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 sneak Linguini episode of Slate Money Succession. We are up to episode two of season three. I am Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Emily Peck of fundraising.
S2: Hello, hello.
S1: And very excitingly, we are here with Kurt Anderson. Welcome back.
S3: I couldn’t be happier to be back.
S1: Who are you and why? How are you qualify to Kurt in all of this?
S3: Oh, that’s hurting you.
S1: You are the Kurt Anderson Peck Anderson.
S3: You know, how am I’ve written novels, some of which are about rich media moguls? I’ve worked for rich media moguls. I’m I’m old, so I’ve seen empires come and go.
S1: I know you are. You are basically the number one most best person we can have on this show. We are going to talk about Jerry Snake, Linguini and all manner of family dysfunction, all coming up on slate money succession. Kurt, welcome. Great to have you talking about media moguls, which is the subject, you know, a lot about. Let me just come out and ask you like in terms of dysfunctional media families, where would you rate this on the scale of like one to verisimilitude in this
S3: as high as the verisimilitude in this has ever been and beyond? Media mogul families, the thing I’ve been amazed about and impressed by from the beginning of this series is how it gets rich people in general. So well, forget moguls. Forget media people. But rich people, I’ve never seen it done better, frankly, in television or film. But it does the business really well. And I back when I started deciding I wanted to be a novelist and I wrote my first novel. It was. It was a lot of it was set in the world of media moguls and business and stuff. And at that time, it was like, Well, this hasn’t really been done well in fiction. Let me try to do it well, and it’s still rarely done well. But man, this just knocks it out of the park forever. And and a friend of mine, who was also a big succession fan, said he had seen the trailers and said, Oh gosh, there’s so much. It’s all these round the world. Shelton’s I’m worried it’s not going to be as good. Well, based on this one, the first couple of episodes, I certainly have not been disappointed by what I see. You know, and we all know people who are in destructive, dysfunctional families with powerful patriarchs, whether they’re media moguls or not. But I feel like these people are convincingly damaged and dysfunctional.
S1: Is this normal for rich families?
S3: Well, I can’t speak about all rich families, but I mean, it’s not uncommon. I know, I know, I know. The ones I know have any firsthand knowledge of. This is kind of a lot the way it is.
S1: So let’s talk about this episode because at the heart of this episode is a glorious scene where we get all four children together in a tiny little room, and it becomes very clear that if they can only coordinate and get their act together and work in concert with each other, then that would be pretty much like the optimal outcome for all of them. And yet the general fucked up ness and internal mistrust and dynamics makes that completely impossible.
S3: That’s right. You know, it’s the prisoner’s dilemma kind of thing with four of them instead of two. And I mean, there’s just beyond their fucked up sadness. There is the general prisoner’s dilemma. I just want to do well for myself. Fuck my brothers and sisters or my father or anybody else, which which is not unique to rich people or media moguls children. But but yeah, it’s beautifully done and again, beautifully written. I just I’m not. I’m not going to stop raving because especially television writing and film writing is so often rushed to like get to the point, get to the point, you know, don’t spend time meandering around and in the scenes with with the siblings, the Roy siblings figuring out that, you know, are they going to work together or what’s going to go on here? It, it isn’t. It’s, you know, it doesn’t obey any kind of screenwriting rules. It meanders in this beautiful, incredibly convincingly naturalistic way. But yes, their weaknesses and their fucked up oddness is so beautifully apparent. And you know, and I and I came away from that in other scenes thinking like sort of identifying, in fact with the father and thinking like, Yeah, I wouldn’t give any of these little pipsqueak control of my company. You know, I don’t want any of them to run it, you know, but which was beautifully done,
S1: which which is also what Jerry says, right? When Roman asked for advice, he’s like, if we if we manage to defend the straight logo and like which one of us would take over and she’s like, You’ve got to be fucking joking, right? None of you is going to take over. Well, that
S3: and also I was just thinking about so Jerry. I mean, making Jerry the temporary CEO, of course, has is the brilliant move for the dad to do because it maximizes the chances that the other three are going to stick by his side because they could still work. You know, they could still win, you know, any of them. So it was, you know, in addition to the fact that they’re all with the possible exception of Shiv, in my view, we people who you wouldn’t want to run your your giant multi gazillion dollar company. Just doing this temporary thing of not giving it to any of them is obviously the move to do if you’re if you’re him.
S2: That was what was clear to me from the episode that the siblings are all trapped in their sibling dynamic, and they’re all competing for Logan’s love and the role of his successor. And the fact that he keeps them. That way, he keeps them dancing for him. They can’t overcome it, they would never, ever be able to team up. It’s impossible because Logan has built them that way. That is the dynamic and they cannot get out of it. And it just becomes clear as these these fights continue and they’re insulting each other shows us something really terrible to Romani walks out of the room and they kind of diminish Connor and he, I don’t know, he walks out of the room and then it’s still maybe going to go that they’re going to team up. And then, of course, the donuts arrive in the donuts close the deal.
S1: I do think that there’s this wonderful little grace note in this episode where Logan, who is definitely at the bottom of his arc right now, he is. He is very weak, he is very desperate. He’s reaching out to anyone and everyone he can for any kind of support. And this is very visible to anyone, and it’s obviously most visible to Marcia. But he phones up Connor and in a very kind of transparent and needy way.
S3: He’s like your number one, kiddo.
S1: And it’s pathetic and it’s weak. And Connor knows that it’s pathetic and it’s weak. But even though the even though he knows it’s pathetic and weak, he can’t help but like feel validated.
S2: It works. It’s still it works. The need for your father’s love is so powerful. Even when you see the manipulation happening, you still are so desperate for it, you’ll take it anyway.
S3: Well, you’ll take just making the effort. The pathetic, yeah, unconvincing effort as something.
S2: Yeah, yeah. Oh, that was amazing. You’re my number one because we all remember, of course, when he hugged Kendal back in season one and he said, You’re my number one boy, right?
S3: Like, no, no. And the other thing again, I mean, as we see so much of these four children in this episode that they are, they are such distinct characters. I mean, there’s so, so, so distant characters. And so but none of them are obvious or familiar stereotypes, you know?
S2: Yeah, they’re truly unique and original people well drawn.
S1: Yeah. And and the writing, we need to talk about the writing in this in this episode because I mean, obviously Kurt, you brought it up. But this was, I think, Emily you said something to me a couple days ago how this felt. Like a play, a lot of the writing in this episode, there was a lot of sort of exposition to get through. This wasn’t like the most dramatic episode that a lot of it falls on the quality of the writing and the writing was excellent. But also. Understated, like a lot of the punch lines, the funny things that you come to succession for, like when Kendal goes to Greg and says, You OK?
S4: Yeah, you’re wondering if you take your dick to a runaway train here
S1: or like when when Roman says, stretch,
S3: it’s a fucking scrotum over timpani drum.
S1: Those are great lines, which, if they appeared in something like Veep or in the loop, would be like boom punch lines, which you’d laugh at. But in this show, you barely notice them. Like, sometimes you need to like, watch a second time to even realize that they’re there.
S3: Yeah, well, it’s why I love this show so much because it is a drama. It is not a comedy, but its creator, Jesse Armstrong is a guy who’s most of whose previous writing career was in television comedy. So it’s bringing that sensibility to this dark, serious thing that is not trying to do even the dark comedy of of a Veep. It’s a serious show in which Roman, because they were brilliant to create him, is the fun is the actual joke telling character. Nobody else tells jokes, really. Again, like much of my favorite literature film, everything. It is not comic. It is not a comedy, but it has that effect again and again and again.
S1: So I would I would say it is a comedy. I think I
S3: know, I know people say that. And when I researched it, I saw other people call it a comedy. But I would think, I mean, it’s so not like. You know, it’s not a half hour comedy, as we’ve come to know, comedy on TV, it’s not, you know? You know, yes, it is. It is comic, but as as serious as a heart attack, as they say.
S1: But it’s comic in the way that, like, you know, the death of Stalin, the new chief film was comic. And then you
S3: will accept that had no, that was, I would say, more broadly comic. I mean, there is a as I say, there’s a character in Roman who tells jokes and there and Greg is a funny God knows character, and that’s what a hard character to play that kid. That guy does a great job with that very difficult role. But other than, you know, nobody tells jokes as as opposed to the death of Stalin, which, you know, there were there were jokes, you know? But it’s extraordinary. The other thing about this being like a play and being low key and all that that you said, it also doesn’t have, as I think practically every previous episode has any big party or any big event as a sort of set piece. You know, that’s one of the things that this show does, and it’s always magnificent everything. But no, it’s it’s in a room or in a few rooms, just like stage play.
S2: Yeah, I felt like there were just a few, a few sets. Greg was there for our comedy relief. Gregg’s pursuit of a lawyer for himself. Was kind of like the lighthearted bit of the play. And then we returned to the siblings in the room, kind of like hashing it out. And it felt like the the point of the episode was kind of like to just settle out the alliances, who is going to be on whose side or to
S1: raise the question because there is like right now there are no alliances right now. Everything, all the balls are in the air and with with the exception of you can be pretty sure, I think at this point, the. Jerry is Team Logan. But like beyond that, I can’t and even that one’s, you know, there’s a small question mark if you think of the six or seven major players, if you include Marcia now trying to work out who’s aligned with whom between the four kids, Marcia, Logan and Gerry, like, I have no idea.
S2: But I mean, the whole point. So you you’re not persuaded by the resolution of the meeting and Sophia’s room in which the kids reject Kendal and all claim to be behind Logan. When that signaled that that’s where their alliances are, at least in the short term.
S1: Correct, I am completely unconvinced that any of them is actually aligned with, OK.
S2: OK. But they’re just not aligned with Kendal.
S3: I think it’s like what people say about, you know, foreign policy you have you have all allies are are transactional and temporary. I mean, it’s it’s. Yeah. Are any of them motivated in some way by family human feeling? I don’t have that impression.
S1: Well, there is that wonderful line from Connor where he’s like, I’m a public figure, and it’s not a good look for a public figure to type.
S2: But then he also does say something kind of more like gentle, like, I just can’t do that to, you know, how he calls him Logan Pop. I just can’t do that to pop or something. You know, it did sort of feel like he didn’t want to do that.
S3: Connor. Yeah. Yeah. Well, he in his doofus is idiotic. Why? Yes, he could have some human sense of feeling and loyalty, for example, that may have been sincere or it may have been a thing, he said to himself after he decided, for whatever other reasons, not to join up against dad, to make himself feel like he’s a good guy. You know, I don’t know.
S2: And I think Kendal also buried himself because he said just a bunch of like batshit crazy things to his siblings and trying to convince them to come over to his side.
S4: Like the big picture. We’re at the end of a long American century. Our company is a declining empire inside a declining empire. Amen, brother. People are killing themselves with guns or dope so fast that we’re losing pace. Unsubscribe if we’re fat fingered fox and we can only live on cream. U.S. supremacy is waning. What I think is within that context, we can become omni, national and reposition because actually we are not tied culturally or physically so. So we are actually in a great position to leapfrog tech. Information is going to be more precious than water in the next hundred. Combine all our news operations become the global news information hub. Amazon is 20 years old. Gates is an old geezer. Detoxify our brand and we can go supersonic.
S3: This is the best,
S1: the best speech, the best. I love that Kendal speech so much because it’s like he comes out and he’s like, Guys, can we clean slate? And then he just launches into this absolute tidal wave of jargon and bullshit. And somehow, in his, you know, deep in his rubber plastic Jesus Rubber Soul like feels that somehow this is going to persuade his siblings to come along with him. You like this has everyone like rolling their eyes and he’s talking about like, it’s the end of a long American century and leapfrog tech and epiphany and blah blah blah. And everyone watching that speech and all of the siblings are like, Oh my God, you’re such a nerd. And yet Kendal doesn’t have the human ability to understand that this is exactly the wrong thing to say at this time
S3: to these people, especially. And you know, the thing is again, brilliant because they all are basically are rolling their eyes and like not buying it. But it’s not stupid as a way to pitch that rap about the end of American blood and all the whole thing. It wasn’t a comically dumb thing. It just as you say, he didn’t understand that it wouldn’t sell. And the other thing you know, having having been the guy who has the drug problem, the kind of coke had manic quality of his whole Kendal whole character in this episode is so we don’t see him doing drugs, I don’t think. But, but man, if that isn’t a coke head, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one. But yeah,
S1: and he definitely. But he definitely has a mad attack of the Longoria, and he loves he loves like he was. He tends to cheer when he goes, Is it cowardice or avarice? You know? Oh, those are good words.
S3: Yes. Yes, exactly.
S2: Is that for you? Rich, dude experts out there, like, is this like something that’s maybe typical of someone born into massive wealth who’s never been told no and who maybe thinks they’re a little bit of a genius? Feels like he can say and do things like this because everyone treats him with unearned respect so that it
S1: does have a little bit of Jared Kushner to it, right?
S2: Yeah. Yeah, that’s what I think. That’s was my takeaway. Like, this rich guy does not know how to run a business. He doesn’t know how to talk about strategy. He’s like low grade idiot, unqualified. And now that’s clear. And I did feel like Shiv was persuaded not to get onto his side by how dumb he sounds because she sounded smart in her strategy in the past.
S3: It’s funny I hadn’t thought of the Jared connection, but yes, that’s he’s very Kushner in Jared Kushner. And except of course, you know, Jared, at least so far, and obviously it’s too. Now, never did the thing that you know, he could have should have done about his father in law, I should have pulled the Kendal right and never did. But in his like in over his head kind of entitled but insecure skinny way, Kendal is a very jared guy.
S1: One of the things that really struck me about this episode is the way that everyone lies to everyone, about everything for no particular reason, like when Kendal goes off to talk to Stewie and, you know, over the street, he’s like, I’m going to go hug my kids when? When she gave us Tom, if he knew that she was at Kendall’s house, it’s like, No, I didn’t know all of these pointless lies, right? There’s no reason for these lies, but they just lie reflexively because what did Jerry call it? Snake Linguini?
S3: Well, if you’re playing, if you’re playing a game all the time, you’re playing liar’s poker all the time. You’re going to lie because no particular reason, except keep your cards close to your vest, because because you’re playing this card game, you know, so. But but to that point, I mean, you know, all the time, I was ever like a boss and a lot of people. One of the reasons I decided like, I don’t want to. I don’t want to do this anymore much because it seems to me when you’re running any kind of business, even one, you know, magazine with 100 people work there. You got to lie. You got to you. You are required to dissemble, at least, if not lie. And so if you’re in this, if you’re running whatever it’s called Wayfair, where you start, Royko waste our run. You know, part of doing that at any level is is not instinctively and by default, telling the truth. So, you know, it’s I think it goes with that, even if you’re not lying to your siblings and father about your other siblings, your father.
S2: I think lying and controlling access to information is a way to feel powerful when you maybe aren’t or can’t feel powerful or you’re trying very hard.
S1: Oh, definitely like that wonderful scene with the Manila envelope where Kendal writes Fuck you, buzz in the envelope and hands that person, the place where she is going to lurk. I mean, it’s this wonderful sort of way of trying to feel powerful, but also just such a sibling move like we have all done that to our siblings, right?
S3: The other thing that you get that this show does well just in everything about how it’s made and shot and everything else is in the bubble in which they exist of just, you know, being among themselves and their minions. And there is fantastic. And because again, that’s been my, you know, my experience as an anthropologist of the super rich and of big time executives in general is the bubbles in which they live, you know, and being shocked it like what a cup of coffee costs at Starbucks, which a mogul of my acquaintance once did in my presence. And I think they just do that so well. And not that it’s so, you know, I mean, yeah, they have private jets and all that, but it’s. But this show does not do the dynasty. You know, Dallas, I’m dating myself kind of wealth porn quite as much as it could it? I don’t know, except for private jets to me. Their life is not very enviable. You know nothing about it except except private jets.
S2: They don’t do that. Nothing is shot in a way that’s like dating myself to lifestyles of the rich and famous or like makes you covet anything these people have. And in fact, I feel like what they’ve done with Logan so far in these first two episodes is like he is kind of trapped in the most downmarket. We talked about this last week, the most like downmarket five star hotel that’s ever been, and there’s this one shot in episode two that they hone in on Logan Salad, and it’s like one of those sad hotel salads with the cubes of ham and the cubes of cheese. And he’s just like poking at it. And I was like billionaire or not. Like, That’s that’s a bad salad.
S1: But I was a universal.
S3: I had that same salad moment. I go white, you know? No, I want to be in my hotel room when you have this glorious concept of the likes of which I’ve never seen. No, that exactly.
S2: Oh, and he just looks. And that’s when he is at most like the he says the world is wobbling. I need Shiv. I need, you know, I need Connor. I need all of my people
S1: who he needs and who he says he needs and who he gets is and I cannot overestimate. I cannot overstate how happy I am about her reemergence into the show. Is Marcia like she was missing for most of season two? And boy, is she back? And I mean, she has found him at his moment of maximum weakness. She it has come in with maximum leverage. She is being incredibly nice to him and, you know, is extracting God knows how many billions of dollars in the process in this incredibly mercenary way. And oh my god, Marcia.
S2: Oh my god, Marcia, she says. She’s she swoops in and they have this like, it’s the moment where I guess Logan’s supposed to apologize to her, but he is obviously incapable of doing that and says, like, I can’t, I can’t eat shit, Marcia. I just can’t. And the closest he gets to apology is saying is is saying I can sometimes get distracted, and that literally counts as the apology. And then all that has to happen next. Marcia says, Of course, I might like to have a small conversation. Somebody which is code for like, I need a lot of money to make this happen, make it happen for me, and it does. It was so
S1: amazing. She has the single best line in the app, but I have to come out and say this is the best line of the episode is when Hugo says, Well, look, nothing happened because we really would say that
S3: nothing ever has.
S2: She’s a whore, and it’s not my problem if she wouldn’t finish him.
S3: Yes. Interesting thing about her, too, is one of the things that I thought again was so plausible and realistic about this whole thing is that none of them really have any fixed plans, which is to say Logan or the kids or what are we going to do now or Kendal like? They’re just like, they’re at sea. She she is the one character who comes in. Here’s exactly what I want. Bye. And here’s my person that will get it for me, and I’ll go massage Logan’s neck in the background while she does the deal. No, she she is like, Wow, talk about like captain of industry, you know, Master of the Universe. She’s it in this episode.
S2: Someone sent an email about like some prediction market where they’re taking bets on who’s going to be the CEO of Waystar Royko and she’s up there. I think she might have been had the best odds, Marcia and I kind of after what Kurt saying is totally true. She’s the one with the strategy. She executes her plan. She gets what she wants like I cannot say the same for anyone else. So maybe she has the chops. Maybe she’s the one.
S1: I do want to talk a little bit, unpack this wonderful Gregg lawyer subplot. Greg is not the smartest egg, but he’s smart enough to know that he needs a lawyer. But it’s returns to his late girlfriend and it’s like, What should I do if you say, I have no idea, I just I’m in my first semester. And basically, he has Kendal saying, I will set you up with a lawyer who is obviously going to be aligned with Kendal. He has Jerry literally sending a lawyer to his door and saying, like, here’s your lawyer who’s obviously going to be aligned with Waystar, and he feels like he doesn’t. He can’t choose. Like, does he want the wasto lawyer or does he want Kendall’s lawyer? And what he winds up doing is meeting his grandfather, and the grandfather says, I’ll stay with lawyer and Greg. Once it’s already too late, realize is that even you in the avuncular grandfather like is is just out for his own agenda and has no interest in giving Greg actually what Greg needs. And that is the first case where you and feels a little bit despicable. I think in this show,
S3: if not despicable, certainly his his his his moral high ground got lower and and again, what an interesting choice to make him not just be a guy who disapproves of his brother for whatever reason, but actually has this specifically left wing agenda with his old, you know, William Kunstler as a left wing lawyer. I worried. What an interesting choice. I mean, Greg to me, is plausible and hilarious, and he’s why I think that’s such a hard character to play as he is the most truly, almost implausibly comic character in his stupidity. Not not entirely, because we all know stupid young dude bro’s like that, but or maybe we do. But I think if they don’t have it pasted on the wall of their writers room, but some version of nobody is good in this. In this show, no character is totally virtuous in this character,
S1: or even partially virtuous, really. I mean.
S3: Well, are you and is maybe partially for chosen and Greg is, you know, for all that Greg has done is not the is, you know, maybe the least evil. You know,
S2: I don’t understand like what the end game there actually is. Does that mean they want to take down Waystar Royko? Like what? What is happening with that? I don’t know.
S3: We’ll see. I mean, that’s why it’s so interesting.
S1: So like but but you and has been like dropping the same hint twice. It’s like I’m putting my affairs in order. And U.N. is a major shareholder of waste. I like what it means for him to be putting his affairs in order. You know, it would not surprise me if he were somehow. Back channeling with Sandy and Stewie, but also like he probably hates Sandy and Stewie just as much as he hates his own brother. So you know that who knows? Maybe there’s some like weird connection between you and and Marsha. Like again, like the alliances is fluid, but he, I think, has a plan. Marsha has a plan, but I think Ewan has a plan as well. We just don’t know what that plan is.
S3: Speaking of the left, this the sudden left wing story thread I thought they did again, but why don’t they do well? But the calls that Logan and Jerry made to the president and the presidents, whomever chief of staff or whoever that was supposed to be were so well done and shows, you know, the actual access of super rich people, especially super rich media moguls to two presidents and their and their, you know, closest minions. And again, as a just a glimpse of plutocracy, you know, really just lovely without being overdone and not like, you know, calling up, you know, and Logan saying the president do this and the president does it. Nothing that broad or crude or vulgar, you know, just the way it would actually, I think, be and come and play out.
S2: Is that how it would be? I mean, I was thinking, I guess, of of Roger Ailes and Donald Trump and that whole time period where Trump would come out and say, like, nice things about, Yeah,
S3: but Trump, I’m in trouble. We can’t. I mean, we can’t. We can’t assume that the president in this, the what is he called the reason? The reason is Donald Trump or anybody like him. But yeah, I don’t know whether it’s how it would play out. It’s just it’s more subtle and nuanced and less like, you know, stupid than it would be so often done in in fiction.
S1: And I think that, you know, the relationship that Logan has with the president is probably not that far off the relationship that say Rupert Murdoch had with George W. Bush. It’s less powerful, like Rupert Murdoch has much more access to and even control over the heads of state in the UK and Australia. But it’s a bit like so he’s still in a little bit of sort of supplicant mode when it comes to the president of the United States, but he definitely has access.
S3: Exactly. And again, Trump is this outlier so far where where you know, Rupert Murdoch could call him up and tell him, I’m sure there was a more direct right thing there than ever existed with Rupert Murdoch and his and his and the previous presidents or subsequent president with Trump.
S1: Of course, famously, he would call Rupert, and we just ran to him on the phone to the point at which Rupert kept on trying to hang up on him and Trump would just not shut up.
S3: Yeah. So so the thing of being O the president’s not going to talk to you, so your number to talk to the president’s number two? Yeah, that seemed true.
S2: And I was going to say in terms of plutocracy, there a scene in season two where Logan says something about the reason the president, he says something like, I’ve seen so many of these guys like, I’ve been in business, I’ve seen what, eight 10 presidents like he’s he believes himself to be. And I think probably is true for a lot of these guys to be more powerful than a president. He’s in and out like Logan is. Or was the forever president. Right? I mean, these guys have more power than any political figure.
S1: Some do. And I think that’s one of the differences between media moguls and the ultra rich like media moguls have wealth and power, whereas rich people just have wealth
S3: depending on how corrupt the party is. We’re talking about,
S2: but we can go back to the limo Felix with Sandy’s daughter and Stewie. Thank God Stewie is back. I felt about his reappearance. I wanted more. I missed him in the first episode. Everyone loves trying to send a severed head, but the paperwork was too much. He’s great. I just I was really glad to see him. I hope he plays. He gets almost all the good lines him in Rome and I think vie for the best lines, right? So but it wasn’t clear to me back to the limo conversation is sandy and Stewie. Are they back with Kendal now? Are they?
S1: So Sandy and Stewie are still in this the longest proxy fight that has ever existed in the history of proxy fights. It started in season one, and it’s still going on in episode two of season three. And basically, Kendal is making a profit to them. He’s saying, If we team up, if if I put my votes with you, I will give you the board seats, I will not. I will make you a central part of the board and you can have a bunch of control and power and we will kick out Logan. And in return for that, can you like drop this proxy fight and Sandy and Stewie kind of at this point? Not persuaded that Kendal has a clue what he’s doing and so that they’re basically being noncommittal. But one little bit of reality that I did want to ask you specifically about Kurt was when Connor talks about the wolf pack. When he talks about the the guys that you know with Logan and Moe and the Wolf and the guys who are like running the cruises and running the show. And there have been a lot of profiles of late of David Zaslav, who is the new media mogul in town and how he does these big, you know, all male retreats and dinners with all of the other media moguls and feels, I think the word wolf pack might actually have like been in some of those profiles. Does the wolf pack as a concept still exist in in media?
S3: I think that’s a very good question. It seems like, you know, certainly since 2017, the stakes and the risks of Wolf Pack Pachauri would have made it more rare. But you do have the shadow of the late, unlamented Jeffrey Epstein, of course, and that was all happening. You know, a decade with, you know, not the last couple of years in that way, but certainly recently still. I mean, sure. I mean, is there stuff like that going on? I would you know that the wise bet would be to bet? Yes. And there is a sense in terms of of the show, which is it’s it’s in the past, right? They talk about it, as is old older guys in the past. So that seems entirely plausible. And again, in the previous season, they explained what that was all about. More specifically, now in this episode, in this season, they’re just kind of referring to it as though we know because we do. But but again, I it’s interesting, given that that was that is the big part of Kendal. Turn play is that how how relatively unspecific in what we just have seen. They are being about what those crimes and misdemeanors are
S2: the pipeline of sad dancers.
S1: Yes, ShapeShift does provide a little bit of useful aid memoirs when she’s talking about like throwing migrants off the side of boats in international waters and that kind of, you know, less than less than sterling behavior.
S3: And in terms of hiring these female comms people and lawyers, if you’re Kendal, it obviously makes that all the more interesting. I mean, those
S1: all of the powerful lawyers are women, right? It’s just the slightly do communist. Who’s the man? Correct.
S3: And so far, I mean, none of those people, even though they’re on the right side because Kendal is on the right side, come across as sterling epitome of virtue.
S2: Either no in Kendal explodes at Shiv at the end of that whole conversation and makes that crass comment about her. I was the only one you wanted.
S3: Yeah, I
S2: was the only one
S4: who had, yeah, only because you’re the girl girls count double now. Didn’t you know?
S2: Oh yeah, no. I know. I fucking
S4: know. It’s only your tweets that give you any value. So, you know, it’s only your tweets.
S2: It makes that comment and just undercuts everything, he said before you know he’s on the right side of everything. And then he says, the only reason I wanted you is because you’re a woman and you’re more valuable in these times. It’s like, OK, well, it’s clear now that we knew before that this is not about ethics.
S3: No, no. And now women are worth twice. Women are worth double. No, that was brilliantly done and leaves it up to you, the viewer, to sort of say, Oh, this is just bullshit is you know this this being the, you know, fighter for women without having any character? Say that?
S2: Yeah, yeah. And it’s the beautiful to I think, like you’re saying that they don’t really like spell out the allegations ever, even when they first broke in season two. We still don’t have like a fully clear understanding of of what of what happened, actually. Like, it’s just sort of like out there. There’s like hints of it, but it’s not like being, you’re not being banged over the head
S1: with a very long Wall Street Journal story, but like the characters have read it. But we just kind of go, Yeah, we
S2: don’t know what it says this season. Like, it could be like a like a quote unquote like about the meta me to play played out in the in the media and amongst powerful people. And the truth about how it played out is so different from how you would maybe think about it from the outside. You know, it’s just it’s just about. Bad times for powerful people and how they react to it and align themselves around it has nothing to do with like we’re exposing bad behavior, blah blah blah. Also, I just very randomly need to mention this. The photo for Logan on shivs phone is Saddam Hussein. Just I just needed to mention that in case you missed it, go back,
S3: that was missed it. That was the
S1: very first shot in the episode. Is that, yeah, Logan’s funny and light up comes Saddam Hussein is the victim who like that is awesome. Have we
S3: had any? Speaking of which, in this show so far, any jokes about any of them calling themselves Uday and Qusay or something? And I guess not, but.
S1: No, I mean, we did have Roman kind of kidnapped in some obscure Middle Eastern country.
S2: Oh, right, that was fun.
S3: Or Turkey one of those, I don’t know.
S1: Yeah. But as a great Murdoch apologist, Kurt we we should also. I’m not
S3: Michael Wolff. Who do you think you’re talking to? Really? I thought you
S1: were Michael Wolff. I should ask you about the the bit where Marcia starts laying out her list of demands. And she’s like, I want my I want to be part of the trust. I want my children to be like part of the trust. Like, this is very, very much a Murdoch thing, right? This is exactly what Wendi Deng did with her daughters.
S3: Kurt precisely correct. Why? Why I mentioned why I brought her up earlier is yes, it is exactly. Even though in that instance, in the real life quasi inspiration for this story. I think she did that actually before the end of the marriage, and this isn’t the end of the marriage, and he had some leverage in that case because of her shenanigans with, say, the tiny black minister of the UK. Yes.
S1: All right. So Emily. Yes. What did you think of this episode overall? Do you have a favorite line? Do you have any major takeaways?
S2: Um, I feel like this is kind of like a set up episode. You know, it’s setting us up for the rest of the season, but in itself, it’s not. I don’t think it’s one of my favorite episodes. So and as far as favorite lines, because that’s what we always do on slate money, succession. Um, I think it would be.
S3: Oh, you mean just this multi fucking ethnic transgender alliance of twenty something dreamers we got right here, which is that Roman said.
S2: Refer to
S1: here. It’s a great line. Such a great line. I think I think I’m going to go with the Roman Line as well, which is when he he he calls up Jerry and he goes, I’m just going to put my dick in your mad scheming Scissorhands. Yeah, I agree. I think I think this was there was a bunch of light blocking and tackling in this episode, which is setting us up for for future fireworks. But Kurt, what was your oh,
S3: I think there was. You had to do what they did or you had to do. You had to do the OK, now what happens? And the fact that they did it without any, you know, six months later. But it was like moments after the previous season ended. I think I liked because it didn’t seem a cheat. It seemed more real. So I thought that was fine. It wasn’t if we had to rate all, whatever, how many episodes there have been 20 x so far, it’s it’s not one of the very best. But given that I’m always worried with shows I love like, Oh, it’s going to keep it up, who’s going to be as good? I felt like, Whoa, we’re back. I am satisfied, even though it’s not one of the best episodes ever.
S1: Like, I’m sure we’re all watching it on on HBO Max. It’s On-Demand, I can say as someone who’s watched it twice. It’s better the second time if you if you can, you know, if you’re the only person who likes to ever watch episodes twice, succession is definitely one of the shows where you do want to watch it twice, and especially this episode benefits from a second. Well, I
S3: now I need to watch it twice just to see Saddam Hussein
S1: come upon on show. You only need to watch it for the first, like 30 seconds and then then you can then.
S3: But no, so I’m I am. I’m not worried at all. And I think and know all of all, that was great in general about the previous seasons to me is I feel like they’ve still got their stuff. They’re not they’re not being complacent. They’re not being lazy.
S1: Oh, I got a I just need to mention one more line because I love it so much. And I forgot because Greg doesn’t have so many awesome lines, but that line where he does again, because,
S3: you know, I don’t really want to go to Congress again.
S4: I’m kind of too young to be in Congress so
S3: much, you know?
S1: So once again, applause for the writers room succession. We love them very much based as they are in my my hometown, the South. London, thank you for coming on the show is always amazing and awesome and brilliant to have you on the show.
S3: Well, you know, you keep giving away perks like advanced screening, copies of success and I’ll be myself really.
S1: So yeah, we’ll be back next week with episode three of Sleep Money Succession.