Which side are you on?


Which side are you on?

Season 1

Episode 6

Editor’s Note

5 stars

Photo: HBO

With season three of Succession Now in the books, Vulture returns to where it all started with weekly recaps of the first season. Check back with us and come back every Sunday night for the next pair of episodes.

There are many occasions to talk about the Roy children failures because it is part of what Succession is about – a business (and a country) bequeathed to the descendants of the superelite. Connor, Kendall, Shiv, and Roman don’t have the qualifications, wisdom, temperament, or basic skills to run a popsicle stand, but they will inherit the world because meritocracy is an idea that can be promoted. on ATN opinion broadcasts, but not in the corridors of power at Waystar. Even still, siblings inevitably grope the ball.

But with all this clearing of the throat, let’s face it: Logan Roy is lucky to still have a job.

In the captivating “Which Side Are You On?” Kendall and Roman’s efforts to gain support for a “no confidence” vote against their father results in the expected comedy of errors, but the fundamentals of the decision are solid. Logan is certainly feared in his own business, but he is also hated, and the combination of his weakened health, the fall in his actions, and the uncertainty about his leadership decisions creates the best possible opportunity to knock him out of the business. perch. A board vote against him is also a clear and timely way to do it, and Kendall and Roman have the advantage of alumni like Frank and (more quietly) Gerri helping him develop a kick-off strategy. State. When the four of them meet in a restaurant – the one that doesn’t have almond cortado, alas – they have good reason to believe that they will be successful.

If there isn’t an unidentified threat closing the airspace over Manhattan, the vote will likely succeed. If Logan withdraws from the board meeting like he’s supposed to, the vote will likely succeed. If Roman can muster the courage to support his own cause, the vote is definitely successful. Instead, it ends in a tie and everyone who voted against Logan is kicked from the board – and, if present, from the building.

Looks like Logan got final approval on the cut from “Which Side Are You On?” because Kendall’s greatest triumph as a vote wrestler comes down to a wordless edit sequence. On the morning of the vote, with a “maybe” at stake, Kendall risks missing the meeting altogether by heading to a Long Island hospital to persuade a crucial board member to join the cause. It is possible that this voter, Ilona, ​​whom we have never seen before, did not spend enough time with Kendall to have the lack of confidence in him, but his personal visit turns out to be the right call. . It was the terrorists who beat him that day when he couldn’t grab a fast helicopter to return to headquarters. The narrative gods don’t want him to win.

He’s doing his best to lose too. Kendall opens his campaign auspiciously by mentioning the “no confidence” vote to Stewy, who makes no effort to mask his displeasure with the move as he knows Wall Street will view such an upheaval with kindness. (“You’re fucking with my money, Ken.”) But Stewy is in the position that a lot of other board members – including many future non-voters, like him – are in. it is not well served by voting both ways. With typical frankness, Stewy says to Ken, “I can promise you that I am spiritually, emotionally and ethically and morally behind whoever wins.” And with typical ignorance, Ken counts that as a vote in his favor. (However, again, if the winds of change were blowing more favorably on voting morning, and Kendall didn’t plead her case through traffic tunnels, horns, and interrupted reception, then Stewy is probably a “yes.” D ‘others too.)

It’s hard to believe that Lawrence, who reveled in torturing Kendall for exorbitant fees for Vaulter, could be among the compelling people, but his digital outlet is in a lose-lose position within the company. Vaulter represents the cool take on new media that Logan’s sons are trying to advance on his legacy old media instincts, so Lawrence is caught between a CEO hostile to his point of sale and Kendall, whom he doesn’t respect at all. However, Roman considers it time for him to shine, so he persuades Kendall to allow him to meet with Lawrence to get his vote. To the very reasonable question “What is your vision?” Roman launches out on what he thinks is the cool, hip answer that will impress the hip, cool guy from Vaulter. He talks about laughing in the middle of a bookstore, with all of its hilarious and outdated writing on bound pieces of paper. He thinks the future is for “tasty bits from groovy hubs” like Vaulter.

Roman reads the situation hilariously. He thinks he’s telling Lawrence what he wants to hear. He thinks that the publisher of a “groovy hub” like Vaulter surely has contempt for books and the grueling ordeal of reading or writing the paragraphs and pages necessary to convey ideas. (Roman doesn’t understand Lawrence’s tongue-in-cheek joke about becoming “post-literate.”) He also thinks they are both the “disruptive” type who share a thirst for novelty for herself, everything to break the old heavy models for profitability in the past. While Roman and Kendall disagree on much, they see Waystar as a vehicle for their own relevance and status. They are embarrassed to be associated with the old man’s affairs.

Of course, they’re not cool at all. This is why “which side are you on? Opens where he does, with Kendall backstage with Stewy at a hip-hop show, no doubt mentally calculating how long it would take him to say he was ‘hanging out’ with the talent. . When a brief greeting proves insufficient, Kendall wants his assistant to remind the man who pays his checks in the coldest possible way. Being rich gives you that level of status, which is a lesson Tom is trying to teach Greg by taking him on an evening of illegal bird song consumption and a $ 2,000 a bottle service in the tightest corners. exclusive to the most exclusive nightclubs. With enough money, you can protect yourself from the opinions people might have about you.

Real power is not caring, and it belongs entirely to Logan. He doesn’t care if his sons think buying local news stations isn’t cool. He doesn’t care to honor protocol to recuse himself from a council vote, especially if it is a fatal threat to his leadership. He’s even openly rooting for cancer to emphatically show how much he doesn’t care. The only thing that interests him is winning. And in “Which side are you on?” he hooks another one W on the board.

• The other major subplot of this episode is that Shiv may be rekindling his work / other stuff relationship with Nate, an ex-boyfriend in the world of political advice. The two share funny, half-mean / half-flirtatious jokes about the company and their love life, but they don’t fit into the rest of the hour gracefully.

• Tom looks happy and freed from all the episodes, having escaped (for now) the cruise scandal that was biting his feet. “It’s like this 900-pound gorilla has finally stopped fucking me,” he says, a line made funnier by the fact that Shiv can’t even give it a third of his attention.

• The conversation between Greg and Tom on California Pizza Kitchen is an instant classic, showing the financial deepness between them. “It’s pretty delicious,” says Greg. “No,” Tom replies. “No, this is not the case.” The youngster who lives in a youth hostel and stuffs office pastries in doggy bags not so long ago is going to have to learn how to get rich.

• Ewan returning from Canada again to vote for the brother he hates has almost impressive principles because Ewan can see Kendall’s decision as a decision rather than an act of concern. “It is a gratuitous act of blatant selfishness,” he said, “in keeping with everything I have come to hate about this family rat’s nest.”

• Poor Greg. The same night his grandfather makes him eat every piece of a noodle dinner he doesn’t want, he sits down at a prix fixe restaurant with Tom, who immediately tells him, “When I ate theirs. monkfish, I thought I was going to shit, throw up and cum all at once.

• The title of the episode is a protest song written around a mining strike in Harlan County, Ky., In the 1930s. This same area would appear in the 1976 Barbara Kopple historical documentary. Harlan County, United States, a strike lasting for several months which turned violent, with Kopple herself in the midst of the action. Frankly, it’s a little odd to include it here, but it offers a jarring perspective.

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