Logan Roy, Once Again, Reminds Us He Is Above Whatever You Think He Should Do

In Episode 2 of the show's final season, karaoke night turns into confrontation central.
Brian Cox as Logan Roy in "Succession."
Brian Cox as Logan Roy in "Succession."
Macall B. Polay/HBO

The final season of “Succession” is barreling forward, with lots to discuss from Episode 2. Titled “Rehearsal,” the episode gives us the tense meet-up we’ve been waiting for since the Season 3 finale.

Logan Roy (Brian Cox) meets up with all his “needy love sponges” at an impromptu karaoke night after Connor’s very sad wedding rehearsal dinner. Logan barely and begrudgingly doles out what he considers an apology to his kids while trying to convince them to sign on to the current deal with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) of GoJo, the streaming media giant. But Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) are pushing for Logan to ask for more money — and pat themselves on the back for pushing against their Dad who is always seemingly one step ahead.

There’s so much more to untangle from Sunday’s episode, and, in this chat, we have Marina Fang, Ruth Etiesit Samuel and Erin E. Evans to talk about the big moments.

'Succession' Is 'All Bangers All The Time.' So Should It Actually End?

I trust that Jesse Armstrong has made the right decision to end the show, and when given the rare opportunity to end your show on your own terms, it’s always wise to quit while it’s still strong. But on the other hand, few shows have been able to sustain such a high level of quality, week after week. It’s hard to imagine the possibility of this show waning in quality. It seems like it could easily keep being this good for more seasons. Few shows make me want to dissect every moment and invite such feverish discussion. The fact that I can watch an episode several times and still miss a great joke or key detail? Unparalleled.

This week’s episode was once again that perfect “Succession” combination of wildly funny moments culminating in an absolutely brutal and devastating showdown. That karaoke confrontation, I think, will go down as one of the best scenes of the show (along with many, many others). This show is all bangers all the time.

But again, I get wanting to avoid even the possibility of a slight decline in quality, and it’s a ballsy move to quit while you’re ahead. In the meantime, I’m trying to savor every minute of this show while it’s still on. Looking forward to next week, where surely, like every “Succession” wedding, Connor and Willa’s nuptials will be a disaster. In the meantime, I will be sipping my martini passive aggressos. See you next week, slime puppies!

Connor Is Out Of Pocket For Getting In Bed With Outside Clothes And His Shoes

I know this is minor to most, but it actually triggered my fight-or-flight response. I shuddered when Connor climbed into bed with Willa after their tumultuous rehearsal dinner, fully clothed in a suit and with his dress shoes on. I am constantly begging this rich white family to have some DECORUM.

But What About Gerri???

At the end of the episode, Logan tells Kerry to rally the troops. EXCEPT Gerri. Was he mad at her for laughing with Hugo earlier? Did I forget something that happened? JUSTICE FOR GERRI. — Erin

Erin, I am also worried about Gerri. Is she about to get knifed by Logan? He’s getting rid of Cyd, so I wonder if he’s planning some purge of other Waystar veterans. I also wonder if this is part of the fallout from her and Roman’s, uh, inappropriate dynamic. Is Logan punishing her? There’s a moment I often think about: After the dick pic debacle at the end of Season 3, Logan tells Roman it’s “disgusting” because Gerri is “a million years old.” Making fun of her age? Come on, Logan! Fuck off. — Marina

Hugo Is Probably Getting Fired

I almost cried laughing at Hugo (Fisher Stevens) trying to hide from Logan that he was laughing at Kerry’s audition tape. He then unsuccessfully tries to avoid opening his laptop to share his screen. The way he pretends it isn’t working, and then very slowly opens it, like he’s about to detonate a bomb or something, is just such good comedy.

'New York Is Cold, But I Like Where I’m Living!'

Me lying to myself every winter. Then when Logan said, “This city ... the rats are as fat as skunks?” Yeah, we live in Gotham.

Connor's Quote At Karaoke Is Pretty Devastating

The good thing about having a family that doesn’t love you is you learn to live without it."

I am so concerned for Connor, man. It’s not even funny. To know that his family will definitely be beefing at his wedding? To know his fiancé doesn’t want to go through with this? To know that he was stupid enough to suggest turning his wedding into a PR stunt for his campaign? Something is not right with him, or any of the Roy kids, to be honest.

Speaking Of Almost Feeling Bad For These People …

Connor, the eldest son, is not OK! His sad karaoke song choice (and wanting to go to karaoke because he saw it in the movies), Willa having cold feet, and his continual feeling of being left out by his younger siblings — again, I almost feel bad for him. And when he confronts the siblings at the end about them being “needy love sponges,” he is correct!

Side note: Alan Ruck is so spectacular in this scene. Emmy now! (And while we’re at it, I hope Sarah Snook finally gets an Emmy some time too. I mean, really, Emmys for everyone! It’s always hard to single out specific cast members because everyone is so, so great.)

An Ice-Cold Confrontation

So ice cold, even for this show! Ruth, that’s such a good segue into the big confrontation at the karaoke bar (side note: it was comical, but also so strange to see the siblings doing “normal” things, like ordering wings at a dive bar and doing karaoke in K-Town).

The siblings listing out Logan’s various abuses, only to find Logan, as expected, does not actually know what he’s apologizing for or how to even say the right words — hoo boy.

I’m always fascinated by this show’s explorations of the cycles of abuse in this family. Whenever it all comes to a head, like here, I do almost feel bad for these people, especially the siblings. Almost. Even though they are each individually terrible, you see how so much of their behavior is a survival mechanism as a result of being raised by a monster like Logan. Like, when Kendall demands Logan apologize for physically abusing Roman as a kid (which is alluded to several times throughout the show), Roman just shrugs it off: “Everyone hit me, I was annoying.” It explains a lot why Roman’s go-to behavior is making unfiltered, wildly inappropriate jokes to deflect and avoid conflict.

Shiv Is Playing Checkers, But Tom Is Playing Chess

The fact that Mr. Wambsgans managed to retain every top divorce attorney in New York, with the help of Logan, of course, is such nasty work. The look on Shiv’s face when she realized the attorneys on her short list were conflicted out ... impeccable acting. My heart was racing. If my parents aided my (nonexistent) estranged husband in a divorce?! I ... I don’t know what I’d do with myself. All hell might break loose. At the end of the episode, we see Shiv contemplating calling Tom — and I literally wanted to jump into my TV screen and shake her.

Of Course Roman Goes Crawling Back To Logan

As it was happening, I was saying to my screen: “NO, ROMAN!” But of course it was Roman who would cave first. We know he’s the weakest of the siblings — he isn’t strong enough to stomach a fight with his dad, and we see that constantly throughout the series. He’s also the most like Logan: unfiltered and not even bothering to pretend to be better, unlike Ken and Shiv, who put up a facade of seeming morally above Logan. Logan knows all of this, so he can constantly target Roman as his best shot at trying to break up the sibling alliance.

'It’s A Bit Warm'

Speaking of the text message, Kendall saying Roman’s “take care” text was “a bit warm” now lives rent-free in my head. Even Jeremy Strong’s line delivery of it was so perfectly robotic. These people are so hard-wired to not show any bit of affection, so when they attempt it, it just sounds so unnatural.

The Roy Sibling Alliance Is Already Splintering

I like to think I have some sort of ... odd kinship with Rome as the youngest in my family, but that little snake! When he walked back into his father’s “lair” and Logan said, “Oh, we know what they’re like,” then asked Rome to accompany him to meet with Matsson? My mouth dropped. WHO IS WE?!

As I said previously in regards to Roman, I couldn’t discern whether it’s more honest to just be a ruthless wolf (read: “sicko,” general asshole, etc.) like he is, as opposed to presenting yourself as a non-threat. The happy birthday text message should’ve been the tell. I hate that little punk. I’m disappointed.

Kerry’s ATN Audition Tape Was Pretty Damn Terrible

I wish someone would have just straight up told her: THIS AIN'T IT, CHIEF. — Erin

Her inability to read a teleprompter ... my God. Smiling as she relays the news that two children were recently abducted?! I got secondhand embarrassment. Then, the fact that Tom sent Greg to do his bidding — of course, Greg fell for it — and inform Kerry that her performance was horrific? And the fact that she clocked it? It felt like a never-ending series of unfortunate events. — Ruth

Kerry’s motivations have been such a mystery until now. Everyone on this show has something they want out of their maneuvering, and I’ve been wondering what’s in it for her. In this episode, we finally got our answer: She wants to be an ATN anchor? Obviously, it’s not the right fit for her, to put it mildly. The more I think it over, the more I feel like it’s kind of random and comes out of nowhere, which would seem uncharacteristic for this show, where everything is so meticulously plotted and planned. But I also wonder if that’s precisely the point. No one, including the other Roys, expected this from her. — Marina

‘I Fucking Love It’

... is what I shout during every episode of this spectacular show.

'Is 15 Equal To 40, Pal?'

That was the Logan Roy version of “If 2 plus 2 is 4 and 5 plus 5 is 10, then what the fuck is this?” The way he just blasted the reporters because of the newsroom’s profit to expenses ratio was so unhinged. Because whose fault is that?! Mr. ATN producer is just trying to send an email and get on with his day! Then, Logan getting on the boxes to address the newsroom was hysterical. What an evil, unhappy little man.

Logan’s Rant To The Newsroom Was Diabolical

After watching that final scene in the premiere, I knew Logan Roy was going to be a menace to the newsroom at ATN. The last thing any journalist wants is a CEO hovering over you, a reporter or editor who is nowhere close to their paygrade. Editorial needs and business transactions generally are pretty separate in newsrooms, and if I were a reporter at ATN, I’d be pretty concerned.

Greg described the scene perfectly over the phone to Tom. “He’s wearing sunglasses inside,” Greg says to Tom, the chairman of global news at ATN. “He looks like if Santa Claus was a hit man.”

I’ve worked in a number of newsrooms, and Marina, you’re right. That scene was so oddly thrilling to watch. I couldn’t believe the other folks in the newsroom were … actually cheering him on. I feel like journalists typically have quite a bit of skepticism about … most things, and our cynical sides would have had us very concerned about all the theatrics. Sure, they felt obligated to clap, but the eagerness felt a bit misplaced. I couldn’t help but laugh at the end of it.

Logan's Rant Includes An Incredible Real-Life Detail, If True

Former Wall Street Journal editor Bill Grueskin pointed out this incredible picture of Rupert Murdoch standing on boxes of paper to give a speech to the WSJ newsroom in 2007, which is a mirror image of Logan’s rant. It would not surprise me if the writers dug up this picture in their research, and if it inspired this moment in the show. Their attention to detail: unparalleled!

OK, one of you should get into the actual rant, which was chilling (but also perversely thrilling to watch).

Poor Jess

Ruth, I also cackled at his whole “vision” for news because working in media means constantly encountering CEOs with no thoughts, just vibes. Also, poor Jess (Juliana Canfield), having to serve as his one-person focus group (in addition to feeding his kids’ giant rabbit and everything else). She has been through hell.

Kendall's Pitch For Global Coverage Is Telling

“Maybe a focus on Africa? Everyday, just, what is happening in Africa…”

I’m sorry, but this made me YELP. The way Kendall articulated his pitch for a “global-global to hyperlocal,” “hardcore international” news outlet is actually very indicative, in my opinion, of how newsrooms approach their coverage of the African continent. No thoughts, just vibes from Western media. What is going on in all of Africa, babes? You tell me!

Logging On For Work, Sending My One Email

Before we get into the meat of this episode, I just have to say: I feel bad for that poor ATN producer sending an email while Logan (Brian Cox) threateningly looms over his shoulder and reams him out. Also, thoughts and prayers to all of them for now being forced to see the big man at work way more often, now that he’s spinning off the rest of Waystar and just keeping ATN.

Read Our Chat About The 'Succession' Premiere

Marina Fang, Ruth Etiesit Samuel and I watched the premiere of "Succession" live on March 27.

Popular in the Community