Succession episode 7: The issue with Tom Wamsgans
From the second I began watching Succession, I’ve rooted for Tom Wamsgans. Extra particularly, I’ve rooted for the bromance between Tom and Greg, two goofy outsiders whose proximity to the Roy household has yielded private acquire and ethical corruption. Their relationship, like a dysfunctional mashup of mentor, work husband, and frenemy, is among the few sources of actual interpersonal heat on the chilly present.
However this week’s episode, “Return,” reveals simply how a lot of the Roy household’s toxicity has rubbed off on their favourite punching bag.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Succession season 2, episode 7, “Return.”]
Despite the fact that Tom’s been assured by Gerri and Shiv that the inner investigation of the cruises scandal isn’t any huge deal, the legal professionals ask him sufficient pointed questions that he begins to panic and leaves the room to get his story straight. He worries, rightly, that he might be thrown beneath the bus if issues go south.
It’s really easy to really feel unhealthy for Tom in these moments, particularly when his spouse is so preoccupied with getting her dad’s consideration that she brushes off his issues with the dismissive tone of an aggravated babysitter. That sympathy is tougher to maintain when he takes his frustration out on Greg.
After Shiv brushes him off, Tom heads straight to Greg’s house. Greg is having just a few ATN coworkers over for dinner, which has to sting on condition that Tom received Greg that new job as a direct response to his (adorably botched try at) blackmail. Whereas concurrently reassuring Greg that there’s nothing to fret about, Tom convinces him to burn the copies he manufactured from the beforehand destroyed paperwork that would implicate each of them in a coverup cost.
This isn’t the primary time that Tom has channeled damage emotions into bullying Greg, but it surely’s getting more and more onerous to look at — and even tougher for me to justify my affection for Tom Wamsgans.
Succession is excellent at humanizing its characters simply sufficient that we begin to empathize with them whereas persevering with to remind us how horrible they’re as people. From the primary episode when Roman promised a child $1 million if he hit a house run and Tom casually tagged him out, I’ve recognized that he’s complicit on this household’s awfulness. However I’ve at all times believed that there was nonetheless a candy man beneath the layers of armor Tom’s constructed as much as survive on this planet of company warfare.
I’m beginning to assume I’ve been performed for a idiot.
I maintain hoping in opposition to hope that Tom will run away with Greg and depart this household behind. It needs to be clear to him by now that Logan views him solely as a car for grandchildren and that his relationship with Siobhan is one in all comfort and look. A wedding that begins with a partner ready till the marriage evening to admit that they’re not made for monogamy isn’t precisely an incredible harbinger of mutual belief and respect.
Positive, Tom had his personal ulterior motives in marrying Shiv, however now that she’s been promised as Logan’s successor (for now,) there’s no approach in hell that Tom may ever take the CEO seat he’s been coveting. That begs the query: what’s Tom nonetheless getting out of this household? Perhaps he can abdomen a dishonest spouse and jokes about his fits for a fats paycheck and penthouse suite, however at this level he’s going through a humiliating resignation at finest. Extra doubtless it’ll be jail time.
I’m solely satisfied at this level that Tom goes to finish up in jail. It’d be the logical, tragic finish for the enthusiastic Sure Man who realizes too late he’s been forged as a scapegoat. I’m nonetheless holding out hope that he’ll defend Greg, like he did when Logan tried to root out the “traitor” who spoke to his biographer. However I’m not relying on it. For 17 episodes I’ve considered Tom because the child iguana attempting to mix in with this nest of vipers, but it surely’s getting tougher and tougher to show a blind eye to the truth that he’s grown fangs of his personal.