It seems like Shiv Roy had it all together when we met her in season 1, but “Succession” is filled with vague references to Shiv’s past of severe mental breakdown, during which she met a reliable guy from St. Paul, Tom Wombsgams (Matthew Macfadyen). Her relationship with Tom may seem odd on the surface as Shiv doesn’t seem to like commitment, but he finds her at a vulnerable time and proves to her that she needs a safety net. In the end her marriage was a logical choice, but her will to power and passion triumphed over her commitment to him.
On the official HBO “Succession” podcast, Brian Cox admit that the daughter of Logan Roy’s character “is clearly smart, perhaps the smartest of them all, but at the same time [has] this urge to reveal everything, tell everything – want to play these sex games with her husband – who doesn’t really want to do any of it.”
While it was Shiv’s recklessness that destroyed their relationship, it also helped form the basis for their romance. As a tough Roy, Shiv can only be vulnerable in times of crisis. But Tom showed Shiv that he has the ability to hurt her at the end of season 3, so she must find a way to regain power in her relationship – that’s where the business begins.
Tom is in a vulnerable position following Logan’s death, with the state of the company in disarray and no one backing him. Even with grief and pregnancy in mind, Shiv makes a deal with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), then reclaims her husband and his submission by giving him the keys to the ATN and the boot. His competitor is Cyd Peach (Jeannie Berlin).