Season 3, Episode 4: ‘Lion within the Meadow’
Final week’s punishingly bleak “Succession” episode was perhaps the roughest since Season 2’s “Looking” (a.ok.a.“Boar on the Ground”). However as typically occurs on this sequence, this week’s episode pulls again a bit, bringing some much-needed comedian aid alongside the continuing melodrama. In “Lion within the Meadow,” the Roys take a break from scorching the Earth and get again to extra refined energy performs, utilizing schoolyard insults and small gestures of disrespect to needle one another. It’s all so oddly pleasant.
The pettiness comes early and infrequently. When Kendall has to affix a Waystar convention name to strategize in regards to the upcoming shareholders’ assembly, he makes use of an unprintable variation on “Little Lord Fauntleroy” as his sign-on (which is then repeated, hilariously, when he abruptly hangs up). Later, when he’s requested to speak with Logan briefly on a personal airstrip tarmac, earlier than they each meet up with a nervous Waystar investor, Kendall zooms off to get to the assembly first, leaving the message, “Inform Dad, ‘Meep-meep’ … It’s from ‘Highway Runner.’” For essentially the most half, that’s the extent of the assaults and counterattacks this week.
The investor in query is Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody), who owns about 4 p.c of Waystar — a holding which, he complains, has misplaced 10 p.c of its worth since Kendall began giving information conferences. If Josh goes to again the Roys over Sandy and Stewy on the shareholders’ assembly, he must know the way far this household feud will go. Does Kendall actually need his father in jail? Does Logan actually suppose his son is a mentally sick drug addict? How does this all finish? Can the Roys perhaps “shut up the outrage store”?
There’s another excuse Josh invitations Logan and Kendall to affix him at his sprawling property. He must know in the event that they consider him as a sensible man who is aware of what to do together with his cash — and is thus owed some respect — or as some speculator who received fortunate, and who solely has worth due to what he can purchase. Is he actually an vital a part of their enterprise? Is he part of this Waystar household?
The most important chunk of this episode options these three guys placing on a present for one another. Josh tries to tease a bit honesty out of the Roys, whereas Logan and Kendall fake they’re nonetheless a loving household working a viable enterprise, and wielding acumen no outsider can match. What makes these scenes so absorbing is that it’s not too onerous to think about Kendall, and perhaps even Logan, desirous to consider the fantasy they’re promoting. As they sit aspect by aspect of their matching black baseball caps — with Logan saying he can nonetheless see his son in control of Waystar sometime, and Kendall lovingly calling his previous man “geezer” — they nearly appear to be enjoying roles they need have been actual.
It doesn’t final. The primary few occasions Josh steps away, the Roys preserve stony silence. Later, as they stroll again to the primary home via some exhaustingly bumpy hills, Josh leaves the 2 behind they usually begin making threats, every insisting the opposite is enjoying with a weak hand.
Then Logan will get bodily sick and the sport is up. Josh makes it clear he can solely again the Roys if Logan is working issues, and seeing the patriarch stumble spooks him — as does Kendall’s try and maintain speaking enterprise whereas his father is sick. The primary cue that these three weren’t on the identical web page got here earlier within the day, when Kendall known as the Beatles a “nice band” and Josh and Logan each mentioned they’re only a “good band.” The strains have been drawn then. Kendall by no means may persuade Josh to cross them.
Past the vigorous one-upmanship on the seashore, what makes this episode so energetic is that a lot of it’s spent with the 2 most reliably comedian “Succession” characters: Greg and Tom.
Greg is persuaded to satisfy with Logan, who affords him a drink after which exasperatedly calls in his assistant to sweeten the nervous, indecisive child’s cocktail with Coca-Cola. (The sound of the soda can opening is sort of a tiny rebuke to Greg’s manly ambitions.) Logan lets his great-nephew know that he has a bit leverage over Waystar proper now, and that he wants to make use of it correctly. Greg, although, is simply too shaky to say himself. He retains getting distracted by his beverage, calling it “robust for a person” and reflecting on the hard-drinking olden days, saying, “I don’t know the way you probably did it again within the ’60s. Totally different occasions certainly. Higher occasions? Not for all.”
As for Tom, he’s been spending his time currently attempting to pick a great jail for himself and indulging in gallows humor, laughing that his co-workers are calling him “Terminal Tom.” Lastly he breaks down in entrance of Shiv, dropping his fake-courage and musing anxiously about his future life behind bars.
“What if I neglect to burp the bathroom wine?” he frets. “How late can I learn? When is lights-out?”
There’s a great distinction between the Logan/Kendall/Josh scenes — that includes three guys comfy with flexing — and the a lot sillier confrontation on this episode between Tom and Greg. When Tom tries to get his former lackey to make a transparent determination on what he needs, Greg lastly admits that he’d wish to be moved right into a management place in Waystar’s theme parks division. Tom then moans once more about jail earlier than attempting to wrestle with Greg, snarling, “Let’s combat like chickens!”
Greg refuses, shouting, “I don’t wish to do it,” prompting Tom to answer, “Neither do I, Greg!” He tries to show this into avuncular recommendation saying, “You’re so onerous to riff with. That may be a large profession impediment.”
However that “neither do I” stands out as the most trustworthy second Tom has had on this present. Guys like Logan genuinely take pleasure in a bloody fray. Guys like Tom solely prefer it once they’re profitable.
The three different Roy kids all get moments within the highlight this week, too. Whereas Kendall and Logan are strutting by the ocean, Shiv is again on the workplace hustling to execute a few of her dad’s large plans. These embody interfering with ATN’s editorial independence by suggesting the information group take a tougher line on the presidential administration. For her bother, she will get a cranky telephone name from her father, who’s aggravated that the opposite executives are complaining about her. “I don’t want one other toothache,” he growls. Logan additionally reminds Shiv, considerably ominously, that no place he takes is about in stone. “Nothing is a line,” he says. “Every part, in every single place, is all the time shifting, without end.”
In the meantime, Connor continues to be determining what he can ask for in change for being publicly loyal to Logan. He nixes Shiv’s concept that he turn into a number on considered one of Waystar’s journey and delicacies exhibits, as a result of he nonetheless has presidential ambitions and he doesn’t suppose that spitting out wine on cable TV goes to assist his numbers within the Rust Belt. At present his group is angling for 2024; Connor assumes the present president — who everybody calls “the Raisin” — goes to get re-elected. However who is aware of? Possibly if Connor resumes his marketing campaign in earnest, he may also assist with Shiv’s White Home drawback.
As for Roman, he’s initially distracted by the information that Gerri is occurring a date. (“With who?” he asks, incredulously. “Montgomery Clift? The Ghost of Christmas Previous?”) As soon as he will get previous that, he suggests a very nasty technique to take down Kendall: By finding “Tattoo Man,” a down on his luck man his brother as soon as paid to tattoo his initials on his brow, whereas the siblings have been on an “ironic” New Orleans bar crawl. The person has since had the tattoo eliminated, however Roman ultimately persuades him to supply Waystar with an previous image, which Gerri suggests Roman maintain underneath wraps for now. She advises him to begin asking himself, with each daring transfer or soiled trick, “How does this advance my place?”