On the last new “Arrow” episode, the dynamics of the show changed forever when Oliver (Stephen Amell) revealed to his best friend, Tommy (Colin Donnell) that he is the hooded vigilante who has been taking out one-percenters all over Starling City. Tommy already wasn’t the biggest fan of The Hood — since, you know, The Hood kills people on a regular basis — and finding out his best buddy has been lying to him all year didn’t exactly show him the light.
In this week’s episode, Tommy and Oliver have to put aside all of that and work together to open their night club, Verdant, which is finally ready to serve. We jumped on the phone with Colin Donnell to find out just where Tommy’s mind is going into these final episodes… and whether or not he’s planning on turning against Oliver any time soon.
Zap2it: What was your reaction when you found out that Tommy would learn Oliver’s secret in Episode 16? I definitely thought that would be a season finale reveal.
Donnell: Stephen had read it. He’d gotten a hold of a script a bit earlier than I did, and he was like, ‘Uh, dude? This is going to be a fun one.’ That’s what our writers do, right? They push it. They’re not afraid to let the big things happen early.
Zap2it: You got to be part of one of the coolest action sequences they’ve done on the show.
Donnell: I’m constantly amazed by the work that our stunt guys [J.J. Makaro and James “Bam Bam” Bamford] do. It was fun! There’s nothing like blowing out a window and getting to hold a gun in a guy’s face and do fun stuff like that.
Zap2it: Tommy did not seem too happy with Oliver at the end of that episode, and in this week’s episode, they’re opening a nightclub together. Awkward?
Donnell: Well, Tommy’s not happy. They’re not going to stop speaking to one another, but it is going to be really hard on both their ends. The fun of the next few episodes is navigating that new dynamic between them, and seeing the strain that all of the knowledge that was revealed in Episode 16 puts on their friendship and their lives.
Zap2it: Are they going to have a serious conversation about it?
Donnell: [Laughing] No. They’re not really the sit-down-and-have-a-conversation types. I don’t think you’re ever going to see Tommy and Oliver going out for coffee and hashing it out that way. That’d be a very different television show.
Zap2it: Laurel and Tommy have had a surprisingly honest relationship, considering this is a CW show, and now he’s got a secret that he can’t tell her. Is that going to change things between them?
Donnell: Absolutely. It’s got to, right? There’s been such an honesty between them. She knows what he was, and what he’s become, and all of a sudden he can’t be the totally open, honest person that he wants to be with her. She recognizes that right away, and it’s tough.
Zap2it: Will he be involved in the storyline that’s coming up with her mom’s return?
Donnell: Not really. That’s another problem. I think part of the tension between them is that he just can’t be there for her in the way he wants to, because of all of the distraction that’s now in his head. He’s not going to be as supportive of her as I think he’d really like to be.
Zap2it: Tommy saw his dad kill a couple of guys. Is this something he’s going to address right away, or is he going to try to put it out of his mind?
Donnell: I don’t know totally how it’s going to play out, but you might see Malcolm and Tommy being pushed together more in the next few episodes, because of the shifting dynamics between Tommy and Oliver. I don’t think that Tommy’s going to willfully ignore the fact that his father killed a bunch of people right in front of him. It was in the height of a very intense moment — Malcolm did have a gun pointed at him.
Zap2it: I mean, he did willfully ignore the fact that Oliver killed some people right in front of him in the pilot. He was in denial for a long time.
Donnell: [Laughing] Yeah, Tommy doesn’t handle stress very well, does he?
Zap2it: We’ve heard that Episode 19 is a really big one for Tommy, where he takes a bit of an unexpected turn. Is there anything you can tease?
Donnell: There’s all sorts of stuff I can tease, but I won’t! I think you’re going to see a stronger, maybe a little darker side of Tommy. The fact is he’s sort of been letting things happen to him in some ways. In these episodes, for the first time, you’re really going to see him stand up and push, really hard.
Zap2it: Like so hard that he might start to consider becoming Oliver’s mortal enemy?
Donnell: Oh, god. I can’t tell you that. I can tell you that something really huge is going to happen at the end of the first season. Marc [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg] and everybody in the writers’ room has something really exciting and shocking planned, but I can’t tell you what it is. I might not even know what it is.