After five Emmy nominations for its first season, including Outstanding Drama Series, Directing and Writing for a Drama Series, Succession made its triumphant return to HBO tonight as the cable giant begins transitioning into its post-Game of Thrones existence and fall season programming.
I’m not entirely sure many could have predicted the level of critical acclaim the show received (not sure why), but creator Jessie Armstrong’s flagship project quickly became one of HBO’s highest-rated series on Rotten Tomatoes (with a 100% rating for the second season, no less). While most recaps turn out to be a glorified play by play of what occurred, I want to give you guys something much more than that (you deserve it). We will cover tonight’s episode in the form of 5 takeaways (or standout moments) which will no doubt play some role during the new season. If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode, then please bookmark this page and come back to it, but for those who have then here we go.
5. Kendall has become Logan’s Puppet
Season 2 picks up right in the aftermath of the bombshell Kendall dropped during Shiv’s wedding (you know the one where he told Logan he was behind a hostile takeover of his company). The takeover is still very much going on but Kendall has since relented (I guess you would too if your dad knew about a drug-induced incident where someone died). We initially see him in what looks to be a rehab but is quickly summoned to go on a media tour to quell investor anxiety over the takeover.
In the beginning, he seems to be at his dad’s beck and call (a neutered version of himself). I’m not so sure how long this is going to last. It becomes quite clear towards the middle of the episode that he still hasn’t got over his drug addiction which means it’s only a matter of time before he’ll be back to making irrational decisions.
4. Watch out for Roman!
Roman’s still at the center of the launch pad explosion investigation (which occurred when he moved up the ignition sequence). He seems to feel as that’s starting to fizzle out but now is at the center of the blowback stemming from the takeover attempt (now spearheaded by Kendall’s best pal Stewy). Logan has been advised that if he’s to survive this “bearhug,” he’s going to have to name a successor.
Roman is undoubtedly ambitious enough and wants it to be him (however he doesn’t seem to have the business acumen his siblings have). He’s stunned when his dad names Kendall (who the rest of the family views as a Judas) as temporary CEO while Logan deals with this takeover attempt. I wonder if this is going to come back to bite the Roy family. While Roman might not have a business sense, he certainly is Logan’s most ruthless child. If he’s that irritated, could we see him switch sides (perhaps join the group spearheaded by Stewy)?
3. Logan picks Shiv to be his successor
While on the surface it appears Logan has picked Shiv to be his successor, in reality, something doesn’t seem right. Nothing about this Roy family is this simple and clear cut. Do I think that Shiv generally feels that she’s now the next in line to run the family business? Yes, I do but whose to say Logan didn’t tell the same to Roman? What better way to ensure loyalty than to dangle the biggest carrot in front of his children. Well, then who will end up being Logan’s successor?
2. Kendall is part of Logan’s master plan
Why are Logan and Marcia so sweet to Kendall? Could he be part of Logan’s bigger plan? I mean, who better to appoint as a “successor” than someone who he could ultimately control daily? Is Logan’s ego so big that he feels that only one who could run his company is himself? If he installs Kendall (and ultimately betrays at least one of his children), he can easily manipulate him into doing whatever he sees fit. That is, of course if they survive the takeover.
1. Prepare for War!
The tone of this season was certainly set in the final 10 minutes of the first episode when Kendall delivers a scathing message from his father to the group attempting to take over Logan’s empire. It seems the 2nd season is going to very much a war between these two parties. Logan already realizes that his competition has intel on his medical condition (which can easily be used to sway the board). Even in the face of impossible odds, the Roy’s are going to war which should only benefit the fans of the show.
Succession airs on HBO Sunday nights at 6pm EST / 9pm PST. Season one is available to stream in its entirety on HBOGO.