Succession: Return
September 22, 2019 10:40 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

When Kendall and Roman are sent to the UK to negotiate with their mother, Caroline, an uninvited Shiv shows up to get answers from her father. Rhea's continued presence raises eyebrows amongst the Roy kids, as Logan seeks her counsel. Later, Kendall is forced to confront what happened last time he was in the UK. Back in New York, Tom encounters unexpected pressure.
posted by JimBennett (17 comments total)
 
Rhea's takes on Shiv and Roman were almost completely backwards, presumably for tactical reasons rather than actual bad judgment. Shiv could probably do a decent job (but is not ready yet); the fact that Roman has been business-adjacent for years and still sucks is a sign that he'll never get there. How great were Gerri's smothered winces every time Roman talked during the opening scenes?

I'm super amused that Rhea manages to headfuck Shiv into doing what she wants, again and again. In fairness -- she probably has a lot of experience from manipulating the Pierces. Do I believe her flirtation thing with Logan? I don't know, but I believe Marcia has murdered before and is willing to do so again.

GREG!
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:30 PM on September 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


But there's no way Shiv's job experience would make her a legitimate contender for the Pierce CEO position! It's an enormous multinational in a tough industry with a zillion moving parts. She's only a contender for Waystar/Royco's C-Suite because of her lineage. That Shiv might actually think Rhea's offer was real--and not see through her gambit about asking permission to have an affair with Logan as a means of creating trust--shows either terrible business acumen or the writers doing a real disservice to the character.
posted by carmicha at 6:50 AM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Also, three back-to-back story lines about Shiv being uninvited (and twice showing up anyway)? Seems lazy.
posted by carmicha at 6:55 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I really like the "Shiv barging into things" part of Succession. She always had that effect when she showed up last season, too, so I really think it's part of her character. But also -- if Shiv had been watching some other poor jerk in her position, I think she'd immediately see that the poor jerk wasn't going to get the job. Logan is tabling her when the business task is to talk to her mother. Like -- wow. But Shiv can't let go of this now that she's committed, so until Logan tells her no, she's going to keep trying to push for advantage.

(But...yeah, thinking that she could be floated as the next CEO at a non-family corporation is real rich kid brain, which Shiv is not immune to.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:34 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I actually agreed with Rhea's assessment of the three "kids." Kendall has the business knowledge and even acumen but lacks the killer instinct. Shiv honestly doesn't seem any smarter than her brothers or Tom to me, although she clearly thinks she is. Like her ex said, she's a "blond beast" in the Nietzschean sense -- and is terrible at strategy, preferring to barrel in. That's fine when she's the biggest dog in the park but not so much when she's among peers. Roman has surprisingly good instincts but is too neurotic (and ignorant) to be genuinely functional. Honestly, he needs to go work at a restaurant or something to literally learn how to have a job.

I think Geri and Roman are a good team, and Shiv and Kendall or Shiv and Tom would be a good team...but both Roman and Shiv need to pair up with somebody who has actual business knowledge and Kendall needs to team up with somebody who's able/willing to tell him when to "attack." None of the "kids" could run a large company like Waystar Royco on their own.

Not that it matters until Logan's dead, because I'm still 100% sure that there isn't going to be a peaceful transfer of power as long as he has a say in it. He's not going to diminish himself by giving up his "throne" willingly.
posted by rue72 at 7:35 AM on September 23, 2019


I know we're not supposed to, but I actually kind of like the kids' mother. It made me laugh how she wasn't even trying to get the kids for Christmas, she was trying to say "fuck you" to them for coming to her as Logan's agents, by proving to them that Logan prefers even his vacation home to them. Hahahaha such a bitch.
posted by rue72 at 7:39 AM on September 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


This episode was the first one I watched that disappointed me. It felt strangely static. Nothing much really advanced in the plot, and none of the main characters really developed in any way. Kendall is still moping around, Roman is still a clown, Shiv is still not as smart as she thinks she is, Logan is still a manipulative monster, Greg is still dumb but trying to be a player, Tom is still ruthless but clumsy. Is the show starting to circle around its own navel a little bit?

Enjoyed seeing more of Caroline; the way she ghosted on Kendall was new information about the fucked up family. Also Rhea's manipulations are delicious and genuinely new plot elements. I can't wait to see her butt heads with Cyd Peach.

I'm most frustrated about Marcia in this second season. They've done absolutely nothing with the character. She's there, and she's important, and she definitely has assassination secrets in her past. But for whatever reason the writers have kept her out of initiating anything. We don't even see her talking to her son about "do nothing now, let's bide her time".
posted by Nelson at 8:59 AM on September 23, 2019 [6 favorites]


When Roman was riffing about sex between Logan and Rhea (lummox meets hummingbird, IIRC), I had a rare flash of sympathy--perhaps the only one ever--for Eric and Don Jr. Trump having to deal with similar matters, including the impact of their father in rut on the family biz. I'm a big fan of how parent-child dynamics shift to friendships, partnerships, etc. (or don't) over time and often reverse completely, but some things are meant to remain outside the boundaries of the relationship.
posted by carmicha at 9:34 AM on September 23, 2019


I keep laughing at the prospect of Tom eating buckshot squab and, like, no other food for Christmas. HBO should give us a Succession holiday special, we deserve nice things!
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:45 PM on September 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


I keep laughing at the prospect of Tom eating buckshot squab and, like, no other food for Christmas. HBO should give us a Succession holiday special, we deserve nice things!

On the one hand, I would love that so much! On the other, that lady is NOT actually having all those people over for Christmas, come on. Like she'd even be in town.
posted by rue72 at 1:11 PM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


On the one hand, I would love that so much! On the other, that lady is NOT actually having all those people over for Christmas, come on. Like she'd even be in town.

It's fascinating to me that the kids are all so stunted that they immediately accept that where they, as autonomous adults, spend their Christmas is subject to negotiation by their parents.

As someone who has been held hostage to another person's eating disorder before, I found the mother's behavior to be hilariously on point. Notice that when she was deflecting Kendall's attempts to unburden himself, she said "it would be better over an egg." Not eggs, an egg. Because you know she'd serve her kids one egg each for breakfast, if she were there at all.
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:46 PM on September 23, 2019 [5 favorites]


I don't think there was ever any chance that she was going to have the kids over for Christmas or that she even wanted them over for Christmas (Shiv said she never invited them anyhow) but Caroline wanted to show them that their father didn't want them for Christmas, either. It was her way of getting them back for being Logan's good little soldiers. They'll probably be at Logan's like usual, or whoever else will have them.

It cracks me up that Logan is actually the warmer and more involved parent of the two. More of "a family man."

Something I thought was pretty eyebrow-raising in terms of family dynamics was when Kendall suggested that they reopen the divorce settlement. I mean, it must have taken place like twenty-odd years ago, but you know those two dragons did not keep it amicable. And who wants to revisit their parents' divorce even as an adult? Ouch.

There was really a zero percent chance that Caroline was going to be there for Kendall's crying, either. I mean, I'm assuming he didn't get to be Logan's "best boy" by having an awesome relationships with his mother. He casually suggested they reopen the divorce and then he didn't even bother to have dinner with her? He literally spent the day with his dad even when he's all the way in England, staying at his mom's house? Trying to "woo" her for the sake of his dad's company? Yeah, I'm sure Kendall's name is somewhere on Caroline's shit list.
posted by rue72 at 2:15 PM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I loved the scene with Kendall trying to explain to Logan that getting with Rhea would make him look like a dumb, dirty old man. Because at first I went “no WAY that Kendall would think this would go well.” But like the abysmal effort by Logan to talk to Roman about hitting/not hitting him in the car, I think this scene was really a hangover of Logan’s abuse from last episode, and Logan’s abuse in general. Kendall tried to hurt Logan back, whether it was conscious or not. To see his dad perhaps genuinely attracted to a new woman made Kendall sense Logan has some kind of new chink in his armor, and the first thing Kendall does is try to send an arrow through it.

Of course, it didn’t work, at all. But somewhere under there, Kendall has fight left in him. Just like Kendall’s attempt to talk to his also-horrible mother shows he still has want left in him, the desire to stop hurting so much.
posted by sallybrown at 2:40 PM on September 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm sad that Cousin Greg got a haircut and no longer looks like Michael Nesmith.

I'm also sad that it's taken me this long to realize the significance of character names. Roy = Roi = King, Connor referred to as Con, Shiobhan referred to as Shiv...just brilliant.
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 3:29 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm also sad that it's taken me this long to realize the significance of character names. Roy = Roi = King, Connor referred to as Con, Shiobhan referred to as Shiv...just brilliant.

Not to mention that Romulus (which Logan calls Roman, not sure if that's his full name or what) was literally raised by a wolf.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:18 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also Rhea and Mars are the parents of Romulus and Remus 👀

My favorite is how everyone drawls out Ken-Doll, it's just so casually mean.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:23 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I was struck by Logan's offhand sadism towards Kendall in this episode. First insisting that he come to England, under the guise of ensuring Caroline's proxy vote. Then insisting that Kendall come with him to the grieving parents' house, by saying they had stuff to discuss on the way(?). Then insisting that Kendall come into the house, but somehow Kendall just ended up sitting in the kitchen like he was a chauffeur coming out of the cold. Logan's apology to the parents was meaningless because he doesn't think he did anything wrong; it doesn't cost him anything ego-wise because it serves to placate the parents. Kendall went back to the house later and stuffed an envelope through the mail slot, I'm guessing there was a check in it.

A couple other things...

It was frustrating to see Shiv fall so easily for Rhea's scamming. She did just run a successful political campaign for a US senator? congresswoman? Even the phone call warning to Kendall on the plane was tentative, she "might" be dangerous or words to that effect.

omg, *all* of their business strategy discussions consist of buzz words. It drives me crazy.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:17 AM on November 15, 2019


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