[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 3 of Succession, “The Disruption.”]
Things are getting interesting for the Roys now that the family civil war is in full swing with Succession‘s latest episode, “The Disruption.”
With sides sorted, it’s become a situation of almost everyone against Kendall (Jeremy Strong), who is relishing in his newfound freedom of being untethered from his father. But can the warm and fuzzy feelings last forever?
The episode opens on a lunch scene between Kendall and a reporter who is working on a profile of the whistleblower. As they chat, Kendall brings up Waystar, the fact that he’s in touch with the Department of Justice about immunity, and much more. The journalist notes aloud that Kendall seems concerned about the way he’ll come across in the piece, but he reassures her that he feels free and is fine hearing criticism. When she asks him about his siblings, Kendall shares that they’re still close but with some issues and that he’s in a “happy headspace.”
The chat and article buzz works its way into the halls of Waystar, where Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) discuss the impact it might have. Meeting up with Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) and the rest of the corporate gang, they take a seat in Logan’s (Brian Cox) office to strategize. Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) puts Logan in a more sour mood during the discussion when he brings up that Kendall’s supposedly going to make an attempt to stop by the office. Shiv offers to feel Kendall out at an upcoming social engagement, and they plan to combat his article with a company town hall meeting.
The meeting is interrupted, though, as one of Logan’s assistants informs him that there are agents calling to ask if Waystar will accept a subpoena service for documents. Logan doesn’t want to cooperate, but Gerri is worried about the impact not cooperating could have in the long run. Before any major decisions are made though, the session breaks up.
The next moment makes way for a reunion most fans would be giddy to see when Tom enters Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) office with a joke about being the FBI and having to take cyanide pills. Tom mentions the pressures the company is facing and gives Greg crap for being close to Kendall right now. Greg is apologetic, but when Tom invites him to chat about what the facts of their situation are later that night, the newbie employee is reluctant, telling Tom that Ken’s giving him a watch that night so he doesn’t want to miss out. The question is, will Greg buckle to the pressures Tom’s putting on him, or will Kendall’s promises of a brighter future lure the impressionable young man a different way?
Meanwhile, Hugo (Fisher Stevens) and Karolina (Dagmara Dominczyk) sit with Shiv and Roman to discuss their counter to Kendall’s article, asking if one of the siblings can sit down for an interview to answer some “softball” questions. The goal is to share positive memories and paint Logan in a positive light, and ultimately Roman is left to take on the responsibility of being the company’s puppet for this opportunity.
As the episode continues, Kendall heads to an event for the Committee for the Protection and Welfare of Journalists in a limo with Greg, Naomi (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), and more where they play a game of “good tweet bad tweet,” in which people read good and bad tweets about Kendall. Oddly, he seems to enjoy hearing both sides, in some masochistic way.
Upon arriving at the New York Public Library where the event is taking place, Kendall comes face-to-face with Shiv, who is engaged in conversation with former lover Nate (Ashley Zukerman). After Nate leaves the awkward trio, Kendall and Shiv discuss Logan’s opinion. Shiv levels with Kendall and asks if there’s room for reconciliation so he and her can make positive changes from within Waystar. He accuses her of doing Logan’s bidding and she questions if his intentions are pure. Things are left at an impasse as Kendall’s called to the stage.
Back at the offices, Roman goes through possible questions he’ll face when sitting down for his scheduled interview, including personal memories. Most inquiries seem unacceptable to him before he reveals a fondness for a time he went fly fishing in Montana, but the brief anecdote is cut off when Roman walks away from the conversation.
Back at Logan’s house, Shiv reports that she doesn’t believe Kendall will come into the office, that he understands to keep his distance. Logan then asks Shiv if he believes that he’s innocent. She gets quiet and unconfident in her answers. She asks to talk, and Logan admits there were a few bad apples, but she feels like he’s brushing things under the rug. “I want to keep you clean,” Logan pleads, and he says he didn’t know about these cruise allegations beforehand. Reassuring her, Logan says he can handle the politics of the situation.
Back at Greg’s apartment, he asks Kendall if he’s going to gift him the watch they talked about, but Kendall brushes it off, saying he’s not Greg’s sugar daddy. The Roy then disrupts the gathering to point out that the host of The Disruption, a late-night political commentary show, is talking about him. He has the show turned on the television as the host named Sophie Iwobi (comedian Ziwe Fumudoh) rips into him, the tweets he’s pushing, and his overall social profile. Kendall thinks the host loves him and wonders if he should go on the show, but his social team suggests there are better ways to combat backlash. Kendall sees the profiling as being in the conversation and relevant, not as the dig that it so clearly is.
Back at Tom and Shiv’s place, he’s been drinking and tending to their dog as she returns from her night out. Tom reveals he received consultation regarding his current predicament and learns that jail is where he’s most likely to end up. The realization makes Tom offer to be the fall guy for the company, but Shiv isn’t entirely on board. She admits it’s a smart move, but that she doesn’t think anyone would go to jail.
The next morning, Kendall calls Greg to say he’s planning to come into the office but wants to keep things on the down-low. Meanwhile, Tom follows through with his offer to Logan by saying he’s willing to step up and go down if needed. Logan says it won’t come to that, but he appreciates Tom’s offer. As Tom goes off to make a call, Logan catches up with an ATN contributor who is tied to the White House. He says he doesn’t want favors, but that he wants a mutual understanding to keep the heat down on the investigation. The contributor counters that if ATN gets a little kinder in its coverage towards the president, then they can come to a deal. Whether it will remain is unclear, but Logan threatens that he can make things worse if the situation doesn’t go his way.
Hugo and Karolina meet with Shiv to debrief her ahead of the company’s town hall as they run through questions submitted by employees. The anonymous submissions aren’t great, but Shiv is given a set of pre-approved topics to discuss. Meanwhile, Kendall gets a call from Lisa (Sanaa Lathan) asking if he’s really going into the office. He says he can’t let Logan dominate the battlefield, so he’s making moves himself. Everyone at Waystar begins to panic and does their best to keep Kendall from getting in, as a scene unfolds at the front desk.
Hugo intercepts Kendall at the gate, but eventually allows him to come up. The tension upstairs is palpable as Kendall comes face to face with Tom, but no one else in his family. Entering his office, Kendall feels like the room is cold, and his computer access has been cut off, but he appears to have a plan. The Roys worry that Kendall will disrupt the town hall — a valid concern — and send a threatening bodyguard into Kendall’s room to deter his potential plan.
Downstairs, Shiv takes to the town hall stage to address the company’s concerns and questions, but it’s quickly disrupted by a stunt coordinated by Kendall. Speakers boom music over the whole room and when the event is broken up, Shiv returns upstairs to find boxes for the speakers all over Kendall’s office. In a rage, she picks up one of his notebooks and spits in it, a sign that any potential loyalties she may have shown him are now officially gone. Logan apologizes to Shiv for the situation and essentially says “told ya so” regarding his stance on Kendall’s actions.
Later that night, Kendall shows up at The Disruption to make an appearance that will hopefully boost his case and public profile. In the dressing room, Kendall asks to meet the writers and offer some suggestions, and ignores any warnings against it. On the other side of the battle line, Shiv shows Roman and Connor (Alan Ruck) a letter that would counter Kendall’s recent actions. The takedown would paint their brother in a poor light for the sake of wounding his fight, and the boys don’t want to sign it for that reason.
Just as Kendall’s awkwardly chatting with the writers backstage at The Disruption, he’s interrupted by his social counsel to show him the letter Shiv was pushing on Roman and Connor. He tries to get the show to keep from mentioning the unflattering letter, but ends up leaving the show instead after having a breakdown in the control room. The breakdown is reminiscent of Ken’s less happy times, proving his mental state is precarious and can be toppled with one single blow.
As Sophie Iwobi reads the letter aloud on her show without Kendall there to comment, the scene shifts to Waystar, where the FBI shows up to raid the building. Just as one house of cards topples, another is blown over. Who will build back stronger in the next episode? Tune in to see how the Roys proceed in their family battle.
Succession, Season 3, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO