Roman Roy, Psychoanalyzed
Where his degradation kink comes from
He’s a nuisance—that’s not a debate. But what many people don’t say about Roman Roy is that he’s the least psychopathic member of the family. It’s why he only hurts people to the extent of showing them that he’s not weak; he never actually wants to destroy anyone (and when he tries, he gets cold feet). He’s vulgar because spitting witty poison is the only way he can compensate for his lack of physical strength. I think he’s the softest, and that he’s the most misunderstood.
He has a hard time hiding his boyish side, the version of him that seems to have stopped developing past that one time his father beat him in public for ordering lobster at dinner. Frozen in time and replaying the same defensive responses against trauma, he hides his insecurities with filthy jokes and smugly embraces his role as the fool of the family.
Romulus, when you laugh, please do it at the same volume as everyone else. We didn't get you from a hyena farm.
— Logan Roy
He rehearses the eulogy for his father’s funeral with an air of nihilism, but, a later scene shows us that Roman’s attitude was, in fact, a way of self-soothing and denying the gravity of reality rather than actual callousness.
Why does Roman act the way he does? Is he just an exaggeration of rich-brat-seeking-dad’s-approval meets middle-child-syndrome (with an Oedipal twist)? Why do people have a subconscious desire to reenact their traumas? How does self-deprecating humor become a way of “acting tough”? What would Freud say about him and Gerri?