Succession: Tern Haven
September 8, 2019 8:01 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The Roys attempt to woo the Pierces by spending a weekend on the rival family ground.
posted by paper chromatographologist (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I screwed up. this is season 2, not season 3
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:03 PM on September 8, 2019

Mod note: Fixed!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:04 PM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

thanks, uh, eyebrows

oh yeah, uh huh. sure, you got it, we, uh, aim to please

uh huh, maybe
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:19 PM on September 8, 2019

How fucking delicious was that meal?
posted by 2N2222 at 9:18 PM on September 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Jesus, ouch. From the very first episode this season, we've known that Shiv knew better than to trust Logan on this! And yet! It's like a horror movie. Get out of the house, Shiv! It's haunted!

It was darkly funny to see Kendall issue the good advice that the Roys will never follow (take the money and escape). It was brutally funny to see it reissued as edict from Logan (take the fucking money). For all the Pierces' talk of integrity, ultimately they're the ones who took the money -- and Logan was the one unwilling to compromise anything he valued.

I've made the "Logan's last two wives impress me" comment before, so it was a little embarrassing to hear it come from Matriarch Pierce.

The sex is so BAD in this show, it makes me really happy. I never thought of myself as much of a Puritan, but I love that anything approaching sexy quickly veers off into tragedy or farce. (I'm not sure why prestige TV gets away with so many cheesecake shots anyway? I mean, I know why, but still.)

As always, I'm thrilled to have poor Tom and Greg around as comedic relief. What a WEIRD family.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:29 PM on September 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

There's a lot to unpack here, but the cinematography was different. That shot of Shiv at the table was an immediate departure from anything else up to this point.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:00 PM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

"I'm actually going by Gregory now."
posted by JimBennett at 1:51 AM on September 9, 2019 [9 favorites]

Oof that negotiation scene was like a knife to the heart—“my dad would rather wreck this deal than turn it over to me.”

I loved how genuinely happy everyone (even me, the viewer) was to see Gregg at the end. It was exactly like when your favorite cousin arrives in the middle of a tense dinner and everyone takes a sigh of relief.
posted by sallybrown at 5:18 AM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I made a weird sound when Shiv said "just tell them it's going to be me" at the table. It was something between a gasp and a groan.

I also really appreciated that they didn't position the Pierces as the 'good' billionaires. Like, sure, their politics are better, and they seem like nicer people. But those better politics lead to a sort of constant performance where they negotiate their immense privilege by sort of fake disavowing it. So you get Nan asking her servant to stay for a drink, knowing damn well that she can't, and then going into the kitchen to pick up a dinner cooked by a full staff so that she can bring it to the table and accept praise as though she cooked it.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:53 AM on September 9, 2019 [33 favorites]

It occurs to me that Greg's relative confidence was the result of a (1 week? definitely less than a month) short span of time away from Tom and the other Roys. They're so toxic.

Also, I can't believe Kendall actually got through to his mark this episode. I think this is the first time we've ever seen him get someone to do what he wanted? (I didn't even realize that Logan intentionally paired Kendall with the other drug addict until the end of the episode. I thought his "arrive late" thing was going to be another of the 80s style negotiating tactics that Stewie derided, but no, it was meant to mark Kendall as enough of an outsider for him to get close to a woman whose life had been seriously damaged by Roy's tabloids. Logan is scary.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:24 AM on September 9, 2019 [12 favorites]

I loved how genuinely happy everyone (even me, the viewer) was to see Gregg at the end. It was exactly like when your favorite cousin arrives in the middle of a tense dinner and everyone takes a sigh of relief.

Lots of viewers think that Greg (sorry, Gregory) is the only likeable character on Succession. It just never occurred to me that the characters on Succession might think so too.
posted by Ragged Richard at 10:27 AM on September 9, 2019 [8 favorites]

Greg (sorry, Gregory) is the only likeable character on Succession

The gregorification indicates that he is no longer a likeable character. Riker's beard but with plutocrat sociopathy
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:03 AM on September 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

I made a weird sound when Shiv said "just tell them it's going to be me" at the table. It was something between a gasp and a groan.

I have never been someone who talks to the television (iPad, whatever), but I actually said ohhhh don't... when Shiv interrupted the conversation.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:22 PM on September 10, 2019 [10 favorites]

Does it really matter that Shiv spoke out of turn, though? I mean as far as her odds for Logan bestowing the CEO spot on her are concerned.

There is a 0% chance that Logan is ever going to willingly hand over the keys to the kingdom. Whoever gets them will have to take them. All four of the kids are too cowed to do that, at least as long as Logan is living. And they'll tear Waystar apart between them once he's dead.

Actually, I will give Kendall that when Logan looked mortally wounded he did try to snatch the empire right out from under him. But he failed and learned his lesson and now his tortured little corpse is a constant warning to the rest of them not to do the same, lol.

I'm glad that Shiv screwed up because maybe this will force her to face the fact that Logan's promises of ceding control or power are ALWAYS empty. They just are. Does no other character on the show have a parent like this? I find that hard to believe. They're a dime a dozen in real life.

Out of the four of Logan's kids, I think Kendall would probably be the most competent in terms of the actual COO work, and Shiv probably has the most vision. Kind of irrelevant, though. Logan has made the company dependent on him because of his own insecurities -- he needs to be irreplaceable, because that's the way to ensure he has and keeps a critical mass of the power and control. So now he's irreplaceable and the company will be a ghost of itself (at best) without him. It didn't have to be that way but Logan made it that way. Same thing for his kids' lives, I guess.

I think Shiv has the most vision mostly because she is the least beaten-down out of her siblings, and I think she's the least beaten-down not only because she's spent the least amount of time under her father's thumb, but also because she seems to have the least sensitive disposition. Kendall needs a major assist from drugs to keep going, Connor ran as far away from it all as he could, and Roman is fucked up as all get out. So Shiv is doing well -- I'm sure she'll bounce back from anything/everything. Especially now that Tom sees them as being on the same team, rising and falling together, rather than as rivals (hopefully Shiv will come around to that, too. Preferably before Tom gets sucked into the propeller when (Mo)Lester's cruise craziness comes to light, for Tom's sake).
posted by rue72 at 7:11 PM on September 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

I also despised the blue-blooded Pierces even more than the ruthless Roys. Such phonies. I was loving Logan trying SO HARD to play nice, though, even when the Pierces were being ridiculous. There's one point when you know he wants to roll his eyes but instead he sort of widens them and looks off to the side, clearly thinking "W. T. F." Cracked me up.

Was it here that someone made the comparison between the Greeks and the Romans? Love that comparison.
posted by rue72 at 7:13 PM on September 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Logan made the Greek/Roman comparison -- as a way to butter up the Pierces without selling himself short. I don't think there's anything about them he actually admires or wants to emulate.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:04 PM on September 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Cherry Jones is a delicious actress, I hope we get to see more of the Pierce matriarch. I loved how at the most important negotiation it was three women vs Logan. He's worldly enough to not blink an eye (and even bring his own woman from the binder to the negotiation) but it still felt like a distinct moment of dislocation.

I also loved Shiv completely misplaying her hand clumsily at the dinner. In a different show that would have been a masterstroke, her forcing her father to make it official and public. Or she would have gambled on that and lost. But not here; instead she tells Tom she didn't really have a strategy or anything, just did what felt right in the moment. She's as dumb as her brothers! All this time I feel like the show has had us rooting for Siobhan, the overlooked daughter, the woman with some vague sort of conscience. But when it comes down to brass tacks she has no idea how to handle her own father. (This also put to rest some doubts I had about how she quit her job with Gil, in the car. She sort of picked a dumb fight, spent 10 seconds saying "how about I work in the background", then quit/got fired very clumsily. At the time I thought maybe she had some master strategy. No, she just bumbled it.)

I'm not sure what to make of the Gerri / Roman plot. Why is Gerri doing this; for her own amusement? And it seems a bit lazy to write Roman as having a humiliation fetish, like the writers rummaged in the drawer of "odd personality traits" until they found one simple that sort of fits. It is fun to watch Kieran Culkin play it though. He remains my favorite character.
posted by Nelson at 5:50 PM on September 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Terns are an endangered species.
posted by amanda at 11:01 PM on October 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

I don't know about Shiv. I think blurting it out at dinner was her ripping off the bandaid. At the house before they left, she had reminded her father about their deal and he just mumbled something and drifted away. That and his other comments and actions, she knew he was backing away from his decision. So, confront him, let her brothers know, blow up the dinner party, why not?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:11 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shiv was smart to rip off the bandaid. She knew the offer was bogus.
posted by whuppy at 2:58 PM on September 27, 2020

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