Succession (S2E04) – “Safe Room”: A Roy Family Breakdown

As we delve into the middle of HBO’s second season of Succession, we begin learning more and more about each and every character. I thought episode four showed a lot about each of the Roy siblings, and I thought I would give a breakdown of everything I took away from them last night.

Connor Roy

We didn’t get a whole lot of Connor in the fourth episode, but I thought what we did get explained a lot about his character and the direction he will be heading. We start off with he and Willa discussing Mo’s funeral, which led to a touch of comedy from Connor. He mentions how he’s excited to fundraise for his campaign at the funeral, which is pretty messed up haha, and that he has a “doner boner.” I wasn’t a massive fan of the eldest Roy sibling after season one, but he has grown on me quite a bit in season two. Lines such as these have really livened up his character, and the fact that he is pursuing presidency has given the character a lot of new traits that I didn’t see in season one. The most important of which being that he is smarter than he looks. As he is reading his draft to Willa, she mentions that some of the stuff Connor is saying comes of as praiseworthy to Mo, who may have not been the most morally sound person. She tells him that if some of the things Mo ever did got out to the public, it could look bad for Connor to be so supportive of good ‘ol uncle meat hands. And after the arrival of Michelle Pantsil, the biographical writer attempting to depict Logan Roy’s life, he is determined to give her her nothing about his father. We see him recite the, “Conner Roy was interested in politics from a very young age” line three times to her before he takes the stage for his funeral speech. Connor showed a lot of restraint here as well, which led to a somewhat uncomfortable speech, but probably helped him more than it could’ve hurt him. This character plot has had tremendous growth since season one, and I cannot wait to see where it ends up after the next few episodes.

Roman Roy

Where do we even begin with Roman… this episode tore open an entirely different side of him and I did not see that coming at all. Roman apparently took what Gerri said seriously at the end of episode three because we find him pulling up to the management training that she suggested. We, of course, get a ton of his patented one liners (“Phone sex with my girlfriend like a normo”, “Gobbely go f*** yourself”,”No amount of anti-bacterial gel is going to be able to wipe the America off of me”), but the majority of Roman’s screen time this week was devoted to his management training and a somewhat sudden and unusual relationship with Gerri. Roman definitely seems upset that his piece in the family training video is solely a three second shot of him smiling in front of some park stuff, and this is actually what leads to the first call to Gerri. Their relationship has definitely shifted over the last few episodes, but everything just got weird in this one. Apparently, Roman isn’t into the normal phone sex stuff and has to be insulted or degraded to be satisfied. I found it very strange though that instead of having Tabitha do this, he instead calls Gerri and eggs it out of her. I’ve always known Roman was one of the more complex characters within this show, but last night’s episode just turned it up a notch or six for the youngest Roy boy.

Siobhan “Shiv” Roy

I was expecting this to be a massive episode for Shiv, yet it turned out not to be. She did get a solid amount of screen time, but not a whole lot happened for her in my honest opinion. The only daughter of the Roy family finally gets her first day in the office but it isn’t truly a day in. Logan tells everyone that she is solely there to observe, and that is basically all she does. She is silenced by Logan during the debrief, Gerri refuses to give her any true information early on, and is silenced AGAIN by Logan after she oversteps somewhat in the talk with Rhea Jarrel. Shiv also gets to see a lot of Logan and Kendall this episode as well, which she doesn’t seem to be a very big fan of. Towards the end of the episode, she ends up confronting Ken about this, which leads to one of the most touching scenes this show has ever shot. It was a very vulnerable talk with Kendall, and it also showed that Shiv actually does care about her older brother. Even with a somewhat bland episode from Shiv, I’m very excited to see where her storyline will go over the final five episodes of season two.

Kendall Roy

This was yet another incredible episode for Kendall, and I applaud HBO (and Jeremy Strong) for what they have done with this character. We open the episode with Kendall reaching out to Rhea on his cleared out balcony, which I assumed was at the gutted Vaulter headquarters. As we jump back over to him arriving to Royco, he almost seemed slighted by the fact that Shiv was observing for the day. To me, I think he knew right off the bat that this meant their father was bringing her into the fold, and we kind of get more of this during their talk later on. We also find out that the battery theft from the end of episode two was not the only thing Kendall has been shoplifting, as some candy and vape fluid have also been taken over the last few days by him. There was also a new level of confidence in Kendall, or at least a new level since his father told him he knew that he was responsible for the death of that kid in London. I loved when he raised the bid on Rhea during the safe room meeting, and it seemed like Logan did too. Shiv on the other hand, not so much… and I think that whole scene was what led her to confronting Ken at the end of the episode. He finally opens up a little to her here, and even though he says almost nothing, Shiv finally gets some emotion out of Kendall. He tells her that he knows he is not the one that will be taking over the company when their father finally lets go of the reigns, and that he didn’t know what he would be if their father didn’t have a use for him right now. I took this all as him asking Shiv to keep him around when she takes over, because otherwise he wouldn’t know what to do with his life. The company clearly means everything to him just as it does for his father, and it will be interesting to see what happens to him as this amazing season progresses.

Of course we learned plenty of other things this episode too, like the fact that Greg wants out of ATN or that Logan is planning on spending $24 billion dollars to acquire this other media conglomerate. However, even with all of these other random tidbits, this episode seemed to be focused on explaining a little more of each of the Roy’s to us. There was detail about what makes them tick, and I found that shockingly refreshing after all of the hostility and business cannibalism we had been getting. Be sure to check back next week for another breakdown of HBO’s Succession!

Featured Image Credits: Esquire
Character Images: HBO

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