Succession has told us just enough about Logan Roy's history to know that however he's abused his kids, it's no worse than what he endured as a child. We know that he and his brother, Ewan, grew up in the care of their uncle, Noah. Logan still blames himself for the death of their sister, Rose—and whatever happened to him and Ewan afterward, it seared a lot of angry, red scars into his back.
Logan's scars appear in Season 1's "Austerlitz," which finds the Roys reunited at oldest son and certified black sheep Connor's ranch. (The reason for the gathering? An interview-slash-photo opp designed to boost Waystar's stock with a little publicized family therapy.) After a less than productive discussion with three rightfully frustrated children and a freshly relapsed Kendall, we observe Logan swimming laps in the pool. Marcia wraps him in a towel as he emerges—covering the keloids that cut across his back like lashes from a whip.
I thought of that moment at the end of this week's episode, "Chiantishire," as Kendall floated face-down in an infinity pool. Surrounded by his children, beer in hand, his back shimmers in the sun as he lounges on a pool float, lost to the world. When the kids go inside, the bottle falls from Kendall's hand and bubbles emerge from his nose. Given the conversation he and Logan previously shared about the catering crew member whom Kendall left to drown, the moment feels ominous.
Did I mention that this is a wedding episode?
Much to Roman's dismay, Mommy Roy—Caroline Collingwood, aka actress Harriet Walter, aka "Scary Poppins"—is getting married again. By the looks of it her chosen suitor is a piece of work with multiple marriages, bad business decisions, and shady enterprises in his back pocket. Shiv's level of concern hovers somewhere around "fuck it," but Roman at least wants to encourage mumsy to get a prenup while they attend her wedding in Italy.
Roman, meanwhile, is arranging a marriage of his own—Waystar's acquisition of content platform GoJo, which could save the company from obsolescence. Logan springs the deal on Sandy and Stewy, who are miffed by the blindside but not opposed to the deal. Shiv, perhaps still feeling slighted, has chosen this week's board meeting to play hooky and watch Food Network with the dog.
Any gathering that attracts this many Roys is bound to erupt into an impossible tangle of social dysfunction and neuroses, and Mommy Roy's wedding is no exception.
Kendall brings his assistant Comfrey—who alerts him to a new podcast about the "Curse of the Roys" and that caterer's mysterious death. It doesn't take long for him to get kicked out of the wedding—"Where the fuck are my kids?"—only to return, confront Logan, and insist that they meet for dinner. It appears there is no "L." left for the "O.G."
Perhaps the only person having any real fun at this wedding is Greg—who seizes the opportunity to flirt with Comfrey before trying to "casually" impress other women with his $40,000 watch. Tom and Shiv remember what chemistry looks like by making fun of how utterly ridiculous he is, a brief flash of camaraderie before they return to being their usual dance as Most Awkward Couple Alive. Mostly, Shiv just wants to avoid her mother's "House of Flying Daggers"-style interrogation.
"How is your marriage going," she mocks, "Are you gonna have children?" Her husband's reply? "How is your marriage going? Are you gonna have children?" We love a wedding, don't we folks?
Eventually, Caroline does catch up with her daughter for a morose conversation about which of them has hurt the other more over the years. Caroline blames Shiv for "choosing" her father at the famously autonomous age of 13, and Shiv blames her mother for… well, you know, everything.
Unlike Logan, who can't stand being confronted with his failings as a father, Caroline eventually relents. Maybe she was a terrible mother, she says—but Shiv is right not to have children, she adds, because she wouldn't be, either. And just like that, Tom's desire to have a baby is looking a lot more appealing to his previously reluctant wife.
Logan, as it turns out, does choose to join Kendall for dinner. (After making his grandson, Iverson, taste his food for poison, anyway.) Kendall is ready to accept his father's offer to buy him out of Waystar Royco, but as their mother told Shiv earlier, Logan's favorite hobby is to kick everything that loves him to see what will come crawling back. So he rescinds the offer.
When Logan summoned the kids to Connor's place in New Mexico for a little PR reconciliation, it turned out he was the least equipped to handle it. When his stiff proclamation that he's done "everything" for his children bombed in the room and the therapist prodded for more, he exploded. But the anger in his voice seemed to betray something more fragile: fear.
"I'll apologize as much as you like," Logan said. "But I can't get into everything."
Kendall, high on meth, diagnosed his father later in the episode: "You're so fucking jealous of what you've given your own kids." When his father sputtered that he could never have spoken that way to the uncle who raised him, Kendall began to mock him: "What would evil Uncle Noah do?"
Just as he lunged into Kendall's face to call him a "fucking nobody" in that moment, Logan's darkest side emerges when his son calls him "evil" now.
"You're my son," Logan says. "I did my best. And when you fucked up, I cleaned up your shit. And I'm a bad person? Fuck off, kiddo."
Another fascinating coda: In that Season 1 episode, Connor asks Willa to move in with him to legitimize their relationship while press closes in. This week, he asked her to marry him—and in a classic Willa moment, she managed to make it look like she was saying yes while politely asking for some time to think about the idea. Taking a beat is apparently in vogue; that's also where Shiv ultimately lands on the baby question, too. Why decide to have a baby now when you can "bank some embryos" and decide later? In the meantime, she and Tom might want to figure out their dirty talk; he didn't seem to enjoy being told just how out of his league she is.
If anyone's sex life is under the microscope this week, however, it's… you guessed it, our favorite slime puppy.
Apart from trying to make sure his mother doesn't squander the family fortune on a gold digger, Roman spends this week brokering the deal with GoJo. As tech mogul Lukas Mattson, Alexander Skarsgård is basically an Elon Musk-type—eccentric, unpredictable, prone to moves that make the suits nervous. When Mattson makes a play to transform the acquisition of his company into a merger of equals, Roman seems to give up almost immediately—until he notices his father might actually be interested.
Once he sells the boardroom on the deal, Roman receives the best possible prize a nepotism baby can ask for: a compliment from both daddy and Gerri, who recently asked that he kindly stop sending her so many dick pics. Unfortunately, the ecstasy of success goes to Roman's head—and his refusal to listen to Gerri bites him in the ass. In an attempt to send a phallus photo to his would-be lover, Roman accidentally texts it to his father.
A crowning "Shiv" moment? Examining a photo that obviously depicts her brother's penis before somberly confirming what we already know: "Yeah, it's his penis."
Maybe it's just another blunder from one of Logan Roy's many failsons. Or maybe it's a subconscious act of self-sabotage.
Whatever Kendall's fate might be after the bleak shot that ends this week's episode, it seems unlikely he'll be fighting for the family crown anytime soon. We could pretend Shiv is still in the running, but if this season's overt misogyny has taught us anything, it's not to bet much on that possibility. (Although that said, it seems unlikely Shiv is done playing with the leverage she has over Gerri post-dickgate.) That leaves just one option, because for God's sake it can't be Connor.
Roman would love to pretend to be the darkest, twistiest Roy of all—"Don't open Pandora's box," he cautions, "there's just more dicks in there." But the youngest Roy boy's incessantly uncomfortable body language tells another story; as does, perhaps, what his sister describes this week as his "ricotta dick." Part of Roman clearly wants to inherit the family legacy. The question is whether or not he can weather the scars that come with it. If he's learned one thing from Kendall and Logan, it's how quickly they can spread.
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