When you have as good a show as Succession, you often have people you constantly chat with about the show. Typically on Monday’s my friend and MCDI writer Katherine and I spend time picking apart the episode and it is always a blast. So, we got together and decided to share our thoughts on each episode of Succession moving forward.
You just want to give him blowjobs, so stop projecting.
It was funny Katherine and I talked about how much we loved last week, but we started talking about some glaring holes in the season that began to make us second guess what was happening. So, we were hoping that this episode would ramp up a little more on the massive explosion of season two.
The episode is highlighted by the republicans looking for a new candidate after Roy’s exposed sitting president. The internal battle ensues. Kendall is still acting like an ass which I hate so much. Tom is worried about going to jail and wants to talk about it while Shiv keeps pushing it off and Greg is trying to find his place in this whole battle.
I have seen so much talk about how great Tom is this season and I hadn’t seen it until now. Of course, he has had his moments throughout the year with his struggle with Shiv, worry about going to jail, and handling Greg. However, the more we inch closer to where Tom thinks he is going to prison, the more his character seems to become more and more grounded. Watching this episode made me appreciate his arc a little more than I did previously, which is a credit to the writing.
Kendall’s lawyer finally putting him in his place was something that had been needed for a while. However, I HATE the way his character has been written this year. After the bombshell that was the end of last season, instead of an arrogant prick he had always been, he has become worse than ever before. I can see where they are going with it that he lets it all go to his head, but I wouldn’t say I like where it is going.
The conversation of who they wanted to push behind for President was one of the better scenes of the season. Shiv went off and I loved it and this was finally the Shiv standing up and preaching, which I love about her. The insults between Shiv and Roman have been remarkable throughout this entire season and they have ramped up in front of Papa this episode and I LOVED IT. The comedy is on the next level this season.
Kendall finally uses a piece of the puzzle I’ve wanted him to use, Tom. They meet and he puts it on the table to keep Tom out of jail. The way Kendall laid it on thick towards Tom with bringing up his weaknesses in the situation was brilliant. Hands down the best from Kendall we’ve seen this season, and Tom, finally says something with his chest, which was magnificent.
Shiv is broken, and maybe for the final time.
I liked but didn’t love the episode. I feel like a lot of this season is much of the same when it comes to the stakes and I don’t think they are as high as we were anticipating.
The Verdict: B-
‘It’s a nice, safe space where you don’t have to pretend to like Hamilton.’
First, I have to start with my biggest relief narrative wise: the papers have finally been acknowledged again! FINALLY! After being told for so many episodes how crucial those damning papers are, we went many episodes with them not even being casually mentioned. It’s been so frustrating, because it was such a crucial part of Kendall’s initially well-executed Logan Roy takedown for them to only serve a small narrative purpose in the end.
This week’s episode is heavily focused on Tom and it’s evident that this is hinting towards his role moving forwards being more crucial, and potentially detrimental, than is has been in the past. Tom’s always been Shiv’s shadow, a charmingly off-putting smile in the background of pictures, and Greg’s #1 bullying stan. As his storyline has shifted more towards his impending jail sentence, Tom’s place in the power structure of the family is a bit sturdier. By committing to taking the legal fall for the family, he’s become more entrenched in their chaotic corruption than he ever was before. This is why it’s so believable that Tom would meet with Kendall to hear what he has to offer him. By filling in the gaps in Kendall’s official Waystar scandal story, Kendall believes that he can get Tom immunity, as well, feeding morose Tom little bits of hope when Tom himself has said his hope supplies are purposefully dried up. The light shines in Tom more in those deceptive moments than it has in many episodes, which is probably what Shiv picks up on when Tom returns to the Roy meeting room.
Shiv and Tom’s tense relationship continues to throttle them both as Shiv attempts to comfort Tom as he continues his spiral about going to prison. He briefly gives in, but then says that there’s no point to them having sex, because she’s not going to get pregnant. Since their wedding in the first season of the show, it’s been established that Shiv doesn’t care for Tom in the same ways that he has for her. She immediately had asked him about having an open relationship on their wedding night, much to Tom’s surprise. This season it’s even clearer that Tom’s leaned into the dark depths of sadness and settled there, resolute that this is who they are as a couple now. Without her being able to get pregnant, he doesn’t care for the contact with her anymore. They are just a placeholder for time for him now.
Tom and Greg’s dynamic is taken in a different direction this episode, when Tom confides his jailtime fears to Greg when Shiv doesn’t care to hear about his worries anymore. Tom and Greg have always clung to each other in times of stress, as being someone for the other person to vent to, but it’s demonstrated once more in their mutual nervousness about going to jail. They proceed to have two entirely different, paranoid jail conversations, while a very sleep deprived, unraveling Tom proceeds to compare a lackluster omelet to that of navigating a war in foreign territory. Tom’s so deeply entrenched in what he thinks is his fated future that any breaks of light in him are extremely welcomed.
There’s still much to look forward to in the rest of the season, but Tom’s spiraling has become the most riveting storyline throughout the season. That is, unless Greg’s Greenpeace lawsuit pans out.