Succession season 4, episode 2 recap: In “Rehearsal,” all of the world’s a stage

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Be aware: This text accommodates spoilers for a number of Succession episodes, significantly season 4, episode two, “Rehearsal.”

Rehearsal, the second episode of the final season of Succession, is an episode stuffed with speeches, pitches, and, as at all times in Succession, energy performs. Everybody desires to show that they’re standing just a bit bit taller than their enemies, and to do it, they’re transferring in unfamiliar areas.

On the precipice of promoting Waystar to tech firm GoJo, Logan (Brian Cox) ignites panic when he unceremoniously drops by the headquarters of his information community, ATN. He’s “terrifyingly moseying” across the ground of the newsroom, Greg (Nicholas Braun) tells Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), as if searching for prey to kill. “It’s like Jaws,” Greg frets, “if everybody in Jaws labored for Jaws.”

But it surely’s laborious to not discover that Logan is a shark out of water. Logan within the cavernous ATN newsroom feels uncomfortable not as a result of he’s respiratory down everybody’s neck — although he’s — however as a result of the lights are too brilliant, laying naked that Logan Roy is simply an strange little man, the type who stands on prime of bins of paper to offer an awkwardly bombastic speech to the ATN staff.

“This isn’t the tip. I’m going to construct one thing higher,” Logan vows to the ATN workers. He’s a soccer coach earlier than the large sport, and he’s going to steer ATN via a brand new, irrepressibly daring new age. He’s bursting with youthful ambition and a fervor to overcome the world. You’d hardly imagine this was a person who was contemplating retirement again in season one.

And he makes an announcement that sends a shiver down each worker’s backbone: He’s going to be spending much more time at ATN.

He’s not the one one on this episode to roam in surprising locations. At one level, the Roy kids discover themselves in a dive bar. And later, all of them, Logan included, have an actual household assembly — the type that they need to have had throughout their publicity stunt of a household remedy session in season one — in a non-public room at a karaoke bar that resembles a spaceship, coloured lights dancing throughout the partitions in stark dissonance with the gravity of their assembly.

Connor doesn’t need to be himself

For those who’ve ever questioned what every member of the Roy household would sing at karaoke — a Rorschach take a look at for somebody’s character — this episode supplies not less than one reply. Connor (Alan Ruck), the eldest Roy baby, spends the eve of his wedding ceremony mournfully belting Leonard Cohen’s Well-known Blue Raincoat. Connor has determined to marry Willa (Justine Lupe), a former escort, and he’s morose after she has walked out throughout their rehearsal dinner, saying, “I can’t do that.”

Connor desires to take pleasure in some escapism — it looks as if he didn’t actually have a bachelor celebration — and needs to go to a “actual bar” with “guys who work with their fingers” and “have blood of their hair.” They discover such a dive bar someplace in Manhattan. Connor, cosplaying the lifetime of a down-home dude, orders a “Belgian weissbier, however not a Hoegaarden.”

He desires to be somebody apart from Connor Roy, wealthy son of a fair richer father, for the night time. Connor each attracts in and drives away Willa, who sees the usefulness of his wealth but in addition chafes at how a lot energy he has. It’s suffocating. Even on the bar, Connor is consistently checking her location on his cellphone.

Connor has lengthy occupied himself in pursuits totally different from his youthful siblings. As an alternative of vying to take over the household enterprise, he’s flushing his inheritance away on a presidential bid during which he’s polling at a “smooth” 1 %. Connor has been on the fringes of the conflict between his siblings and father, however on this episode, he’s the stagehand ferrying these feuding characters from one surreal set to a different. After the bar, he implores his siblings to do karaoke with him — and even will get Logan to hitch them.

True to the episode’s title, everyone seems to be susceptible to theatrics in Rehearsal. A lot of the Roys’ lives is a efficiency, with scripts and sometimes unconvincing line readings. It’s totally different from the standard deceptions they knowingly and generally gleefully commit. Generally it’s solely inside the artifice of efficiency that individuals can inform the reality. As Connor belts out Well-known Blue Raincoat — a music during which Cohen addresses a buddy or a member of the family that he’s estranged from — he’s being extra trustworthy and susceptible than he may ever be within the chilly mild of day.

Kerry desires to be a TV star

Again at ATN, past reminding his little employee bees how a lot of his cash they’re losing, Logan is visiting for the crucial mission of securing a job for his assistant/girlfriend, Kerry (Zoe Winters). Kerry has aspirations to turn out to be an ATN anchor; Tom and Cyd (Jeannie Berlin) lie via their tooth, telling Logan that Kerry is deserving of a slot on the community. In actuality, Kerry is clearly uncomfortable in entrance of the digicam: She garbles her phrases, smiles sinisterly as she reads off dire headlines, and may’t work out what to do along with her arms. Logan goes via the motions of pretending he’s not laying a metric ton of stress on Tom and Cyd, however he’s by no means been an moral chief. “She’s my assistant. It might be very unprofessional of me to get entangled,” he sighs.

Everyone seems to be laughing behind Kerry’s again as a result of someway everybody has gotten maintain of her audition tape (together with Logan’s kids). Courting a robust man like Logan comes with its perks, clearly, however one wonders if it’s well worth the unrelenting humiliation. Kendall (Jeremy Sturdy) muses that Kerry being made an ATN anchor is an simple signal of his father’s “whole lack of judgment and management.” However in distinction to the bellicose pep discuss he offers at ATN, in terms of romance, Logan is a coward. As an alternative, Greg is left with the duty of attempting to persuade Kerry that being an ATN anchor could be far more hassle than it’s price, however he fails spectacularly as a result of, in contrast to the Roys, Greg may be very unhealthy on the artwork of manipulation. His superpower is getting individuals to suppose the precise reverse of what he desires them to suppose.

That GoJo sale is completely taking place (besides perhaps with a tiny delay)

Logan hasn’t gone completely smooth — he’s nonetheless an apex predator. Rehearsal sees Kendall, Shiv, and Roman feeling the fallout of their showdown with their father over Pierce World Media within the final episode. Logan isn’t one to let an insult go; his kids stole PGM from him, so he revokes their entry to the corporate helicopter. The trio doesn’t uncover that they’re grounded till they’re already on the tarmac, operating late for Connor’s rehearsal dinner. It barely even registers as a shock; in fact their father reacted vindictively, that’s his everlasting nature — would you get offended at a storm for flattening timber?

However that’s not the one approach Logan is sniping again. Shiv finds out that his father helps Tom, her soon-to-be ex-husband, battle out all the very best divorce attorneys in New York so none of them can characterize Shiv.

This newest affront drives Shiv to make contact with Sandi Furness (Hope Davis), a Waystar board member, the day earlier than the board will vote to approve the sale. Sandi and Stewy (Arian Moayed), one other board member, imagine that Logan is promoting Waystar to GoJo for a criminally low worth — they need the youngsters to vote in opposition to the sale with them to allow them to return to the desk for the next worth. It’s, in spite of everything, what their father would do, and in enterprise they need to all naturally emulate Logan.

Shiv acts like she’s out of the blue curious about squeezing extra money out of the deal — that’s simply good enterprise sense — however it’s not a convincing act. As typical, the true driving power is that her emotions are wounded, and delaying the sale is a approach she will get again at Logan for the divorce lawyer ploy.

Shiv’s brothers aren’t on board with delaying the sale, although — who cares about an additional billion or two? Kendall and Roman are prepared to scrub their fingers of Waystar and acquire their assured payout tomorrow. However Sandi and Stewy, and now Shiv, need to power Logan “again into the ring for one final spherical.”

They spend a lot of the transient time they spend at Connor’s wedding ceremony rehearsal dinner bickering forwards and backwards about it, whereas Connor is stuffed with anxiousness over the place Willa is. She ran out of the dinner proper as she was about to offer her speech. Willa, regardless of her obsession with being taken critically as a playwright, can’t plaster on a pretend smile and browse her ready strains like the remainder of the household.

What modifications Kendall’s thoughts about delaying the Waystar sale is when GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) enters the stage. He calls Kendall, ostensibly to verify the youngsters aren’t pondering of blocking the sale tomorrow. He takes a threatening tack. “Don’t push me,” he says, claiming that in the event that they return to the desk, he’ll stroll away. For some motive they’re on a video name, and Kendall can see that Matsson is up late consuming soda and consuming junk meals — it’s not simply Stewy and Sandi who’re harassed about the opportunity of leaving cash on the desk, Matsson is extra harassed than he’s letting on, too. As he rambles on, Kendall has the dawning realization about Matsson’s present of aggression. It means he’s frightened, and there’s completely room to drive the worth greater. It’s additionally yet another alternative — perhaps the grand finale alternative — to explode certainly one of Logan’s offers. Shiv means that perhaps Logan has really misplaced his contact if he’s getting taken benefit of by Matsson.

Again on the bar, Roman will get a textual content message from Logan, and his siblings are aghast. Roman reveals that he texted his dad comfortable birthday. It might have been unhealthy sufficient if he’d replied to a textual content, however to ship a number of unsolicited texts to their father? “We stated no contact till he apologizes,” Shiv says in an totally scandalized tone. “So, then, by no means?” Roman retorts.

It’s an fascinating revelation, even when it isn’t completely stunning. After a lifetime of abuse, it’d be comprehensible in the event that they selected to haven’t any contact with their father eternally. However what they’re searching for isn’t an exit; it’s for Logan to bend the knee. Shiv and Kendall attribute Roman’s disinterest in stonewalling to his worry of battle, not as a philosophical distinction on what strains to cross or not cross while you’re offended at household.

The Roys do a music and dance

The Roy siblings take their argument to the subsequent vacation spot: a non-public karaoke room in Manhattan’s Koreatown. To be clear, for all their aptitude for the dramatic, the Roy siblings usually are not karaoke individuals. They’re solely right here as a result of, in some recess of their hearts, they really feel unhealthy for his or her oldest brother, who might or will not be getting married tomorrow.

They don’t pity him for lengthy. Connor drops a bombshell: He instructed Logan about their plan to puncture the sale, and Logan is presently en route to satisfy them.

More often than not, a non-public karaoke room is absolutely the worst place to have an vital dialog. However the Roys (plus Kerry) have a critical heart-to-heart. Logan waltzes in with a conciliatory, virtually remorseful tone. “I suppose I needed you there at my celebration,” he says, referring to the birthday celebration that Kendall, Shiv, and Roman skipped within the final episode. Does anybody imagine this masks for even a second?

His kids don’t. They drip with sarcasm and bile. “Holy shit,” Kendall says. “Did Dad simply say a sense?” Shiv tells Logan to chop the shit; it’s clear he’s right here as a result of he wants them to not torpedo the vote tomorrow. However their father tries to play a siren music, proposing a future the place they’ll coexist, the place they’ve moved past the fixed cycle of preventing — he’ll run ATN, they’ll run Pierce, and their relationships shall be more healthy. It’s an entire fairy story. An excessive amount of has been stated and executed to so simply untangle the knots of their resentment and wounds. Kerry tries to advocate for Logan, which is a mistake. Kendall, Shiv, and Roman flip vicious on her.

“Look,” Logan says. “I don’t do apologies. But when it means a lot to you, then sorry.” There’s a second of deafening silence. “There’s nothing you possibly can say to me now that I might ever imagine,” Shiv replies.

Roman asks the actual query: What’s he even sorry for? They squabble forwards and backwards, with Logan attempting to gaslight them, Shiv mentioning his assist to Tom of their divorce, and Kendall dragging out outdated skeletons within the closet round how Logan has handled all of them.

Logan’s persistence wears out eventually. They’re not curious about seeing sense — his model of what’s smart, not less than — they simply need an airing of agonies. “I really like you,” he says earlier than he makes his exit, “however you aren’t critical individuals.”

And that’s the present. The curtains fall.


Afterward, Shiv and Kendall crow about how exhilarating it was to verbally beat up their father. But it surely appears like they’re simply papering over what they actually really feel — shaken, unsure, and realizing that damage and anger are nonetheless embedded deep even after what was alleged to be their cathartic, climactic second. Connor calls his youthful siblings “needy love sponges,” and asserts that he’s made peace with an absence of affection. “The advantage of having a household that doesn’t love you is you study to dwell with out it,” he says.

Besides nobody actually learns to dwell with out love. They solely develop coping mechanisms. On the automotive trip dwelling, Shiv stares at her cellphone, considering calling Tom. Connor, regardless of his declarations, returns to his place and is relieved to seek out Willa already there. Roman, in the meantime, goes to Logan’s condo. Logan desires his youngest son to return with him to go to Matsson in Sweden tomorrow — the day of Connor’s wedding ceremony. He dangles the carrot of Roman changing into head of ATN. However extra persuasive than the job is Logan’s reply when Roman questions if he actually desires him to guide the community. Logan tells him that he wants his son.

It’s all his kids have ever dreamed of.

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