This article contains spoilers for Episode 6 of the final season of “Succession.”
This week was back to business for the Roys. The “CE-Bros” took big swings, leaving a trail of high-profile firings in their wake as they shook things up and tried to tank the deal with Matsson. If we were to go with Kendall’s version of the story, we’d say: “Dynamic Waystar duo shake up their senior leadership team,” with the bottom line being that the pair “might just have what it takes to turn things around,” as he told Roman.
It all came to a head at a presentation for shareholders, where the Roys and their associates held their breath as they watched Kendall introduce a new project. He even had flight jackets custom-made to signal the new roles that he and his brother had assumed as pilots for the company’s trip to the moon. Meanwhile, Shiv pulled strings behind the scenes.
Jessica Testa: I wonder if people who take their shoes and socks off on airplanes are feeling validated by this week’s episode.
Vanessa Friedman: The barefoot moment made it possible to imagine Matsson showing up entirely bare someday. He has been flashing all sorts of skin at different times. We are getting pieces of him to puzzle together.
JT: An intriguing proposition!
Guy Trebay: And a good point, given all the anxious genital allusions. “Big, big shoes,” as Kendall kept repeating onstage. He feared being unable to fill his father’s. And then there was Roman and the micro … well, never mind.
Stella Bugbee: Matsson has big shoes, but he chooses not to wear them. He has little regard for norms.
GT: I kept thinking that what various male characters needed, style-wise, was a straitjacket.
VF: And not a flight jacket?
GT: Cringe, with the name patch reading CEO.
JT: And making a matching one for your sibling, who declines to wear it …
Anna Grace Lee: How about Shiv’s in-flight look? Was it a kind of bustier?
SB: Uncharacteristically, she bared her neck. A sign she’s more open, perhaps?
JT: Scheduling a cry in a business-casual bustier: The Shiv Roy Story.
AGL: “You’re scheduling your grief?” hit so hard.
GT: So did “Don’t get mud on my confirmation dress.” Also, her postcoital look was borderline human.
VF: How about Tom, asking if she would “throw out all your stuff for love.” Obviously not.
JT: Tom’s admission of liking very nice things also makes it clear he’s still not a Roy. For one, it implies that he has, in the past, lived without being surrounded by very nice things (and has no interest in returning to that life).
AGL: I appreciated that he just came out and said it. “I really, really, really love my career and my money. And, you know, the suits and my watches.” A far cry from his “ludicrously capacious bag” burn.
SB: And yet, that’s why he’s able to distill what a handbag with ludicrous proportions means — he is always assessing where everybody sits on the wealth matrix.
GT: But he has no real sense of what constitutes quality. He just knows what’s expensive — i.e. the infamous Patek Philippe incident. And the level of taste the wardrobe people assign him — all that tone-on-tone — signals the absence of classiness. The Roys may be nouveau riche, but they’ve had at least a generation to file down the rough edges.
VF: Thoughts on Roman’s defenestration outfit?
AGL: Roman generally goes for suits while Kendall goes for corporate bro in baseball caps and jeans.
GT: They get into these dissociative states and yet are costumed to suggest they’re not emotionally disintegrating. My standout moment was Logan Roy appearing posthumously, the great and magnificent Oz.
JT: Logan’s reappearance was such a jump scare.
VF: Especially with him in front of the green screen, like its own kind of heaven. It gave a surreal cast to the episode. No matter how hard they try, the sibs will never be free of their father’s ghost.
GT: Never. An enduring television trope: Roman replaying Logan’s cruel putdown again and again in the car.
SB: I assumed that Cousin Greg asked the video editor to manipulate the sound to make Logan say those words. But I love that they don’t explain it. Maybe Logan said it! It obviously hit a nerve. Does Roman need to hear that to summon some emotional response to his father’s death?
VF: By the way, as a subtle riposte to Kendall’s flight jacket, I loved Shiv’s pinstriped jumpsuit. That’s how corporate raiders take off.
GT: Shiv has found her lane, in “Succession” fashion terms.
AGL: Maybe unrelated, but, what about the “bitey” game between Tom and Shiv?
VF: That was kinky.
GT: So many of their physical interactions are disturbing. The sneakers, that nasty earlobe tweak, the bitey game. Suggestion: at season’s end, a highlight reel of greatest icks.