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Succession: Kendall Cracks Up

Succession, S.3, Ep. 3: “The Disruption” Review

What’s driving the action in the early going of Succession season 3 is that Kendall Roy thinks that he can go toe-to-toe with his father, but that he really can’t because, for many reasons, he’s not up to it. 

Kendall spent the first two episodes spouting a combination of social justice pablum and success-bro business jargon while behaving most of the time like he was either in a manic episode or a coke binge or possibly both at the same time. 

That all crashed into reality in the third episode. At first, Kendall is faced with harsh words about himself, both by a game amongst his allies of “Good Tweet, Bad Tweet” in which his sadness is called out and later by a tough monologue by a late-night TV host Sophie Iwobi (Ziwe, doing a monologue that sounds more like something Samantha Bee would do than anything on Ziwe’s Showtime show.) 

He says he’s not bothered, but you can tell he very much is. Then, an open letter is released, signed by Shiv, which calls him out for his addiction, bad fatherhood, and other dark skeletons. That his other siblings neglected to sign the letter is not much comfort. 

Kendall later enters the Waystar headquarters for the first time since his break with his father, seeming to think he re-assert himself by pure force of will. By episode’s end,  Kendall is sitting alone in a control room, having blown off a hyped TV appearance. 

Not that things are great in the episode for the Logan side of the narrative. In the beginning, Kendall interrupts a “town hall” speech by Shiv by playing Nirvana’s “Rape Me” over the sound system, and by the end,  the FBI is knocking on the door. 

The other highlight of the episode is a fantastic subplot in which Kendall implies that he’s going to buy Greg a watch, but then it turns out he was only “hooking him up,” by introducing him to the watch dealer to allow Greg to watch it himself. It provides a very creative reason for Greg’s loyalties to remain uncertain. 

Succession The Disruption Season 3 Episode 3 Review

 Waystar notes: 

– “Waystar Royco releases a mea culpa newspaper ad headlined with “We Get It,” which is certainly a better slogan than last season’s “We Hear For You.” 

– The presidential adviser tells Logan that there are numerous photos of the president and Logan together at “CPAC and Davos,” indicating that the current president, in the show’s universe, is a Republican, if not Donald Trump himself, as the narrative appears to still be in late 2019. But we also learn that the president hadn’t been happy with the coverage of him on Waystar’s TV network ATN, just as Trump often complained that Fox News wasn’t being sycophantic enough during his presidency. 

– Speaking of life imitating art, the street-level shot of Kendall approaching the building indicates that Waystar is located in the exact same location where Fox News is, on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. 

–  Tom’s warning to Greg- “DOJ’s gonna be a combine harvester in a wheatfield of dicks,”  in like the quintessential Succession line, combining erudition and analogy with sudden vulgarity. 

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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