Succession

Tools    





The Adventure Starts Here!
WARNING: "Spoilers and theories" spoilers below
Shiv's progression of thought in the finale is clearer to me than it was Sunday night while watching the finale.

Matsson asks her about Tom, and she probably thinks she's putting him down by telling Matsson that Tom would "suck the biggest d*** in the room." She wrongly assumed that Matsson would want someone strong and powerful in the CEO spot, and she therefore tried to play down Tom and play up herself.

This, of course, backfired on her because Matsson prefers someone who'd kowtow to him. Someone more like Tom. Once Shiv finds out (via Greg-Kendall-confirmations) that she's been played and she won't be CEO after all, she knee-jerk reacts and bonds with her siblings (partly because they were all together when the new facts of the situation became known). And she decides to let Kendall be crowned CEO after spoiling the GoJo deal.

And yet...

At the last minute, her second thoughts kick in (after Kendall's denouncing of his own murder confession to his sibs a season earlier), and she votes with GoJo/Matsson. When we see her in the car with Tom at the end, and he offers her his hand...and she quietly and nonenthusiastically takes it...well, it's clear that she knows she'd have more power as the CEO's wife (and the mother of his child soon) than if she'd have let Kendall the Power Hungry take over.

Of the three Roy sibs in contention for the CEO spot, she comes the closest... and frankly, is probably better off than if she had been CEO all on her own. She wasn't really ready for that sort of power. She's not as cutthroat as Kendall would have been as Waystar RoyCo CEO. And Tom will be CEO of the new merged GoJo entity, following Matsson by being led by the nose. But Shiv will be right there alongside him.

Roman is back to being free of the company, which, as we remember, is where he was at the beginning. He got pulled in without wanting to be pulled in, so he's back in more comfortable territory now.

It's only Kendall, really, who has completely lost his bearings. His blank stare at the end tells it all.

Of course, all three of them are now even richer than they were before, so I wouldn't find a single tear for someone in Kendall's shoes. His very, very expensive, Italian leather, handmade shoes, I'm sure.


I'm happy to report that finale took away virtually all of my frustration about the show. I still don't like ANY of them, but their interwoven story came full circle and had an ending that made sense--and that none of us really predicted, somehow. Bravo.



I can't stop hearing a posh English accent in my head saying "Peter doesn't like the nobbies".
Iím told at least once a week what a beautiful British accent I have (I donít), but Harrietís voice is exquisite. What we call ďcut glassĒ.
__________________
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



Thoughts after watching the finale twice:

Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Park Avenue R.C. church where Logan had his funeral, is where Jackie Kennedy had hers.

Is it weird that I have a crush on Oscar, Mattsonís go-to-guy from Iceland?

Willa decorating the house with a cow fabric sofa & getting rid of everything else.

Kendall calling his new assistant ďNew JessĒ. Hilarious. Jess was the only one who broke free on her own terms.

Karolina trying to get rid of Hugo & vice versa.

Willa would rather stay in Manhattan than go to Slovenia with Connor. What a surprise.



That scene near the beginning of the series finale with Shiv and Mattson was pretty much incomprehensible, except for the fact that Shiv has no problem with throwing Tom under the bus. Roman with his mother? What's that about? Shiv an d Tom are in such a dark and confusing place. Can't believe Kendall still trusts Stewie. How has this whole thing come down to Roman? "I'm cutting heads and harvesting eyeballs." Mattson was really talking code with Tom, I don't know what was going on there. "Are you trying to tie Mommie's
apron strings around Roman's nuts?" I felt bad for Shiv, but what Mattson did didn't surprise me. I do like the fact that it might reunite the siblings. Wow, the siblings were pulled apart just as quickly as it seems they were coming together. "He would be unbearable and you would be a disaster." "You guys, I'd like a word with you...in my ass." The siblings in the kitchen was funny, but went on a little longer than necessary. Did I miss a will reading where Conner was left the house? Loved Conner's take on "I'm a little teapot." Tom and Greg fighting in the bathroom...that was awesome! Mattson's got Frank and Stewie? When did that happen? Loved that moment when Kendall sat in Logan's chair. "I love you, but I cannot f*cking stomach you." Jeremy Strong really nailed Kendall's desperation with Shiv and Roman. In a nutshell, not too many surprises, there were plot points that I would have liked to have been explored further, but all in all, a pretty solid series finale.



I didnít like the finale.

I do have a question though. Why do you think Shiv made the decision that she did? I really donít understand that, and the brief comments she provided beforehand really didnít explain her motivation or the rationale for her vote.



The Adventure Starts Here!
I didnít like the finale.

I do have a question though. Why do you think Shiv made the decision that she did? I really donít understand that, and the brief comments she provided beforehand really didnít explain her motivation or the rationale for her vote.
See my spoiler-hidden comment in this thread a few bumps up. That's how I viewed Shiv's decisions in the finale.



Professional horse shoe straightener
See my spoiler-hidden comment in this thread a few bumps up. That's how I viewed Shiv's decisions in the finale.
Yeah your summary is spot on.

Also Roman's 'Bloodline' comment. Shiv's baby is literally a human combination of Waystar and Gojo....that has to wield some power.



So, to boil it down to the essential argument, the reason Shiv changed her mind is because she thought that she'd have a greater ability to influence the direction of the company by Tom being CEO than Kendall, since she could manipulate Tom more easily, and be in closer proximity to the seat of power as his wife than she would be as Kendall's sister. It was, essentially a power play? Does anyone disagree with that, or have a different rationale to discuss?



I think there are several reasons in addition to that one. Simple spite, not wanting her brother to have it. The director of the episode specifically said he thought seeing Kendall at Logan's desk, with his feet up, played a role. That and, slightly less cynical than just for power/influence with Tom, the fact that she's having his child and that's clearly led her to want some kind of reconciliation, if possible.

I also think she's literally telling the truth when she says "I don't think you'd be good at it." She's right, and I think it's basically a simple truth coming out only because we're in a situation where there's no point in making a move. There's no reason, for the first time, not to just say exactly what you think.



So, to boil it down to the essential argument, the reason Shiv changed her mind is because she thought that she'd have a greater ability to influence the direction of the company by Tom being CEO than Kendall, since she could manipulate Tom more easily, and be in closer proximity to the seat of power as his wife than she would be as Kendall's sister. It was, essentially a power play? Does anyone disagree with that, or have a different rationale to discuss?
Donít think I agree. Shivís always looking ahead & she was SHOCKED & UPSET that Tom was chosen. She didnít see that coming because she didnít think Mattson would betray her. I think she only realized what was happening when she was in the limo with Tom going home. Only then did she start to strategize internally.

I think there are several reasons in addition to that one. Simple spite, not wanting her brother to have it. The director of the episode specifically said he thought seeing Kendall at Logan's desk, with his feet up, played a role. That and, slightly less cynical than just for power/influence with Tom, the fact that she's having his child and that's clearly led her to want some kind of reconciliation, if possible.

I also think she's literally telling the truth when she says "I don't think you'd be good at it." She's right, and I think it's basically a simple truth coming out only because we're in a situation where there's no point in making a move. There's no reason, for the first time, not to just say exactly what you think.
Spite is totally right. Just the look on her face when she shook her head & told Kendall ďnoĒ said it all. She reverted to childhood as all of the Logan kids have done from time to time. Some more than others. And donít forget her famous line: ďI love you Kendall but I canít stomach you.Ē




I also think she's literally telling the truth when she says "I don't think you'd be good at it." She's right, and I think it's basically a simple truth coming out only because we're in a situation where there's no point in making a move. There's no reason, for the first time, not to just say exactly what you think.
Why do you think he wouldn't be good as CEO of the company? And, in addition to your own personal perspective, why do you think she thinks that? That's a pretty strong conclusion to make and very impactful.

I agree with you that by the end of the series, the impression I got was that she wanted to try to stay together with Tom, and letting him be CEO of the company, and being the deciding vote to make that happen, may have been partly motivated by an attempt at reconciliation.



Why do you think he wouldn't be good as CEO of the company?
We've really only seen him make mistakes. He talks a big game, but that's kinda all he does. All the children reflect only part of Logan, insufficient without the other parts, and the part Kendall reflects is just the "push ahead no matter what" ambition. He seems to think everything can be made to blow up and succeed if they just TRY harder enough, spend enough money, buy enough other things. But we haven't really seen any prudence from him.

Also, more broadly: he also wants it too much. He's not cold or calculating the way Logan is (witness Logan willing to sell, and happy about it, because he got such a good offer).

And, in addition to your own personal perspective, why do you think she thinks that? That's a pretty strong conclusion to make and very impactful.
Same reasons. He gets mocked about Vaulter multiple times in the last half of the final season, which I take to be the show kind of reminding us of why he might not actually know what he's doing (or why other people might think that).



Did I miss a will reading where Conner was left the house?
Marcia agreed to sell Connor the house literally when they were all gathered there pretty soon after Loganís death. A verbal agreement but I guess she honoured it.



Also, more broadly: he also wants it too much. He's not cold or calculating the way Logan is (witness Logan willing to sell, and happy about it, because he got such a good offer).
His desperate urge to be CEO definitely clouded his judgment. He could think of nothing else.



We've really only seen him make mistakes. He talks a big game, but that's kinda all he does. All the children reflect only part of Logan, insufficient without the other parts, and the part Kendall reflects is just the "push ahead no matter what" ambition. He seems to think everything can be made to blow up and succeed if they just TRY harder enough, spend enough money, buy enough other things. But we haven't really seen any prudence from him.

Also, more broadly: he also wants it too much. He's not cold or calculating the way Logan is (witness Logan willing to sell, and happy about it, because he got such a good offer).


Same reasons. He gets mocked about Vaulter multiple times in the last half of the final season, which I take to be the show kind of reminding us of why he might not actually know what he's doing (or why other people might think that).
Do you think any of the children would have done a good job running the company, or no, and why not? You've already answered this for Kendall. It seems to me that it feels wrong for someone not part of the family to run it, as I suspect that building a hugely successful company to leave to one's children is likely a big motivation for many wealthy people who achieve that unusual level of success.



Do you think any of the children would have done a good job running the company, or no, and why not?
No, for the reason alluded to in the last post (and expounded on a bit earlier in the thread, if you're curious): I think they all reflect one part of Logan's skillset, one thing they think made him what he was, but which is insufficient by itself. For Kendall it's the ambition, for Shiv it's the scheming, and for Roman it's the ruthlessness (as soon as he gets a whiff of power he starts "firing" people on a whim).

There's some other great stories with similar dynamics like The Lion in Winter, which is 100% an inspiration for this show, and which we did a podcast on some years back (great movie, BTW!).

It seems to me that it feels wrong for someone not part of the family to run it, as I suspect that building a hugely successful company to leave to one's children is likely a big motivation for many wealthy people who achieve that unusual level of success.
It certainly is, but in this case I think they showed us Logan didn't think any of them really had what it takes. He was irreplaceable, at least internally, and he knew it, which is why he was happy to string all of them along whenever it was useful.

It was made pretty plain in actions, and then words, and then the show hit us over the head with it down the stretch just to be safe, where one of the last things he says to any/all of them are "you are not serious people."



It was made pretty plain in actions, and then words, and then the show hit us over the head with it down the stretch just to be safe, where one of the last things he says to any/all of them are "you are not serious people."
Thanks so much for your thought on this. I agree with you that Logan didn't think any of his children were capable of leading the company, but that doesn't really prove they aren't capable. It's his opinion. It's an important data point, but arguably, not objectively determinative. It's interesting that you feel that the intent of that scene and the actions they took over the course of the show was to demonstrably show that they weren't capable of leading the company. I'm not sure I've ever heard the creators say that was their intent, so it could be true, and I see how you might be right, but I'm unsure of their intent, as it is a common trait in narcissistic people, of which Logan was definitely one, that nothing their children ever did or could do was good enough for him, and that he'd always see his kids as subordinate to himself and not as worthy or as talented, and that the kids efforts to prove otherwise were entirely futile. This was very clearly also a theme throughout the show.

I can definitely see where you are coming from though. I think an example which supports your point view is the scene with Nan Pierce in this last season when they were negotiating how much to pay to acquire her company. They were so focused on beating Logan that they didn't really consider how much her company was actually worth, so the deal they struck, which I'm not sure was ever consummated, resulted in them way overpaying. They never took the time to research what they should actually be paying for the company. They also didn't think strategically enough about what she would be willing to accept. They just threw random numbers out there without much of a basis grounding those numbers. Their sole focus was acquiring it so that their Dad would not get it. That did show very poor business acumen. Logan, in contrast, would have known how much the company was worth and also what the lowest acceptable bid would be that Nan Pierce would have accepted, based on his strategic point of view and decades long experience in this business dealing with these sorts of people and acquisitions.Have you ever heard the creators say showing that none of the kids were capable was part of their intent? I have not, and would be very interested to learn if the creators have spoken to that at any time.

Does everyone agree that none of the kids were capable and that that was the intent of the creators to show that by the end of the show? Does anyone have a different point of view, and why?