Boards of directors are not the only place where important negotiations can determine the success or failure of a billion-dollar company. A hotel room in Sarajevo and a boy’s room in a luxury apartment in Manhattan seem worlds apart.
Still, they are connected by a father and son fighting for control in Succession. In the sequel to Mass in Time of War, Logan (Brian Cox) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) try to forge alliances but encounter obstacles in their quest for power.
After failing to convince Lisa Arthur (Sanaa Lathan) to be her father’s lawyer and losing the CEO position; as a result, Shiv (Sarah Snook) seems like an excellent opportunity to join Team Kendall. Not only does she ignore her father’s phone call – yes, it’s a picture of Saddam Hussein along with her father’s phone number – but she’s also the first of the siblings to enter enemy territory. Her arrival at Rava’s (Natalie Gold) house coincides with Stewie’s (Arian Moayed) gift of a Trojan horse, adding to the chaos in Kendall’s camp.
Shiv’s arrival is not as secretive as he had hoped, as Greg (Nicholas Braun) sees her enter the building just as he is leaving. Soon after, Greg is reprimanded by Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), and her husband learns the whereabouts of Shiv. Information is golden (and loyalty), and trust is hard to come by when everyone protects their interests. One wrong decision can leave a Roy brother out in the cold, and then there’s a simple fact that everyone loves (and fears) Logan. The complex power dynamics at play are explored, and no one believes Kendall’s altruistic excuse for his actions. Shiv calls Kendall’s press conference a “peacock f*** show,” and with that begins a barrage of insults and passive-aggressive jokes. “The little man who started this big war,” Shiv greets his older brother, trying not to hide his contempt for his antics.
The competitive situation comes to a head when Roman (Kieran Culkin) joins the party, and soon a new confrontation ensues. Kendall’s entire speech is about transforming the dying empire of which Logan is the face.
“Can we make this thing go away?” he asks, not just of his personal history but of the courage to change the basis of his business. “This is our time,” Kendall says as if he’s inadvertently quoting The Goonies, though he doesn’t know that this is the status quo.
Whatever her good intentions, Kendall’s posts sound like empty promises and buzzwords meant to appeal to a broad audience (“unsubscribe,” Shiv jokes). Even before everyone’s there, Kendall tells her sister that she’s not a good person – whatever she’s trying to say – and later scolds her when she says she has no idea what’s going on with the list of scandals. The concept of accountability is interesting, and Roman sides with Shiv. In contrast, Connor (Alan Ruck) surprisingly sides with “we knew it.”
With its candles and egg-shaped chairs, Kendall’s daughter’s room is a safe place for this debate, which contrasts amusingly with the harsh words and serious issues being discussed. Roman is good at impressing his brothers, but Shiv goes too far when he brings up Roman’s sexual problems. Roman rarely gets angry, but Shiv knows precisely what buttons to push to get a raise. First pancake Connor ends up being the voice of reason which again seems odd. Still, he is the oldest after all, and as the petty antics are put aside, they find themselves in another showdown. Shiv has already stated that he believes Kendall should resign, and there is a significant concern for their father’s health if they team up. “It might even kill him,” Roman says, without his usual snarky tone. Kendall’s reply to Roman’s prediction is that Logan was ready to send him to prison and that he would do the same to anyone else; well, maybe not Shiv.