We are now in the second half of the final season of HBO’s satirical masterpiece SUCCESSION. Episode six begins with co-CEOs Roman and Kendall reviewing footage of their late father. As one would expect of the Roy family, the brothers are not reminiscing on family reunions or vacations. It is business as usual, and the brothers are aiming to resurrect an old but bold vision of Logan Roy. The CEOs are directing their marketing team to edit Logan’s voice to make the promise that Living + will considerably increase the operating revenue of the corporation. Living + is revealed to be an assisted luxury living community that will substantially increase the living conditions of its inhabitants. The footage is raw and unedited, thus we are treated to Logan berating the filming team and calling them incompetent just like “his dumb fucking children”. From the realm of the dead, Logan Roy still manages to hurl insults.
Roman and Kendall’s co-CEO expenditure is seemingly working, however, Roman appears to be the more power-hungry of the duo. Roman meets with Joy, the head of film and television production for Waystar. Joy is acutely aware of the cuts that are happening amongst the staff of Waystar, but Roman abruptly terminates her tenure. We are unaware if Roman’s claims of lack of confidence are true since this executive was not on Mattson’s ‘kill list”. Later, Gerri takes Roman aside and ridicules his decision to terminate Joy. Gerri said this decision would need to be run by the board and the legal department. Roman then seemingly fires Gerri. Kendall is informed of this decision and is temporally taken aback by his younger sibling’s ruthlessness (and arguably reckless) decision(s). Kendall asks “You fired Gerri; Shiv’s godmother Gerri”? The older sibling then basks in Roman’s cutthroat methods and approves his draconian methods. They are both channeling their inner Logan Roy.
In one of the more poignant moments of the season, Shiv secures a conference room to have a private talk with her obstetrician. Tom enters the room to conduct business and apologies after realizing Shiv had the room reserved. Shiv cannot hold her emotion anymore and Tom comforts his estranged wife. Tom believes the pressure of running the business and not having proper time to grieve is the culprit responsible for Shiv’s emotions. He is partially correct; not realizing Shiv is pregnant with their child.
Cousin Greg flexes his muscle by ordering a sound technician to have Logan’s prerecorded voice give an updated promise on Living +. Greg is absolutely determined to remain in good standing with the Roy children, particularly Kendall. Greg succeeds and Living + is presented to dozens of Waystar’s investors and millions of streaming watchers. Mattson calls Shiv during the presentation and states he does not like the vision; previously being at odds with Logan over Living +. After the spirited but awkward presentation (at one point Kendall repeats he has big shoes to fill five times), a reporter points out that Mattson hates the Living + concept. Kendall stands firm and suggests that even bold thinkers like Mattson are wrong about Logan Roy’s vision. Immediately after the presentation, Waystar’s stock begins to rise and news outlets praise the unorthodox but invigorating presentation.
This series still burns brightly even without its central character. Perhaps the central conflict of who would be the old man’s successor is the bigger factor. Who is the killer that Logan wanted to take his throne? SUCCESSION returns May 7, 2023 at 9PM ET on HBO.