So Much Is Happening On Succession Season 4 That We're Not Talking About Its Biggest Revelation

This article contains spoilers for "Succession."

Something major is happening in the life of Shiv Roy, and it isn't her father's death, the sale of her family's media empire, or even her divorce — the only daughter of the Murdoch-like family is pregnant. If the devoted "Succession" audience didn't see it coming, then the male-dominated world of Waystar Royco and company definitely isn't anticipating it either. The family and its corporation are both in a state of chaotic transformation and there doesn't seem to be any room for more major changes right now. Yet, at what may be the worst possible moment, here comes a baby. Since this season takes place over the course of a single week, Shiv could go the entire fourth season without ever revealing that she's pregnant. Will anyone in her life discover her secret before the series finale?

The morning after her father's death, Shiv gets a phone call from her doctor. She's gotten the results of some bloodwork back, and she and her fetus are both in top condition. Between her grief and her mixed emotions about pregnancy, Shiv cannot bring herself to react at all, only to monotonously respond, "Great."

Everything in Shiv's life is up in the air. She's not sure where she stands in the company, having been edged out of the head seat at the table by her two brothers. She's often one of two women in a crowded room, and a baby could definitely put a damper on her ambitions in the corporate world. Then there's the unfortunate state of her marriage to Tom, who she has been separated from for months and even agreed to a divorce in the season premiere. But the baby could turn a key relationship on its head. The pregnancy could cause Shiv's relationship, family life, and professional life to flip on a dime — but will they?

Does that mean there's hope for her and Tom?

The doctor said that Shiv was approaching 20 weeks of pregnancy in episode 4, but will the newest member of the Roy family give Shiv and Tom's marriage a fighting chance? She likely got the blood work done before the season 4 premiere, which means that she probably knew she was pregnant when she and Tom agreed to a divorce. That doesn't mean that she won't change her mind, but the tenacious daughter of a formidable corporate king doesn't seem to be letting her pregnancy complicate the dissolution of her marriage.

"Her father just died, there's so many business machinations happening, that to then bring Tom into it in a familial sense would confuse it again," said Emmy-nominated actress Sarah Snook on the Succession Podcast. "She doesn't know how she feels about it herself. In a way she, I think, would prefer to decide her own feelings about this before she has Tom's feelings muddying the waters."

Before she and Tom separated in Tuscany, Shiv told him that the closest she would get to considering pregnancy was freezing her eggs, so it's clear that a baby wasn't in her immediate plans. Having a child clearly scares her, and without Tom around, she is even more vulnerable. Still, maybe she needed to separate from her husband in order to trust herself as a mother.

How will the pregnancy affect Shiv's professional ambitions?

The confirmation of her baby's health brought up very mixed feelings for Shiv. She clearly tried to suppress these emotions, but this phone call made the pregnancy real for her. "I think for her in a way it would have been easier if there was something wrong so that she could have a reason to terminate and not feel guilt," Snook admitted. "But with nothing wrong, there's no reason to not continue, so it's a very complex hoping for the worst [...]"

Shiv is an ambitious woman, and she's just as interested in the fate of her father's company as Kendall and Roman. She is immediately forced to consider how a pregnancy will affect her ability to conduct business and be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry. "That's definitely what Shiv would be contemplating," Snook said. "'In what ways is this going to hold me back, not propel me forward?'"

In an uncharacteristic move, Shiv agrees to hand over the keys to the kingdom to her two brothers. It might seem like kindness or even weakness, but Snook says it was desperation. "It's a case of running out of options in a space of being, sort of, in the process of grief," the actress explained. "And being kind of cornered into, well, if you're not on the team, then whose team are you on? And at the time she's not on Tom's team, she doesn't really have many places to turn."

It might seem like a docile move on Shiv's part, but knowing her, she's just playing dead until she figures out her next play. "I think she is a killer, long term," Snook confirmed. "I feel like she's the most like Logan and so she, in the end, inevitably, will end up to be a killer — maybe more than Kendall is."

Most importantly, how is Shiv really feeling about all this?

It's hard to imagine what Shiv will look like as a mom, especially since her family doesn't provide very solid examples of parenthood. Kendall is perpetually absent from his children's lives, as his ex-wife often points out, and their own parents are no more competent. Shiv and her mother have a bone-chilling conversation at the end of season 3 that suggested little love between the two. Her own father did step in at a certain point in her childhood but, as it turns out, this too was a power play. As a child, Shiv was little more than a chess piece for her parents to move back and forth. Would her own baby become the same thing in her and Tom's lives?

"I think there's a competitiveness in there against her feelings with her own mother, and her desire to better her own mother's maternal qualities, but a fear that she probably won't be able to do that," Snook explained.

In the end, Shiv's immense privilege would make a career and motherhood completely feasible to juggle, but she would probably be just as M.I.A. from her own children's lives as her parents were from hers. It's unlikely that a child will have much of an impact on shaping Shiv's life in the long term, but it has the potential to be explosive in the short term.

It's possible that Shiv will be just as career-focused as ever before and after giving birth, that her pregnancy will be nothing more than a blip on the radar, or maybe it will be used against her in a major way while the company changes hands. In the end, Shiv may try to keep her pregnancy a secret til her body can no longer hide the truth — and can you really blame her?