The writers of Succession have never conditioned their audience to think of Roman Roy as a particularly moral character. But during last night’s episode, the youngest of the Roy siblings had his own “Daenerys Stormborn” moment revealing he, more than any of his kin, has inherited his father’s darkest urges. The man attempts to singlehandedly decide an entire presidential election in favor of a fascist. While Shiv may have other ulterior motives, she holds onto at least some genuine concern for the idea of “democracy.” Kendall spends most of the episode conflicted and dazed, but ultimately frustrated he couldn’t find a cleaner way to “make a deal.” Meanwhile, Roman, emboldened by a mad spell of spontaneous firings, attempts to take control of world history by manipulation the election-night narrative to his favor. While Logan apparently had a golden rule about staying off the newsroom floor on election night, Roman feeds fringe talking points directly to ATN’s on-air anchors behind everyone’s backs. Daenerys burnt down a city with dragon fire. Roman is trying to topple the republic with pure Roy chutzpah.
The teaser for next week’s penultimate episode finds Roman in a near-manic state, high off his brush with power. While it’s quite possible that he could still somehow wind up the sole heir to his father’s legacy and company, that would only mean he is now the Succession-verse’s newest mad king. While the character’s ultimate fate is still up in the air (Gerri still has all the tools to tear him down with one single text message to some fictional version of Ronan Farrow), it’s pretty clear he’s not going to win the award for “least evil Roy sibling.”
This has been a particularly tough turn of events for Roman’s most devoted fans. While he’s been the slimiest of Logan’s progeny, he’s also the baby of the bunch. His natural charm, puppy dog eyes, and inner turmoil has attracted a sort of fan in a very “I can fix him” way. While he’s clearly a 30-something rich kid schmuck casually sexually harassing his general counsel, many fans regard him as “babygirl.” They’re not taking it well. Here, the best memes and responses to Roman’s dark, dark turn.