Keeping Up With the Roys: Succession Season 2 Episode 3

Corporate retreat in Hungary leads to everyone's favorite new game, Boar on the Floor. It's Keeping Up With the Roys!

Obscenely rich and richly obscene, the Roy family of HBO’s darkly comedic family drama Succession is back for Season 2, and more deplorable than ever. Why do we love watching awful people behave badly on television? If you encountered a family as awful as the Roys live in person, you’d be appalled by their sniping, vulgarity, and general lack of regard for anything other than their massive egos and bank accounts, but somehow this band of contemptable buffoons has us enthralled. It’s the guiltiest of TV pleasures, like bingeing on ortolan every Sunday night. After a failed coup, a Chappaquiddick-like incident, and an ill-advised marriage, the Roys enter Succession Season 2 more strained, yet dependent on one another to stave off the slings and arrows of their many powerful adversaries. Follow along with Den of Geek this season as we chart who’s leading the line of succession, determine who’s behaving the worst, and sing the praises of the series’ one pure soul, Cousin Greg.

This is the Keeping Up With the Roys for Succession Season 2 Episode 3, “Hunting.”

Read our spoiler-free review of Succession Season 2 here

The Roys’

Connor is running for president

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Connor Roy

Everyone’s favorite Fail Son, Connor Roy, is sincerely running for President. The man loves a project, and he’s taking on seemingly the biggest one that his privileged and hyper-decanted mind can think of. He’s got some serious “pieces of shit” on his staff ready to do the heavy lifting and he’s filming batshit proto-campaign videos where he’s railing against taxes and basically begging the government to arrest him for not paying his fair share. Openly antagonizing the government by publicly puffing out your chest and bragging about all of the taxes that you’re not paying is some truly stupid hubris. High up in his rented, ivory hotel, Connor mentions that he is “looking down” on the elites, which is just a breath-taking example of this dolt’s lack of self-awareness.

Connor earnestly asks Shiv to be his campaign manager, and she shuts him down several different ways within the span of their two-minute conversation, fluctuating from downright mockery to genuine concern. Connor is almost certain to embarrass himself and his family or worse, but in his mind, only Bezos and the Clintons stand in his way. Ok, bud. At least Willa thinks that he looks cute.

Shiv takes her father's call

Siobhan Roy

It’s starting to look clear to everyone but Shiv that Logan may renege on his offer to make her the next CEO of Waystar. Sure, the episode ends with Logan telling her that it’s finally time to be brought into the fold, but he also has been putting off meeting with his daughter and penciled that call in for midnight, indicating that it’s not exactly high on the priority list. She’s left out of corporate retreat, which honestly was a blessing in disguise, but she’s also absent in the discussions about PGM. Logan’s plan to stave off the takeover from Stewy and Sandy is to acquire Waystar’s largest rival Pierce, or PGM, a legitimate media conglomerate considered the most trusted name in news. By swallowing up Pierce in a $20 billion deal, Waystar becomes too big to mess with for Logan’s enemies, and also Logan gets to stomp out a rival that he’s always had a bug up his ass about. Shiv, like the rest of the Waystar brain-trust, isn’t fond of the move, but for reasons that are deeper than business. “If we own all the news, I do actually wonder where I’ll get my fucking news, because at some point, someone needs to actually keep track of what’s going on in the world,” she says in a way that almost makes it look like someone in the Roy family has actual values.

Anyway, while the boys are off in Hungary shooting boars in a barrel, Shiv goes out to the bar with the future First Lady, Willa, and tries to persuade her to influence Conner to cut his “no taxes” bullshit. In the process, she meets a handsome, vacuous guy and uses her open marriage to blow off some steam. It honestly wasn’t a bad week for Shiv, but there’s just so many omens that things are going to stop going her way very soon.

Roman sulks in Succession Season 2 Episode 3

Roman Roy

This deplorable, self-satisfied wanker can’t do anything right, mainly because he has no actual skills or knowledge other than what he repeats from his Daddy. He doesn’t know Hamlet, he doesn’t know how much a gallon of milk costs, he doesn’t know shit. Every time he tries to make his own decision, the move figuratively and literally blows up in his face. Roman thinks he’s in second place for the CEO position and that thwarting Kendall and delivering PGM on a golden platter will earn him his throne, but in reality, he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell and his chances are only getting worse. Roman decides to use Tabitha’s connection to someone in the Pierce family to try and grease the wheels for a deal, but his outreach efforts leak to the press and his machinations are outed to Logan, or “human Saudi Arabia,” by Kendall. Later, during the instantly infamous Boar on the Floor scene, Roman is called out for being a sycophantic little worm and declared a “moron” by his pops. To make matters worse, Frank is back in the fold to once again serve as his “babysitter.”

Roman’s only hope appears to be Gerri, who seems genuinely interested in helping Roman climb the corporate ladder, likely because she realizes she can influence and manipulate the hapless turd. These two have a weird maternal-relationship that also feels like it could become sexual at any moment, which is weird because we know Roman is essentially asexual. Gerri suggests some management courses. Lord knows Roman needs them.

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read more: Why Succession Deserves More Attention

Kendall and Greg at the corporate retreat

Kendall Roy

Logan’s “number one boy” has become papa’s little vacant mercenary, emotionlessly doing the dirty work for his deranged dad. Carrying the same duplicitous energy he used to callously dismantle Vaulter last week, Kendall tries to trick Roman into revealing that he was responsible for the Pierce plan leaking before resorting to the classic older brother playbook and muscling Roman’s phone out of his hands. Kendall then flatly reveals the entire Waystar inner circle to be cowardly yes men, too spooked to speak out against a plan that they don’t support, which leads to America’s new favorite game, Boar on the Floor. Kendall doesn’t need to be on the ground oinking for sausage to show that he’s completely subservient. 

Seeing Frank back in the fold somehow makes Kendall’s situation even more sad. Here are two men, mentor and mentee, absolutely crushed and humiliated by Logan and now forced to be his whipping boys. Seeing Frank sucked back into Logan’s orbit proves resistance is futile.

Rounding Out the Family

Tom tries to appease Logan

Tom Wambsgans

It’s an absolutely brutal week to be Tom. Ahead of the corporate retreat, Shiv tells her husband that he should be the man to approach Logan about their concerns regarding the Pierce deal, and both parties know that’s a terrible, winless situation, but Shiv pushes for it to happen regardless. She’s not the only one that wants Tom to fall on the grenade, as Gerri and the rest of the frightened, ineffectual Waystar “all-stars” nominate Tom to be the guy to express their doubts. The fact that they corner Tom about being the sacrificial lamb while he stands next to a pile of dead boar is not exactly subtle symbology. Tom doesn’t actually care about the Pierce deal, he even thinks it could be a fine idea, but he wants to continue to please Logan and rise through the ranks, so instead of taking any sort of real stance, he tries to play both sides and comes across looking like an insincere, spineless loser. Not only does Logan chastise him for not delivering a grandchild yet, he’s also forced to get on the floor with Cousin Greg and Karl for Boar on the Floor, where he’s made to oink like a pig and wrestle over sausage. It is an all-time, historically terrible look.

Tom then returns home and is subtly told that his wife has cucked him yet again, which probably just feels awesome after his weekend from hell. However, Tom does one noble thing in the episode, not throwing Greg under the bus after he learns that Greg spoke to an author working on a biography about Logan, a biography that Logan is trying to stop at all costs. Tom may be a latte sipping douchebag with a $100 haircut, but he’s loyal to his friend (at least for now).

Greg leaves a meeting with Logan's biographer

Cousin Greg

My sweet boy is in way over his head. As mentioned above, Greg speaks to an author that’s working on Logan’s biography, or at least has a meeting to discuss the potential of having an official meeting. Logan will not stand for any sort of leaks and sics an IT-staffer nicknamed Ratfucker Sam to comb through Waystar emails and data to find out just who in the inner circle is being a rat. Despite getting to fly on a private jet like he’s in a rich, white rock band, Cousin Greg spends the corporate retreat freaking the fuck out about being discovered. He decides to confide in Tom, which doesn’t come back to bite him right away, but considering that Tom can only be trusted “to an extent,” it’s not ideal. Tom now has a gambling chip he could pull out of his back pocket should things get worse for him.

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Greg gets caught up in Boar on the Floor madness by telling Logan the truth and expressing concerns about the PGM deal, but since he does so in such a calculated manner, he ends up having to oink for sausage alongside Tom and Karl. There are no rules! It also appears that Logan still harbors feelings of, if not straight up animosity, at least distrust of Greg considering his connection to Logan’s estranged brother Ewan. Greg is never identified as the person that spoke to the biographer, and instead a man named Mo, who we learn has just died of cancer, was the leak. All things considered, Greg made it out of this one pretty unscathed, but who knows whether this one will return to haunt him. Trust no one, Greg!

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Nick Harley is a tortured Cleveland sports fan, thinks Douglas Sirk would have made a killer Batman movie, Spider-Man should be a big-budget HBO series, and Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson should direct a script written by one another. For more thoughts like these, read Nick’s work here at Den of Geek or follow him on Twitter.