This season opens where we left off. Kendall – Logan’s second son and, now Waystar Royco Public Enemy No. 1 – shocked everyone last season by refusing to play the sacrificial lamb for his father, instead throwing Logan to the Wolves at a conference. hurry. This season’s premiere finds Ken locked in a bathroom as a nervous Greg asks him to make even a sound to confirm he’s alive.
However, it doesn’t take long for Kendall to emerge – and as soon as he does, we watch a father and son plot side by side, a prelude to the Machiavellian dance that threatens to bring down the most drooping child Roy from his life. moralizing pedestal.
Kendall escapes in a black SUV with a stunned Greg and a frustrated Waystar lawyer – whom he quickly throws to the sidewalk once she points out to him that he has stolen a company vehicle that he isn’t. maybe not allowed to use, considering the stunt he pulled a few minutes ago.
“It’s the right vehicle,” Kendall says with the incredible seriousness that Jeremy Strong has made out of the character’s bread and butter. “Are you up for this fucking revolution?” ”
Logan, who’s been through more than a few storms during his tyrannical tenure as CEO, is better than his son at projecting order amid undeniable chaos. As his corporate grunts search for the perfect spot where their boss can hide and call a few lawyers – read: anywhere without an extradition treaty – Patriarch Roy barks orders and delegates with unwavering authority.
Shiv and Roman, meanwhile, ask each other: “What are you really thinking? they wonder.
“Is it toasty?” “
That would be the million dollar question. Shortly after Waystar’s top brass decided to cooperate with the government investigation into the wrongdoing of the company’s cruise division, Tom listens to former COO Frank and CFO Karl list the many controversies ending his career. that Logan survived before. Still, men wonder aloud if he can really get over “The 31 Baskin-Robbins Fuck Flavors”.
We first meet Logan Roy, meanwhile, in a deteriorating state – demented and pissing on the carpet of his own office building while his second oldest son tries to organize his move as CEO. Kendall’s vote of no-confidence crashing and burning after his so-called allies collapsed seemed like confirmation that he could be the only Roy – or a top Waystar official, for that matter – with even a hint of it. ‘soul.
Season 3 may well undo this goodwill.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong has encouraged us to identify with Kendall from the start. Prodigal son suffering from a substance use disorder and deep desperation to get that kiss from daddy, Kendall’s crap and embarrassing displays invite something between pity and empathy – a weird one mixture of emotions to be felt towards someone who literally killed a man. (That said, “L to the OG” forever, baby!)
Jeremy Strong has centered his character’s vulnerability from the start, playing Kendall as almost childish in his tenderness and desire to please. Kendall’s inexperience and lack of confidence in her father (an undeniable villain) allows her and viewers to believe that they are not alike, that the apple must have rolled very far from it. proverbial tree.
This premiere, however, undermines that idea as Kendall’s strategy turns into an impression of her father. Both bark “action posts!” To their respective troops as they prepare for battle. Both treat women as pawns in their selfish game of chess. And both are totally addicted to the game, even if one of them is a machine and the other a mess.
During a heated call, in which another Waystar lackey is forced to mediate in a swearing-in phone game, Logan calls his son’s actions for what they really are. He responds to his son’s moralization with rage: “This is fucking moralizing bullshit!… It was a fucking gesture, so don’t act like a jerk with me.
So yes, Kendall is the aforementioned “deceptive fuck doll”. Coming from Shiv, who constantly and badly lies – and launches the insult in an explosion against his “friend” after the platitudes fail to achieve the desired result – the insult smacks of hypocrisy. But that doesn’t mean she’s wrong.
Of all the things you could accuse of being Logan Roy, dishonesty isn’t one of them. Brian Cox plays his authoritarian patriarch with a dazzling conviction that favors fury over equivocation. If he’s given a choice of either issuing a fierce apology or going, as he likes to call it, “fucking beast in its own right,” Logan will choose the latter every time.
Kendall is too invested in his own righteousness to embrace his inner beast. But as his Shakespearean betrayal proved last season, that doesn’t mean he lacks a killer instinct. At the very least, this first proves that Kendall enjoys handling and power play.
When he realizes that Waystar Royco has canceled key card access to the building, Kendall immediately sets up camp with (among all) his ex-wife Rava. He shows up unexpectedly with an entourage to “make a few calls” – “it will only be four, five hours” – and invites his girlfriend, Naomi, to see him at work. By the time she arrives, he proudly announces that he’s busy and asks Greg to help him get settled.
It is in these moments that Kendall’s true nature seems to show up under the “moralizing bullshit.” He likes to ask Rava if he’s ‘okay’ for him to invite Naomi over to her house and struggles to hide a shit-eating smile as he says, “She’s pretty good to me.” He then immediately tells her about the men’s razors in his bathroom – perhaps a clue to the insecurities that triggered his insolent request in the first place. It matters little that this future CEO of the People only discovered razors because he still refuses to make a dumping ground “where the staff goes”.
Kendall’s inability to see women as anything other than ego boosters and growls extends to her professional relationships as well. He greets a female-led PR team proudly proclaiming, “Welcome to my ex-wife’s living room” and talks about their pitch with inspirational guidelines such as “I think the headline has to be,” Damn the weather. , we’re changing the fucking climate ‘”and” hitting some BoJack guys ”to manage his Twitter account.
“All those fucking brilliant women, Greg,” Kendall says as lead lawyer Lisa Arthur arrives. “I have to do something right. “
But even Lisa Arthur cannot escape the symbolic role that all women play in Roy’s world; As Kendall and Logan battle to win her as a lawyer, it feels like she’s just a flag on a rope in their ongoing showdown.
Shiv, who calls Lisa a “friend,” is tasked with bringing her to Logan’s side. When the two meet, however, Shiv is less interested in recruiting Lisa for her father than she is in securing her as a “consigliere” for herself. As unfazed as she seems by Lisa’s rejection of her father, Shiv explodes when she realizes Lisa is considering meeting Kendall instead. His failure to convince Lisa ends up costing Shiv the coveted role of nominal CEO as Logan promises to take only the title.
Roman, meanwhile, shoots himself in the foot when he calls Logan to ask him for the job up front – and to suggest that if his father doesn’t believe he’s ready, maybe “a few years. under the wing of an older hen could, you know. , see me come out of the old egg.
That ‘older hen’ is said to be Gerri, who wins the job after Roman and Shiv prove inadequate. (Poor Connor, who only gets his job to “maintain” the Balkans after Willa reminds Logan that he’s here and needs a job, was never in the running.) It is assumed that this development will only intensify the sexual tension that has arisen. last season between Waystar’s pragmatic General Counsel and everyone’s favorite “slimy puppy”. (Fun fact: J. Smith Cameron, a true legend if there ever was one, apparently improved on this term.)
Upon learning that she has lost her chance to become the boss, Shiv orders her driver to change course. Her destination remains a nominal cliffhanger, but it’s pretty easy to guess where she’s headed.
Greg and Tom, meanwhile, are still pure comedic relief. Tom, whose relationship with Shiv remains painfully awkward, introduces his wife to Logan as CEO with all the enthusiasm of a bored cashier – and only after saying he “loves” Roman and Gerri for the role. At Camp Kendall, Greg is busy monitoring the “meme-age” surrounding the press conference and canceling a credit card he got for his mother. (The bailiff apparently scared her off by liquefying assets and buying NutriBullets.)
As Kendall and Logan gather their teams and prepare their next moves, it looks like we’ll be repeating this old game of no-confidence voting. This time, however, it becomes clear that Kendall’s siblings might have their reasons for believing that Kendall wouldn’t be better as a boss than their father.
Rava seems to recognize Kendall’s fatal flaw better. She refuses to comply with his condescending suggestion that he organized this stunt “for” her and their children, responding instead with a “Yeah, well…” for the ages. His verbal eye roll seems doubly appropriate given that Kendall told him this within minutes of telling Frank he had made his gesture “for us … for the soul of the business”. Whether Kendall himself really has the “soul” that the rest of his family lack could become the heart of the season ahead.
The creepiest moment of the premiere is actually a joke: When Kendall and his team flee Waystar, loyal Greg notices that their SUV escape looks like “OJ, unless OJ never killed anyone.” Kendall’s guilt over the night he left a valet to drown after being in a car accident while high humanized him for nearly two seasons. Now, however, he doesn’t miss a beat before he makes a joke of it.
“Who said I never killed anyone?” He replies with a smile. “The juice is loose, baby!” “
What did that say about absolute power, again?