There is a bit of a shift in focus for this episode of Succession, with attention moving away from both Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and the Department of Justice investigation into Logan (Brian Cox). The centrepiece this week is instead the Roy family’s attempts to ‘choose’ the next president of the country at an event informally dubbed ‘the ATN primary’.
We begin, however, with Kendall and lawyer Lisa (Sanaa Lathan), who tells little Lord Fuckleroy that the papers Team Logan have turned over for the investigation “lack some of the explosiveness it was suggested they might have”. Kendall tells her to work harder and finds that Greg (Nicholas Braun) has texted him once again: “Hey dude. Hope ur good. Just checking in. Any update on the burning?”
Team Logan head to the so-called ATN primary – an event in Virginia called the Future Freedom Summit – where “the next president” is likely to be. They get to decide whom ATN will be backing. While Roman (Kieran Culkin) is mooching around, someone breaks the news to him that his mother is soon to marry a man called Peter Munion. This is news to the whole family, who barely have any idea who Munion is.
After Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) advises a worried Greg that he has come to terms with his prison obsession by simply deciding to think about it all the time, he raises the subject again with Shiv (Sarah Snook). She is now angry and bored with him for bringing it up. “I don’t get why you keep wanting to talk about it,” she says, trying to placate him with sex – an offer Tom refuses, comparing it to throwing cake batter at a brick wall, because Shiv isn’t at her most fertile time of the month.
In the middle of the night, Tom meets Greg at a diner, where the two obsess over prison together. “Because of my physical length I could be a target for all kinds of misadventure,” Greg says, in the episode’s best line. So afraid is he of prison that he asks Tom – who has become known as The Christmas Tree on account of people are hanging all their crimes on him – if Tom might burn himself on behalf of Greg. “Load me up, you piece of shit,” says The Christmas Tree.
After what Lisa deems to be a poor performance by Kendall in front of a room of investigators, she tells her increasingly unpredictable client that he undermined her and behaved badly. A few moments later, Kendall announces to his team that she has been fired, and begins organising his 40th birthday party.
We move back to the summit, where we’re forced to watch some peacocking and posturing between the three Republicans vying for the vice presidency. In a hotel room, Team Logan discuss options. “I like Connor Roy,” says Connor Roy (Alan Ruck). Roman says, “I might call the guy who waxes my balls – he’s a possible.” Shiv shocks the room by saying that Logan should side with the Democrats. A superfluous Tom, meanwhile, slips out for another diner meeting, this time with Kendall, who tells him that he can get him out of the mess he’s in. Tom, now resigned to his future in prison, ultimately rejects the offer. “I’ve seen you get fucked a lot,” he tells Kendall. “I’ve never seen Logan get fucked once.”
Though Logan invites “steady, old plough-horse” Vice President David Boyer up to the room, Roman’s courting of a provocative candidate called Jerrod Mencken seems to sway his father. Shiv protests, saying that no one likes him and that they have to listen to the climate. “Climate said I was going down,” says Logan. “Climate said I should just step aside. I guess I’m a climate denier.” We close with the Logans taking a photo with Mencken at the summit, a reluctant Shiv standing as far away from him as physically possible.
Roy Oh Roy
- Connor has yet another superb line in this episode. After Willa (Justine Lupe) says, “I think what I realised is I’m just not that interested in being a commercial playwright,” he says, “I mean, the audience helped you discover that, didn’t they babe?”
- The diner scene with Greg and Tom is probably the best in the episode. “What’s good is to eradicate hope,” says Tom. A terrified Greg tells Tom that prisoners “wipe their ass on your pillowcase. That’s something they like to do”
- When Roman learns of their mother’s engagement, he is shocked. He thought she was still in a relationship “with a canoe-shaped gentleman called Rory”
- Greg tells a trio of confused strangers at the summit that someone posted a comment on Greenpeace’s website; Greenpeace “promoted the comment”; and that his lawyer thinks it might be tantamount to defamation. “So yeah, that’s how I’m trying to sue Greenpeace”
- A moustachioed man who seems to have been to prison advises Greg and Tom: “Your toilet is your stair machine; it’s your bench; it’s your fridge; it’s your lover; it’s your brother; it’s your priest. And also, most importantly, it’s also your toilet”
‘Succession’ airs every Monday on Sky Atlantic at 2am in the UK – it is repeated at 9pm