The battle for the future of Waystar has just begun, and it seems this conflict will be fought on various fronts. Succession hasn’t missed a beat as it seems each episode is layered and full of intrigue. While the 1st episode of this new season set the stage for what’s to come, it seems the 2nd episode was focused on setting each character’s arch in motion. Here are our five takeaways from tonight’s episode.
5. Kendall is clueless … nope, that would be Roman
While Roman certainly has his strengths (debauchery and the ability to be the cool guy in the room), he doesn’t have a clue about the business world. He’s under the delusion that one day he will be running the family business (Roman doesn’t know about daddy’s deal with Shiv) and all he’s concerned with is keeping up appearances. One thing I did find very interesting is the reaction he had to Kendall being brought in on the proxy battle. He doesn’t get it. While Roman has shown loyalty, Kendall tried to take the company down and is rewarded by getting to sit and the right hand of the king. I can’t help but shake the feeling that this will come into play somehow this season.
4. Kendall has now become nothing more than a drug-addicted robot
Jeremy Strong (Photo: Peter Kramer/HBO)
Kendall at this point would do whatever his dad wanted to prove his loyalty to the family (you know after threatening to take everything from his dad). Roman attempts to show off his business savvy and tells Logan that Vaulter (the ill-advised purchase Kendall made when he was acting CEO) should be gutted (knowing that this the former acting CEO’s baby). Dad agrees, but I think more so as a test of Kendall’s loyalty. At this point he’s not even thinking about the business side of things, he wants to follow these marching orders (it’s a means to an end). If he keeps doing Logan’s bidding, Kendall isn’t cut off, and those bad habits can continue. It seemed he hit rock bottom last year, but that might not be the case (the last scene was pretty ominous this week).
3. Tom is in way over his head (in more ways the one)
Jeannie Berlin, Matthew Macfadyen (Photo: Peter Kramer/HBO)
Tom is going to drown this season for two reasons. For starters, he shouldn’t be running ATN news. In a business world full of sharks, he’s a big bucket of chum. Now, do I think that he’s going to attempt to flex his muscle so he can impress Logan? Yes, I do, but it’s going to end very poorly for him.
He’s also trying to have somewhat of a healthy marriage with Shiv, but the Roy’s are not the commitment type (Dad’s a shining example of that). Up until now, Tom’s had this macho fantasy that somehow he would climb the ladder so that he could take over for Logan. Now he knows that Shiv is his choice and that’s a tough pill to swallow.
2. Reality is setting in for Tom
Sarah Snook, Matthew Macfadyen, Kieran Culkin, Caitlin Fitzgerald (Photo: Peter Kramer/HBO)
Tom is still trying to process the news from Shiv and we get to see our first cracks in their marriage. Shiv and Roman love to talk trash (especially when they are drinking) but up until now, Tom took the abuse. He actually fired back at Shiv during dinner and things weren’t exactly great when they got home. As Shiv pursues the CEO job at Waystar, I expect to see her take on more of her dad’s traits and for her marriage to become more frayed.
Also, this may have been the most awkward Dinner party I’ve ever seen in a series.
1. Please let him win!
Jeremy Strong, Alan Ruck (Photo: Peter Kramer/HBO)
Please let this happen! Please let Connor Roy (AKA Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) actually run for President. That would be my everything.