The duality of Succession is astounding. The story is still mere days, maybe a week tops, past the death of Logan Roy, and the raw emotion that still clouds over all these characters is monumental. But, running a multi-billion-dollar media company seemingly functions best under less emotion, more stoicism. And when those two differing ideologies combine, the drama it creates is truly riveting.
‘Living+’ begins on the day leading into the Waystar Royco’s next gigantic product laungh – Living+. The revolutionary developmental living space that brings the experience of the once controversial cruise line owned by the company to home for the wealthy elite. Emotions are mixed as Roman and Kendall review a previously recorded promotional piece for Living+, featuring their deceased father berating the make-up crew and director of the commercial in classic Logan Roy style.
However, with the latest offer from Lukas Mattson still creating buzz and excitement for everyone but the defiant Roman and Kendall, the two Roy brothers continue to scheme there way into tanking the deal and taking back their father’s company for themselves. Still being secretive about her liaison with Mattson, Shiv begins to see through the cracks of her brothers’ plans and her feeling of being pushed aside in the company grows stronger, despite the promises made to her.
Mattson does not like Living+ as he believes there is no cash in this sort of real estate, constantly asking Shiv to try and delay the launch, or even better for him, cancel the project entirely. Now, with Shiv feeling like the outer rim with the decisions being made by her brothers, the idea of lurking towards the dark, Swedish side doesn’t seem like a bad alliance to be a part of. It’s during this episode too that the house of cards of Shiv’s tough exterior beings to slowly cave in, as she is interrupted during a ‘scheduled crying session’ by Tom, and the two kiss in a moment of heightened, vulnerable emotion.
The most obvious cracks to show in a character this episode is the intensifying regression of Kendall as he begins t once again get a taste of the big-dick, power-pulsing CEO life he’s always dreamed of having. The erratic energy that Kendall shows post Mattson offer and pre-product launch harkens back to the same Kendall who drove himself to near death when he attempted to run his own company to take down the same company he is now running. And that unfiltered, bold and uncertain brashness takes full flight when Kendall decides to wing his keynote presentation in front of shareholders, the media and even more concerningly – Mattson who is tuning in from overseas.
A bumbling start, repeating greetings and jokes, and a corny interaction with a edited, semi-deep faked cut of the Logan, soon turns into a oddly heartfelt and genuine spiel about not just this new product, but what the company means to Kendall – a move that can be taken as authentically emotional, or a seed planted into the minds of the board that Kendall is here to stay and can be the next big thing in the media conglomerate space.
But, speeding trains can be derailed just as quick as they run, and a live tweet with Nazi connotations from Matsson during the presentation takes the forefront of media questions after Kendall’s rousing speech, solidifying the fact that these two business bulls are locking horns, ready for battle. Despite the tweet causing a flurry of damage control in the background, the reception to Kendall’s presentation works in his favour, boosting his public image, boosting the stock market, but most scarily, boosting his dangerous ego.
Succession is now streaming on BINGE.
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