Power actor on Tommy's bloody episode, 'beautiful' new relationship
Joseph Sikora teases that Ghost and Tommy's 'unbreakable bond will be tested in a new way'
With just two words, Angela’s stunned reaction at the end of Sunday’s Power perfectly sums up season 4‘s fourth episode, “We’re in This Together.” Proctor is off the case! Tommy killed a federal agent! Angela realizes Ghost couldn’t have hidden the gun!
Other than Ghost (Omari Hardwick), the person most affected by all of these jaw-dropping moments could be Tommy (Joseph Sikora). With his best friend in prison, the new boss now has the power and a girl in LaKeisha (La La Anthony). But he’s also struggling to stay on top, leading to him emerge from the shadows of Proctor’s (Jerry Ferrara) apartment to kill Bailey (Lee Tergesen) upon hearing the tapes of him murdering Ruiz (I sense a pattern here). He decides to let Proctor live and on his way out, flawlessly demonstrates why we love Tommy so much. “I’m glad I didn’t have to have to kill you too,” he declares. “Find a new lawyer in New York City?… F— that.”
To break down the big Tommy episode, EW chatted with Sikora about his character laying claim on Proctor, Ghost and Tommy’s “unbreakable bond” being tested, and what’s ahead.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The big climactic scene at Proctor’s apartment was so good, finding a way to be dark, tense, and funny. Upon hearing the Ruiz tapes, Tommy makes the shocking move to kill Greg’s government agent friend Bailey. It’s kind of a reckless move — do we think he’s losing control? Or is he just in full survival mode?
JOSEPH SIKORA: I think with obtaining power and advancement to the top there’s a common paranoia we’ve seen historically in real life. When siblings would kill the other sibling to take the power. Tommy’s just trying to tie up all of these loose ends, and to him, that means sometimes just eliminating the person in total. He’s still learning. This is still new territory for him. And we also saw some of his paranoia in not totally trusting Proctor, and one thing we’ve learned about the character is that Tommy is honest, so when he says, “I like you Proctor, I’m glad I didn’t have to kill you,” I think he’s glad he didn’t have to kill him but was fully prepared to. That’s a dangerous person to have around.
I’ve really enjoyed the Proctor and Tommy interactions this season. What’s that relationship going to be like moving forward? They now share this big secret between them and it’s a secret Tommy isn’t used to sharing with someone on that side of the business and law.
This secret is on Tommy’s terms, though. The action of killing Bailey is a binding thing that he chose to make happen. It’s a burden that Proctor has to bear, but it’s kind of a binding contract on Tommy’s terms.
So does that mean he feels like he can now trust Proctor?
Absolutely. In his mind, I think this extends his ability to trust Proctor now that he’s bound from this action to him. And in some ways, Tommy feels like Proctor now belongs to him more. Because he kept saying, “You’re Ghost’s attorney.” It’s kind of the idea of Tommy peeing on Proctor to claim him through this murder. And he wipes the blood on him and it’s very symbolic as a blood bonding. “The blood is now on your hands too.”
Going for the tapes, Tommy did that to protect himself since he was the one most implicated, and while he’d obviously love for his best friend to be free, what’s good for Ghost isn’t necessarily good for Tommy. So what’s most important to him at this point?
Even despite himself, Ghost remains the most important thing to Tommy. But we’re going to see certainly into the end of the fourth season that Tommy’s love for himself will become equal to his love for Ghost. Because his love for Ghost in all of the previous seasons has superseded his love for himself, but Tommy’s self-worth is growing and growing as well. He’s coming into his own.
And with Ghost out of the picture, he’s stepped into Ghost’s role in the business and family with looking after Tasha and the kids. Will Ghost’s inevitable return stunt that growth? Would there be some friction?
For sure. And I think it’s going to come from both ends. There’s an old expression, “When we know better, we do better.” And Tommy just didn’t care to know any better; he was happy with the way things were going. But because of the circumstances, he’s been forced into a situation where he’s had to learn better and now he knows better. So once you get past a certain thing, you can’t unlearn or unsee things, so some of that is in play. He’s at a different place in his life. But the bond and the love between these two men is something that’s hard to completely ascertain. It’s a very, very deep bond. So even though it won’t be the same when he gets out, that unbreakable bond will be tested in a new way.
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On the romantic side, we’ve had the big development between him and LaKeisha, which has been a fun and interesting surprise. What was your initial reaction when you were told about this developing relationship?
It made total sense. Because what people don’t realize is that Holly was a foreign fruit and still new to Tommy. LaKeisha is from the neighborhood. Tommy was always involved with women like that his whole life. So Holly was something very different, whereas LaKeisha is something very familiar and that familiarity between him and LaKeisha helps him relieve all of the stresses with someone he knows and he’s aware of. And that’s beautiful.
I wonder as well if they’re brought together by always having played second fiddle to their best friend.
Absolutely. I think they’re bonding over that and they’re also bonding because in some ways they’re kind of alone. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship for both of them as long as it doesn’t get too involved.
When they hooked up the first time, we saw him tuck away the ring on his necklace. Has he fully moved past Holly? Or is that something just waiting to boil over?
It’s out of sight, out of mind in some ways. You can take off your wedding ring, but it doesn’t mean you’re not married. So you can hide that ring, but it doesn’t mean the feelings are gone.
In the past, you were with Omari so much, but now you’re sharing a lot of scenes with La La and Jerry. What has it been like getting to expand and work with the rest of the cast more?
It’s always fun. I definitely miss Omari. He’s a truly gifted actor and we get along really well on and off screen, so I miss acting with him a lot. But it’s always a nice opportunity to work with other people, and I really have a soft spot for La La. She’s a wonderful person and a very good actor and I enjoy working with her. And of course, Jerry. He’s been around a long time and is an easy-going guy, so it makes for a fun day.
This is a very dark and serious show, and even though your character is this cold-blooded drug dealer and killer, he often gets to be the comedic relief. You had some great one-liners in this episode. Do you enjoy getting to show that other side of Tommy?
I do, I do. One of the reasons that people are so drawn to Tommy is because he’s the most honest character and people respond to that. And obviously credit the writers, specifically Courtney Kemp and Gary Lennon for coming up with these great lines and giving me the ability to say them and show these different aspects. I like the comedic side of Tommy, and so they facilitate that and it’s definitely a symbiotic relationship between actor and writer in terms of the character Tommy. I don’t ever pretend to take all credit for the character and really enjoy developing it with the writers.
Without spoiling anything, what can you tease is ahead for Tommy in the next few episodes?
I would say Tommy loves the game, but he loves sharing in the fun and he’s having a tough time sharing. So Tommy’s searching to find people to have fun with; it’s an interesting objective. It’s also interesting to watch him fully develop into a boss because when certain things turn on, other things have to diminish or turn off, and so this fourth season is definitely a real journey for him.
Power airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.