While some might turn to television to escape from the current political climate, tonight's Arrow is - in a roundabout way - addressing the situation head on.
The episode, entitled 'Spectre of the Gun', chronicles Team Arrow dealing with gun violence after an attack on the mayor's office of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). The topic creates some division and debate amongst the team, which, according to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, was unintentionally inspired by real events.
When asked if the episode was concieved as a reaction to the election of Donald Trump, Guggenheim joked, "What happened November 8?"
He went on to describe how a coincidental writing schedule led to some real-life politics trickling into the episode. "This was totally not by design, completely accidental, but I wrote the first half of the script before November 8, and the second half of the script after November 8. Just that week I was writing the script."
According to Guggenheim, this led to the gun violence-centric episode taking a different, but still culturally relevant turn. "I think, as you watch the episode -- I write chronologically and linearly -- and I think you can see that, in the second half, it's about guns and gun violence, but it's also about the state of discourse in our country."
Guggenheim, who is frequently outspoken about politics on Twitter, tried to not let his personal affiliation stop him from tackling this kind of story. "Yeah, I mean look: I'm an unapologetic progressive, but the thing that I've noticed is that not talking about issues serves a conservative agenda, not a liberal agenda."
Guggenheim cited the beliefs of a particular member of Team Arrow, Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum), as a personal standpoint for the episode. "I do agree with Curtis, that I think the country is where it is right now because we stopped talking to each other."
WILD DOG'S HISTORY IS REVEALED — A traumatic attack on City Hall triggers painful memories for Rene (Rick Gonzalez) about his family. Flashbacks reveal how Rene went from simple family man to a hero named Wild Dog.
Meanwhile, Oliver (Stephen Amell) must deal with the perpetrator behind the attack and realizes the best way to do so is as Mayor Queen instead of the Green Arrow. Tensions run high in the Arrow bunker.
Kristin Windell directed the episode written by Marc Guggenheim.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. "Spectre of the Gun" premieres on February 15.