Succession episode 5 recap: “Tern Haven” brings the season to the midway level

Every week, two members of the Polygon workers sit down to debate and recap the newest episode of HBO’s Succession. We sort out the most important moments in every episode, in addition to present a character-based Energy Rating of the week’s 10 most necessary gamers.
Succession has a knack for deploying bombs that, on every other present, would make for a season finale. Season two has been constructing as much as one large deal. Within the newest episode, “Tern Haven,” the massive showdown involves a head rapidly and unexpectedly in what’s primarily a bottle episode.
The Roys decamp for the house of their liberal doppelgängers, the Pierce household, to spend the weekend attempting to make an excellent impression and seal the deal for an acquisition of their rival’s household’s personal media empire. Predictably, little or no goes as deliberate — each in private and non-private.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for Succession season 2, episode 5, “Tern Haven,” follow.]

The Roys take a breather.Peter Kramer/HBO

Waystar Royco acquires Pierce
Karen Han, leisure reporter: We’ll begin on the finish. Although there’s plenty of hemming and hawing that goes on, Logan in the end will get what he desires. (When does he not?) Royco is made secure from acquisition by, in flip, buying Pierce.
However that macro win leaves plenty of micro unhappiness in its wake.
Logan’s workforce techniques in attempting to woo the Pierces are hysterical, as he marshals his entire household into one room and tries to strategize who ought to be sweet-talking who. His circle of relatives’s happiness isn’t thought of. Marcia has been ignored of the inside circle all season and it seems to be like, on this second, it’s lastly attending to her.
Shiv is more and more skeptical her father will truly hand over the corporate. Her try at pressuring Logan into telling the Pierces she’s subsequent in line fails miserably and, as she says to Tom, could have placing her out of the working fully. And when Nan (Cherry Jones) tries to incorporate naming Shiv because the Roy inheritor as a part of the deal to amass Pierce, Logan refuses on the grounds that he’ll title his inheritor on his personal time — however he additionally says “if” close to naming Shiv, not “when.”
Emily Heller, workers author: That Logan/Shiv dynamic is type of the lynchpin of those first 5 episodes of season 2, if not the entire sequence. Simply evaluate the betrayed look on Shiv’s face when her dad fails to publicly affirm her spot as successor to the hopeful one within the season 2 premiere when Logan tells her she’s subsequent in line. Has he actually been manipulating her this entire time or was he taking part in issues near the vest to maintain the Pierces on their toes? It’s a testomony to only how good the storytelling on this present is that I’d imagine both path.
That stated, we’ve already seen that Logan’s failure to let anybody in on his plans may have catastrophic penalties when he’s gone, like in season 1 when he was in a coma and Kendall purchased out the corporate’s large debt with Stewie’s funding.
So sure, Logan will get what he desires for now, however, as everybody retains stating, he’s outdated and sick. This episode actually solidifies the concept Logan represents a type of outdated guard that’s dying out. Simply that picture of the Pierce girls sitting throughout from Logan to barter is so placing, particularly since he’s straight up admitted that a part of the explanation he gained’t simply title Shiv as successor is as a result of she’s a girl.
Karen: The top of the episode, the place they’re celebrating the Pierce acquisition in Logan’s condo, can be shot in a approach that differentiates it from the remainder of the sequence — it’s virtually extra romantic, with a very distinct deal with Logan as he makes a toast, and a type of fade as he ascends the steps, leaving the room, within the final shot. It feels so much just like the Logan Dying Clock is ticking, which might have enormous penalties if it truly involves that.

A tense second throughout breakfast.Peter Kramer/HBO

Does Kendall need to be free?
Karen: Each Roy member of the family has to go toe-to-toe with a Pierce, and arguably probably the most fascinating tête-à-tête is between Kendall and Naomi (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), who seems to even be a recovering addict and one thing of a kindred spirit. They get a bit of frisky, positive, however what has caught with me, greater than seeing her as a possible romantic accomplice, is the best way Kendall appears to see her as a model of himself pre-car accident. He tells her that she will be able to take the cash and run, and be freed from her household, which I feel he now realizes is what he ought to have executed and what he in the end wished, even when he didn’t see that clearly on the time.
Emily: Oh, that’s a very fascinating level. I agree that, regardless of making out a bit of, their dynamic didn’t appear particularly romantic (although this present hardly ever depicts precise romance). Kendall is so fascinating — and at instances infuriating — as a result of he’s so depressing whereas surrounded by obscene luxurious. How many individuals’s benders embrace practically by accident piloting a personal helicopter? Succession isn’t simply saying “cash doesn’t purchase happiness,” it’s saying “wealth is a corrupting pressure.” We’ve talked earlier than about how not one of the Roys, other than Cousin Greg, ever appear to note their opulent environment. The Pierces, in contrast, do acknowledge their costly art work and lavish dinner unfold. Although whether or not that’s to indicate off to Logan is debatable.
Karen: The Pierces are nonetheless type of faraway from “regular” life by advantage of being so outdated cash, although — Nan tries to get one in all her home workers to drink along with her and gently chides her for by no means taking a break and treating herself, seemingly not realizing that that’s not likely an choice for anybody who doesn’t have as a lot cash because the Pierces do.
The assembly of the Pierces and the Roys can be fairly placing as a visible illustration of recent vs. outdated cash. The best way they gown, the best way they behave, every little thing serves as juxtaposition. Even the pretend ebook that Roman comes up with to return off as refined throughout dinner, “The Electrical Circus,” indicators he is aware of full nicely what sort of firm he’s in.
Emily: This episode does a improbable job of displaying how these households are two sides of the identical coin. The Pierces are, sure, a bit of extra “presentable” and rather less crude than the Roys, however on the finish of they day they’re each vastly influential empires. The uneasy alliance that they’ve been working in the direction of goes to affect hundreds of thousands of lives, however that hardly registers. What issues to them is cash and status.

Rhea (Holly Hunter) and Nan (Cherry Jones).Peter Kramer/HBO

Episode 5 energy rankings
1. Roman/Gerri shippers
My crops are thriving. My pores and skin has by no means been clearer. I feel my hair may need grown an inch or two. Jesse Armstrong has blessed us with one other cursed Roman/Gerri scene and I’ll by no means cease screaming. Not solely did Roman jerk off in Gerri’s rest room whereas she berated him from behind the closed door, he then straight up advised everybody about it at breakfast the following day. Gerri’s combination of shock, delight, and lasciviousness is the one factor I care about now. —Emily
2. Logan
Positive, Logan will get what he desires, however he additionally wins Most Brutal Putdown of the Week with: “Whenever you giggle, please do it on the identical quantity as everybody else.” —Karen
three. Rhea
Rhea doesn’t have a Pierce or a Roy behind her title and he or she’s nonetheless out right here getting shit executed. She’s the explanation everyone seems to be right here. She made this deal occur. And he or she pushes for much more cash. Rhea Jarrell is a badass and Holly Hunter is ideal. —Emily
four. Nan
Cherry Jones is so extremely good at taking part in girls who will sweetly smile whereas stabbing you within the intestine. As Pierce matriarch Nan, she’s the one one who appears to have the ability to match Logan, parrying his bullishness with a quiet dignity. Plus, she nails that effortlessly impeccable East Coast Outdated Cash model. —Emily
5. Gregory
Cousin Greg sits out the Pierce journey and arrives at Logan’s house on the finish of the episode apparently refreshed and rejuvenated, telling everybody that, “I’m truly going by Gregory now,” and even attempting to get Logan, who refers to him as Ichabod Crane, to name him Gregory. The likelihood that “Gregory” will stick appears low, however I’m rooting for him, anyway. —Karen
6. Marcia
Logan continues to maintain his spouse at nighttime about his plans, however Marcia continues to be asserting her energy in delicate, fascinating methods like when she gently chides Logan at dinner. (Logan leaning on each Shiv and Marcia as he will get out of the helicopter symbolizes their relationship: he wants each of them however doesn’t fairly take them severely.) —Emily
7. Mark
Jeremy Shamos excels in taking part in the precise type of dingbat that Mark “I’m getting my second PhD in Africana Research and can lead the stargazing tour later” is, and the character description there ought to just about say all of it. —Karen
eight. Kendall
Temporary tangent right here: Typically I’m like, “Kendall … he’s okay.” Would the chat-up line, “Are you an actress or a poetess or one thing, that was fairly legit,” work on me? Perhaps? —Karen
9. Shiv
God, poor Shiv. Sarah Snook’s face is doing a lot work in that dinner scene, shifting seamlessly from defiance to betrayal. Cease making me really feel dangerous for horrible individuals, Jesse Armstrong!! —Emily
10. Tom
Tom has needed to function the Roy household punching bag for just about 5 straight weeks, and, regardless of his mounting stress, is simply getting extra gracious, deflecting criticism of ATN on the dinner desk by commenting on the meals. “King of edible leaves, his majesty, the spinach.” Bless him. —Karen

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