Succession Season 3 Episode 8: What Has Happened to Kendall
People gathering in glorious sunshine to make their loved ones as miserable as possible… who doesn’t love a wedding? HBO‘s Succession has always been a study of wealthy wretchedness, and season 3’s penultimate episode spares no one in its bleak juxtaposition of untold opulence and unbearable emotional agony — including one of the show’s main characters in a riveting cliffhanger that has viewers on edge before Sunday’s finale.
A Fight for a Knife in the Mud
A number on a piece of paper represents life. In the muck, there is a knife battle. That is Logan Roy’s concept, broadcast into each and every home in the country.
Logan lived a difficult existence; he was raised in a working-class home, separated from his mom, and mistreated by his uncle. He had to struggle to get out of his difficult situation. But despite his success and fortune, he hasn’t become any lighter or wiser. They have just made his worldview more rigid. He is still made of granite and harbors an intensely misanthropic perspective of the world and its inhabitants.
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The issue is that Logan imposes his harmful worldview on everyone. Through his propaganda effort, he taints public discourse with the claim that life is a struggle and that you have to first screw other people before you can screw yourself. He believes he understands how the world operates. However, he would also rather poison his grandson than provide his son with even the slightest sign of amity. Kendall views him as evil.
Kendall was Completely Disinherited
A gloomy Kendall is a spirit at the feast. He has his head shaved, is dressed in mellow earth tones, and is still sporting his pendant. But the child who passed away at Shiv’s wedding is haunting him more and more, drawing more media attention and providing Logan with a pretext to stab him.
Kendall has never felt so depressed despite the stunning surroundings. He and his fellow elite members enjoy every luxury and privilege imaginable, yet that is not what they actually need. Wealth is just a tool to be used, a boost to their all-too-human fears and an overbearing sense of dominance. By the conclusion of the episode, Kendall is lying down in a pool, most likely dead drunk… but maybe perhaps dead? Some viewers believed Kendall may have drowned after they saw the camera float beneath him and their beer bottle gently bounce into the fancy pool’s depths.
I will confess that during my initial viewing, I rewind a few times to give myself the assurance that he couldn’t possibly be dead. I don’t think Succession is the kind of show to deal with something so operatic as a cliffhanger. The sequence reminds me more of symbolism, with Kendall briefly lost in space and Logan’s nasty remark about a dead boy “drinking water.” He is also essentially the primary character! The anticipated season 4 would undoubtedly suffer without the compelling performances of Jeremy Strong as the center of the program.
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Meanwhile, off-screen, the timing curiously lines up with a gloriously scathing New Yorker profile of Strong, in which creator Jesse Armstrong and Strong’s fellow actors are deliciously candid about their colleague’s histrionic acting techniques. It’s certainly got people talking ahead of the finale.
What Happens in Sex Vegas
As the big deal is finalized, the episode begins with Shiv lounging in her pajamas at home. But she is inspired by Roman’s persistent dismissal, as well as a confrontation with Lady Caroline. When Shiv’s mother leaves the bachelorette party (she probably couldn’t bring herself to call it a “hen do,” the correct Britishism), she demonstrates a sensitivity and openness uncommon in the Roy family.
But even when her mom clumsily tries to depress Shiv’s buttons, Roy can only interpret that as depressing the button more. Invoking a history of icy mothers, Lady Caroline says her mother would turn in her graves. She is another dysfunctional potential parent sowing the seed of a new generation as Shiv rushes to begin a family. The poor youngsters, God help them. Not to include Tom, who veers into emotional harshness after a night of spicier pillow conversation and feels a touch raw.
The garden party is thrown into disarray by these five words as quirky tech big-shot Lucas Mattson tweets in a random fashion. Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla, and his usually aggressive online stream of consciousness are reminiscent of these bizarre social media statements. Is he a smart businessman who cunningly uses technology to further his position, or is he just a jerk? As though those things are distinct LOL.
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Mattson, though, is also terribly depressed. Until he has time to thoroughly research the greatest mattress, he is sleeping pitifully on the floor. It appears that being immensely affluent and isolating online can coexist peacefully. But Mattson drops a development grenade under the agreement as we race toward the season finale next week. The senior leadership has now realized that slaughter in the boardroom may be necessary for WayStar to survive.
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