Arrow gets a bit preachy with “Spectre of the Gun.” After a shooting in city hall that leaves multiple victims injured or dead, the show’s response isn’t for Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) to suit up and track down the killer but instead for Mayor to take a hard look at his position on guns and examine what the Mayor can do that Green Arrow cannot. For most of the episode the arguments in favor and against stricter gun laws are handled by Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) who go twelve rounds about guns in the hands of private citizens and whether or not they help or hurt the public good. Flashbacks this week aren’t from Ollie’s time in Russia but from Rene’s past where we learn more about events which led him to pick up a hockey mask and crystallized his view on guns. The usually opinionated Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), however, is cast in the role of Switzerland trying to keep the peace on a topic she believes can never be worked out.
Through much of his comic history Oliver Queen has been an outspoken political figure far left of center. Arrow has left the character’s political beliefs largely unexplored. From what we see here, this version of Ollie is far closer to a left-leaning centrist than his comic counterpart. However, one of the strengths we’ve seen Ollie display over the years is bringing people together. That’s put into action here, effectively (if at times a bit naively solving a complex issue overnight in a couple of meetings). While his choices don’t exactly mirror his comic counterpart, the episode does deal with a serious issue responsibly and begin to flesh out more of Oliver Queen’s political beliefs. The lingering question here is was this episode a one-off, and we’ll we see Oliver go back to solving his problems by putting arrows in people, or (less likely) will the choices here begin to change how the character deals with problems as they arise?