Succession Season 3: Adrien Brody Torments the Roys

Waystar Royco investor Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody) shows where the real power lies on this week's Succession.

Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) and Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in Succession season 3 episode 4
Photo: HBO

This article contains spoilers for Succession season 3 episode 4.

On Succession, we’ve been so concerned with Kendall’s faux-woke antics and the impending DOJ investigation that we’ve forgotten all about the hostile takeover attempt from Sandy and Stewy. There’s still an upcoming shareholder meeting taking place for control over Waystar Royco, and with Roys fighting amongst themselves, they’re looking pretty vulnerable in the eyes of their shareholders. One shareholder in particular, Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody) seems like he’ll be a pivotal vote in who ends up with the keys to the castle, but it’s tough to get a read on where the billionaire investor is leaning. 

Keep reading to find out where your favorite characters are standing after “Lion in the Meadow.”

Going Up

Josh Aaronson

Talk about a dramatic introduction! Four percent stakeholder, board member, and billionaire Josh Aaronson (Adrien Brody) is here to add even more chaos to the Roy family Civil War. Spooked by Logan and Kendall clashing plus a raid by the FBI, Aaronson asks both Logan and Kendall to come to the table to convince him to either side with Stewy or Sandy or cash-out completely from Waystar. The fact that this guy can get these two face-to-face when no one else has been able to is an achievement itself, but then Aaronson goes on to big time Kendall over a birthday party invite and insults Logan’s age when he asks if Logan needs the assistance of a cart for a walk and talk. Aaronson might be a New York wiseacre, but he’s certainly no pushover, and he’s going to need certain guarantees should he stick with the Roy family.

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However, there’s a part of me that thinks Aaronson wasn’t going to be persuaded no matter if Kendall agreed to walk back his claims against his father or if Logan agreed to a succession plan there on the spot. Josh shows up to greet Sandy in his airfield just as Kendall is taking off, proving that he was open to pitches from everyone. Aaronson reportedly has chosen to back Sandy and Stewy after he witnesses Kendall and Logan’s fractured relationship firsthand and also gets to see the state of Logan’s health up close and personal. Still, something tells me this isn’t the last time we see Josh Aaronson mucking about this season.

Cousin Greg

Greg gets called to a meeting with Logan, but instead of finding some goons, stooges, or roughnecks ready to break his legs, he finds a very amiable Logan willing to negotiate terms on getting Greg to defect from Team Kendall. While Greg assured Kendall that he’s a “sturdy birdie,” everyone has a price. With his lawyer “often unavailable during the daytime,” Greg decides to come under Logan’s big umbrella in exchange for a position running one of Waystar’s theme parks in Buffalo. It’s a modest task, but feels like a good fit for Greg and a natural progression from where we met him, puking in a theme park mascot head. If that’s not moving up, I don’t know what is. On the negative side, Greg is terrible to riff with, according to Tom.

Frank Vernon

Logan may not trust Frank, and mostly for good reason, but when he needs to manipulate Kendall into attending a meeting with Josh Aaronson by his side, he taps Frank to plant the seed. Kendall seems to trust Frank completely, so when Frank suggests that it’s in his best interest to sit by his dad’s side and woo Aaronson for the good of the shareholders meeting, Kendall puts his pride aside and plays ball. Frank is sitting pretty, in the ear of both team captains without really indicating where his true allegiances lie, if he has any. Not a bad place to be.

Connor Roy

Everything may be coming up Fuck for Logan, but things keep moving in the right direction for Connor. The eldest Roy sibling has leverage and he’s using it to play hardball. Since he has finally recognized that he needs a little thing called experience if he’s ever going to ascend to the position of the President, Connor asks Shiv for a place inside the company, where he can preferably “hit four major achievements” before exiting to run once more in four years. Shiv suggests a position at Waystar food network Gourmando, but Connor wants a bigger piece of pie than that, or else he’s going to leak to the world Logan’s old mantra “No Blacks, no Jews, no women above the fourth floor.” You know, maybe we should be rooting for Kendall here. Nevertheless, Connor needs to be kept happy, so he’s still on the upswing.

Sinking Down

Logan Roy

Logan is getting attacked from all sides: the FBI, Sandy and Stewy, shareholders, calls from Connor, it’s all too much! Imagine how bad it must have hurt Logan’s ego that he had to butter up Greg, of all people. Getting dragged out to meet with Josh Aaronson is an indignity that Logan would never have suffered if he could help it, but right now, he can’t. Logan must schmooze Aaronson so much to the point that he’s coaxed into saying nice things about Kendall, even suggesting that he’s the best of his children and the one most ready to run Waystar once he steps down. 

In reality, he’d rather be shanked in prison than see Kendall run the company, but as Logan says “you’ll say anything on a date to get fucked.” The worst look for Logan is appearing weak and fragile in front of both his son and Aaronson. We often forget that Logan’s health was the reason any of this succession mess began in the first place, but this episode is a stark reminder that the lion is in winter. His near collapse causes Aaronson to jump into Stewy’s arms, and you really can’t blame the guy. I wouldn’t be betting on a horse that can’t trot too.

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Still, it’s not all bad news for Logan. The old bear is able to use ATN and anchor Mark Ravenhead to get the President back on the phone and to the bargaining table. If Logan can get the DOJ to back off, that would at least be a start in stabilizing things.

Kendall Roy

Despite his protests, Kendall is dragged to the side of his father to negotiate with Josh Aaronson. There are so many plain baseball caps at that meeting you’d think that it was a Marvel movie! Anyway, Aaronson’s first order of business is trying to convince Kendall to “close the outrage shop” and walk back his comments, which makes him think that the whole meeting was designed to get him to back down. It also proves that shareholders like Aaronson don’t care about Logan’s conduct; they’d still rather back the old man than bet on the young gun. It’s a vote of no confidence for Kendall, and Logan reminds him that the cards are slowly getting stacked against him. He’s even lost Greg at this point! Maybe he should have paid for the damn watch. Little Lord Fuckleroy may just be living up to his namesake. At this point, if he does happen to best his old man, Stewy will just take him out anyway. Perhaps giving Logan a timely Evian would have gone a long way.

Side note: When Logan was starting to appear more than winded there on their walk, with Aaronson running ahead, there was a small part of me that thought maybe Kendall will just suffocate his old man there in the tall grass when no one was watching. I know the first body on Kendall’s hands was accidental, but those beady little dead eyes seemed like maybe they’d be up for round two! At this point, I don’t think I’d put patricide past him.

Siobhan Roy

Not even Connor wants to take orders from Shiv. That’s saying a lot. She may be able to push around her husband, org chart be damned, but she’s getting absolutely no respect from Karl or any of the other Waystar lackeys. Further, Logan isn’t backing her up. He’s always the hardest person on Shiv and he reminds her not to count on lines being drawn because “everything everywhere is always moving. Get used to it.” Within the upper tiers of the company, Shiv might as well be Rodney Dangerfield.

That said, she does manage to talk Mark Ravenhead into going after the president, but only by reminding him the Roy family cannot be embarrassed. Not the best accolade to trumpet. Oh well, a win is a win.

Tom Wambsgans

Tom has never looked more pathetic, and we’re talking about a guy who once ate his own cum. Quite the hurdle. Tom is researching prisons for preference, reading up on how to make prison wine (it sadly will not be white and ice cold, as he prefers) and referring to himself as Terminal Tom, the Shame Sponge, Minion Wrangler, and Shit-Eater, among other nicknames that a sane person would not self-designate. Maybe even worse, Shiv is bossing him around in ways that his underlings can clearly see. Hell, Mark Ravehead bitches him out, his own boss, but then folds like a chair for Shiv. It’s all so embarrassing. At this point, maybe prison will harden Tom in a positive way, but more likely he’ll be “sucking off ogres for phone cards.”

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Roman Roy

Roman’s bright idea to undermine Kendall is to unearth a homeless man from New Orleans that he and Logan once convinced to get a tattoo of Kendall’s initials on his forehead. The only problems with that is that Roman, ya know, probably instigated the entire thing and was right by Kendall’s side when it happened, and the poor guy had the tattoo removed. Roman just needs to sit quietly and listen to Gerri at this point.