All through the 4 turbulent seasons of Succession, viewers are educated to not assume a lot of Tom Wambsgans. Performed by Matthew Macfadyen, the weakling husband to Shiv Roy and puppet chief of ATN is a textbook hanger-on; all the time aligning with whoever is on the helm of Waystar Royco and seemingly void of any morals of his personal. He’s not a power, he’s a follower. This is the reason, when he’s named U.S. CEO of Waystar within the sequence finale, it comes as fairly a shock. However this ending could have been underneath our noses all alongside. Look no additional than his type.
From the onset, one factor is evident about Tom: he likes good issues. And in a present that’s deliberately lowkey about vogue, he talks about garments rather a lot. As somebody who wasn’t born into one-per-center wealth just like the Roys, he broadcasts his costly style in an effort to claim his standing. When he mocks the “ludicrously capacious” bag worn by cousin Greg’s date in episode 1 of season 4, he remarks on the way it’s an indicator of not having cash. (“What’s even in there? Flat shoes for the subway? Her lunch pail?”) Equally, he’s all the time coming after Greg’s outfit selections for wanting misplaced. However in the identical means that Greg is Tom’s private punchline, Tom’s garments have lengthy been the butt of the joke to Shiv and the opposite Roy youngsters.
Tom’s type is constructed on posturing, costume designer Michelle Matland informed The Ringer. And the Roys can inform. “No one else in the family will look at the price tag. They will buy something because they can afford it, and they love it, they like it, whatever,” she stated. “Tom doesn’t know what quality is, it’s not part of his history. Money equals quality to him.” Together with shelling out as a lot money as potential, he sweats the small particulars, carrying pocket squares, suspenders and impeccably polished sneakers. This approval-seeking type is heightened by an over-enthusiastic assurance that he’s all the time “here to serve.” To the Roys, although, it’s an emblem of his ineptitude. Within the early seasons, Roman criticizes his boxy fits and overly puffed vests for being giveaways of desperation. Extra lately, in season 4, Shiv ridicules his pristinely white sneakers, telling him they’re “why people don’t take you seriously.” However with this overly-agreeable persona, he’s in a position to successfully masks his ambitions.
The opposite Succession characters’ motives are simply gleaned by way of their garments. Kendall is dressed to emulate, then defy, then usurp his dad. Shiv’s company wardrobe rehaul mirrors her intention to grow to be CEO. Roman’s unchanging uniform exhibits how he doesn’t care to impress anybody, since he was born with all of the standing he’ll ever want. Conversely, in Tom’s painstaking precision, he has positioned himself as a faceless go well with that may bend any which means the powers that be demand. He’s dressed to take orders, and that is no coincidence.
In season 1, Matland describes Tom as “a bit of a robot.” He’s loyal to the Roy household and their unethical antics — particularly on the subject of Shiv, who holds all the facility of their relationship. However his efforts to be accepted by way of rigorously coordinated co-ords — like pocket squares and ties — additional set up his outsider standing, which is bolstered by Shiv’s mistreatment of him. In season 3, after being repeatedly thrown underneath the bus by his spouse, Tom betrays her by leaping ship to Logan’s camp regardless of the siblings working in opposition to their dad. His uniform when doing so? A relaxed cream Ralph Lauren linen go well with, a crisp white button-up and a press release purple pocket sq.. He emits luxurious, extra and distinct proximity to energy. It’s on this unexpected coup that he appears to be like probably the most Tom he’s ever regarded.
In season 4, with Logan out of the image, his marriage to Shiv in peril, and the siblings greedy for the highest firm spot, Tom’s appeasing technique kicks into excessive gear. Within the eighth episode, he washes his fingers of ATN’s choice to unfairly announce fascist candidate Jeryd Mencken as president — regardless of being the “boss” of the community — as a result of it’s what Kendall and Roman need. He appears to be like significantly boisterous for an all-nighter at work, carrying a yellow tie in opposition to a striped shirt. His gown sneakers are even remarked upon for being slightly too fancy (and uncomfortable) for the gruelling event. However for Tom, this finery is armour.
Equally, within the remaining episode, he listens attentively as Lukas Matsson divulges his attraction to (and potential intention to sleep with) Shiv, as if she’s not Tom’s spouse. Matsson sits relaxed, his fuzzy multicoloured sweater offering ample coziness. Tom, in contrast, embodies an keen worker, leaning ahead in a sterile go well with and barely flinching at Matsson’s disrespect. On this scene, Matsson sees that Tom would by no means push again on him, making him the right CEO to manage.
Time and time once more, Tom’s perpetual “poser” identification has made him an easy-to-mock goal. However due to it, he has stayed shrouded in thriller. Who’s he? What does he need? The place does he come from? What’s he able to? We by no means actually know, and ultimately, that’s his largest promoting level.
After being appointed the brand new Waystar CEO, Tom appears to be like extra comfy than ever in his company costume. Carrying a tailor-made go well with and a tie so tight it might minimize circulation, he’s the antithesis of the ever-eccentric Matsson in a burnt orange turtle neck. It’s clear what this relationship is: Matsson pulling the strings with Tom because the manicured frontman. Tom doesn’t have actual energy, he has the phantasm of energy. And he’s been dressing for that the entire time.