Doug Savant as Tom Scavo
|Desperate Housewives character|
|Portrayed by||Doug Savant|
1x01, October 3, 2004
|Last appearance||"Finishing the Hat"
8x23, May 13, 2012
|Created by||Marc Cherry|
|Other names||Tom (commonly used throughout the show)|
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Owner of Scavo's Pizzeria
|Residence||New York, New York
4355 Wisteria Lane in Fairview, Eagle State - (Pre-series–season 8)
Apartment located in Fairview, Eagle State - (season 8)
Thomas “Tom” Scavo // is a fictional character on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives, played by actor Doug Savant. Tom was originally credited as a recurring role throughout Season 1, but became credited as a series regular in Season 2. Early storylines often revolved around Tom's position at an advertising firm, causing him to frequently travel, usually leaving Lynette alone to run the family. Starting in Season 3, Tom's storyline turned to a focus of him trying to find what was next for him, due to being tired of working in advertising. When he finally decides, he opens Scavo's Pizzeria, much to Lynette's dismay. After the five year jump, it becomes apparent that Tom is now experiencing a mid-life crisis, as he purchased and restored an early model convertible. After Lynette gives birth to Paige, it is discovered that Tom is experiencing Male Post-Partum Depression (to which Lynette laughs off, thinking of it as a ridiculous notion.) Tom separates from Lynette at the end of Season 7 and dates Jane for the greater part of Season 8, however, Tom and Lynette reunite at the end of the series.
Tom Scavo is frequently out of town and seems completely oblivious to Lynette's problems. Tom has been keeping a secret from his wife that only his father, Rodney Scavo, knew about. This is speculated to be his secret child, Kayla. Tom decided to become a house-husband after he lost his promotion to Annabel and subsequently quit his job. He seems to truly love Lynette, being prepared to discuss family matters with her if she feels that they need to.
Midway through the second season, Tom returns to the workplace, sharing an employer with his wife for the second time. When Lynette's boss asks Lynette to send instant messages to his wife to help him heat up his sex life, his wife found out and threatened to leave him unless he fires the person who sent the IMs. Feeling he cannot fire Lynette, he tells his wife it was Tom, deciding to fire him instead but Lynette warns him he will need reasonable cause. Much to Lynette's horror, Ed finds it - discovering that Tom has been falsifying expense reports. When Ed confronts him, the conversation ends with Tom punching Ed in the face. As grounds for dismissal have been met, double grounds in fact, Tom is fired. Tom is found out to be meeting another woman after Lynette follows him to Atlantic City and sees them embracing. Lynette later finds out that this woman is actually the mother of his daughter - born before he married Lynette.
It is later revealed that the woman is Nora Huntington, they had a one-night stand years before he had met Lynette. She was claiming that she conceived his child, a daughter named Kayla Huntington, but never told him.
Tom later confesses to Lynette that he wants to open up a pizzeria. Nora, however, consistently undermines him behind his back and tries to get Lynette to tell him to drop the idea while planning to tell him that she'd support him. She wanted him back, determined to make a proper family for Kayla but Tom rejects her and tells Lynette, who warns Nora to keep her distance in future. Tom and Lynette plan to fight Nora for custody of Kayla but before they get to court, Nora confronts Lynette in the supermarket but gets caught in hostage crisis. When Lynette tells Carolyn that Nora made a move on Tom, Carolyn shoots and kills Nora. Lynette promises Nora that she'll take care of Kayla, just before she dies.
Tom opens his pizzeria and with Lynette's help, gets it ready for the grand opening, overcoming a few hitches along the way. He then tries organising a surprise for their 9th wedding anniversary but it goes wrong, leaving Lynette out in the woods at night and rushes to meet her. A little while later, Tom's back is injured and he is confined to bed rest so Lynette hires a new chef, Rick, and Mrs McCluskey to look after Tom and the children when she's at work. One night, Tom and the kids come to the pizzeria to surprise her, where Kayla sees chemistry between Lynette and Rick and tells Tom. So Tom suggests that he returns to work and they fire Rick but Lynette is not keen. After Lynette and Rick are locked in the freezer when the restaurant is robbed, they cuddle to keep warm but Tom sees the CCTV tape and confronts Rick, telling him that although his marriage to Lynette is shaky, it is rock solid and Rick would never break it up. Tom asks Rick to quit but he refuses, claiming Lynette "doesn't want him gone". Rick later tells Lynette about his lunch with Tom and his feelings for her and tries to get her to admit her feelings for him but Lynette refuses and fires him.
After finding out Tom was returning to work, Lynette sobbed in her bathroom, obviously distraught. Lynette and Tom’s marriage continues to decline and they don't speak for days. Trying to rebuild their marriage, Tom gets his old college friend/marriage counselor to speak to them without Lynette knowing, but she realizes and becomes even angrier about his 'ambush therapy'. With Tom’s doctor informing him on his back recovery, Tom suggests to Lynette they either talk or have sex so Lynette agrees to sex but they become quite violent and Lynette falls off the bed, banging her head on the side table. She goes to hospital for her injury and Tom finds out Lynette fell for Rick and misses him. The doctor performs a CAT scan on Lynette and finds swollen lymph nodes and suggests they do a biopsy as it could be lymphoma (a form of cancer).
In the third episode "The Game" Tom attends Susan's small games party however Lynette remains at home because she is sick, Lynette's mother Stella secretly gets marijuana from Andrew and bakes it in some brownies she makes for Lynette so that it would ease Lynette's pain. It works and Lynette attends Susan's party high and she had brought the drugged brownies with her for everyone else to have. Stella arrives over and tells Tom why no one can have a brownie and Tom takes them off everyone's plate before they can eat them and ends up accidentally pushing Gabrielle into new resident Adam Mayfair spilling wine on him, sparking a feud between Gabrielle and Adam's wife Katherine Mayfair. Tom later appears at the end of the episode when Lynette discovers the truth from him about what Stella did. A tornado hits Wisteria Lane and the Scavos take shelter in Karen McClusky's basement with Ida Greenbberg. Tom and the children were left in the basement while Lynette and Mrs. McClusky went out looking for Ida's cat. When Lynette and Mrs. McClusky hid from the tornado in a bathtub, Tom was knocked out with asthma from the cat. After the tornado hits, Tom and his children are okay and so are Lynette and Mrs. McClusky. Ida Greenberg did not make it. She saved Lynette's and Tom's children from the Tornado.
Rick returns announcing that he is opening a new restaurant near Scavo's pizzeria. Tom lied to the police when they investigate the vandalism happening to the restaurant, but later admitted to Lynette that he did vandalize Rick's restaurant out of jealousy. Tom came under investigation again when a fire took place Rick's restaurant. He was confronted by Lynette, to whom he swears he left the founders ball to listen to the game on the cart radio, and again by Rick after he found a matchbook from Scavo's. The incident broke out into a fight and Tom was brought in by the police and later released after Lynette lies to them to provide him an alibi.
Tom and Lynette are constantly arguing about the kids: the twins started the fire and he suggested taking them to therapy; Lynette discovers the boys got the idea from Kayla and she took Kayla to therapy behind Tom's back. Tom's denial about the problems Kayla causes for Lynette lead to her lying to the therapist and getting Lynette arrested for child abuse. In the season's penultimate episode, Tom sends Kayla to live with her maternal grandparents after she told Tom she lied about everything and she wouldn't stop if Lynette came back.
In the season finale, Tom and Lynette help with catering Bob and Lee's wedding. Tom's advise to Lee about standing up for himself (for wanting the ice sculpture be castle rather than a cherub) escalated to Bob and Lee arguing then canceling the wedding. Lynette and Tom get the two in the same room and Tom tells them that if they cannot decide over small decisions that they might as well not marry at all; that they should ask themselves whether they love each other enough that no problem can possibly tear them apart. His speech gets Bob and Lee to reconcile and to reaffirm to Lynette that their marriage is stronger than she thought.
In the first episode of season 5, Tom is going through a midlife crisis and he buys a Ford Mustang. It's shown he has difficulty disciplining his teenage sons as they treat him far more cool than Tom was used to when he was their age. Lynette uses that against him by tricking Tom into letting the twins borrow his Mustang for a dance. When they come back a half-hour late, Tom angrily grounds them. When they claim he's more worried about the car than them, he kicks a mirror off it but confesses to Lynette that it was already broken and he had ordered a replacement, impressing her. In "Mirror, Mirror," flashbacks show that Tom was electrocuted in an accident and nearly died, which pushed him to enjoy life as much as he could. In the present, he tells Lynette his plan to sell the restaurant, buy an RV and spend a year traveling the country with his family. Lynette is not happy about this and tensions have risen over it. When Tom contacted one of his son's friends' mothers, Ann Shilling, who is a real estate agent, she found him a rehearsal space for the garage band he and some of the other Wisteria Lane men have started. He spends a lot of time there, and Lynnette confronts him about him sleeping with Mrs. Shilling, who has 'dropped by' with some items for the rehearsal space, among them a futon. Tom denies it—then steps on a condom wrapper on the floor to hide from Lynnette. He deduces that Porter is sleeping with some girl there—but Lynette sees Mrs. Shilling leaving from the rehearsal space when Tom is there, so Lynette thinks Tom is cheating. In the next episode, Tom and Lynette realize that Porter is, in fact the one who is sleeping with the realtor. After much deliberation, Lynette decides to pay Mrs. Shilling off, but this backfires when Porter disappears, claiming that he wants to be with her. In the last episode we find out that because of the bad economy Scavo's Pizzeria lost its business to low sales, and Tom was forced to throw a Going Out of Business sale to raise the money to repay his loans and pay Bree her money.
Tom sinks into some depression being out of work with Lynette getting a new job and in the fifth season finale, decides to go to college as a Chinese language major. Thinking this is part of his middle-age syndrome, Lynette attempts to sabotage Tom by getting him drunk the night before his entrance exam. It's only afterward that Tom says he was taking Chinese in hopes of getting a new job in that market. Incredibly, Tom managed to score in the top five with the exam despite being hung over. However, his college plans are jarred when Lynette reveals she's 3.5 months pregnant with twins.
Tom is excited about becoming a dad again but Lynette tells him that she is not sure if she loves her unborn children. Tom then tells her that when she will hold them in her arms, she will love them with all her heart. These twins are Tom's sixth and seventh children, but Lynette loses the boy. Tom was cheating in school because he was afraid of failing but he has since stopped. Lynette references that Tom had to drop out of college because Lynette was fired. He takes over Lynette's job with Carlos while she is on maternity leave.
He is diagnosed with postpartum depression. He is then prescribed marijuana as a cure for this which stuns Lynette. In the episode "Let Me Entertain You", Tom decides to hire his own mother as a nanny for the new baby. After a big argument, Lynette fires her mother-in-law, but Tom overrules her, telling her that she is going to stay. After Lynette and Allison's talk, Tom's mother shows symptoms of dementia to Penny, unknown to Lynette and Tom. Tom and Lynette finally discover Allison's dementia on Halloween, after she collapses outside Gabrielle Solis' house after going out to buy more candy, despite Penny telling her they had plenty. Allison is later admitted to a nursing home and Tom and Lynette agree to visit her there. Tom is deeply upset by his mother's illness. In episode 9 Susan walks in on Tom and Lynette having sex on the nursery floor and is in awe at Tom's huge penis; she then confronts Lynette about why she has never mentioned it before. A drunken Renee reveals to Susan she once slept with him putting Susan in uncomfortable situation. When Susan is injured in a riot, a guilty Renee tells Tom she should reveal the truth but Tom insists she keep it quiet. Renee finally confesses to Lynette, revealing the affair took place when she and Tom were engaged but having one of their regular "break-ups." Lynette is naturally upset but keeps it quiet and begins a series of pranks against Tom as payback. When Renee find out what Lynette is doing, she tells Tom about it. Tom confronts Lynette and tells that he wanted to tell her about Renee, but there was never a good time for that because he did not want to ruin the wonderful life they have together. Lynette then forgives Tom.
Tom finds himself getting a major promotion at a new company and enjoys the work. Lynette is concerned about his over-working but Tom tells her he feels more alive than ever. When Tom attends a conference, Lynette is upset that she's kept from the business talks and forced to attend spas and other projects with the other wives. She goes so far as to steal an ID from a woman only to find out she's the keynote speaker for a lecture. Back home, Tom snaps at Lynette that after so many years supporting her, it hurts that she can't do the same for him. Renee tells Lynette that she has to choose between her own wants or being a good wife. Tom then hires the duo to decorate his office like a Donald Trump-style boss but Lynette thinks that it is not right for him and goes a different way. Renee overrules her to give Tom the office he wants and Lynette yells at Tom over how he's changing but he retorts that he has to be this way in order to succeed and Lynette needs to stop thinking of him the way he's been at home the last several years.
When Tom decides to book a luxurious holiday for the family and announces it Lynette is annoyed and consults Tom about why he did not consult her about it first. The two then pitch to the kids what they think is the best holiday which leads to yet another fight between them; this time however they insult each other. Lynette calls Tom a "Pompous Ass" while Tom labels Lynette as a "Raving Bitch" leaving them to decide that it is only them who need to spend a holiday together. The holiday turns out badly and the relationship deteriorates and becomes extremely awkward. When they return home Tom leads Lynette to believe that he will be spending a while in an apartment near to his work offices. Before Lynette attends a street dinner party, Penny reveals to her that Tom had left her a note. Lynette is surprised and finds that Tom's unpacked suitcase from the holiday is not in the bedroom, convincing her that Tom had left her. After revealing to Susan that she thought Tom had left her, Lynette walks into her house, finding Tom, chopping up salad ingredients. He tells Lynette that he had only gone to buy the ingredients. Lynette questions him why it had taken him two hours, leading Tom to reveal that he had left but came back when he considered that Lynette would have to lie about where Tom was to her friends at the dinner party. The two talk for a while and Lynette confesses that when she thought Tom had left, she felt relieved, leading the pair to finally decide to separate.
By the beginning of season 8, Tom has moved off Wisteria Lane. He and Lynette agree to work on their marriage by attending couples counseling, however when Tom begins dating a woman from his new building, Jane, Lynette seems to think there is no point anymore in continuing counseling if Tom doesn't still have faith in their marriage. Later on he and Jane plan to go on a trip to Paris, although Lynette stops him at the airport and confesses to him that she is involved in the murder of Gabrielle's stepfather. He then agrees to stay with her to help her cope, and Jane went to Paris without him. In "With So Little to Be Sure Of", Lynette and Tom signed their divorce papers but it is not confirmed on whether it is final since Tom later breaks up with Jane due to his lingering feelings for Lynette. The married couple reconcile in the final episode, and Tom and Lynette move to New York City so Lynette can pursue her new career. The couple later buy a penthouse looking over central park, and have 6 grandchildren later in life.
- "Finishing the Hat". David Grossman (director), Marc Cherry (writer). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 8, no. 23.
- Mentioned in "Excited and Scared". Jeff Greenstein (director), Jeff Greenstein (writer). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 7, no. 6.
- Season 8 episode 19: He and Lynette signed divorce documents which aren't valid
- Mentioned in "Remember (Part 2)". Larry Shaw (director), Marc Cherry & Jenna Bans (writers). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 2, no. 24.
- Mentioned in "Nice She Ain't". David Warren (director), Alexandra Cunningham & Susan Nirah Jaffee (writers). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 3, no. 5.
- Season 4 episode 8
- Season 7 episode 13 and 14
- Season 4 episode 7
- Season 4 episode 8 and season 8 episode 3
- Mentioned in "The Chase". Larry Shaw (director), John Pardee & Joey Murphy (writers). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 6, no. 16.
- Mentioned in "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover". David Warren (director), Chuck Ranberg & Anne Flett-Giordano (writers). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 4, no. 7.
- "Watch While I Revise the World". David Warren (director), John Paul Bullock III (writer). Desperate Housewives. ABC. Season 8, no. 3.