Dear Gossips,   

Welcome back to those of you returning from the Memorial Day holiday in the US and perhaps still recovering from the devastating series finale of Succession. I posted about it in this space yesterday and like many of you, I’m still thinking about it today. Specifically about the food. 


Much has been written about Succession’s f-cked up relationship with food. Duana and I were texting back and forth about this yesterday. Food is weaponised; food is wasted, literally; food is used to bring someone down instead of filling someone up; food, or the ordering of it (lobster, in Roman’s case), is connected to child abuse. 

Food, across cultures, is supposed to be love. Food is life. But as Amy McCarthy noted in 2021 in a piece for Eater, “food exists only to create more misery”, and that was true to the very end of the series, on the very final episode, and during what might be, in retrospect, its most heartbreaking scene: the kitchen. 

In the lowest moment of his life, Roman seeks comfort from his remaining parent, and his two siblings follow him to their mother’s. Caroline, at first, performs concern. This has never been a woman who truly cared about her kids. And she never feeds her kids. Even as she sets down that one plate for dinner, it’s soon revealed her true motivation: this was an ambush, as Peter and his friend soon join them and start pitching the three Roys on whatever loser scheme they come up with. It’s sinister AF, because feeding a child should be a basic maternal instinct. Caroline, however, uses food as a trap.


And then later, when Kendall, Roman, and Shiv end up in the kitchen in the middle of the night, after coming to an agreement about who would succeed, Caroline orders them to stay away from the cheese, the only thing worth eating in her fridge. Her kids are hungry, but since the cheese belongs to Peter, she tells them that it’s off-limits. Instead, as an afterthought, she offers them the ends of bread that have been left behind – the pieces that nobody wants, symbolic of how they’ve experienced love from her. Which is to say that they’ve always been hungry for their mother’s love…and have had to made do with the scraps. 

This brings us to the “meal fit for a king”. You think it’s heartwarming, right? That it’s one of the few scenes on Succession where these three damaged, terrible siblings shared warmth between them? Well, not when you consider it in the context of what food represents on this show. Food is supposed to nourish, but over four seasons of Succession, food is anything but nourishing. And this food scene was anything but was not the loving and sweet tableau that you wanted it to be. 


As Roman says in the end, it’s all bullsh-t, they are bullsh-t, and the ingredients in the blender are bullsh-t, they anointed their brother with a “meal fit for a king” that was inedible. They anointed their brother with bullsh-t. Their support of him was bullsh-t. He could barely stomach his meal… 

And half an hour later, what does Shiv say to Kendall when she’s snatches away the one thing he’s wanted his whole life? 


“I love you, I really love you. But I can’t f-cking stomach you.” 

By now we all know how precise the writing is on this show. That wasn’t a casual choice of words there – Jesse Armstrong chose to use “stomach” here. When food is love and these people have never known what love is, how could they possibly understand how to digest it? 

This is why what happened in the kitchen wasn’t Succession’s oasis, the happy place you think it was. What happened in the kitchen was a nightmare. The kitchen is where food is made, what is prepared there is meant to sustain us, make us whole, give us life. On Succession, what they made in the kitchen was poison. Everything that came out of there was rotten. 

Yours in gossip,