Succession Director Breaks Down Tom and Shiv’s Relationship Evolution

The complex relationship between Shiv Roy and Tom Wambsgans is only getting more complicated as Succession‘s final season continues. The season began with the duo realizing that their marriage may not have been built on much and that Tom’s betrayal was likely the final nail in the coffin for them. However, five episodes later and in a world that no longer contains Logan Roy, Shiv and Tom are finding a way to reconnect. WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Succession! Continue reading at your own risk…

Sunday’s new episode of Succession, “Living+,” Tom and Shiv are rediscovering some of the love they had for one another. Logan is gone, both are in some kind of substantial power, and they’re biting each other in public places? Their relationship has always been strange, but it seems to be taking a step forward, at least for the time being. Lorene Scafaria, who directed the new episode, spoke with Variety about where Tom and Shiv’s relationship stands at the moment.

“I think they feel like their roles have returned in a way, and they’re happy to play the part of husband and wife in that moment,” Scafaria said. “There’s an indignity to being separated, and there’s a comfort in finding their footing again and finding their roles. So I can’t help but think that. This feels like everyone’s therapy. Maybe it’s as good as it gets when you’re used to a certain kind of love.”

“I mean, I think that’s what’s so funny about Bitey being the way back into each other. Of course, their expression of love can’t help but have some violence in it, or Shiv’s anyway. Who can hurt the other one more? She’s learned to associate love with pain,” the director continued. “In the scene with Matthew making that speech, it’s so honest, because money is the last taboo. They have it in common, it does bring them together – and in a way, it sort of does make him the right man for her. They have that laugh at the end with each other that feels incredibly real and painful, but it’s also so suspicious. He looks at her one last moment, just to see, ‘Is this real? Is this really happening?’ I think they know it’s messed up; maybe that’s the beauty of it.”

There’s also one major elephant in the room for Tom and Shiv that has yet to be addressed. Shiv is pregnant and she hasn’t told Tom about it.

“Telling him would make it very, very easy for him to plant his flag and want to be there for her,” said Scafaria. “The way they move toward each other in this episode comes from something else, that comes from creature comfort. It comes from how Tom was that voice on the phone in 403; he was the calm during the storm. In Episode 4, he has that beautiful scene on the stairs between the two of them. It reminds you he was really there for her then; we’re also trauma bonding.”

New episodes of Succession air on Sunday nights on HBO and HBO Max.