By this point in Season 6, Arrow has tragically killed off a whole lot of characters. One of the most devastating deaths came way back in the Season 1 finale, when poor Tommy Merlyn died in his effort to save Laurel during The Undertaking. Tommy, played by none other than Colin Donnell, has managed to return to Arrow a few times since the end of Season 1. Arrow leading lady Emily Bett Rickards, who has played Felicity Smoak since the very first season, spoke to CinemaBlend about how Donnell is the top departed Arrow actor she’d want to see back. It may now be possible to get more of Tommy thanks to recent events on NBC’s Chicago Med. Here’s what Rickards had to say:
Tommy was a major part of Arrow Season 1, so we can bet that Emily Bett Rickards is not the only person who would love to see him back in Star City. The show has managed to bring Colin Donnell back without actually resurrecting Tommy, and fans got to see him back as everything from a hallucination to part of a flashback to as Tommy’s evil alter ego from Earth-X in the Arrow-verse’s big “Crisis On Earth-X” crossover.
Donnell most recently returned to Arrow in Season 6 to play Human Target disguised as a still-living Tommy Merlyn, and he’s spoken out about how much fun it was. Given Donnell’s commitment to Chicago Med over on NBC, however, fans have had reason not to get their hopes up about seeing him more often. The events of Chicago Med‘s Season 3 finale may have revealed how Donnell could play a larger role on Arrow moving forward.
Spoilers ahead for the Chicago Med Season 3 finale. As Dr. Connor Rhodes, Colin Donnell got an incredible job offer in the finale, and the episode ended without anyone giving him a solid reason to pass up a job at the Mayo Clinic. Connor’s decision was left as a cliffhanger, and we may have a while to wait before getting a solid answer on where he’ll be at the beginning of the fourth season. Med got renewed; Donnell’s level of involvement in the next batch of episodes is currently unknown.
On the one hand, Connor’s cliffhanger didn’t leave him on the verge of death or ousted from the hospital or past any devastating points of no return, so it’s entirely possible that Colin Donnell will appear in as much of Season 4 as he did Seasons 1-3. On the other hand, perhaps Chicago Med doesn’t intend to use Donnell’s character as much in Season 4, which could open him up to appearing on Arrow on a more regular basis in Season 7. Arrow is getting a new showrunner for the next season, so all bets may be off on where the show will go.
Of course, if Arrow does feature Colin Donnell more frequently in the future, there’s still the little problem of Original Tommy being very dead. The show could always resurrect Tommy 1.0, as the return of Nyssa brought Lazarus Pits back into the mix. That said, Tommy has been dead and presumably either moldering away or embalmed ever since the end of Season 1, so it might take more than a dip in a Lazarus Pit to bring him back.
Another way for Tommy to return would be for a Tommy from another Earth to enter the mix. Earth-X Tommy bit the dust in the crossover, but there are still plenty of Earths on which Tommy Merlyn could very well still be alive. If The Flash can bring back a replacement Harrison Wells whenever necessary and Arrow can find a way to keep Katie Cassidy on board as various Laurels, surely Arrow can figure out an alternate Tommy to feature in Season 7.
We’ll have to wait and see. Emily Bett Rickards also revealed in her chat with CinemaBlend that the Season 6 finale will be different from finales past, and a longtime star will depart the series. Be sure to tune in to The CW on Thursday, May 17 to see the Season 6 finale of Arrow. For what you’ll be able to watch once Arrow is finished for the season, swing by our summer TV premiere guide.