Why is Shiv drinking while pregnant in Succession?

Posted by

Some series have so much following that even little details matter, and Succession is definitely one of them. Every episode triggers lots of questions, even long debates (as we already discussed for Kendall and his “murder”). One of the biggest open cases, though, was in the second-last episode of the series, with a scene that caught everybody’s attention: it’s the one where we all saw Shiv drinking while pregnant. Let’s understand what happened.

You can watch the preview video about Succession‘s finale here on Youtube.

Why is Shiv drinking while pregnant in Succession?

This question became valid in Episode 5 of Season 4, where spectators saw Shiv holding a drink (twice). Knowing she’s pregnant, someone questioned her behavior, even triggering this flame on Reddit. People doubted that Shiv was really drinking alcohol during that episode. However, in Episode 9, there is a scene where we clearly see Shiv grabbing a glass of wine and drinking it in front of Tom. No possibility of misinterpretations this time: Shiv is drinking alcohol while pregnant, and the silence of that scene wants to highlight it correctly.

As we all know, drinking during pregnancy is highly discouraged as it represents a severe risk to the baby’s health. Seeing Shiv drinking, we may wonder if it’s just irresponsible behavior, something she’s doing without thinking too much, and nothing more than that. But the scene in episode 9 has a precise meaning. You can notice it if you observe it: Shiv talks with Tom; she has hate in her eyes. Tom grabs a drink, Shiv catches the opportunity and does the same. Then she sips the wine, intensely looking into Tom’s eyes.

In Episode 9 of Succession Season 4, Shiv is drinking while pregnant as a provocation. She sips twice from the glass, on purpose. That conversation with Tom is the first one after the fight from some episodes before. They are both still hurt by what they said to each other. Shiv hates Tom at that moment. As an attempt to hurt him, she drinks alcohol, looking at him, knowing that this can harm Tom’s baby in her womb.

Tom is aware of the provocation. He looks at her and says, “yeah, it’s fine,” trying to downplay her behavior. But that action ignites the conversation, and Tom confronts her about the baby. Shiv admits that for months she wasn’t sure if she wanted to keep the baby. That matches the lack of care she’s showing off in that scene. The message is: it’s your baby, and I can harm him anytime. Shiv’s hate for Tom is stronger than her own maternal instinct at that moment.

However, Shiv’s attitude changes after Tom breaks down while remembering Logan. And at the end of that conversation, the tension between them seems to dissipate, opening up to the possibility that they will get together again in the season finale. We have no certainties if we stay on episode 9, but the meaning of that scene is now clear.

Discover other movies and TV shows explained on Auralcrave