‘Arrow’ Season 5, Episode 13 Recap: ‘Spectre of the Gun’

We learn more about Rene tonight, as the flashbacks are all about him. Meanwhile, Oliver continues tries to run the town as Mayor by day and Green Arrow by night.

If you need to catch up on Arrow Season 5, there’s the Arrow recap from last night.

First of all, there’s a huge hoorah to Thea returning. Of course, she’s not impressed with Oliver’s choice of woman – neither are we – and shocked to find Rene is now working as Lance’s assistant. Well, her feelings are understandable on both accounts, but the adaption of Rene’s character over this last season has been excellent.

Unfortunately, fans don’t get the chance to focus on Thea’s return, as a man with an AR-15 rifle open fires on City Hall. Everyone goes running and diving for cover. Rene tries to fire back with his gun, but this shooter is wearing Kevlar and manages to get away. 24 are left injured (including Adrian) and five are dead.

Despite having the shooter’s gun, the company can’t trace the owner because there’s no registry. Luckily, Lance got a look at the shooter before he put his mask on, so there’s at least a police sketch.

As three more victims die from their wounds, Felicity is left searching for any way of finding out about the shooter. There are many political debates that go on throughout the episode, including gun debates, racial profiling, police restrictions and more.

Green Arrow decides to pay the Bertinelli family a visit, just as Vigilante shows up – yes, it’s easy to forget that he existed since he’s shown up once so far. It doesn’t take long for Vigilante to shoot the Bertinelli members, so Green Arrow doesn’t get much information.

The good news is facial recognition identifies James Edlund, a systems analyst with absolutely no criminal record. He has lost his job, home, and family, though. That’s all enough to turn a good man into a criminal out for revenge. Team Arrow decides he has to have been the shooter and move in, and Oliver gives a very typical Mayoral speech to comfort the people.

Of course, Oliver is questioned about his stance on guns. Well, it’s complicated for him and that’s not a good enough answer. As the Green Arrow, he knows that he is feeding the cycle of violence to deal with violence. Lance makes it clear that this isn’t about the Green Arrow but about Mayor Queen. He needs to push new policies and find a way to increase security in a political way.

There are plenty of questions from Councilwoman Pollard, who was against the gun registry in the first place. The debates have been overdone and this episode started getting way too political for Arrow.

Luckily, it didn’t take too long to move back to Team Arrow, where we had a debate over arguing and how it’s become unhealthy. People don’t disagree respectively anymore, and there is far too much hatred. Yes, that is certainly the case with the world, especially in recent months. While Felicity debates, she is able to pull up information about a gun violence support group that Edlund was attached to. And through that they manage to get an address for Edlund, who is currently staying with a friend.

At the possible address, there are some stray bullets and a floor plan for Starling General Hospital. Oliver heads straight there to stop Edlund, asking him not to go through with his plan. As Edlund puts the gun to his own head, Oliver talks him down and gets him to hand the gun over.

That gives Oliver the ammunition he needed to tell Pollard that they need a citywide gun control ordinance, which has already been worked out. It’s not going to make it harder to buy guns to protect families, but it will make it easier to track the criminals.

The flashbacks for this episode aren’t anything to do with Oliver. We finally get some answers to the questions that we’ve had about Rene. We learn about his daughter Zoe, as they go to a hockey game in The Glades. His wife wants him to leave his gun behind, but he turns the argument on her knowing that she’s using again. Before he leaves with his daughter, he and his wife argue and gives her an ultimatum: it’s the drugs or him. Completely understandable.

When he and his daughter get home from the game, there’s a dealer demanding $500 that she owes and he has a gun to her head. Rene promises to get the money from the safe – you know, where the gun is. Zoe unfortunately startles the dealer, who starts shooting around the place. Rene’s wife takes a fatal bullet just as Rene kills the dealer.

Later, we find out that Rene loses parenting time and visitation rights to his daughter because his home is no longer safe. This is at the time of the Arrow Season 4 finale, and we finally learn more about his costume. The hockey jersey was the one he was wearing the night his wife died and she is his motivation for his vigilantism.

On a positive note, it turns out that Zoe is in a good foster home, but Curtis wants to help Rene get her back. This is certainly a storyline that will come back up soon. Out of all the new characters and storylines, this is one that I’m personally intrigued with the most.

There was a lot of politics and debate in this episode, which has been timely. However, I watch shows like Arrow to escape the everyday problems. I just couldn’t enjoy the episode that much with yet more modern-day politics and arguments being involved. The flashbacks were the best bit to know more about Rene. Can we move onto more traditional Arrow next week?

Arrow Season 5 returns on Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW.

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