In Succession Season Three Episode Six, “What It Takes,” directed by Andrji Pareki, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) takes his tribe to the Richmond-based Future Freedom Summit to pick the next Republican Presidential nominee. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) regroups back in New York after giving disastrous testimony to the Department of Justice. Kendall takes no responsibility for his misbehavior and believes that he is more intelligent than everybody else in the room.
Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook), Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin), and Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) all vie for their father’s favor during the Future Freedom Summit. Connor tries to subtly charm his father into endorsing him as a major presidential candidate. Shiv fights for Logan to back traditional conservative Rick Salgado (Yul Vazquez) or preferably a Democrat. Roman argues for Alt-Right Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk), who connects to the Youth and vibes with his outrageous humor, to become the next Republican Presidential nominee. Dangerously Roman wins out, leaving Shiv further under Logan’s thumb and Connor out in the cold.
TOM & GREG: THE OLD MARRIED COUPLE
Tom and Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) further “marry” themselves to each other. Greg and Tom have one of the most dynamic relationships in Succession. Both men are outside insiders. They are part of the family but don’t have “voting authority.” The main reason that Tom seems to connect with the Roy cousin is that he has power over him. He feels emasculated by his wife Shiv, a more prominent influencer in the Waystar RoyCo world.
In “What It Takes,” Tom refuses to have sex with Shiv because she uses contraception. He doesn’t see the point of sexual intercourse if he can’t impregnate her. The idea of going to prison for years has triggered the traditional itch in Tom. He urgently needs Shiv to carry babies for him. Even Kendall knows it’s a weak spot because he argues that Shiv will see Tom as a “man” if he turns evidence against Logan. Shiv can’t comfort Tom about prison or even listen to him complain about the food there. At the same time, underling Greg needs his help and will attend to his complaints.
Greg acts as the wife to Tom that Shiv can’t or won’t ever be. Back in “Lion in the Meadow,” Tom told Greg that he would castrate and marry him in a heartbeat. Tom learned that Emperor Nero, who allegedly murdered his wife Poppea Sabina, married a young slave boy named Sporous. Nero castrated and dressed the slave boy like his dead wife. He treated Sporous like the empress of Rome.
In other words, Tom wishes he could replace Shiv with Greg. Tom texts Greg late at night to meet him at a low-quality Virginia diner; the young man comes running right away. He watches Tom practice eating “prison” food at the restaurant. Tom can prattle on in front of Greg without being dismissed or teased. He can even bully the underling all he wants without worry of repercussions. For example, Tom mocks Greg about how “White Power” hoisted him on their shoulders like the “Stanley Cup.”
Greg asks for Tom’s advice about how not to think about going to prison all the time. Sadly, the older man has nothing cherry to say. They depend on one another for protection and comfort. There are no romantic feelings between them like the Sporous’ comment implies, but the two men feel deep emotions for one another. Tom unselfishly allows Greg to blame any white-collar criminal misadventures on him. One extra charge won’t majorly add to his prison time. There is no quid-pro-quo. He doesn’t even force Greg to pay for their late-night breakfast. Greg acts as the salve for Tom, who feels threatened by Shiv’s authority.
ROMAN WINS RESPECT
Roman wins Logan’s affections with his political savviness. Before this season, Roman never had his father’s respect because of his rebellious “F* you” attitude about life. Now he studies how to be the future CEO of Waystar RoyCo under Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron). Roman’s unofficial schooling finally pays off in “What It Takes” after getting over the minor distraction of his mother, Lady Caroline Collingwood’s (Harriet Walter) engagement.
Jeryd pounces while Roman drinks alone at a bar. He doesn’t usually care about politics because his father controls everything. Nevertheless, Jeryd impresses Roman right away with his politically incorrect humor and his willingness to diss ATN (Waystar RoyCo’s Fox News Network) in front of Logan.
TV Recap: Succession Season 3 Episode 6 “What It Takes” Logan Picking The Next President
Will Roman stay on top, or can Shiv worm her way back into Logan’s confidence? Let us know what you think in the comments below.