There was really less of a question of if the Roys would screw up the PGM deal so much as a when. I might have expected there be at least one more episode, but I think there’s something else going on here.
Kendall might be growing his spine back.
Kendall’s spine is, well, not all that much of anything in the grand scheme of things. Like pretty much every member of the family–save Cousin Greg because he is at the bottom–Kendall can and will lord it over anyone lower on the totem pole than himself. All the Roys do it. Logan, at the top, does it to all of his children save maybe Connor since Connor isn’t involved in the company at all. Kendall does it to other Waystar employees. Shiv does it to Tom. Roman does it to random strangers. Tom does it to people below him in the TV division, including Greg. Maybe if Greg had someone he was somehow above, he’d do it too, but I haven’t really seen that yet, so here we are.
Anyway, most of the Roys are on there way to the Argestes business conference where Logan hopes to finalize the PGM deal with Nan Pierce. For that to happen, he needs to deal with one other problem: a whistleblower claiming she was sexually assaulted while working for the Waystar amusement parks by an executive not named Roy. The parks thing has been broiling under the surface for a while now, and here it is blowing up and the Roys need to handle it. That means getting Shiv, who had initially stayed home, to join the others as they do their usual sort of inept job doing whatever it is they are trying to do. That ranges from Greg and Tom trying to come up with a new slogan for the news division when “I’m Listening” becomes extra creepy in light of the fact the Waystar version of Alexa actually is listening. The new one is terrible, but these are not exactly the smartest of men anyway.
Nothing the Roys do seems to work. Kendall tries to warn Stewie that the deal might make the bear hug a bad idea out of sense of friendship, and that blows up in his face. Roman is asked to secure funding from a bank by schmoozing a guy with connections, only he’s so bad at it, the guy takes Roman aside to give him some quick lessons. Shiv is asked to join the brothers for a chat in front of an audience of business types with only minutes of prep, something Roman and Kendall both rightfully recognize as a bad idea. It is a bad idea. Shiv has no idea what she’s doing, and her words seem to be an attack on her father, calling him a dinosaur.
That leads to an argument afterwards, in the wake of Nan Pierce calling off the deal and firing Rhea for disloyalty (Nan isn’t wrong). Logan walks in on his children arguing, Roman makes a smartass remark, and Logan slaps his son.
Roman, aside from being obnoxious, wasn’t really in the wrong here. Shiv was, as well as Logan for insisting Shiv join the panel.
OK, none of the Roys are “in the right” because they’re their own worst enemies, but I know what I meant there.
Point is, Kendall snaps back at Logan for the first time since he, you know, killed that waiter. If we were to look at who the real bad guys are in a series like this, where no one is really “good,” then Logan is surely at the top, and as we watch these self-entitled people fall very slowly from grace, well, if there’s any hope for any Roy, it will come from cutting the ties that bind them to a father that, according to both Brian Cox and the producers of show, does love his children, but appears to love money and power more.
Then again, the real mystery about Succession is why it’s so compelling beyond the great writing and acting. I don’t know that there’s an answer to that, but I don’t expect one either.