Unlike a prison blog where Tom Wambsgans can learn how to make toilet wine, this blog is back with another iteration of who won and lost this week’s Succession.
The fourth episode of this already-rife-with-tumult third season, titled “Lion in the Meadow,” brought us arguably some of the best writing and guest stars we’ve seen thus far. Adrien Brody shines as Josh Aaronson, a 4 percent shareholder of Waystar Royco hellbent on figuring out whether he should hold on to his investment or back Sandy and Stewy at the upcoming shareholders’ meeting.
Brody’s Aaronson brings Kendall and Logan together in their first reunion since press conference-gate, demanding information about where the father and son stand with one another. Aaronson’s goal is to shed light on the future of Waystar Royco and whether the familial rockiness will lead to further humiliation (and, of course, lost profits) for investors.
The tension builds throughout the trio’s exchange at Aaronson’s sprawling beachfront home, as Logan seems to genuinely admit that Kendall may just be the “best” of his kids, and Kendall appears to wonder if maybe Daddy loves him after all. The episode ultimately culminates in Logan getting a bit of heatstroke, Aaronson withdrawing his support for fear of Logan being unable to continue his reign, and Kendall spotting Aaronson in cahoots with Sandy and Stewy.
Other lesser plot points included Logan getting Cousin Greg to flip in his favor, Shiv bumbling her way through running the company in Logan’s absence, Roman tracking down the extremely problematic “tattoo man” from Kendall’s bachelor party, and Gerri revealing that she went on a date (get it, Gerri!).
Jezebel discusses our winners and losers of the week:
Winner: Adrien Brody as an extremely wealthy dude-bro investor is something I didn’t know I wanted until now. I’m incredibly fascinated at the costume designers making the choice to put the man in what appears to be 700 layers of clothing, a look that can only be described as evocative of Steve Bannon if he spent time in Silicon Valley and had better bone structure. Brody’s no-bullshit character served Kendall and Logan their own asses on a platter. His “I don’t really believe you” remark felt very breaking-of-the-fourth-wall in the best way possible, but his insistence on seeing Logan’s physical stamina in action was masterful. Sure, Logan may be able to outwit even the most powerful of players, but Aaronson is far from just a checkbook: Perhaps he’s Logan’s match.
Loser: Tom. We’ve seen Tom go through various ranges of emotions over the course of previous seasons, but we’ve not seen a meltdown quite like this. The mental gymnastics of his potentially going to prison over his involvement with hiding the cruises scandal is eating our dear Mr. Wambsgans alive. He spent the better part of this episode spiraling, both to Shiv and Cousin Greg, about both Roman mythology and... the shortcomings of prison wine. His back-and-forth with Greg about Nero and Sporus is easily a top five what-the-fuck-is-going-on moment for the show and I will be watching it on repeat.
Winner: Stewy. LOL.
Loser: Everyone? Kendall has once again become a victim of his father’s mind games and emotional abuse. Logan did this whole song and dance for Adrien Brody and came away with nothing but a bout of heat stroke. Shiv is constantly disrespected at Waystar because nobody takes her seriously (which… fair). Tom is on jail blogs. Greg perhaps signed a deal with the devil because he’s incapable of maintaining a grip… maybe Roman is the real winner because at least he got to flirt with Gerri a lot.
Honorable mention winners: Tom/Greg shippers
Winner: Josh did the impossible: Forced Logan Roy to go on a walk, one that nearly killed him. When Logan hit Josh with “A walk. How far?” I felt that. Though I can’t help but feel like this was all a set-up, Logan and Kendall’s hate for one another really clouded their ability to work together.
Loser: Poor Tom. With Shiv on the scene, he’s being dragged at work and at home. No wonder they’re calling him “Terminal Tom.” But he’s nothing if not a prepper, so I don’t think he has to worry about forgetting ketchup packets for the toilet wine.
Falling Rapidly: Shiv’s in danger. She’s only comfortable on top but with “everything always moving forever,” there’s absolutely no know way she is gonna stay there. Each week, she digs in deeper and she may find herself with no way to climb out. Her biggest mistake might be assuming that anyone in her family or their company has any loyalty to her.
Winner: Josh, obviously. He can use capitalism to make Kendall and Logan try and make nice to the death. Also, there’s just the Adrien Brody factor. Love a Brody appearance in a show like Peaky Blinders or Succession that is always just a “So anyway, kill your family member while I look hot in a hat” moment. Wins. For everyone.
Loser: Roman. He’s devastated by Gerri getting back-channeled in the parking lot while he’s futilely chasing down people who can say his brother sucks when the entire world agrees his brother sucks. Trying to get Gerri to say “I love you” via horrible photos is the saddest thing Roman has done for love yet. He is absolutely getting “How does this advance Gerri’s personal position?” tattooed on his head in the next episode.
Winner: Naturally, it was Josh (Adrian Brody), dressed like a cross between a Silicon Valley tech-man and a very rich Park Slope papa, who won this episode by showing up, showing out, nearly killing Logan, and then deciding he would rather remove himself from the goings-on at Waystar Royco because Logan’s old ass is about to RIP and the family is in shambles. I’d also offer that the viewers at home won this week, too, because the writing this season has been far too winky and self-aware, written for memes and screenshots as opposed to just, you know, the story. At this point, I know that the Succession people’s favorite word is “fuck” and that they use it for every part of speech, but I don’t need to be hit over the head with that, thanks!
Loser: The perennial loser of this show is and will always be Kendall Roy, but this season, he is deliciously sad and deluded in such a way that it is painful to look at. Kendall is a narcissist, made in his father’s image, and unfortunately, he is not as smart as his daddy, and that will be his eternal struggle from here on out.