- Succession -Why Did Tom Flip On 'Succession'? We Should Have Seen It Coming
Succession Season 3 was teeing up who else would flip on Logan. But the flipping flopped onto the Roy kids. Spoilers ahead. In the Season 3 finale, Tom sides with Logan on Succession and betrays Shiv. As Shiv clearly knows what he's done, was this the smartest move for the Wambsgans? Well, with the security that Logan always lands on top and the lack of love from Shiv, Tom's flip was advertised.
There are a number of scenarios where Tom may not have chosen to side with Logan over Shiv. If jail time had become a reality, maybe (a very big maybe) he would have joined Team Kendall to save himself. But instead, Logan handed him a get-out-of-jail-free card. If Shiv had given him an iota of acknowledgment that she'd look out for him in her quest for power, maybe he would have never turned. But instead, Shiv continually ignored him in her plans. If Shiv had wanted to have a baby. If Shiv could utter the words, "I love you," without a caveat. If Shiv seemed even the slightest sympathetic to him going to jail. If, if, if. But instead, with zero reassurances from Shiv, he made a deal with the devil and backed the unrivaled Roy winner — Logan Roy.
Though I don't always understand the games she's playing, Tom has always been a pawn for Shiv. Exhibit Z: At her mother's wedding, she cringingly uses Tom in her wedding speech to one-up Caroline's relationship. And at the end of each season, it's been very clear how deeply unhappy Tom is with how Shiv treats him. At the end of Season 1, he didn't want the surprise open marriage Shiv threw at him on their wedding night. At the end of Season 2, he flat-out told her the relationship wasn't working. And at the end of Season 3, she wielded her power over him under the guise of sex games and dangled the proposition of having a baby in front of him, only to basically snatch it away.
The director of the Season 3 finale, Mark Mylod said in the "All The Bells Say" behind-the-scenes video that "it was kind of inevitable at some point that he'd put self before her." As fans recognized, he pretty much advertised it in Season 3 with his reference to Greg about Nero and Sporus... and Nero pushing his wife down the stairs.
There's also Tom revering Logan in some ways. His official character description on HBO's site states that Tom "is infatuated with the Roy family's power and prestige." Tom seemed genuinely moved when a UTI-suffering Logan called him "son." And Tom chose to throw himself under the bus for the cruise scandal, which Logan told him, "I'll remember." So even though Logan doesn't truly care for Tom, there have been clues that Tom's ultimate allegiance may lie with Logan, not Shiv... which tracks, as it seems Tom was climbing the corporate ladder of Waystar Royco before he began dating Shiv.
Since Shiv witnessed her dad's appreciative pat for Tom tipping him off to the kids' plan which led him to get to Caroline, Shiv may exact revenge against Tom in Season 4. Sarah Snook told Vulture, "If Shiv knows, but her brothers don't, and Tom doesn’t know that Shiv knows — there's a lot of potential there." But Tom's been correct in backing Logan this long. So, for now, this country mouse and his soulless Sporus have chosen the winning side.
Images: Graeme Hunter/HBO, HBO