Sunday, October 17, 2021

REVIEW: 'Succession' - The Entire Waystar RoyCo Team Scrambles Following Kendall's Press Conference Revelations in 'Secession'

HBO's Succession - Episode 3.01 "Secession"

Following his bombshell presser, a righteous Kendall scrambles to find a base of operations, while Logan's team searches for safe harbor.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of HBO's Succession.

"Secession" was written by Jesse Armstrong and directed by Mark Mylod

Pure chaos erupts following Kendall's press conference. So much analysis was written about Logan's immediate reaction. That smile was a genuinely brilliant piece of ambiguity. Logan recognized the power of the play his son was making. He doesn't think it extends much further than that. It was a spur of the moment decision. One that Kendall will immediately regret and want to take back. That's not what occurs though. That too is startling for Logan. As such, he's off on this adventure where he's not sure where to land or how to approach the situation. He is angry. He is also invigorated. This scandal represents a more dire threat to the company than any that have come before. That's saying something considering all the storms Waystar RoyCo has weathered. It's impressive that Kendall has accomplished this. And yet, he too is spinning. It's chaotic on all ends. People aren't exactly sure what they should do. People outside the company have firm reactions. They see the honest nature of Kendall's admission of his father's criminal coverup. It should be investigated and prosecuted by the Justice Department. Lisa Arthur wants to represent Kendall in this matter. She doesn't want to be swept up by Logan for his interests even though Shiv is the first person in a meeting with her. In that moment, her mind had already been made up. That occurred before she even stepped foot in Kendall's makeshift base of operations. The public relations team is also eager to work alongside Kendall in this matter. Of course, he barely lets them speak about their ideas for this moment and how to handle it. He cuts them off and dictates the narrative. It's something he's passionate about. He's still crafting the overall idea. His understanding of the matter is the only consequential thing. A team still assembles around him. It's frustrating for Rava after awhile dealing with all these people in her home. She also sees Kendall in a new light. One where he finally has the confidence to stand up to his father. He isn't backing down. That's a significant change. Kendall feels unencumbered. He even jokes to Greg about killing someone. It's dark and twisted. Kendall feels a sense of power because he believes he's in the right. He made the smart decision. As such, he can celebrate. He can luxuriate in this moment where others squirm and try to catch up. He wants to taunt those on the other side of this conflict. He's not great at that. Nor is he great at recruiting people from within this company to join his uprising. That's because everyone is so accustomed to waiting to see how Logan reacts to know which way the wind is blowing. He wields that immense amount of power. They don't want to take a stand for anything because they fear him. Even in trying to assert for themselves, they don't want to appear as too ambitious. It's all delicate. Logan views it as feeble. It rules out Roman and Shiv as contenders to be named interim CEO. Tom notes that this position could ultimately last a long time. It may take years before all the legal and regulatory issues are cleared. The person chosen would still be asked to serve as a puppet for Logan. He isn't relinquishing any true control over the company he built. This is all just a stunt. One might to appease those who see a scandal and want to take him down. It's nothing but a threat. He won't have to deal with any consequences because he has allies in Congress and the White House. The stakes are very real though. Everyone has to prepare for that. That means some may be shifting in their allegiances more than ever before. They are always motivated by whatever is best for them in the moment. Gerri lands the CEO role mostly because she remains steady and reliable. She doesn't have to prove anything. She has had years building that trust with Logan. She doesn't entertain Kendall's call for one second. That's in contrast to Frank and Shiv. They answer. They may dismiss his offer or taunts. But they are intrigued. Kendall making those calls shows who wants on his side. He may not be lucky in that pursuit though. He has to rely on others who may be less pliable to his demands. Everything is fluid. That should make for a very exciting season. The future may no longer be whatever Logan dictates. Him reckoning with that should be fascinating. He can't run away from it as easily as he does in the end here when no one is particularly giving him good news about his prospects. He is willing to fight and be uncooperative. He doesn't have to feign kindness to weather this scandal. He may still emerge successful. That's the scary prospect in all of this. His opponent doesn't have altruistic standing in this conflict either. Kendall is making a play. He'll do whatever it takes to be successful. It's simply up to others far removed from these elites to ultimately care about the scandal at the heart of this corporate exposure. That's cynical but also the world the Roy family operates within at all times.