Disney Channel’s Andi Mack Two-Episode Gun Safety Arc: A Summary and Review

Lindsey Patto, Staff Writer

The Gist of it…

Disney Channel’s critically acclaimed series Andi Mack has recently aired a two episode arc centered on the importance of gun safety.  According to the press release of this shocking storyline, “The storyline illustrates peer pressure and a true test of character.”  Gun safety is actually not the only mature topic on Andi Mack, this show has also touched base on topics like anxiety, learning disabilities, parents in the military and discovering sexuality.  

Episode One Summary

The first episode, “Cookie Monster” aired on November 16th, where main character Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) accompanies recurring character TJ Kippen (Luke Mullen) alongside his friends at a dirt bike track, not knowing that one of them stole a firearm from his father.  Once Cyrus is exposed to the firearm, he goes into a state of panic and tries to convince TJ to leave with him. As said in the press release, the storyline illustrates peer pressure regarding TJ’s character and a true test of character for Cyrus. After TJ’s lack of response to Cyrus’s request, Cyrus is then put in an uncomfortable position, but that does not stop him from doing what’s right.  He leaves TJ, and in Cyrus’ next scene, we see him with his friend Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) outside of their principal’s office. Andi assures him that he is doing the right thing, but Cyrus can’t help but feel scared that TJ will hate him for getting him in trouble. Once Cyrus walks up to his principal’s door, his principal is walking out and they run into each other. Cyrus says that there’s something he needs to talk about and his principal coincidentally needs to talk to him too.  Once they both walk into the office, there is a police officer. When Cyrus starts talking about the firearm, his principal and the police officer already know what he’s talking about. He is left confused and the two adults begin to question him about the situation.

Episode Two Summary

The second episode “The New Girls” aired on November 30th.  The first scene of this episode regarding the gun safety storyline is when Cyrus is with his friends Andi and Buffy (Sofia Wylie).  He tells them that TJ has been trying to reach out to him so he can explain himself. This information doesn’t sit well with his friends.  They lecture Cyrus and tell him that TJ put him in danger in which Cyrus defends him by saying he wasn’t the one brought the firearm. His friends are unconvinced and they tell him to block TJ’s phone number and much to Cyrus’ dismay, he does.  The next day, Cyrus is walking with Andi and Buffy to the cafeteria when he sees TJ sitting by himself. When he tells his friends this, TJ looks up with an upset expression on his face. Cyrus begins to feel bad and says that he’s just going to pass by to make sure he’s okay, but his friends get a hold of him and move him away from TJ.  There’s another time, jump to the next day, where the scene starts off with Cyrus sitting on a swing at a park. TJ walks up to him and asks him if the swing next to him is taken. Cyrus responds by asking him how he found him. TJ tells him that he’s been stopping by so they can talk without Andi and Buffy dragging him away. Cyrus states that he can’t be around him and before he could leave, TJ tells him that he’ll leave but he wants to apologize first.  He starts by saying that he had no idea that his friend was going to bring a gun and if he knew sooner, he wouldn’t have gone and he definitely wouldn’t have brought Cyrus. TJ puts himself down, saying that he ruins anything good in his life. He walks away but Cyrus stops him and said that he still didn’t apologize. TJ defends himself saying that he did and then he realizes he didn’t actually say “sorry.” He apologizes for not apologizing and Cyrus says that he still didn’t apologize for what happened and they get into a small argument.  The argument ends with TJ telling Cyrus that he is the only person who understands and they make up. In their next scene, they are sitting by a lake. Cyrus finds out through TJ that his friend who brought the firearm has to do 100 hours of community service and that his father is being faced with charges for negligent storage of a firearm. Cyrus then admits to going to their principal about the situation but the principal already knew about it. TJ says that he knows because he was the one to report the firearm and that he actually did the right thing.  Cyrus is surprised but he is glad that his friend did what was right.

My Review

As someone who loves seeing serious topics being covered on TV, I was eagerly anticipating these episodes to air.  Considering these types of situations happen all the time in the real world, it was mind-blowing that a serious topic like gun safety was being covered for younger audiences to see.  However, I felt that the gun safety arc didn’t receive enough screen time. There were other storylines happening around the gun safety one that were not as important or appropriate to be in the same episode.  While watching these two episodes, I wished that the less important storylines received less screen time so the gun safety one would be more impactful.  My rating: 7/10.