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‘Succession’ Sick Fuck of the Week: ‘Retired Janitors of Idaho’

The rich get richer and the sick get sicker.

HBO

Last Thursday when I volunteered to write this week’s Succession recap, I immediately took to Wikipedia to see how many eps are left in the season (at the time it was five, now it’s only four!!!) and the title of the episode I had volunteered to recap. I then sent this Slack message to Jack: “​​sunday’s ep is called ‘Retired Janitors of Idaho.’ gonna have to think on that one,” to which he replied “probably some people logan killed.”

 Spoilers ahead, of course.

While a phenomenal guess, Jack was wrong. The title is actually pulled from a line of dialogue from Roman, who, upon hearing that the Waystar Royco shareholder vote might really come to pass, says: “Great, voting. Let’s just throw it open to the fucking retired janitors of Idaho.” (As Ben Travers at IndieWire noted, the Roys are quite fond of belittling janitors. Like we’ve been saying, they’re sick fucks!)

Indeed, our ragtag team of vile billionaires and their cronies really found themselves in quite a pickle this week. Ultimately, they were able to make a deal and avoid the vote, which means the family and the company will live to fight another day, but not without getting pretty messy in the process. As always, pretty much every character on this show could be awarded our prestigious “Sick Fuck of the Week,” but there are only a true few contenders this time around and of course, there can only be one winner. 

So, whose cuisine reigns supreme? Who’s in and who’s out? Who’s star baker? This episode really pushed the boundaries of sickness and forced me to expand our traditional use of the word in this recap series. You’ll see. Let’s go. 

  • The rabbit will probably not make it through the season, let alone the next episode. For being sick and dying, we must pay our respects. RIP rabbit—at least you got to enjoy a proper New York bagel. 
  • The invisible dead cat under Logan’s chair is beyond sick, it’s DEAD and INVISIBLE, but also deserves a mention. RIP cat, and salutations to the security guard who pretended to capture it in a brown paper bag and run out of the room. Never a dull moment in the land of the filthy rich.  
  • Logan was incapacitated for much of the episode due to not taking his UTI medication (according to my Google search, this is indeed a thing) so he’s also “sick,” even if not technically ~thee~ Sick Fuck of the Week. That said, I would give the award to actor Brian Cox this week if I could because holy hell is that man good at playing someone who is unstable and delirious. My heart was RACING as he descended into delirium and threw everything into pure chaos. 
  • Connor is still doing his gentle blackmailing and trying to launch a political career, and while I am a bit concerned that this thumb of a man is actually going to become a Washington power player (please, Veep already DID THIS), his threats and manipulation are still pretty innocuous in the realm of the mighty Roys. He’s sick, but he’s not that sick. 
  • Tom is really making my mind spin this season. What is that man up to?? I truly cannot figure out if he’s playing some sort of long game, or is truly the prison-bound puppy dog he’s posturing to be. In any case, men, hello: don’t track your wife’s cycle unless she wants you to, okay?? Also, the thought of Shiv pregnant? Can you imagine??? It literally never crossed my mind that any of these people would procreate, but then I remembered Kendall already has, lol. Again, RIP in advance to the rabbit and welcome to trauma, Kendall’s kids. Anyway, while Tom has my mind spinning, our next contender is simply spinning out…
  • Kendall has a chronic case of not being in touch with the mortifying ordeal of being known this season. In fact, he has a mortifying desperation to be seen basically at all times, even without a game plan, and that Sick Fuck instinct got the better of him this week when he slithered on stage at the shareholders meeting to little interest or acclaim before promptly having his mic cut. Sick instincts with a not-so-sick outcome. Also, “The Sermon on the Marriott” reference really sent me because of that recent news story about a family discovering that the body of their dead grandfather, which was supposed to be donated to science, was in fact dissected in front of an audience at an “oddities” event in an Oregon Marriott. Frankly, the Roys wish they could channel something that dark and twisted.
  • Shiv made some serious moves while daddy was sick in bed this week, and daddy did not like it one bit!! While it remains to be seen whether her deal with Sandy and Sandi was ultimately the right path (I doubt it), Shiv’s forceful brokering despite knowing Logan’s desires (“Fuck em” aka no deal) was self-serving, conniving, and absolutely sick. I’m frankly still sort of surprised that everyone else let it happen, but maybe the whole thing is a sign that she is Logan’s best option of a successor?? We already knew she was a savage sicko, but her savage sicko-ness might actually reach Logan levels by the time the season is over?? Thrilling. And while she performed some serious, skirt suit-clad crookedness this week, Shiv was no match for the ultimate sick fuck of the episode. That honor goes to….Cousin Greg.
  • Greg can’t sue his grandfather so he’s suing Greenpeace. Greenpeace!!! What an incredible late stage swoop from tall Greg to take the crown of Sick Fuck of the Week. Last week, Crosbie said that Greg wouldn’t be the SFotW anytime soon, but this terrible boy proved us wrong! We didn’t think you had it in you, Gregory. Your place in hell is secure. Good luck with the DOJ investigation!!