If the shocking last episode of Succession was all about blowing up the series into dozens of questions—then this week is all about giving answers. Is dad dead for sure? Yes. Where’s Marcia? She’s back. Who will succeed? Well, the kids. Duh. Anything else you need us to wrap up? Of course, it’s never that simple for the Roy family. But for a second, it almost was.
Thanks to a little piece of paper that Logan (Brian Cox) wrote on potentially over a decade ago, his son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is chosen as his successor. We hear a lot about whether or not his name is underlined or crossed out—it looks mighty crossed out to me!—but with great paper, comes great responsibility. Thank the HBO gods for this piece of paper drama, because I was really missing some levity and after last week’s heavy, one-act play. But the parody and cringe-heavy situations are back.
Elsewhere in the episode, Marcia (Hiam Abbass) returns from her forever-shopping excursion to face a very scrambled Kerry (Zoe Winters). Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) doesn’t seem like he cares that Logan is dead. Plus, Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) remind Kendall that a guy who tried to put his father in jail maybe isn’t the safest option to run the company. He agrees—and they add Roman as co-CEO, ignoring Shiv. It’s a stab in the back for their sister (who also has a kind of knife as her name), and what’s this? She’s secretly pregnant.
Last week, I really thought Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) had the best chance to succeed Logan, after all the fuss that Succession made about the Roy children being traitors to the company. But Karl (David Rasche) rightfully reminded us all that no one actually liked Tom besides the guy who is dead now. Kendall was the successor when this all started, so this all does make sense, in that way. He’s the second-oldest son, behind Connor (Alan Ruck), but the political upstart doesn’t care one iota about the company. Sure, it feels like Kendall would likely bring the company to the ground on his own, but there’s worse rich freaks running companies in the real world—and too many of them are just doing just fine. Don’t throw your Succession brackets in the trash yet, though—we still have a long way to go.
Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.