(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Succession” Season 2 premiere)
Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook) — and her new haircut — may have just been handed the keys to the kingdom. And we say may, because the offer made by Waystar Royco chief Logan Roy (Brian Cox) to his youngest child and only daughter on Sunday’s Season 2 premiere of HBO’s “Succession” could be yet another mind game.
After all, it wouldn’t be wise to believe a man with a backstabbing track record like Logan’s if he privately proposed to you that you become the successor to his media empire — a business he’s only previously involved your brothers in — would it?
Well, Snook tells TheWrap Shiv kind of has to accept he’s telling the truth here.
“I think Shiv is put into a rock and a hard place with confronting how much she actually wants what he’s offering,” Snook said. “So while she could choose not to believe it, to think that it’s not real, she can’t help but want to believe it. So I guess she’s sort of like, ‘Well, OK, I’ll go down this path as long as I can until further evidence proves otherwise.'”
The life-changing offer came Shiv’s way during the drama’s second-season opener, titled “The Summer Palace,” after Logan called the family together at their vacation home under the guise that he’s decided to sell Waystar Royco, due to the position his son and former heir apparent Kendall (played by Jeremy Strong) has put them in by trying to shove his father out of the company with a “bear hug” offer on the Season 1 finale. (You can read all about Kendall’s current sad state of affairs here.)
The patriarch forced the Roy siblings — Shiv, Kendall, and their brothers, Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck) — to privately give him their opinions on the matter. Shiv, who has built a career outside of the family business as a political adviser, tells him to sell — and that’s when he tells her won’t, if she agrees to take over when he decides to step down in a few years.
This comes as a surprise to Shiv, who has always been looked over in favor of Kendall and even Roman when it comes to the dealings at Waystar Royco.
“I think she probably hasn’t thought that she could be, but that she should be,” Snook told TheWrap of Shiv’s previously subconscious desire to be Logan’s successor. “She probably thought that she was maybe a better choice, but would never have thought that Logan would have chosen her unless particular amends were made in terms of her becoming part of the company.”
She added: “She’s always grown up around the business and it’s sort of an all-consuming thing, this family is the company, the company is the family. I think her separating herself from that is allowing herself the space to fail on her own terms and to succeed on her own terms. But in the end, it’s like this magnet, you just get drawn back into it. And I think in the end she wants to be part of that.”
But right now, this is all a secret between Shiv and Logan — so we’ll see how serious he is about the offer as the season unfolds.
As for her character’s personal life, Snook tells TheWrap fans will find out how newlyweds Shiv and Tom Wamsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) will manage their relationship after her wedding-night confession on the Season 1 finale that she’s not really into a monogamous marriage.
“Through Season 2 we really get to see what it is about Tom and Shiv that works together,” Snook said. “Like, the kind of union they have and how they really deeply need each other, though Shiv probably doesn’t want to admit how much she needs Tom. And this sort of arrangement they’ve made for their marriage, I think they’re dealing with it like any sort of couple may do, in that they haven’t really worked out the formal rules or had conversations too deep about it. They’re going into it blindly, and within that risks a lot of conflict that sort of bubbles throughout the season.”
“Succession” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.