Last night, Arrow did something it hadn’t done in all of its run so far, it dealt with a true real world issue in-show. For them, it was about gun control, and the violence that can occur when guns aren’t regulated in some fashion.
While it’s odd in a way that a show that constantly shows people dying in various forms would do this issue, it also is a perfect show to handle this because of their past seasons (and current season) fill of violence.
Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim talked with IGN and revealed how the concept for all of this came up.
“We went into Season 5 wanting to do an episode about an issue. Can I give you a little bit of background here? I’m old. So, what does this mean? This means that I grew up on St. Elsewhere and Picket Fences and L.A. Law. I grew up in a time where it was commonplace — like literally every week — for a one-hour drama to tackle the issues of the day. Somewhere along the line we got away from that, the whole industry got away from that. And now you have Black-ish and Carmichael Show, but as far as network dramas are concerned, really not tackling current events, current issues. We went into Season 5 with the desire to, like, OK, it’s the fifth season.”
He went on,
“We’ve hopefully earned the freedom to. In 23 episodes of television, you can have 22 pieces of candy and one episode of vegetables. We sort of felt that gun violence felt like the right topic, a. because of its topicality but also because of the level of gun violence that is on Arrow. We could have done an episode on abortion, but that’s not really where the show lives, so gun violence really felt like the right thing to tackle.”
For me, this was a very solid episode, one that dealt with the issue of gun violence and gun control well without having to go too “after school special”. Could another one happen? It’s up to the creative team, but I’d definitely consider this episode a great start for potential future “issues” episodes.