Succession: The Disruption
November 1, 2021 10:34 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Everyone's in the right headspace, Ken loses steam, Tom throws himself onto the sacrificial altar, Shiv lashes out, Logan and Co. get a visit from the Feds, and Greg gets a watch.
posted by newpotato (15 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Once again I loved the episode, but I think that Shiv's reaction to the music during her presentation was out of character. She's normally at her best when thrown into the deep end, and I feel like her character would've brushed this off with some witty remark. Or maybe this is the origin story of her transformation into Logan 2.0.

I'd like to see a three way battle between Gerri/Roman (German? RomGer?) and the other siblings and Logans crew. I know Gerri initially had a small role in the series but they kept increasing her screen time because she's just so good on screen, so it's a possibility that she comes out as one of the major players of the would be unexpected, anyway. I can see the seeds for her betrayal being planted by Logan reversing her decision to sell the Israeli thing, whatever it was.

Poor Greg.
posted by newpotato at 10:49 AM on November 1, 2021

The "Kendall vs the family" stuff already happened in S1, but I read it as court intrigue then. There's a real horror/thriller element now. As Roman pointed out, Kendall will self-destruct, because that's what he does best. We're just left anticipating HOW it goes horribly wrong for him. On the other hand, Shiv's brutal letter -- that her brothers were too squeamish to release lol -- saved Kendall from going on Ziwe. So I guess he could thank Shiv for that!

It's fascinating to watch Logan cozy up to Shiv after Shiv didn't get the job; he did the same thing to her last season after he picked Rhea over her. It's a window into how calculated all his humiliations are, like Logan is aware of how much he can hurt each of his children before they pull away. I always thought Shiv knew this on some level, and that's why she pursued a life outside of Logan's immediate sphere of power. Now I'm wondering if she's really deluded herself into thinking she's different. I think Kendall is wrong about everything, but the jab about Logan setting Shiv up to be the new Kendall sounds right to me.

And thank God Gerri got a better office! I think? It looks bigger than the one from the last episode! But she still does not merit a seat when Logan is holding court, or any actual control of the company. I hope we get more Gerri. I feel like this treatment has to rankle, but she can't be that surprised by it? She's known Logan for a long time.

Also this was kind of a fanservice-y episode, in that we got the triumphant return of Everyone Bullying Greg and Tom bullying himself in the misguided hope that Shiv would intercede on his behalf. And Marcia, still cashing in! (Go Marcia, she is truly the anti-Tom.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:40 AM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed watching Shiv's rapid transition from " dear lord that is a terrible idea" when Tom proposes himself as the fall guy, to "hmm, that would be an awfully effective way to get rid of him..."
posted by Liesl at 11:46 AM on November 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Also, this is real a Trump years sort of episode. You can imagine all these scripts being written with the backdrop of Carter Page's absolutely mystifying decision to start showing up on MSNBC every week (when he was in the middle of being investigated by the FBI), or Trump giving terrible, hour-long press conferences because he was bored by COVID lockdown and always thinks more press coverage is better. There are always people who talk to the press when they should only be talking to their lawyers, but there were so many people doing that for the last few years that I feel a wave of nightmare nostalgia every time Kendall starts obsessing about Twitter.
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:46 AM on November 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

I was honestly mostly bored this episode (felt like they were treading the same water they were last week), until the last 10 minutes or so. The setpiece of Kendall's breakdown into the FBI raid was just masterful. Give Jeremy Strong all the awards.

One question: when Tom was calling his lawyer and Greg called him to say he had some info, do we know what that info is? Also, I'm rooting for Tom to pull some underhanded shit.
posted by lunasol at 12:17 PM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Greg called him to say he had some info, do we know what that info is?

I assumed this was him leaking to Tom that Kendall was going into the office.
posted by Kosh at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

I think that Shiv's reaction to the music during her presentation was out of character. She's normally at her best when thrown into the deep end, and I feel like her character would've brushed this off with some witty remark.

See, for me it was a reminder that Shiv is not at her best when things don't go her way. Think about when she got fired by Gil, or her lawyer friend turned her down. Her talent is having all the power (or the backing of powerful people) but seeming like an outsider. Like when she got the woman to agree not to testify last season. Or how she used to be able to play Tom.

Honestly, none of these kids are capable of running Waystar. They're all just too privileged. That hit me like a ton of bricks last night. MAYBE they could run it together, but Logan made sure that would never be a possibility by pitting them all against each other from childhood.
posted by lunasol at 12:25 PM on November 1, 2021 [6 favorites]

I admit I'm still confused about Tom's motives, volunteering to be fall guy, but then getting a backdoor lawyer. He always seemed the willing patsy. Was the offer to Shiv and Roy just a way to test the waters about how his extended family really feel about him? He has always been loyal, to this point, so his shift feels more sudden and not entirely earned.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:59 PM on November 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

There's a real horror/thriller element now

That's what I got out of this episode. The first two episodes were somewhat farce and I was worrying the show was about to fall entirely into self-parody. This show was scary, and unbalancing, and fully re-embraced the drama side.

And a progression to that, particularly with Shiv. She starts out looking all Greek Goddess in that amazing dress, and by the end she's having a near near-breakdown after her speech was sabotaged. She almost cried! When did any of the Roy people ever show any genuine emotion?

I also liked all the uncertainty. Whether Kendall was going to come into the office or not. Whether the FBI was going to serve papers or not. Whether Kendall was going to go on the talk show. His own breakdown at the end, cuddling himself in the server room hiding from everyone. Yikes, what a complete rock bottom.

Anyway nice to see the tonal shift from "awful people being awful for our entertainment". Now it's "awful people in perilous situations".
posted by Nelson at 7:19 PM on November 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I know the Israeli company thing was probably just a throwaway line, but I was thinking "Pegasus" -- the Israeli iphone-hacking company. Which means it could be a big deal later if someone's later desperate enough to leverage blackmail against someone powerful.

Tom's testing the waters and plotting a betrayal after no one was too concerned about him being imprisoned. Feels like a natural character development for me after he was willing to confront Shiv last season over his deep unhappiness.

Anyways, normally I'd root for injuries, but I'm rooting for Geri. I think the show will ultimately end with Waystar in ruins, but I'd like to see her be empress of the rubble. She knows where the bodies are buried but has relatively clean hands. Seems like she's ultimately in the best position, and Roman is being relatively smart by allying with her.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:25 PM on November 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

I agree that Shiv is super out of her depth, and that scene made it obvious. As someone who has been an employee in many a town hall, it was also weirdly cathartic for me. I'm in tech where employees are also willing to ask hard and complicated questions of our corporate leaders, but of course we never get answers. It's just as insulting when it's a woman spouting corporate nonsense as when it's a man. The scene with Hugo and Karolina(?) prepping Shiv and Roman before the town hall is exactly how I imagine these things going, and the questions were also very realistic. "I'm ashamed when my relatives ask me about [company issue] in the news/I'm not proud to work here anymore" is a sentiment I've felt too. And then the corporate mouthpiece says "we hear you, we're listening, we'll get to the bottom of this with our own investigation" but you know it doesn't mean anything.

The song that played was a cruel joke but if I were an employee sitting there I'd also feel like "yeah, what the fuck, you've been covering up actual rapes and dead bodies that the company is responsible for. And by the way, being a non-white-male employee here is still shitty, decades later, in xyz ways." I also noticed the employees in the background trying really hard to blend into their desks while Tom and Kendall had their awkward last-eunuch-in-the-forbidden-city conversation. Can you imagine being a normal employee at a place like that? (I can.)

I also noticed a big shift in Tom's demeanor. We got to see him in his element with the ad executives, and any bumbling he does now is pretty reined in and calculated. He's shitty to Greg but it doesn't seem like he wants Greg to take a real fall, maybe because their fates are intertwined somewhat. I'm also quite positive that his offer to Shiv/Logan was a test and they failed. He's been entirely emotionally checked out of his marriage this season and I hope he sticks it to them.
posted by j.r at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2021 [12 favorites]

My favorite was the way Naomi Pierce looked: that smirk, the dead behind the eyes addict thing. We knew this about her but she looked transformed. Even the body language. At first I didn't recognize her when they were sitting around sharing the bad tweets.
posted by BibiRose at 3:33 PM on November 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

I feel a little out of sync on the other reviewers - Shiv's reaction to a song blaring "Rape Me" when she's standing on a podium, which is a kind of - it felt incredibly misogynistic and sexually vicious, especially as she feels like it's her brother who we've seen was somewhat protective of them previously. The anger she has at Kendall felt very earned - and I absolutely am willing to bet it was Logan who rigged the whole thing as well, but the choice of the sexually violent song felt deliberate by the writers.

My favourite moment was Roman using his 'multipurpose' good childhood memory that's revealed to be Connor - who again refuses to take a side but in a way that shows some actual caring. And the Roman and Logan scene was vicious again.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:48 PM on November 2, 2021 [8 favorites]

Yeah, I kind of agree with you too. I should clarify that Shiv is the most polished and competent-seeming Roy child. She had to be as the only girl, and it sucks in an extra bonus way on top of how their upbringing sucks for all of them. And like her brothers, when she actually has to do the job, she's out of her depth. None of them should be CEO and this company is probably too toxic to continue in its current form, even with Gerri on top. Kendall is awful with any sort of power and the company did horribly when he actually got to lead. Roman would make a terrible CEO, although he's sort of okay if he can lurk in the shadows and be an "ideas guy" (bleh). Connor is...uh...Connor. Nice that he took Roman fishing at least.

When I say I hope Tom sticks it to them, I mean the entire Roy family, especially Logan as the original monster who created the others. But Tom is still instrumental in the huge coverup, complicit in general, and frequently punches down when he can, so it's not like I want him to be happy at the end either.
posted by j.r at 10:48 AM on November 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

You could see the admiration in Logan’s eyes for Shiv after her letter was released and the contempt he felt for Roman because he hadn’t signed it. He couldn’t even let Geri run the company for one day before undermining her position.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:33 PM on November 4, 2021

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