This episode of Succession is the strongest of the third season. As well as featuring one of the ensemble set pieces for which the show has become well-known, we’re spoiled with a range of one-on-one confrontations that take the drama to heights this season’s previous episodes hadn’t necessarily reached.
We begin with Team Logan, who ambush Sandi (Hope Davis) and Stewy (Arian Moayed) by telling them just before an important meeting about Waystar’s plans to buy Lukas Matsson’s (Alexander Skarsgård) company. They’re not impressed. Later, in the meeting, neither Logan (Brian Cox) nor Kendall (Jeremy Strong) can be on the conference call but Logan watches from behind glass. “I feel like I’m taking a shit in the Guggenheim, y’all,” says Stewy.
On the way to the Tuscan wedding of Caroline (Harriet Walter), mother to Roman, Shiv and Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) tells Shiv (Sarah Snook) he’s investigated Peter Munion (Pip Torrens) and found out he’s a “slime badger” with various bankruptcies and children under his belt. Kendall, meanwhile, arrives with a buzz cut and learns that Logan has requested that the two of them be separated for things like the rehearsal. Munion, wearing lime-green trousers, introduces himself and we learn that Gerri is there with her date, Laurie. She insists that Roman stop sending her dick pics. Remember that – it’ll be relevant later.
Comfry (Dasha Nekrasova) tells Kendall that among his media requests is a podcast that is digging around the death of the caterer at Shiv’s wedding. She kisses Greg (Nicholas Braun), who then wonders aloud to Shiv and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) whether or not the relationship is deep enough. He starts eyeing up a woman we later learn is a contessa. Meanwhile, a wacky tweet from Lukas Matsson about heading to Macau and feeling lucky sends Team Logan into meltdown. “I’m not used to negotiating via eggplant,” says Logan after a follow-up emoji tweet.
Connor (Alan Ruck), who feels as though being married would help his presidential campaign, proposes to Willa (Justine Lupe) – who quietly says yes but tells him that she actually needs to think about it. Having a cigarette together on a balcony, Caroline tells Shiv that she should probably never have had children. This looks as though it might confirm to Shiv that she doesn’t want children but soon after, she pounces on Tom, tells him she wants babies, and, in the heat of dirty talk, says that he loves her despite her not loving him. It’s a cataclysmically sad scene.
In an equally sad scene, Kendall succeeds in getting a dinner alone with Logan. Not ruling out the possibility that the food might be poisoned, Logan has Kendall’s son Iverson (Quentin Morales) try it. The food remains untouched after this, as a bitter back-and-forth begins. Kendall wants out, admitting that he doesn’t know where he’ll go from here. “You’ve won,” he says, “because you’re corrupt and so is the world. I hate to say this ’cause I love you but you’re kind of… evil.” Proving Kendall’s point, Logan taunts him about the caterer’s death and doesn’t accept Kendall’s proposal (a buyout offer that he had already made), telling him to fuck off.
Discussing the reality of having kids with Tom, Shiv says at the very least they should freeze her eggs. Tom says that that might mean only having children in 10 years – “That’s like two-and-a-half Olympics.” Shiv, who clearly doesn’t really want to bear Tom’s children, continues to treat him horribly. “I may not love you but I do love you,” she says, proving that a lifetime with her father has made her more than capable of psychological violence.
After Roman meets Matsson to try to make sense of his position, he works out that Matsson actually wants a “merger of equals” – a deal Logan is happy to entertain, given the corner that Waystar are in. Roman is suddenly the golden boy and Gerri texts him to say well done. The problem is, so does Logan. Replying to his dad but believing that he’s replying to Gerri, Roman sends a message with a dick pic in it. The penny dropping for both men is one of the finest moments in Succession history. Furious, Logan speaks to Shiv – who tries to land Roman in the shit – then with Roman. Logan hints that he may fire Gerri, and Shiv leaps in to encourage Gerri to report Roman to HR. It’s a beautiful, horrible mess.
We end with Kendall, face-down on a lilo with a beer in his hand, only vaguely conscious as his children wander into the house behind him. He’s not in a good place, to say the least. And it’s not clear where he can possibly go from here.
Roy Oh Roy
- Connor is fast becoming the most quotable character of the season. Arriving in Milan, Willa asks him if he has ever met a pope. He met one with Logan a few popes ago, he says – a “full-fat” pope; “very religious”.
- Another gorgeous line – stylish more than funny this time – comes from Logan when he’s talking about Madsson and how potentially unstable he might be: “I can win any fight with a boxer-fuck but I don’t know how to knock out a clown.”
- After Roman tells Shiv that he imagines that some day he’ll be head of the company, with Shiv in an adjacent office as his sexy secretary, she says, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” “I dunno,” Roman says. “We’re working on it.”
‘Succession’ airs every Monday on Sky Atlantic at 2am in the UK – it is repeated at 9pm