When Arrow first premiered, Oliver Queen was donning the hood as a vigilante killer with a hit list given to him by his late father. As the seasons progressed, Oliver transformed into a more noble hero, choosing less permanent ways of defeating his enemies. He gathered people around him who agreed on a more positive mission of justice, and tried to reconcile his past actions with a better version of himself.
Things have gotten murkier in season 5, with Oliver's stance on killing seeming to vary wildly depending on the situation. This week's episode "Bratva" saw Oliver having to return to his past as a "thug" in the Russian brotherhood, and he wasn't the only team member facing an "ends justify the means" moral crisis.
One of Oliver's recruits, Rene Ramirez (a.k.a. Wild Dog), has a love of guns and a violent, impulsive nature when it comes to crime fighting. In the above trailer for next week's episode, "Spectre of the Gun," Oliver's role as mayor leads to questions about gun control and a conflict with Wild Dog, who adamantly declares, "if the bad guys got guns, then I'm strappin' up, too."
Like the Green Arrow, Wild Dog was born out of violent events in his past. The official synopsis for the upcoming episode tells of a "traumatic attack on City Hall," which we see Mayor Queen dealing with in the trailer, and which will bring up painful memories for Rene. A series of flashbacks will finally reveal how and why the former "family man" became a vigilante hero.
In DC Comics, Wild Dog's backstory involved the tragic death of his girlfriend in a mob hit. Arrow has previously hinted that Rene is a father, which could add an extra layer of heartbreak to his history. "Spectre of the Gun" will likely be making some strong arguments for and against the use of violence against violence, continuing the theme of the season so far.
After Prometheus got into Oliver's head about destroying everyone around him, Oliver has been committed to accepting his own inner "monster" and focusing instead on saving the souls of those around him. "Bratva" shifted gears, however, when Team Arrow agreed that they can all work together to be better people, Oliver included. Rene showed his compassion when he helped Deputy Mayor Lance through a post-rehab crisis, and it will be interesting to see if he can also find a way to change his more ruthless vigilante perspective.
The trailer for "Spectre of the Gun" also promises an interesting twist on the usual crime-fighting dilemmas in Star City. While Oliver's duties as mayor have often taken a backseat to the actions of Team Arrow, this week presents a problem that "the Green Arrow can't solve." It would certainly be a huge step in Oliver's progression as a hero if he finds a way to resolve a serious issue without his masked alter ego.
Arrow returns with 'Spectre of the Gun' on Wednesday, February 15 at 8pm EST on The CW.
Source: The CW