Succession season 3, episode 2 recap: Crippling daddy issues in ‘Mass in the Time of War’


Proving as soon as once more they’re the worst household on TV, the Roys are manoeuvring to make sure they’re the winning-est of the winners.

SPOILER WARNING for Succession season three, episode two, “Mass in time of war”

Crippling daddy issues come to a head as the different Roy siblings attempt to decide a facet in the ugly warfare between Logan and Kendall – however how a lot is loyalty actually price? As regular, everybody has a worth.


After failing to land Lisa Arthur’s companies in the season opener, Shiv is aware of she higher scope out her choices, as a result of if there’s one factor Logan doesn’t brook, it’s failure. And he’s nothing if not transactional in all his relationships, even together with his youngsters. Or possibly particularly together with his youngsters.

Much like avoiding eye contact along with your dad and mom after you’ve been caught with vodka inside a water bottle at the yr 11 dance, Shiv is steering clear of her daddy dearest – and letting his calls go to voicemail. And it’s excellent that Logan’s profile on Shiv’s telephone is of Saddam Hussein.

So, she’s slinking off to Kendall to see if he’ll provide her a greater deal.

Meanwhile, nonetheless marooned in that fairly good albeit dated Sarajevo resort, Logan is panicking.

“What the f**k is going on, I need to know what everyone’s saying, where everyone is and what everyone is thinking,” Logan shouts down the telephone to Roman. He has some management issues.

Number of F bombs earlier than the opening credit? Only two. It’s a light-weight week.

In his ex’s residence, Kendall is marshalling the troops, asking Greg to arrange a gathering together with his grandfather, banking on the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” tactic.

Greg doesn’t wish to commit. For all of his naivete and weirdly sincere strategy, the eternally squirming Greg might come out on prime at the finish of all this. Is it too early to foretell Gregory Hirsch for ultimate one standing?

Think about it, he sees and hears all the pieces as a result of everybody forgets he’s there or doesn’t see him as a menace. The Greg sprinkles nonetheless haven’t been sprinkled, and he at all times manages to simply scrape by way of, particularly together with his tendency to fence-sit.

“I’m not a part of this … necessarily,” he protests.

Across city at the Waystar workplaces, Roman is checking in on the standing of his relationship with Gerri. Given that it’s such a severe dialog, naturally he’s lasciviously sticking his tongue out like cobra trying to find prey.

But, he’s, surprisingly, sitting in a chair, as in the seat of the chair, not the arms. But, large ups for utilizing the phrase “interregnum”.

Shiv claims she’s not right here to cosy as much as Kendall and she or he’s not mendacity as a result of Shiv is at all times solely out for Shiv, regardless of her earlier picture as a progressive hero in a household of conservative reactionaries. But then, so was Ivanka Trump.

“You tell yourself you’re a good person but you’re not a good person,” Kendall says astutely.

Kendall’s delusions of grandeur actually kicks in, ribbing Shiv for not doing what he, Kendall the Great, has performed as an ally to girls, puppies and rainbows.

Logan is shedding his sh*t, or as he places it, “his juice”, and the solely firm he has are yes-men with nothing to supply.

Connor suffered by way of the indignity of flying “scheduled” which have to be rich-people speak for the way us plebs journey, although he was undoubtedly in top quality with all these films and closely refrigerated cheeses.

Logan have to be feeling anxious as a result of he even apologises to Connor, needing to shore up assist. That’s very in contrast to dad.

Greg decides he wants some neutral authorized recommendation, so he turns to Leah, a first-semester legislation college pupil. When a lawyer reveals up courtesy of Waystar, Greg – critically, not as dumb as all proof to the opposite – is aware of simply sufficient to not besides it with out query.

He takes an Uber – no non-public automobile ready on him – to satisfy his gramps. James Cromwell manages to spit much more venom than Logan. He doesn’t need soiled laundry washed out in public however is clearly completely nice with washing it in non-public, or not less than have employed assist to do it.

And Greg mentions being uncovered in a loincloth which begs quite a bit of questions. Is this loincloth produced from animal fur and in that case, which? I think about a noticed cheetah sample. Or possibly it’s only a bit of cut-off hessian, it’s not as if Greg is a top-tier Roy.

But one factor that’s positively Roy-ian is gramps swatting away Greg’s try at bodily affection, doing his finest Melania Trump impression. And “I love you” will get no reciprocation.

Kendall needs lawyer Lisa to arrange for all eventualities, together with doubtlessly calling the state police to arrest the FBI and an escape plan involving a aircraft with no tail quantity to “either Frankfurt or Venezuela”. Paranoid and grandiose – that is the consequence of Logan’s parenting.

Kendall clearly means Venezuela as a result of Ramstein, the US air pressure’s monumental base in Germany is simply 130km from Frankfurt and it could be all too simple for a snatch-and-grab.

Shiv and Tom’s little alternate about love – “do you love me?” – is a pleasant little carryover from the earlier season, a reminder that even in the midst of all the turmoil, they nonetheless have their issues. And one of these issues could also be Tom’s horrible love portfolio metaphor.

Roman is shocked however not shocked to see Shiv at Kendall’s and each of them are claiming to don’t have any agendas. Yeah, OK, certain.

“What’s your f**king game?” Has anybody ever answered that query truthfully?

Kendall’s upright stance is rarely extra obvious than when he’s in a scene with Roman, whose lithe draping of any and all furnishings is a continued delight. Here, he’s wrapped on a spiral staircase.

Kendall makes his pitch whereas his sibs nonetheless insist they’re solely there for his or her father. Again, yeah, OK, certain.

Connor is mainly there for present. Kendall begins speaking about signs of “foundational sickness” and the way the “great whites, from politics to culture are all rolling off the stage, it’s our time”. The worst half is, Kendall really believes his personal spin.

A pair of issues right here. First, the nice whites are usually not rolling off the stage. They’re clinging on to each scrap of energy they’ve amassed, rooted in the concept that energy can’t ever be shared – and the world will solely ever be made in their picture.

Secondly, not less than Roman, in his infinite prejudice, factors out the manifestly apparent, “Us, this multi-ethnic, transgender alliance of 20-something dreamers”, however it’s additionally tremendous revealing that of course those that grew up with inherited privilege and wealth really feel entitled to the world.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Kendall then co-opts the language of a politics lecturer, chattering on about declining empires, earlier than pivoting again to the regular company jargon of nonsense phrases that don’t actually imply something, “detoxifying the brand” to go “supersonic”. No, shut up, that has no that means. And, critically, what the hell is “omninational”?

I googled it and the solely issues that got here up had been a resort in Arizona and a 1918 JStor article about the potential formation of the League of Nations in a post-WWI geopolitical panorama. Riveting stuff.

Shiv’s “unsubscribe” response to Kendall’s bullsh*ttery is an on the spot traditional which suggests it’ll be an on the spot meme deployed in response to each promotional e mail, each company webinar, each grandstanding politician – really, most likely simply each politician.

Kendall’s grandiosity in considering that he’s the saviour who will make a distinction, somewhat than being half of the drawback factors again to his season one hubris. He’s at all times had this perception that he’s going to matter.

Connor steps in to run after Roman when Shiv insults Roman’s sexual flaccidity and also you get the feeling that the oldest Roy has needed to adjudicate these scuffles earlier than, a pseudo-parent for when Logan and Caroline weren’t there or didn’t care, which might be 97 per cent of the time. It’s about the solely respectable factor anybody does this episode.

There’s such an attention-grabbing dynamic in how the energy alliances shift between the sibs. For a second Shiv and Kendall are on the identical facet, however solely as a result of they’re collectively making enjoyable of Roman.

Who knew what when? Shiv and Roman are claiming they didn’t find out about the pay-offs and the immigrant staff being thrown overboard, making an attempt to dodge accountability like they’re a member of Scott Morrison’s authorities.

Kendall makes use of his youngsters as cowl to run downstairs to satisfy with Stewie and Sandi – daughter of Sandy, one of Logan’s nemeses. Daughters named after their fathers (ahem, JonBenet) have a tendency to satisfy a grisly finish, so it’s a superb factor Sandi can afford non-public safety.

Back in Europe, Marcia has returned! But she’s not right here without spending a dime so let the negotiations start. There will likely be no reconciliation, or the public pretence of one, except the phrases are beneficial. Everything is a transaction.

The negotiations are being dealt with by the communications staff, which actually highlights how a lot that is about picture. Marcia says she was humiliated and that “things must be made right” so you already know what meaning – kaching!

She’s a professional at this sport and lets her staff hash out the particulars, who instantly opens with “the numbers I’m going to propose will sound like very, very large numbers but if you consider them in terms of the difficulties it will present Mr Roy to have an acrimonious divorce announced ahead of a contested shareholder meeting, then it starts to seem like very reasonable numbers”.

Not one “very” but two. Who else is curious about what the actual numbers are? I’m going to guess that there are at least nine zeros on that figure.

In New York, Connor, the libertarian man of the people courting the vote of the aggrieved, is on the phone about a worrisome geological survey at his fine wine storage facility. He really gets it, you know.

Shiv and Connor are convinced if all three of them backed Kendall, then it’s fatal for Logan. Everyone wants to be on the winning team, but only if they get to be the winning-est of the winners, which means, chief executive.

Shiv calls Tom and Roman calls Gerri. Shiv is really mulling it over and starts smiling at the prospect of being made Queen Bee down the track. Remember, she’s grossly unqualified to be in charge of a multinational media and entertainment conglomerate. But in this world, the luck of DNA is all you need to really believe that not are you up to it, but it’s yours by destiny and right.

Gerri tells Roman that if they all came out against Logan, then Moby Dick goes down, but that none of them would come out of it either.

When they return, Connor points to the maybe-poisoned-maybe-not-poisoned doughnuts from Logan. Mind games? Or do they legitimately think there’s even a two per cent chance that doughnut is compromised?

Maybe not with arsenic but with eye drops, which one former colleague chillingly told me would give the intended target the runs. I always watched my food around him after that.

Connor is the first to pull out and Kendall reacts badly, telling his older brother that he’s not wanted. When Roman and Shiv both decide to stick with Logan, Kendall’s insults become juvenile, calling Roman a moron and debasing Shiv’s value down to her breasts before launching into how these decisions are going to ultimately doom the planet.

Watch out, “f**king pricks” are flying everywhere.

It’s done, the lines are drawn, for now. They say it’s loyalty to their dad but we all know it’s because they didn’t get to be CEO.

Logan has so successfully pitted his children against each other they can’t ever trust their own blood. Not that you’d ever want to feel too sorry for any of the Roys, but it must have been so lonely growing up in those echoey, empty houses.

Back in Sarajevo, Logan decides it’s time to go back to NYC and Marcia reminds the crusty patriarch he still has a card to play against his errant son. Referring, of course, to Kendall’s season one “mishap”, ie. the time he killed someone Ted Kennedy-style, Logan correctly says that some bombs burn the person throwing it. It’s a non-starter.

Gramps intros Greg to his lawyer, a man with a questionable filing system, who tells Greg that while the first priority is to protect him, the second is to “expose the structural contradictions of capitalism as reified in the architecture of corporate America”.

Well, of course, that’s what I was going to say. Just like a true Roy, gramps wants to use Greg as a Trojan horse to take down his brother. Greg, ever the truth-teller, nods along and agrees but also clarifies that he’s focused on his “position and me in particular not getting fired or going to jail, if that isn’t too selfish”.

Never before has a man repeated “I like it, I like it” and looked so constipated at the same time.

Logan and his cabal lands back in the states, disembarks and immediately restarts his power games and emotional manipulation.

In full view of the paps, he plays with Roman, ignores Gerri and gets in Shiv’s car, leaving the others to look on and wonder where they’re ranked in the Logan stakes as he continues to get off on being withholding. Lucille Bluth has nothing on Logan Roy.

Shiv is promoted to president, and he assures her that she will be his eyes and ears with Gerri as a shield.

Shiv is on top. For now.

Succession is available weekly on Mondays at 12pm AEDT on Foxtel On Demand

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