If that doesn't get your juices pumping in anticipation of the finale, what on earth would do it for you?
On Succession Season 2 Episode 9, it's all hands on deck as Logan tries to deal with the whistleblower complaint. But despite the incredible actions of Kendall, Shiv, and Roman, in the end, it's apparent a sacrifice must be made to keep the shareholders happy.
Who will it be? We can only guess.
Gerri was the first to offer a solution to their whistleblower problem, so it's unlikely we need to worry about her.
Wanna hear what I think? I think we say the truth. [pause] That the senior cadre here and the family knew nothing of this. So we throw Mo overboard. Mo, bad apple. Jim Weasel, bad apple. Spies a book deal, sort of OJ, backed by Sandy and Stewy, all corporate fucker. No real concern. And in terms of historic shit? I'm afraid we give up Bill because he should have let us know what he discovered rather than clean up without telling us the details. I don't think there's gonna be paper that shows anything beyond Bill.Gerri
Even more importantly, her story is just getting good. Not only does everyone lean on her and appreciate her opinion, she's top on Roman's list, and with Roman's increased responsibility, his word will have a lot more merit.
It began pretty easy. Let's all kill Bill. It was not only an excellent movie reference, but it was an easy out for Waystar. Bill might have been a nice guy who everyone liked, but he was expendable. He's not even with the company anymore.
But that was before Tom took the stand and made a mockery of everything that had been done about Mo's unsavory behavior.
Hugo might have said to fillibuster to take up as much time as possible, but what he did not say was to act like a complete buffoon.
Gerri's suggestion was to tell the truth and dissuade Congress from the belief that anybody currently in charge had anything to do with Lester's actions. Instead, Tom got bowled over by the pressure.
Gil: Lester's nickname was Mo. Mo Lester. Molester. That never came up?
Tom: Senator, ha ha, I guess maybe he was a little creepy seeming, perhaps.
Gil: Well, you were right there.
Tom: But just because he was called molester didn't mean. Mmm. It was just a, just an off-color joke. You know?
Gil: That was one hundred percent based on truth. But of all the many, many people that called this molester Mo Lester, not one of them had the slightest idea that he actually was a molester. You can see how that stretches our credulity.
Tom: Yes, Senator, I can see that. He just seemed a bit [pause] like one. Maybe. But we didn't know anything!
When the topic of Mo's nickname first came up during Succession Season 2 Episode 4, I mentioned how common it was for certain groups of guy to latch onto nicknames like that.
The best course of action would have been to use that avenue of good-natured idiocy as an excuse, but Tom went straight for idiocy of the regular variety.
He maintained that course of action when Gil brought up poor Cousin Greg. Poor Greg for getting involved with this side of the family and poor Greg for turning away a quarter of a billion dollars.
Gil: Do you know what is special about the hours between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on the night of March 12?
Tom: Uh, no sir.
Gil: That was the only two-hour period in which you did NOT send an email to Mr. Hirsch with the title You Can't Make a Tomlet Without Breaking Some Gregs. You send the same email to him 67 times in one evening.
Tom: I guess it was a joke [snickers nervously].
It was shocking to learn how much of his terrible behavior Tom referenced in emails.
From the 67 emails he sent to Greg about the Tomlet to Gil referencing the human furniture aka footstooling incident, Tom's ignorance about corporate email is astounding.
He's always been a bit of a dumble, but he's also managed to have a career, presumably, even before he was involved with Shiv. I'd like to share right now that all major corporations are not full of such dumbasses.
Many of us had a lot of nasty things to say about each other, but we also knew what to use on email and what to do behind closed doors with each other while in the office. Yes, this stuff goes on no matter how woke the world claims to be, but most of it goes unwitnessed and without a paper trail.
What is it like to be married to a man with two assholes?Hugo
So even if Tom is married to Shiv, I'm placing him at the top of the list to sacrifice. No, Shiv will not be happy about it, but I believe she's serious about cutting the fat and making someone pay for the sins of the company.
When she visited the victim, she was very clear and quite truthful. She's going to do what is in her best interest.
And even if she might like Tom to some degree and maybe even love him, it's hard not to see how he got mocked and how mockable he remains as everything continues.
Does she really want to be chained to that man given all that she knows? The answer will probably ultimately be yes, but dammit, I want her to stand straight and fly right. Tom is a liability.
Then again, she is also very persuasive. She wouldn't have been in politics without that skill. Shiv could very well talk herself, the board and everyone else into believing something different about her husband.
After all, look how much information she got from Gil at a time Gil wanted to show her the door. Shiv walked away knowing the name of the victim and where to find her. That's impressive.
Gil was giving it good during the hearing, but ultimately, Kendall owned him.
That's important to recognize because Logan was not in his element before congress. Outside of a prepared statement, the man in whose shadow everyone else operates failed miserably.
Gil: Is that any way to keep the lifeblood of a democracy going by using news as your own personal ATM?
Kendall: Uh, if, if I may, um, I think you might be under a misapprehension, Senator. In this country, all news -- from the Times to the supermarket tabloid -- is for profit, sir. We don't have a state media. As I'm sure you know, you'd have to go to China or Russia for that.
Kendall may be a mess because of his dependence on artificial substances and, inexplicably, his father, but when he's in the hot seat, he can really manage a room.
As Logan later said, Kendall came out fighting, but Logan was still hurt. And dammit, Logan deserves to be hurt for throwing Kendall in front of the bus. That's not a man who deserves to be ruling the roost any longer.
It irked me no end that even if Kendall got a few pats on the back after his incredible display before Congress that Logan got a round of applause just for being him.
He did nothing but flounder when the light shone too bright into his eyes. What he appears to have is exactly what he sees in Roman. For some reason, people like him even if they hate him, too. They can't trust him, but he isn't as despised as he should be for what he says and does.
Gil: Mr. Logan Roy, what did you personally know about the operation of a system of obfuscation of wrongdoing in your cruise division by means of keeping of shadow logs?
Logan: At that point, I believe my son was across that operation, wasn't he?
Gil: At which point?
Logan: At the point, he was across entertainment operations. You could talk to him.
Gil: Mr. Kendall Roy. Tell us about the shadow logs.
Kendall: I'm sorry. Madam Chairwoman, can I, can I speak for a moment? Because, you know, I'm here in good faith today. I'm very willing to talk you, Senator, and the committee through our operations, but, uh, let's cut the BS, shall we? Because it seems to me that this investigation, uh, is not about proper oversight of the cruise industry codes and standards or some highly regrettable but isolated incidents from nearly two decades ago. What this feels to me it's about is your personal dislike of my father and your ideological hatred of his newspapers and his news channels, and in particular, of the, uh, success story which is ATN on which you've appeared, I think, fourteen times in the last four months, Senator. Senator Eavis, it seems that since you don't agree with us ideologically, nothing we can say will be enough. No groveling will be low enough, and as much as you like to accuse of us of bias, uh, today you're the one with the bias. So, I say, go ahead. Hit us as hard as you can. We can take it. We have nothing to hide.
No, it was Kendall who cleaned up the mess Tom made before Congress and that Logan was unable to address.
Kendall's faults might make him seem like a good blood sacrifice, but without him, the company would suffer. Logan props him up because he knows Kendall's capabilities, and for that, Logan should be commended.
He might not be able to handle a lot on his own because he flies off the handle too easily and dodges responsibility, but Logan surrounds himself with good people. Good people with many faults, but generally good people.
So Kendall is in the clear. So is Shiv. The nature of the conversation with Logan makes that a given, but she's a capable, driven woman with enviable connections.
Even if she places herself first in many situations, she went to the mat for the family business.
It wasn't easy to visit with a victim, especially since Shiv is so attuned to the more liberal side of democracy and with women's rights. She sees herself outside of the scope of the family business, and she fully intends on changing things if she takes control of the company.
Shiv: What is it that you are trying to get? Because money? Money you can have. That's easy. Book deal. Interview appearances. We will give you millions of dollars, and I will destroy the men who ran that dirty operation. I will kill them for what they've done, and I want you to help me. We will be the best, cleanest operation in the world because of you if you help me do this. Would you help me?
Kira: Well, it sounds, uh, can I trust you?
Shiv: No. Actually, no. Kira, you're in a shitstorm of conflicting interests here. You can't trust anyone. You just have to be smart. So listen to everyone, and make an assessment, cause frankly, I want what's best for me. But the other people, the folks who want you to get up there tomorrow and get pulled apart? They want what's best for them. You need to think about what's best for you, huh?
What she'll ultimately discover if she takes the lead of Waystar Royco is that in a cutthroat business, it's a lot harder to walk the lines she draws than she thinks it is from her current position.
Sarah Snook does such a good job with the complexities of Shiv and the push and pull of her contradictory political beliefs and her need to protect the family that I hope she takes a much larger part in the company business for Succession Season 3 even if Logan remains at the helm.
Watching her balancing act would be very entertaining, especially if Tom is the blood sacrifice, and the two stay married. That would be so delicious!
But Cousin Greg ne Gregory is also a candidate for sacrifice.
Trusting Logan could turn out to be his worst decision. Logan had no problem kicking his ass out of the room with the grownups when he was accusing Tom of dragging him to prison for the rest of his life.
So even while Tom would make sense philosophically, Greg would make sense logistically. After the testimony and reveal that Greg's whereabouts when the documents were destroyed are public knowledge, using the documents he kept from the fire becomes a little more difficult.
Greg could very easily make a deal with Congress if he were ever accused of a crime, but he's also cut the ties with his grandpa. After Connor and Tom laid on the poorest rich man shtick, he's not feeling very confident.
But wouldn't it be a lot of fun to see Greg and the great James Cromwell as Ewan going up against the rest of the family? If it came down to Greg having the ability to stick it to Logan, where would Ewan stand?
When the rubber met the road and Kendall tried to take the company away from Logan, Ewan stepped to the side of his brother.
Logan is his cash cow. Nobody else feels for Ewan like Logan does. Even if Logan and Ewan don't shower each other affection, they have a lifetime of brotherhood between them that gets exposed when the going gets rough.
Greg on the outs would allow him to make things a lot more difficult for Tom if nothing else. And he's family. Even if Greg got sacrificed, he wouldn't be gone from the picture.
So Tom and Greg are good candidates for the sacrificial lamb.
Someone who isn't a candidate is Roman.
Logan: I need you to chase down the Sovereign Wealth money.
Roman: OK. Uh, I mean, right. Uh, that's a [snickers], it's a cool idea, but it's kind of a stretch, you know?
Logan: That Central Asian money? That's no strings, fuckable dry powder. Time out from the responsibilities of being a public company. That's a fuckin' lifeline. Can you do it?
Roman: Can I do it?
Logan: Uh huh.
Roman: [laughs] Um, fuck, dad, I want to say yes, but I'll be honest, if it's like really important... I mean, I can say I can do it, like, you know, a fireman in a movie, but honestly, I
Logan: You act the fuck knuckle, but you know, people like you.
Roman: It's a really big, fucking deal to set up.
Logan: Eh, anyone can do a deal. It's getting the right number from the right suit. Getting your dick in there is easy. Getting them into bed. That's hard.
Roman: For some.
Logan: You can do it.
Roman: Then, uh, yeah. Sure dad, I got it.
Whether Logan was honest with his son about his capabilities isn't even important. What is important is that Roman stepped up to the plate.
He was doing really well with his presentation when the got interrupted by terrorist activity. He was confident and sure the company could overcome any obstacles that might keep Eduard and his dad from making money with Waystar Royco.
Roman: Oh, fuck. Ohhh. Fuck, fuck, fuck. This isn't business, is it?
Karl: No, it is not very businessy.
Eduard: Don't worry. This is all normal.
Roman: Yeah, great, cause this feels super fucking normal, man. Is this, are these terrorists? And where's my fuckin' security guy? Where's Dave?
Eduard: It, it's just a, an administrative action function.
Roman: Uh, yeah, just great, and what exactly is a, oh hey, look at that. Guy not being allowed to leave the hotel. At gunpoint. That's an administrative action function. This is gr, what, what is that?
Eduard: There's just like a, um, gathering here now of us and some, some, some other investors and so on, and
Roman: With guns.
Eduard: Yeah, their guys are some kind of, um, anti-corruption kind of guys, and they're like, it's their conference or, uh, party, and we're all invited.
Roman: Uh, well, that's uh, nice, but what if we, what if we don't wanna go. Is that cool? [screams ring out]
Eduard: It's the kind of party where you have to go.
But what a crazy turn, right? Kieran Culkin was exceptional as Roman realized the danger was real. And like Roman, I have to wonder -- where's Dave? Is he dead? Why take Dave?
Honestly, I don't even know who Dave is, but the way Roman grasped at the fact his security guard was the first to go spoke volumes.
And as horrific as the entire scenario was, it also produced laughs from their short game of I-Spy something with my little eye starting with H ending in hostages to their game of Marry, Fuck, Kill.
God, I love Danny Huston. He's such a great wingman. Jamie choosing to marry Gerri sent Roman to his snarky best when he went to the farthest degree possible to show Jamie how gross he thought it was that anyone would want to marry Gerri.
That cements Roman's sincere feelings for Gerri as well as her future on the show, right? Right.
The funniest moment came from Jamie, though, when Roman wondered if they were all going to get killed, an answer we do not have as of the credits at the end of the hour.
Roman: And can I ask, not to make this all about us, but are they going to shoot us at any point?
Jamie: I am also intrigued on that point.
I don't know what it was about the way Jamie said that but I couldn't stop laughing. Their situation is so dire that it's the best opportunity for humor, and comedy was used to its best advantage.
Roman was almost shocked that he was standing so tall in such stressful circumstances, but he was even more taken aback by the fact he was still wheeling and dealing while their lives were on the line.
I mean, should we see if maybe some of the other hostages want to cut a deal? This could be a bumper time for us.Roman
If you pay attention to the cycle of news in these United States, you know there is nothing that takes the pressure off of something like a congressional hearing like a personal disaster.
The best thing for the family right now is for the news organization to get wind of the terror in Turkey and Roman's place in it. That will set the country right back onto the side of Waystar Royco.
A sacrifice won't need to be made because attention will turn, at least temporarily, to the fact that one of their own was in great peril while the family was busy fighting for their company.
And one thing is certain. Rhea will not be the sacrificial lamb because she walked.
It seems she really was snowed by Logan and wanted to do the right thing, but when you can't believe the man giving you orders, it's hard to move forward.
Logan: You know, you're fungible.
Rhea: I am not fungible.
Logan: Oh, yes you are. You're as fungible as fuck.
Rhea: Fine. Then funge me. Go ahead. Try.
She's right. She's not fungible at all. If she was, she wouldn't have been plucked up so quickly by Logan. She has value.
Granted, Shiv wanted that value to be taking the pressure off of the family as CEO during tumultuous times, but that ship has sailed.
Going into the Succession Season 2 finale, there is a lot on the table.
Will everyone with Roman make it out of Turkey alive? Will his deal mitigate the legal repercussions when the company goes private?
Will the company name a blood sacrifice before Roman's actions come to light? And if that person is told even if they aren't sacrificed, how will it go down?
There is so much to unpack here from the great performances to Logan's congressional hiccup.
What stood out for you during "DC"?
Hit the comments, and let's chat about it!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.