This article contains spoilers for episode 5 of the final season of “Succession”.
This week was back to business for the Roys. The “CE-Bros” took big swings, leaving a trail of high-profile layoffs in their wake as they shook things up and attempted to close the deal with Matsson. If we were to follow Kendall’s version of the story, we’d say, “Dynamic duo Waystar shake up their management team,” the bottom line being that the pair “might have what it takes to turn things around.” as he told Roman.
It all came to a head during a shareholder presentation, where the Roys and associates held their breath as they watched Kendall present a new project. He even had flight jackets custom-made to signal the new roles he and his brother had taken on as pilots for the company’s trip to the moon. Meanwhile, Shiv was pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Jessica Testa: I wonder if people who take their shoes and socks off on planes feel validated by this week’s episode.
Vanessa Friedmann: The barefoot moment made it possible to imagine Matsson showing up one day completely naked. He flashed all kinds of skins at different times. We get pieces from him to put the puzzle together.
JT: An intriguing proposal!
Guy Trebay: And a good point, considering all the anxious genital hints. “Big, big shoes,” as Kendall kept saying on stage. He was afraid of not being able to fill his father’s. And then there was Roman and the mic… well, too bad.
Stella Bugbee: Matsson has great shoes, but he chooses not to wear them. He doesn’t follow the rules very well.
GT: I kept thinking that what the various male characters needed, styling-wise, was a straightjacket.
VF: And not a flight jacket?
GT: Cringe, with the name patch reading CEO.
JT: And make a matching one for your brother, who refuses to wear it…
Anna Grace Lee: How about Shiv’s in-flight look? Was it some kind of bustier?
SB: Unusually, she bared her neck. A sign that she is more open, perhaps?
JT: Plan a shoutout in a casual bustier: The Shiv Roy Story.
AGL: “Are you planning your mourning? hitting so hard.
GT: Just like “Don’t get mud on my confirmation dress.” Also, she the post-coital gaze was borderline human.
VF: How about Tom, asking her if she would “throw away all your stuff for love”. Obviously not.
JT: Tom’s admission of liking really nice things also makes it clear that he’s still not a Roy. On the one hand, it implies that he has, in the past, lived without being surrounded by very beautiful things (and has no interest in returning to this life).
AGL: I appreciated that he just came out and said it. “I really, really, really love my career and my money. And, you know, the suits and my watches. Far from its ‘ridiculously bulky bag’ burn.
SB: And yet, that’s why he’s able to distill what a purse of ridiculous proportions means – he’s still assessing where everyone sits on the wealth matrix.
GT: But he has no real sense of what constitutes quality. He just knows what is expensive, and that is the infamous Patek Philippe incident. And the level of taste that wardrobe people attribute to it—all that tone-on-tone—signals the absence of class. The Roys may be nouveau riche, but they’ve had at least a generation to smooth out the rough patches.
VF: What do you think of Roman’s defenestration outfit?
AGL: Roman usually opts for suits while Kendall opts for a corporate bro in baseball caps and jeans.
GT: They go into these dissociative states and yet are costumed to suggest that they are not disintegrating emotionally. My standout moment was Logan Roy appearing posthumously, the great and beautiful Oz.
JT: Logan’s reappearance was such a jump scare.
VF: Especially with him in front of the green screen, like his own kind of paradise. This gave the episode a surreal cast. No matter how hard they try, the brothers will never be free from their father’s ghost.
GT: Never. An enduring TV trope: Roman re-enacting Logan’s cruel repression in the car over and over again.
SB: I assumed Cousin Greg had the video editor manipulate the sound to get Logan to say those words. But I like that they don’t explain it. Logan may have said it! This obviously struck a chord. Does Roman need to hear this to elicit an emotional reaction to his father’s death?
VF: By the way, as a subtle riposte to Kendall’s flight jacket, I loved Shiv’s pinstripe jumpsuit. That’s how corporate raiders get off the ground.
GT: Shiv has found his calling, in terms of “Succession” mode.
AGL: Maybe unrelated, but what about the “biting” game between Tom and Shiv?
VF: It was perverse.
GT: So many of their physical interactions are disturbing. The sneakers, that naughty earlobe fit, the biting game. Suggestion: At the end of the season, a highlight reel of the greatest icks.