How Arrow's Colin Donnell Felt About Returning As Tommy

Tommy Merlyn Colin Donnell Arrow The CW

Colin Donnell had a wonderful run in Arrow Season 1 that was tragically cut a bit short. While the drama of Tommy Merlyn's death and the plotlines it created could be attributed to Arrow's lasting success, it also came at the expense of losing a great actor on the series. Luckily, the Arrow-verse is a strange place, and the show's writers have managed to work Donnell back into the series in various ways with his latest appearance being "Docket No. 11-19-41-73." Donnell recently commented on his return and indicated this appearance felt different than past ones:

Putting on the suit is just totally rad. I mean, the Prometheus suit was really fun, but to put on the Green Arrow suit, it's awesome. . . . The other thing that was really cool about this particular episode was being able to play, like, Classic Tommy. The courtroom scene started off very serious, but once the cameras turn around, you get to play a little bit more. The director, Andi Armaganian, was wonderful. She basically said, "Go as far as you want with being Tommy." I was like, "OK, sure," and as soon as I did it, she came back after that take and said, "You have no idea how hard all of us were grinning back at the monitors," because it was this reminder of this character that a lot of people fell in love with from the very beginning of the series. I was having a blast being back anyways, but to be able to really call back that persona of the guy who stood up against three bodyguards who were going to basically kick the shit out his best friend, that was fun. It was nice to be able to live in that skin for a bit.

Colin Donnell was psyched to wear the Arrow suit, but it sounds as though he was even more psyched to play the classic Tommy Merlyn. Donnell has every right to feel good about that performance, as the latest faux-Tommy definitely showed flashes of the original, and was certainly more enjoyable than the alternate Tommy's that have been seen prior. Donnell's affection for the latest appearance is understandable, as who wouldn't prefer playing a version of the character that was well-loved over the last version who turned out to be a Nazi from Earth X?

Colin Donnell revealed to TVLine that he enjoyed returning as Tommy so much he texted Season 7 showrunner Beth Schwartz and asked how the character is set to return in that season. With the Human Target being the latest tricky way to bring back in Donnell, he's wondering just how many more ways Arrow can creatively bring him back before they run out of options:

I mean, how many different ways can you bring somebody back without actually bringing them back to life? He's an alternate universe version of himself. He's a hallucination. He's a flashback version. Basically, the things that they've left out are Lazarus Pitting him or, like, a stable version of himself that doesn't want to take a cyanide capsule when he's captured.

Colin Donnell definitely sounds as though he's wanting to work his way back into Arrow, although fans should reserve their excitement about a full-fledged Tommy Merlyn return. Donnell has a pretty full plate with his gig as Connor Rhodes on Chicago Med and has his own universe of sorts with cameos in each of those shows. That said, he seems to be good for a one-off appearance every so often, so let's hope the Arrow-verse keeps finding creative ways to bring him back into the fold.

Arrow airs on The CW Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. With the Season 6 heading towards the finish line, fans should race onward to our superhero premiere guide and see which upcoming superhero series they should jump into next. For a more general list of upcoming television, head on over to our summer premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.