Succession: Eat the Mozzarella!

Listen to this episode

S1: Guys, this is succession. This is HBO, if you don’t want to hear me talking about Logan Roy talking about. Then don’t listen to this, there are bad language words in this show. Hello and welcome to the it’s the Mozzarella episode of Slate Money Succession. I am Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Emily Peck of fundraise.

S2: Hello, hello.

S1: And oh my god, this is the best episode yet. I think we can all agree of succession season three and we are in for a particular treat because this week we are joined by Rachel Syme Rachel. Welcome.

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S3: Thank you for having me.

S1: Bongiorno Rachel Introduce yourself who are you? And you have written about this show?

S3: Yes, I’m a writer at The New Yorker and I have written about succession a lot. I wrote a lot about fashion in the show, and I’ve talked to the costume designer a bunch and sort of micro analyzed a lot of the clothes. And then just recently, I went out for very lush night of martinis with J. Smith Cameron, who plays Jerry on the show, and we had a great chat about all things Jerry, which I encourage people to check out because she is a delight.

S1: She is awesome. We had on the show last season. It was awesome having her remember pre-pandemic when we could have predicted

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S2: she brought us a cake. Do you remember

S3: she’s the best? She’s just the

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S2: best. Delightful.

S1: So we are going to talk about Jerry fashion choices on this show and shifts and even Lucas Madsen’s. We’re going to talk about all manner of dynamics. We can talk about shaving him, other Roman and his mother, Roman and Jerry Roman and Logan Logan and Kendall chairman Tom O. Connor, and will you not, you name it, it all comes to a head in this episode. We’re going to tear all apart and give you all of our favorite lines. Coming up on Slate Money, Succession.

S2: Oh, my God, this episode.

S1: Oh my God, this episode. Oh my God.

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S2: Oh my God, this episode.

S1: This is this is like where shit starts getting fully real. And this is this is just like, Oh my god, this episode, of course, we have to stay safe from the top was written by Jesse Armstrong. And I want him to write all of the episodes because, oh my God, the writing was amazing. Everything came to a head. Now we’re like, now we know what we were waiting for.

S3: Yes, I think this episode had also like five of the all time great lines in succession, banger after banger after banger in this episode.

S1: It was all killer. No filler.

S2: It was so dark. Yet I laughed so many times. It was that perfect blend of darkness and humor that we we want from succession and need. But it was so dark. I mean, this was the the episode where it was clear just how terrible these parents are. I mean, my god, I should have had dogs.

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S3: You’re my onion.

S2: Oh, brutal, brutal.

S1: They really don’t like each other.

S2: One thing there, there was a piece in Slate a few weeks ago, and I even was on the way to talk about Shiv this season in particular. And the criticism early on was that like, we’re just not getting enough of who she is inside, and she’s coming across to Woodin and she’s not as fully realized as the as the boys. But this is the episode that totally throws that out the window, I thought, I mean, from the top, seeing her do this all disheveled and depressed in bed to her getting just absolutely torn down by her mother. Yet that pumps her up

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S3: to tear down Tom. Yeah.

S2: Yes. Oh, I mean, it was such a great portrayal.

S1: It’s like that Philip Larkin poem, isn’t it, you know, you get fucked up by your parents and then you fuck up against your husband if you don’t have any kids?

S3: Yeah. And I mean, I think this is shivs episode, you’re right from top to tail. It’s like it’s it’s even at the very end everything she’s doing to sort of manipulate the Roman Peck situation, which we can get into later. But I think, you know that last conversation with Gerry, where she’s like, I just want you to report this to H.R. for your benefit when it’s so clear she’s just trying to do a work, it’s also so clumsy. It’s gross like shivs. Having such an episode of Full, I’m she’s all over the place.

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S1: She doesn’t end this episode like. On a super high point, like in terms of the arc of the season so far, Kendall started low and just kept on getting lower and lower and has now reached the point at the end of this episode that he is, you know, almost drowned catatonic, suicidal. We don’t even know if he’s going to be alive in the next episode, but probably the, you know, Roman had this insane upward arc over the course of the season where he’s become closer and closer to Logan. He’s been doing the deals, he’s been involved in negotiating stuff. He’s been, you know, there was a line in the last episode where he talked about like staying up all night, putting a deal pitch together. He’s professional. He started wearing ties. This is the episode where, like, he makes that terrible, terrible error. But even at the end of this episode, I’m going to come out and say that he is still higher up the pecking order than the Shivaansh. She hasn’t quite scrabbled her way back yet,

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S3: and certainly the Shiv is even higher than Kendall. Although I don’t know. I mean, we can get to this at the end, but I actually think this is an opening for Kendall. Weirdly, this dick Peck thing.

S1: You think the dick pic is an opening for Kendall? There’s no way Kendall has no openings. Honestly, he has no way out.

S3: I don’t know. I honestly think that the Dick Peck situation made Logan see that the kids he’s chosen to have closest to him are also deeply deep liabilities. I think he’s kind of not sure who is he. I think he realizes all are incompetent. Honestly, maybe equally at this point,

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S1: I think he has really chosen his successor at this point. And that was the meeting with Roman, where he basically came out and said his chosen successor is Lucas Madsen, the guy who he’s going to give half of the company to and who is clearly extremely competent and knows how to grow a company and run a big company and be successful. And when Roman just assumes, or we’re not going to give this guy a half of the most company, everyone else goes well, it might make sense. And Logan kind of goes, Yeah, kind of makes sense.

S3: Yeah, I mean, all he wants to know, I think he said, Yeah, he said, To what do you say? He says this guy is in a fuck, had to get to Roman and he goes, No, and he goes like, I can. What do you say? He said, I can win a bout with the boxer, but I don’t know how to knock out a clown. And I love that line. He’s basically saying, like, this guy is a player like, he will be good. I just want to know if he’s solid. I don’t care about his Twitter antics, which you know is very like Elon Musk adjacent or something. It’s like going to Macao feeling lucky, like tweeting weird emojis. He’s basically like, Is that a work? Is it going to take us down? No, great. Half the company can be disguised because obviously he sees that they’re going to be a dinosaur, irrelevant company in 10 years if they don’t pick up a streamer.

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S2: That seems a little out of nowhere to me.

S1: Let’s talk a little bit about Lucas’s Twitter antics, because what became abundantly clear in this web spelling this out, probably over the course of the episode, is that they were entirely tactical, right? In contrast to, say, Elon or Donald Trump, who just tweeting out their ID and will say whatever they like on Twitter, the Lucas Madson tweets were very much designed to raise the share price so as to force Logan to pay so much for Madison’s company that it would be a merger of equals. And just to spell out what was implicit. The way that he was raising the share price was by saying that he was flying to Macao because that was how he was going to get into gaming. And this is a very of the minute plot subplot. Basically, the media company is trying to get into the gambling industry like it’s happening in the United States right now and it’s still early days, but it’s clearly something everyone wants to do

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S3: well, especially like EA Sports and Asia, the Asian gaming market. I mean, that’s kind of what what Roman says at the end, he has nine of the big Asian gaming conglomerates wrapped up into Gojo. This will be huge. I mean, sports betting, we’re supposed to believe he’s kind of a visionary.

S1: And the lines are like when at the beginning of this season, we had Kendall just talking utter bollocks about strategy and vision and stuff, and everyone just laughed at him because he had no idea what he was talking about. And then in this episode, we can see what people mean when they’re actually being competent. When Madison just talks about analysis plus capital plus execution and you’re like, Oh, OK, yeah, he kind of gets it. And Roman of all people, you know, as he is, you say Rachel. He just listed off. He goes the future with movies, TVs, music, games, sports, air via everything for everyone. And Mattson knows how to get there. Like that is simple, easy to understand and probably true.

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S2: Yeah. And Roman, that was I mean, that was his high point. The reason he sent his father a dick pic was because his father texted him. Good job, kid, which I cannot recall the last time Logan has said something that nice to any of those children. Good job kid is like the pinnacle. Clearly, Roman’s done his best work ever and then immediately fucks it up is just it’s very classic.

S4: What interests you and Gerry, exactly? He uses Ted. I’m fucking them screwing around. I don’t like things going on I don’t know about. She’s a million years old. It’s fucking disgusting. You’re a laughing stock. I’ll go.

S2: Oh, go on, fuck off. And I mean, I think the clear loser is Jerry, which is just so right, it’s so correct. You know, like Jerry has been set up to fail this whole season. It’s so right and it’s wrongness like she’s going to use this as an opening to say You, you are the CEO. You can’t be sexually harassed. I mean, she is the CEO and she’s going to be somehow taken down by this. Really, it is sexual harassment thing that

S3: absolutely angers me, that really gets my goat. Every time I watch chefs try to be a feminist because it’s so she does, she’s the worst at it. She, whenever she’s like, talks to a woman, woman to woman, it’s like an absolute failure. And you can see that that comes from her mother and her inability to connect with other women who are really other people in general. I think she has very little wells of empathy. But this idea of like taking Jerry aside and being like, Let’s just have a girls chat about if you feel comfortable, it’s like, this is not about Jerry’s comfort level. And I like the Jerry’s just being like, That’s for me to decide. We’ll deal with this later. And I also think what’s interesting is this entire episode is leading up to this moment in it. From the very first moment Jerry’s asking Roman to stop sending the dick pics. I mean, she says, Can you please stop with the items? It’s making me uncomfortable and not even in a harassed way. She’s just like, This is going to be bad. I just know something is going to go down with this. That is bad. It’s like she. She’s trying to protect Roman from himself, just like, I’m not interested. This isn’t the thing. This isn’t the sexy thing. You think it is pathetic and weird. It’s making me feel gross. And you know, then she asks him again when after he’s been dispatched to go talk to Madison and she’s and he’s like, I’m going to fuck your boyfriend and I’m going to fuck you and I’m going to save the company. And she’s like a robot man. Like, Just do one thing, right? So this is all been leading up to this moment. And it’s like, I think I feel so sad for Jerry because it’s like almost like, I feel sad for Roman. I know she feels sad for Roman. Like Roman fucked himself over here, and she was trying to stop this train from barreling down the tracks and it crashed anyway.

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S1: Rachel I really want to ask you as the expert on all things sartorial in succession. Can you talk a little bit about the clothes the Shiv and Jerry are wearing in that particular scene? The big showdown between shaving Jerry Shave is Shiv is kind of cause playing a media exec in this sort of slightly boxy chalk stripe suit.

S3: Yeah, she’s been wearing the same suits all season, which is a matching pants jacket with a white t shirt. This is sort of shivs corporate look. Yeah.

S1: And meanwhile, Jerry has put on her full on like war paint. She has bright red lipstick on and she has this kind of dark suited like CEO jackets

S3: and maroon dress. Yeah, and she’s wearing a sort of gold collar necklace matching gold earrings, and she’s wearing her glasses.

S1: Tell me about the what we learn about the what those clothes say about the power dynamics there.

S3: Well, I think Jerry is an old school type woman in business who has come up through sort of being in the boys club and being one of the guys, but also kind of using her sexuality and using sort of her womanly ness. And I think she would dress in a, you know, for her, putting on a nice dress is what you wear to beat the bankers. It’s this kind of it’s a little matronly, but it’s also a little, you know, it’s a form fitting dress. I imagine it’s it’s maybe like a Roland Mouret dress or something along the lines that maybe a Diane von Furstenberg, just like a nice sort of beautiful crepe and shiv is in this sort of pinstripe. I mean, it honestly looks like a guys and dolls like Nathan Detroit outfit to me, very like, you know, sort of huge navy pinstripe outfit, which to me, like you said, really sort of reeks of cosplay to me. Like, she’s just doesn’t know what she’s doing in that room. She hasn’t known she barely made the ball. She didn’t even make the board meeting at the beginning of the episode. I think, you know, to talk about she has closed this entire episode. I’m sure that people are going to like hone in on this vibe of turquoise dress that she’s wearing for probably three quarters. The episode in Tuscany. That’s I mean, I. Sarah Snook body is bang, and there’s no other way to say it. And this dress is one of the great form fitting dresses that she’s been able to wear all season. And I think that’s like in certain ways, it’s like she doesn’t look totally comfortable in that. She doesn’t look totally comfortable in the boardroom attire. I feel like Shiv looks really out of her skin, her clothes. Jerry looks more comfortable. And I mean, even in even in that dress, it’s like, this is Jerry’s, like you said, warping her power outfit. And when she’s having that conversation with Shiv, it’s like Gerry’s an operator, too, and she’s going to get fucked. No doubt about it. Although, again, like Roman said, it would be an Eight-Year nightmare to fire her, he’s like, I don’t consider myself a feminist, but we probably shouldn’t fire the woman to whom I sent dick packs right away. But I think she’s she is going to get screwed over in some way, and I think she’s girding herself for that. But she’s not going to give Shiv anything like I felt like she was really she was really tactical in that conversation with Shiv.

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S2: I love that conversation so much because Shiv obviously does not care about the actual issue at hand. She just sees a season away end to like worm her way in and push Roman out. So that’s what she’s doing. Jerry knows that, too. But they don’t have that conversation. They have this like, completely fake corporate conversation. And I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve definitely had those conversations and it was just so perfect. You know where someone comes to you and says, What happened with this thing and you say, I just I I remember just so wonderful, like, you’re having a total subtextual conversation with someone and doing the phony corporate talking

S3: when Shiv says this must be so hard for you. Oh yeah, oh my god, it’s like it’s another one of those shiv talks to women thing. This must be so hard for you. Like, have you ever talked to a person? Let’s talk about this

S5: tomorrow, OK? I just need to check in with some people, OK? I mean, it’s not as if you’re welcoming these items where you’re sharing Shiv. It’s just something for your well-being. We need to get really clear about because, yeah, there’s potential upheaval and you bring in such a delicate position as interim CEO. If you can’t deal with your own sexual harassment and it’s not like, Good luck, I can cope. OK, so do you want to make a formal complaint against him regarding this? Well, that’s for me to decide. I just think, Gerri, that you should report him to H.R., because if you don’t, it could be argued that you welcome these photos not just undermines your position. It’s just that’s my concern for you here. I wonder if we shouldn’t just kick this all the way up to the board. Well, thank you for giving us so much thought, and I’ll think it over. OK, I’ll see you back time. Let me know

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S3: she’s threatening her leg when when she says you’re in a delicate position as interim CEO. That’s a threat. That’s a full on. You need to walk the walk and do what we tell you to do because you’re already on the chopping block and you’re going to get pushed out one way or another. Jerry knows that.

S2: I wonder if there’s something like uniquely like corporate female about that kind of conversation. Like, we’re like a Logan would just, you know, that is just like, you’re disgusting. Fuck off, whatever his usual shtick. But the women have to do it all, like in this like mean girl. Sorry, I don’t know. That’s a cliché, but they do. They do in this kind of like Mean Girl Way where you don’t say what you actually mean, but it’s completely clear what you actually mean. Do you know what I mean? I don’t think the men of succession would operate the way those two did in that conversation.

S1: You’re absolutely right, although Schiff doesn’t talk to men that right? Like when when Shiv was talking to the Nazi TV host and just like telling him to get with the program and start briefing against the president like she wasn’t speaking in code right? She just came out and said, like, you’re going to do what we say, and he’s like, I could embarrass you. And she’s like, We don’t get embarrassed.

S2: She code switching.

S3: She can’t. She said she did the same thing with with hope Davis. You know, Sandy Jr. she did the same thing and she was like, I hate that you have to like kowtow to your father. Like, maybe you should get a share like this weird, like girl to girl. Like, what if we both sat on the board when that big girl power? And you know, it’s like, it’s so transparent to me.

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S1: Whereas if you look at the way that Roman communicates with with Matt, with Lucas Madsen, you know, in the villa on Lake Como, which, by the way, can we like? I need to say this. It’s a little bit of a net Peck, but they’re like, he’s flying back to Switzerland. No, he’s not flying back to Switzerland. He’s flying back to Italy. Lake Como is in Italy as mountains west, and it’s next to Switzerland. It’s not in Switzerland anyway. While Roman does this, he takes the he takes a helicopter from Tuscany to just like northeast of Milan, where Lake Como is. And then he takes the boat to Jackson’s house, where he meets Madsen. They have this very awkward conversation where Manson tries to talk to him about being lonely or whatever. And and Roman’s like, Fuck off, I’m not here to like share feelings. But they communicate effectively and really quite quickly and everyone. And it’s clear what max and saying. It’s clear what Roman is saying. And then Roman brings the message back, and everything is done in a kind of relatively simple and professional and clear cut way, which doesn’t need to be buried in layers of, you know, sub tweet.

S3: Maybe, I mean, I also just think Roman and Madsen understand each other, they’re both like deeply antisocial, rich weirdos. I think they’re just kindred spirits in this way. I think that’s why their corporate talk was so quick because, you know, when Roman said, I’m not going to reveal any of my weaknesses to you. And then Madsen says, Well, that’s good because I read people, I’d use them like orgies like, that’s you know, that he sees a bit of his dad and that he sees a bit of himself. I mean, like Manson’s strange thing where he’s like, Yeah, my house is absolutely perfect, but I hate it because it’s not like, it’s like one percent off of being perfect. And like, I think Roman can understand some sort of psychopathy that rich people get into, and they’re kind of in the same headspace, even though it’s expressed very differently. I mean, Madsen seems to be kind of a loner, a recluse, strange man, and Roman’s similar but a little bit more sexually deviant. But I think that they speak the same language. I don’t think Shiv is able to speak that language with men or women. Yeah, I don’t think she has the vocabulary to really be in the game. And I think that’s why she’s sitting depressed in bed at the beginning of this episode because I think she knows it. And the only person that she can dominate willfully and at any turn is her husband. And that is an incredibly depressing.

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S1: Yeah, we will. We will get to that for sure, because she’s she is like, Tom is the dog that Shiv kicks in, who always comes back. I feel like Lucas Madsen is wearing the clothes that he feels comfortable in and the candle when he again is like cosplaying as a dot.com CEO is what he does is he tries to pick out the kind of clothes that someone like Lucas would pick out, and he never quite succeeds.

S3: Sure. I mean, obviously, one of the silliest and oft cited Kendall fashion moments is in the season first season when he’s buying those expensive land van sneakers to go meet the art girls, and he’s changing in the cab and being like, These are what the cool guys wear to be a CEO when he comes in, and he’s a total doofus and blows that meeting and they say his shoes suck as well. Yeah, I think he has that dream of being somebody like Lucas Madsen, who I mean, obviously Alexander Sarsgaard, one of the most attractive people on the planet, doesn’t have to do a lot to look great, but he’s wearing, you know, fine merino wool sweaters. Very simple. Very, you know, type sort of chinos like basic stuff. It’s like it’s like the kind of thing that all tech guys where it’s like their outfit cost four grand, but it kind of looks like it came from bonobos. You know, it’s this sort of it’s this sort of like very, very fancy basics, minimalism sort of Allbirds thing. And I think that’s kind of where Lukas Manson is, and I think Kendall wants to look like that. But I think he also wants to be an eccentric or can’t get rid of his eccentricity and doesn’t really know how to dress himself. I mean, all of the Roy kids expressed sartorially are both extremely tasteful in that they have a lot of money, so they’re buying nice the nicest things. But they’re also a little feckless. Like, I never think they look quite right in their clothes, and this is something that is sort of I’ve been obsessed with over the seasons because I think there’s something that looks off always a little bit ill, fitting a little bit try hard and a little wrong. Like, I think Roman’s like not putting his belt in the right place on his waist. It’s always like, Oh my god.

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S1: Romans belt Roman should know that you don’t wear a belt with a suit. Come on, Roman, you know this shit? Stop wearing belts. But although I have to say that compared to Tom, who you know when he’s in the office there and he’s wearing that terrible striped shirt and everyone, and it’s just like, No, you’re not. You’re you’re just in a completely different conclusion.

S3: I mean, I actually think Tom has style strangely, when he’s just being himself like, I think Tom looks the best of anyone in this episode in this little sort of crisp, light poplin shirt. I mean, Tom, Tom to me is the ultimate I mean, sort of, as many people have cited Nick Carraway figure in that he’s this Midwestern guy who’s come and been corrupted by the filthy rich from the East and who don’t have any taste, and he’s better than the whole lot of them put together. Although, of course, he’s been so corrupted by them now that nobody’s going to say Tom’s a good person, but I think, you know, to me, Tom is looking. Tom is looking himself here. I mean, even Greg leveled up in his style. I mean, maybe Humphrey is helping, but

S1: you think Comfrey is giving Gregson some style tips beyond the world?

S3: Maybe not the watch when he’s slapping the watch and the context? Oh, look my watch. You watch, I do that. Oh, my fancy 40 grand watch. Greg, I mean, Greg has like three lines this episode, but yet again, they’re my favorite lines. Like when he’s like, she’s like, I am the brand ambassador for a yogurt, and he’s like, Oh, a gut cleansing treat. Honestly, I would listen to this fermented lime. Yeah, fermented yogurt drink.

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S1: Mom gets the best lines. Really?

S2: Why doesn’t she want a pre-nup? You would think of all the cash. Well, she

S1: didn’t say that. She didn’t want a prenup. She was giving. She was giving Roman grief. Roman was like, Do you have a prenup? And she, even if she did have a prenup, she would never tell him,

S3: no, she said, don’t be so unromantic. But she was. I think she was right. Obviously, she’s protecting her interests.

S1: And then she admits to shift that she has actually talked to her lawyer and the and that, you know, Peter money and wants the police in Eaton Place, which again, like, if you’re not English, you might not understand some of please transfer some of the. The class stuff that was going on in that conversation,

S3: oh my gosh, the the the. Can we talk about when she was talking to Roman and he calls Peter another one of her posts, Dad posh English phone is my favorite.

S2: He’s not playing together.

S3: He’s not because, of course, he buys his own furniture

S2: and his parents are doctors. The the Jewish girl Amy was like, Wait, what

S3: rich description of a person, which is something that Harriet Walter is looking over at the party, and she says that he’s he is fun. He’s fizzing away over there like a bottle of cheap prosecco, and Roman goes very cheap that but that that is like, you know, I think you understand why she’s doing it. I mean, this is a very sad woman. I mean, you know, I think I think if we want to, this would be maybe a good time to get back into the ship mom conversation, because that to me is the there’s two heartbreaking sort of poles of this episode. There’s obviously like while the Shiv mom things going on, the Kendall dad thing is going on, and we should touchable to both of those two too about both of those. And then and then maybe get to Shiv and Tom, because that’s the third part. Like, there’s a sort of a trifecta of terribly heartbreaking things happening, right?

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S1: So we we do definitely learn like before the Shiv mom conversation comes the the Roman mom conversation, where mom, like, talks about her feelings and says he is awful. I can obviously see that. And she comes out with that line about he bought all his own furniture, which is famously a line that Alan Clarke, who is this very posh English MP used in his diaries about Michael Heseltine, who was this Arab East nouveau riche cabinet member.

S3: Love that. You know that

S2: that is chef’s kiss. Amazing. Do we need to know anything else about that? I feel like I need to know a smidge.

S1: Oh yeah. The other thing you need to know about that is that Michael Heseltine was in media the way that Michael Heseltine made all of his money with a company called Haymarket Magazines. Heseltine makes millions and millions of pounds in in as a media mogul basically goes into politics, become secretary of defense, you know, loses his job over a dumb scandal, about scandal, about helicopters, but is then immortalized in Alan Clark’s diaries, Alan Clark being the kind of person in England who looks down on on the royal family because they were reduced to Nouveau because they only been around for a couple of hundred years. And he literally lives in the castle that has been in this in his family since the 13th century. And he and he describes this whole thing is the kind of guy who bore all of his home furniture

S2: and oh my god.

S3: Well, then that joke is doubly fun. Way to go, Jesse Armstrong.

S1: Oh, and Jesse Armstrong again, those exact of these two. And then she calls her again, her own fiancee, who she is apparently, you know, in love with quote a grasping little scholarship boy.

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S3: And he goes careful. That’s my stepdad, my future stepdad. Your touch,

S1: which again, is just like this. This the the idea being that there are two ways of going to the good schools, right? One is that you the right way, which is that you’re born into the white family and you just get shepherded into the good schools. And one is the déclaré way, which is that you write and you pass a bunch of exams and you get let in on like academic merit and the upper classes will always look down upon that. And and that’s exactly how she’s referring to her husband, who then, you know, had a bit of bad luck with the salmon smoking business, and he lost his place in Pimlico. Again, it’s just it’s the classic way that, like the upper classes, would look at someone like the Middletons, right, who like, marry into the the upper classes. Do they have this kind of they have their own business. They have to they have to make their own money and they and they buy a place in Pimlico, which is, you know, this is kind of a vaguely central neighborhood is next to the genuinely posh neighborhood. But there’s not some way you would actually want to live if you could live in Eton Square, which is the genuinely posh neighborhood.

S3: Well, in that the way he made his money, it was a little day class. I mean, I think it’s in it. He has nurse a series of nursing homes, right? And I think Roman calls it the silver gulag, which I think is great. But yeah, no. I mean, he’s he’s not a posh, you know, Lord landed gentry person.

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S1: He’s sometimes, but he wants an army. And this is the other thing that he’s he’s very he’s trying to climb the class ladder by marrying into the right family and also by uninviting his fiancee’s son from the wedding so that he can get his fiancee’s ex-husband there because he reckons that the ex-husband. Could put in a word with the PM and get him like into the House of Lords.

S3: Well, yeah, I mean, there’s three there’s a series of three conversations with the mother and the first one is actually with Kendall, right where he arrives. And she says, you can’t be at the wedding for four hours on the schedule, and it’s so heartbreaking. It’s the first interaction we see in Tuscany, and it’s already setting this tone for this terrible time for Kendall, where he’s like, OK, I’m your own son and you’re going to move mountains for like your ex-husband who you hate. And you know, it’s all. It’s all just so clear to Kendall that he is not powerful. He has no leverage. Even with his own mother. He is out of the family. He is done.

S1: He doesn’t even have any hair.

S2: Yes, thank

S3: you. The hair he’s he’s

S2: gone for the physical manifestation of his loser ness.

S3: Yes. Yeah, it’s it’s very. He doesn’t know where his kids are. He’s just out of it,

S2: and then did you catch the he’s talking to comfrey like looking for something to do, I think, and is like our calls coming in and he offers and the only offer is a podcast that’s digging into the Roy family history like the Kennedys. Do you know anything about the caterer who drowned

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S3: and he realizes his only connection to his family is this death? I mean, like, it’s it’s an idea, he says. Keep tabs on that. I really wonder if that’s going to come back to haunt him in any way. But even if not, it’s just like he’s done. Like, no one’s interested in him. Nothing, nothing’s happening. And I think this last and maybe we just jump ahead to the work since we’re on Kendall now, we can talk about this conversation because like, I think his last shred of dignity that he was clinging onto with these, like, you know, last clause left was this idea that he’s a good person and that at least he has the moral high ground above his father. And so he says that to Logan and their little klatch, and that backfires terribly because he Logan basically says, I defy this idea that you’re some kind, you’re on the moral high ground because I clean up your shit when you actually literally kill people,

S4: I better than you. Sure, you’re my son. I did my best. And whenever you fucked up, I cleaned up your shit and I’m a bad person. Fuck off, kiddo.

S3: Good night. It breaks him.

S2: I was kind of with him on that.

S1: I mean, totally like this, this whole idea of Kendall Roy occupying the moral high ground and trying to do it to his dad’s face, as though that’s a great way to get his $2 billion. It’s like, Come on, Kendall, just tactically, that makes no sense.

S2: That’s what I thought I was like, You are so dumb. Like, You’re going to insult this man. You’re trying to give. You’re trying to make him give you $2 billion at the end of the day. Like, it’s good that he said he acknowledged that he was a loser. And then everything you said after that was idiotic. Like he couldn’t his ego wouldn’t let him just end it there and be humble.

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S3: He had to just say, I’ve lost, and then he could just end it. But instead he basically this whole like I, you won because you’re corrupt, so is the world. And he said, I hate to say this because I love you, but you’re kind of evil. And then what I thought was really was the phenomenal exchange with Logan comes back and says, OK, but I know things about the world, and that’s why I’m the success I am. And you’re the loser sitting across the table from me that you are. And I know the ugly things, and I’m a revolutionary because I embrace them and I am just working within the system of the way the world already works. And I’ve cracked that and I figured it out, and I don’t good doesn’t even come onto the table here. Why are we even having a moral discussion? It’s so far out of bounds of what I want to talk about.

S2: Life is a fight for a knife in the mud lake. They couldn’t be the morality. You’re exactly right. Rachel Lake has nothing to do with anything for any of these people, especially not for Logan, like life is a knife fight in the mud. I don’t think he’s thinking right or wrong, ever.

S3: And I think the thing that breaks that really breaks Kendall like, well, first of all, can we just talk about the like godfather ness of the life making Iverson eat the Mozzarella? That was very

S1: dark. It was. It was. So I had to watch it twice to work out what was going on there. The. Logan actually brought his own food to the meal, and then Kendall is like, Don’t eat your food, eat the food that I have had prepared for you. And then Logan would say, OK, I’m going to make overseeing

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S3: him like a poison tester child. It’s actually so sick. And when Kendall says, You think I would kill you, I will be broken when you die, which is this like, actually, I think true thing that came from Kendall’s heart that he didn’t mean to say like it was blurted out in a way like actually like, strangely, my entire life decision, everything I’ve ever done is defined by you. So when you’re gone, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll have no center, even though I hate you. But this thing at the end that I think actually broke him was that thing, he said about the how many, you know, how long do you think that kid gasp for air? And then he dared to accuse Kendall of being gay? You know, he’s like, Are you queer or are you trying to fuck this kid? Like, everything is so cruel and so pointed? And that moment when he says, Fuck you, kiddo, I think that’s what really breaks Kendall, because it’s this idea of. You think I’m a bad person? Like, how much worse does it make you that this person that you don’t even admire or think is like evil is actually like somehow protecting you from the world and cleaning up messes you made that were worse? Like, I think there’s something so sinister about that entire exchange, and I think that I think I think Kendall, like I just saw his back break like in to in that conversation, it was horrible to watch.

S1: And the next thing you know, he’s drowning himself in the swimming pool.

S2: Is he dead? Or is the next episode Kendall dead? It’s not right.

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S3: It’s not Jeremy Strong’s too much of a star. They’re never going to kill Baskin.

S2: I kind of wanted it to be because I want something to happen. You know, I feel like it’s this endless. Just things are happening. But there’s no clear destination to land this season. There’s no I don’t know where it’s going, but I guess maybe it’s a hospital season or something. Is that too dark to say? I don’t think so.

S1: Shayna, the producer, was asking me, What do you think is going to happen next episode? And I said, I’m pretty sure that. Either there’s going to be a wedding or there isn’t.

S2: Oh oh yeah. I couldn’t

S3: figure out. We haven’t gotten to that. We just not

S2: see the wedding. Yeah.

S3: No, we were the wedding eve of the wedding. Strange things are happening. Should we talk about in time a little bit, because I feel like, yes, we don’t, I will explode.

S2: Yes, we have to talk about it. I may not love you, but I do love you.

S1: What shivs mum says? Yeah, some people just aren’t cut out to have kids. I should never have had kids. To which Shiv immediately runs back to time and said, Let’s have a baby right now. Big, just basically because she hates her mum so much. And then Tom’s basically, Oh, wow, OK. And then she hates Tom so much that she’s like, Wait, no, I didn’t. I just meant we should free some NBA embryos for the next decade. She can’t work out who she wants to like. Get back at more. She’ll look like she doesn’t know what she wants.

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S2: That’s two separate conversations, right? She comes home and she says, Let’s have a baby. But she’s so uninterested in actually having a baby that that’s the whole conversation. The next thing she’s talking about, like how she’s going to come out and become CEO and fight for it and get rid of, you know, Roman. And like she couldn’t care less about having a baby.

S3: It’s just one other thing she wants to do better than her mother.

S2: Yes, exactly. That’s it. And then she says, let’s talk dirty and says, like, I don’t love you to her husband and I’m better than you and Rachel, what else does she say? It’s like, it’s unbelievable.

S3: Says You’re not good enough for me. Maybe that’s why you love me, but I don’t, even though I don’t love you. This is why they’re making out. And then later the next morning, Tom’s like, Can we talk about last night? Like, what was that? And she’s like, This is being manipulative. Like, you asked me to talk dirty to you. And then he says, this thing that is so sad and pathetic where he goes. But should I listen to the things you say directly into my face when we were at our most intimate?

S2: Yes. Which calls back?

S1: She says, Well, what happens in Sex Vegas?

S3: And then she goes on to be even more cruel because she’s like, Let’s freeze our embryos. Tom, all he wants is a baby. He’s been talking about this this entire season. He just wants to be a dad and she is lording it over him. Then she’s like, I didn’t mean I would get pregnant. Like, we’d freeze would use a surrogate. Who knows? Maybe down the road, we’ll see what happens. And then they have this. Cringy, horrible for ending to their conversation where she’s like, and if you die, maybe I’ll have the kids anyway. And he says, And if you die, I’ll have the kids anyway. And she’s like, a can I think about it? Meanwhile, that is not even the most insulting. Can I think about it this episode? Because as off your thinking about Connie’s proposal the entire time, thinking about it, everyone is thinking about it.

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S4: Who will you make me the most happiest man slash most bulletproof candidate in the world?

S2: Oh, OK, OK. No, I know. I mean, maybe you.

S4: People are looking, well,

S2: so romantic, and then she goes,

S3: maybe, and then she’s like, Yes, I will let you get up while everyone thinks we said yes. Let me think it’s so awkward. I mean, Willis got great stuff this entire episode, she walks into that villa and she’s like Italy pizza, pasta and pop. I mean, and then it’s like I met

S2: him to see her display her sneakers when they all have their bachelorette night. And she’s got these like, she’s like teetering on these very uncomfortable looking heels. And and Willow’s just got these great kicks on sneakers looks very comfortable and at ease. I thought,

S1: Well, it’s the will. That’s the person who is trying. And actually, on some level, succeeding at remaining true to herself while still, you know, fighting against the the centripetal force of the Roy family, right? She doesn’t want to be sucked in too much, and she can’t help being stuck doing a certain amount. But she’s like, No, I don’t want to marry you. I, you know, I don’t want to be part of this. I’m perfectly happy having my own place in New York, new coming and visiting me and like she. Is fighting with all of her power, which isn’t a lot, but is some to not be Tom, to not embrace it, to not become part of it.

S3: Yeah. And I think also, like you said, the stinkers thing well is comfortable. She wears her, her sort of nouveau riche like clothes. Well, because she, to me, has the exact look of a woman who had a lot of fashion sense but was like buying stuff at Zara but making it work and then had this glow up where she met Khan and this really rich man and then was able to like, actually go to intermix and spend as much money as she wants should he knew how she wanted to dress. She knows, like how long floral dresses fit her body. I’m sure she’s wearing a lot of like Zimmermann and Gucci and these kind of like sort of a maximalist florals that are very like high femme and kind of make her look. I don’t know a little bit pastoral. She’s she’s wearing these things very lightly and very well. It’s very fashionable downtown New York girl with a lot of money. And I think that that she’s the reason she’s able to wear it so lightly is, like you said, she’s still lingering on the outside and she still thinks of herself as a bohemian, even though people are hate watching her play. And I think that she she she, you know, marrying kind. Not only would be completely like giving up in certain ways and whatever dream she had of being an outsider, but also just like, probably torturous just he’s the worst. He’s the who could who could spend their last of their life with

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S2: Khan, but she’s thinking about it. I mean, she’s thinking about it, though, because she’s not an independent woman. She she capitulates to him. She’s living. She agreed to live with him in the compound

S3: and even the way she looks when she walks into that villa and she’s talking about the pope, and then she goes into the room and she looks around and she goes, Ooh, pretty. And it’s so clear that she’s like, what? She she knows exactly what she is getting. You know what I mean? She’s getting a villa in Tuscany for the summer.

S1: And meanwhile, Connor doesn’t even notice that the family doesn’t even notice how luxurious and except for that one point. When Logan’s talking to Kendall, it’s like not everyone gets to live like this. He’s like, Logan is aware of the luxury in the way that none of his children are.

S2: Did you catch that? That’s the that’s the theme of the whole episode is like, these were the most beautiful settings and the Rose could give. They don’t care at all. And that was brought to a head. I thought at the scene, the last scene by the pool with Iverson. And so if you’re just like looking at their phones hanging out by the pool, it’s I mean, it’s picture perfect. It is beautiful. I’d like to think of my children were there. They’d be like, Oh my God, this is amazing. These kids could not give a shit. They are like, Yeah, this is boring. Our dads falling asleep like, we’re out of here. You know, I can’t

S3: remember if it was in The New Yorker that or the or that New York magazine profile. But there was a quote from Jesse or maybe Sarah Wood about how they were told to look bored in Tuscany because it would have been their their tenth time being there. Like it’s it’s not these, you know, I don’t remember who it was, but I read an article at the beginning of this and I was so shocked by that line because it was like, you know, rich people aren’t dazzled by that. Like, if anything, it’s like, Oh, we have to fly all the way to Italy again. What I actually really liked about this episode was the interstitial frames that Jesse got. There’s so many little signifiers of wealth and that he pops into this episode that you just blink and you miss it. Like when they first get off this bellhop carrying all this designer luggage to the house and that, you know, you can see it’s it’s like Louis Vuitton and Gucci luggage, and he’s just carting it and it’s invisibly appearing in their rooms. You know, the way, even the way these women are walking through to the Bachelor party and they’re passing kind of the ragazzi on the street in Italy, and it’s so clear that they are all these like women in designer clothes and kind of a throng moving through the streets of of this, you know, small town in Tuscany and people are staring at them both, mostly because they’re just giant pack of American women, but also because it’s just this parade of wealth. And you have little things like this all along the way that I think are so brilliant because, you know, it’s there’s like it’s a rich text about the just sheer opulence of the space.

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S1: Talking of rich texts, Rachel, you said this is you had your you have far too many good lines to quote. But what? What was your favorite?

S3: The quote that I will take from this episode forever was your my fucking onion. The the you’re my onion, you’re my onion between Shiv and her mother. I think there’s something about that that is so harsh. And so. Absolutely. Devastating, like cutting both of them basically being like, you are the thing in life that makes me cry and makes me cry in this way, that’s like unavoidable and triggering, and I resent it. And it’s very clear that it’s like this moment of being like, I hate you and I hate you too. And I also think in that conversation, the mother has another amazing quote that I will always remember, which is when she’s saying that she chose Logan over her. She’s like, I moved to New York to be with you, and you chose. You know, I gave him custody so you could keep your shares that you really chose to live with him. You knew how to twist the knife even then. And she says, you were. You said, I’ll take the carbonara and daddy, please. It’s a great. You’re like, you use spoiled fucking brat, you know, like, you get everything you want. You always have your man and you’ll have the carbonara. And that whole conversation was just so like mm to me.

S2: I thought it was the most awful thing I’d ever seen. And like to be clear, this isn’t it a conversation between equals. This is a mother telling her child that when she was a child, a child, she was manipulating and had her the adults in the room, which is not. It’s not. That’s not a thing like this is a mother just completely failing as a mother. And it gives you like a hint of what all these, all these kids, their childhood was like. This is like if there was a book that was like 100 things not to do. If you’re a mom, like one of the things would be like, Don’t tell your daughter she is worthless because that is what she’s doing. She’s telling her daughter she is worthless. She’s saying, I should never have had. You should have had a dog. That is. I think the worst thing you could really one of the worst things you could ever say to a child, no matter how old the child is, it’s just utterly evil. So it kind of explains like why Shiv is the way she is. I would think that’s that’s what I thought.

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S1: It’s not just Logan who fucked it up, it’s also, yeah,

S2: yeah, yeah, it’s mom and dad

S3: another. Another great line from this episode that I absolutely love and want to praise Jesse Armstrong for is after Roman says Mom is going to marry him anyway and, you know, doesn’t want to live on macaroni memorial. She goes, So, Ellen. Poor old Eleanor Rigby wants to eat dick and drink champagne for the rest of her life, which. Poor old Eleanor Rigby wants to eat Dick is just like, thank you for putting a good. It’s good, though, I mean, this episode, like I said, it’s a banger. I have to

S1: say I was fond of Roman’s line when when Jerry was complaining about the FCC, like, you know, being all over like Mattsson potentially revealing nonpublic information and Roman guys, oh my goodness, a gummy love bite from the fucking toddlers. Yeah, which is a very like Elon Musk attitude to the SEC, right? They’re so

S3: good. Shiv calling her mother scary. Poppins perfect. Yes. You know the the moment when Roman tells Jerry when she’s like, Please stop sending me these pictures and he goes, Don’t open Pandora’s box. There’s just more dicks and they’re just more.

S2: I laughed about it.

S1: Oh, good. It’s so, so good.

S3: It’s so self-aware and then self-aware. Yeah, I mean, obviously, the skunk, the porcupine and the concubine. I mean, there were so many good and oh, I forgot about the date ladder conversation they have with Greg.

S4: Maybe I wonder when she gets to know the quote unquote real me? Will she stick around?

S5: Well, I guess either way, if it doesn’t work out, she’s a great date ladder.

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S4: Excuse me as

S5: well. You know, people will see her with you and no offense, but they’ll say,

S4: What the fuck’s going on there? Why is he with her? Yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’m aware of what you’re saying. It’s so good work for you to let her play the date ladder game.

S1: When Greg is like trying to wonder whether this comfy thing is going to last. And Tom goes, Does comfrey not slake your lust for wisdom, Greg? It’s a shame Sontag’s not still around. He could take her to the drive thru,

S2: I thought, because sometimes I’m like, Why? Why is Tom with Shiv? But watching them interact with Greg, I was like, Oh, that’s how they have a good time by making fun of Greg like that is they kick their dog named.

S1: Yeah.

S2: What a delight. And I was like, Oh, I see the chemistry.

S3: We keep saying, Kick your dog, which I think is comes out of that mother daughter conversation, which was is probably the theme of this entire episode, which is that the mother describes Logan as, you know, he kicks dogs, he kicks anything he loves just to see if it comes back. And in certain ways, he has passed that quality onto all of his kids. They are all kicking everything they love, you know, or they are so used to being kicked that like Kendall, they’re totally broken. I mean, Kendall is a broken dog. You know, he has nothing left. He’s basically just like a sad dog cowering in the corner. Roman is like a little weasel because he sort of is seeking out the kicking. He wants the attention that would come from the kicking. Chavez is, but Shiv is now taking it and internalize that behavior, and she’s moved it on to charm. So it’s all very like, you know, Freudian what’s happening in this episode? For sure? Everything is like, here’s how your parents fucked you up. Here’s how it’s manifested in the lower generation, and here’s how they’re manifesting it on other people. It’s like this tiered drama cake. Into it’s a tiramisu of fucked up that’s happening in Typekit Italian,

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S1: I feel like that is the the perfect place to wrap this one the tiramisu of fucked up ness happening in Tuscany.

S2: God, this episode was really good. This was the best episode.

S3: It’s back to back. I I feel like it had a little bit of it. I really loved certain episodes. I actually liked Kendall’s birthday party. I know there were mixed feelings about it, but I think that that this episode has gone to the heights where succession at its very best. I think, you know, succession is one of those great show shows that does events very well. Everything that happens at a big party, the wedding episode of the for the finale of the last season. This like, I think when they do these bottle episodes where they all have to travel and be in one place, they really they really kill it,

S1: which means we should be in for a treat for the finale, right? Because that is probably going to be a wedding of some description unless, you know, Kendall went up is dead.

S2: He’s not dead,

S1: he’s not there. We will find out on Sunday at nine p.m. We’ll all be watching.