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SUCCESSION S4E2: “Rehearsal”

by Travlis Hallingquest
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Logan lost the battle for PGM last episode, but the war amongst the Roys is far from a conclusion. To make amends for PGM falling into the hands of his estranged offspring, Logan makes an impromptu visit to ATN’s (Waystar’s media vision) newsroom. He directs Tom to give a Segway for a speech that is oddly unprofessional (courtesy of Logan’s trademark explicit talk) and inspiring. Meanwhile, Kendall, Shiv and Roman are en route to Connor’s wedding rehearsal, but their father intentionally has the Roy company helicopter take off without its intended passengers. It is simultaneously frustrating and entertaining to see Kendall, Shiv and Roman constantly attempt to defeat their father in business deals, but they need his money and infrastructure for this perpetual endeavor and for mere leisure travel.

Succession_S4E2Pic2-300x275The exploits of Tom and Greg continue to never disappoint. Tom sends Greg to do his dirty work: fire Carrie. But Carrie is not being let go from her duties as Logan’s personal assistant (henchwoman). Far from that but still embarrassing, Carrie is being fired from a job that she has not yet been hired for -lead news anchor for ATN. Carrie’s audition tape is horrendous, and Logan is reluctant to break the news to his mistress (this is heavily implied) that she is no Katie Couric. Greg awkwardly and hilariously tells Carrie a bullshit story that a focus group says she needs work before going on air. Greg and Tom are the appropriate comedy relief that still propels this drama forward. The Shiv and Tom situation hits an all-time low, when Tom is revealed to have had assistance from Logan in procuring the best divorce lawyers in NYC.

The trio is late for Connor’s wedding rehearsal but Connor is not upset about their late arrival. He is distracted by his bride-to-be’s announcement that she is having second thoughts. The siblings go to a hole-in-the-wall bar to have Connor calm his nerves. Roman has been secretly in contact with his father and tells his brothers and sister that Logan is inbound to talk, much to Shiv and Kendall’s chagrin.

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Logan meets with the siblings at the karaoke bar to convince them to allow the GoJo (the big transaction from last season) sale to go through, but Kendall and Shiv refuse to make peace with their father. Roman and Connor attempt to hear their father out, and Logan actually apologizes for his recent actions. Shiv and Kendall do not trust their father’s expression of regret, and Logan tells them all “I love you all but you are not serious people”.

Succession_S4E2Pic4-300x205Roman goes to see Logan later in the evening, and the patriarch offers Roman the top position ATN. Logan emphasizes that he doesn’t just want his youngest child for the job, he NEEDS Roman. Despite being the most cynical of the Roy children, Roman is the least spiteful. His nervous ticks are quasi-Tourette syndrome in nature, but this is the youngest Roy’s way to address the turmoil in the inner family circle. Roman continues to feel guilty and saddened by the estrangement from the family patriarch. He is essentially putty in his father’s hands.

REHEARSAL is one of the saddest episodes in HBO’s history of 9pm ET dramas. There were no mass and/or surprising deaths as seen in GAME OF THRONES or THE WIRE.  There were no terminally ill persons as seen in the SIX FEET UNDER or ANGELS IN AMERICA. However, the scene with the Roy children and Logan in the same room had as much tension as cables on a swaying suspension bridge. Connor returns home to find his fiancé’ in their bed. Earlier in REHEARSAL, Connor says “I am a plant that grows on rocks that live off insects that die inside of me.” This is one of the coldest lines this reviewer has heard since the ending of the DEADWOOD film.

Next week we will see whose side Roman is on and if Connor’s wedding actually transpires. SUCCESSION returns Sunday, April 9, 2023, at 9PM on HBO.

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