Succession season 4 episode 8 “America Decides” review: A cutthroat affair

Succession. Courtesy of WBD.
Succession. Courtesy of WBD. /

Only three episodes remain of Succession, with the power dynamic slipping through Matsson’s hands, and Shiv and Tom reaching their lowest moment to date. Will Roman and Kendall take advantage and stand tall at the end? Here is our recap and review of season 4, episode 8, “America Decides.”

The episode begins with Tom and Greg prepping for the post-Logan election. Greg asks if he is ready, but Tom says that his nerves are through the roof to perform, with all eyes being on him, and to produce big numbers. Kendall calls him to reconfirm the importance of the numbers and the election. The trio of kids go back and forth about who they think will win.

Shiv calls Matsson to let him know that their guy will win. However, he mentions talking to his people and leaving his dark secret about the money behind closed doors. Kendall’s wife calls him to let him know somebody is following them, but he tells her that it’s his people keeping an eye on them.

Greg tries to talk to Tom about his future, but Tom is too flustered with the night’s events and needs his coffee. Greg asks if he wants to do the thing he talked about (cocaine), and Tom says yes, and the two follow by doing some together. After this, Connor calls to ask why something has yet to air on ATN that they have filmed. Of course, Tom blows it off, but Connor gets a little upset, considering that he didn’t expect this from his family. Moments later, it’s announced that Jeryd would beat Daniel in the states Connor thought he could win, ending his run.

Succession season 4 episode 8 is full of Emmy-worth performances

The election results are starting to come in, but the anchor on the air is struggling with the touch screen not working. Tom starts to freak out and heads to the newsroom to discover what is happening. Kendall calls Tom and tells him he needs to get it fixed NOW. A fire bomb is happening in a city, but Tom said he isn’t running the story because their viewers aren’t keen on that coverage. Roman and Shiv head down to the newsroom, but Tom basically attempts to kick them out.

Shiv pulls Tom aside to apologize for what she said to him the other night. Tom’s reaction doesn’t make her happy, and he tells her that he wouldn’t tell anyone about Matsson, followed by telling her it was her fault Logan was dead. The moment we’ve all been waiting for happens with Shiv reveals to Tom that she is pregnant, and he asks her if this is a game she is playing, and it upsets her greatly, causing her to storm off.

Shiv and Roman talk about the votes in Milwaukee that were lit on fire and needed to be counted. Of course, this is a battle of Shiv’s guy vs. Roman’s guy, and Kendall is trying to stay out of it until he doesn’t. Tom comes in to say that other networks are calling it for Mencken and think they should too, but Shiv and Kendall want him to get another verification before they air it. The team says that Mencken’s vote is so big that it doesn’t matter what the votes were, he would’ve won.

A producer storms in and says that Mark is commenting on the fire, stating that the crazies might’ve realized their guy was losing and started burning the ballots to make a scene. We find out that Roman made a move to tell Mark to say what he did, Shiv freaks out, and Kendall says he didn’t feel good about what happened. Shortly after, Shiv pulls Greg aside to discuss his night with Matsson. She tells him, “If he tries to fuck him, she will kill him.” In return, Greg asks if something is on the table for him if things go south.

Roman tells Kendall that if Mencken wins and they support him, he will nix the deal with Matsson. Kendall wants to know what “support him” means, which Roman says on the air. Roman leaves to talk to Tom and tells him they will call it for Mencken on the air. They give slight pushback, but Roman convinces him to explain it in a way that has a graphic behind him with a “pending call” on it. However, the anchor says his eyes are burning (I think he is faking).

Connor comes up with the idea of conceding the election on the air in favor of Mencken. He gets off the rails a little when he gets on the air, upsetting everyone. Shortly after, Jimenez and Mencken are tied, Arizona is on the verge of leaning toward Mencken, and Roman says he will win. But it’s contingent on Wisconsin and them already calling it. Kendall kicks everyone out and talks to Roman about maybe revisiting Wisconsin. Roman asks what his father would do, and they both know what it is.

Kendall heads to talk to Shiv about the election and says he doesn’t know what to do. He tells her that sometimes he thinks it should just be “him” in charge of everything. We hear him mention that he feels threatened by Roman/Menchken’s relationship, which is part of why he doesn’t like it. During the conversation, Kendall says he isn’t a good father, but she reassures him. He said it’s hard to think of giving it all away to Matsson and wants her to try to get Nate to block the deal from her end possibly.

"If you are going to be hysterical, we are going to ask you to leave."

Outside the room, Kendall makes the call, and surely he puts two and two together that she didn’t make the call. Then, we see him make a move to ask Greg if he is aware of any dealings between Shiv and Matsson. Kendall walks back into the room, visibly upset about the call not being made. He followed by calling her out about being in bed with Matsson. No matter how much she tries to talk, Roman interrupts her, calls her out, and Kendall backs him out.

Tom comes in the door, Roman tells him to call it, and Kendall agrees. Shiv argues not to do it, but Tom calls to tell everyone that they will call it. Someone walks up to Greg and asks if he is okay, but says he must go down to tell everyone they will call it for Mencken. He walks into the newsroom to say they are calling it for Mencken. The episode ends with Shiv calling Matsson to tell them that they are about to screw them over big time.

Overall, yet another brilliantly constructed episode of Succession that packed a hell of a punch. Roman and Kendall stand tall while Shiv continues her downfall. I’m truly astonished by how amazing the acting is on the show, and this episode is Emmy-worthy for literally everyone. This series is heading towards all-time greatness, and I can’t wait to see the last two episodes.

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Succession season 4, episode 8, “America Decides” is available on HBO and HBO Max.