Tv’s most depressing rich household is again to battle over management of Waystar Royco, and The Ringer will probably be following their scheming each step of the best way. Every week, we’ll break down the largest developments, observe who’s main the literal line of succession, and catalog every episode’s most savage burns, greatest Cousin Greg–isms, and extra. Let’s proceed with the fourth episode, “Lion within the Meadow.”
Succession’s Line of Succession, Week 4
The Waystar shareholder assembly looms giant over Succession’s third season—with every passing episode, it attracts nearer. Whereas it’s unclear how a lot time has elapsed this season—severely, what number of weeks has it been since Kendall’s bombshell press convention?—the FBI raid of the Waystar premises couldn’t have come at a worse time for the corporate. At the beginning of “Lion within the Meadow,” the shareholder assembly is 4 days away, and traders are getting chilly toes. That features Josh Aaronson (performed by Adrien Brody), who owns an important 4 p.c stake within the firm and is contemplating a last-minute defection to both promote or be part of Sandy and Stewy.
To assuage considerations forward of the shareholder vote, Josh requests that Logan and Kendall come to his non-public island and guarantee him that Waystar can stand up to some Roy household infighting. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of that showdown shortly, however Logan asks Shiv to be on “fireplace watch” in his absence. It’s a golden alternative for Shiv to show that, regardless of her inexperience within the company world, she’s the proper Roy child for the highest job. (I’m positive that brutal open letter condemning Kendall’s habits in last week’s episode gained her some brownie factors, too.)
Finally, although, Shiv’s execution is a blended bag. She tries, and fails, to say her authority over Frank and Karl in the course of settlement negotiations with Sandy and Stewy. When Logan relays to Shiv that Karl didn’t recognize her enter, she pouts like a toddler getting her favourite toy taken away. And if there’s one factor Logan doesn’t like seeing from a possible successor, it’s weak point. “I don’t want one other toothache,” he tells her. “I gave you a vacation spot, I can’t stroll you there, OK?”
On the brilliant facet, Shiv did achieve getting ATN’s hotshot anchor Mark Ravenhead—sure, the identical man Tom questioned final season about undoubtedly being a neo-Nazi—to criticize the “raisin” president, thereby pressuring him to dial down the Division of Justice’s investigation into Waystar. (Sidenote: In an concepts assembly, Ravenhead says, “I like pedo daycare, it’s sturdy.”) However whereas Ravenhead’s unfavorable protection of the president is a win for Logan delivered by Shiv, he’s extra more likely to keep in mind how she did not impress him than what she did to show the tides in his favor. Such is the Sisyphean wrestle of making an attempt to achieve Logan Roy’s favor—as each a daughter and an worker.
In the meantime, Roman goes on an episode-long quest to get some grime on Kendall, resurfacing an unhoused individual they coerced into getting Ken’s initials tattooed on his brow throughout Kendall’s bachelor social gathering in New Orleans. (Extra on that shortly.) However as Gerri factors out, Roman would even be undermining himself by making this info public as a result of he went together with the prank. “How does this advance my private place?” Gerri tells him. “You want to take into consideration that 24/7. You need to get that tattooed in your head.” Gerri is actually listening to her personal recommendation. She hasn’t made main strikes since being put in as CEO, however with Roman willingly feeding her this type of info, she’s amassing leverage. With all the eye on the Roy youngsters, the Mole Woman resides as much as her identify.
Takeaway of the Week: Human Playthings
It goes with out saying: What Kendall and Roman did to that unhoused individual was gross. However their bachelor social gathering habits can also be emblematic of how the Roys view individuals below their socioeconomic strata—that no matter occurs to them doesn’t matter as a result of there was, as has been repeated many occasions on the collection, “no actual individual concerned.” It’s telling that Roman refers to him as “Tattoo Man” reasonably than determine him by his precise identify. Sadly for Tattoo Man, Roman pulls him again into the highlight with the hope of puncturing Kendall’s new woke picture, solely to be disheartened by the truth that Kendall’s initials are actually barely seen on his head. (He had the insignia eliminated to, understandably, assist his employment prospects.) It’s onerous to determine what’s extra dehumanizing: the preliminary act in New Orleans or the best way that Roman and Hugo poke and prod on the man’s brow in a convention room.
However the Roys get a style of their very own drugs this week when an unlikely supply treats Logan and Kendall like his personal playthings. That might be the aforementioned Josh Aaronson. Josh initially flexes on the Roys by demanding that Logan and Kendall meet him collectively regardless of their very public blood feud. Then, after Kendall begrudgingly acquiesces to that demand, Josh requests that they fly out to his non-public island as an alternative of assembly within the metropolis on account of his daughter working a fever. “Good, like it,” he says to Logan upon arriving at his island. “Fucking King Kong come out to bop for me. I’m honored.”
It doesn’t take lengthy for it to develop into clear that Josh, who, in Adrien Brody’s succesful palms, seems like if Noah Baumbach was getting over a divorce by closely investing in crypto, isn’t being truthful with Logan and Kendall. For one, his supposedly sick daughter is doing entrance flips within the pool:
What Josh needs above all else is a tune and dance—the kind he would not often, if ever, be afforded below regular circumstances. A 4 p.c stake may not sound like lots, however 4 p.c of one of many largest firms on the planet means proudly owning a non-public island. The assembly with Logan and Kendall isn’t actually about his considerations with the corporate’s enterprise prospects; it’s about watching one of the crucial highly effective males on the planet squirm.
Maybe the cruelest side of Josh’s scheme is how he preys on Logan’s bodily vulnerability. He urges Kendall and Logan to take a protracted stroll on his premises, and after saying that he’s organized for a cart to choose them up on the best way again, they simply … carry on strolling. As Logan wheezes, Josh yells again, “I’m gonna name the home, ’trigger that is the short approach however typically it takes longer,” a press release so nonsensical that it’d as nicely be a twist of a knife. The inevitable finally occurs, and Logan keels over from exhaustion.
Josh makes use of Logan’s debilitating episode as an excuse to drag his assist forward of the shareholder vote, however as Kendall sees on the very finish of “Lion within the Meadow,” he’d already organized a gathering with Stewy after theirs. Apart from establishing himself as a deceptively terrible individual, Josh has the Roys backed right into a nook. It doesn’t seem like the shareholder assembly goes to go their approach, and if the household loses its personal firm, it’ll go away a mark extra everlasting and damaging than even a face tattoo.
The Most Callous Show of Wealth
Since Logan and Kendall aren’t on the most effective, uh, phrases for the time being, the truth that they agreed to a gathering the place they’re in the identical room looks like an accomplishment in and of itself. However earlier than they will discuss with Josh, they must get to his island. Meaning Succession will get to return to considered one of its favourite 1-percenter staples: non-public air journey. However Kendall and Logan’s respective egos are so huge that sharing a non-public helicopter and aircraft simply gained’t minimize it. No, they’ll fly individually, proper subsequent to at least one one other, ensuing on this absurd picture of extra:
Setting apart how dangerous this dick-swinging contest is for the setting—it was solely two episodes again that Kendall pleaded together with his siblings to assist him save the planet—it’s additionally a extremely dangerous search for the Roys. What higher strategy to present the investor you’re assembly that father and son aren’t on the identical workforce than by actually refusing to fly collectively?
Nonetheless, separate non-public jets is one factor; proudly owning a non-public island is one other. (I’m fairly positive even the Roys aren’t flexing that onerous.) It’s tough to get a full learn on Josh’s island primarily based on a scenic stroll by the ocean, however from the best way his home seems, he undoubtedly took the incorrect classes from Parasite.
The Most Brutal Insults of the Week
5. After logging on to a convention name with all of Logan’s underlings: “Holy shit, the gang’s all right here, huh? It’s just like the fucking Sgt. Pepper of damaged company America.” —Kendall
4. The high-quality people down on seven: “You recognize they’re calling me ‘Terminal Tom’ down on seven? Trigger I’ve acquired most cancers of the profession.” —Tom
3. After complimenting Kendall in entrance of Josh: “Yeah, nicely, you’ll say something to get fucked on a date, gained’t you?” —Logan
2. On Shiv making an attempt to be the large boss at Waystar: “Bear in mind whenever you had that play submit workplace and also you used to stamp all of the mail that got here into the home? … This can be a little bit like that, isn’t it?” —Connor, with a uncommon but admittedly efficient burn
1. After Kendall begins to wonder if Josh is colluding together with his dad: “You OK, son? A few of these medication you do could make you paranoid, is that proper?” —Logan
The Cousin Greg Nook
Cousin Greg’s ineffectual try and play each side seems to have lastly come to an finish this week, after Logan requests an viewers with him. “I’ve this silly fear that I’m gonna go over and there will probably be like goons and stooges and tough jacks there to manage a beating,” Greg tells Kendall. However Kendall is aware of that Logan even acknowledging Greg’s presence is a big improvement: “It means you will have weight, bro.”
After all, it’s one factor for Greg to have leverage; it’s one other to know what to do with it. In between sips of a very sturdy rum and coke, Greg has no concept what to ask Logan for ought to he conform to abandon his private lawyer and signal Waystar’s joint protection settlement. The predictably awkward trade ends with Logan telling him to return again when he is aware of what precisely he needs, and Greg chugging the rum and coke that’s no less than 50 p.c rum:
However whereas Greg appeared clueless within the room with Logan, he did give you some good calls for. As he explains to Tom, he’ll ask to be an operations director at one of many Waystar theme parks, ideally the one in Buffalo, so he can return to New York Metropolis on the weekends. Greg made it clear final season that he by no means needed to observe Tom to ATN; now he can work in a much less poisonous setting that (presumably) employs fewer neo-Nazis.
Tom doesn’t deal with the information nicely—what with the chance that he may go to jail whereas his bestie takes over a glorified Six Flags. He tells Greg the story of Nero and Sporus. (“This isn’t IP I’m acquainted with,” Greg says.) Nero, Tom explains, was a Roman Emperor who pushed his spouse down a flight of stairs earlier than castrating his favourite slave Sporus and marrying him. “I’d castrate you and marry you in a heartbeat,” Tom says, which is each weird and but, inside the context of Succession’s merciless universe, one of the crucial real expressions of affection that’s ever been stated on the present.
But when all the things goes nicely for Greg and his new plan, the character will come full circle. In any case, our introduction to Cousin Greg within the Succession pilot was at one of many Waystar theme parks, the place he was puking through the eyes of one of the mascots. It’s not precisely a Roman epic, however returning to the park feels oddly poetic all the identical.