How a Being pregnant on ‘Succession’ Defined the Complete Collection

How a Being pregnant on ‘Succession’ Defined the Complete Collection


In Shiv, what is commonly a cliché storyline grew to become each poignant and tragic within the HBO present’s finale.

Shiv and Tom from "Succession" sitting in the back of a car in a scene from the show's finale

This text accommodates spoilers by means of the Season 4 finale of Succession.

“The journey we went on with the amniocentesis after what the blood check confirmed us—every part appears wholesome.” With these understated phrases uttered by a health care provider over the cellphone, we realized in Episode 4 of Succession’s remaining season that Shiv Roy (performed fantastically by Sarah Snook) was pregnant. However within the episodes that adopted, the present hardly acknowledged her impending motherhood. When her husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), lastly heard the information, sputtering, “Is that even true? Is {that a} new place or a tactic or what?,” his confusion mirrored my very own. What was this being pregnant?

It’s a well-documented trope in tv that feminine characters in late seasons turn into unexpectedly pregnant. Think about Hannah in Women, or Rachel in Associates. Motherhood is probably the most dramatic endgame conceivable for a girl, these reveals appear to say. Can a mom retain her sense of self? Will she develop out of her childishness? In Women, Hannah is compelled to give up her flippancy about cash and her promiscuity; she matures into somebody who faces her issues head on. But Succession was by no means in regards to the private development of its characters—if something, it showcased the inevitable resurfacing of their worst qualities. I puzzled whether or not Shiv’s improvement was a dramatic wrench to intensify the strain between her and Tom as their marriage faltered. Possibly it was only a easy method to accommodate Snook’s personal being pregnant. However after the present’s finale aired on Sunday, I noticed that it did a lot extra. Shiv’s imminent parenthood defined the collection’ basic themes—and offered its remaining tragedy.

Towards the top of the final episode, the siblings Roman (Kieran Culkin), Kendall (Jeremy Robust), and Shiv argue one final time about who ought to lead Waystar Royco, the corporate their father based. Kendall insists that he’s probably the most certified individual to meet their father’s want—which, in response to Kendall, is that the household continues to personal the agency. Roman responds by saying that Shiv is the true bearer of the household’s bloodline. He calls Kendall’s youngsters—an adopted daughter and, Roman hints, a son presumably conceived through sperm donor—a “pair of randos.” Roman’s implication is that they aren’t actual Roys. The one one who might maintain the corporate within the household for the subsequent era is the lately pregnant Shiv.

On reflection, it is sensible that the present would use Shiv to convey its remaining tragic observe. Shiv’s expertise as Logan’s daughter has all the time been totally different from that of Logan’s sons. After we are launched to her within the first episode of Season 1, she hasn’t labored within the household agency: She is aware of she should discover her profession worth elsewhere as a result of the company’s misogyny implies that nobody inside it’s going to see her as a possible inheritor. As a result of she’s a lady, she will by no means totally interact in her brothers’ shared delusions of being the subsequent iteration of their father. However this similar high quality—her gender, her standing as a mother-to-be who carries Logan’s grandchild—retains her tethered to the corporate, even after her brothers have been minimize out. Within the finale, Tom is topped the brand new CEO of Waystar Royco, and Shiv is carrying their child.

That is the true perform of Shiv’s being pregnant in Succession. To not launch her into being a greater model of herself—she remains to be hampered by her womanhood, in the end discounted by Waystar Royco’s new proprietor Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) and her personal brothers. Moderately, her being pregnant indicators that distress—the actual birthright of the Roy youngsters—might be inherited by the subsequent era.

You’ll be able to see this in Shiv’s remaining scene, the place she’s sitting subsequent to Tom in a darkened automotive as he holds his hand out for hers. She stoically complies. Shiv might need facilitated Tom’s ascent, however she is—deliberately or not—repeating historical past, simply because the youngster she’s carrying will. At its core, Succession is a tragedy. Every character ends their journey simply as sad as they’ve all the time been. However the present can be in regards to the legacy of tragedy. It’s not sufficient for Logan’s youngsters to really feel sorrow; they need to additionally prolong the household’s curse into the longer term.