At first glance, this would seem to be an episode where the Roys all had a hard slap to the face from reality, but then it occurred to me that one Roy may have gotten exactly what he wanted.
The Roys and their hangers-on are meeting on the family yacht, and after last week’s string of successes for the family, now’s the time where that all falls apart for each of the kids, even Connor. Connor’s fortune was sunk into Willa’s play, and it’s a bomb. Sure, his dad will bail him out, but he has to quit his embarrassing run for President first.
Yeah, that would stop him. Probably. It is noteworthy that when the group gathers to discuss who gets tossed to the wolves to make the cruises scandal go away, Connor alone volunteers himself in exchange for a large cash pay-off. Connor isn’t even involved in the company, so how he thought that would work, I have no idea. Then again, I could say the same thing about just about everything Connor says or does.
Roman, on the other hand, gets the feeling the money infusion he may have been promised in the previous episode was not really there, and Logan agrees. Roman of all people can probably detect when someone is just blowing smoke when he does it all the time already. However, he also is feeling rather anxious about what happened to him, and neither Shiv nor Kendall are being all that supportive as they openly mock him for having feelings.
Then again, Tom tells Shiv he’s unhappy because, you know, she said she wanted an open marriage on the day of the wedding. All the promises she offers for a threesome don’t matter since Tom legit just wants Shiv, not Shiv plus someone else, and she gets to see firsthand just how much she hurt her own husband. Sure, she goes to bat for him with Logan, but she also can’t pick someone to sacrifice.
Shiv, this is why Logan is never going to pick you as the next person in charge. But I get ahead of myself, because Kendall is doing something that pleases exactly one person.
Kendall, for all his groveling in season two, learns he’s to be the one thrown to the wolves. Is it because he got that waiter killed? No, says Logan. No Real Person Involved there. It’s because Kendall is the most plausible outside of Logan himself. Logan will never sacrifice himself, and when pressed, says he never thought Kendall could lead the company because Kendall is not a killer.
That would be why Logan got what he wanted. I’m basing this on his episode-ending smile and Brian Cox’s own words on the character. Cox and the producers have all said Logan does love his children. But he also sees the business world as one of dominance or nothing. He’s never interested in a deal that’s good for everybody. He wants to annihilate anyone who he sees as, well, a target. Shiv can’t do that, as seen in this episode. Kendall, well, he was berated in the pilot for leaving a merger meeting to go to his father’s birthday party. By his father. To have Kendall throw his father to the wolves at a press conference, complete with whatever paperwork Cousin Greg has, well, that is a killer’s move, one devoid of emotion or sentiment, and needed to run Waystar the Logan Roy way.
So, Logan got one of his kids to where he thinks the kid needs to be.
You know, as much as these characters are often callous and awful, there are usually some moments where they show they can be decent human beings. Then the subject of Logan or the company comes up, and that’s the end of that.