‘Succession’ Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: ‘Tailgate Party’

·26-min read

Following breakouts to the Norwegian mountains and Hollywood Hills, “Succession” found the walls of a single Manhattan location closing in again for Episode 7, titled “Tailgate Party.”

While not quite as claustrophobic as the season’s fourth episode, set entirely in the late Logan Roy’s penthouse, this presidential election eve shindig at Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom Wambsgans’ (Matthew Macfadyen) high-rise triplex is even more emotionally fraught. Shiv’s brothers Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) maneuver to block the sale of family media empire Waystar to goofy Swedish online mogul — and unwelcome guest — Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), while trying to put out smaller fires that the looming election and their own incompetence have ignited. It all leads up to the five-and-a-half minute, knockdown dragout fight between Shiv and Tom that we’ve been waiting for since Season 1.

Maybe they should have just barbequed off the back of a Ford F-350.

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Scorpion Love Stories

The morning of, a designer-suited Tom carries a tray with a chef-prepared meal and a gift box into a room where Shiv, on a couch in sweats, is working on her laptop.

“Oh Rasmussen. Rasmussen!” her husband trills, “It’s election eve and guess what Father Sexmas has brought you? Hot, fresh polling!”

Shiv looks at the sheets Tom hands her. Daniel Jimenez, the Democrat, is up by four. How is ATN going to handle that, she wonders. Tom, who heads the right wing news network, rattles off how they can deflect the information.

Matsson texts Shiv. He wants to know what her brothers are up to. Tom asks if he’s coming to their party that night. Shiv reads his text.

“No. He doesn’t want to swim around my Dad’s ‘bull—t, pre-election grandad AOL era legacy media putrid stuffed mushroom f—kfest.’”

Tom hands Shiv the gift box for being “such a hot piece of ass, such a foxy little minx.” She agrees that it’ll be nice to tell people they’re back together after a substantial break, then opens the box. It’s a big black scorpion encased in a crystal brick. Tom chuckles. Shiv’s not amused. He tries to tell her it’s a silly joke.

“I love you. Honey. But you kill me and I kill you.”

Jeremy Strong and Natalie Gold in a still from “Succession”. (David M. Russell/HBO)
Jeremy Strong and Natalie Gold in a still from “Succession”. (David M. Russell/HBO)

“I get it. Huh. I like it.” She tells him to get to work. “Gotta contribute to the Great Toxification.”
Kendall meets ex-wife Rava (Natalie Gold) outside a coffee house. She tells him their daughter Sophie doesn’t want to go to school. Classmates have started an anti-ATN “thing.” And someone with an agenda seemed to push her on the street. Ken gets upset about the latter, sort of accuses Rava of being negligent when it happened.

“I’m not blaming you,” he lies. “I’m just trying to get all of the information.

“I was raising our daughter while you were f—g running a racist news organization,” she spits back indignantly.

More cursing is exchanged. She just wants him to call Sophie.

“Well, obviously. Jesus Rava, what kind of parent do you think I am? You have no idea of the things I’m doing, the things I’m working on. Six continents! I’m breaking my back and it’s all for them, OK? To make the world safe!”

She snorts a laugh while walking away.

Roman’s on his phone in a limo, telling an operative to dig up dirt on Matsson.

“There’s due diligence but this is undue diligence, OK?” he says of the buyout deal that they “love.”

Rome joins Shiv and their half-brother at a sleek upscale restaurant. Losing independent presidential candidate Connor just came from seeing Pop.

“Looking good,” the eldest, who’s also been put in charge of Logan’s funeral, thumbs up. “Woke up on the right side of the coffin today. The weird thing, honestly, is how much he’s not there. I find that consoling.”

Kendall walks in late, apologizes.

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“There he is, Kendall-plus,” Shiv says, referencing Kendall’s recent, phony-but-successful presentation of retirement community scheme Living+ to Waystar investors. “The man who is going to lead us to eternal life. Waystar Jesus!” Then she gleefully asks if they’ve seen the day’s polling.

“Oh, so that’s why you’re all perky,” Roman tells his liberal sister. “Very exciting. I’m sure your Red Guards are all ready to come round up the thought criminals and turn police stations into cuddle puddles.”

“The exciting part isn’t the top line,” Connor needs to interject. “In Alaska, I’m exploding. Four, five, six percent!”

Connor gets down to business. He’s concerned the funeral will turn into a three-day grief-a-thon if everyone’s wishes are met. Who’s going to speak at a tight 90?

“In front of the most powerful political, cultural and business interests in the world?” Shiv wants to know.

They agree to let the most interested sibling come forward.

Connor leaves. Kendall tells Shiv they want to invite her ex-lover Nate to the tailgate party she’s hosting. He’s a figure in Jimenez’s campaign and his showing up could be interpreted as a regulatory threat to GoJo’s purchase of Waystar. The CEBros leave. Shiv calls GoJo boss Matsson to warn him, and that he needs to be at her party tonight. She then sexts with Tom about last night’s lovemaking.

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Confusion in the Chats

Walking into an ATN conference room with Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), Tom responds to Shiv’s suggestive message. Monitors with dozens of Waystar employees wait for the executives to get on a Zoom conference call. Tom tells them there’s no easy way to do this, he’s done it a lot this week and sometimes it makes him cry. Handover to Greg, who reads from prepared notes about how they’re all getting fired. Off camera, Tom makes exaggerated tear-wiping motions with his fists.

“I see some confusion in the chat,” Greg says, fiddling with the laptop in front of him. “But if I have been too wordy, yes, we are letting all of you go. Obviously I can’t take questions on this call, but this is a very sad day.”

That evening in the triplex, Tom’s telling a server how to push the awful red wine he’s invested in as “light and fruity.” He tells Shiv he’s pre-tired for all he’ll have to do during tomorrow’s election coverage because she’s not letting him get a lot of sleep. She tells him Matsson is coming to the party because “Dumb & Dumber are trying to spook the deal.” Then she mentions Nate’s coming too, overexplaining why by way of apologizing.

“It’ll be good to see Nate, what do I care?” Tom lies about his rival.

Elite guests arrive to enjoy sliders held together by American flag toothpicks and chicken satay, if not Tom’s wine. Highball glasses in hand, Ken, Rome and Shiv huddle.

Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong in a still from “Succession. (David M. Russell/HBO)
Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong in a still from “Succession. (David M. Russell/HBO)

“You guys ready to spread some regulatory anxieties?” he asks.

“Sure,” she answers. “Spread those surveillance capitalism heebie jeebies. Just don’t let me get stuck with the Journal op-ed editor.”

“C’mon, they’re not all crypto-fascists and right wing nutjobs. We also have some venture capital Dems and centrist ghouls. Dad’s ideological range was wide.”

Rome takes a call out on the balcony, comes back and tells Ken it was the Republican candidate Jeryd Mencken’s team. Their internal polls are worse than Rasmussen’s. There are four states where Connor’s one percent could be pivotal. Mencken wants them to convince their brother to drop out. It takes half a second to convince a doubtful Ken why they should try. “OK. I’ll hit the libtards, you go help the Nazis,” he tells Rome.

Tom greets a somewhat nervous Nate (Ashley Zukerman). Tom says he’s missed him. Nate promises not to drink too much of his wine.

“You gobble my granache, pal, there’s plenty more where that came from. It’s light and fruity, and it’s the kind of wine that separates the connoisseurs from the weekend malbec morons.”

Matthew Macfadyen and Ashley Zuckerman in a still from “Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)
Matthew Macfadyen and Ashley Zuckerman in a still from “Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)

Roman grabs Connor from his new bride Willa (Justine Lupe). He asks if his brother would be willing to drop out of the presidential race.

“You are aware that the polls open in 10 hours?” Connor asks. Roman is. “After all the blood and treasure I’ve expended, why on Earth would I want to do that?”

“They said for the good of the republic,” Roman quotes Mencken’s team. The answer’s no. They’d offer ambassadorship to Somalia if he did and they win, though.

“Tell them U.N. That’s more my vibration, yeah?” the dumbest Roy counterproposes.

Ken welcomes the crowd. Tom looks devastated when he namechecks Nate.

“It’s our first tailgate party without the big guy,” Ken notes. “Yeah, this is a tough one. But we’re all gonna stay sane and we’re all gonna stay friends.”

He thanks Shiv for hosting, says some platitudes about history and , asks for a moment of silence in memory of Logan. A loud contingent of Swedes interrupts. Ken welcomes Matsson. A moment later on the terrace, Ken asks Shiv what he’s doing here. She plays dumb. Roman comes out and explains Dad invited Matsson, who emailed a yes four minutes before walking in. They agree it would look bad to throw him out. Ken assigns Shiv to babysit Matsson, or more accurately babysit on him.

“Guide him away from the high-value targets, refill his glass, run him in circles, tell people he’s loony tunes behind his back, keep him from the bigwigs,” Ken enumerates.

“So, Operation Nuke the Luke,” Shiv dubs it.

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Tom’s telling Matsson he’s pre-election tired, it’s a lot. The gold sweater-jacketed Swede wants to know if he’s a hands-on or overview guy. Tom asks which he would value more highly.

“You’re kissing my ass,” Matsson observes over Tom’s mild objections. Shiv walks up. Matsson tells her he’s about to defecate in her husband’s mouth and she’s got a really nice place. “Who gets to keep it in the divorce?” Nervous laughs, awkward silence, Greg’s there too. Matsson calls him Gary. Left alone with him, Shiv reads Matsson the riot act on how to behave at the party.

“Otherwise your many f—g enemies will portray you as some jerkoff coder from Gothenburg.”

“I am a jerkoff coder from Gothenburg. Right Ebba?” Matsson shouts to his comms director whom he’s been known to send bricks of his frozen blood. Shiv gives Ebba (Eili Harboe) some tips. The little Nordic woman apologizes back.

“It’s social anxiety,” Matsson explains, unasked. “She’s the only P.R. person in the world who hates talking to people.

“Yeah. I don’t love parties, but I’m good,” Ebba tells Shiv.

Eili Harboe and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson in a still from “Succession”. (David M. Russell/HBO)
Eili Harboe and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson in a still from “Succession”. (David M. Russell/HBO)

“Whereas I love them,” Matsson’s lieutenant Oskar (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson) interjects, skoals glasses with Shiv.

“Yep, I have a Number Two who’s moonbeamed on edibles and a communications officer who’s terrified of communicating,” Matsson sums up unnecessarily.

In a side room, Connor tells Roman Mogadishu’s a no-go, but he’d love a post in Europe.
“They may be willing to talk Slovenia or Slovakia,” Rome says.

“I think I’m a no on the Slos,” Connor says. His advisor Maxim Pierce (Mark-Linn Baker), who has even more elaborate facial hair than Oskar, floats South Korea. Too important for a Connor, Rome points out in so many words.

“North Korea,” Connor suggests about a country where we have no embassy. “You don’t know. Nobody knows, that’s the point. I could open it up like Nixon did China.”

“Con, they’re not gonna put you anywhere with nukes,” his brother breaks it to him.

“Well that’s insulting. I don’t think I want to go anywhere that doesn’t have nukes.”

Oman is suggested. Connor’s amenable, but has to see what his “wOman” thinks about Oman.

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All Just Money and Gossip

Nate’s telling Matsson he’s a paying GoJo user, but his candidate worries about out-of-control algos. The Swede points out someone’s going to take Waystar’s assets; should it be the failed sons? “They will do what he did, but they will do it stupider and uglier and less amenable.”

“And surprisingly, Lukas is actually pretty amenable,” Shiv tells her ex lover about her probable future one. Matsson essentially promises to fire Tom at ATN. Shiv shrugs with an “oh well’ smile.

A little later, Nate and Ken hug in a hallway. Condolences re: Logan are awkwardly expressed and responded to. Ken proposes a “major reset of the dialogue,” presumably in Jimenez’s favor, at ATN. But only if the GoJo deal goes away.

“He’s pitching me,” Nate warns himself out loud.

“You guys come out for regulation pretty soon and we give you a better ride in the first 100 days,” Ken promises, revealing how Fox News actually works.

“Man, I forgot how eager you were to get laid at a party,” Nate responds as he pulls away from his old buddy. “Let me check in.”

“Love it,” Ken says to the empty hall. “Would love to get laid.”

Sarah Snook and Alexander Skarsgård in a still from “Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)

Shiv chases the attendant out of the coat check bedroom, gives Matsson positive feedback on his party performance.

“I thought these people would be very complicated, but they’re not,” he observes. “It’s basically just, like, money and gossip.”

Shiv wants to know what he’s done for her lately. He offers whatever she wants. She wants a very very very significant role if she actively assists him in acquiring Waystar. She lists all the qualities that make her hot s—t and ready to go.

Seeing them walk past, Ken turns to Greg to keep tabs on Matsson.

“He occasionally has expressed a distaste in the past for my particular flavor of, uh, me,” Greg demurs.

“Just find him a blonde,” Ken instructs. “Something stronger. Point his dick in the direction of some fissile material, yeah?”

Greg tells Ken he’ll try.

Tom deflects insinuations from a guest that he may be let go. Roman comes in from a phone call on the terrace, tells Ken he’s learned of Matsson’s creeping on Ebba. Nate explains to Ken that Jimenez’s people don’t want them rubbing shoulders. Ken tries to reiterate the advantages of backscratching.

“I don’t know what you think this is,” Nate tells him, “but I’m not Daniel and you’re not Logan. And it’s a good thing.”

Nate exits.

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Willa wonders exactly where she and Connor would live in Oman. Every positive aspect of the sultanate makes it sound worse to her.

“And this is for Mencken?” she asks. “All of my family and friends hate Mencken.”

“Diplomatic plates,” Connor sparkle smiles as best he can. “You can park anywhere. You can basically drive on the sidewalk, the police can’t touch you.”

“Running people over is not a selling point!”

Swedes are vaping on a couch. Greg drops by. Oskar blows smoke in his face.

“F—g hanger-on! F—g dingleberry!”

Matsson slaps his assistant’s arm.

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“Dude, I’m on a charm offensive here. Can you be kind?”

Oskar continues being Assker. Ebba’s asked to fire him. She ignores. Oskar asks her if she’s bored.

“I’ve seen him cut your balls 100 times,” she says. “Ja, it’s a little bit boring.”

Matsson tells Greg he would like to fire Ebba, but can’t because she has some sort of tenure, because they mingled.

Greg, not sure if he’s kidding, offers to fire her if Matsson wants.

“I’ve got some recent experience in this arena.”

Matsson tries to make a show out of it. Ebba storms up the stairs saying, “You know what, Lukas? I wish you would fire me.”

The men chant “Ebba” in unison. Greg points out that that’s not the attitude we want from an employee at our company.

Kendall and Roman follow Ebba out onto the balcony and, ask if she’s OK. She’s totally fine, don’t worry about it. Good to hear, yeah. Ken mentions Matsson seems kind of awful. She says his team built his whole rep, he’s not even a coder.

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“Someone gave him, like, a box of tech and he took it to market,” she says. “Bravo,” then she mentions that she’ll be out in February.

“Is that because of the sending you of … whatnots?” Roman asks.

“No. That’s pretty much the least of his worries right now,” Ebba replies.

Because India. Ebba’s coy about the details. At first.

The CEBros tell Shiv about Matsson’s funky numbers.

“I f—in’ knew he was a bulls—r,” Ken enjoys saying. “I’m tellin’ ya, new money. You’ve gotta hold those fresh bills to the light.”

Matsson is impressed that Greg fired 100 people in three days. “Mr. Nephew, that’s quite a number,” he says, bumping fists with Greg. “I thought you were backwash at the bottom of the gene pool, but this is something else.”

“Yes, you underestimated me and that’s exactly how I wanted it to look,” Greg responds, pointing with the vaper he’s been sucking on. “HR says I’m the right guy for the job because it looks like I care but I don’t.”

A wide-eyed Shiv apologizes for breaking up this braintrust, draws Matsson into a game room and asks about his India numbers. He admits there’s a little issue.

“Maybe we discovered a metrics error that has overstated our subs in India by quite a … Like if there were two Indias, it would make sense.”

“So, stock-and-cash deal, the board would be well within their rights to pull out,” Shiv emphatically notes. “Is this even legal?”

“We close quickly and then s—t will get crazy good,” Matsson reckons. “By next quarter the numbers will be real, probably.”

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He knows it’s pretty bad. But Shiv can fix it, right?

“Oh, sure,” she says. “I’ll just build another f—g India.”

Matsson loves that, walks away. Shiv’s face drops. “F—k me,” she whispers.

Roman approaches Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), who’s ordering a martini and doesn’t want to chat. He tells her firing her in California wasn’t real. She insists she’s done.

“Bulls—t,” Roman says. “Dad fired people all the time. I was just feeling kind of fireish.”

She tells him she wants hundreds of millions of dollars, and hashas retained personal reputation management.

“And if I ever get a whiff of anything undermining my narrative anytime in the next five years, I will sue,” she threatens. “I will go public with the many, many pictures of your genitalia that I have in my possession. Have I made myself clear?”

Kieran Culkin and J. Smith-Cameron in a still from ‘Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)
Kieran Culkin and J. Smith-Cameron in a still from ‘Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)

The Family That’s Cool Together

Roman goes over to Connor and Willa.

“We wonder, Roman, if he might’ve invested too much in this campaign to just drop out,” Willa says, clutching her new husband’s knee.

“That’s so cool,” the younger brother says to the older. “You tried, you failed, you move on. Find something new.”

Willa says they want to find out what might happen. A book deal perhaps, or going on the speaker circuit.

“Hey, nothing is going to happen,” Roman impatiently insists.

“Anything might happen tomorrow, actually,” Willa coos.

“Yeah,” Connor finally speaks for himself. “That’s the beauty of this little system that we have called democracy.”

Roman loses it.

“Con! Man! Eat the f—n’ carrot. Everyone in this room thinks you’re a f—g joke. So tell your [air quotes] wife to shut the f—k up, cover her shoulders and pack a f—g bag for Oman, OK?”

Alan Ruck and Justine Lupe in a still from “Succession.” (David M. Russell/HBO)

Ken comes up behind Roman, tells him to ease off. Connor stands up, places a palm on Roman’s chest.

“There’s one person here who doesn’t think I’m a joke, so that’s who I’m gonna listen to,” the candidate says.

“That’s smart,” Roman spits. “Listen to her.”

Connor and Willa leave.

“Really nice party,” Matsson, sitting on a nearby windowsill, opines. “Cool, cool family.”

“Thanks man,” Roman says, walking away. “Tweet about it.”

Looking out the window, Matsson says New York looks like Legoland compared to Singapore or Seoul. Ken mentions, as an increasingly rapt crowd forms around them, that the Swede may need some new revenue streams. Matsson compliments him on his Living+ presentation.

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“Can’t wait to get into those predictions, man,” he says of the whimsical profit numbers Ken suggested.

“Estimates,” the Roy shoots back. “But you, Man. Your numbers! Literally unbelievable.”

“And congrats to you as well,” Matsson lobs back, “because I hear your numbers are gay.”

“That’s kinda homophobic, Man,” Ken accurately returns. Asked if he loves the deal, Ken asks “Are you kidding? Biggest overpay in history. Love the deal!”

Matsson leaps off the sill and bearhugs Ken.

Tom tells Shiv that he has to go to bed. She wants him to stay up so they can say goodbye to people together. He’s got a busy day tomorrow.

“I’m just a little tired because all the fun gossip I’ve been hearing from everywhere at this party, in my house, is that I’m gonna be s—tcanned.”

“I’ve got faith in you, Man,” an eavesdropping Roman tells Tom.

”You’ve always been a loyal servant,” Ken adds with a glib thumb up.

“Not helpful!” Shiv yells at her brothers.

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Shiv follows Tom out onto the balcony. Behind closed sliding glass doors, the couple start arguing about his tiredness. Shiv apologizes and reveals she is worried about nailing herself to the Matsson cross. Tom tries to reassure her that the Swede is the future.

“You’ll be fine. You’ll always be fine.”

“No! I am f—g my family for this.”

Tom only cares about her telling many of their powerful guests that he’s getting fired.

“No, it was implied, lightly,” she says in her lame but earnest defense. “As part of a tactical kind of joke.”

Tom doesn’t get the joke.

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“It’s something [Matsson] said that isn’t true that we needed to say,” Shiv doublespeaks. “I’m not doing this right now. I am in serious trouble. That was a play.”

“You will be OK because you are a tough f—n’ bitch who will always survive because you do what you need,” Tom says with a combination of volcanic rage and palpable hurt.

“You sure you’re not projecting? Because that is actually you.”

“Should we have a real conversation?” Tom sincerely asks.

“With a scorpion?”

“That was a friendly thing.”

She’s not buying that.

“Yeah, no, I am a scorpion. You’re a hyena. You’re a street rat. Actually no, you’re a f—g snake. Here is a dead snake to wear as a necktie, Tom. WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING?”

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Tom says she’s very selfish and shouldn’t have married him.

“What the actual f—k?” Shiv, livid. “You proposed to me! At my lowest f—g ebb. My dad was dying. What was I supposed to say?”

“Perhaps no?”

“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”

With no real gratitude, Tom thanks her for that.

“You really kept me safe while you ran off to f—k the phone book,” he says.

She calls him a conservative hick. He calls her awful. She accuses him of only being with her for power. He insists he loves her.

“You’re f—g me for my DNA! You’re f—g me for a f—g ladder because your whole family is striving and parochial,” she screams.

She says he betrayed her. He says she was going to see him get sent to prison.

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“Then you fobbed me off with that undrinkable wine and you won’t have my baby because you never thought, honestly, that you’d be with me more than four f—g years!”

“You offered to go to jail, Tom!” Shiv shouts back, also at maximum volume. “You offered because you’re servile. You’re servile!”

“You are incapable of thinking about anybody other than yourself because your sense of who you are is that f—n’ big,” he screams, placing a thumb and forefinger almost together.

She asks if he read that in a book. He says she’s too transparent to even find in a book. She calls him a pathetic masochist who can’t take it.

“You are incapable of love,” he says, then points at her for emphasis, “And I think you are maybe not a good person to have children.”

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Unknown-to-him-pregnant Shiv’s mouth noticeably drops, leaving her speechless for a moment.

“Well that’s not very nice to say, is it?” is all she can come back with.

“I’m sorry,” Tom says, going breathless. “I’m sorry, but you have hurt me more than you can possibly imagine.”

“And you,” she counter-charges, “you took away the last six months I could’ve had with my dad.”

“It’s not my fault that you didn’t get his approval. I have given you endless approval and it doesn’t fill you up because you’re broken.” He makes a breaking motion with his hands.

“I don’t like you,” Shiv concludes. “I don’t even care about you. I don’t care. Have we cleared the air now? Huh? Feel good now?”

“Yep. F—n’ great. Tip top,” Tom says with the saddest face in the world.

“You don’t deserve me and you never did,” Shiv says. “And everything came out of that. Oooh. It’s so f—g flat.”

Her face out-saddening Tom’s, she walks back into the party.

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Not in Love, Y’Know?

Ken leads Waystar COO Frank (Peter Friedman) into the cloakroom. The latter complains that the red wine smells like wet dog. Ken wants to do five, just Frankie and Kenny, not their corporate titles; says the GoJo deal’s not good for shareholders. Frank starts going “La la la la la la,” doesn’t want to hear it. Ken warns of the inflated India numbers.

“What if we run it all the way back?” Ken asks.

Frank doesn’t know what he means.

“We go reverse Viking,” Ken says. “We pillage their village. Waystar acquires GoJo.”

Frank cautions there would have to be major issues. Ken says it could make them bigger than his dad ever was. Frank wants to know about Roman and Shiv.

“I don’t know,” Ken says. “Part of my plan’s I love ‘em but not in love with ‘em, y’know? One head, one crown. Then I’ll need ballast. Are you with me?”

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After staring out at the night city alone on the balcony, Tom walks back into the party and tells everyone to go home multiple times in multiple ways. He has to go to bed. He walks past the three siblings. Each tells the others “F—k Tom.”

Roman offers to deliver Logan’s eulogy. Shiv and Ken approve.

After lights go out, Shiv sits on her bed, sighing in a black negligee. Tom’s in another room with bed covers pulled up to his chest. He is not sleeping.

Best One-Liner:

Come on. Choose anything Tom or Shiv says to one another.

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Stray Observations:

OK, if you insist. When Ken tells Roman “go full ‘they’re coming to get your guns, hormone therapy, all of your guns are going to be ladies’” about presenting the bad Republican polling figures to ATN’s mouth breathing viewers, it exemplifies how sharp the whole episode’s political observations are. We’d better get an Election Day blowout episode that’s even more cynical and succinct next week.

After proving they’re inept (if, so far, lucky) at negotiating with Scandinavians and understanding Hollywood, it’s darkly comforting to see the Roys back doing the stuff they know best: manipulating media business and screwing everybody over — including one other, in the most underhanded ways.

So the chatter after every episode this season has been “Sarah Snook’s gonna win the Emmy for this one!” There may be three more shows to go, but it’s hard to imagine anything more award-worthy than the agony she expresses during Shiv’s brutal fight with Tom.

Macfadyen should win something for his end of that sequence, too. Rarely have we seen a man so vulnerable while lashing out.

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