[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Succession, Season 4 Episode 8, “America Decides.”]
America notoriously relies on free and honest elections, however what individuals may not concentrate on is the truth that there’s some tremendous print that claims if there’s a bunch of siblings within the midst of the shakiest alliance attainable, all ready to stab each other within the again at any second, they’re truly allowed to sway the election outcomes to go well with their agenda and cease a lower than stellar deal from occurring. It’s within the Structure! Look it up!
The eighth episode of Season 4 of Succession locations us smack in the midst of election evening stress at ATN: Tom is attempting to maintain a grasp on an more and more chaotic newsroom, one which’s infiltrated by Roman, Kendall, and Shiv. Like many particulars on this persistently wonderful present, so many components of the night really feel a little bit too acquainted; does the thought of an election that includes a loud, proud, right-wing candidate ring a bell? What about if these election outcomes then turned closely contested, and a sure information channel gleefully added gas to the fireplace for that candidate’s supporters?
The Roy siblings are already on shaky floor initially of the episode, with Shiv scheming with Matsson, Roman fortunately aligning with President-Elect Mencken, and Kendall able to ditch Roman whereas concurrently having a disaster about his parenthood, or lack there of. It’s fairly enjoyable when Kendall periodically remembers that he has children — based on his ex-wife, Rava, their daughter Sophie has skilled a pointy improve in schoolyard bullying, because of the rhetoric being tossed round by Mencken and his camp.
By some means, it by no means turns into simpler to look at these siblings disintegrate — each second of stability and care is undercut by episodes like “America Decides,” wherein probably the most vicious and toxic fights between the surviving Roys happens. Sarah Snook is reliably unbelievable all through Succession, however Season 4 has actually given her alternatives to shine greater than ever earlier than. The magic of this present, total, is in its potential to make us care about these horrible, no-good, very unhealthy individuals — Snook is so layered as an actress that it’s extremely simple to overlook that, usually, Shiv isn’t an excellent particular person! In any respect! On the finish of the day, Shiv is absolutely solely looking for Shiv.
That being mentioned, seeing Shiv getting emotionally battered all through nearly the entire episode verges on insufferable. Tom is in one of many worst headspaces we’ve witnessed all through the present’s whole run; election evening seems like a complete reverse of the resigned man we noticed able to go to jail all through the earlier season. If we thought the balcony battle was unhealthy, issues one way or the other worsen when Shiv’s pleas for liberty and equity fall on deaf ears, and a second of desperation pushes her to disclose her being pregnant to Tom. His ice-cold response, questioning if it’s simply one other “play,” is legitimately devastating.
There’s one other jarring second in the direction of the tip of the episode when Kendall mentions that the funeral hasn’t even taken place but. That is probably the most compressed season of Succession when it comes to timeline — the entire occasions we’ve seen within the eight episodes up to now have taken place days other than each other. Logan isn’t even within the floor but! When Shiv pleads with Tom, saying, “My father simply died,” she’s no exaggerating one bit.
Equally distressing is Roman’s continued spiral into chaos. He’s unmoored, and this episode reveals that Mencken is likely to be the lifeline to which he’s desperately determined to know. One second, Kendall is able to lower him unfastened and step into the CEO position solo; however when Shiv’s secret alliance with Matsson is revealed (courtesy of a cocaine-addled Greg), Kendall instantly falls into step together with his depressing youthful brother.
Like the remainder of America, we nearly forgot to say Connor Roy, who, sadly, didn’t get elected president. This episode left off with some cliffhanger power — even Willa (who was serving First Woman Stylish this episode) appeared involved by Connor’s menace of “the Con-heads coming,” and Kendall’s trip dwelling was tinged with some critical unrest. Succession has been identified to knock it out of the park with a stunning season finale or two, however this entire ultimate season has felt like a high-stakes, out-of-control trip. Tonight, we careened that a lot nearer to no matter destiny awaits us. Subsequent time: Logan’s funeral awaits.
New episodes of Succession premiere Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.