Succession (S2E08) – Dundee: Winners and Losers

L to the oh boy… what an episode that was. The penultimate episode of HBO’s hit series Succession did not disappoint, yet there were many cringe-worthy moments (flawlessly executed by HBO, of course). Along with those, I also felt like we clearly defined some winners and losers of not only this episode but of possibly the entire season as well. So let us hop on our PJ’s and head out to Dundee to break these characters down.

Jennifer – Loser

So, Jennifer is clearly not going to be a recurring character moving forward, but the way Kendall bailed on her dropped her right into my loser category. I had a feeling something like this would happen the second Logan made his cringe face midway through his introduction to her, and I was right for the most part. She wasn’t even a crucial piece of the episode, but for the sole reason of Kendall having his assistant make her leave as he “got tied up” was a massive loss on her part.

Marcia Roy – Winner

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. I had Marcia on the winning side of the board from the get-go in this episode, mainly for her comments to Rhea about sleeping with Logan. Which, by the way, I am still not positive if that’s actually a thing or if the Roy family is just taking cracks at Rhea? Also, huge props to her for standing up to Logan at the end of the episode AND bailing on his plaque unveiling! But anyway, I’m very happy that we finally got more screen time out of Hiam Abbass’s character after what had been a huge dud of a season for her so far. After season one, I was totally bought into her being an integral piece of the entire Logan’s successor storyline. Apparently I could not have been more wrong, but the way things panned out for her last night could make her a touch more relevant again in season three.

Connor Roy – Loser

I did not think this was a good epi for the eldest Roy at all. In fact, the only positive that occurred for him was the success of his play, but that is also the thing that leads him to fall towards the losing side of the board in episode eight. Willa’s play is apparently hemorrhaging money, and infecting people (mainly cousin Gregory) with some sort of sand mite that is “perhaps thriving” on stage. This leads Connor to hatch out a plan to get his father involved in the play as a funder/backer of some sort, which fails miserably… three times. He also gets burned by Shiv at breakfast, loses a key actress of the play production to Kendall and their epic sex, and doesn’t have one person mention anything about him running for president. Even though he produced some great lines this episode, Connor, unfortunately, dropped into the loser zone with all fo the L’s he took throughout the rest of the episode.

Gregory “Cousin Greg” Hirsch – Winner

So from what I’m seeing online, many thought this episode dropped Greg’s stock on the season and are claiming that he fell into the loser category. But I could not disagree more! I think this episode was a massive success for his character, and that it may even open up an entirely different side of him in the seasons to come. He was trending towards loser up until his talk with Logan, which maybe I misinterpreted, but I thought it looked like Greg had something sparked here. Granted, who knows what will happen to poor Cousin Greg after Tom admits to not knowing him in the finale, but I still think he will escape an awful outcome and come out as a key player in season three. I think he will stand up to his grandfather and continue working at Waystar, and in doing so Ewan will decide to not withdraw Greg from the inheritance after all. Win-Win (hopefully) for Cousin Gregory.

Kendall Roy – Loser

Kendall was probably the most cringy thing about this entire episode. I thought just about everything he did was awful (yet flawlessly executed by Jeremy Strong), and not much he did was relevant to anything. He mentions at one point that he was most definitely out of his funk, but I’m pretty sure he’s about to slide back down into it after that awful “break-up” with Jennifer. Also, wtf happened with Kendall and Naomi!? I think at one point I heard them mention it had been eight weeks since the prior dealings took place. Are we just to assume that Kendall broke things off with her and is now on his tear through the women of the world? Him being head over heels for her until he realized his dad didn’t like was also a huge deciding factor for me. I was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, Kendall was breaking free and becoming himself again. But nope, still his father’s puppet lol. And last but not least, his performance. I almost couldn’t even watch this scene it was so awful. And I don’t mean awfully created or acted, I just mean that if it were real life it would’ve given me so much anxiety I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. I’m still hoping Kendall will snap out of it before the end of season two, but as of right now he’s slowly teetering on the edge of being an absolute mess again as he was at the end of season one.

Roman Roy – Winner

Roman, as usual, had a multitude of stupendous one-liners and comebacks throughout his time on screen, but overall wasn’t a massive player in this week’s episode. I think he will bring much more to the table next week, which ties directly to why I have him ranked as a winner for this episode. The potential reel in of Eduard Asgarov and his father’s money is absolutely huge for Roman (and Gerri?) and clearly will play some role in next week’s finale. Roman did take a small L in buying the wrong soccer team for his pops big day, but I didn’t think that was enough to overshadow the potential company saving deal that could be in the works.

Logan Roy – Loser

Pretty sure this was an obvious one. Logan could not catch a break to save his life this episode, and he still doesn’t even know that Shiv played him yet! He had his brother completely destroy him with regards to the cruise story, Marcia bailed on his plaque unveiling, Kendall sang the most awkward song of all time to him, and He’s more than likely going to lose Rhea (and quite possibly the company itself). I didn’t see a version of this story that ended without him at the reigns (or directly controlling the person with the reigns) when season two’s dust had settled, yet now its a very likely possibility we see a different Roy or someone from outside the company atop Logan’s baby.

Ewan Roy – Winner

Literally only on this list because he pulled a fast one on Logan. Such a power move by the older brother here, and if he has the stones, he may also be keeping about $250M of his will from Greg.

Rhea Jarrel – Loser

Another obvious choice here, even though she appeared to be the clear cut “winner” of Waystar Royco. Shiv was brilliantly deceptive throughout the last third of this episode, which is the main reason behind what will soon be Rhea’s demise. Along with that, she had Marcia destroy her with that STD question, Kendall murk her with that mention of Rose, and Shiv wrecks her AGAIN with the tidbit about her not drinking. Rhea did an excellent job staying positive and powering through all of the crap that the Roys threw at her, yet she will still be walking away from this week (and maybe this season) as the biggest loser.

Siobhan “Shiv” Roy – Winner

Well, well, well, look what the cat drug in… a feisty, manipulative, power-seeking Shiv! It was very nice to see Shiv the badass return to peak form this week, and even though I don’t think what she pulled will win her the company, it should definitely help her get her foot in the door at the bare minimum. This was the power move of all power moves, and I love the fact that she made the decision to ruin Rhea all by herself. She had it a little rough up until this point, you know with her siblings making fun of her and not taking her seriously, yet she mustered through and ended up on top. I think all the moves she made here will set up quite an interesting storyline going into the finale as well as the next season. I think I’ve officially hopped back onto the #ShivWagon.

And that’s a wrap. Another exquisite performance by all characters from the show and HBO itself. This was one of my favorite episodes of the season by far and I would probably rate it around a 9.5 out of 10. Be sure to check back next week for the Succession finale breakdown!

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