Succession returned today to reclaim its rightful place as the best show on television. Brilliant writing, a character we loathe, a family we hate even more, and all the twists and turns are on display in the first episode entitled “Secession.” It’s important to understand that this first episode takes place mere moments after Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) bombshell press conference where he implicated Logan (Brian Cox) and all of Waystar Royco in the sexual assault scandal involving the cruise division. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our top 5 takeaways from tonight’s episode.
5. Nowhere to go –
Following the press conference, Kendall has a slight panic attack but immediately pulls it together. Is he really going to attempt taking down the one man that seems untouchable (Logan)? He immediately pulls it together and starts down this path. His team at first is small but is seemingly growing by the second in the first episode. One of his first moves was securing the best lawyer in New York City, Lisa Arthur (Sanaa Lathan) which only irritated his father as he attempted to do the same and failed. As far as momentum goes in this Roy Civil War, advantage Kendall.
4. On the ropes –
Logan realizes that he’s in a terrible spot. Instead of looking at what his son did as the right thing to do, he sees it as a “play”. Realizing that there’s only one way out of this, the patriarch of the Roy family announces that someone will need to appoint an acting CEO. What was funny is how the writers approached this moment. Instead of having someone suggest a candidate, literally, everyone ends up picking themselves. The only one who attempts to be a bit different is Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) but his actions come off as being a shill for Shiv (Sarah Snook), which of course everyone picks up on rather rapidly.
3. Shiv tries to make a play and fails –
Shiv sees all of this upheaval as a chance to make a move towards becoming the future CEO. The problem is that Logan clearly has no desire for her to ever be the CEO because of her gender. He clearly favors his 3 male children, even though they clearly aren’t cut out for the corporate world Logan clearly does love giving Shiv tasks and does so in the first episode. She’s suppose to help acquire the services of Lisa Arthur to help with their defense. When she ends up failing to do so, he only uses that as reasoning for Shiv not being the acting CEO. I have a feeling that these types of moments will have a repricussions down the line.
2. The real Tom –
This whole time we have thought that Tom was just a nice guy marrying into a terrible family, but boy were we wrong. In the first episode, we are starting to see signs of Wambsgans “playing” the game. While he will certainly advocate for his wife, Tom knows that in this family it’s everyman for himself. What stood out to me is the coldness he showed Shiv during this episode. Really out of place for him.
1. It’s Gerri’s world –
It’s Gerri’s world! Even though Logan sees her as merely a puppet, she ends up being appointed acting CEO for Waystar Royco. Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) is clearly taken aback by the news and plays it off to Roman (Kiernan Culkin) as a procedural move, something tells me there’s more to this than meets the eye. Fans have to realize that Gerri has been with the company for many years and is well aware of everything. Her appointment as CEO isn’t going to sit well with Logan’s children. Will it cause them to join up with Kendall?