Arrow S05 E13: Team Arrow and Star City struggle with gun control, even if solutions aren’t addressed

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Hello Team Arrow! It’s Richard from Zeus Comics!

It’s a very special episode of Arrow with a heavy handed message on gun violence and gun rights.

It all begins when an unknown assailant opens fire at city hall, killing several city employees and wounding DA Adrian Chase.

While the weapon is an untraceable M16 assault rifle, it’s Quentin who gets a look at the assailant and submits the info Star City PD.

Since the man is not in the police database, it’s up to Felicity to ID the man as James Edlund.

Edlund, having lost his two daughters to criminals, is unleashing his grief by sending a message to the city. Our team assumes Edlund intent is based on the prior city administration inability to pass gun control legislation.

After Mr Terrific and WildDog discover Edlund’s next target is Star City General Hospital, Oliver heads to the hospital and is able to negotiate Edlund’s surrender before any more folks are killed.

It’s in this moment that Edlund confesses that it’s his failure as a father to protect his family that motivated his spree.

The debate in the episode pits Quentin and Curtis on one side and Dinah and Renee on the other.

Lots of great points but the arguments are in absolutes. And Edlund’s surrender suggests a metal health issue, long a counter to gun control, but it’s never addressed.

It’s Oliver who is stuck in the middle of the debate and for the viewer, he’s meant to represent us wanting both second amendment rights and reduction in gun violence.

With Renee’s help, Mayor Oliver is able to come up with a solution that appeases both sides. But since we’re not privy to the details, the resolution only serves to end the episode and not the argument.

The major season plot isn’t moved forward. At most, we find out Felicity has narrowed down Prometheus’ mother as living in Illinois.

Susan Cooper, her Private Investigator and the Bratva “Arrow is Oliver discovery” from last episode aren’t mentioned.

Rory Regan aka Ragman is completely absent. Leaving me wondering if he’s out for the rest of the season. Were his Rag effects to expensive to animate? Or maybe the team too big?

WildDog’s origin happens right as Arrow kills Damien at the end of last season.

WildDog lost his wife during a scuffle with a drug dealer, causing WildDog to not only lose his wife in the gun battle but his daughter to a foster home. It’s also the basis of his staunch gun rights advocacy.

Also, the Vigilante makes a brief appearance killing a member of the Bertinelli crime family during a shakedown by Arrow.

Was Vigilante’s guest spot meant to push Oliver further down the path of gun control? Or was it meant to add a new character to the team since Evelyn and Rory are gone?

It’s certainly confusing the Prometheus as lead villain plot line with now a second foil to Team Arrow.

Speaking of Villains, next up is a break out at Iron Heights and an unlikely team up of prior baddies from Arrow; China White, Cupid and Liza Warner break-out to exact revenge on Team Arrow for locking them up.

Plus will Arrow be arrested for the death of Detective Billy Malone by the ACU? Let’s find out in the new Arrow… Sin Eater!

Video: Director Rueben Gonzales, Editor Chris Williams.
Richard is the owner of the Eisner award-winning Zeus Comics in Dallas, Texas and co-creator of The Variants, a webseries about life in the comic shop. He is also freakishly good at handstand push-ups. You can follow Zeus Comics on twitter and instagram @zeuscomics or at

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