The Roy family preside over conservative news network ATN on a controversial election night in the new episode of the Emmy-winning HBO series Sunday.
The new episode – entitled America Decides, the eighth edition in the show’s final season – follows last week’s New York City election eve party which saw showdowns between Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) and Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard), as well as Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook).
Sunday’s episode focused on the ongoings at the network amid the race between Democratic candidate Daniel Jiménez (Elliot Villar), Republican nominee Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) and independent candidate Connor Roy (Alan Ruck).
The episode – which happens within days of the death of Roy patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) – began with Tom and Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) in the ATN office scrambling to keep up, as Tom is seen checking in with Kendall and other coworkers in the newsroom.
Greg revealed to Tom he spent the night partying with Mattson and his crew, and asked Tom if he was aware that Shiv and Matsson have a business alliance arrangement.
Focused: Kendall (Jeremy Strong) walks with purpose down the halls of ATN on the historic evening
News director Darwin tells the ATN newsroom that the early indicators from exit polls is that Jimenez is winning.
Shiv, Kendall and Roman (Kieran Culkin) discuss how they have been in touch with both campaigns, with Roman telling his sister, ‘My team’s playing your team – it’s only spicy cause if my team wins they’re gonna shoot your team.’
Shiv and Roman argue about politically-charged incidents across the nation on the tense day.
Shiv and Mattson talk about strategizing for a Jimenez win, telling the eccentric GoJo CEO, ‘It’s good for democracy – and great for us’ as Mencken will squash Mattson’s attempted buyout of parent company Waystar-Royco at Roman’s behest.
Matsson says he was discussing his issue with inflated subscribership with his second-in-command Oskar Gudjohnsen (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson) and Greg, the latter of whom caught Shiv by surprise.
Shiv and her ex, Dem political aide Nate Sofrelli (Ashley Zukerman), discuss the ongoing results as he urges her to keep an eye on ATN’s coverage of developing incidents of unrest on election day. They agree to keep the channel open.
Roman and Ken, looking to tank the merger with GoJo, discuss their lessened prospects of doing so with Jimenez winning.
Roman is summoned by Mencken for a visit but without Kendall, as Roman tells his older brother, ‘Just me – it’s a bit tight for both of us.’
Republican nominee Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) chats with Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) about how he wants ATN to cover him
Roman is summoned by Mencken for a visit but without Kendall, as Roman tells his older brother, ‘Just me – it’s a bit tight for both of us’
Sunday’s episode brings about the onscreen debut of Democratic presidential candidate Daniel Jiménez (Elliot Villar), who headlines the ticket with Sen. Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian)
Kendall’s ex-wife Rava Roy (Natalie Gold) calls Kendall amid fear that a vehicle following her, which Ken admits to sending after his daughter was pushed by a Mencken supporter, and says their daughter is scared, as Kendall reassures her Jiménez will win.
Kendall calls Nate and send supportive message to Jiménez and apologizes ‘if things got a bit heated’ during their last discussion about campaign coverage.
Kendall and Jiménez share a brief chat in which he vows the election coverage will be ‘fair as f***’ and tries to discuss regulating big tech, which would help him tank the GoJo merger.
Mencken hassles Roman about not delivering Connor, and urges him that if he loses, he wants it to be classified as a huge victory.
‘If I lose, I need to work on what a**holes would consider the narrative,’ the Republican presidential candidate tells him. ‘If I lose, I want it correctly characterized as a huge victory … I want to be the president, I want you to be a partner in that … you, me, we’ll go far.’
Greg tells Tom that Mattson treated him ‘quite abominably but trusting’ on their night out, while he chastises Greg to get him a coffee.
Greg asks Tom, ‘Do you want some of what you asked for?’ and gives him cocaine, which they do together in his office after Tom browbeats him into doing it also.
‘What, you’ll do it with Matsson but not with me?’ Tom asks Greg, then chastises Greg over bodega-bought sushi, yelling him and wants his specific food needs met.
Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) has a busy evening ahead amid a high-stress work environment
‘Tonight, my digestive system is basically part of the constitution,’ Tom yells at his longtime underling.
While it was announced just before the season started that Season 4 would be the last, fans were quite shocked when Logan Roy was killed off in the third episode.
The shocking death came as Logan was trying to finalize the merger, which resulted in the company’s stock price briefly plummeting.
The family managed to get more out of Matsson than they had planned… though Kendall has had designs on tanking the deal, while Matsson has been getting closer to Shiv as well.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong first confirmed that Season 4 will be the end of the show in a wide-ranging interview with The New Yorker, where he was asked why he decided to confirm the final season before it debuted.
‘One, we could have said it as soon as I sort of decided, almost when we were writing it, which I think would be weird and perverse,’ Armstrong began.
‘We could have said it at the end of the season. I quite like that idea, creatively, because then the audience is just able to enjoy everything as it comes, without trying to figure things out, or perceiving things in a certain way once they know it’s the final season,’ he added.
‘But, also, the countervailing thought is that we don’t hide the ball very much on the show. I feel a responsibility to the viewership, and I personally wouldn’t like the feeling of, “Oh, that’s it, guys. That was the end.” I wouldn’t like that in a show. I think I would like to know it is coming to an end,’ he clarified.
He added, ‘And, also, there’s a bunch of prosaic things, like it might be weird for me and the cast as we do interviews. It’s pretty definitively the end, so then it just might be uncomfortable having to sort of dissemble like a politician for ages about it. Hopefully, the show is against bulls**t, and I wouldn’t like to be bulls****ing anyone when I was talking about it.’
Last stand? It’s the most important night in the career of Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) as he and assistant Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) take in election results
Strategizing: Waystar PR executive Hugo Baker (Fisher Stevens) looks to be up-to-date on the fast-moving night
Snack time: Karl Muller (David Rasche) enjoys a bite amid the chaotic night in the Big Apple