The character of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) on The CW’s Arrow is constantly in someone else’s shadow. First it seemed to be all about Oliver (Stephen Amell), as Tommy was seemingly second choice and second best when it came to business, wealth, and winning the heart of Laurel (Katie Cassidy). As we’ve gotten to know Tommy, though, we’ve learned it cuts much deeper than that, as he is in his father’s (John Barrowman) shadow first and foremost, and that may just inform who he is and the decisions he makes more than anything else.
“In episode 11 we’re really going to get underneath the nature of his relationship with his father. We’re going to learn why it went south, and we’re going to learn more about Malcolm and his background and the circumstances that led him to become the Dark Archer,” Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim said to LA TV Insider Examiner about “Trust But Verify.”
Those of you on “Team Tommy” will be pleased to know that he has a larger, more important arc coming up that really only starts in the eleventh episode of the season, though. And it’s not all about Laurel anymore.
“He’ll always be pursuing Laurel, and that will always be a fun dynamic, but we’re adding a lot of layers to Tommy’s character in the second half of the season,” Guggenheim said.
“In episode 13, we’re going to service more of Tommy’s reaction to Laurel’s relationship with The Arrow, and then as we build to our mid-midseason finale in episode 16, there will be some major, major seismic shifts in Tommy’s life that will propel him forward for the remainder of the season.”
Guggenheim was glad to hear just how many Tweets we personally get about Tommy, but when asked if the audience should be actively rooting for Tommy as much as Oliver over the next few episodes, Guggenheim admitted he doesn’t consider his characters that way. Whether or not that has any bearing on whether Tommy will follow in his father’s dark footsteps, though, you’ll just have to keep tuning in to find out!
“I like to come from the point of view of wanting fans to be intrigued by a character. I just want them emotionally invested. Whether they’re rooting for a character or hating a character, to me, both are good because for me, the whole point of making television is to create an emotional response from the audience. Whether it’s love or hate, they’re both good to me!” Guggenheim said.
“[Tommy]’s a favorite of ours; he’s a joy to write; and Colin is wonderful. To all the people who are Tweeting, they’re definitely going to want to watch 11 and 13, but wait until you get to 16! You’re going to be blown away!”
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m.
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