TV Recap – Succession S4E2: ‘Rehearsal’

After kicking off the fourth and final season with a banger first episode, ‘Rehearsal’ comes barrelling on to our screens like Logan Roy barnstorms in to ATN during this high-stakes, nail-bitingly good episode of Succession.

The Roy siblings have staked their claim and placed their bid to buy out their father, Logan’s, share of news media empire, ATN. And Logan is not happy, in typical Logan Roy fashion. Only a day out from a board meeting that will determine whether Logan’s end of the deal will go through, and from Connor Roy’s wedding to Willa, the Roy siblings prepare their financial assault to destroy the father once and for all. However, with Shiv’s divorce from Tom comes to the forefront of her mind, and Roman’s second guessing about what he really wants from this deal, the siblings once again find their ideologies and desires clashing at the indecisive crossroads of personal issues and business.

Their frustrations only grow stronger when Logan grounds the helicopter that was going to transport Kendall, Rome, and Shiv back to New York for Connor’s rehearsal. Meanwhile, Logan decides to pay an unannounced visit to the ATN studios, much to the shock and surprise of Tom and Greg. Logan is at his most menacing as he slowly and silently paces around the building in a way that Greg describes as “if Santa Claus was a hitman”, before giving a Wolf of Wall Street-esque speech to the employees about his goal to reinvigorate and rebuild ATN as a powerhouse media empire, much like his own before. Behind the scenes, a news anchor video audition of Logan’s assistant, Kerry, is spread around the ATN office, and it’s up to Tom and Greg to decide whether Kerry should be an anchor to appease Logan, or they don’t risk the embarrassment for the channel by having a bad anchor on their screens.

The Roy siblings make it back to New York hours after they planned and manage to sneak a roadside meeting in with board members Sandi and Stewie, who at the secretive push of Shiv, try to convince the siblings to push for more money out of billionaire tech investor, Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard). With only a few hours to decide whether they want to stall the deal, the siblings arrive at Connor’s wedding rehearsal only to find Willa has left, and Connor is drinking his misery away solo.

The family dynamic shifts when Kendall and Roman feel bad for Connor and take him out for a night of drinking at what Connor describes as “a place where men who have grease on their hands, and blood in the hair” drink. Shiv has stalling the deal on their mind, and disregards the fact that Connor is wallowing away in his “everyman” beer to discuss their plan. A plan that will also stall Connor getting a payout from the sale. Just before their chat begins, Kendall receives a call from none other than Lukas Mattson, who warns Kendall not to push him for more money in this deal, and treats the warning as a sign of their friendship. Immediately after the call, Kendall hits up the recently denied Stewie for information about Logan’s numbers, and seemingly gives Kendall a change of heart on his view of stalling the deal.

When Kendall returns to the bar, he and Shiv begin to scheme their plan before finding out that despite the deal the siblings made together, that Roman texted Logan on his birthday, breaking their ‘silence until an apology’ agreement. Now unsure of where his allegiance lies, Shiv and Kendall practically bully Roman into agreeing on stalling the deal, and a drunk Connor decides that he wants to go to karaoke.

Episode 2 ends with a tense confrontation after Connor reveals his brothers and sister’s plan to Logan, who makes his way down to the karaoke bar and find out why his children want to push Matsson for this extra money so badly. The awkward encounter brings out a lot of emotions, especially from Kendall and Shiv, who berate and emotionally erupt on Logan, forcing him into an apology. But in classic Logan fashion, the sincerity of his apology is in question as Kendall and Shiv don’t believe him one bit, but Connor and Roman jump to his defence. Later that evening, Logan calls Roman to his house and says he is going to me Lukas tomorrow and doesn’t just want Roman to join him, but wants Roman to lead his new vision at ATN.

The tension is at an all time high in ‘Rehearsal’. Logan’s intimidation is amplified on screen through Cox’s powerhouse performance, whether he is silent or verbally berating people. These last two episodes of Succession have also only just solidified the fact that Sarah Snook deserves an Emmy for her portrayal as Shiv, who is now starting to let her vulnerability show through during her divorce. But the true ticking time bomb to watch is Kendall. His understated excitement to screw his dad over is reminiscent of the energetic and bombastic Kendall who has already tried to over throw his father, leading to emotionally and mentally debilitating effects.

Succession is ramping it’s final season up to a huge climax, and the unpredictability of who is going to emerge victorious is engaging and palpable… and depends on what you as the viewer defines as victorious in this show.

Succession is available to stream now on BINGE, with new episodes releasing each Monday.

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Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

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