We’re back for week 2 of Succession’s final season and are excited to analyze this family fuck-fuck. Some of you may be wondering, how do we (Sami and Aleen) know what scores to assign to everything? The answer is obvious: We feel it in our bones.
Before we get to the scores, we have several questions for the Roy family this week. Why does everyone ask Logan how he’s feeling? Why has no one ever done karaoke with Connor? Have they ever heard of a Blade? But, perhaps most importantly: Why don’t they use their ever-expanding piles of money to make life easier in really obvious ways… like maybe not transacting their full net worth during their own weddings? Money can’t buy you class, but it can definitely buy you a nearly stress-free wedding. We say “nearly,” because we are talking about the Roys here—conflict is their comfort zone and “fuck offs” are doled out as casually as nibbles at events.
Here’s our week 2 ranking of who deserves the biggest “fuck off.”
(+10) Several moments in this episode highlight why Logan is, as he says, “100 feet tall” compared to the people around him when it comes to business. These are some that stuck out:
– He may be worth billions, but he’s still paying attention to the invisible expenses that he knows his executives won’t. Too much pizza and air conditioning is how you end up with a 40% increase in expenses versus a 15% increase in revenue. Good head for numbers!
-He still watches his brand closely and knows when a font is too small or too ingratiating.
-Logan’s “cheap and cheerful” speech at ATN was riveting from an acting standpoint, though also completely terrifying. Imagine it’s the first day of your internship for a second. “I’m going to be spending a lot more time in here with you, because I love it here. I FUCKING LOVE IT! So I don’t wanna know about 3% week on week, I wanna know that we’re killing the opposition. I wanna be cutting their throats!”
-Logan can also sense when the board members might be slipping and need to be contacted, and that Gerri already has her Viking hat on.
-“Deals have a habit of disappearing”—Like we saw last week, deal prices are delicate and people who know what they’re doing don’t overpay because 10 is even and 9 is odd.
-Logan’s rant after he leaves the karaoke bar was really about perspective around money. It sounded like it could’ve been a continuation of his conversation with Colin last week, where he sublimates his disappointment toward his children into a macroeconomic issue. The rats and skunks metaphor sounded like it was really about his kids and their inability to understand the true value of the company to which he’s dedicated his life. On a deeper level, he knows this means that they don’t understand him.
(+1 )“One email. Fucking Stakhanovites in here… please, don’t exhaust yourself.” – I had to google Stakhanovites, but I laughed belatedly when I saw the definition is “a worker in the former Soviet Union who was exceptionally hard-working and productive.”
(+1) For the helicopter move.
(+1) For prioritizing the helicopter move during his later apology.
(-5) Because Logan himself is “lily-livered” when it comes to having real conversations, and Shiv is right that he just bullies people into getting his way so he never has to experience his own vulnerability. His inability to tell Kerry that she shouldn’t be an anchor is the most powerless posture we’ve ever seen him take toward someone. Even when Nan was pulling out of the deal in season 2, he screamed and bullied her. But with Kerry, he can barely even tell himself that she isn’t good enough, and instead has to needle everyone around him into giving their opinion. But they’re all way too afraid to be honest based on his past reactions, and they seem to all think he might be testing them by even asking.
(-5) Logan appears quite distracted by Kerry in general. As we discussed in our episode 1 podcast recap, we have our suspicions that Kerry may be pregnant. And now we have our fucking suspicions that her presence in the karaoke conversation (even after Shiv wanted to kick her out), plus her pushing for the family to fix their dynamics, continues to support our prediction. If true, Logan didn’t seem intent on revealing it then, but Kerry’s presence was driving the conversation nonetheless. His waffling on the matter of the Italy argument and how the company shares were rearranged didn’t feel like a closed loop either. And finally, why is he so hesitant to tell Kerry that she can’t be an anchor, even if he wants to keep seeing her? When has Logan ever had a problem with kicking something to see if it comes back?
(+3) For the emotional energy surrounding the entire karaoke scene.
(+1) “You’ll get enough to do what you want. I do ATN, you do Pierce… it’ll be a fresh start for all of us.” – Interesting, given his previous rant in the ATN newsroom about killing the competition.
(-1) This terrible apology: “I don’t do apologies, but if it means that much to you, then… sorry.”
(+3) “You’re such fucking dopes. You are not serious figures. I love you, but you are not serious people.” This is THE quote that defines his kids, and it is such a brutal insult. But on some level, it’s his fault and he probably knows that deep down. (Even though would probably sell his shares to Sandy Furness before admitting it to himself.) Then he leaves the purple-hued midtown karaoke bar, proving his point that when you push too far, pricks like that will walk.
(+1) “Dad was a god.. and tomorrow, he’s selling out to a 4chan Swede and dishing out jobs for blowies.” – If Connor is the most self-aware kid, Roman is probably the most externally aware.
(-2) “I’m going to set aside several hundred thousand dollars and dedicate it to ruining your life.” – Knowing that Roman might actually be more empathetic and competent than his siblings, it’s extra off-putting when he acts like this particular kind of asshole.
(+1) For enduring the mockery when he says he’s sure that Matsson won’t go up in price. “Uhhh, that’s negotiation 102.” Roman continues to be the only kid with any aptitude for potentially running their father’s business.
(+2) Actually, he might be the only one with the aptitude to run any business. This week, he says to Kendall and Shiv, “Okay, but we want to do Pierce, right?” Last week it was, “Okay, but we want to do The Hundred, right?” Even though he ends up going back to Logan at the end, it seems that he’s just trying to make some sort of actual business venture and/or resolution happen within his family. “I’m genuine about us three.”
(+2) While Kendall and Shiv couldn’t stop hurling insults in the karaoke bar, Roman was the only one who had the guts to ask Logan what he was sorry for and utter the words “mom and Italy” as the reason for their estrangement.
(+1) For showing up at Logan’s at the end, even though he says he’s genuine about working with Kendall and Shiv. We reconcile this as him just wanting security, peace, and to actually make something of himself. He also realizes that he can’t bet on his siblings when they’re solely driven by their own fleeting emotions.
(+5) To be needed by Logan must be a high only reachable by company helicopter.
(+1) He introduces Logan to the newsroom with a comment that felt like it came from the same weird tree of his personality as “thank you for the chicken” in season 2: “I could give you a kiss from here.” On second thought, another interesting followup to Logan’s 100 feet tall comment.
(-1) For the lack of spine he demonstrates as he oscillates between fear and intimacy with Logan.
Greg: So, he’s gonna be here all the time in person?
Tom: Hangin’ around… like the threat of nuclear war.
(+1) Tom has gotten quite good at weaponizing his assumed timidity to deflect blame. He’s at his best with Shiv and the divorce lawyer situation.
“Maybe Sara made a mistake… I see what your family can do in these situations. I want it to be amicable.”
(+2) For how he deftly throws Cyd under the bus. By the end of the episode, Logan tells Tom that she’s “toast.”
Tom: What do you think of the election refit?
Logan: Pretty fucking penny. It’s an aircraft hanger. What’s the air con bill?
Tom: Cyd really likes the sense of space, it’s certainly interesting.
Logan: Where is she?
Tom: Oh, she doesn’t tend to stay late when it’s opera season.
-This was especially hilarious, considering Tom was on his way home and only ran back to ATN because he heard Logan was there, while Cyd was actually still in the office.
(+1) For how he passes off the Kerry conversation to Greg. “This is an incredible piece of diplomacy. It’s like Israel-Palestine, except harder, and much more important.”
(+2) Logan says he would have offered Shiv the same divorce advice that he gave Tom, implying that they were on equal footing in his mind in some way.
(+3) He was watching ATN with Logan at the end of the night in a consigliere-like manner.
(-1) Why is he getting married a week before the election? Shouldn’t he be shaking hands in Iowa?
(+1) On second thought, it was a good idea to use the wedding for the earned media, since he isn’t so liquid right now.
(+1) For all his hilarious interpretations of normal people. “I want to go somewhere fun and real. Away from the fancy Dans. A real bar, with chicks, and guys who work with their hands and grease, and sweat from their hands and blood in their hair.” And walking into the bar: “Ah America, I’ve missed you.”
(+1) For his transparency with the siblings. They may not take him seriously, but he flat out tells them that he’s with Logan over them.
(+3) For his strategic scheming. He calls Logan to tell him their plan and lures him to the karaoke bar. Also, we have our suspicions that he was stalling the search for Willa to make time for Logan to come and talk to them. All he wants is for Logan to be at his wedding (and his siblings, kind of) and to get his money from the deal.
(+2) Consolation points because it was kind of a sad little bachelor party for potus scrotus. “I wanna sing one fucking song at karaoke, because I’ve seen it in the movies and nobody ever wants to go.” Are there no karaoke bars out by Austerlitz?
(-1) Because his karaoke is “Guantanamo-level shit.”
(+3) Connor is proving himself to be quite self-aware – as Logan says, smart people know what they are, and now we see how he can endure being a national joke. “The good thing about having a family that doesn’t love you is you learn to live without it. You’re all chasing after dad saying, ‘Love me, please love me, I need love, I need attention.’ You’re all needy love sponges, and I’m a plant that grows on rocks and lives off insects that die inside of me. If Willa doesn’t come back that’s fine, cuz I don’t need love. It’s like a superpower. And if she comes back and doesn’t love me that’s okay too, cuz I don’t need it. Thanks for the party.”
(+1) Willa is still there waiting for him.
(-1) Because he doesn’t care either way.
(-$100,000,000) Because he’s gonna have some money issues without the sale.
Greg: It does tend to… it loses a… there’s a sog factor.
Logan: Greg, fuck off.
(-1) Automatic loss of points for being told to fuck off. Only minus 1 because it was a fuck off lite.
(-2) Because the writers are trying to tell us something about Greg here.
Greg: Can I please grab you for a moment?
Kerry: Why not? You’ve already grabbed every other woman in Manhattan.
(-1) The whole interaction with Kerry: “The arms aren’t right… they’re a little un-TV… they’re fixable with a few years.”
(+1) But he did the job.
(-5) For never learning from her mistakes. She really should’ve beaten Tom to the punch with this divorce attorney conflict strategy, especially considering she already knew the trick – it happened to her own mother. Also, just a few months ago, she dealt with this exact issue when Kendall did the same thing by engaging her friend Lisa in the DOJ cruises issue. She was the one who initiated the divorce, so maybe get one attorney in your corner first? I think this is what people mean when they say money makes you soft.
(+1) “You want to be his little bitch boy? Why don’t you deliver him a message, little bitch boy. Tell him to fuck off and stay out of my life.” You get automatic points in this recap for delivering a “fuck off” yourself.
(+2) For being the only one willing to say aloud that they overbid on Pierce.
(+1) “A house red, do I dare?”
(-1) Showing up to Connor’s rehearsal dinner in extremely work-looking attire. Another -1 because they were also travel clothes. Did no one pick out an outfit for the rehearsal dinner at NYC’s fanciest restaurant? -1 for all three kids on this.
(+2) It was pretty satisfying to see her finally stand up to Logan and articulate his very particular character flaws.
“You don’t know everything. Everyone just agrees with you and believes you so it becomes true and you can turn around and say ‘I was right’… but that’s not how it is. You’re a human fucking gaslight.”
(-3) She pushes Logan too far, even after he cedes some emotional territory (probably all the emotional territory he has the capacity for). He walks out of the karaoke bar which ends up underscoring his point about the Gojo acquisition. Just as Logan said that Matsson would walk if they keep asking for more money, Shiv (and Kendall) push their father out of the conversation when they refuse to come to the table emotionally, and instead keep insisting that they know better and want more.
(-1) Not calling Tom at the end because she’s too proud. And like Logan, she can’t have a vulnerable conversation.
(-1) This guy has absolutely no idea what business he wants to run.
Kendall: My floaty kinda semi-pitch would be hardcore international news, from global global to hyper local … like maybe a focus on Africa, maybe every day just like, what is happening in Africa? The Maghreb, sub-saharan east, sub-saharan west. I would watch that shit.
Roman: You would not watch that shit.
Siobhan: I mean, no, that sounds like Homework: The Show.
Kendall: Jess, would you watch that?
Jess: Uhhh yeah, if it was on…
Kendall: The point is, it’s global reach. It’s a network that teaches you how to watch it.
(-3) “I hear you’re giving suitcases full of money to old ladies.” – During his call with Kendall, Matsson references the Nan Pierce deal (with a line that’s also reminiscent of the accident at Shiv’s wedding when Kendall gave the envelope of money to the waiter’s mom). Matsson choosing to call Kendall sort of implies he is viewed externally as the weakest of the three siblings.
(-3) “If you wanna have a full suitcase anytime soon, don’t push me again.” Minutes earlier, Kendall decided to rise above the Stewy and Sandy fray. But then the call from Matsson pushes him to flip sides and ask for comparables, based on zero business reasoning. (Logan laughs in the karaoke bar when Kendall says that he wants more money.) It makes no sense that Kendall isn’t looking to cash out, but it does make sense that Kendall is reacting emotionally.
(-2) For not telling Shiv and Roman that he also knows that Matsson will walk from the deal if they push for more money, while saying to Roman that they need to trust each other.
(+1) For good brotherly advice to Connor: “You should share your little dot with Willa, so she’ll see that you’re having fun.”
(+1) For this exchange:
Logan: I wanted you there a bit at my party.
Kendall: Holy shit… did dad just say a feeling?
(+1) “Come on, dad, what are you sorry for? Sorry for fucking ignoring Connor his whole fucking life? Hitting Rome when he was a kid? Having Connor’s mother locked up? ” – Points to Kendall for articulating Roman and Connor’s grievances when they didn’t personally have the space in that conversation to do so.
(+1) “Just good business sense… gotta make our own pile.” – It was very satisfying to hear Kendall and Shiv quoting Logan back to Logan.
Shiv: How was it for you, fucking dad?
Kendall: Amazing, just over too soon.
(-2) Because that was as high as it’s gonna get, Ken.
HONORABLE MENTION: KERRY CASTELLEBATE
(-2) For being an obviously terrible anchor. Good acting like a terrible anchor though.
(+3) She was right on Greg’s bullshit. “If this focus group isn’t real, I’m gonna take you apart like human string cheese.”
(-5) Kerry gets her first real taste of Logan’s inability to have honest conversations with people close to him when the kids later bring up her anchor job in the karaoke bar.
Shiv to Kerry: Has he fucked you on that?
Kendall: That’ll happen.. the fucking. But congrats on losing your betrayal cherry.
(+1) She’s clearly not afraid to stand up to Logan, which we know because she goes straight from her conversation with Greg to confront Logan in the conference room about the “focus group.” (Technically there was a focus group tbh.)
(+2) Logan kept her in the family fuck-fuck, kind of an honor… unless he was trying to say something that he didn’t get to say.
(+3) She also makes it into the Matsson meeting… over Gerri.
That’s it for today. We can’t wait to find out if Willa is marrying Connor for the money, and we’ll of course be keeping score.
If you missed our Fuck Off ranking for the premiere episode last week, you can catch up here. For more of Sami and Aleen’s takes on Succession, check out our Monday bonus recap episodes of @Betches wherever you listen to podcasts.
Featured image courtesy of HBO.