The Sweet Smell of Succession

Season 1 Recap

Episode Summary

David and Tara are making a Succession podcast! In this preview episode, they recap Season 1 and talk about what they're most looking forward to in Season 2.

Episode Notes

David and Tara are making a Succession podcast! In this preview episode, they recap Season 1 and talk about what they're most looking forward to in Season 2.

Episode Transcription

Succession is about the Roy family -- who are definitely not the Murdochs. Patriarch Logan Roy (who is played by Brian Cox and is certainly not supposed to remind you of Rupert Murdoch) started a gigantic media conglomerate called Waystar Royco -- which is not News Corp., and which has generated obscene wealth not just for himself, but for his four children.

Connor, played by Alan Ruck, doesn't really do much; he's trying to make a real relationship with a woman named Willa despite the fact that he originally met her when he hired her as a call girl. Her ambition is to make it as a playwright, and Connor is so desperate to get her to commit to him that he's willing to bankroll and stage her projects. By the end of Season 1, he has decided, out of the blue, to run for president; from his readings, he has decided that the two biggest problems facing the country are usury and onanism.

Shiv (short for Siobhan), played by Sarah Snook, is a successful political consultant who, early in the season, gets a candidate elected to the U.S. Senate. Her ex, Nate, then recruits her to join him in working on a presidential campaign for Gil Eavis, a Bernie Sanders-esque candidate determined to challenge Royco's media dominance, specifically as exerted through ATN, a Fox News-ish cable network. Shiv is also totally still sleeping with Nate even though he's engaged to someone else we have yet to meet, and she's engaged to Tom Wamsgans (played by Matthew McFadyen), who oversees Royco's hospitality companies.

Speaking of which: this also compromises Greg (Nicholas Hirsch) -- a Roy cousin through his grandfather, Logan's mostly estranged brother Ewan (James Cromwell). Greg is looking to move up the Royco ladder and will pretty much do whatever he's told to get there, which is how Tom ends up roping him into covering up the cover-up of a series of sex crimes, and possibly worse, on the company's cruise ships. Late in the season, Greg lets Kendall know he kept back some evidence from what Tom directed him to destroy, for insurance purposes...but we'll get to Kendall.

Before Kendall, we can quickly mention Roman (played by Kieran Culkin), the least accomplished and most obnoxious of the Roy children, who gets to be COO during Logan's health crisis but seems extremely unqualified to do the job.

Kendall, played by Jeremy Strong, is the most highly placed Roy heir at Royco. In the series premiere, he's just negotiated the purchase of a web enterprise called Vaulter, which is definitely not Gawker. The series premiere is also Logan's birthday; Kendall is pretty sure Logan is about to retire and name Kendall as his replacement. That doesn't happen. What does happen is that Logan suffers a medical crisis, and Kendall maneuvers to take over as acting CEO -- which is when he learns that Logan has borrowed funds irresponsibly and put the company in jeopardy. While Logan is somewhat out of commission, Kendall schemes to get him removed with a no-confidence vote from the board of directors, but fucks it up (due in large part to Roman switching sides at the last minute) and gets himself and his co-conspirators fired. A veteran of rehab for substance abuse, Kendall then falls off the wagon in a major way -- but is then approached about mounting another assault on Royco with the help of one of its biggest rivals. Kendall's big mouth means they have to speed up their timetable, and still, everything seems to be pointing toward a win this time...until Kendall gets in a cater-waiter's car to go score more drugs, drives them off a bridge and into a river, and accidentally kills the waiter. Logan's private security staff figure everything out, and Logan blackmails Kendall into dropping his takeover attempt in exchange for covering up his crime.