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Succession Tackled the Truth of U.S. Politics

Logan Roy saying "oh" on Succession

Ever wonder who these random Republican candidates are and why they suddenly have money to back them? HBO’s Succession gave us a look into the corrupt world of the wealthy this week, and it seems to be a wakeup call for some fans of the show. I guess they missed where Kendall Roy killed a man by accident and got away with it.

In season 3, episode 6, titled “What It Takes,” the Roys are at a meeting of the political minds where they figure out who they want to back. Roman’s pick? Justin Kirk as Jeryd Mencken, who is a literal canonical neo-Nazi who Shiv instantly hates. Shiv’s pick? A classic Republican they can manipulate. And then there is Connor Roy, who keeps trying to say he should be president because why not? He’s rich and white.

But the episode is a horrifying look into the truth behind wealth in this country. They all believe they have more of a say in who gets to be president. And sure, they do, based on the fact that their money helps who ends up being a candidate—and that’s horrifying.

The episode is all about who will help the Roys—not the country, but the Roys.

The Plight of Shiv Roy

What the show does with Shiv in this episode is interesting. We know that, politically, she has worked with Democrats, but she is also someone who will do whatever it takes to be in her father’s good graces. If that means taking a picture with a Nazi but making sure she’s not next to him, that’s what she’ll do.

We saw countless moments like this in real life during the Trump era—white women not wanting to lose their power but losing their integrity by being photographed with him or with those associated with Trump. Succession did it with Shiv and made us not feel bad for her because she had a choice to stand up to Logan and chose not to.

Surprisingly, this show is making it seem like more and more of the Roy family agree with what Kendall did. In this episode, Tom even looked at Kendall and said that he is the one who faced consequences when Logan never did. But no one is willing to stand up against Logan Roy, and they’ll do anything to be “daddy’s favorite.”

For Roman, that includes backing a Nazi. For Shiv, that’s taking a picture with him, and for Connor, it is constantly being the family embarrassment despite everyone else making mistakes.

Politics are messy, and this episode showed us all that the Roys will put their personal beliefs aside to make sure that their father still wants to pay for their lives, and that’s, sadly, the most American thing.

(image: HBO)

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