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‘Succession’ Sick Fuck of the Week: ‘Chiantishire’

I screamed 'fucking hell!' and had to turn the episode off.

HBO

Spoilers, duh.

So it has become clear that the makers of Succession are reading our recaps! How else do you explain this moment?

Anyone who says “this episode was done months ago, what are you talking about,” leave now. Calling out sickos on Succession? That’s our thing! And “Chiantishire” was, without question, the most sicko-centric episode of the season thus far. There is so much sicko-ness going on that it’s hard to recap it all, let alone come to any reasonable conclusion. But that is what you pay me for, so here I go.

  • We’ll start light, with Connor. It says something about this episode that Connor trying to railroad Willa into the world’s hastiest and most cynical marriage proposal of all time counts as relatively benign behavior, but here we are. (Willa has the air of someone deeply examining her life choices. I suggest running away!) Connor is gross and bad, but there’s no way he wins the fight this week.
  • Greg is having a very slow-burn descent into sicko-ness, but he’s not there yet. He is really feeling himself these days, which is why he tries putting the moves on both Comfry and a vaguely identified member of some royal family or other. Greg has clearly decided that he deserves to be as sick as anyone else around him, but he’s just doing stretches really.
  • OK, now we start the descent. It’s all terrible from here. Let’s move over to Tom, who is much more the sickee than the sicko this week. Tom’s problem is that he still feels like his marriage and his relationship with Shiv is something that is worth protecting and respecting and working on and trying to fix. He is alone in this view. But I’ll get into that more with the Shiv entry.
  • Caroline, the Roy matriarch, is another example of how sick this episode is, because she is fucking awful throughout and she’s nowhere near getting the top prize. She straight-up tells Shiv that she was a bad daughter and that it was a mistake to have any children at all instead of getting dogs. She also tells Kendall that he’s not allowed at half of the wedding events because Logan doesn’t want him there. No wonder these kids were doomed—they were being punched in the face in every direction.
  • OK, now we enter the true big leagues. Brace yourselves. Any of the following people could claim the trophy. Let’s start with Roman. Two things in retrospect. First, he was clearly headed for a major fall. Hubris and all that. Second, Gerri telling him “stop sending me dick pics” was, it turned out, epic foreshadowing! (It brings a whole new meaning to the concept of Chehkov’s gun.) When he sent the dick pic, I literally screamed “fucking hell!!!” and not only did I pause the show, I clicked all the way out of the episode. It was, in one sense, deserved punishment for Roman, who has been unbearably disgusting for the last few weeks, but Christ was it awful. His body practically turned inside out at the horror. And now he is getting Gerri into trouble too! What a scumbag.
  • Shiv was similarly dreadful this week. First, her version of bedroom banter with Tom was monstrous, someone using the flimsy excuse of dirty talk to say, to his face, what we all know: that he means next to nothing to her. (Telling him that she wants a baby because of what her mother said was also quite wrong.) When the time came to clean things up, she even repeated to Tom that she didn’t love him. Come on!!! Then there was the way she pounced on the Roman debacle, viewing it not as a terrible situation but as a mistake to be exploited. Her scene with Gerri was uncomfortably reminiscent of her long-ago encounter with the Waystar sexual assault survivor; both times, she was deploying the language of feminist solidarity while working assiduously to destroy a woman who stood in her way. Gerri’s horror about what might come next was palpable.
  • However, I am afraid that nobody can touch Logan this week. His dinner with Kendall—which, let us not forget, began with him using his own grandson as a poison tester—was, as Kendall rightly put it, pretty evil stuff: psychologically and spiritually destructive and reliant on a level of such cruel specificity, such pinpointed attacks on all of Kendall’s weak spots, that it almost took your breath away. Logan is right, of course, that Kendall is complicit beyond belief, that he literally has blood on his hands, but there is a small part of Kendall that wants to be better. No equivalent section of Logan exists. And, as a side note, his comments about Gerri were appalling. Logan has not always been the center of attention this season, but he remains like the sun: no matter how long it lurks in the background, it still has the capacity to emerge from the gloom and burn you to a crisp. Logan is the Sick Fuck of the Week.
  • You will notice I left Kendall out of the rankings, and that is because his arc this episode was so terribly sad. He is a defeated and lost soul, and the final scene portends nothing good to come. I hope he’s OK.