Things have been totally chaotic at Waystar Royco ever since Logan Roy’s passing in episode 3. Each of the Roy siblings seems to have their own vision for how to run the company and they’re just not able to stay on the same page.
This week’s episode is mainly focused on the night of the presidential election, which also happens to be the eve of Logan Roy’s funeral. The clashing interests of the Roy siblings causes problems when they argue over how to cover the election on ATN News.
Episode 8 of Succession season 4 ends with Jeryd Mencken winning the presidential election. Tom makes the call to declare the race early and the events leading up to this decision include Shiv’s secret being revealed to her family.
Shiv also confirms the pregnancy theory, something we’ve been speculating for a while now. As we’re getting closer and closer to the finale, we’re seeing more shocking twists that could potentially have a huge impact on the way the series ends.
1. Connor drops out of the race
Connor’s major storyline this season has been his campaign for President of the United States. Although he’s well aware that he’s not going to win, he holds out hope to get at least 1% of the votes.
In one of the previous episodes, Roman offers Connor a deal where he promises to give Connor a government job in a foreign country in exchange for removing his name from the race. Roman offers the deal so that he can get Connor’s voter base to turn towards Mencken instead.
Connor initially rejects Roman’s proposal but after he realizes how bleakly the elections are going for him, he contacts Roman for another deal and consequently drops out of the race. Roman and Mencken reward Connor with a governmental job in Slovenia.
However, Connor’s controversial concession speech could later prove to be a dangerous move on his part.
2. Shiv’s secret is brought to light
While Kendall and Roman are hatching plans to get the GoJo takeover deal cancelled, Shiv is making arrangements with the enemy to make sure her fate is secured once the deal goes through.
Shiv knows her prospects of becoming the Waystar Royco CEO are low. So, she starts feeding Lukas Matsson confidential information about the company to remain loyal to GoJo and possibly earn a good position in it once the takeover is complete.
She manages to keep this side-quest of hers a secret for quite some time; that is up until this episode. Greg finds out about Shiv’s con after he goes out for drinks with Lukas the previous night. He decides to hold on to the information for leverage, but it doesn’t take too long before he lets it out.
Greg tells Kendall about Shiv’s secret and soon after even Roman finds out. They feel betrayed by their sister and react impulsively on discovering the truth. Shiv feels horrible about her brothers finding out, but she still thinks she had no other choice but to save herself.
We’ll just have to wait for the next episode to see the bigger repercussions of Shiv’s actions.
3. Kendall picks a side
Both Roman and Shiv are clear about their choices for the next President of the United States, but Kendall remains torn between the two for most of the episode.
Roman obviously wants Mencken to win because Mencken has already promised to kill the GoJo deal if he gets elected. On the other hand, Shiv chooses Daniel Jimenez because she believes Mencken is a fascist.
Kendall sees advantages from both sides: choosing Mencken means no GoJo deal, and he gets to stay CEO, but choosing Jimenez means they won’t be electing a fascist and his daughter will also stop becoming a target for protesters.
Kendall tries to play smart by asking Shiv to talk to Nate about Jimenez blocking the GoJo deal. But after he finds out that Shiv never actually made the call and her secret with Lukas is also revealed, he decides to side with Roman and Mencken.
Kendall’s choice could prove to be another threat to his daughter’s safety which means he’ll probably come to regret this decision in the near future.
4. Mencken wins the election
The race between Republican Jeryd Mencken and Democrat Daniel Jimenez comes really close. But after news breaks out about a polling center in Wisconsin going up in flames, Mencken gets a lead.
It is believed that the undetermined number of ballots from Wisconsin could have swung the election in Jimenez’s direction. But with no way to be sure, the ballots remain unaccounted for.
Back at ATN, the Roy siblings and Tom are trying to come to a decision about who to declare as the president-elect. Shiv believes they should wait until they get more news about Wisconsin while Roman wants them to call the race in Mencken’s Favour because of his current lead.
Once Kendall takes Roman’s side, Tom decides to call the race and ATN declares Mencken the next President of the United States.
Tom’s decision however could have a huge impact on his career down the line and even get ATN tangled in various lawsuits. These lawsuits in turn could have effects on Waystar Royco’s deal with GoJo.
5. Shiv’s pregnancy reveal
The Succession writers have been dropping hints about Shiv’s pregnancy for quite a few episodes, but we don’t get an official reveal until episode 8.
While Shiv and Tom are talking about their heated discussion from episode 7, Shiv tells Tom that she is pregnant with his child. The unexpected reveal was intentional on Shiv’s part as she was using it to hurt Tom.
Tom reacts poorly to the news because he believes Shiv is trying to mess with his emotions by lying to him. This seems natural considering the things Shiv has put him through in the past.
It’s a heart-breaking moment for the couple because of how far from repair their relationship has become right now. It’s possible that the baby could change this fact but with only two episodes left in the series, it’s unlikely that we’ll see it happen.
Episode 9 of Succession season 4 releases on May 21, 2023 on HBO.
6. About Succession
Succession is a satirical comedy-drama TV series created by Jesse Armstrong for HBO. The American TV series first aired on HBO on June 3, 2018 and has four seasons.
It follows the Roy family who are owners of the conglomerate media house WayStar RoyCo. With patriarch Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) health on a steady decline, the heirs of the family business rival against each other for their rightful succession.
Part of the ensemble cast as Logan Roy’s children are Jeremy Strong playing Kendall, Kieran Culkin playing Roman, and Sarah Snook playing Siobhan.