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'Succession' recap: That (disastrous) meeting could have been an e-mail

Logan (Brian Cox) just can't catch a break, now that he's committed all these terrible acts and alienated his kids and everything.
Logan (Brian Cox) just can't catch a break, now that he's committed all these terrible acts and alienated his kids and everything.

What happened this week

Kendall shows up very much uninvited at Waystar Royco and interrupts an employee meeting in a way carefully planned to humiliate Shiv. Tom starts to suspect that he was going to wind up incarcerated no matter what, so he attempts to pick up some points with Logan on the way there. Logan tries to wiggle his way out of the DOJ investigation that's been coming, but he fails, and the FBI winds up pounding on the doors of Waystar HQ until Logan can do nothing but capitulate.

Like a lot of guys who look very confident, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is flailing.
Macall Polay / HBO
Like a lot of guys who look very confident, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is flailing.

Speed rankings

75 MPH: Kendall

We find Kendall this week trying desperately to enjoy framing himself as the Good Roy, the one who's not evil. He insists that even the people who think he's a complete phony actually love him, and that he's having a great time with it, a great time. He's relishing the whole thing! (Let me just say: Absolutely nobody, ever, should play "Good Tweet, Bad Tweet," even if they aren't Kendall.)

Most important, Kendall wants to show his face at Waystar to tick off his father and take back "the battle space." His lawyer tells him not to, but he does it anyway, because this is the season when Kendall pays women for advice he can ignore. Waystar security can't quite stop him, particularly because there's an all-staff meeting and Kendall still officially works there. Up in his office, Kendall runs into the same one of his father's goons who helped clean up after the crash at the end of Season 1, who whispers to him, "I know you." Creepy!

Any claim Kendall might have to actually caring about the allegations against Waystar is obliterated by his decision to make a sonic rape joke while his sister is talking, so in terms of his path, that's acceleration right there. Predictably, shortly after his triumph, he's brought back down to earth when he sees Shiv's public statement excoriating him. But of course, only moments later, he perks up when he gets the best possible news: The FBI is raiding Waystar Royco. Kendall is as lost as ever; just in a different way.

70 MPH: Logan

This week, Logan's focus is on getting the kids and the federal government under control. Whether he's pressuring Shiv to come out in support of him, pressuring the White House to kill the investigation, or freaking out about Kendall potentially entering the office, you can see that the pressure is getting to Logan, and it comes to a head when the FBI is literally about to break down the doors. But to be honest, this is actually a relatively normal week for him! His wickedness here is quite ordinary!

Do not underestimate Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron). Just do not.
Macall Polay / HBO
Do not underestimate Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron). Just do not.

50 MPH: Gerri

Gerri is taking the idea of being CEO a tiny bit more seriously than some may have anticipated. You can also see that she's more willing to play it straight with Logan than she has been in the past — for instance, she has no patience left for his "tell them to f*** off" attitude about federal law enforcement. "This is a show of resolve," she tells him. There is nothing they can do but open the doors. On the one hand, you could argue that Gerri standing for the idea of submitting to a perfectly meritorious FBI investigation is less evil than if she had suggested that they, for instance, bribe somebody. But that's not why she's doing it, and there's nothing good for Gerri — nothing — in getting deeper and deeper into running Waystar.

45 MPH: Roman

Roman is barely evil at all this week. If anything, he shows Kendall a little mercy by refusing to sign Shiv's statement. He's also the kid who gets cornered into doing the interview in which he's supposed to speak kindly about Logan to "humanize" him, but Roman finds himself basically unable to do it. He winds up borrowing a memory of Connor taking him fishing, so unable is he to muster anything nice to say about Logan, and that is the kind of sad detail that really drives home how bad things are in this family.

Shiv (Sarah Snook) looks a little incredulous. And can you blame her?
Macall Polay / HBO
Shiv (Sarah Snook) looks a little incredulous. And can you blame her?

45 MPH: Shiv

Shiv is actually feeling herself a little as she prepares to take the stage at the Waystar town hall with her new (and somewhat meaningless) title of "domestic president." But as she's speaking, Kendall hacks the sound system to play the Nirvana song "Rape Me," meaning that Shiv is the one who suffers the greatest humiliation from this stunt. Clearly very hurt (particularly after Kendall was awful to her last week and apologized at the Yay Journalists party this week), she finds her way to Kendall's office and literally spits in his notebook.

And now, she's ready to go hard on her father's team, to the point where she tries to get Connor and Roman to sign an open letter with her that condemns Kendall not only for his history of addiction, but also for being an "absentee father" and so forth. Roman and Connor decline, so Shiv just puts the letter out herself. How awful is this of a thing to do? Well, she would say Kendall started it.

44 MPH: Tom

Tom can feel the walls closing in. Shiv comes home from the Yay Journalism party and finds him very drunk, having just consulted with a friend who has broken the news to him that he's very likely to go to prison. And so, being a suck-up at heart, Tom shifts his focus to offering himself as a sacrificial lamb to ingratiate himself to Logan. Logan seems genuinely impressed by this offer, and his "Thank you, Tom" is what passes for warmth between these two basically soulless dudes. Kendall tries to make a gentle overture to Tom — "Another life is possible, brother" — but for now, Tom is firmly Team Logan. It's unfortunate that he's right in the middle of a pitch to advertisers when he has to break the news that there is a little bit of an FBI raid going on.

15 MPH: Greg

Greg is sort of in a transitional phase in this episode. He has absolutely no idea how to handle the position in which he finds himself. Tom is all over him for getting his own lawyer and wants him back in the fold, but Greg isn't fully ready to disengage from Kendall — until, that is, Kendall shows how little he actually appreciates Greg and refuses to pay for a watch Greg thought he was getting as a gift. Kendall, who has basically infinite money, seems not to realize that the watch would probably be less expensive than the potential loss of Greg's loyalty. Whether Greg can save his soul while remaining on either side of this war is questionable, but for the moment, he's a kid without a country.

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