This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of the final season of “Succession.”
This week, the Roys took a field trip to Norway to seal the deal with Matsson. The playing field was deliriously uneven from the minute the Waystar Royco team stepped out of their black SUVs onto Matsson’s terrain. Out of their element, the characters’ style choices were as fun and layered as the psychosocial maneuvering that unfolded on the trip. As Kendall told Roman, their decisions felt like “a tightrope walk on a straight razor.”
Stella Bugbee: Let’s start with the differences between Matsson’s team in Norway, radiating unconcerned cool in their mountain gear, versus the overdressed Americans in their city layers.
Vanessa Friedman: Coats on the Roys vs. vests on the Swedes. Tom Ford athleisure on Kendall vs. a T-shirt on Lukas. It’s their territory. They marked it.
Guy Trebay: Prepare to be iced. This episode was all point counterpoint. That moment where the Roys and their flunkies arrive at the secret Norwegian hideaway and they’re greeted by Matsson’s flunkies. The principals are dressed super casually, and the drivers wear suits.
Jessica Testa: Too many turtlenecks in this episode for my taste! But my favorite was Matsson’s under-$200 turtleneck by Fjällräven.
VF: I was interested in the way this episode took the Roys out of their comfort zone and that discomfort was also conveyed in how they dressed. They did not fit in, as they discussed why they thought the merger was an awkward fit. My other favorite detail: Connor calling Roman and Kendall to say Marcia wanted to bury Logan in a kilt. A kilt!
SB: A gesture toward emasculating Logan. What about the sexual attraction between Matsson and Shiv? That sicko request for a photo of Kendall and Roman after the deal, followed by the final shot of her satisfied smile.
JT: The tension was there from the moment he didn’t know whether it was OK to bro-hug her.
GT: For such rich and powerful people, there is a startling lack of satisfying (or even consummated) sex.
VF: Only increased by that scene where she kicked dirt on Tom’s white sneakers saying, “This is why people don’t take you seriously.” Then compared him to Matsson (and Matsson’s “broad” body).
Anna Grace Lee: “Your shoes are like looking at the sun. No, they’re dangerous.”
GT: Talk about emasculating.
SB: The theme of emasculation was strong in this episode. From the mandatory naked sauna to the kilt to the scene when Matsson is afraid of his own blood coming back to haunt him. And of course, Shiv’s brutal takedown of Tom. She calls him a spelunker.
GT: Whereas Matsson is an alpinist.
JT: The realest power move: Being 6-foo4-4 and ripped. They tease Greg for his height, but they can only gawk at Matsson.
AGL: Matsson looked like a Fortnite character in his cargo pants.
VF: Matsson is beyond stealth wealth. He’s too rich and powerful to even worry about his clothes.
SB: Flashing his abs when he rips off his anorak, urinating while negotiating — all clues that he doesn’t “have very good boundaries,” as he tells Shiv, right before explaining he harassed his direct report.
AGL: The blood! What was that about?
GT: Also, what to do when you receive a block of frozen blood?
VF: Put it in the freezer.
GT: His goal is acquisition, but all he does is excrete.
VF: His accessories are bodily fluids.
AGL: And now I wonder if Karolina somehow knew, when she said something like “You look refreshed” so pointedly to Matsson’s head of communications at the brunch.
JT: A top-tier insult worth saving in the Notes app — “You look well. Very refreshed.”
AGL: Can we talk more about Shiv’s raincoat look?
GT: Shiv’s wardrobe messaging is confounding to me. She’s saying something, but it’s not always clear what.
VF: That trench coat was aggressively not part of the landscape.
JT: It’s by Mackage, retails for $1,190.
SB: The puffer hood, mixed with the trench, hints at her hybridity, though. She’s the bridge between the sensibilities, and she can get this deal done.
VF: Another detail I loved — Frank and Karl pulling on their compression knee socks on the plane. Of course they would be on the redundancy list after that.
JT: I loved the compression socks! Maybe my favorite moment.
GT: Maybe you won’t die of a deep vein thrombosis, but you are definitely about to die!
JT: Gerri survived the kill list. Karolina survived. Shiv managed not to make a fool out of herself, unlike her brothers.
SB: Shiv quietly saved both Gerri and Karolina while Matsson was high. Matsson’s compliment — “I like you, you can take a joke. I like that. Like your dad” — seemed to give her a rare moment of real pleasure. It was the recognition she needed.
GT: A triumphant episode for Shiv.