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    As for Tina, nah, still not interested in anything about her. I do get a good chuckle at how everything just magically happens with her though. She's magically a badass on Oliver's level because she's a cop and she's magically an expert with a Bo staff because she worked undercover with a gang. And people had an issue with how this show developed Laurel and Thea as fighters...
    It's so clear they are trying to pull off an insta Canary like with Sara (right down to the bow staff) but they keep failing to give her a reasonable backstory to explain her abilities. Ok, she's a badass fighter on Oliver's level but so far all we have is she's a cop and we had Diggle, a special forces member that would mope the floor with any cop being told by Sara Lance that people trained by the LoA (like her and Oliver) would mow special forces down like kindergartners.

    But Dinah is as good as Oliver?? Did she go to Harvard for Cops like Lego Barbara Gordon?

  7. #7
    It's the mileage... costas22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BkWurm1 View Post
    It's so clear they are trying to pull off an insta Canary like with Sara (right down to the bow staff) but they keep failing to give her a reasonable backstory to explain her abilities. Ok, she's a badass fighter on Oliver's level but so far all we have is she's a cop and we had Diggle, a special forces member that would mope the floor with any cop being told by Sara Lance that people trained by the LoA (like her and Oliver) would mow special forces down like kindergartners.

    But Dinah is as good as Oliver?? Did she go to Harvard for Cops like Lego Barbara Gordon?


    Wish I made that one up. This is a quote from Wendy Mericle actually:
    As such, and coupled with her hand-to-hand combat skills, Mericle touts the new arrival as “a peer of Oliver’s,” in that “we’ve never really had anybody on the team who is as formidable as he is and really views herself as an equal.” Because of that — and again, as glimpsed in promos — the EP teases, “there are going to be some new interest dynamics!”
    Link: http://tvline.com/2017/01/26/arrow-s...and-vigilante/

    That's what happens when you make things up as you go and you suddenly decide to "Henry" one character in favor of a random one that you came up with on the fly.
    Last edited by costas22; 02-16-2017 at 12:56 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BkWurm1 View Post
    It's so clear they are trying to pull off an insta Canary like with Sara (right down to the bow staff) but they keep failing to give her a reasonable backstory to explain her abilities. Ok, she's a badass fighter on Oliver's level but so far all we have is she's a cop and we had Diggle, a special forces member that would mope the floor with any cop being told by Sara Lance that people trained by the LoA (like her and Oliver) would mow special forces down like kindergartners.

    But Dinah is as good as Oliver?? Did she go to Harvard for Cops like Lego Barbara Gordon?
    Yeah, the writing for Dinah has been very hamfisted and lazy so far, but considering that the writers couldn't even write a proper origin story for most of their season 1 regulars, it surely surprises nobody. Still, I find it pretty telling that they are modelling her character after proto-Canary Sara Lance instead of the "real deal" Laurel Lance. I'm sure Dinah's costume will eventually resemble Sara's, too.
    Last edited by shadow08; 02-16-2017 at 08:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    In a vacuum, I liked the episode and I appreciate it when a show that celebrates cartoon-levels of violence takes a breather to say something meaningful about the subject matter. Episodes like this one are important and necessary, in my opinion, even if the execution isn't perfect.

    I thought that they also did a reasonable job of explaining the many intricacies of the debate.

    1- violence against minorities

    2- the use of guns for protection

    3- the 2nd Amendment

    4- how many who advocate for the freedom to carry are arguing more for the idea that the government should have less say over our lives

    5- how debating these days has turned more into arguing and is seen as a bad thing, which leads some to not want to talk about it at all

    6- reactions of those affected by gun violence, personal experience

    7- the right to feel safe by limiting access to guns

    8- how politicians sometimes treat issues like this one as political capital to spend

    9- support groups and the feeling of helplessness

    There's a lot to this debate and they actually managed to hit a lot of those points. We can debate about the execution. We can debate about where everyone came down on the issue (should Felicity have been the "voice" for silence?). We can debate about whether a show like this should even try (I think it should). For me, though, this is a CW show. I don't expect them to dissect this like a Nobel Prize winner, but I'm impressed at how thorough they were in at least acknowledging the many angles of the issue. And while I think the showrunners absolutely took a side, so to speak, I think they were also fair to the other side.

    I like episodes like this one. Arrow has an audience that it speaks to on a regular basis. Might as well try to say something. Not everything worked, but it came across to me as fair, well-intentioned, and thorough.

  10. #10
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    That was probably the worst episode of Arrow I've ever seen.

    The writing was horrendous and the acting was barely any better.

    Oliver is probably the worst mayor ever. Even for a fictional mayor he is just awful. The episode basically showcased how not to be a mayor.

    The reporters asked him what his stance was on gun control and he basically said "I don't owe you an answer." Seriously!?!?!

    I couldn't care less about Rene.

    It's nice to see Thea again.
    Last edited by Quark; 02-16-2017 at 07:18 AM.

  11. #11
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    I didn't have much of a problem with the messaging here. And, like BG said, while the show's execution of it can be debated, I don't have an issue with the show raising this topic. As it's a CW show, I wasn't expecting it to tackle it like a PBS documentary and maybe they bit off more than they can chew. But no doubt they wrangled the issue on many fronts. They could have had GA deal with it, arrows and guns blazing. They didn't. Oliver dealt with it in the mayoral role that arguably has more impact than anything he could do as GA.

    While I don't expect shows to be preachy, many times I'd prefer they didn't, I think they made more of an effort to do it better here with a topic that obviously resonates in America. They did their homework. The execution wasn't great, but I will give them points for going there when they could have ignored it. And it's an issue that is not as controversial in many places outside the US, where they have already implemented gun control measures. I think the fact that Arrow has such a high body count, where gun play is often part of its action scenes, it was Arrow that was the only show, it's most "grounded" one, that could go there. Instead of disqualifying them from addressing it, it means they have more accountability to bring it up. More than any of its TV cousins. I couldn't see this coming from Barry, Kara or Team Sara.

    More problematic were the non-PSA things: Dinah's express ticket to the SCPD and Felicity not wanting to see the guys squabble. And Rene's story may have been fleshed out more if it occurred in an ep that wasn't devoted to gun control.

  12. #12
    It's the mileage... costas22's Avatar
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    I don't think it showed any accountability whatsoever. Our hero/vigilante who was talking about valuing life is the same person who was gladly dropping bodies just 2 weeks ago and he'll do so again in the future.

    When a show that has serious issues with the morality of its good guys is trying to present public service announcements it comes off as hypocritical and pretentious more than anything.

  13. #13
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    I haven't seen the ep yet, but I was surprised by the reactions, e.g. at Stephen's FB site. Many posters praise the initiative, while others seem really upset with Guggenheim's "liberal agenda". Based on my experience with "Arrow" and social/political issues, I suspect that the CW treatment of gun control will be pretty shallow. On the other hand, it is a subject that deserves to be treated also in popular media. I did a quick Google search and came up with this article, which shows that the US has a much higher rate of gun-related deaths than comparable Western countries.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-u-s-...her-countries/

    What some Second Amendment defenders seem to neglect is that many gun-related deaths are not due bad guys or gang members shooting at each other, but to people committing suicide or having domestic fights (which might not have had a deadly outcome if people hadn't had guns at their disposal). Another thing that I have pondered is that gun killings are often connected to socio-economic inequality, in the sense that people who live in slums or socially disadvantaged areas are more likely to become the victims of gun violence than others. The thing is, we have slums, social problems and gang culture in Europe as well, and yet the gun-related death rates are still much lower than in the US. So, even though the socio-economic reality in some areas may be the same or similar to the US, poor/disadvantaged people (or even criminals!) are a lot less likely to get killed by guns in England or Germany than in the US. That's why I can't understand why gun control is such a contested issue...I mean, it's not like a more strict gun control or a different mentality towards owning or carrying weapons is going to ger MORE people killed, rather the opposite. Anyway, this was a bit soap-boaxy, but I guess I'm just baffled by some of the reactions I've seen online.
    Last edited by evaba; 02-16-2017 at 08:31 AM.

  14. #14
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    Well, how it played out in the story is more in the execution, which wasn't the greatest.

    What I was saying is that a show that shows a lot of gun play would, in principle, have a greater responsibility in addressing the gun control issue than another show that doesn't rely on guns to generate action sequences. People can debate whether a show should or not, or whether character A or B even has a right to bring it up. We will land all over the map on it as viewers.

    In the context of the show, is Ollie being hypocritical about valuing life? Sure he is, the ship where he may have had a leg to stand on sailed some time ago. Pretentious? To a degree, yes, when fictional characters wade into real world problems. But I think for this ep, with this topic, the show (with Oliver and the team as admittedly not the perfect spokespeople) wanted to make its point and largely made it, confined as it was within the limits of a CW show. I wasn't expecting the show to solve the US gun debate or hold up Ollie as a pillar of gun control. In fact it showed that Oliver was out of his league for much of it, not unlike the state the US finds itself in with this issue.

    The message ultimately was to keep the dialogue open - we don't even hear what exactly Ollie's ordinance does, intentionally ... so the show doesn't even take sides (though some of its characters do). The message about keeping dialogue open was valid, even if the means of delivery was debatable. Story took second place to messaging, and this is where the execution problems emerge.

    Having said that, the show made its point, and they've used up their preach to the masses quota for the season. We'll be back to knocking heads and mending hearts in no time.

  15. #15
    Forum Whiz Amarice's Avatar
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    Liked a few things about the episode. Rene's flashbacks are one of them, it added depth to the character. I expected him to have either Dead Daughter/Son or Dead Wife, but there was some twist to the story. Quite angsty stuff. Loved the last scene when he sees the footage with Darhk and GA in TV, then glances on the T-shirt and the mask and without a doubt one can see when the idea about doing some vigilantism himself enters his head. Agree it's kind of silly that he might actually try to get his daughter back right now, when he is a vigilante. (Not first case in "Arrow" when something happens because #screwlogic). I wonder how old Rene is, btw? Because Zoe (reference to Deadshot's daughter, btw?) looked as if she was 7-8 years old.

    Ollie finally doing some good work as Mayor (but that press conference - I swear, he is as "good" as the politicians from my country's governement in not answering the questions ). Glad to see Thea back - I missed very much to see her together with her brother. She is 100% right about Susan - I don't hate her character, as she will contribute to make life hard for Oliver, but I think that it's really reckless of Ollie to get so close with her. Quentin is always a joy to watch, no matter what he does, and the idea of Rene being his assistant also makes me happy (no rational reason here - they have just that amazing chemistry ).

    The discussion about firearms probably had much more meaning for US's citizen than for me. The theme is actual, but the exection of some elements was not that good. Out of it I liked the most three things. Ollie negotiating with that guy - but as the Mayor, not GA. Most of the conversation unfolded in a predictable way, BUT there was that one sentence that stood out - about the lost family living through that guy. There is a lot of people who "live" only through Oliver's memory. The last scene was also quite good, brings to mind some pictures seen after terrorist attacks - and there was quite of number of them in Europe lately. Also it showed that there is some ordinary citizens living in Star after all, and the city doesn't consist only of vigilantes, police and bandits. Definietely the most shocking image was seeing... Green Arrow with a gun.

    Now it's really peculiar how mind works. Because I stopped for a moment to wonder why seeing GA with a bow is not that shocking? Especially that shooting someone with an arrow doesn't differ that much from shooting someone with a gun - there would be also a lot of bleeding, and the death could be very slow and painful, especially if a lung was pierced (only the show usually doesn't show blood when someone is shot with an arrow). It's curious because orginally bow was associated with bandits and thiefs, and only in modern times it's considered "noble". In Robin Hood times no nobleman would touch a bow!

    The bad thing is that with the crimnal record GA has it makes Oliver kind of a hipocrite when he talks about feeding that vicious circle. And we can't even argue that he killed "only" bad guys in the past, and now he's better than the Hood. Because he's killing again, and only a couple weeks ago he killed poor Billy. So while I'm positively surprised that "Arrow" as the show touched more serious theme, in some aspects the story doesn't necessary come together.

    Liked Dinah's small substory about her having problems with finding her place on earth and what to do with herself (and yay to the fact that she applied to SCPD - she is going to have real work, what is not that common in arrowverse), but as other posters already wrote - the writing is really convinient to the point of being ridiculus when it comes to giving her necessary skills. Bo staffs? Some underground work in a gang using them on daily basis? I guess that they will come up with suitable "underground" work whenever a new skill is going to be needed.

    Oliver: "We need somebody who can fly sailplane".

    Dinah: "Ah, no problem. Did I tell you about that gig when I was pretending to be an instructor in Flight School Flying Academy?"

    It seems that they just taking "cool" elements of comic BC, Laurel and especially Sara (and in general the Trope Badass Female Fighter) because they more or less remember what people seemed to like in proto-Canary portrayal.

    Agree with Felicity that people arguing over head when someone tries to work don't help.

    In general I found the episode okay because of a little different approach to the problem, but the execution not that impressive. Additional points for Rene's story, and also for his scenes with Curtis - I keep hearing about what he was talking about regarding greater likelihood of being killed by a gun when one is a black man.

    But what stood out for me the most in that episode was this dialogue between Curtis and Felicity:

    We used to talk about things as a society, you know?

    We'd debate and we would argue, and we would still respect each other after.

    Yeah. Somewhere along the line, that just became...

    Rude.

    Rude. Yeah.

    It can be applied both to the "level" of discussion in Arrow fandom and to political situation. US has its issues about last elections, and my country as its problems, as over year ago during the government elections a really bad choice was made. It's not a forum to talk about politics, though.

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