Season 3, Episode 4: ‘Lion within the Meadow’
Final week’s punishingly bleak “Succession” episode was possibly the roughest since Season 2’s “Looking” (a.okay.a.“Boar on the Ground”). However as typically occurs on this sequence, this week’s episode pulls again a bit, bringing some much-needed comedian aid alongside the continued melodrama. In “Lion within the Meadow,” the Roys take a break from scorching the Earth and get again to extra delicate energy performs, utilizing schoolyard insults and small gestures of disrespect to needle one another. It’s all so oddly pleasant.
The pettiness comes early and infrequently. When Kendall has to hitch a Waystar convention name to strategize in regards to the upcoming shareholders’ assembly, he makes use of an unprintable variation on “Little Lord Fauntleroy” as his sign-on (which is then repeated, hilariously, when he abruptly hangs up). Later, when he’s requested to speak with Logan briefly on a non-public airstrip tarmac, earlier than they each meet up with a nervous Waystar investor, Kendall zooms off to get to the assembly first, leaving the message, “Inform Dad, ‘Meep-meep’ … It’s from ‘Highway Runner.’” For probably the most half, that’s the extent of the assaults and counterattacks this week.
The investor in query is Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody), who owns about 4 p.c of Waystar — a holding which, he complains, has misplaced 10 p.c of its worth since Kendall began giving information conferences. If Josh goes to again the Roys over Sandy and Stewy on the shareholders’ assembly, he must understand how far this household feud will go. Does Kendall really need his father in jail? Does Logan actually suppose his son is a mentally in poor health drug addict? How does this all finish? Can the Roys possibly “shut up the outrage store”?
There’s one more reason Josh invitations Logan and Kendall to hitch him at his sprawling property. He must know in the event that they consider him as a wise man who is aware of what to do along with his cash — and is thus owed some respect — or as some speculator who acquired fortunate, and who solely has worth due to what he can purchase. Is he actually an essential a part of their enterprise? Is he part of this Waystar household?
The most important chunk of this episode options these three guys placing on a present for one another. Josh tries to tease slightly honesty out of the Roys, whereas Logan and Kendall fake they’re nonetheless a loving household operating a viable enterprise, and wielding acumen no outsider can match. What makes these scenes so absorbing is that it’s not too arduous to think about Kendall, and possibly even Logan, eager to consider the fantasy they’re promoting. As they sit aspect by aspect of their matching black baseball caps — with Logan saying he can nonetheless see his son in control of Waystar sometime, and Kendall lovingly calling his previous man “geezer” — they virtually appear to be enjoying roles they need have been actual.
It doesn’t final. The primary few occasions Josh steps away, the Roys preserve stony silence. Later, as they stroll again to the primary home by some exhaustingly bumpy hills, Josh leaves the 2 behind they usually begin making threats, every insisting the opposite is enjoying with a weak hand.
Then Logan will get bodily in poor health and the sport is up. Josh makes it clear he can solely again the Roys if Logan is operating issues, and seeing the patriarch stumble spooks him — as does Kendall’s try and hold speaking enterprise whereas his father is sick. The primary cue that these three weren’t on the identical web page got here earlier within the day, when Kendall referred to as the Beatles a “nice band” and Josh and Logan each stated they’re only a “good band.” The strains have been drawn then. Kendall by no means might persuade Josh to cross them.
Past the vigorous one-upmanship on the seashore, what makes this episode so energetic is that a lot of it’s spent with the 2 most reliably comedian “Succession” characters: Greg and Tom.
Greg is persuaded to fulfill with Logan, who gives him a drink after which exasperatedly calls in his assistant to sweeten the nervous, indecisive child’s cocktail with Coca-Cola. (The sound of the soda can opening is sort of a tiny rebuke to Greg’s manly ambitions.) Logan lets his great-nephew know that he has slightly leverage over Waystar proper now, and that he wants to make use of it correctly. Greg, although, is just too shaky to claim himself. He retains getting distracted by his beverage, calling it “robust for a person” and reflecting on the hard-drinking olden days, saying, “I don’t understand how you probably did it again within the ’60s. Completely different occasions certainly. Higher occasions? Not for all.”
As for Tom, he’s been spending his time these days making an attempt to pick jail for himself and indulging in gallows humor, laughing that his co-workers are calling him “Terminal Tom.” Lastly he breaks down in entrance of Shiv, dropping his fake-courage and musing anxiously about his future life behind bars.
“What if I neglect to burp the bathroom wine?” he frets. “How late can I learn? When is lights-out?”
There’s distinction between the Logan/Kendall/Josh scenes — that includes three guys comfy with flexing — and the a lot sillier confrontation on this episode between Tom and Greg. When Tom tries to get his former lackey to make a transparent determination on what he needs, Greg lastly admits that he’d wish to be moved right into a management place in Waystar’s theme parks division. Tom then moans once more about jail earlier than making an attempt to wrestle with Greg, snarling, “Let’s combat like chickens!”
Greg refuses, shouting, “I don’t need to do it,” prompting Tom to answer, “Neither do I, Greg!” He tries to show this into avuncular recommendation saying, “You’re so arduous to riff with. That could be a large profession impediment.”
However that “neither do I” would be the most trustworthy second Tom has had on this present. Guys like Logan genuinely get pleasure from a bloody fray. Guys like Tom solely prefer it after they’re successful.
The three different Roy kids all get moments within the highlight this week, too. Whereas Kendall and Logan are strutting by the ocean, Shiv is again on the workplace hustling to execute a few of her dad’s large plans. These embrace interfering with ATN’s editorial independence by suggesting the information staff take a more durable line on the presidential administration. For her hassle, she will get a cranky cellphone name from her father, who’s irritated that the opposite executives are complaining about her. “I don’t want one other toothache,” he growls. Logan additionally reminds Shiv, considerably ominously, that no place he takes is ready in stone. “Nothing is a line,” he says. “Every thing, in all places, is all the time shifting, ceaselessly.”
In the meantime, Connor remains to be determining what he can ask for in change for being publicly loyal to Logan. He nixes Shiv’s concept that he develop into a number on one among Waystar’s journey and delicacies reveals, as a result of he nonetheless has presidential ambitions and he doesn’t suppose that spitting out wine on cable TV goes to assist his numbers within the Rust Belt. At present his staff is angling for 2024; Connor assumes the present president — who everybody calls “the Raisin” — goes to get re-elected. However who is aware of? Possibly if Connor resumes his marketing campaign in earnest, he can even assist with Shiv’s White Home drawback.
As for Roman, he’s initially distracted by the information that Gerri is occurring a date. (“With who?” he asks, incredulously. “Montgomery Clift? The Ghost of Christmas Previous?”) As soon as he will get previous that, he suggests a very nasty approach to take down Kendall: By finding “Tattoo Man,” a down on his luck man his brother as soon as paid to tattoo his initials on his brow, whereas the siblings have been on an “ironic” New Orleans bar crawl. The person has since had the tattoo eliminated, however Roman ultimately persuades him to offer Waystar with an previous image, which Gerri suggests Roman hold underneath wraps for now. She advises him to begin asking himself, with each daring transfer or soiled trick, “How does this advance my place?”