In last week’s episode, Kendall’s fate changed in a moment when the raid on his father’s offices diverted attention away from the character-destroying statement put out about him by Shiv. This week’s episode begins with him enjoying the raid on television, relieved that eyes are off him. Not even the fact that Logan wants a private chat with Greg can bring him down. “I’m a sturdy birdy,” says Greg, whose allegiance we can clearly see wavering.
On a conference call, Team Logan tell Kendall (Jeremy Strong) that Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody) wants to meet him and Logan (Brian Cox) together. Here, father and son interests align: the Roys need Josh’s 4 per cent stake in the company otherwise, if he defects to rivals Sandy and Stewy, they control the firm. But Kendall, feeling ambushed, refuses and only agrees later in the episode when Frank (Peter Friedman) sweet-talks him with his silver tongue.
Roman (Kieran Culkin), meanwhile, tells Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) that he has found a former homeless man who could be valuable to Team Logan: at Kendall’s bachelor party 15 years ago, the group paid the man to have Kendall’s initials tattooed onto his head. Across town, Greg has a rum and Coke with Logan, who offers to keep him dry under his umbrella. Greg, who has leverage here, asks what it’s worth.
This week’s Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) storyline is a surprisingly moving one. While obsessing over prisons (“I just keep hearing a lot of really good things about it,” he says about one. “Kosher vending machines and sturdy bunks”), he doesn’t like the pressure that a newly-assertive Shiv (Sarah Snook) puts on him to turn ATN editorial against the President. This doesn’t mean he says no. But he is only Tom Wambsgans; his orders, despite coming from on high, are ignored by insubordinate anchor Mark Ravenhead (Zack Robidas).
After a brief scene in which Connor (Alan Ruck) tells Shiv that he wants more power at the company, we go to Josh’s house, where Logan and Kendall meet for the first time since The Press Conference. When they are left alone together, it is as fabulously awkward as you would expect.
Roman learns that Tattoo Man has had his tattoo removed but would probably accept $1million for photos of his former forehead. Meanwhile, Tom gets increasingly morose as he pays a visit to Greg and tells him he will soon be “sucking off ogres for phone cards” while Greg – who has worked out what he wants from Logan – will be “running a theme park”.
As Josh drags his feet and Kendall and Logan try to convince him that they don’t want to kill each other, Logan tells his son, through Josh, that he loves him and that maybe he’s “the best one of all of them”. Later, in case you were worried that your favourite show is getting sentimental, he tells Kendall, “You’ll say anything to get fucked on a date, won’t you.” As the three walk farther and farther, a wheezing Logan has to sit down, desperate not to show Josh that he’s almost fainting.
Doing the job that Tom couldn’t, Shiv convinces Ravenhead to change editorial tack on the President; Gerri tells Roman that he shouldn’t use the old tattoo photo because it will cast him in a bad light; and, giving us the twist that every episode is obliged to, Roman breaks the news to Kendall that Josh is aligning with Sandy and Stewy because he saw Logan almost die on their walk. As Kendall watches Josh meet Stewy (Arian Moayed), we realise that yet another piece of Kendall has shattered. The question is, is he fixable?
Roy Oh Roy
- It’s not a hall of famer, but Logan’s line “everything’s coming up fuck” is a concise illustration of a quintessential Succession zinger: short, obscene, pissed off.
- Greg’s rum and Coke scene with Logan is delicious in part because the two characters couldn’t be more different. One of Greg’s many fabulous lines, after he has tried to chug the drink at the end of the meeting, is: “I don’t know how you did it back in the ’60s. Different times. Different times indeed. Better times? Not for all.”
- Gerri provides the perfect encapsulation of the Succession ideology when she warns Roman against spreading the photo of the homeless man: “’How does this advance my personal position?’” she says. “You need to think about that 24/7.” It is the sentiment that is spinning around the heads of every character in every minute of every episode. The only irony is that, in saying it, Gerri is looking out not for herself necessarily but for Roman – of whom she is clearly feeling more and more protective.
‘Succession’ airs every Monday on Sky Atlantic at 2am in the UK – it is repeated at 9pm