Tom’s extensive memory allows him to remember, and regurgitate, everything he learned about legal and illegal activities and case law. He’s attentive to the details in situations and able to handle them effectively, which makes him a good source of reliable information and a trustworthy man of action who knows the most rational course to take to make something happen, even if it isn’t the most compassionate. In obedience to Don Vito, he has a beautiful stallion beheaded and planted in a man’s bed as a threat to force him to give a part to Johnny Fontaine. Later, he frames a senator for murder by planning a dead prostitute in his room. Tom may moralize at his brother at times for his decisions, but he also skillfully uses the law to defend Michael against criminal activity accusations, points out the logical reasons why Michael would be an effective assassin against their enemies (due to him being ‘out of the business’—no one would see him coming), and explains to Kay why he can’t accept or deliver any letters to Michael in terms of how it might implicate him in a crime. He relies on hard facts when making decisions, is organized, efficient, and skilled at outlining his reasons for his behavior and beliefs. Though hurt by Michael choosing to bench him later, Tom also understands his legal and logical reasons for doing it.

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Tom’s most noticeable asset is his loyalty to his adopted family; he puts all his efforts to protecting and standing by them, in good times and bad. He repays Vito for taking him out of the gutter and off the street by acting as his legal counsel, and attempts to earn the same respect through devotion to Michael throughout his trials. A cautious man by nature, Tom wants to consider and discuss things deeply before he agrees to commit to them. He shows this in his desire to carefully talk through what Michael could do to avenge their father. Tom is forever thinking and planning ahead ways to avoid detection by the police. He’s visibly anxious when he’s taken hostage, but also keeps a clear head in his conversations with his captors. He is an effective problem-solver, but likes to cover all his bases and not take unnecessary risks. Because of this, Michael thinks he is not a “wartime” schemer, and replaces him when he needs to focus on eradicating his enemies.