Logan Roy says that money always wins, but at the moment, his family is losing a lot of battles. In this week’s episode of Succession, the ticking time-bomb that is Waystar Royco’s cruise ship operation gets dragged under scrutiny in congressional hearings. The Roys deploy Bill, Gerri, and Tom Wambsgans as scapegoats in front of the nation, but that strategy falls apart thanks to Tom’s obvious trail of emails antagonizing Cousin Greg to delete documents. (You can’t make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs, as we learn.) Then, Kendall steps in for clean-up, launching an all-out attack on the good socialist Gil Eavis, while Shiv tears up whatever shreds of morality she has left and refashions them into an argument to convince a victim not to go public about Waystar’s cruise division. Meanwhile, Roman’s attempt to sell the company to an Azerbaijani sovereign wealth fund is thwarted by a literal coup, while Rhea Jarrell decides to pack up her folksy Southern verbal knives and go, leaving Logan and Shiv wondering what to do ahead of a pivotal shareholder’s meeting.
All together, the debacles of “DC” convince Logan that Waystar’s shareholders might ditch the Roys. “I’m afraid this Kendall stuff won’t play, they’re a little more fucking vegetarian,” he tells Shiv as they watch Kendall perform in the hearing. “We need something big. Time for a blood sacrifice.”
As the episode speeds into its credits, we’re left wondering: Who, exactly, will be the blood sacrifice? Because we’re very nervous about whatever catastrophe might be coming in next week’s finale, we’ve outlined seven possibilities. Please don’t let it be Gerri!
The Roy’s go-to whipping boy is the most obvious sacrificial lamb, given that he’s high up on the power structure as the current head of ATN and nobody likes him all that much, besides Shiv, or maybe including Shiv, it’s occasionally hard to tell. Giving up Tom would introduce a ton of conflict between Logan and Shiv, but the problem is that Tom isn’t really central enough to the whole Waystar-Royco operation. He’s the family punching-bag, and they’ve already served him up to Congress and let Gil have his fun. He’s simply not a big enough meal (a Tomelette, specifically) to satisfy Waystar-Royco’s critics.
Here’s where things get interesting. Kendall has spent the season in a near-catatonic, drunk and/or druggy, Logan-obsessed state, and put on one hell of a show at the hearing to protect his daddy. It’d be a particularly dark turn to have Logan sell out his No. 1 Boy at this moment, which is exactly why Succession might do it. If the Roys all turn on Kendall and lay the blame on him, would he finally break completely? Is it too cruel to put Jeremy Strong through the pressure of acting all that out? Perhaps the character is in such a distended mental space that he’d volunteer himself for the job. The reason this might not happen, however, is that as a shell of a person, Kendall is too valuable for Logan to not keep him around. If Kendall is the blood sacrifice, then Logan can’t keep tormenting Kendall, and he loves doing that.
A twist! When Logan brings up a blood sacrifice, what if he wants to sacrifice the person right in front of him? Shiv sits at the center of this season, and if she’s really smart, she could potentially use Logan’s betrayal to turn against the company, burn it all down, and come out looking good. But Shiv, as we’ve learned, is not that smart and potentially too loyal to the Roy family name to even risk such a move. Either Logan forces her to submit to public humiliation and she suffers through it out of a sense of duty borne from trauma, or Logan’s wise enough to know he can’t convincingly sell her as being responsible for that much happening at the company anyway. Regardless, I’m desperate to know what kind of power sweater she’d pull out of her closet to play the scapegoat.
Sure, it’d be easy to leak the news that Roman was trying to get shady Azerbaijani money to take Waystar private, that he was responsible for the company’s disastrous rocket launch, and that he was tangentially involved in an international incident. (Not to mention whatever other skeletons are surely lurking in his closet.) But Roman is probably too chaotic of a presence to take down safely: If he comes under attack, he’ll lash out, and who knows what family secrets he’d leak to keep himself safe?
Aside from Tom, Greg is most responsible for the shoddy cover-up in the cruise division, so he’d be a surprisingly apt choice for a scapegoat. But Greg is too far from the center of the family for anyone else to care much about him, plus he’s got a few pages from that well-labeled “secrets” file to protect himself. If anybody tries to place the blame on Greg, he could easily bring down Tom as well. Plus, in the universe of Succession, Greg’s a little idiot who can only fall upward. That’s not about to change anytime soon.
Nah. Connor was wise-slash-disinterested enough to not get involved in the family business, so it’d be tough to pin anything at Waystar on him. Plus, he’s way too focused on running for president, eliminating all taxes, and funding the Broadway run of Sands, a new American play about sands (and also mites), to get pulled into any of this drama.
Always lurking in the background, but definitely not central enough to seem like a big enough sacrifice. As Logan put it back in the season premiere when he temporarily put Gerri in charge, “It won’t be Gerri, but Gerri’s fine.”
Our best guess? The blood sacrifice will be Kendall. We’re sorry, but even L to the OG can’t save you now.