'I think Tommy is incredibly skeptical,' Joseph Sikora tells EW
Tommy, you are the son.
After his deadly road trip to Chicago, Tommy (Joseph Sikora) returns to a number of surprising developments in the seventh hour of Power‘s engrossing fourth season. The closing scene of “You Lied to My Face” sees the powerful drug connect learn why Tony Teresi (William Sadler) has been so eager to get into contact with him: Ghost’s (Omari Hardwick) guardian prison angel is Tommy’s dad.
“Tommy, who is always looking for family, who is always on this quest to find his own Tasha (Naturi Naughton), who killed his actual chance at this, he’s going to cling to that idea of family,” creator Courtney A. Kemp tells EW. “But he doesn’t know this guy. Teresi is not really a good guy.”
But does he believe Teresi? To get further insight on the big Tommy episode, EW chatted with Sikora about the major reveal, how it will affect his relationship with the St. Patricks, and the continued evolution of the character.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Does Tommy believe Teresi? It seems like he was skeptical, but the line about having a thing for redheads seemed to reel him in.
JOSEPH SIKORA: I think Tommy is incredibly skeptical. He has grown up in southside Jamaica, Queens, where trusting Caucasians as family, to be quite honest, is a difficult prospect for him because that’s not what he grew up with — his mother included. So he’s very, very skeptical. We’ve heard Tommy with semi-derogatory remarks against Italians, as well, since that’s competition. That’s not the demographic he’s learned to trust. That said, he’s curious. Like most people, Tommy is an ever-curious person; he listens well and he learns from his mistakes, but he also suffers hard from his shortcomings and has a hard time advancing. So we’re dealing with a lot of that stuff with the phone call and the possibilities from it.
He’s clearly someone who has wanted a family and went out and found his own with Ghost, Tasha, and the kids.
You’re a million percent on point with that. Not only has he always wanted a family, but how he has tried to emulate that time and time again. Even this season, how we see the only relief this man has had from extreme pressure, nervousness, and being right in the grind is someone from his neighborhood who he grew up with. Maybe they weren’t intimate before this, but this is someone he’s known for a long period of time. With LaKeisha (La La Anthony), they get to talk shop of growing up and being together, and as we’ve seen in season 4, it’s been the only exhale he’s had the entire year.
With the news of having his own potential family, how will that affect the relationship with his non-blood, but true family — the St. Patricks?
There’s an apprehension to commit to something like that because it’s a lot of emotional heartstrings. And to go back, we talked about this last time, with Tommy, when he’s in front of people, he’s tough as nails, but he relaxes and shows his authentic side with Ghost, Tasha, and the kids. That’s a really sacred thing to him. So to give his authentic self, which is something he would be offering, to a new family member is actually more precious than money to him. And hustle and money is the most important thing in the world to him, so to find something even more valuable than that — as I get my nerd on — is the Arkenstone of all the wealth.
Speaking of fathers, Tommy has always been there for Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.), but it seems like recently with the absence of Ghost, he’s been more of a father figure. It’s evident in that emotional hug they share at the beginning of the episode. Then, when Tariq asks the tough questions, it’s clear with the disappointment in his face how much this weighs on Tommy. How deep do you think that cuts him?
I often think of Tariq, especially recently as a young teenager coming of age, as a longing point for Tommy. Because he’s always been in some capacity a consummate teenager, like we all have friends that are. Tommy sees himself in Tariq because they belong in the worlds they are in, that’s where they grew up, but they both know that something is askew. And Tommy really tapped into Tariq’s plight of knowing, “I don’t totally fit in here, why?” They share a bond in the experience of life from a very different spectrum. I really love and appreciate how Michael Rainey is playing Tariq. There’s always a subtleness and masked fear in his performance.
Tommy and Ghost are finally back together, and while it appears to be all good on the surface, there are some issues. Last time we talked, you said, “That unbreakable bond will be tested in a new way.” So what’s the current state of that relationship?
A thank you never hurt [laughs]. And I think Tommy is waiting for that, which may or may never come. Tommy is at a self-actualized point, where it’s not just business as usual. He wants some acknowledgment that things have changed. He loves Ghost like a brother, but families fall in and out. Tommy never underestimates Ghost. He never belittles him. No matter how he is treated, he always gives credit where credit is due. So we will see how they reconnect.
We keep seeing more and more nods to Holly (Lucy Walters), while seeing less and less of Tommy with LaKeisha. Where does that relationship stand? Is there any hope there? Or is there too much immediate baggage? Because as Courtney reminded me, in the world of the show, he killed Holly like last month.
The three loves of his life are money, Ghost, and then, the third would be Holly. She took a third position. It’s the one time in his life he’s been in love. Who knows what that could have blossomed into, but it was only allowed to take that step. We were all hopeful for that relationship. But finding love, again? No. Tommy doesn’t know how to talk to people in that way. To tell a woman, “Listen, I’m not there.” He is not about that commitment, he’s committed to everything he can be at this time. Holly slipped through the cracks.
In this episode, we’re introduced to the Jimenez siblings. Obviously, he’s a heavyweight in his own right, but he’s dealing with some powerful and dangerous people and making some quick demands…
Let’s be fair about this: Think about the acting rather than what was said. I’m presented with words. Those words were heavy and pretty dismissive. However, my intention and how I hope it came across was incredibly respectful. Tommy is no dummy. Tommy is the connect for all of New York City at this point. These people are the cartel; all they need to do is shut those doors, kill everybody, and leave. My intention in that scene was to show finesse, something he’s never had before. As much as he changes and as much as he stays the same, we do see him evolving, but never lose what makes the character.
What can you tease is coming up for Tommy in the last three episodes?
We start Tommy on one trajectory: taking over and being a huge boss. That is all going to now be through the filter of a released Ghost. Regardless of his frustration, we saw someone who was learning from his mistakes to a person who is now going to have to factor in the person he knows is the best that’s ever been. If Tommy’s the devil, Ghost is the man playing the golden fiddle as long as he wants to play it.
Power airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.