'Succession' Season 4, episode 8: The present's election defined

Season 4 of Succession has lengthy been constructing in direction of the upcoming presidential election, and eventually, it is lastly right here. 

In “America Decides,” the eighth episode of Succession‘s ultimate (and arguably most dramatic) season, the Roys are tenting out at ATN’s headquarters whereas watching the nation’s votes pile in. The frontrunners are Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk), the Republican candidate, and Daniel Jiménez (Elliot Villar), the Democratic candidate, with the siblings break up between who to assist. 

Whereas episode 8 is stuffed with the same old household drama and a few hilariously WTF moments — shoutout to cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) for that unimaginable wasabi scene — there’s a number of stress on the Roys all through as a result of they have an enormous resolution to make: which candidate they’ll publicly vouch for on ATN. American politics sit on the epicenter of this episode, however for those who’re a Roy, presidential elections are additionally grounds on your personal private strikes. The siblings aren’t solely deciding who they need as the subsequent president, they’re betting on who’s going to assist see their very own self-interests by. 


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However who’re Mencken and Jiménez? And why are the Roy children divided between them? Let’s dive into Succession‘s election, its candidates, and why the Roys are all vouching for various outcomes. 

Who’re Mencken and Jiménez? 

A still of two newspapers with covers detailing presidential news.

Credit score: Screenshot HBO

Mencken and Jiménez are each working for president, however their political events aren’t the one factor that set them aside. We first met Mencken all the best way again in Season 3, episode 6, “What It Takes.” Right here, we realized that Succession‘s former president of the USA, unnamed however good pals with Logan (Brian Cox), wasn’t working for reelection. So Logan and the youngsters journey to Virginia for a secret convention with large Republican gamers to resolve on a nominee. Roman (Kieran Culkin), and finally Logan, take a liking to Mencken and resolve to again him. 

Mencken is an extremely worrisome choose nevertheless as a result of he is a far-right conservative along with his beliefs principally bordering on fascism. However regardless of Shiv’s (Sarah Snook) objections, Logan and Roman each consider they wanted somebody excessive to get voter consideration, they usually’re sadly proper. In a brief couple of months, Mencken manages to turn into the Republican nominee with a number of assist. Mencken’s additionally managed the added bonus of paying for adverts to run on ATN and a “direct line” to editorial conferences, that means Roman and Mencken principally have a “you scratch my again, I scratch yours” settlement occurring — a lot to Shiv’s horror when she finds out later in Season 4, episode 5.

However, Jiménez is a totally new character. We do not actually know a lot about him apart from the truth that he is the Democratic candidate, which is one thing we solely realized earlier in Season 4. We additionally know that Nate (Ashley Zukerman), Shiv’s (Sarah Snook) ex-fling, is engaged on Jiménez’s crew, to not point out Shiv is siding with Jiménez. Apart from that, one other vital crumb of knowledge to recollect is that Mencken and Jiménez’s election predictions are fairly shut. In episode 7, “Tailgate Occasion,” we realized that Jiménez is forward of Mencken by solely 4 factors — and the place this small hole finally will get closed is one thing the Roys have a powerful taking part in card in. 

Who do the Roys assist and why? 

Two men and a woman wearing cocktail party attire drink by a bar in a fancy home.

Credit score: David Russell/HBO

Which candidate does Roman assist?

Roman is an enormous fan of Mencken. Other than the truth that Romulus usually does questionable issues over the 4 seasons, he has an precise settlement with Mencken to tank the GoJo deal. We all know Kendall (Jeremy Sturdy) and Roman have been eyeing to derail Waystar Royco’s acquisition since episode 5, making them each co-CEOs till additional discover and seeing their very own aspirations by. In episode 8, Roman mentions that Mencken can pull some strings, like discrepancies in overseas coverage, to render the GoJo deal a no-go. Mencken is somebody that Roman can do nice enterprise with, and vice versa, which explains why he was going as arduous as he was this episode to assist him. 

Which candidate does Shiv assist?

Shiv is pro-Jiménez. Partially as a result of she’s afraid of what Mencken would do as president, which fits towards her personal political ideologies and morals. In one other, maybe, bigger half, it is as a result of she’s pro-GoJo. Jiménez would again the GoJo deal and let it undergo. Shiv’s additionally pulling all of the strings to get Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) and Jiménez on buddy phrases, primarily passing on the Waystar torch to them each whereas sustaining a high-powered place for herself. In Shiv’s plan, Roman and Kendall can be bumped out of their CEO positions, however she’d nonetheless be a key participant as agreed with Matsson. Jiménez being elected, would assist her get there. 


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Which candidate does Kendall assist?

Kendall was swaying between each candidates all through the episode, finally arriving at pro-Mencken like Roman. On the one hand, like Shiv, Kendall was equally apprehensive about what Mencken would do as president and thought Jiménez can be higher for the nation. There’s additionally the truth that one in every of Mencken’s supporters harassed his daughter on the road, so it is fairly unhealthy emboldening the man who’s the rationale that occurred. However, Kendall needs to be CEO and Mencken’s the president that’ll assist see that by. 

All through the episode, Kendall’s caught between wanting one of the best for his household, wanting one of the best for America, however maybe extra importantly, wanting one of the best scenario for his personal self-interests. When he lastly realizes that Shiv’s been mendacity to him and conspiring with Matsson, Kendall drops all his ethical quandaries and decides to again Mencken with Roman — solidifying his position as CEO and stabbing Shiv proper again after that painful betrayal. 

So what is going on to occur subsequent?

Much more backstabbing I am afraid.

The presidential election was yet one more taking part in discipline for the Roys to discover their very own ulterior motives, and it is not over. By the tip of episode 8, ATN’s publicly vouched for Mencken and predicted that he’d be successful the presidential election, regardless of 100,000 votes being “misplaced” in Milwaukee, a reality Roman chooses to disregard. Roman’s referred to as the election in favor of Mencken, Kendall is not disagreeing with him, they usually’ve each discovered that Shiv was conspiring towards them. The presidential verdict nonetheless hasn’t been determined, and by the seems to be of Shiv’s explosive telephone name with Matsson on the episode’s finish, extra ferocious video games are to be performed. 

Season 4 of Succession is now streaming on HBO Max(opens in a brand new tab), with new episodes airing weekly on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.