Succession season 3 episode 1 recap: “Secession”

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Succession

Secession

Season 3

Episode 1

Editor’s Note

4 stars

Photo: HBO

The worst chess players tend to be the most aggressive, especially when they’re up against a much better player – which of course they invariably are. They will attack and attack, usually settling for an equal exchange of pieces – pawn for a pawn, a queen for a queen, sometimes a knight for a bishop, or vice versa – but they never think about where that leaves. their position on the chessboard. Their king could be on display behind a loose constellation of pawns, and their other pieces could be vulnerable to a counterattack, now that they’ve turned their army into a deranged gang of kamikaze fighters. Eventually, the initial satisfaction of maiming a few key pieces of their opponents gives way to a quick and embarrassing defeat. They can only think of short-term victories.

Kendall Roy is the worst chess player in history. He made a big leap across the board in last season’s finale – “a decent move,” his father Logan generously concedes – by refusing to take the hit for the Waystar Royco cruise scandal, instead of blaming his father, calling him a “malignant presence” who knew about the sexual misconduct and personally approved millions of payments to keep it a secret. It’s a little masterstroke that season three begins immediately after Kendall’s press conference, as two years have passed since we last saw these characters, but none of them have a second. of breath. And it’s hilariously, tragically clear from the start that Kendall hasn’t thought about all of this. He seemed to believe that the man who killed the king would also assume the throne.

The first thing he didn’t think about when he got in the car with Greg and the mortified PR manager Karolina was that his extremely public act of insubordination against the CEO would cause him to lose his job at Waystar. . When Karolina informs him of this, perhaps saving him the humiliation of waving an inactive key card at the entrance, he does what any great boss would do: shoot the messenger. “Listen, I need a sealed unit here,” he said. “I need a clean pot. So, are you up for this fucking revolution? (She’s not.) And so Kendall hurriedly arranges to set up combat posts at his ex-wife Rava’s house – in part with the pitiful purpose of impressing her (“That was kinda for you guys’) – and ends up obsessed primarily with his social media status, which Greg is busy monitoring. “I might need you to slip the socio-political thermometer up the nation’s ass and take a reading,” he says to Greg, who is honestly doing as well as anyone probably can with an order. like this one.

Kendall makes a seemingly competent decision to hire Lisa Arthur (played by the great Sanaa Lathan), a sought-after lawyer who seems to admire his role as a whistleblower enough to represent him against Shiv and his father. But she’s also the only person to state their dilemma simply and directly, and that only happens towards the end of the episode: Do you want to shoot your father down without getting involved? And without damaging the company to the point of losing control during your general meeting? He can also expect subpoenas from the government. He’s unlikely to have given it too much thought, and his lack of planning leaves him with no co-conspirators in his family (Shiv hangs up on him) or in the business. (Frank, his staunch renegade from the Sandy-Stewy alliance, is still considering his options.)

Right now, Kendall is doing his best to play the part, which he mainly understands as seeing if his social media is fresh and throwing up a bunch of colorful, buzzword-filled nonsense. The first of his father’s many future losses is presumably rhetoric when Logan launches a powerful fairytale threat (“I’m going to crush his bones to make my bread”), and Kendall can only respond with a clumsy, “Say- him that I’m going to run away from the fucking beanstalk. But he hits rock bottom during a meeting with two women in communications who can only smile politely when he interrupts them with ideas like hitting “the”. Bojack guys “and” the Pamphlet kids “to turn his Twitter feed into a” little keg of powder. “It’s times like these that he comes back to the guy who wears ostensibly expensive sneakers to appear hip to a freelance artist or take the initiative to buy digital media company Vaulter. He’s the cool boss.

Still, Kendall managed to put her father in danger, scrambling for advice from her remaining children and sycophantic confidants on Balkan flights and tarmacs. It is important that he correctly identifies Kendall’s actions as a “movement”: his son has a real opportunity as a whistleblower to help get justice for the cruise misconduct, which interests him about Lisa Arthur and of the communications team, but they don’t know well enough to realize that his advocacy on behalf of women is not sincere. Logan, on the other hand, immediately acknowledges that this is the final chapter in an endless father-son psychodrama, like a reshuffle of Sandy-Stewie’s takeover, but doubly threatening as they still bite his heels. None of the Roys are interested in the morality of the cruise ship situation, certainly not Kendall. For children, it’s about who is in charge. For Logan, it’s a question of whether his current mess is survivable.

Unsurprisingly, Logan chooses to take the more aggressive route in the end, of “getting completely screwed up” rather than the softer approach to contrition, image management, and culture change than a lawyer like. Lisa Arthur could have advised. But he’s not ignoring his own toxicity to the point of claiming he can still be the face of Waystar Royco. So, in a few scenes with his advisers, Logan throws a few names for the CEO, a loyal sock puppet who will have some power but allow him to make decisions in the shadows. The talks sparked ridiculous bickering between her children, but the job goes to Gerri, which seems like a decision as prudent as any, with the side effect of taking Gerri’s evil relationship with Roman to a new level. . (“I would sleep you badly, but I would sleep you gladly,” Roman says.)

The premiere ends with Logan looking forward with terrifying determination, confident that he has survived such threats in the past and that he knows all the levers of power at his disposal. Her boy # 1 is behaving like a petulant child again, and the young man will have to be punished for it. As a father, that’s all he can do.

• More great Kendall-isms from the episode: “I can’t have weevils in the fucking flour sack.” “Just provide me with the metadata. Anything that will move the markets in terms of reputation. “I think the title should be: Fuck the weather. We are changing the cultural climate.

• Roman giving his father legal advice on Kendall: “It’s not a good thing to say about your son, but maybe you slice him up and throw him in the Hudson? “

• When Greg compares the car ride after the press conference to OJ Simpson if he hadn’t killed anyone, Kendall’s grim joke (“Who said I never killed anyone?”) Is a quick reminder of the life he was responsible for taking after Shiv’s wedding reception. He felt worse about it.

• Incredible exchange on the tarmac where Connor tries to persuade Willa to save his disastrous room by marketing “the whole angle of hate”. It involves scrambling all the worst reviews and “making it a hipster and dumb thing.”

• Perhaps my favorite line of the night, a bit tongue-in-cheek from Frank: “I can’t wait to see more of the Balkans.

• Carl’s modest offer for the CEO job is shot down like a skeet target: “Carl, if your hands are clean, it’s only because your brothel does manicures too.

• Maybe it’s a reference, maybe a coincidence, but two scenes seem to play out to Paul Rudd’s “look at us” meme – one involving Kendall and Naomi Pierce, the other Gerri and Roman.


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