Adrien Brody guests as a concerned investor, as the Roy family civil war reaches the shores of the money men.
This week’s episode of Succession, titled “Lion in the Meadow,” shares its name with the popular children’s book A Lion In the Meadow. In that book, a son is convinced a lion is lurking in the meadow outside his house; his mother tries to convince him it’s all in his imagination. It’s a heartwarming story about the power of imagination, but you could also read it as a fraught relationship story, as both parent and child have their version of the truth.
Logan (Brian Cox) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) seem to have their own versions of the truth at Waystar. And it all comes to head as they confront their own lion, powerful investor Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody), in a literal meadow, as the three engage in a tug of war over who has the true power over the company. It’s a slow burn, the power shifting amongst the Roys, wafting over its characters like an ocean breeze.
The atmosphere at Waystar is that of damage control. Ken’s feeling a buzz after seeing the FBI carry out evidence from the company. He brings that buzz to the morning conference call, announcing himself at “Little Lord Fuckleroy,” as the deflated crew at Waystar piles on. While the raid may have been just a warning shot, there’s a risk of fallout with investor Josh Aaronson (Brody). He reached out to Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) personally saying he was going to bail unless he could meet with Logan and Kendall in the same room later that day.
The company feels the pressure, as the loss of Josh could cause the Roys to lose control of Waystar. Kendall feels cornered and declines the meeting. He declines that is until good old friend Frank (Peter Friedman) reaches out for support (under the watchful eye of Logan), saying what’s the harm in a meeting if it means they keep Stewy (Arian Moayed) and the Furness’s (Larry Pine and Hope Davis) at bay? Kendall soon finds himself jetting off alongside his dad to meet Josh at his private estate.
Back at Waystar, Shiv (Sarah Snook) is still trying to assert herself in the company, helping to do her father’s bidding. They want one of their top reporters, Mark Ravenhead (Zack Robidas), to go after the President – if they can’t get the feds to back off, maybe some friendly fire towards the nation’s commander in chief will get the government to back off. Shiv asks Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) to apply the pressure, but Tom’s worried taking an order from Shiv would subvert the chain of command at Waystar. Tom’s attempt proves futile, leaving Shiv to once again do the dirty work at the end of the episode, abusing her power in order to get the respect she feels she deserves.
Tom is in a fragile state. He’s worried his offer to go to prison for Logan will eventually come to fruition. He’s been researching the best facilities to go to, how to make prison wine, acknowledging his nickname around the organization is “Terminal Tom.” He ventures down to see Greg (Nicholas Braun), who is being courted by both Kendall and Logan for his loyalty.
While most relationships in Succession are transactional, the bromance between Tom and Greg is the most genuine. Tom can open up to Greg in ways that he can’t with Shiv. It’s no accident that he goes to see Greg first after being told off by Ravenhead, seeking a safe space. They both play the scene with vulnerability and humor, finding some awkward yet tender moments for their friendship to blossom.
While others are seeing if Logan and Kendall can make up and play nice, Roman goes around digging up dirt on his brother. The levels of depravity amongst the Roys knows no bounds, as Roman reveals during Kendall’s bachelor party bar crawl, they convinced a homeless man to tattoo Kendall’s initials on his forehead. Roman’s tracked down the man, offering him a cool million for evidence of the tattoo. Roman thinks it’s a brilliant tactic to take down Kendall; however, Gerri disagrees, saying it will more than likely backfire and implicate Roman.
Back in the meadow, Logan and Kendall are putting on smiles to appease Josh. He takes the father and son out for a walk around his sprawling, remote oceanfront estate. He’s poking at their stories, trying to figure out if all is fine in the house of Roy. Logan appeals to Josh’s fatherly nature, saying Kendall is a good kid who just made a mistake. Logan lays on some thick admiration of his son, even going so far as to say one-day Waystar could be all his. Satisfied, Josh agrees to keep his investments. As they return back to the estate, Logan and Kendall fight under their breath. Logan suddenly comes down with heat exhaustion, Josh and Kendall scrambling to get assistance to the remote part of the property.
As they prepare to leave Josh’s compound in separate plans, Kendall learns that Josh has pulled out, as the episode with Logan revealed weakness at the top. A brief glimpse out the plane and Kendall sees John embrace Stewy. Kendall’s deflated, but Logan’s relishing a brief regain in power, as Ravenhead’s attack on the President finally got Logan that call with the commander in chief. Logan mentions he can’t control his anchors, especially with a federal investigation. Logan’s got his leverage, but time will tell if it’s enough to retain power over his company and family.
- The most iconic line: Logan’s fatherly advice to Shiv. “Nothing is a line. Everything, everywhere is always moving, forever. Get used to it.”
- The MVP of the Episode: Kendall’s son Iverson’s pet rabbit. There’s a rabbit cam, the pet is living the high life in Kendall’s sweet high rise apartment.
- Best moment of silence: Logan and Kendall at the outdoor table. For 53 seconds, they sit alone and barely look at each other, the ocean waves and rustling wind the only sound until Logan breaks the silence with a “What?” to Kendall.
- Most Awkward Proposal: Tom tells Greg about Nero and Sporus, the true story about Roman Emperor Nero who killed his wife and then castrated and married slave Sporus. Tom says to Greg “I’d castrate you and marry you in a heartbeat.”
- While not a superlative, happy to see Karl digging into some takeout while working on negotiations with Stewy and Sandy.