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Succession, Hints of the Fall of the Roman Empire

Succession, S.3, Ep. 7: “Chiantishire”

Throughout the season, there have been indications on Succession that Roman Roy was moving into the leading position in terms of his father’s favor, or perhaps a future as the CEO of Waystar. However, he may have blown that with a missent dick pic at the worst possible moment. 

With Kendall and Shiv both out of favor with their father and Roman the point man first for their courting of the alt-right presidential candidate and now the wooing of tech mogul Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), Roman’s candidacy was looking ascendent. But then, the dick pic text — sent during an important meeting, and accidentally ending up on the phone of his father — threatened to undo all that. Because not only does his dad now know about his weird flirtation with Gerri, but it threatens to open another can of worms for a company already facing a sexual harassment scandal. 

Not that things are much better for Kendall, who during last week’s “Birthday Party From Hell” was offered a chance to walk away from his Waystar claim with $2 billion. Now, in a dinner meeting with his father, he accepts- and is told no. But not before Logan feeds food to Kendall’s young son as if to confirm that Kendall wasn’t trying to poison him. By the end of the episode, Kendall is floating face down in a pool, and — according to Twitter chatter about the episode — he might even be dead. 

Succession, S.3, Ep. 7: “Chiantishire”
Image: HBO

It’s not such a happy episode of the other Roy siblings either. Shiv, increasingly isolated from the business, has sex with Tom while engaging in “dirty talk” that entails repeatedly telling him he’s not good enough- kind of turning the subtext of their relationship across three seasons into text. Connor, meanwhile, knows the reporter is sniffing around Willa’s history and seems close to discovering her former profession (i.e., the world’s oldest.) So his solution is to… ask her to marry him? In the middle of his stepmother’s wedding? She seems noncommittal, and it’s unclear how exactly Connor expected to run for president without the press getting wind of his girlfriend having been a sex worker relatively recently. 

No one in this family knows how to behave at weddings; during Shiv’s, in season 1, Kendall both tried to stage a corporate coup and cover up a waiter’s death. This time Caroline, the mother of the three youngest children is getting re-married (to a British business washout named Peter, played by Tommy Lascelles from The Crown.) The siblings fight, and Connor deflects attention with his own proposal. Meanwhile, the mom, always even more toxic than even Logan, appears to despise her new husband. 

Just one episode left; I’m going to guess Kendall isn’t dead, but his bid to take down his father certainly is. 

Succession, S.3, Ep. 7: “Chiantishire”
Image: HBO

Waystar notes: 

– Sandy and Stewy, now with board seats, aren’t exactly happy about the Roys’ move to buy a tech company. And Matsson, with his penchant for using dubious tweets to pump up his stock price, is even more Elon Musk-like than I thought. 

– Greg may not be out of Comfry’s league, but Tom certainly is out of Shiv’s. 

– Not seen in the season so far, at least as far as I know? Ratfucker Sam. What happened to that guy? 

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Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist and film critic based in the Philadelphia area. He is the co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle and a Rotten Tomatoes-listed critic since 2008, and his work has appeared in New York Press, Philly Voice, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, The Times of Israel, and RogerEbert.com. In 2009, he became the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day.

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