Last week, former PGM CEO Rhea Jarell entered Logan’s circle of trust and started playing the Roy family game better than any member of the actual Roy family. Of course, everybody else is still scheming to seize the reins of power for themselves. The question is: With all of the Roy children floundering, who is in position to become a threat to Logan?
Kate Knibbs: After literally shitting the bed (after literally killing someone) Kendall might seem like he’s out of the running to succeed Logan in Succession. He’s certainly said as much, and he does look like a major long shot. But that doesn’t mean he’s not still a threat to his domineering dad—he most certainly is, and in a few different ways. First of all, our number one incontinent boy is in charge of giving his father his medicine, and … well … it’s not the wisest idea to place a wildly unstable person who is heavily using substances in charge of caring for anything of vital importance to one’s health.
And apart from his capacity to incapacitate his pops by deliberately screwing with his meds while all coked up, and/or forgetting doses and/or improperly dosing him, Kendall is also just a liability to hang out with right now. He almost drunk-flew a helicopter! Logan’s scary, but he’s physically fragile, and being around someone with a recent track record of crashing or nearly crashing into shit puts him at risk. Finally, for all his fuck-ups, Kendall did get the closest to corporate skullduggery last season, and he’s still more likely than Shiv or Roman to come up with a new and novel way to use treachery to destroy the family business. Right now, Kendall may be reduced to a sniveling pawn, but he could still topple the Waystar-Royco king.
Ben Lindbergh: “When I am with someone, I am with them,” Marcia told Logan at the Argestes retreat. The corollary could be that when she isn’t with someone, she’s against them. Lately, Logan hasn’t been with Marcia much: He’s dismissed her from a meeting with Shiv, kept her in the dark about the company’s plans, tried to cut off both her words and her wine intake at Tern Haven, and most recently replaced her with Rhea—not only, perhaps, as a companion and confidant, but also as a sexual partner.
Marcia, who helped hide Logan’s infirmities and fend off the family’s power grabs after his stroke in Season 1, isn’t a figure to be trifled with, and Logan’s condescension could come back to bite him. Like Shiv, the other Roy recently excluded from Logan’s inner circle, Marcia has clapped back before, delivering a withering private rebuke before dinner with the Pierces—“I’m very excited to be getting top marks along with your other pupils”—and then overruling Logan (and dissing his wine cellar) during dinner. A Marcia-Shiv alliance could derail Logan’s relationship with Rhea, further weakening his hold on Waystar Royco’s reins amid the outside takeover attempt.
When Marcia told her husband, “I know who you are,” it sounded almost touching, but she may have meant it in a more menacing way. Last week, Logan was worried about being backstabbed by his ex-wife. Maybe it’s his current wife he should worry about.
Gerri and Roman
Katie Baker: Gerri may not have been too thrilled by the “Rock Star and the Mole Woman” branding Roman came up with for his proposed corporate takeover collab, but the Jagger-Tarzan with the little dick just may have been onto something. For years, Gerri has known all of Waystar Royco’s secrets, from the massive strings-attached debt to the cruise ship assaults to the personal weaknesses of the company scions. She’s competent, sufficiently soulless, and, were Logan to croak tomorrow, she’d technically be the one in charge. (She also has reason to be pissed: There have been numerous points this season when Logan totally negged her when it comes to her proximity to power.) And then there’s Roman, who on the surface seems like the most unserious of the Roy kids but who even Rhea and Logan recognize might actually have the potential to be a cutthroat conglomerate leader one day. Again and again, traditional resistance to Logan has been unsuccessful on Succession. It’s time for a two-front assault with an objectively rad name.
Dan Devine: Logan’s ongoing emotional abuse—deploying a spiraling Kendall as his hatchet man and forcing him to tag along to apologize to the family of the waiter he killed, subjecting Shiv to the same Lucy-yanking-the-football-away shit he ran on Kendall over the CEO job—has turned his children into his combatants, and maybe, after the way things shook out in London, unlikely allies. His physical abuse of Roman—yes, my guy, you really did knock his tooth out—has his typically cowed younger son partnering with Gerri in a team-up that’s, um, intriguing on multiple levels. He’s also gotten in bed (maybe literally?) with Rhea Jarrell, a sharp and ruthless operator who might actually be the sort of “you just invited me into the chicken coop, and I’m gonna eat you all, one by fucking one” threat that Vaulter’s Lawrence Yee promised to pose in Season 1.
The bill’s coming due for decades of disregard for the lives and affairs of his perceived lessers, which allowed the horrors in the cruises division to fester unchecked until they metastasized into a problem so massive that even $25 billion couldn’t make it go away. He ignores his doctor’s counsel, continuing to go full speed ahead with a brain hemorrhage barely in the rearview mirror, which could be contributing to unpleasant moments like projectile vomiting in a crowded restaurant at the crème de la crème ideas conference where he’s trying to close the deal that he needs to maintain control of his company. Perhaps even more dangerous: He’s ignoring his wife, Marcia, who wields power as both Logan’s next of kin/proxy and one of the very few people in the world who knows the full truth of what Kendall did, and who sure as shit didn’t seem to appreciate being boxed out of the strategic discussions over the PGM deal and the idea of Siobhan-as-successor. “I know who you are,” she told Logan at Argestes, and while that might have been a statement of support in the moment, it’s also not too far away from a threat.
I don’t know who or what will wind up taking Logan Roy down; you don’t get to be as old and as rich as he is without being awfully hard to kill. It seems likely, though, that whatever it is, we’ll be able to trace it back to his own hand—that it won’t be an incidental meteor that eventually culls this dinosaur.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.