The third episode of Succession‘s new season is all about image. Kendall (Jeremy Strong), the only Roy who seems to care what Twitter thinks, opens by telling a journalist at a one-on-one lunch: “I’m just really happy in my headspace.” He is overcompensating. He wants to make it clear to the press that things are terrible for the business but not for him personally. He’s fine. And his relationship with his siblings? Great. But, by the end of the episode (directed by Birds Of Prey‘s Cathy Yan), the relationship may be worse than it ever has been – and, as this is Succession, that’s a statement and a half.
While the senior Waystar men worry that Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) may be taking her role as interim CEO a little too seriously, Logan (Brian Cox) hears that Kendall could be planning a trip down to HQ. “That rat sets one foot inside this building,” he says, “I’ll punch him in the nose.”
In order to address employee concerns about the scandal – or “hullabaloo”, as Logan calls it later – Team Logan decide to schedule a company-wide meeting, at which Shiv (Sarah Snook) will speak. And, playing Kendall at his own game, the team suggest that perhaps Roman (Kieran Culkin) could charm the press with some fond memories of his father?
In the back of a limo, while Greg (Nicholas Braun) is under the impression that Kendall will be buying him the extravagant watch he’s holding, Team Kendall play Good Tweet Bad Tweet, reading out complimentary and derogatory tweets about their leader. Once they have stepped out and arrived at the fancy event they were travelling to, Kendall’s eyes gloss over and he refuses to budge when Shiv offers him an olive branch of “truth and reconciliation”. Will there be any bridges he hasn’t set fire to?
As Roman offers only a scrap of a precious memory to the press (which later turns out to be not of Logan but of Connor), Logan and Shiv talk. Shiv wants to know what Logan knew of the crimes in Cruises. Logan, clearly lying, says that he never read the incriminating emails. Shiv is aware Logan is playing dumb but it isn’t clear how much evil she believes he is capable of. “You will not find a piece of paper that makes you ashamed of me,” he tells her in closing – a distinctly odd sentence.
At a party, as Greg realises that he – not Kendall – actually has to pay for the $40,000 dollar watch, Kendall theatrically enjoys a comedy talk-show host roasting him, and wonders if he should appear on the show himself. We’re then treated to Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) telling Shiv that he had to pull her tights out of their dog’s arse because he (the dog) had accidentally eaten them. Getting more serious, he (Tom) reveals that jail time is likely for him; maybe he should go the whole hog and offer himself up as a “beating post” on Logan’s behalf. Shiv pretends to be traumatised by the thought of this but, proving her allegiance with her dad, thinks this would actually be a “genius” idea. Later, Tom proposes the idea to a disbelieving and grateful Logan.
On a whim, Kendall decides that he will go to Waystar on the day of their town hall to mess with Team Logan’s heads. While this is happening, Logan tells White House aide Michelle-Anne Vanderhoven (Linda Emond) that he can treat the President more kindly in news coverage if he eases off a little. But things then go downhill for Logan – not to mention Shiv – when Shiv’s town hall speech is interrupted by Kendall blasting out Nirvana‘s ‘Rape Me’ through multiple speakers, bringing the event to an excruciating close.
Retaliating, Shiv unsuccessfully asks Roman and Connor (Alan Ruck) to co-sign a letter to the press about Kendall being an unstable addict with a terrible history with women. They refuse but Shiv sends it without them. This, released just before Kendall is due to appear on a comedy talk show, causes him to do a runner. Just as he looks likely to dissolve into a puddle of tears. However, his spirits lift when he sees the news: the FBI are raiding Waystar HQ. Logan is cooperating, and maybe, just maybe, he’s finally got nowhere to hide.
Roy Oh Roy
- Speaking to Greg, Tom paints a characteristically vivid picture when he threatens that the Department of Justice is “gonna be like a combine harvester in a wheat field of dicks”
- Not content with one beautiful line, Tom gets in a second when he talks about himself not having an ulterior motive in offering to do jail time for Logan: “Just clonk the trout on the head and put it in your pouch”
- Afraid to sign the horrible statement about Kendall because it will be out there forever, Connor says: “You know, PGN pulls up that photo of me with the ponytail any time they wanna make me look untrustworthy”
- Though he may be a baffling sex symbol to many outside the world of the show, within Succession Greg reveals in this episode that he’s always been self-conscious about his wrists
‘Succession’ airs every Monday on Sky Atlantic at 2am in the UK – it is repeated at 9pm