Clues to the New CEO in Succession

The show Succession has ended, and a new CEO has risen to power. Surprisingly, it is Tom Wambsgans (played by Matthew Macfadyen) who ended up with the coveted position. However, there were some clues during the season that may have hinted at his ultimate selection. These clues came from Lukas Matsson (played by Alexander Skarsgård) and a storyline that followed. Here’s how it all connects.

During an episode in Season 4, Matsson has a video call with Kendall (played by Jeremy Strong) and makes a flippant remark about sleep that turns out to be a major piece of foreshadowing. Matsson says, “I can’t fucking sleep. You sleep good?” Kendall responds, “Honestly, not really, no.” Matsson retorts, “I’ve never met anyone I respect who sleeps good.” This seemingly meaningless conversation turns out to have a deeper significance as there is one character who really suffers from insomnia throughout the season.

Throughout Season 4, there are multiple references to Tom not getting enough sleep. During the pre-election party in Episode 7, he complains all night long about how exhausted he is. He tells Shiv (played by Sarah Snook), “I’m tired, you know. Election eve, it’s a lot.” Later, when Tom says he’s going to bed, there is a heated argument that erupts, beginning with Tom saying, “I’m bushwacked. My eyes are sandpaper.”

Two men in suits stand next to each other at a party.

Tom spends the entirety of the pre-election party talking about how exhausted he is.
Credit: David Russell/HBO

In Episode 9, Tom misses Logan’s funeral because he is too busy at work. When Matsson asks Shiv “Where’s your Tommy boy?” and Shiv responds that he is at work, Matsson appears to begin considering Tom for a key role. When Tom appears briefly at the drinks after the funeral, he once again talks about how tired he is. He says to Shiv, “I’m so, so tired, and I’ve been awake so, so long. I just felt like I couldn’t leave.”

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Finally, in Episode 10, during his meal with Matsson, Tom pitches himself as the right fit for the CEO position. He comments on how he is a “grinder” who worries all night and always works hard. He subtly mentions how he has difficulty sleeping, which inadvertently shows that Tom is the perfect candidate for Matsson’s needs. Tom does not sleep well because he is worrying about work, and he misses important events because he is busy working while others are plotting.

All of these clues suggest that Tom was the perfect choice for CEO. Although this may have seemed like an unexpected decision, it turns out that the hints were there all along.

You can now watch all episodes of Succession streaming on Max.

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