Sunday, November 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'Succession' - Kendall and Logan's Reunion Showcases the Growing Distrust of the Entire Family in 'Lion in the Meadow'

HBO's Succession - Episode 3.04 "Lion in the Meadow"

Logan and Kendall have their first meeting together with Josh, a major investor worried about their family feud. 

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 next episode of HBO's Succession.

"Lion in the Meadow" was written by Jon Brown and directed by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

No one in the Roy family inspires a lot of confidence through their health or actions. Part of that is driven by their own egos. It can't entirely be blamed on that though. The narcissism is strong amongst those who have never been held accountable for any of their actions. They control how the world develops though. They don't see the value in journalistic integrity. They just view whatever is beneficial to their own standing in this company. That's the lesson Gerri wishes to impart on Roman. Using tattoo man to hurt and discredit Kendall would also make Roman look bad. That was apparent from the first moment Roman introduced the subject. He still pursued it. He and Hugo spent millions to secure the damning pictures. That's money they could easily toss aside. It's a failed venture. One that can't be weaponized because it only creates more harm within the family. They still have to preserve the good standings for those seen as the future of this brand. The investors in Waystar Royco are right to worry. They have had that mentality for a long time though. The battle for control has been simmering for awhile. Kendall egged on that development as well. And now, the family is in the spotlight and facing severe examination unlike ever before. It's been a way to prove himself to his father. Logan gets it. He has no love in his heart for the son who betrayed him. They still have to keep up appearances though. It's not genuine when they simply say they can work together. It's not heartfelt or believable. That's what Josh needs to hear and believe to ensure his ongoing support for the direction of the company. Even then, Logan and Kendall have different ideas about what the future of Waystar Royco looks like. They want stability. They want to defeat this takeover attempt by Stewy and Sandy. They may not succeed. Of course, this is a position they have been in before. The vote still hasn't taken place. In fact, the priority has shifted away from that and onto the Department of Justice raiding the corporate offices. Kendall can't take back what he has done even if he wanted to. He is purely in opposition to the family and the company no matter what. Even Greg has been lost to the appeal of getting whatever he wants. Everyone is still fearful of the future. They want to protect themselves. Their true colors are revealed no matter what they do though. Logan actually does make a genuine plea to Josh. He shares great admiration and respect for what Kendall has done. Yes, it has gone too far. But he can tell that story to garner support. It's all fruitless in the end though. That too is a painful reality for those always accustomed to getting what they want. It may be easier for Josh to leave the company altogether. And yet, he ends this discussion by moving on to Stewy and Sandy. That's incredibly consequential. Kendall is on the tarmac seeing that partnership take shape.

Kendall and Logan tried their best to present a united front. It failed. Both are to blame as well. Sure, part of it is out of their control. They are obsessed with their personal images. They can never be perceived as weak. Logan has to keep up with the guys significantly younger than him. Josh isn't guiding them with such searing acumen that he must be recognized no matter what. He is just as lost as everyone else. He fortunately has a great deal of wealth. That provides him with influence regardless of how he actually conducts himself. Kendall and Logan are essentially at his mercy. They need his support. They are willing to compromise everything to secure it. Logan needing a doctor is the perceived slight that produces the final outcome. It's not fair. But that too reveals the internal biases for how these influential people conduct their business. Logan asserts that there is no line that cannot be crossed. That's the wrong way to look at the world. Instead, life is constantly developing. Everyone has to keep moving forward. Any particular image can create a lasting opinion no matter how false it may be. But minds can still be changed later on. It's all about the good that one person can do for another right now. Tom was more than willing to fall on his sword to prove his loyalty to Logan. And now, he panics as he realizes the drastic downfall in his quality of life should he actually go to prison. All of that should have been blatantly obvious. And yet, none of that dawned on him when he was making this decision. He made a sacrifice and views himself as a laughing stock amongst the company. As such, he has to pick on someone beneath him in seniority. But that shares how Greg is looking for his own power. He may not be any more skilled than anyone else in this world. He simply has leverage. That is beneficial to him. Again, that may not matter depending on the vote for control. Kendall is still obsessed with his own image in this grand takedown. He can't betray that path now. Otherwise, he would be no different than the President losing it after ATN airs some slight criticism. Shiv does secure that change in coverage. And yet, she too is discounted because no one wishes to assign her any real power. Everyone may ultimately be faking it in order to get ahead. And yet, it's real when Logan collapses on this walk. It's real when Kendall doesn't want his father to die. All of this only plays out for a few seconds though. The behavior is revealing. It showcases just how much a show the bombastic confrontation is between father and son. But again, all of this has merit because of the power these people lord over the entire world. Their concerns may be trivial and dumb. The fallout has far-reaching consequences. Even when complying, this family tries their best to avoid any serious consequences for the heinous actions of the past. The people trying to use that against them also have selfish ambitions. It's a very cynical take on the world. But that's how the vast array of power and influence conducts itself. It's all perceived slights and drastic reactions. They feel entitled to that no matter how it comes across to others. And then, they have the power to do it all over again. That too has allowed a pattern to emerge. One that may not inspire much confidence in however this turns out. The family may lose control. They will still have influence though. That can't change no matter how high the stakes feel. They feel as if their lives are on a knife's edge. It may not be as serious as that. That too shows just how little things can change even with the right ambitions which are too few and far between to actually make much of a difference. It's ultimately just a bunch of people vying for the idea of power and control. Those constructs are very real. The conflict is just built up in their heads instead of being aware of the repercussions any of this will have beyond their limited world views.