While the Roy siblings are currently going through the stages of grief as they come to terms with the death of their father, ‘Living+’ finds them in the process of negotiation. While for many people this manifests as “what if” or “if only” statements, for Kendall and Roman it means an attempt to literally beat death. In the days following Logan’s passing, the brothers found many excuses for their feelings. Kendall spoke to her “grief guy,” pre-griefed Roman, but in the end, the sadness continued to seep in unhealthy outbursts. Finally, in “Living+”, they acknowledge their feelings for a moment (“I just didn’t see it coming,” Roman admits to his brother), but seconds later they go back to their Roy ways, doing jokes and make bad business decisions based on their unwieldy emotions. The result is another 60 minutes of flawed leadership from Waystar’s new CEOs, with Shiv picking up the pieces behind them. At this point, it looks like she’s able to take the Succession crown and “win” the series, but with four episodes remaining, a lot could change. So, we’re checking in on where our tragic trio stand after episode six, because with all Succession’With fast-paced dialogue, quick cuts, and heavy business jargon, it’s become easier than ever to fall behind.
She may have been shunned by her brothers, but Shiv is becoming the star of Succession season four. From his travels and relationships with Matsson to his endless games with Tom, Shiv undoubtedly emerges from his father’s death the strongest of his siblings (Connor, as usual, not included). In any other context, a programmed scream would seem totally unhealthy, but at least it’s more productive than firing two of your company’s executives in one day, or convincing yourself that you can sell eternal life. Shiv has never been well adjusted, but all things considered, she seems to be doing well these days. Of course, that ignores the fact that she’s currently with a child (which she clearly has no problem with). But hey, at least she didn’t drink this episode.
Shiv begins episode six with another one-on-one with Matsson in a scene that I’m sure was inspired by Kylie Jenner’s controversial “His and Hers” private jet Instagram post. Once the flirting of the rich is out of the way, Shiv proves that while she’s willing to work with Matsson, she doesn’t give in to his billionaire whims. Her maneuvers in “Living+” demonstrate the importance of behind-the-scenes brokers, because while she may have been eyed for the CEO job, Shiv has more influence than ever. As her brothers continue to fuss, Shiv makes her cry, moves on, and ends the episode with a clean win. Also, everything she plans with Tom seems to be going well. (I mean, nothing says power couple comeback like throwing an election party.) It seems she’s finally decided it’s better to have Tom on her side than against her, and she will endure the bites (both literal and metaphorical) if it means moving forward.
Kudos are in order to Roman, who has officially replaced Kendall as the Roy family’s resident sad boy. While he and Kendall have proven in a record 48 hours that they aren’t fit to run a multi-billion dollar company, at least Kendall is having a little fun with it. Roman, meanwhile, seems to be the one struggling the most with Logan’s passing. If you believe fan theories, the co-CEO is increasingly dependent on pills and wears his father’s old Ralph Lauren sweaters as part of his grieving process. But even if these deep cuts are made by fans, there is enough real evidence to prove that Roman is really in trouble. Last week’s outburst at Matsson was just the start, and now he’s tossing people left and right, becoming oddly philosophical (he’s not wrong though, death do feel very unique) – and is it just me, or are his insults getting weaker and cruder? He also seems to be more malleable than ever – as if the last person in his ear will get his vote. He was ready to sell GoJo for Kendall and then pump Living+ data, but when Shiv comes along and questions the plan, he’s no longer interested in donning matching flight jackets with his CE-Bro. In fact, Roman is a relative non-factor for the last third of the episode. In the end, he runs off to torture himself with a poorly edited and even more poorly timed joke, comforted by his father’s voice hurling insults at him as if wrapping him in one of Logan’s old sweaters.
That doesn’t mean Ken is okay. Obviously, all the kids are struggling, which begs the question: why didn’t they postpone this product launch? They just went after Matsson for forcing them to go to Norway days after their father died, but they’re not ready to put off an investor presentation for a few days? The Waystar family would surely understand. At the very least, if they had given it a few weeks, the AI would have caught up and could have edited that video of Logan more convincingly. With current technology available, they could put their late father in a hypebeast pump, have him date Trump, or show the bird to the public (to be fair, that last image probably actually exists).
But alas, the show must go on – and when I say the show, I mean the spectacular. Forget simple keynotes: Kendall wants sets, special effects, and matching jackets for him and his brother, all to distract from the fact that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. In the end, though, he’s lucky, managing to put on a pretty decent presentation (I guess? Honestly, I don’t know why everyone was SO happy with how it turned out), brush off a Holocaust joke from Matsson and get a bright beach protest after a long day at work. I would say things started looking up for Ken at the last scene, if he didn’t end the episode floating in the ocean. As we know, Kendall and water don’t mix, and I couldn’t help but get a chill when the credits rolled on this shot.