Succession, episode 8 review recap: Death is haunting this season – is one of the Roys doomed?

Viewers who clamour for extra motion from Succession season three, suggesting episodes have felt round or been confined to the boardroom, needs to be cautious what they need for. This week, I discovered myself frantically scribbling a number of pages of the type of notes that, out of context, look insane – notes like: “Is Kendall seriously poisoning his dad?” or “Tom Wambsgans sexy fireman??” or just “Oh God, Roman’s penis.” How to sum up this delightfully peculiar hour of TV in fewer than 3,000 phrases? I’ll say that as with (*8*), the present continues to show up its eccentricities forward of subsequent week’s season finale. Wedding episodes, particularly these involving estranged relations, are a sitcom staple for a purpose – travelling to Tuscany to rejoice their mom’s marriage to a blustering, chino-wearing man named Peter Munion, the Roy siblings find yourself with no choice apart from to spend time at shut quarters.

Kendall – whose shaved head is actually a cry for assist, à la a girl reducing bangs after a break-up – is iced out of the festivities at the request of his father, and spends most of the episode floating blankly round the opulent venue like a ghost. Shiv, after a gutting dialog along with her mom, is so unmoored that she resorts to an act much more shameful than her drunken dance final week: intercourse along with her husband. Roman, livid that Gerri received’t return his passion and maybe equally livid that Mommy is not marrying him, acts out. Connor, getting on one knee and asking Willa to make him “the happiest man slash the most bulletproof candidate in the world,” continues to be wholly Connor. This would all be enterprise as normal if it weren’t for a couple of extraordinarily uncommon subplots: a possible poisoning, a d*** pic, Tom Wambsgans attempting to speak soiled, and Logan reckoning with the aubergine emoji.

Sockpuppet Girlboss Presidents

Roman, in a transfer that won’t come as a shock to anybody who watched him gleefully stepping out and in of an unlimited reproduction of her vagina simply final week, doesn’t need his mom to get married, and intends to inform her so earlier than the ceremony. “She’s probably in sexual thrall to him,” Shiv tells him, as if she is taunting an ex-boyfriend relatively than a son, “and he’s driving her wild with his sugar d***.” Roman, lashing out, says that though he can’t fireplace Shiv but, he plans to demote her to the place of a secretary as soon as he turns into CEO. “What the f*** is wrong with you?” she flinches. “I dunno,” Roman shrugs airily. “We’re working on it.” Both of them have modified in current weeks, however Roman particularly has change into, as a Reddit poster may describe it, “Jokerised,” his normal playful wickedness curdling into one thing nastier, extra nihilistic. When he describes Shiv, sneeringly, as a “sockpuppet girlboss president,” it is a reducing insult partly as a result of it is dripping with misogyny, and partly as a result of he is proper: Shiv’s standing as the liberal feminist of the group is hole, simply as plastic and self-serving as her brother Kendall’s activism, and as cynical as Roman’s newfound curiosity in the web far-right.

Shiv’s discomfort round her identification as the one daughter in the household involves a head at the marriage ceremony in a rare dialogue along with her mom, who begins by saying that the two ought to “just enjoy a fag, and not do any sniping for a bit.” This being Succession, perhaps ten seconds go by earlier than the sniping begins in earnest: “I might have been a bit of a spotty mother,” Caroline jabs, “but you were a sh***y daughter.” “You weren’t a spotty mother,” Shiv hits again. “You were just an absence.” Gradually, we be taught a bit of extra about the Roy household dynamic, and in doing so are capable of decode a bit of extra of the Roy kids’s psychic injury – Caroline, supposedly in the pursuits of sustaining their entry to an acceptable share of Waystar Royco, gave Logan full custody. Absurdly, she means that Shiv, at 13, was “a piece of work,” a defence that is roughly a rewording of that very famous tweet about abandoned children having “bad vibes”.

“The truth is,” Caroline ultimately admits, “I probably never should have had children… Some people just aren’t made to be mothers. I should have had dogs.” “You could have had dogs,” Shiv prods gently. Caroline’s reply is each instructive and upsetting: “No,” she says, “not with your father. Your father never saw anything he loved where he didn’t want to kick it to see whether it would come back.” Suddenly seeing herself as a canine that has been kicked too many occasions, Shiv flees again to her room, knocks again a drink, and tells Tom that she needs to have a child. “I’m going to fight,” she says, the connection between motherhood and warfare nearly making sense in the sad context of the Roys. What follows is a scene nearly as haunting as the references to Logan’s lifelong cruelty that preceded it: Tom Wambsgans, startled by the prospect of sexual curiosity from his spouse, is tasked with speaking soiled. Fumbling, he asks Shiv to take the lead. “I’m too good for you,” she purrs, “and that’s why you love me. Even though I don’t love you.” “I was thinking more like, love beads, or like, being a sexy fireman,” Tom says later, sadly, of their “spicy” roleplay. “But it kind of got more into the realms of ‘you don’t love me.’”

Jim Jones and the Olive

Succession, on some degree, has at all times been fuelled by the inherent contradiction between its perpetual air of menace – making it look like the type of present which may erupt right into a homicide any second – and its lack of precise violence. Aside from Kendall’s beforehand covered-up manslaughter, which is alluded to twice in this week’s episode, dying has at all times been a secondary or tertiary concern, with monetary and reputational wreck being handled as the highest doable stakes as an alternative. Still, when Kendall invitations Logan for a personal meal over the marriage ceremony weekend, and Logan seems afraid to eat the meals, the concept that Kendall may genuinely have resorted to poison is not fully exterior the realms of chance. “You scared I’m gonna Jim Jones you with an olive?” Kendall asks, affronted; Logan, in a transfer that turns into extra psychotic the extra I really give it some thought, invitations Kendall’s son to eat from his plate first simply to make sure. A flicker of concern seems on Jeremy Strong’s face, and he cleverly makes the response ambiguous sufficient that, for a second, we count on the scene to descend into full Shakespearean tragedy. Instead, he is simply harm, one other cowering canine for his father to kick. “I’ll be broken when you die,” he says softly, as if he hasn’t already been irreparably shattered.

Jeremy Strong in ‘Succession’

(Graeme Hunter/HBO)

Maybe because of his breakdown at the party, or perhaps because the wedding makes his banishment from the rest of the family too obvious to ignore, Kendall’s determined he needs out – a buyout of two billion {dollars} and “a chunky asset,” and he’s blissful to be disinherited fully, and to vanish from Waystar Royco. “I thought I was a knight on horseback, but…” he trails off, weakly. “Life’s not knights on horseback,” Logan growls. “It’s an offer on a piece of paper. It’s a fight for a knife in the mud.” Despite having supplied him a buyout simply final episode, Logan modifications his thoughts all of a sudden, seeing one other alternative for cruelty: “Maybe I want you close,” he says, and there is nothing loving or paternal about the assertion, which is nearly actually a reference to the aphorism about mates and enemies.

“There’s things you’re able to do that I can’t, dad,” Kendall says, momentarily rising a backbone. “You’ve won. Because you’re corrupt, and so is the world. I’m better than you. I hate to say this, because I love you, but you’re kind of… evil? You’re smart, but what you’ve done is you’ve monetised all of the American resentments of class and race, you’re turned black bile into silver dollars.” “Oh, you just noticed, did you?” Logan asks him, mockingly. In the final scene of the episode, we see Kendall drunk and face-down in the pool, and though ultimately we see him blink, it seems like horrible foreshadowing. Maybe the season received’t finish with out dying lastly catching up with the Roy household in spite of everything.

Pandora’s C***

To finish on if not a lighter notice, then a extra pornographic one: Roman’s penis, an appendage that so motivates its grasp it is already virtually a personality on Succession. At the marriage ceremony, Gerri asks him primly to cease sending her “those items,” by which she means d*** pics. “I’m kind of offended, are you sure?” he pouts. “I feel like you do want them, but you’re being kind of typically minxy.” When Gerri tries to psychoanalyse him, he gives a warning: “Don’t open Pandora’s Box, there’s just more d***s in there.” All weekend, he is stroppy about being rejected, alternately skulking round Gerri and attaching himself to a different lady, ultimately deciding to show his manhood by throwing himself right into a enterprise disaster. Lukas Matsson, the p***y-obsessed tech bro from Kendall’s get together, tweets that he is assembly with a rival firm, regardless of having purportedly agreed to be acquired by Waystar Royco. Logan, struggling to barter with a person whose mind has been completely poisoned by the web, is drained of attempting to decode the emojis in his texts: “I’m not used to negotiating via eggplant,” he complains, in a uncommon second of permitting himself to look like an out-of-touch dinosaur. “He might not want the deal, he might just want a moussaka.”

J Smith Cameron, Hope Davis and Brian Cox in ‘Succession’

(Graeme Hunter/HBO)

Roman, who knows what the aubergine emoji means better than anyone, flies out to meet with Matsson, who reveals that he is interested in going forward on the deal with Waystar Royco only if it is “a merger of equals.” “He wants the label, but I think we can still be the puppyf***ers here,” Roman later suggests in a board meeting, his bizarre sexual psychology bleeding into his professional language once again. As the rest of the room discusses the merger, he decides to text Gerri another d*** pic, which we see in all its glory; the rest of the boardroom sees it, too, as Roman accidentally sends it to everyone else, as well. (Side-note: whose penis is this? Did a production assistant have to take a d*** pic for the show? Answers on a bawdy postcard to The Independent, please.)

Understandably, the meeting is derailed, and Logan pulls Roman aside to ask him if he is a “sicko.” “People just send people pictures of their d***s,” says Roman, who is definitely a sicko. “It’s like, right here’s my d*** I assume.” Logan, a hypocrite who is sleeping together with his thirty-something aide, finds the thought of his son being drawn to an older lady shameful, and resolves to quieten down the scandal by firing Gerri: “I don’t want her hanging around like frozen piss,” he hisses. “I’m not a radical feminist, dad,” Roman counters, in the understatement of the century, “but I think we should probably not fire her for receiving pictures of my d***”. In a present full of troublesome, scandalous, ruinous d***s competing for the viewers’s consideration, this one may lastly be the d*** that pushes the present’s temperature to boiling level.

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