Succession Finally Dropped The Bomb On Shiv And Tom, And It’s Going To Get Messy

This post contains spoilers for season 4, episode 8 of "Succession." 

There are no healthy relationships in the hit HBO series "Succession," but perhaps the most tragic is the marriage between Siobhan "Shiv" Roy (Sarah Snook) and Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfayden). The two have had more than their fair share of ups and downs over the show's four seasons, in large part because their love language seems to revolve around hurting one another, either with their words, their deceitful actions, or by literally biting. Their courtship and marriage have been a series of betrayals and power-plays as each of them tries to one-up the other. At some point, Tom may have been happy to be subservient to Shiv and her family, but he learned cruelty and manipulation from some of the most Machiavellian people around, and season 4 finds the two headed for divorce and at one another's throats. After a trial separation, Shiv decided she wanted to split ways permanently and Tom agreed, though it seemed like they both still wanted to try to make things work despite their words. Logan's (Brian Cox) death, however, put a rift between them that may never heal.

In the most recent episode, "America Decides," things are especially tense around the ATN offices because there's a presidential election on the line and Shiv decides to reveal her biggest bomb of a secret to Tom: she's pregnant with his child. She (and the audience) have known for a while now, but it's a massive revelation for Tom, who doesn't exactly react with grace. 

It's All An Elaborate Game

Shiv has known about her pregnancy the day after Logan's death, as she gets the news that she's 20 weeks along right before she flies out to Finland to meet with Lukas Matsson and GoJo. Unlike previous seasons where time could jump forward months, the final season has taken its time, so she's only been keeping it a secret for a little while. There have still been, however, plenty of times she could have talked to Tom about the fact he's going to be a father. During their last argument, Tom had called her unfit to be a mother, so it's possible that she was waiting for the right moment. Instead, however, she went with a big swing during a tumultuous time and it blew up in her face. 

During the height of Tom's panic over election night, Shiv reveals to him that she's pregnant and it's his, and instead of being angry with her for keeping it a secret or elated because he always wanted kids, he questions whether she's even telling him the truth. He asks her if this is just another move in their ever-escalating power game. It's kind of hard to blame him, because she hasn't been the most trustworthy spouse and it's not inconceivable to believe she would stoop to telling him she was pregnant to throw him off his game during the most important night of his career. His response is pretty cruel, however, and it upsets Shiv further, driving an even larger wedge between the pair. Can their marriage survive this? What kind of parents will they possibly be? (Seriously, do we need to rescue this child?)

Potential Co-Parents And Pure Antagonists

People often have children in a desperate attempt to fix their relationships, and these two have a long and complicated history of wanting to be parents. Tom was tracking Shiv's cycle in an attempt to get her knocked up, for example, which is its own kind of evil manipulation. It's unlikely that Shiv's pregnancy was a ploy to get the two of them back together, but it might actually be the one thing that could help fix things. Shiv even discusses parenthood with her brother Kendall (Jeremy Strong) earlier in the episode, reassuring him that he's an okay father, because he at least tries. Tom is great in a crisis and has a tremendous amount of love, plus he has always wanted children, making him the ideal father figure for their child. Besides, that kid is either going to be a perfect angel who swears off the whole family or the antichrist herself, and Shiv is going to need help from someone who understands her special brand of social interactions. 

Despite the truly toxic nature of their relationship, it really does seem like Shiv and Tom love one another. It's a twisted, complicated love that's reminiscent of Lady Macbeth and her king, and while they might not make the best parents in the world, it might be the one thing that could draw them together, in the name of not repeating their own parents' mistakes. Neither the Roys nor the Wambsganses seem to be great at showing love or raising children, but it would be lovely to see these two break with tradition. 

New episodes of "Succession" premiere Sundays on HBO and on the Max streaming platform. 

Read this next: 10 Worst Things The Roys Have Done In Succession

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