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‘Succession,’ Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: An Epic Blowout Between Tom and Shiv

Another shindig ends in disaster.  

tailgate party succession David Russell/HBO

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 7 of Succession

There have been more bad parties during Season four of Succession than perhaps the whole series combined. Logan’s birthday. Connor’s wedding. Last night’s tailgate. The pre-election gathering that was supposed to be a high-powered celebration of influential politicians and leaders ended up being an epic battle between Shiv and Tom, Kendall and Matsson, Roman and Gerri, Roman and Willa, and Matsson and Ebba. Honestly, no one was really paying attention to the polls—except for Connor.

Naturally, Shiv (like all the other partygoers) had her own agenda for the evening: Make sure Matsson is on his best behavior and pretend like she was babysitting him for the sake of her brothers. Of course, Roman and Kendall are too focused on taking down the Swede to even realize their sister, who’ve they cut out, is working against them and feeding information to the enemy.

By the time the episode ends, we learn that GoJo’s subscriber stats in India “are a little funky.” (A little?) Meaning, the Waystar deal will likely go down the drain. This sends Shiv into a spiral, and subsequently, Tom, who both partake in a venomous attack on one another that seems next to impossible to come back from.  

Sarah Snook and Alexander Skarsgård in Season 4, Episode 7 of Succession David Russell/HBO

Up Right Now: Willa and Connor  

The last time we saw these two was when they were standing at the altar, tying the knot hours after Logan’s passing. The newlyweds appear to be going strong at the tailgate, that is, until Roman tries to get Connor to drop out of the race per Mencken’s request. Connor is appalled at first but intrigued by Mencken’s ambassadorship offer. For a moment, he considers moving to Oman, and tries to get his “wife” (air quotes courtesy of Roman) on board with the idea as well.  

Ultimately, he rejects the offer, and Willa adds that Connor has simply come too far to give up his candidacy now. Roman, who embarks on yet another tirade, tells his older brother that everyone in the room thinks he’s “a fucking joke.” That is, except for Willa. Later, Roman gets a tongue lashing of his own from Gerri, whom he fired last episode. During their encounter, she threatens to expose him for exposing himself to her if she doesn’t get exactly what she wants.

It’s also worth noting that Connor is the only one of the Roy siblings planning their dad’s funeral, even though Logan was in the air on the way to see Matsson when he died and not attending his son’s wedding. Roman eventually volunteers to deliver the eulogy at the service.

Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck in ‘Tailgate Party’ David Russell/HBO

Stuck Right Now: Shiv and Tom 

Ah, the scorpion and the snake. At the start of “Tailgate Party,” Tom gives Shiv a piece of predatory arachnid artwork as some sort of gag gift. “I love you, but you kill me, and I kill you,” he explains. Get it? It’s definitely not funny, and Shiv certainly isn’t laughing, but it does make sense as we get further into the episode.  

Last week, we saw these two rekindle their toxic romance, and now, they think they’re fit to play host. After prepping for the event, Tom can barely keep his eyes open and in hindsight probably should’ve just gone to bed. Over the course of the night, he swallows insult after insult and overhears jokes about his impending termination. That said, if he gets the boot, let’s hope Greg lets him off easy. Shiv, who was within earshot of many of the digs, fails to defend her husband and even joins in on mocking him. To make things worse, her ex, Nate, was also invited to the party.

The six-minute balcony blowout that ensues is the worst fight we’ve seen Shiv and Tom get into. After latching back onto Tom, Shiv is now wondering whether she picked the wrong horse (Matsson). Tom, on the other hand, is also questioning his fate now that the only guy pulling for him is dead. The two continue on to deliver some seriously low blows. Shiv calls Tom a snake and says that she only accepted his proposal in the first place because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He then goes on to tell her that she’s incapable of love and that she isn’t a good person to have children. In all fairness, he doesn’t know she’s pregnant. And we still don’t know if the baby is his.  

Reverse Viking  

Unfortunately for Matsson, there’s only one India. At the party, Matsson gets into a scuffle with Ebba, GoJo’s head of communications (the same one he mailed the blood brick and locks of hair to). She excuses herself, and Kendall and Roman waste no time getting the details of Matsson’s wrongdoings, including inflating the company’s subscriber numbers in India. Kendall pulls Frank aside and suggests that they go “reverse Viking.” Meaning, Waystar acquires GoJo instead, rather than selling. “One head, one crown,” Kendall says. If they decide to do this, he’s going to make sure he gets all the credit.  

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