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‘Succession’ Speaks Truth to Power: Wasabi in Your Eyes Does Suck

It’s even worse when paired with lemon LaCroix

A man sitting at a laptop squints in pain.
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food and Travel Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

When I was five I got wasabi stuck up my nose. I don’t really remember how it happened, just that I was at a restaurant that served sushi with my dad and his best friend. I remember burning, and crying, and my dad laughing as he attempted to remedy the situation. Most of all I remember the anger. You dare LAUGH in my moment of utmost distress? I thought. Does no one understand the severity of this feeling??

Finally, last night, I saw my struggle reflected in media. You can’t be what you can’t see, and after all these years, Succession has allowed me to embrace what I am — someone who has been victimized by wasabi.

On the episode “America Decides,” (spoilers ahead) the Roys and the rest of Waystar Royco find themselves in a position to sway the presidential election toward Jeryd Mencken, a man who will surely plunge the country into fascism, but who will also support Kendall and Roman’s future business plans. Much hinges on a “pending call” for Mencken in the state of Wisconsin, where a fire at a polling center burns up a bunch of votes that likely would have gone to Mencken’s Democratic opponent. Roman demands the network, ATN, call Wisconsin for Mencken outright, but Darwin Perry, the company’s pollster, hesitates. After some back and forth, Perry, agrees to go on the air to explain that, while they are calling Wisconsin for Mencken, it’s not a “call call.”

Then he gets a bunch of wasabi in his eyes, which Greg tries to wash out with lemon LaCroix.

Chekhov’s bodega sushi appears toward the beginning of the episode, when Greg brings the team provisions to get them through the night. But the wasabi eyes happen suddenly: Perry casually moves Greg’s sushi container to the side and rubs his tired eyes as he prepares to spin this. Moments later, he begins squinting and screaming. He is in agony, unable to focus on anything else. Greg tries to help by pouring lemon seltzer on him, which Tom correctly argues will only make things worse (Greg sips it and insists “it’s not that lemony”). The “pending call” explanation never happens, and ultimately ATN calls the election for Mencken, giving the results an authority that is difficult to reverse.

So here, in case you thought getting wasabi in your eyes was a trivial thing, is proof it is no laughing matter. Here is proof, in fact, that getting wasabi in your eyes could lead directly to the illegitimate election of a fascist president. Thank you, Succession, for understanding my plight and showing solidarity. My inner child can finally rest.