In this week's episode, Kendall and his father come face-to-face to soothe a rattled billionaire shareholder played by Adrien Brody.

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Though the machinations around the Waystar shareholders have never been the most interesting part of Succession, in this week's tense episode a meeting with a minted investor reveals the tangled feelings that have been fueling the show's epic battle between father and son. 

After the FBI raid on Waystar, the company's investors are understandably freaking out and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is forced to join a company conference call hoping to calm the waters. Feeling salty about his sister Shiv's (Sarah Snook) recent knife in the back, Kendall is not in the mood to be cooperative even when informed that Josh Aaronson, a billionaire shareholder threatening to make a noisy bolt into Sandy (Larry Pine) and Stewy's (Arian Moayed) waiting arms, wants Kendall and Logan (Brian Cox) to come out for an in-person meeting. Without Josh, the family's hold on the company will be even more precarious, so it's important that he stay in the fold. More concerned about the optics than anything else, Kendall blanches at the idea of doing anything to help his father, even if it would serve his own financial interests as well.  

Kendall might be truculent, but Greg (Nicholas Braun) has been ping-ponging between Kendall's orbit and Waystar, and Logan realizes it's time to bring his nephew in for a little lightly threatening chat. He knows Greg has his own lawyer but suggests that he could get hurt if their legal teams aren't working together and that a "big strong umbrella keeps you dry." Greg is so ill at ease that the meeting comes off like a lion toying with a mouse, but he at least realizes he can get something for his signature. Of course, he overplays his hand, but Logan tells him to take what little leverage he has and think about what he really wants before he makes his final request. 

Succession
Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen in 'Succession' season 3, episode 4
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

But to make certain that Greg signs the papers, Shiv asks Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) to apply the thumbscrews to his protégé. Tom is still slowly melting down at the idea of impending jail time, and Shiv has no idea how to comfort him or convince him that this little obsession of his will not come to pass. So Tom takes his anxiety out on Greg, weirding him out with a story of how Greg is like Sporus, the young boy that the Emperor Nero had castrated and married, and telling him, "I'd castrate you and marry you in a heartbeat." 

Though this behavior improbably compels Greg to signon the dotted line, Tom is less successful in achieving Shiv's other goal: to get ATN to start openly questioning the President as punishment for his inaction in helping Logan out of federal trouble. Tom gets nowhere with their neofascist anchor Mark Ravenhead (Zack Robidas), but Shiv basically forces the issue in a one-on-one discussion with the ATN star, reminding him that what her father wants, her father gets. He threatens to embarrass the family publicly, to which Shiv coolly replies, "We don't get embarrassed."

Shiv tries to do all her father's dirty work, pressing Karl (David Rasche) to knock Sandy and Stewy's heads for a deal and placating Connor (Alan Ruck) with a paltry job offer at their food network, but she finds the old man is still willing to cut her off at the knees at will. When Karl complains to Logan about Shiv's input, Logan reams her out over the phone, saying, "I don't need another toothache." She then complains that giving in to Karl would undermine her authority, but he has no patience for it and tells her to get in line. 

Logan's unhappiness with Shiv is a mere drop in the bucket compared to what he feels for her older brother, and it's his sense of betrayal regarding Kendall that drives the real action in the episode. After Frank (Peter Friedman) advises Kendall that the meeting with Josh would make good business sense for him personally, Kendall finally agrees. But instead of meeting the important investor in the city, both Kendall and Logan must travel out to Josh's beachside estate since his daughter is supposedly sick. Said daughter is later seen jumping into the pool, though, so it seems like it's mostly a power play to get them both out on his turf instead of theirs.  

Though Kendall was supposed to wait on the tarmac for Logan before heading to Josh's place, he decides to go on ahead to try to make the case himself. But since Josh wants to see a united front before backing the Roys, it's not exactly the smartest move. He arrives at the palatial home where Josh (played with great amusement by Oscar winner Adrien Brody) greets him and they do a little rich-dad talk before getting down to brass tacks.

Kendall tries to convince the wary shareholder that "I'm better than my dad, but my dad is still better than Sandy and Stewy" and sketches his vision for the future of Waystar once Logan is out of the picture. Josh remains skeptical.  

Succession
Adrien Brody in 'Succession' season 3, episode 4
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

As Kendall suggests they should hang out more, which Josh is clearly not feeling, Logan slips into the house unannounced. Quoting Walt Whitman, Josh hails Logan with "Captain! My captain!" and Logan commiserates with him over his sick daughter with all the warmth he likely never showed his own ailing children. It's impossible to ignore the awkwardness between father and son, and their tentative hug does not fool eagle-eyed Josh.   

As Kendall sits uneasily beside his father, Logan makes his pitch that the safest bet is to back him in the shareholder fight and sit tight, but since Josh has lost 350 million from the recent Waystar troubles, he's not going to fold that easily. Josh wants that money back, so which team will achieve that: Logan and his dysfunctional clan or the seemingly more stable Sandy and Stewy?

Josh suggests they take a walk to talk it over, but because Logan still has significant health problems, he's not exactly keen on the idea. When Josh playfully challenges his stamina, however, Logan refuses to look like a weak old man and agrees against his better judgment. Seeing the ferocious beast doing his bidding, Josh marvels, "F---ing King Kong comes out to dance for me. I'm honored."

During the stroll, Josh's motive becomes very clear as he tries to get a sense of whether the Roys are functional enough to lead the company out of the storm. To Kendall's alarm, Josh wants him to backpedal on all his accusations, or at least stop being so noisy about them and just let the DOJ investigation play itself out. He immediately suspects this is a plot between Josh and his dad, and when Josh steps away to take a phone call, Logan essentially asks him if he's on drugs. 

Josh tries to suss out what damaging information Kendall has on his dad as well, noting that if it's not that bad it makes Kendall look like a fake, and if it is really damaging, why would he stay anyway? It's a good point — one that Kendall doesn't have a great answer for. 

After a long hike out to the ocean, the trio sit down to an expensive beachside meal Josh's staff has prepared. Logan wants to stop beating around the bush, and though Kendall suggested previously that the Beatles made their best stuff when they were fighting with each other, Josh isn't seeing that kind of brilliance between father and son. Josh asks Kendall point-blank if he wants his dad to go to jail, and Kendall demurs. 

Josh admits, "I don't like betting on blood feuds. How does it end?" Logan says with him in control, some slapped wrists, a payout, and all of Kendall's accusations will simply become sea mist that fades away with the wind. 

Succession
Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox in 'Succession' season 3, episode 4
| Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Josh suggests Logan just thinks he's a rich dips---, and Logan swallows his bile and says everything will be fine because in the end, Kendall is a good kid, that he loves him, and that maybe "he's the best one of all of them." His seemingly heartfelt testimony quiets Josh's concerns for a moment and knocks Kendall into complete silence. 

But if Kendall thought his father was being sincere, it's quickly revealed that Logan is just as good an actor as Brian Cox is. As Josh roams ahead in search of the missing golf carts to take them back to the house, Logan and Kendall get into one of their most brutal fights yet.

When Kendall mentions what a nice speech his father gave, Logan cruelly responds, "You'll say anything to get f---ed on a date" and proceeds to rail into his son with as much animosity as he can muster. In regards to Waystar, Logan swears, "I'd sooner get fucked by a sp-- in a shower block than to see you have it."

Having told his son off so viciously, Logan then picks the exact wrong time to start having a medical crisis. When it becomes obvious the walk is too much for his father, Kendall has no sympathy, tearing into him as he struggles to keep walking. Logan begs him for water, to which Kendall replies, "Ask your f---ing iPhone."

But Kendall's tough-guy act starts to dissolve when it becomes apparent Logan might be having a heart attack. Logan doesn't want to alert Josh to his physical frailty, but both men must come to his aid once he starts to collapse. Kendall tries to save the situation, but an alarmed Josh tells him to just think about his dad. 

Back at Waystar, Roman (Kieran Culkin) has been digging up photos of a homeless man Kendall paid to tattoo his initials on his forehead years ago during his drunken bachelor party. Roman thinks it's a great way to attack "Wokehauntus," but Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) advises him that since he was also part of the incident this might be bad not only for Kendall but for him. Trying to get him to think past his first impulse, Gerri tells him that he needs to ask himself, "How does this advance my personal position? You need to think about that 24/7." But before he takes that advice to heart, he hears about Logan's medical crisis at Kendall's hands. 

Logan himself has just suffered heat exhaustion and is soon back on his jet trying to convince the President disingenuously that ATN's new attacks are all at Mark Ravenwood's behest. But Kendall finds out from an irate Roman that the damage from the medical incident has already been done. Berating Kendall over the phone, Roman accuses him of trying to assassinate their father with the sun.

Kendall says everything is fine but comes up short when Roman informs him that Josh has zero faith in any post-Logan leadership and has bailed in favor of Sandy and Stewy. They are going to lose the company because Kendall wouldn't give their father an Evian, and as he watches Josh warmly embrace the newly arrived Stewy on the tarmac, Kendall realizes he might have made a grave mistake.

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Succession
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 2
rating
creator
  • Jesse Armstrong
network
  • HBO

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