There’s a scene in this episode where Tom, on the phone with his mother/lawyer on his way to Thanksgiving dinner with the Roys, and he keeps saying he’ll be by for a different, later holiday, but every time he says as much, he glances at Shiv, and she shakes her head “no” in a small way. It’s a moment that says Tom, whether he likes it or not, is part of the Roy family, and they all have a habit of getting their own way and doing what they want to do, regardless of what others think.
That said, I have a new favorite Roy.
That would be Ewan Roy, Logan’s brother, played to crank perfection by James Cromwell.
Is he a nice man? Not in the slightest. He’s coming down to Thanksgiving dinner, under an invite from Marcia, from his Canadian ranch. He refuses to fly, so Greg, his grandson, has to go drive him. It turns out Greg is every bit as awkward talking to this man, someone he presumably knows better than the other Roys, as he is talking to everyone else. Much of what he says is countered by Ewan with a Bertrand Russell quote, and Greg doesn’t even know who that is.
Now, it is worth noting that Ewan has a seat on the Waystar board of directors. He doesn’t seem to attend meetings all that often, and he seems to outright despise his brother. It’s questionable how much he likes the rest of the family, including Greg. Then again, Tom sends Greg to shred all incriminating paperwork about the parks problems during Thanksgiving dinner under the idea that he needs a patsy to take the fall when someone finds out he did it. That’s “when,” not “if”.
Worth noting Greg, for all his general awkwardness, seems to understand that, and though he misses dinner due to the shredding, he does make copies of the important stuff for his own use. That kid is a Roy after all…
OK, so, for all that I said Ewan is my new favorite, I think it comes down to the fact that, deep down, none of these people are people we should be rooting for. The closest may be Kendall, doing his best to keep his father from shouting at Kendall’s autistic son and ultimately failing miserably. Kendall isn’t exactly a good man, but right now, he may be the closest there is among the main cast, and the general theme is, well, he would have been screwed up no matter what because of how much money, power, and influence he grew up surrounded by. But he’s a far cry better than space cadet Connor with his escort girlfriend, sleazeball Roman, or the appropriately nicknamed Shiv whose values are…perhaps nonexistent given her work as a political consultant. Kendall at least comes off as human. A sad sack of a human who looks like life perpetually craps on him, possibly because it does, but he comes across as human.
Then again, with Logan deciding he wants to buy up local TV news stations, and other erratic behavior, Kendall is looking to get a vote of no-confidence on his father. There’s a part of me that thinks there’s a good chance Kendall is doing it for good reasons–Logan clearly isn’t doing as well as he says he is–there’s also the idea he is doing this for the power of the position he clearly. Granted, it could be for both reasons, but he may be the one Roy (other than space cadet Connor) who may actually care for Logan. Maybe not much, but it’s there.
Well, Marcia does, but that’s for other reasons.
But what about Ewan? Well, Logan collects military medals. Ewan finds that distasteful since he actually fought in Vietnam. Logan lives a lavish, wealthy lifestyle. Ewan believes there’s more to life than money. And even though he despises Logan on every level, when asked by Kendall about hypothetical support for that vote of no confidence, Ewan says he won’t, not because he cares about Logan, but because he won’t turn on his brother.
Essentially, Ewan has principals. Yes, he has many Roy-like qualities, like expecting Greg to drop everything and drive him home to Canada the instant he decides he doesn’t want to be there anymore, and his general grumpiness isn’t exactly endearing in many ways, but the guy actually believes in things and has some moral qualms about life. His departing advice to his grandson, a kid who really just wanted some dinner by then, was not to trust any of the others as they were a nest of vipers.
Plus, it turns out he only came because Marcia said Logan was ready to apologize for…something. That was a lie. Logan doesn’t even know what he should be apologizing for, and he doesn’t seem like the type to say he was sorry about anything, ever.
However, Kendall does get one more supporter for his vote since for some reason many members of the Waystar board are there, including longtime lawyer Geri Kellman. At one point, Logan hits Kendall’s autistic kid with a can of cranberry sauce. That’s enough to convince her Logan needs to go.
Somehow I doubt that will work out, but for now, I have another favorite Roy. That would be the one that doesn’t hide how unpleasant he is to everyone else.