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‘Succession’ Sick Fuck of the Week: ‘The Disruption’

A Nirvana song becomes a weapon of mass destruction.

shiv roy of succession
HBO

Happy Monday!! You know what that means: another edition of our Succession Sick Fuck of the Week series. Last night’s episode, “The Disruption,” was full to the brim with sickness and fuckery, so let’s get right into it. Spoilers ahead, obviously.

  • Kendall starts this episode speaking with a journalist, who notes that he’s very concerned with the image he’s projecting. (The wayward son also misunderstands how to use “on background.”) He claims to be “just really happy in [his] headspace,” which seems to be definitively disproven by the end of the episode. (We’ll get there!) He doubles done on the “happy guy” bit by inventing a fun game that he plays with his team, “Good Tweet Bad Tweet.” Dasha (Comfry, a member of his crisis PR team) wins with a very bad tweet indeed, which calls Kendall’s crusade “sad.” To prove he has a great sense of humor and loves laughing at himself, he books himself as a guest on Sophie Iwobi’s (played by Ziwe) show, which is basically like Ziwe’s own viral program, after she did a biting segment diagnosing him with “Caucasian Rich Brain.” He comes off as extremely normal in the lead up to the show—he goes into the Waystar office to menace his family, fake-gifts Greg a $40,000 watch, and hectors the writing staff on Sophie’s show—but when Shiv’s open letter drops when he’s already at the studio, he can’t go on, and ends up cowering in some kind of control room as he watches news coverage of Waystar being raided by the FBI. After wandering the halls of the studio with a feverish gleam in his eye that becomes the look of a man haunted, his expression watching the raid is impassive—if anything, he looks slightly scared about the havoc he’s unleashed on his family’s business. It was a grim episode for our golden boy!

  • That brings us to Shiv, whom I actually ended up feeling kind of bad for at one (1) point in this episode. She “runs into” Kendall at a fictional Committee for the Protection and Welfare of Journalists gala, clearly on a mission for their father, where she pitches her brother on a “truth and reconciliation” approach to the Cruises scandal, arguing that the two of them could affect change from the inside, the only place she says change ever happens (lol!!). She also strongly discourages Kendall from coming into the office, and boy does that backfire. He comes in the day of the company’s town hall about the allegations he’s aired, and while Kendall doesn’t explicitly claim responsibility for the act, Shiv’s hosting the town hall, which is also her coming out as the new Domestic President or whatever of the company, is preempted by the titular Disruption: Nirvana’s “Rape Me” being blasted from every corner of the vaulted office building. The optics of Shiv standing in front of the company worldwide, a new face to counter the Cruises scandal, with “Rape Me” playing isn’t, shall we say, very good at all, and she leaves the stage clearly mortified. (“Sorry, Pinky,” Logan, clearly not a Kurt Cobain fan, tells her.) And because this family plays rough as hell, she responds by drafting an open letter full of faux-concern for Kendall’s history of addiction, being an absentee father, and his own problematic relationships with women, among other ills. The letter is so toxic that even Connor and Roman won’t jump on board, with Connor dubbing it a “Times New Roman firing squad.” She also seems to see a certain benefit to Tom maybe going to prison.

  • Speaking of Tom, his biggest move this episode comes after he gets an outside legal opinion on his plight. That second opinion tells him that he’ll almost certainly face prison time as the head of Cruises; he drunkenly tests the waters with Shiv about whether there could be any potential “benefit” to making himself the sacrificial lamb by taking the fall for the company. His Lady Macbeth wife plays mind games about the whole thing, first saying that would be crazy, then pivoting to the equivalent of “haha…..unless…” As Logan is waiting in the wings to do politicking, Tom makes him the offer, and Logan seems genuinely touched, telling him, “It won’t come to that, but…” Tom calmly speed walks out of there to call a law firm to set up a consultation with Rex Hendon, a character I don’t think we’re aware of yet. If I had to put money on this, I’d be inclined to bet Tom is working an angle here, not being totally altruistic in offering to take the fall. But! Being forced into a polyamorous marriage on your wedding night could make a man do strange things. In his henchman work trying to control Greg, Tom also uses the line “DOJ is going to be like a combine harvester in a wheat field of dicks” this episode. Classic Succession!

  • Greg doesn’t have a ton to do this episode, save for playing “Good Tweet, Bad Tweet” with Team Kendall and thinking his now-sorta-boss is giving him a very expensive watch to reward his loyalty. Turns out it was not a gift, but poor Greg buys it anyway, likely in part because Dasha compliments his wrists. Sexy!! Tom also moves him into a new, windowless office. Things continue to go great for Cousin Greg!

  • Meanwhile, the noose seems to be tightening a bit for Logan. After checking Gerri’s power as “acting” CEO, he leans on a senior advisor to the president, who tells him the White House and him want the same things in all this. Still, it’s clearly not the show of support Logan’s looking for, especially after reminding the advisor how much Waystar did to help get the president elected. Logan also tells a number of people to fuck off in this episode: first, process servers, who in my personal experience do NOT fuck off when asked, and then, in the end, the actual FBI coming to HQ with search warrant in hand. Gerri sternly reminds him that that the FBI won’t just “fuck off,” and Logan agrees to “cooperate,” a charged word given Kendall’s potential cooperation with the DOJ. Earlier on, he asks Shiv whether she trusts him on all the “hullabaloo,” and she doesn’t say yes all that convincingly, but he assures her that nothing in the docs will make her ashamed of him, blaming “bad apples” and “salty moves.” Feels like a lie that she doesn’t seem to buy, but time will tell! Logan also rakes Roman over the coals for keeping out of Shiv’s open letter, calling him a “smart little fucking cookie” and a “faggot” in the process. Ugly stuff, even for this family.

  • Poor Roman, kind of! He’s not super in the action this episode, but, as always, he has a couple good lines, including using the word “peni.” During the confrontation with his father, who doesn’t remember the fly fishing anecdote Roman trotted out for an interview, he reveals Connor took him on the trip, not Logan. The man can’t come up with one single nice memory of his father, which is not surprisingly, but still pretty dark.

  • Gerri is also sidelined this episode, which is also how she’s being treated in the business. After she green-lights moving forward on a deal with an Israeli machine-learning thing, Logan kills the deal moments later. (“I just hope our acting CEO isn’t getting too fucking ‘acting,’ Logan says of Gerri.)

  • Lastly, an honorable mention in our Sick Fuck Olympics: Hugo Baker, the Waystar PR guy played by Fisher Stevens, who trotted out this season’s “We hear for you”—”We get it”—for a full-page media response to Kendall’s interview. Hugo’s impressed by his “funky” messaging, but it’s catnip for Shiv and Roman, who riff, “We get it already. Stop moaning about the rapes” and “We get it … a bit like those ladies on the cruise ship got it?” respectively.

As you know, there can only be one Discourse Blog Succession Sick Fuck of the Week. While Kendall, our episode two winner, was as always a strong contender—and looks quite literally sick in the head at various points, and the “Rape Me” stunt was an actual jaw-dropping moment—the hands down sicko this week has to be Shiv. The gloves came completely off with her letter, and it resulted in our first moment of Kendall looking truly dejected since this season began. We love a savage queen!