"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Succession season 3 Finale: Tom

I've been watching, immensely enjoying, but not reviewing Succession season three.  I think it's the best season of this superb series so far.  And I thought I'd say a few words about the finale, which was the best episode of this season.

In the climactic (too weak a word) closing scene, Shiv wonders who told Logan that she and her brothers were coming by to prevent Logan from selling the company to Mattson.  I'd say that has to be Tom.

Last week, in the second strongest (too weak a word) episode of this season, we see Shiv come to Tom and say let's make a baby.  This would have been wonderful news for Tom, except in the precoital banter, Shiv says all kinds of deflating things to her husband, including that she doesn't really love him.  Shiv may think that he likes that, because it's worked in the past.  More likely, it's worked in the sense that Tom was able to swallow it and still perform.

Now Tom has taken a lot over the years.  He absorbs it, and trudges on by dishing at least some of it out to poor Greg.  But some of Shiv's contempt for him had to have stuck.  And my guess is, consciously or unconsciously, he saw a chance for himself and took it -- by alerting Logan about what Shiv, Ken, and Roman were about to do.  Typically for Tom, he likely didn't think out all the consequences, or didn't care.  He was just glad to be able to do something which, he hoped, would put him in a much better position with Logan, and therein Mattson.  That, and what must have been the immense pleasure of payback to Shiv.

In a very real sense, Tom is Shiv's Achilles' heel.  Her keen intelligence for some reason was blind to the damage she'd been meting out to Tom, and what he might do about it.  But will Tom really benefit from what he did?  If his life is true to form, probably not.

We'll see how this 21st-century Shakespearean tragicomedy plays out next season.


See this excellent interview with Brian Cox, published 13 December 2021 in the Hollywood Reporter.

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