Jazz Tangcay recaps season two’s premiere of Succession
It has been just over a year since HBO’s Succession wrapped its first season. We wondered if Season two could be as good and meet the bar. And it did …with coke laced cards. Remember that finale ending with Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) meekly breaking down in his father’s arm after he accidentally killed a waiter? Logan Roy (Brian Cox) tells him, “This could be the defining moment of your life. It’d eat everything. A rich kid kills a boy. You’d never be anything else. Or, you know, it could be what it should be: nothing at all. A sad little detail at a lovely wedding where father and son are reconciled.” Kendall, who has spent most of the season planning a hostile takeover has made a mistake and failed. He is a broken man by the end of that episode. Logan calls him his “Number One boy.”Logan is king – a flawed, narcissistic, arrogant manipulator.
Season two picks up a mere 48 hours later. Kendall is in a rehabilitation center. Broken and suffering cocaine withdrawals. It’s not enough time to heal, but he’s forced to go on TV to clean up a mess and explain why he pulled out of the hostile takeover, and Logan Roy is pulling the strings here.
“I saw their plan, and my dad’s plan was better,” Kendall repeats to everyone. He repeats that line almost like a lobotomized man. Tom comments saying, he looks “Like an unshaven candle!” His sister Shiv thinks he looks like a sweaty corpse. The accident is eating him alive.
Meanwhile, Logan Roy is being told Waystar Royco will be trash in five years and he has two options; he can sell the company or name a successor.
That successor is definitely not going to be Kendall. Not after Number one son is publicly referred to as “Mr. Potato Head”. Or maybe he will be? A lot can happen when it comes to this clan, and when Logan Roy is involved.
Over a family dinner, Logan discusses his options and as this family gives a whole new meaning to the word dysfunctional, Logan puts it forward; stick or sell? One by one, the Roy heirs make their suggestions. The ideas come at him, sell, stick, sell. “IBM it.” Shiv tells him. She suggests focusing on the theme park and cruise line arm of the business.
Of course. Of course, Logan will make her his successor. Duh! It’s definitely not going to be Roman. Logan tells Shiv, privately, that once she has the experience, then he’ll make the public announcement. The look on her face is priceless. Sarah Snook’s Shiv has done it. She has achieved what the Roy children have been trying to do all along, just get their father’s approval. She has it. Or does she? This is Logan Roy. Can he really be trusted? Is he really going to make Shiv the successor? She’s like him – she’s got her ruthless side. She could be best suited for it. But will Logan stay true to his word? Probably not. At least where he’s concerned.
A unique and brilliant attribute to the show is we have yet to discover who many of the characters really are. They are so superbly crafted, both through the acting and phenomenal acting, as an audience, we don’t know what we are going to get, and that’s thrilling. There’s a lot to discover about Shiv, and maybe this season will reveal more about her.
On a side note, there’s the mysterious Marcia who is frankly shady as fuck and we have yet to learn about her or why Logan Roy is married to her…What does she want? Before family dinner, she wants to know is Logan really going to sell WayCo? What’s he going to do.
Here lies another example of a brilliantly created character who has many facets that we have yet to unveil. Hiam Abass’ portrayal of Marcia is another reason for why we have become hooked on the Machiavellian Shakespearean saga that is Succession. As an audience, we just don’t know who everyone is, and who can really be trusted.
Logan Roy is not going to be selling the company. He announces to them. Tech is coming, and he’s ready. Waystar Royco is going to be the biggest and last standing company in the world he says. Kendall serves as a puppet throughout and is named co-chief with Roman. Kendall is truly a broken man who executes his father’s wishes.
The dysfunction is back in all its Success. Nicholas Britell’s wealthy score. Cousin Greg. The family fights. The snide remarks. The backstabbing. The mistrust. It’s here. A whole season lies ahead of the Roys and their devious delicious doings and scheming.
While these characters remain surreptitious, sneaky, hidden and mysterious and don’t really have much heart. The show is so brilliantly written and so incredibly acted, that we find ourselves addicted and wanting more. It’s impeccable TV that deserves your undivided attention, because we like this family.