‘Succession’ Style, Episode 7: Snakes and Scorpions

This article contains spoilers for Episode 7 of the final season of “Succession.”

It’s election eve in the world of “Succession,” and the Roys are jockeying for position. Kendall and Roman ramp up their efforts to stop the Matsson deal, and Shiv and Tom host the tailgate party with Logan’s preordained guest list. A sampling of the country’s most influential politicians, officials and “thought leaders” descend on Shiv’s triplex to snack on American flag sliders, drink Champagne, talk money and gossip.

This “AOL era, legacy media, putrid stuffed-mushroom” fest, as Matsson calls it, even has an electoral party game with a kettle corn prize. Matsson stuns in a golden bomber jacket, but Tom may be the quiet style star of the night.

Guy Trebay: Can anyone tell me what Matsson’s bizarre bomber was made of?

Stella Bugbee: Confidence.

GT: Fur confidence or velvet confidence?

Vanessa Friedman: It was the reverse of the Roys in Norway. Given that the bomber has become a Kendall signature, it was an interesting contrast.

Jessica Testa: It looked like something he has had in the back of his closet for years, with his other party clothes.

VF: Definitely some man cleavage going on. He’s always flashing different parts of himself. Ebba, by contrast, is entirely covered up.

GT: This may be Church of the Bleeding Obvious, but the upside-downing of gender has become oppressive. The men are characters and the women are plot points — except for Shiv.

VF: Wait for Marcia at the funeral! Speaking of which, I thought Shiv’s pearl gray-on-white suit and turtleneck for the funeral planning breakfast summit was particularly striking.

SB: The clothes in this episode were not particularly moving.

GT: Yes, true. The clothes were meh.

JT: Not a fashion moment but an excellent prop moment was the scorpion gift in the beginning of the episode.

VF: I was expecting jewelry, as I am sure she was, too. But then, we’ve been primed by all the fashion semiology in this show to expect accessories.

GT: They teased jewelry further by making the box look like Cartier.

SB: The main event was the horrific fight between Shiv and Tom. So much for not saying something so horrible you can never take it back.

GT: Since the fight scene, I’ve been envisioning a snake necktie.

VF: A necktie is never just a necktie. Speaking of which, the fact that Tom lost his tie to co-host the tailgate with Shiv suggested that he finally felt like a Roy. And then their fight showed him he would never get there.

GT: Yes, and to get farther into the weeds, he was in a white power shirt and not a subordinate’s blue with tone-on-tone tie.

SB: So actually, Tom was the star of this show in terms of costumes. His character showed the most transformation.

VF: Yes, good point.

Anna Grace Lee: I was most interested in the trappings of the party itself — the wine, the real estate, Tom’s anxiety about the red wine. We’ve seen their apartment, but it’s always sort of ghostly modern, sharp-edged and empty, so it was weird to see it full of people.

VF: Also, the racks of coats in the bedroom where the secret Shiv-Lukas meeting happened, and the Kendall-Frank one. Whispers among the empty outerwear!

GT: Any party scene so far (except Norway, if that could be called a party) has looked generic. Their interior spaces have less character than a suite in a four star hotel. I do love the image of coat rooms at parties — coats on racks, coats on beds. People are always getting up to no good in those rooms.

SB: Absolutely right, Guy. I was living for the conversation about the red wine. Tom’s choice to serve a fizzy red and how he was explaining to the staff that it was more sophisticated than the “Malbec morons” would appreciate. “Don’t say it’s biodynamic.” And then no one at the party liked it.

GT: Would you? Blech.

SB: I probably would.

AGL: Tasting (or smelling) notes of “wet dog,” so said Frank.

JT: Pét-nat hive, rise.

SB: Tom, as the style star of this episode, showed he’s paying attention to more than just wealth. He’s paying attention to foodie snobs, too.

GT: This was the mask-slips episode. Tom’s unctuousness falls away as he anticipates and then gets clarity about his fate. The clothes signal the arc. In that sense, the cage fight on the terrace was a relief.

VF: Meanwhile, Connor is going to Oman — dazzled by the allure of diplomatic plates.

SB: But he’s not! Willa saved him. What if Connor comes out on top in the end?

JT: Connor and Willa were such a great contrast to Tom and Shiv. Is it possible for anything on this show to be heartwarming? If so, it’s them.

GT: Willa saved herself.

VF: Anyone else think we are being set up for an epic showdown between the three kids, given that Kendall and Shiv are already turning on the other two? And with Kendall saying, “One king, one crown.”

GT: Sadly for him, that crown is a ball cap.

Vanessa Friedman, Anna Grace Lee, Jessica Testa, Guy Trebay and Stella Bugbee contributed reporting.

source: nytimes.com