It’s Friday, which means Succession’s newest installment is around the corner. What can we expect from Episode 7? Read along as we examine one burning question heading into the next chapter of Succession’s final season.
The burning question heading into Episode 7: The Roy family is preparing to host a “tailgate party” ahead of the presidential election. Who has the most at stake in this election, and why?
Ben Lindbergh: The American people? Just kidding—no one on Succession gives a flying fuck about them. To be honest, the election has been far from my mind because Jeryd Mencken has been far from sight: His scenes from the trailer were seemingly cut from Episode 4, which means we haven’t seen him in the flesh for a full season. Nor have we met the Democratic nominee, Daniel Jimenez. As far as the show goes, Mencken and Jimenez matter only insofar as they affect the characters we care about (or, at least, are accustomed to seeing on-screen). The Roys’ riches insulate them from truly feeling the effects of either candidate’s policies, but Shiv, Roman, and Kendall can clash over their political ties, and the fact that ATN’s role in the presidential race is shaping up to be a big part of Succession’s endgame suggests that Shiv and Roman won’t be doing “the huggy thing” on election night. Even so, I’m most concerned for their eldest sibling. We haven’t heard how Logan’s death has affected Conn’s polling numbers, but I don’t think there’s a sympathy bump big enough to push the 1 percenter much higher than 1 percent. And as unlikely as a win always was, another loss could still be upsetting for the recently bereaved failson, who was so interested in politics at a very young age.
Katie Baker: [Lowers voice to a whisper] I … am not entirely sure? “The election” in this show has always felt like a vague realm to me, though not necessarily in a bad way. (It reminds me of the early “Did the president call?” recurring gag on Veep: The less the viewer knows about what’s really going on out in the world, the funnier and darker it is.) To be fair, I know that Connor is still out there striving for that 1 percent and that a fascist whom Logan described as a “spooky embryo” has a good shot at winning the White House, which seems ominous for people not surnamed Roy. But in general, it seems like Succession’s earlier seasons included a lot more political context and minor political characters—like ol’ Nate Sofrelli, the Dan Egan of our time. In conclusion, let me know when Peter Munion decides to run for the House of Lords.
Austin Gayle: Shiv freaking Roy! The episode preview shows enough of Shiv’s boy toys that you can’t rule out Woody and Buzz making an appearance. Tom has weaseled himself back into filling a slot on her Google Calendar between grief sessions. Lukas is just a couple of bumps away from adding her to the distribution list for his frozen blood bricks. Oh, and Nate Sofrelli is back from the dead. With all of her options open, Shiv will have each of them hanging off her arm playing bitey while she decides who has the teeth to take her to the top of the food chain. Winner is a new dad in four months.
Kai Grady: If history is any indication, parties always serve as eventful occasions of contention within the Succession universe (look no further than “Too Much Birthday” from Season 3), which is to say that the upcoming election “tailgate party” will be no different. In addition to that, the stakes for the Roy clan are arguably the highest they’ve ever been, both because of their deteriorating personal relationships with one another and because the keys to the Waystar kingdom are hanging in the balance. That said, I think it’s Kendall who has the most at stake in this election, although my honorable mention goes to Connor and his hard-fought 1 percent. Ken had a massive win onstage last week despite his sister’s shady attempts to make him crash and burn, as well as Roman’s last-minute dropout. Our no. 1 boy is on cloud nine right now, and it’s either now or never for him to take the reins. I’m under the assumption that “Tailgate Party” will feature the much-awaited return of far-right presidential candidate Jeryd Mencken. If Ken is able to bring Mencken into the fold, get his ear, and form a behind-the-scenes alliance with him—akin to that of Shiv and Matsson—he’ll have a significant leg up on the competition.
Aric Jenkins: I’m going to agree with Kai here: Kendall has everything on the line. If he’s successful in his bid to stave off Matsson’s acquisition of Waystar, who else would sit on the Waystar throne? Roman? After he impulsively fired two senior officials for no reason other than his daddy issues? Shiv, who would likely be on the outs after secretly allying herself with the Swede? If Kendall takes—or keeps, really—the crown, he’ll need the support of the country’s most powerful leaders and luminaries, and who’s more powerful than the president of the United States? Logan’s relationships with past politicians were a key part of his ability to build up his Waystar empire without resistance, and given that Kendall has shown an ambition to expand and to purchase competing companies, he’ll need the backing of the government to avoid regulatory challenges—and to keep some of Waystar’s darker secrets out of the public eye. Mencken 2024? I sure hope not, but Kendall definitely does.