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Succession Season 2 Premiere ‘The Summer Place’ Review: Aftermath

BY Daniel Rayner

Published 3 years ago

Succession Season 2 Premiere 'The Summer Place' Review: Aftermath

Nobody expected Succession to end the way it did. The relapse caused an accident that made the hostile takeover almost impossible to launch. Now, with their wedding ruined, the newlyweds decide to go on an (ideally) uninterrupted honeymoon. Forty-eight hours after the events in England, the people of Waystar-Royco determine the fate of their company. With that, the Roys drop everything and convene at the family Summer Place. 

On Sunday’s season premiere of Succession, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) returns from hiding to his surprise. After Kendall’s TV appearance, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) calls for a family meeting. With that, Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) starts expecting to be the next CEO. However, Logan offers Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) a seat at the table: the opportunity to become his future successor.

Dead Man Walking

Jeremy Strong and Hiam Abbass in Succession Season 2 Episode 1

Peter Kramer/HBO

Being responsible for a man’s death and taking responsibility for a man’s death are two different things. In Kendall’s case, he knew his involvement and how Logan covered up for him. With that, the man (or shell of a man) felt indebted to his father. Also, Kendall is not in his best element. The relapse brought him back to his old habits; asking Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) to buy him some cocaine. Albeit disappointed with what Greg brought him, Kendall took what he can get. 

Kendall is good as dead. Right now, it seems as if Logan is only keeping him for aesthetic purposes, as a big ‘fuck you’ to Stewy (Arian Moayed) and Sandy Furness (Larry Pine). Not even his siblings give a damn about him anymore. Sure, they see how messed up Kendall is but not enough to make them worry. One cannot blame them, though, since they do not know the truth about what happened. Now, Kendall is alone in a sense that after the dust settles, he blandly goes along with it. 

Stepping Up

J-Smith Cameron and Kieran Culkin in Succession Season 2 Episode 1

Peter Kramer/HBO

Roman’s actions in the premiere seem to hint at him taking on the challenge of corporate leadership. As we remember, one of their companies launched a space shuttle that unfortunately failed. This accident happened on Tom and Shiv’s wedding day. Forty-eight hours later, Roman was in a press conference held to make a statement about the crash. When it was time for the family meeting, Roman gave much insight into what the company should do. 

Roman’s reaction to having Kendall back in the company hit his pride for sure. There he was, trying his best to be fit for the position he eyes. Suddenly, Kendall comes in like a beat-up puppy and gets a promotion. To Roman, such a move was demeaning and unfair. However, it does look like he can throw Kendall around the way Logan does, but he seems to be better than that. Good for him. 

Successor

Sarah Snook and Brian Cox in Succession Season 2 Episode 1

Peter Kramer/HBO

Perhaps it was indeed time for Shiv to take over the company. Handing power to Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) would be as good as selling the company. Kendall, on the other hand, is unfit for the position. Logan does not seem to see what Roman is trying to do, so he does not see him fit for the job, either. Shiv is smart, intuitive, and capable, so she became Logan’s obvious choice. 

In the first season, Shiv made it clear that she does not want any involvement in running Waystar-Royco. She chose a different path, a career that at some point, would make her go to war with her family. Now, however, having the keys to the kingdom became a game-changer. Of course, Shiv is not that naive to not want the company; she merely did not wish to meddle with her siblings and father involved. At this point, one can see how tired Logan is and how he wants a suitable replacement. With Shiv on the helm, Waystar-Royco may survive the cash-bleeding war effort.

Traitor

Arian Moayed and Jeremy Strong in Succession Season 2 Episode 1

Peter Kramer/HBO

Kendall, Stewy, and Sandy’s confrontation could arguably be one of the most heartbreaking sequences in the episode. Stewy did not just lose a business partner; he also lost a good friend. Being kept in the dark about what happened made it even worse. Kendall went there like a robot programmed to try to intimidate two lions. Now, the fight for ownership officially begun.

If it were not for the accident, Kendall, Stewy, and Sandy would have had the company in their hands by the time the wedding ended. Perhaps it was an error in judgment on Stewy or Sandy’s end that made things happen. They should have kept Kendall on a tighter leash. Stewy and Kendall’s friendship also had a factor. The fact that they were good friends made the business partnership strong but also caused Stewy to keep his guard down.

‘Succession’ Season 2 Premiere ‘The Summer Place’ Final Verdict

It is surprising to note that Succession‘s second season takes place forty-eight hours after the finale. However, this time setting played out flawlessly. Indeed, a lot can happen in two days, and such events came to place smoothly. Also, The bearhug marks a new chapter for the Roys and Waystar-Royco; if they do survive the buyout, of course. 

Succession continues Sunday, August 18th with ‘Vaulter’ at 9/8c on HBO.

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