Review: More of the Epic Family Drama Unfolds in 'Succession - Season Three'

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday October 18, 2021

Brian Cox in Succession
Brian Cox in Succession  (Source:Graeme Hunter/HBO)

Logan Roy (Brian Cox) politely sits at the dinner table with his family in the second season of "Succession." Nothing to worry about. This is innocent enough.

The Roy family has just spent the weekend at the Pierce family estate, because the Roy's are desperate to buy out the Pierce media empire. Consequently, the Roy family has been on their best behavior, not something they do often. Both families fold their hands and bow their heads in a moment that most would thank God for their blessings.

Instead of grace, the esoteric Pierce family quotes Shakespeare.

"You wanna know my favorite Shakespeare quote?" Logan says, losing his patience. "Take the fuckin' money!"

Created by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jesse Armstrong and the producers of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Succession" is a smart series, oozing with the allusions, innuendoes and dry wit that we expect of not only the Bard but the best of all British literature. Nonetheless, this black comedy series steers clear of the standard prep school pretensions, focusing its satiric arrow on America's conservative capitalism. This is lifestyles of the obscenely rich, sickeningly entitled and shamelessly self-righteous about it.

Season two of "Succession" was so scintillating, and ended with such a striking reversal, it seems that nothing else could top it. That kind of thinking is for those who believe the story ends when the knife penetrates the flesh, not for those who appreciate the singular joys of watching the blood spatter.

Get ready. It will debut its new 9 episode season Sunday, October 17 at 9:00 ET/PT on HBO and it will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Last time we saw the Roy's, Logan was under fire from the Waystar shareholders. Decades of abuses and coverups had just gone public, so naturally the family decided to board their extravagant yacht and go on holiday in the Mediterranean. Still, this wasn't a pleasure vacation. Logan wanted to throw all his dogs in the ring to let fight. It order to protect the company someone had to take responsibility, and the discriminating public would demand a fat and juicy scapegoat.

The most direct links, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) had been hiding evidence and destroying documents. Connor (Alan Ruck) had been mismanaging his money and running into debt. The youngest son, Roman (Kieran Culkin), had engaged in a perverted, if cerebral, affair with general council, Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron). The only one with her hands clean was Logan's daughter, Siobhan (Sarah Snook), and she would stop at nothing to claim her piece of the pie.

When the ensuing family battle went nowhere, Logan made his choice. The once presumptive heir to the thrown, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) would be the sacrifice. As Kendall dutifully prepared himself to be fed to the hungry volcano, a press conference was set. He was to take full blame. But in the last few minute he deviated of course, announcing instead that his father was well aware of company's misconduct and subsequent coverups.

Now there's a civil war within the Roy family, and this is not a clan known for its civility. Each of the possible successors have plunged a knife into their father, the media giant, at one point or another but no one has been able to make the Caesar fall, possibly because the tyrant is so great that no one can imagine a post-Logan world.

It was a shock to everyone that Kendall, this sensitive, broken man, this damaged drug addict had it in him to assassinate the king. Strange, because this same man recently attempted a hostile takeover of the company. It's nothing his father wouldn't do. Kendall learned from the best.

Our country certainly didn't invent tabloid journalism and ethics-free news marketing. But we made it into an art form, giving media its very own celebrity status. And season three of "Succession" will keep you on the edge of your seat, because the fallout from Kendall's decision is massive. Tune in as the epic family drama unfolds.