July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Succession “Tailgate Party”

Season Four, Episode Seven

One of the great things about any given episode of Succession is that while it is a show that says a lot without saying too much, it’s all so well-done that when one scene or moment really knocks one out of the park, it really says something that even when there are great moments going on throughout the episode, that the one moment will overshadow a lot of other great moments by virtue of the fact that it is an even greater moment.

That would be the epic take-down, drag-out, take-no-prisoners fight between Tom and Shiv, a fight that was a long time coming, a fight that allowed both of them to air their respective grievances and show why these two are terrible for each other.  It’s a fight where the two make numerous accusations to each other, and me, as the home viewer, can honestly say I don’t think either of them were wrong.  These are two people who presumably have known each other for a long time, and I think it is safe to say they not only know each other very well, but they likewise know exactly how to hurt each other the best.

It’s a fight where Shiv can say Tom doesn’t deserve her love, and I realized it was the sort of line that works both ways:  Tom hasn’t done anything to merit Shiv’s love, but at the same time, I have a hard time thinking he deserves the agony that would be getting love from Shiv, largely because I am not sure Shiv knows how to love.

Factor in as well a lot of lines full of situational irony, where Tom doesn’t know Shiv is pregnant and keeps telling her what a terrible mother she would be…well, those are the sorts of lines Succession excels at, expertly delivered by talented actors.

And that comes in an episode where almost everyone seems to be losing at the regular Roy tailgate party the night before the election.  Kendall has a disastrous meeting with ex-wife Rava where he blows off her concerns that ATN’s support for a hard-right presidential candidate is having a negative effect on his mixed race children.  Roman continues his downward spiral as Gerri puts him in his place.  Matsson shows up, invited by Shiv, and his own company’s shaky financial situation becomes known not through due diligence but because a disgruntled employee tells Kendall and Roman, the two guys trying to end the deal while Shiv, secretly working to keep it going, likewise learns she once again hitched her wagon to a lying man who isn’t as impressive as he seems to be.

Considering the talk around the room about the election itself, it also looks like ATN’s preferred candidate is losing at the polls, leading to the one person in the room who is actually in a good position:  Connor Roy.

OK, technically Willa too.

Connor in the first episode of the season said his 1%  would give him a seat at the table.  It turns out that he was right.  The (implied) Republican candidate is offering Connor an ambassadorship to drop out of the race, putting the oldest Roy child in the unenviable position of someone who can actually negotiate what he wants.  And unlike the other Roys, he actually consults his partner and takes her input into consideration.  Kendall can’t even be bothered to tell Roman and Shiv that he’s playing to buy out GoJo, but Willa and Connor actually talk to each other, and while neither is by any stretch a political genius, the fact that Willa says Connor should stick it out (something Connor, deep down, probably wants to do), and that Connor would ask Willa where she’d want to live if he became an ambassador to some country where American influence is probably not going to be much of a factor, well…maybe Connor won’t be in charge of WayStar by the end of the season, but he may be the Roy with the best chance at something approaching happiness.

It’s better than being fired by Greg via a group video chat.