Succession (S2E05) – Tern Haven: Key Winners and Big Losers

As we cross into the second half of Succession’s second season, I couldn’t help but think of who won and who lost as these two powerhouse families finally met up.  It was also quite a messy episode too, as the synopsis suggested from the start, in which “Shiv, Roman and Connor veer from their roles at a weekend retreat to woo the Pierces.” The episode itself was spectacular and is the highest-rated episode (9.6/10) of Succession to date. So, with that being said, let’s begin our analysis of who won this episode, and who lost in dramatic fashion.

Marcia Roy – The Bronze Loser

I honestly completely forgot Marcia was even a character until this week’s episode if I’m being 100% honest. She hasn’t had much screen time yet in season two, and the little bit she finally got in episode five plummeted her stock with Logan. I’m not sure if Logan is pushing her out or if she hasn’t been involved because of the proxy stuff, but she is definitely becoming less and less important to Mr. Roy. She is definitely out of his loop now, and I loved her, “top marks with your other pupils” line she spat back at him after their first meeting with the Pierce family. Marcia clearly missed the “two-drink minimum” rule set by Logan as well, because she was getting awfully tipsy at dinner. Then, we see Logan bark at her after the Shiv news gets dropped by Shiv, which we will be discussing in-depth later, which was not a good look for either party. Ultimately though, the one thing that dropped her from borderline loser to for sure loser was the fact she was left out of the meeting with Nan towards the end of the episode. If I’m not mistaken, she was sitting directly next to Logan at breakfast when Rhea told them who all needed to meet with Nan. That was a very interesting move by Logan, but it really did cement Marcia as a loser from episode five in my eyes.

Roman Roy – The Late Round Winner

Roman just narrowly snuck his way into the winner’s bracket for me after an interesting middle half of the episode. He started off super-hot too, with all of those killer lines from his “return to the 1%” after management training. In fact, his first five minutes of air time was pure comedic gold and Kieran Culkin is making a claim for one of the best actors on this show. Things slowly began to go awry for him though after Tabitha ousts him for not having sex with her, to which Roman gets uncomfortable and starts acting like its not true. And we have the whole Shiv announcing her take over as well, which is a complete shock to Roman. He actually asks Tabitha after dinner if he’s an idiot or something along those lines, which in turn also leads to the two of them actually attempting to have sex. This ends very, very poorly (lol). And as soon as Tabitha mentioned how she was going to be in the bathroom with her electric toothbrush for the foreseeable future, I knew exactly what was next… a late-night meet up with Gerri. I was slightly off here though because I definitely thought this relationship was going to turn into a physical one, but it seems as if Gerri simply enjoys the power she has over Roman and his cranking habits (which almost slid her up into this spot in all honesty). But, just as I thought everything was rapidly rolling downhill for the youngest Roy boy, he makes that inappropriate (yet completely true) joke at breakfast, and that is followed up by his convo with Tabitha. All in all, Roman barely makes his way over the loser line and into Winnersville, but it was a sweet finish for the Roy child who was taking all the right steps to prove his worth to his father.

Tom Wamsgans – The Silver Loser

Tom didn’t really have much to do in this episode, and this placing isn’t even really his fault, but in my eyes, he was the clear cut silver loser for this week’s episode. He seems to be doing everything right for the most part, yet this family is tearing him apart. Right off the bat, Logan tells Tom that he will basically be the ATN scapegoat and that he needs to be ready to take a ton of heat from the Pierce’s this weekend. He seemed to be getting by unscathed as well, until about the mid-way point of dinner when ATN talks began. Everyone starts digging into him then, including Siobhan, before the two of them go have a chat. This is where Shiv begins losing her mind, to which Tom reels her back in and calms her down. Yet, whatever he did here leads to her announcing that she will be the successor (which will FOR SURE not be happening now, right?), so maybe not the best idea for Tom to calm her. This also means that Tom is up for a demotion as well. Logan was ready in a heartbeat to remove him as head of news, and now that Shiv has messed up her chances I can easily see Logan tanking both of their careers within Royco. As I mentioned, not really Tom’s fault, but he still took an unfortunately decent-sized loss this episode.

Logan Roy – One Power Move Away from Not Being a Winner

Logan’s episode was much like Roman’s in the fact that he had an insanely weak middle, but he also managed to come out on top at the end of it all. He started off looking great with the Pierce family: A nice big bear hug for Kendall when he finally arrived followed by a solid speech in honor of the Pierce family and their company’s hard work. It all seemed as if it was slipping away after this though, especially right around the dinner scene when nothing was going right. He had Conner being a dick at the end of the table, drunk Marcia next to him causing trouble, and Shiv across from him ruining legit everything. And by the time we make our way to the deal meeting the following morning, he seemingly looks to be denying the deal for the sole fact they want Shiv announced as the successor. Logan storms out but not after leaving Nan, Naomi, and Rhea with a “Shakespearean” quote: “Take the f****** money.” And just as I thought Logan was going to take the biggest L of the episode, he gets that call that PGM is now his. This was huge for me because it made me wonder how much of this he thought about prior to the meeting and if he was ever actually planning on giving them what they wanted. It honestly seemed like the biggest power move of all time though to just act as if you would rather tank your entire company than give someone else what they want (which really wasn’t much if you disregard the $25 billion price tag). This will be a very interesting storyline to play out, but it’s looking like Logan may be running away as a massive winner by the end of season two.

Siobhan Roy – The Golden Loser of All Golden Losers

Oh Shiv, what have you done. She was the one Roy sibling I was happy to see take over Logan’s baby and she went and flushed it all down the drain. This entire episode was one large, massively upsetting L for her. It immediately started when she got back from London, which by the way… when the hell did that happen? She sticks around to talk to Logan after their brief family meet up and is already getting shut down by her father. She even mentions at one point that the company will be her baby soon, to which Logan awkwardly sighs and walks away. That led to the most uncomfortable shiv walk I have ever witnessed just before the opening credit sequence rolled. Shiv’s whole goal for the weekend was to win Nan over since her politics were more closely aligned to the Pierce family and their company. She struggles from very early on though, and even awkwardly stumbles around many topics/failed jokes before the biggest blunder of the episode, and maybe her entire made-up life. She went into total meltdown mode after Logan essentially denies her as his successor, which was not a good look for Siobhan at all. It looked like things may rebound for her when Nan said they wanted Shiv as the successor as well, but then Logan made that ultimate power move and shut the entire deal down. We would have to assume her chances of even working for the company now are all but gone, especially with the look she gets from her father at the very end of the episode. That uncomfortable, half-gasp smile from Logan said it all. Shiv really screwed the pooch this episode, which is such an unfortunate thing to see from one of my favorite characters of the show.

Kendall Roy – Biggest Winner, Chicken Dinner

Kendall finally caught a W this episode and I could not be more enthused. This episode started off as if he was just going to be the typical robotic, number crunching, company destroying son that he has been all of season two, yet we actually saw him open up and have fun for the first time in nearly six episodes. Right off the bat at dinner, Kendall and Naomi hit it off. I’m still not sure if this was Kendall’s entire goal or not, but if I had to pick a side I would lean towards this happening by complete luck. Their chemistry was clear from the start though, and the second they said they were going to do illegal drugs together I had a feeling in my gut that Kendall was about to be the hero fo the weekend. Things got pretty deep between the two of them as they killed that bottle of Goose in the helicopter, and we found out that Naomi had done some pretty awful things when her mother died. She also mentions that the only reason she came was to destroy any chance of a deal since ATN broadcasted her car wreck in a way she did not like. Kendall put his charm shoes on though because he ends up convincing her that letting his family take over for her to leave all of that in her past is the right move. When Nan tells them all that Naomi was the one who convinced her to sell, Kendall looked genuinely happy. And as the episode was nearing its end, we saw the two of them lock eyes before departing in their separate helicopters. I think these two may end up with a secret romance at some point, and maybe this is finally what Kendall needed to break out of the weird robotic daddy phase he has been locked in this season. That, in and of itself, was a huge win for Kendall, but he did almost nothing wrong (outside of the illicit drugs) for the Roy family this entire weekend.

Another notable mention for a winner was big bro Conner, who had one of the most Conner lines of all time at the end of the episode. When he said “I got tipsy and offered him the state department,’ his entire sub-par episode instantly turned into a winning episode. Outside of that, everything was fairly cut and dry in that magnificent epi of Succession, and it was well deserving of the 9.6 it received on IMDB. As always, be sure to check out our other reviews, and check back in next week for a breakdown of episode six!

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