*Succession finale spoilers ahead*
Days before the Succession finale, a theory began to gain momentum. Life is a windy path and one wouldn't necessarily expect the citizen detectives over at NameBerry.com, which bills itself as a "revolutionary system for analyzing your baby name style and matching you with names that carry the same DNA," to crack the source code and accurately predict what the most skilled writers room in television history was driving at this whole time. But in the wake of Tom Wambsgan's unlikely rise from Lake Wobegon hayseed to Logan Roy 2.0, we simply must tip an old-timey baseball cap.
In the below TikTok video, we get into the German meaning behind Wambsgans — a big, paunchy goose. Then the more interesting part. Why did Succession go with this obscure surname? Enter the parallels between ol' Tom and Bill Wambsganns, a 13-year infielder in the Majors who spent most of his career playing for Cleveland from 1914-23?
He had one claim to fame during his otherwise nondescript career: He is the only player to turnan unassisted triple play during the postseason. It came in Game 5 of the 1920 Fall Classic, in which Cleveland beat the Brooklyn Robins in seven games.
When I first saw this, it seemed a bit out there. And perhaps it still is. But after Wambsgans bested Roman and Kendall by a 7-6 board vote swung by Shiv, an imaginative person could really believe this was all brilliantly foretold in the series premiere, Celebration. One of the first truly memorable scenes that laid out the horrific state of play involves the promise of a $1 million payout to a groundskeeper's child if he can hit a home run in a Roy family baseball game.
We all know that he gets tantalizingly close before an inhuman indignity. Knowing what we know now, though, it deserves a much closer review. Listen to Tom's voice as the youngster speeds around the bases and Shiv struggles to corral the ball. He implores his business and occasional romantic partner to throw him the ball. To give it to him. Her throw gets there in plenty of time.
What happens next is perhaps nothing yet potentially everything. It's a tag play at the plate and yet Tom steps on the dish before tagging the kid out. Accidental footwork? Probably. One of the deepest, neuron-pleasing details you'll ever hope to see? Well, that depends on your willingness to want to believe.
We'll soon know exactly when the plan for Tom to succeed became the plan. Jesse Armstrong will surely give breadcrumbs or full knobbies to a public hungry for more. But stick with me here.
If a person wanted to, they could watch this scene and understand the entire show. Who wins. Who loses. Their varying degrees of souls or complete absence of souls. They can see the kid as an avatar for Kendall and hear what Logan would have told his No. 1 boy after being within a whisper of claiming his birthright only to be crushed into oblivion.
It's either beautiful or I am exhibiting some Willy Wonka-level paranoid behavior or signs of a gummy overdose. But damn it, can't it be a little of both?