“Are There Any Positives About the Nightmare We’ve Shared?”
Succession finale thoughts.
“Tern Haven,” season two episode five, was always one of my favorite episodes of Succession. For what feels like the first time, we get to see the Roy family sweat. They’re guests at the Pierce family enclave; the Pierces are the Roys if they were blue blooded and liberal and self-righteous. The Pierces are all bourgeois East Coast linen and Ivy League and heady poetry. Everything about the Roy family, by contrast, comes from the gut. The stakes feel even higher than if someone was arrested or if someone died: can they get over all their personal shit and just act like everything’s fine for one night? Every member of the Roy family has a breakdown in their own special little way. Kendall is tasked with charming Naomi Pierce, a fellow addict in recovery. Later that night they drink and kiss and she looks him in the eyes and gets one the best lines on the whole series: “You’re such a little nothing, aren’t you?”
Succession was never a show about winning or losing, because it was so clearly about losers: every episode, every season, the main characters were always spinning their wheels, looking for angles that weren’t there, eating shit, getting fucked. Even when they won (Kendall sticking it to his dad at the end of season two), they lost (his siblings promptly bullying him a few hours later, in the season three premiere). Their love language is screaming matches in glass rooms; their attachment style is whatever gets me just a little bit ahead of you, even if we’re both at the bottom.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial