TV & FILM

The Latest 'Arrow' Episode Crushed Fan Theory Dreams ... Probably

"Restoration" had big implications for Tommy Merlyn.

Ever since Oliver Queen's best friend Tommy Merlyn died at the end of "Arrow" Season 1, fans have been theorizing -- or at least wishing -- that he would come back to life. Or even that he had somehow survived a building collapse and a rebar impalement!

The most likely scenario for his revival seemed to be that he would be dunked in the miraculous Lazarus Pit, which had previously been used to bring Thea Queen back from the dead. This worked well with some lore from the "Arrow" comics, too, because over there, Tommy had an alter ego as a villain named Merlyn -- and the Lazarus Pit has a way of changing the people it revives for the worse. So it seemed plausible that Tommy would be revived in the Lazarus Pit and return as a villain. 

Last night's "Arrow" episode, though, seemed to shut down this possibility. Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

The Lazarus Pit was used in the episode, to bring back Sara Lance, younger sister to Tommy's former squeeze, Laurel Lance. 

Afterwards, though, Nyssa al Ghul -- a former fling of Sara's -- destroyed the Lazarus Pit, using her familial powers. That means that there's no clear way left to revive Tommy. He's probably dead for good ... or is he? 

There's one other major possibility. It might be a stretch. But some believe that Malcolm Merlyn -- Tommy's dad -- already used the Lazarus Pit to bring Tommy back from the dead, off-screen. If that revival went badly -- if, say, Tommy had come back monstrous -- it could explain Malcolm's reluctance to use the Lazarus Pit on Thea. 

Hopefully, we'll find out one way or another soon. It would be fun to have actor Colin Donnell's charming presence back on screen, in more than just the occasional flashback and hallucination.

Still, it's not hard to understand why the show's writers chose to get rid of the Lazarus Pit. Like the Time Turner in "Harry Potter," it's just too powerful to allow drama and tension to thrive: If anyone who dies can come back at any time, the stakes of any fight lower.

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