Election Day is almost here on Succession, but one key partnership might be fractured before the votes are even counted.
Tom is in a good mood as Sunday’s episode opens, bringing Shiv breakfast along with a new poll that shows Jimenez ahead of Mencken by four points on election eve. They’re hosting a pre-election party that night, and Tom also gives Shiv a gift for being “such a hot piece of ass”: a scorpion encased in glass. He meant it as a joke… but she’s not laughing. Meanwhile, Kendall’s ex-wife Rava tells him their daughter Sophie was racially bullied by a guy on the street wearing a T-shirt supporting ATN’s firebrand anchor Mark Ravenhead. Kendall is devastated and tries to blame Rava at first, but she turns it around on him for “running a racist f–king news organization.” Kendall fires back, “I will do anything to protect her”… but would he really, though?
Roman is trying to dig up dirt on Matsson as he meets Kendall, Shiv and Connor for breakfast, and Connor wants to lock down the plans for Logan’s funeral: “We really want a tight 90.” They can’t decide which of them should speak at the funeral, so they table that for now. Oh, and Kendall asks Shiv if he can invite her ex Nate (!) to her party, since he’s high up in the Jimenez campaign and may be able to tie up the GoJo deal with government red tape. Shiv says fine… but she runs to her phone to rat him out to Matsson, telling him he needs to be at the party to smooth things over. She’s also trading dirty texts with Tom (“Sorry if I broke your d–k last night”) while he fakes some crocodile tears as he fires a bunch of Waystar staffers over Zoom, handing it over to Greg to drop the axe. “This is a very sad day,” Greg says as he ends the meeting without even unmuting the fired employees. Waystar: a company that cares.
At the party, caterers are putting tiny American flags in mini hamburgers, and Tom is already exhausted from all the election prep (and all the sex). His face falls further, though, when Shiv tells him Nate is coming, and he gives Nate an awkward greeting when he arrives. Mencken’s people know the polls look bad, so they ask Roman to get Connor to drop out of the race, thinking his one percent could push them over the top. Connor refuses, so Roman says Mencken could offer him an ambassadorship in Mogadishu. “A little bit car bomb-y,” Connor says, preferring a cushy UN post. Kendall makes a speech, offering a tribute to Logan (“We watch history, we make history, and then one day, we become it”) and then asking for a moment of silence. Just when the room falls silent, Matsson barges in with his GoJo cronies Oskar and Ebba, wearing a flashy jacket that’s straight out of Ryan Gosling’s closet in Drive.
Shiv pretends not to know why he’s here, and Matsson compliments her place — and asks who gets it in the divorce. (Shiv and Tom laugh, but Matsson doesn’t.) He pulls Shiv aside, and she coaches him on who to talk to and how to behave. He gets it: “Don’t scream ‘People are data’ and stick my d–k in the guac.” Connor and his advisor Maxim Pierce tell Roman that Mogadishu is an insult, and Connor also rejects Slovenia or Slovakia: “I think I’m a no on the Slos.” His ears perk up, though, when Roman suggests Oman. It’s “a rich man’s Yemen”! Nate tells Matsson that Jimenez is concerned about who will control all the customer data once GoJo buys Waystar, and Matsson assures him he’s a better option than the “failsons,” aka Ken and Roman. He also wants to make changes at ATN — as he eyes Tom across the room. Nate then offers Kendall his condolences, but Kendall quickly pivots to trashing the GoJo deal, which he says is “headed to the woodshed.” If the Jimenez administration clamps down on it with government regulators, he offers, “we give you a better ride in the first hundred days.”
Shiv congratulates Matsson on how well he’s working the room, but she adds that she wants “a very, very, very significant role” in the new company. He promises to think about it, but he might not have time: Roman tells Kendall that his snoops found out about Matsson sending his blood to Ebba. Kendall tries to pull in Nate, but he’s not “comfortable with the tenor of this situation” and doesn’t want to get into bed with ATN. When Kendall persists, Nate flatly tells him he’s not Gil, “and you’re not Logan.” (Oof.) While Connor tries to sell Willa on the perks of Oman (diplomatic plates!), Greg inserts himself into Matsson’s conversation with Oskar and Ebba. They’re impressed, though, when Greg tells them about all the people he’s fired. Matsson says he wants to fire Ebba, but he can’t: “You have sort of tenure, because we mingled.” Ebba storms off in a huff, and Kendall and Roman follow her, offering sympathy but also bringing up the whole blood-sending thing. “That’s pretty much the least of his worries right now,” she counters, adding one more word: “India.”
Kendall and Roman run to tell Shiv the news: Matsson hugely inflated GoJo’s subscriber numbers in India. Shiv confronts Matsson about it, and he admits the India numbers were doubled by mistake. But “you can fix it, though, right?” he asks. Elsewhere, Roman tries to apologize for firing Gerri (“I was just feeling kind of fire-ish”), but she informs him that she’s retained counsel and wants a big payout or else she’ll sue and expose all his obscene texts. To twist the knife, she tells him: “I could’ve gotten you there. But nope.” So Roman is already upset when Connor tells him he’s staying in the race after all. Roman lashes out: “Everyone in this room thinks you’re a f–king joke.” Plus, Matsson is badmouthing New York City (how dare he!), and he and Kendall spar back and forth, with Kendall calling his numbers “literally unbelievable” and Matsson calling Kendall’s numbers, um, “gay.” In the end, they both insist they love the deal and hug it out.
You know who’s not hugging it out, though? Shiv and Tom. She joins him for a private talk on the balcony, and she’s panicking about Matsson: “There is a time bomb in his numbers, and I might get blown up.” But he knows she’s the one telling the whole party that he might get fired, assuring her “you will do whatever you need” to survive. She’s hurt, and brings up the scorpion, telling him: “You’re a f–king snake.” He calls her selfish and says she shouldn’t have married him, and she explains it by saying her dad was dying and “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.” It gets more brutal: She calls him “a conservative hick,” accusing him of “f—king me for my DNA” and bringing up the fact that he betrayed her to side with Logan. He reminds her how she was ready to let him go to prison, “and you won’t have my baby.” In fact, he calls her “incapable of love” and “maybe not a good person to have children.” That leaves her stunned (especially since we know what he doesn’t), and she hits him with: “You took away the last six months I could’ve had with my dad.” He says he tried to give her the approval Logan never did, “but it doesn’t fill you up, because you’re broken.” She lowers the boom — “I don’t like you. I don’t even care about you… You don’t deserve me, and you never did” — before drying her eyes and walking back into the party. Wow.
As the party winds down, Kendall pulls Frank aside and spills the beans about the India numbers, suggesting they go “reverse Viking” with Waystar acquiring GoJo instead. When Frank asks about Roman and Shiv, Kendall shrugs them off: “I love them, but I’m not in love with them. One head, one crown.” Tom tells the whole party he’s going to bed and they need to leave, though they laugh him off as he heads off to his bedroom. “F—k Tom,” Shiv declares, and Kendall and Roman agree with that sentiment. Roman offers to deliver the eulogy at Logan’s funeral, and the other two say that’s fine with them. That night, Shiv and Tom sleep in separate beds… but as tired as he is, Tom can only lie awake.
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