Everyone is calling everyone’s bluff on Succession no matter if it involves the mechanics of an open relationship or the early talks of selling a multi-billion dollar company. Sarah Snook’s Shiv Roy is usually the most confidant person in the room. Roman is theatrical and Kendall is emotionally broken at the start of the second season, but Shiv can keep her cool while quietly moving her chess pieces. In the second season, Shiv is faced with an opportunity from her father, but then she almost loses everything.
In this year’s premiere episode, Brian Cox’s Logan Roy threatens to sell Waystar Royco if he can’t find someone to step in as CEO. He has a brief meeting with all of his children, but he offers the keys to his only daughter. Snook’s face almost freezes in doubt. “This is real?” she asks her father, her eyes welling up as she sways back and forth between excitement and fear that it’s a dream.
Maybe Shiv’s greatest asset is the ability to lay everything out on the table to let someone else make a life-changing decision. There is a scene where Shiv meets up with Kira, a witness who is going to testify in the cruise scandal, and she encourages her to make her story public. Shiv also reminds Kira that the story will follow her for the rest of her life. Shiv is seemingly sympathetic but she knows how to sprinkle in the right words to turn a light on the right light. Honesty is something that she isn’t ready for in the beach scene with Matthew MacFayden’s Tom when he tells her that he isn’t happy with their open marriage.
While she may not become queen by the end of Season 2, Sarah Snook’s performance as Shiv Roy proves that she has the right stuff to rule.