Spectre of the Gun Recap

A man loads a number of guns and puts them in a duffle bag.

At the bunker, Diggle is sparring with Dinah. Felicity interrupts to say that she has something. While Oliver goes to check, Diggle congratulates Dinah on her technique. She says that she's heading home where they put her up and she doesn't need much. When Diggle goes over, Felicity explains that she's been looking for Claybourne's mistress so that they can locate Prometheus. The woman went off the grid four years ago. Felicity has narrowed her location down to Illinois and needs a couple of more days to pinpoint it.

Oliver goes to city hall and meets Thea. She asks about Oliver and Susan, and he insists that Susan is good at her job and a good person. Thea continues on without comment, and Quentin is waiting for them in Oliver's office. Rene and Adrian are also there, and Adrian explains that Quentin was introducing Rene as the new deputy mayor' assistant. Quentin heads out to an alderman's meeting and tells Rene to stay there and do paperwork.

As Quentin goes to the elevator, the shooter passes him. In the mayor's office, Adrian suggests that Oliver get Susan to back off. Oliver admits that he's not comfortable leveraging a personal relationship for political gain, just as gunshots ring out. The security guards run in and get Adrian and Oliver to cover just as the shooter opens fire after putting on a mask, taking out the windows. He opens fire on the office workers and Rene arrives and fires at the man. The shooter is wearing Kevlar beneath his jumpsuit.

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Laura--Rene's wife--warns Rene that their daughter Zoe is going to kill him if he's late to the game. Rene hugs Laura and then goes to a get a gun because he's heading to the stadium in the Glades for the game. Laura points out that she only let him keep it in the house because he said that he'd keep it there, and pleads a headache. Rene asks if she's using again.

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The shooter runs off, and Oliver joins Rene. He tells his security guard to put the building in lockdown and goes to check on Thea. She's fine, but Adrian is wounded in the shoulder. The EMTs arrive and take Adrian to the hospital, and Thea reports that there are five dead and 24 injured, with eight in critical condition. Rene figures that he winged the shooter in the shoulder, and he goes to alert the emergency rooms. When Thea wonders why Rene had a gun, Rene says that he was saving people's lives. Oliver has already grabbed the shooter's primary weapon when he dropped it.

At the bunker, Curtis confirms that the assault weapon is military grade. Dinah points out that the AR-15 is available on the open market. Felicity confirms that it hasn't been used in any crime, and there are no fingerprints. The shooter avoided the security cameras until he had his mask on, and the jumpsuit he wore is for a business that went belly-up six years ago. Felicity figures that he bought the jumpsuit off of the Internet.

At the police station, Quentin is working with a computer sketch artist to identify who he saw at the elevator. Rene comes over and Quentin blames himself for not spotting the shooter. His new assistant assures him that it wasn't his fault, and points out that it's illegal for someone who has been dishonorably discharged to carry a weapon. Rene notes that it's easy for someone to buy one.

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Laura is indignant that Rene is asking her if he's using, and he says that he's been nerving himself to ask her for some time. He shows her the packet of drugs he found, and says that they got out of the Glades and wonders why she's bring it back into their home. Zoe comes in and hears them fighting, and Rene denies it. Once Zoe goes to get her coat, Rene tells Laura to either get rid of the drugs or leave.

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Olive and Thea go to the hospital and Thea reports that two of the critically wounded died. He figures that the shooter will strike again because he concealed his identity and fled the scene. Adrian is getting dressed over his wife Doris' objections, and insists that he's fine. Oliver convinces him to slow down and tells the DA what they know so far. Adrian points out that AR-15s are the weapon of choice for the Bertinelli crime family. Oliver tells to stay there and get better, and Adrian agrees.

At the bunker, Curtis suggests that they track the weapon. He and Rene argue about the right to own guns, and Curtis says that as a black man he's three times more like to be shot. Quentin agrees with Curtis, but Dinah arrives and introduces herself, and says that she's on Rene's side. Diggle explains that didn't get any information from the SCU, and Felicity finds some information but it doesn't make sense.

Green Arrow questions a Bertinelli man, hanging him upside down, and demands to know who the shooter is. The mobster says that they don’t want to mix with the ACU and he'd know if any of his guys went off the reservation. As Arrow walks away, Vigilante opens fire and kills the mobster. Arrow draws an arrow and tells him not to move, and Vigilante insists that the only difference between them is that they use a more efficient weapon. He fires and runs off, and Felicity contacts Arrow. She says that the shooter is James Edlund, a 44-year-old systems analyst with no criminal record.

When Oliver returns to the bunker, Felicity explains that James lost his wife and two daughters in a mall shooting 16 months ago. Online, James was a vocal advocate of the Star City Gun Registry, which was shot down by the previous city leadership. After the funeral, James disappeared. Thea comes in and says that she can't hold the reporters off any more, and Oliver says that he'll talk to them and they'll hit the streets and finds James. Curtis points out the mall fatalities to Rene, but he says that if the bad guys have guns then he will as well.

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After the game, Rene and Zoe return to the apartment and find the furniture overturned. Rene sends Zoe to get ready for bed while he checks on Laura.

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At city hall, Oliver tells the press that the SCPD and the ACU are working to find James and bring him to justice. One reporter asks him if the shooting was in retaliation for the previous administrations refusal to start a gun registry. The reporters ask Oliver what his personal opinion on gun control, and he says that it's complicated. Oliver goes to his office with Thea and Quentin, and admits that he doesn't know how to handle the situation. He points out that his first instinct has almost always been to respond with violence, and worries that they're just escalating the violence. Quentin says that Arrow can't solve the problem but Oliver can. He tells Oliver to keep trying, and Oliver tells them to meet with everyone involved in the previous gun ordinance. Thea warns that gun control is a political third rail, and Oliver insists that it's about everyone's safety and security whether they own a gun or not.

Later, Oliver meets with Councilwoman Pollard. He points out that he has seven dead staffers, and points out that Pollard helped kill the registry. Pollard insists that she's against the government keeping tabs on a segment of people, and Oliver points out that people are dying. He says that he respects the rights of people to protect themselves, but everything in life has limitations. Oliver tells Pollard that they're going to work out a set of limitations that respect everyone's rights, and warns that they might be there a while.

That night, Spartan questions a skel about James' location. The man doesn't recognize James and Spartan knocks him out. He joins Dinah in the van and suggests that he get her home. Dinah says that it's fine, and he wonders why she doesn't want better for herself. She tells him that there was one studio apartment that she liked, but the manager asked questions about her last three years--questions that she couldn’t answer. Dinah finally admits that applying for an apartment is something normal people do, and she hasn't had normal for a long time. She doesn't know who she's supposed to be anymore. Diggle says that he went through the same thing after the army, and he realized that he just had to be himself. He suggests that she start by renting the apartment, and they drive off.

At the bunker, Curtis notices that Rene isn't there. Felicity says that it isn't healthy debating if it isn't going to accomplish anything. Curtis suggests that the country is the way it is because people don’t debate. Felicity gets a hit on a support group that James used to be a member of, and Curtis hits there.

At the support group, one woman describes the gun that she sw. Curtis and Rene arrive as the meeting ends, and afterward they talk to the counsellor. He says that participation in the group is confidential, but Curtis points out that confidentiality doesn't apply in case of future harm. Once he goes, Rene tells Curtis that hearing the woman talk didn't change his mind, and if he had his gun then his wife would still be alive. The counsellor says that James is staying with a friend and provides the address.

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Rene searches the apartment and finds a drug dealer holding a gun on Laura. He says that Laura owes him for his last sale, and Rene goes to the safe to get the money… and his gun. Zoe come out and the dealer slams Laura into down, where she hits her head on a table. Rene manages to shoot the dealer, and the man's gun goes off as he falls. The bullet hits Laura, killing her.

Mr. Terrific and Wild Dog go to the address and discover that it's empty. There's a photo of James' family on the dresser, and a floor plan. Wild Dog realizes where James is going to hit next.

Pollard tells Oliver that the registry is a bureaucracy and it will affect sellers as well as the owners. Diggle calls Oliver and says that the others found a plan of Starling General. Oliver tells Pollard that he has to go and leaves without explanation.

James goes to the hospital with his duffle bag of guns.

The team sets up around the hospital.

James removes his mask and takes out a gun. Oliver arrives and tells him not to do it. He points out that James had a chance to shoot him at city hall but didn't do it because he needs Oliver to enact the game registry. James hesitates and Oliver says that the man who killed James' family acquired the guns illegally No gun would have helped them, and James says that he knows. He was supposed to protect them and failed even though he had guns. James wonders why he shouldn't kill everyone and put them out of their misery, and Oliver says that it's not his call to make and what he's doing isn't the answer. The mayor says that the seven people James killed were innocent.

Sobbing, James puts the gun to his head and says that he deserves to be punished. Oliver tells him that if he wants his family to live on then it has to be through him. He asks James for the gun, and after a moment, James hands it over. The ESU take James away as Oliver looks on.

The next day, Pollard returns to Oliver's office and says that she knows what Oliver did at the hospital. He introduces her to Rene and says that the two of them got together and came up with a series of ordinances that doesn't make it harder to buy or own a gun, or prevent people from protecting themselves. Pollard agrees to back them but warns that eventually she'll extract a political price for her cooperation.

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Social Services take Zoe away, and he calls them to beg to see his daughter. The worker hangs up on him, and Rene sees a newscast about Arrow killing Damien. He looks at his hockey mask and jersey, and gets an idea.

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When Rene returns to the bunker, Curtis apologizes and Rene says that it's not an issue. Curtis knows about Laura and Zoe, and Rene figures that CPS is right and Zoe shouldn't be near him. Despite that, Curtis suggests that he call on a lawyer friend and get Rene his daughter back.

Dinah tells Diggle that she got the apartment lease, and she applied to the SCPD. Diggle congratulates her, and Dinah thanks him for giving her a push.

Oliver holds a memorial to the dead and says that they can be desensitized to the violence that pervades their lives. He says that the important choices are hard and require bravery. Oliver tells everyone that he and Pollard met to pass the registry, and it respects their freedom and their lives.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 16, 2017