In Succession Season Three Episode Three, ” The Disruption,” directed by Cathy Yan, Corporate Gods Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) and his father, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), start to unravel. Logan’s overconfidence in his god-like control of the U.S. government leads to a raid by the FBI. Kendall’s ability to manipulate all situations to his advantage fails him when he pushes his sister Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook) too far during a Waystar RoyCo company-wide town hall. Shiv has an emotional bone in the fight because he brought their comedic hardball fights into the public eye.
A Step Too Far
During ” The Disruption,” the Roy sibling’s playful teasing is taken a step too far. Kendall and Shiv are constantly ribbing each other, but there is usually no consequence. If the sibling’s sometimes-vulgar jokes are made at least semi-privately, it’s okay. They can laugh it off even when Kendall hypocritically tweets that he wants to free all women from workplace harassment, then calls Shiv a puppet who dresses up to do their father’s bidding. When Shiv deliveries a well-spoken measured speech about how the Roy family takes Waystar RoyCo employee’s concerns seriously, Kendall uses blue-tooth speakers to blast Nirvana’s ” Rape Me” to disturb her.
While her speech deceives Waystar’s employees, she does not deserve to be interrupted or embarrassed. Shiv works so hard to gain her father’s respect. Nothing in the speech paints Kendall in a horrible light. The loud music did not just ruin her address, but Kendall’s joke essentially tells people to rape his sister. The choice of the song proves Kendall’s inherent sexism and misogyny. Along with the fact that he doesn’t respect his sister. All of Kendall’s “woke” comments are just him trying to convince himself that he is taking down his father for the right reasons.
Shiv destroys her brother with one public letter. The letter outlines Kendall’s drug addiction, mental illness, misogyny, and how the family tried to rehabilitate him. Kendall sabotaging Shiv’s speech is an act of self-sabotage. Before the stunt, Shiv refuses to air out Kendall’s dirty laundry even when Logan privately tries to bully her into doing it. While I don’t think Shiv acts out of any sense of decency, she honestly wants to clean up Waystar RoyCo. Even if her reasoning remains a desire to keep the company within the family, she doesn’t want to play dirty as the President of Waystar. Shiv only starts to take Kendall’s behavior personally after the music stunt. As a result, both Shiv and Kendall burn down their relationship.
Like Logan, Kendall believes that he can do everybody’s job better than they can. Being a Roy makes Kendall think he is an invincible God who can get away with hell leading him never to take anything seriously. Kendall’s humor is all tied up in his toxic positivity. The comedic news television show The Disruption with Sophia Iwobi (Ziwerekoru “Ziwe” Fumudoh), paints Kendall as a deluded wealthy white guy. Ironically he misinterprets Sophia Iwobi’s jokes to mean he is part of the cultural zeitgeist
He hires these competent women like Lisa Arthur (Sanaa Lathan), promising that he will do whatever they say, but instead acts against their advice or pressures them into doing what he wants. Kendall paternalizing tells Lisa that she is “the boss” all the time. If it were up to Lisa, Kendall would never even enter Waystar RoyCo’s headquarters or agree to go on The Disruption with Sophia Iwobi. In other words, most likely, Kendall’s reputation would be intact if he had listened to the accomplished women in his life.
The End of Logan Roy’s Reign
Logan’s lack of humility leaves Waystar RoyCo vulnerable to the United States government’s investigation. Logan sees himself as Zeus on Mount Olympus. He can’t be pushed around by any “mortal” government, including the United States. All his focus is on destroying his son Kendall. All other threats are manageable.
When the FBI asks if Waystar RoyCo will accept a document subpoena, Logan tells his assistant to instruct the government to “Fuck Off.” He somehow can’t recognize that a governmental agency requesting his cooperation is serious. Logan thinks speaking to Chief of Staff Michelle-Ann Vanderhoven (Linda Emond) solves all his problems even though she warns him to take the Attorney General’s threats seriously. He doesn’t realize that it’s bigger than a game of chess where Kendall moves the FBI like a pawn around the chessboard to disrupt his day. Kendall doesn’t control anything.
Logan smugly tells Shiv, ” The Law is People. And people are politics. And I can handle people.” He doesn’t think the law applies to him because of his wealth and intelligence. Logan doesn’t recognize that he no longer owns the world. In the world of the show the culture has shifted from being ruled by the one-percenters, leaving him accountable to the people. He can’t stop the FBI from raiding Waystar RoyCo with a subpoena. Yan captures Logan’s sense of claustrophobia by jamming him up against the office window as Acting CEO Gerri Kellam (J. Smith-Cameron) bats down all his orders. Logan’s face is shrouded in shadow, facing away from his posse right before he decides to cooperate.
In the last shot, Kendall, hiding in a server room, watches the FBI raid on his iPhone, smiling. He doesn’t seem to realize that Shiv’s public shaming letter destroys any chance of him taking over Waystar RoyCo. If Logan folds under pressure, the whole Roy family loses their media empire. Logan already knows that the family is tumbling down from Mount Olympus.
The promo for episode four shows Logan and Kendall secretly meeting up on a private island. I predict that in one or two episodes, the duo will unite against the U.S. Attorney General to save Waystar RoyCo.
Tell us what you think of ” The Disruption” in the comments.