‘Succession’ Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: All the Bells Say

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.

Stay here and play with your dick. – Logan


Logan reading stories to his grandkids? I am utterly in shock right now.

Roy’s playing Monopoly gives me all the life in the world. How long do we think a game of Monopoly would last between this family? Seriously? I would watch a reality show about this. I am in love with this moment as it made me so happy.

Side note: I am the king of Monopoly. Seriously, ask around.

A get out of jail free card, another one. – Tom

Kendall almost died in the pool? That’s sad. I am still not in love with what has happened to him this season. I needed more from him, but I guess they did the whole “he bites off more than he could chew” by taking on Daddy.

Lukas has easily been one of the best pieces of this season. I think he is the type of guy I wanted Kendall to be, I suppose, not afraid to challenge Logan but does so even with a little bit of kindness, ha. I love how he gently shoves the truth down Logan’s face. My goodness, the calmness in his voice, the delivery, it was magnificent.

Connor, Shiv and Roman combine to have an intervention of Kendall. Kendall explains why he went down the rabbit hole and Connor goes off the deep end when Kendall says he was the eldest son. Good on Connor for finally standing up. Has it only taken him 40 years? What a fun little scene.

Shiv giving shit to Roman as their mom walks down the aisle was downright brilliant. I love how much shit she gives him. I live for their banter on this show and it has been a main staple on what makes this show as good as it is.

Hahaha, I forgot that Connor bought a penis once. The conversation between him, Shiv and Roman lead them to kill the newest Logan baby? Logan? Trying to have a baby? Roman says Tommy will have to carry Shiv and his baby and I am fucking crying. I am crying, and Roman is my hero. Honestly, I am in love right now with this entire episode.

Greg calling Roman a sexual pervert is remarkable.

Why does Kendall look like he just got out of prison? Like, he looks like he did five years and someone threw him a “welcome out of prison” party.

The sense of urgency of what is about to unfold during the second half of this episode was tense and Nicholas Britell’s score is brilliant in adding an extra layer won’t. Everyone is worried that Logan is selling behind their back? Kendall is having a breakdown while everyone is trying to figure out what is happening. Finally, he admits to more or less killing a kid. Shiv and Roman actually comfort him and what a sweet somber moment.

If I can be serious in the midst of this madness, that is not funny, but also as a brother, this scene right here broke me in so many ways. Roman making jokes throughout this was truly amazing but lifting Kendall up was a moment and when he laughed, I choked up a little bit. It was a remarkably written scene that reminded me of the bond I share with my brother.

You’re playing toy fucking soldiers – Logan

The three amigos have decided to take on pops together. Roman finally stands up to Poppa for Kendall. AWEEEEEEE. Shiv is giving it to Logan too. Then, finally, Kendall’s turn! my goodness, this is singlehandedly the best moment of the entire season. Logan tells Roman it’s time to move on with him. Instead, he stands up to Logan for the three amigos. They stand firm only to find out their Mom has fucked them. (Logan mocking Shiv was terrific) I am not sure I have seen a better sequence in television in the last decade. The moment Logan walks out of the room and leaves them in the dust, he runs into Tom, who he pats on the shoulder and moves on while Shiv looks on.

SOMEONE STABBED THE TRIO IN THE BACK, AND FOLKS, OH MY GOD, TOM, IT WAS TOM. Tom was the one that did it. Tom screwed Shiv and the rest of them.

While I feel like the season had it’s highs and lows, they do what they all do and end it with a BANG! Season 4 has so many things in play but this time it looks like the Three Amigos will be taking on Daddy for all the marbles, and I am sad I don’t get to watch it right now.

Rating: A

Leave me here with all of the feelings. Thank you. -Roman


It’s bittersweet writing about the season finale already, but it’s, thankfully, by far the most emotionally developed episode of the season.

It opens on a picturesque moment on the Italian countryside. If there’s one thing Succession isn’t going to do, it’s fail to give us breathtaking views amidst the corporate chaos. Following these views where you can almost feel the warmth of the sun and smell the fresh flowers nearby with a two-shot of Logan oddly reading his teenaged grandson a children’s book is supremely chilling. Coupled with the fun wink of the Roy family playing Monopoly, it’s a slow ease to return to the darkness that ended the previous episode.

Post-pool incident, Kendall returns, looking drained and rough, as expected, but also with a darker cloud over him than normal. The only urgency in his voice is to get his kids and leave. There’s no sense of connection to the people he’s talking with and the only small spark that emanates from him is when he nods towards his ever-shifting plans to screw over Logan. Compared to earlier in the season, Kendall’s steam has rapidly dwindled, but it’s on theme for everyone to go back to acting like everything is normal while Kendall, once again, unravels.  

Continuing the trend of beautiful landscapes, as Logan and Roman travel by boat to visit Lukas, it strikes me that the theory that everyone looks better on a fancy boat might actually be true. Sunglasses wearing Logan, relaxing on this boat ride, admiring his assistant Kerry that he’s sleeping with, might be the healthiest he’s looked all season. The wheels are always churning for him and right in this moment he’s thinking of how he can use Roman’s proclivities against him. Logan loves watching people squirm and as soon as Roman starts fidgeting with his sunglasses, it’s evident that it’s working yet again.

This episode is teeming with Roy sibling moments that I’ve been waiting for. Having so many competing personalities and motivations in play with each of the sequences truly elevates the entertainment value for me. It’s the rhythm of how they play off of each other that creates such a chaotic intrigue that I never want to end and, judging by the end of the episode, it might not have to any time soon.

The intervention sequence is top notch and it’s been necessary for a while now. Kendall has a lot of people around him, but not many that could actually craft an intervention for him and have true intentions for it. While his siblings may usually all have ulterior motives, in this case they’re just trying to be upfront and supportive. It’s such a startling contrast to their normal dynamics that it feels too good to be true for both Kendall and us as the audience. I love you straight up. It’s a relief to have them acknowledge that they are witnessing his struggles when a lot of the show they’re seemingly ignoring him or using his problems as weapons against Kendall.

As these things usually go for the Roy siblings, the intentions of the intervention get derailed when someone, in this case Connor, feels personally insulted by Kendall calling himself the eldest son. As the core trio continue talking, Connor picks up his butter knife and starts carving into the table, slowly, meticulously, until he blows up over how he is in fact the eldest son. Genuinely, no one is arguing with that Connor. You’re clearly the one with the most salt in their hair by far.

After Logan’s secret dealings begin to come to light, the core sibling trio unites to talk about their collective game plan, as there’s no other way to logistically navigate the tough situation anymore. When Shiv wants to start running their plays, Kendall completely shuts down. On the ground, completely defeated, he finally admits what happened with the waiter on Shiv’s wedding night. Between Logan ripping him to shreds for fun and the guilt deadening him inside, Kendall is a shell who’s had twinkling lights decorating him, dimming more as the season’s gone on. There’s all of this grief and guilt that has piled up in him, fueling his toxic habits, that’s centered his mind in a way that gave him hollow purpose.

It’s heartbreaking to hear how much he has disassociated from his passions and his family, to the point that Kendall would be scared about it if he could feel anything at all. It’s such an emotionally honest moment that you can’t help but break for him, when Roman and Shiv don’t know how to respond. Kendall needs to get out of the family’s toxicity so badly, he’s desperate, so he’s not holding that desire inside himself anymore. It also says a lot about how seriously his siblings are taking his admissions and deflation when even a perpetually groomed Roman sits down on the dirt road with Kendall.

Tom and Greg: my two impeccably dressed kings at such a disorganized and quite dusty wedding. I mean, how rich are you if you have such a literally dirty wedding and it’s not on a beach? They’ve been consistently proving their loyalties to each other throughout the season, even when they were technically on different sides of the legal fight, only to end with their bond stronger than ever. After Tom reacts quite neutrally to Shiv’s call, he approached Greg with an idea that’s enticingly vague enough to hook Greg in with only their mutual trust to go off of. It’s such a perfect way to solidify their bond, a bond that Tom sees more trust and importance in than his with Shiv, in Tom’s first big power move since joining the family. It’s about time, Tom. It’s about time.

-Do you want a deal with the devil?

-What am I gonna do with a soul anyway? -Jane Austen, probably.

When we hit the big denouement, I had to take a deep breath, because the score makes your chest instinctually tighten. With much foreshadowing throughout the season, it’s always inevitable that Logan would and will always win, as Tom previously put it. The united Kendall, Roman, and Shiv walk into the opulent lair and we want this deserved win for them, the final takedown of Logan once and for all. However, this is season three of an already renewed show, so there will be no easy wins for anyone.

Roman finally stands up to Logan in a real way for the first time and, while it amounts to no real wins for the sibling trio, it’s such a strong, necessary development for him. We delve further into it with the shocking betrayal by their mother Caroline, which, in retrospect, shouldn’t have been all that surprising, given how uninvested in their lives she’s been. The reality of their stark loss begins to set in and things turn desperate when Roman starts groveling about love to a freezer burnt Logan that could not care less about him. Everyone is a piece in Logan’s self-made puzzle and the only person he truly cares about is himself. The circular abuse and manipulation cycle that Logan puts his children through is so horrific to witness episodically, but when it’s such a massive move like this, Logan’s ruthlessness is that much more brutal.

Season 3’s been more of a slow burn than the previous two and looking back on it now, knowing where the big end game was headed, I think I’ll be able to appreciate the details more and find it less frustrating on a weekly basis. There’re so many possibilities as to where they’ll go for season 4, but here’s hoping that there’s a lot more of the united sibling moments, more excellent Skarsgard guesting, and scheming Tom and Greg team ups. Also, let’s please have some recovery time for Kendall. If anyone deserves some time off, it is Kendall.

Rating: A

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