‘Succession’ takes us inside the disastrous 40th birthday of cocaine-fueled Kendall – .

‘Succession’ takes us inside the disastrous 40th birthday of cocaine-fueled Kendall – .

When Manhattan’s new Hudson Yards development finally hit the skies in 2019, The new yorker commemorated its completion with a review. Writer Alexandra Schwartz leveled the spot with a smashing compliment: “It would be a perfect setting for a blackout. As it should be, then, that on Sunday evening Succession, the $ 25 billion trade monument also became the location of Kendall Roy’s 40th birthday party.
You can feel the disaster coming the moment we open up Kendall’s preparations for the night. His chirping rendition of Billy Joel’s “Honesty” would be too much of the nose if that weren’t exactly the point: he rehearses a song about the longing for emotional frankness in front of a room full of employees who know their only real job. is to say “yes” to everything he says.

Before witnessing Kendall’s collapse, Waystar Royco gets some good news (for most people). The Justice Department’s investigation has progressed and it appears that no one is heading for the prison. Logan assures his son-in-law that he will “remember” that he offered to take responsibility for the business; Shiv, meanwhile, seems just a little too disturbed by her husband’s stroke of luck.

That’s just as good, as Tom doesn’t seem interested in celebrating with Shiv anyway – he’d much rather run and tell Greg.

Tom and Greg’s dynamic has been fascinating from the start, but recently the tension between them, at least since Tom’s end, has become a little more… explicit. (Example: Remember the time Tom said to his coworker, “I’ll cast you and marry you in a second?”) Tom is in utter ecstasy as he breaks the good news to Greg, jumping on the filing cabinets. and knocking over Greg’s. “The Waystar Two are free,” he whispers before kissing Greg on the forehead. Hmmm …

But we’ll talk about that later: it’s time for some important business. Namely, Waystar’s attempt to acquire a content platform called GoJo to prevent the company from becoming a media dinosaur. Logan is furious when tech mogul and GoJo boss Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård) lifts him up, and to Shiv’s horror, he almost listens to his assistant (who he’s also sleeping with) on his advice.

In the end, Papa Roy sends Shiv and Roman to Kendall’s birthday party to find Mattson, make a deal, and save the day.

Which brings us back to Kendallfest 2021 – a sci-fi tinted Hieronymus Bosch painting set in Hudson Yards with inflatables, an open bar and a drug dealer. The working theme, starting with last week’s episode, was End Times: Weimar Meets Carthage, Meets Dante, Meets AI, and Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs. (Fairly fitting, given that Hudson Yards’ most immediately recognizable building has earned the nickname “The Roach”.)

The birthday vibes fall somewhere between a Brooklyn art installation and a launch party. The words “The Notorious Ken Ready to Die” hang at the entrance to the party – a glowing inflatable replica of a vaginal canal. There is a phone check at the door with those boring little pockets to make sure all the guests are ‘present’. Strangers and business acquaintances jostle in a dizzying swirl of neon lights and evening wear. There’s a room full of six-foot tabloid covers with headlines like “Roman Stars in Failed Sibling Dies in Tragic Jerk-Off Accident” and “Wife of Tom Wambsgans Arrested in Sweep of City Street Walkers”.

When Kendall sees Shiv and Roman, her sister tells her that she couldn’t find a card “that says both happy birthday and get well soon.” But Kendall gets a token, an envelope that Logan asked Roman to deliver.

Once alone, Kendall opens her father’s letter. There is a card with the words “Happy Birthday” crossed out and replaced with a “cash in and fuck yourself”. And there’s a $ 2 billion offer to buy it from Waystar Royco.

Kendall has spent the season trying to write his triumphant ending, but defying his family has revealed just how much Roy’s blood runs through Kendall’s veins. Waystar Royco is an extension of his father, and he still can’t decide if he wants to conquer him for himself or kill him. Even with $ 2 billion on the table, he can’t leave this rotten mess behind.

As theatrical as Kendall’s mental instability may be in this episode, none of the Roys are really doing well. Roman spends Kendall’s birthday behaving like his most mischievous self, and Shiv, enraged by the realization that his brother and father plotted to redeem Kendall without consulting her, takes to the dance floor to outshine Elaine Benes. as the craziest dancer in television history. And when Kendall finds out that her siblings only attended her party to negotiate a deal to acquire GoJo, it’s time for a humiliating confrontation outside a grown man’s treehouse.

« As theatrical as Kendall’s mental instability may be in this episode, none of the Roys are really doing well.«

It’s when Kendall meets Rava, however, that he ends up burning. His ex-wife refuses to engage in his cruel digs with her and her new boyfriend, and instead asks if he received the birthday present their children gave him.

Faced with the realization that her children’s gift is missing, Kendall begins to curse and demand left and right. “Trace that gift!” Do DJs stick to his approved “all bangers, all the time” playlist? Can we ask Connor to take off his coat? “It poisons the atmosphere. ”

The whole show, Kendall finally realizes, feels like an asshole party – “and my thing since the first meeting is, it shouldn’t look like an asshole party.” His confidence crumbles and he cancels the performance in which he allegedly sang “Honesty” while being hanged from a cross, as well as the introductory speech in which he allegedly told his guests, “This is the culmination of the trip. of my life, to be crucified to save you fucking morons.

Naomi tries to comfort her quickly falling apart boyfriend as he returns to her gift room in search of her children’s gift. She offers him her present as a distraction. But when all Roy needs is a real connection, he receives the most impersonal gift instead: a watch. The same gift his brother-in-law once gave his father. It’s not even listed.

When Kendall starts to say “I wish I could be …” and doesn’t finish, he assures Naomi that he just wants to be home, but it feels like that’s not what he meant to. the origin. It is, however, time for the birthday boy to come home.

As bad as Kendall’s night might be, Tom’s didn’t look much better. Perhaps that was the moment Greg revealed he asked Kendall’s assistant, Comfry. As Greg and Tom stroll through a flowery canopy, it’s hard not to feel a whiff of romance; Mr. Darcy, maybe, yearns for a dance partner he can’t have? When he tells Greg, “I took the wrong drugs in the wrong order, and I can’t be happy,” it doesn’t sound like he’s really talking about drugs or partying.

The only person having fun is Roman, who manages to make his voice heard in Kendall’s precious treehouse and lands the contract with Mattson. All it takes is a little glamor, a promise to keep Logan away from his back, and a little while Mattson peed on a phone. (“I can’t pee near other men because of… we don’t know why,” Roman says. “But go ahead, enjoy it.”)

Armed with the serotonin boost of success – and possibly the value of a drugstore – Roman tortures Shiv, throwing his victory and their father’s trust on his face. He also asks how upset she is at the thought of having to keep waking up next to Tom, that Shiv comes back with another dig on his “sex thing”.

“You thought it was women’s night and they were playing your song,” Roman said to his sister, “but guess what? You are wrong. All the men got together at the Man Club and we decided, honey, it’s okay, so just chut. »

And when Kendall tries to kick her siblings out of her party while also having her own quiet outing, things only get worse. Roman, convinced that his siblings “can’t stand to see me win,” pushes his brother to punch him before pushing Kendall himself. In a scene that could have been ripped from a college nightmare, Kendall – exhausted and mad with rage – falls face down and walks out of the room, broken with shame.

Nobody comes out of this party in style. Tom is going to be “out for a while” doing who knows what while Shiv is sulking at the house. Roman is very excited to tell Dad about his great victory: “I’m the only child you’ll ever need,” he says with a humor that could mask a thinly veiled desire. “You can kill others! And Kendall, after all that preparation, ends her birthday alone on a balcony, her eyes riveted on the endless gray of Hudson Yards – and that hideous billion dollar cockroach building.


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