What Shiv Roy’s Pregnancy on Succession Could Mean for the Show’s Final Season
The following story contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 4 of Succession, “Honeymoon States.”
In the aftermath of the shocking events of Succession‘s instant classic Season 4 Episode 3, “Connor’s Wedding”—where Logan Roy (Brian Cox) did, in fact, die, and, perhaps even more surprisingly, against all odds, Connor (Alan Ruck) and Willa (Justine Lupe) did get married—Season 4 opens with Logan’s three most ambitious children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Shiv (Sarah Snook), stewing in the aftermath. None of them seem to be doing particularly well. And, as it turns out, there’s some more news brewing for the Roy family.
We know that, at this point, grieving is just the beginning. Shiv already gave a statement to the media on the family (and company’s) behalf announcing her father’s death, adding, unnecessarily, that she, Roman, and Kendall planned to be involved with the company’s future. Before they even really say goodbye to their cruel father for good, they’ll have to start planning (and scheming) about the future of Waystar-Royco and how to move forward with the sale to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård). And, as we find out, Shiv has something else going on too.
At the start of Season 4, Episode 4, titled “Honeymoon States,” while Roman and Kendall are grieving in solitude, Shiv, lying in bed, receives a call on her phone from a Dr. Sharon Hasford. Dr. Hasford clearly follows the news and knows that this is a rough time for Shiv; nonetheless, she’s calling with “results,” which she promises are “good news.”
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, this is certainly a moment of confusion for us viewers. Is Shiv sick? Is something else going on? That’s a question that ultimately answers itself—if you know what you’re listening to.
Is Shiv Roy pregnant in Succession Season 4?
Yes. Shiv Roy, as it turns out, is pregnant in Succession Season 4. During Dr. Hasford’s call, she reveals that, while there may have been an earlier scare, they’ve recently run an amniocentesis test (a prenatal test to see if a baby has any health conditions) that came back all clear. “Everything looks healthy,” the doctor tells Shiv on the phone. “And you’re still well? No spotting? No bleeding?”
Shiv has nothing more to report. Before the end of the call, in case we couldn’t pick it up from any other details, Dr. Hasford reminds Shiv to make an appointment for her 20 week scan.
There’s another Roy on the way. But will this Roy actually be a Wambsgans?
There were hints to Shiv’s pregnancy in earlier Succession episodes.
As far back as the Season 3 Italy episodes—when Kendall, Shiv, and Roman’s mom was getting re-married—there have been hints that Shiv has actually been pregnant. She was toasting with water in her glass during this time, and, Shiv has seemed throughout Succession like someone who would enjoy a nice glass of bubbly when the occasion strikes.
This is also the time period when Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) brought up the idea of having kids with Shiv, and when Shiv only came around to the idea when Caroline (her mother) basically dressed her down and clearly hurt her ego.
During “Connor’s Wedding,” Shiv is also seen (in a dialogue-free moment) declining a glass of champagne when arriving at the venue, and then is only later seen drinking water throughout the episode.
Sarah Snook is pregnant in real life, so it appears that creator/showrunner Jesse Armstrong and the rest of the Succession writing staff took that as an opportunity to create yet another wrinkle in the ever-expansive Succession drama.
What does Shiv’s pregnancy mean for the rest of season 4—especially after her nasty fall at the end of Episode 4?
There are plenty of questions that abound now that we know that Shiv is pregnant. One, of course: who is the father? Based on the vibes of Season 4, it would seem that Shiv and Tom have been estranged for quite some time. However, as a well-researched piece in Vulture points out, the events of the entire Succession series to this point have only taken place over the course of about a year, in-universe. Given what we learned about the presidential election, among other things, it’s likely that Logan’s death was only a couple months after the wedding in Italy.
So, while Shiv and Tom have had an open relationship since the night they got married (who could forget?) it’s absolutely possible that Tom is still the father of Shiv’s baby, despite the two being separated and planning on divorcing. With so much in flux, this could make for some major character moments to come for both Shiv and Tom.
Near the end of the episode, after Kendall and Roman are chosen as interim co-CEOs by the Waystar-Royco board following Logan’s death, Shiv emerges from the meeting in a quiet furor. She’s upset that she once again was passed over by her brothers (though they promise to share the power and decision-making with her) and as she storms out, yells at both Stewy (Arian Moayed) and the Tucker Carlson-esque ATN anchor Mark Ravenhead (Zack Robidas) in her path. And then she falls down—hard.
Some have speculated that, following the fall, Shiv suffered a miscarriage. But we don’t think so. Rather, this seems to just be illusory of a classic adage: “When it rains, it pours.” It has not been a good day for Logan Roy’s left-leaning political advisor-turned-potential successor-turned-corporate executive daughter. And now she fell on her face in front of everyone—and the first person to help her up is the soon-to-be-ex-husband (and likely father of her child) who she hates and who previously betrayed her. It’s not a good time.
But it would be rather shallow storytelling to introduce a pregnancy plotline only to have it lost via random miscarriage by the end of the episode. We’ll certainly be hearing more about this one in the weeks to come.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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