Logan Roy, Kendall Roy, Iceland discussed on Slate's Culture Gabfest
Hello and welcome welcome to the thing which have been most excited about for about the past year which is slate money extra the succession recap cat mini season of monday morning slate money shows where you have all of course stayed up watching succession last night because what else is there to doing sunday except for watching the greatest television show on t._v. Right now and we are going to just recap the entire episode and talk about what's going on with some of the most interesting people in media. I need to say this right up front. If you haven't seen episode one don't listen to this show. Go and watch episode one. It's fabulous and then you can listen to the show. All of these shows are going to be filled with spoilers for all of the episodes so don't listen listen to the show unless and until you've watched the show now i am of course felix salmond of axios i am joined by emily pack of the huffington post who is also also a succession stan and fit this first episode of this little mini season. I cannot imagine anyone anyone better to come on this. Show join us then ed lee of the new york times a hoy ed you have been covering all things media forever and ever forever and ever. I think it started somewhere in the seventeenth century. He knows everything about everything and most importantly you've been just as obsessed about the show is anyone i have. I mean i i watched the first season as they aired as they came out and i for the most part liked it but i definitely had some issues. I mean when you cover an issue so in-depth for so long. You're like that's kind of outright. Were you worried some of it wasn't quite very similitude sadness and a but that's the thing i actually adore just how geeky a got about finance and media and corporate over full stack. Oh absolutely like this is kind of great but then when you get it wrong you're like. Why did you have to go do that now right. It's almost better sometimes if they didn't quite go that deep. He's you're like. I mean maybe i wouldn't be as interested. I bet yeah so the thing which i was obsessed by more than anything else is who are these characters because everyone obviously sees maddox. Oh yeah you know <hes> there are two sons who has sort of rivals as the door to who's kind of out of it but kind of not out of it but there's the older. There's older son who's like who sort of not really involved in the family. That's prudence right but there's overlap with the redstone is to the family that controls c._b._s. Viacom where there had been a succession about for so long it doesn't quite line up in terms of the structure with the kids because sherry redstone is really sort of the only sort of <hes> biological heir apparent. There's an older son brent who basically sumner bought him out right and so he lives in colorado and a ranch right so that's that is connor kind of melding. It's very smart sort of milange of like all of avenue i know people who spent a lot of time working for the dolan family and they see a whole bunch orlands in here as well before we get into the comparisons we should just lay out who the characters are on the show and hit me. Tell me who is logan roy so logan. Roy is the patriarch he is mike. Edmonds said he is basically the rupert bert murdoch. He's i think he's eighty five years old when the series starts and he has some kind of health episode is it a stroke or heart attack or something bad happens bins to him and he has four children the oldest connor from his first marriage and then the three other ones two boys two boys and a girl from the second marriage and the two guys are called kendall and <hes> what's the other one cal- in roman and ship those are like the three heirs battling for the company because roy runs the company etienne which is like this massive media company of the health code wasted kgo tv but there's the parent company waste our royko that like it just again like how geek out on little details like that. We're like well. Actually there's this aaron company called waste ourika which is clearly a bunch of a merger between royko which is roy's company which logan roy company which he founded which is the media company. I'm waste our. She's clearly some kind of telecom thing that wound right maybe bought decades exactly and then and then one of the great subplots of the first season is they put like the fuck up son roman woman in charge of like a satellite launch which is clearly proud of the that was great. <hes> there was definitely sort of an armando <unk> nucci flavor to that scene like it said that you i'm gonna. I'm going to bring this end like jesse armstrong the show writer he had worked with armando on the thick of it in the loop which are these these bbc or british series at these really clever satirical tirico takes on power and government and how did veep and he did veep for which jesse was a writer had written a one or two and i have to say if we're talking thing about the first episode here there. There were definitely times like when candle you know turns around to his cousin greg. If my septum falls out i'm going to make you eat my except which which is just pure this and this is. You're talking about last night's episode. I episode the second season. There's a lot of great one one liners in there you can't i mean i have a whole list that is that that is everyone so before we get to the last episode we should say at the end of last season basically basically the sun kendall roy he tries to take over his father's company and then gets himself into this chappaquiddick scenario where he basically it gets this young waiter killed in a car accident and <hes> his whole project of taking over his father's company goes completely sideways and he winds up weeping weeping his father basically get him out of trouble and and that's kind of where we leave off with kendall roy going from about to become you know. The man took down his father to just this like broken. You know just mess of a human being the other thing which happened. It's all of this takes place at his sister's wedding. Yes breath the worst best wedding ever it ended up being a great finale that way where like this brutal kind of leveraging that the dad is on his son. Wow that's just so cold. You're taking advantage of this accident basically to like get over on his son who's been trying to take over the company and that bleeds into the first step is so we see the the the fallout from that and so we open this season with candle who is trying to break his drug habit and an and ice picks <hes> and i honestly say that this is not just my favorite line of the episode. I'm i have not seen the whole series as yet but i think it's my it's going to be my health. Favorite line avowals areas. I love this much which is when kendall gets pulled out of his spa and is told to go on the television to try and fight this takeover bid that he instigated and he looks kind of blankly at this icelandic apparatchik and he says i meant to have a silica mud treatment. I've only been here like forty eight hours and a meant to have a silica mud uh-huh treatment. Can i just i'm sorry sounds going to work the fact that you picked up up on that. It was iceland. I mean what's great. Is that it doesn't. It doesn't say they're a nice only if you had ever been there. Would you know that this is just the bleakness of it and the specific sorta setup of like being in that sauna in the middle of like this blank field right. We're just exactly how they do it. Over and also i mean just to your point at about like the the little title things on this being superfish silica mud treatment. I actually looked it up. It only exists in like the blue blue lagoon in iceland it apparently it is blue. Lagoon silica is a white mud known for strengthening the skin barrier skin newell and deep cleansing so i have actually been to the blue lagoon and i've actually put this silica on my body and it's great. It's brilliant so i totally get why he wanted. I'd like to have and i still have that please. He's so broken in this really the first few episodes. I don't wanna spoil anything going forward but he in that sort of reckoning that happened at the finale really plays into the start of the season and it works. It works really well. I think it's it's a really smart use where he's kind of. He's he's kind of on the sidelines but still a factor. There are so many lines where other people are describing candle as just utterly broken. <hes> shift calls him his sister historic sweaty corpse. Tom scams her new husband says he looks waxy like an unshaven candle which is one of my favorite lines another at another point. He's called a dead man. Walking his dad calls him mr potato head and my plastic adversary like he's just completely broken down like the sight of him dripping water being pulled out of that <hes> what is it feel like some kind of hot spring or something. I'm just dripping water and his white robe. He's just like he's like he's not even a person he's he's a wet rat and this is in stark contrast to season one episode one which opens with him psyching himself up in the back of a cub by you're listening to the beastie boys as he's going in to try and like do some deal with some hotshot tech company right and he's the man he's <hes> you know he's pumping himself up and he's also clean at that point and you know he's very proud of having you know concord his drug addiction demons but of course they come back. I mean my issue with that character. The way he sort of played out in the first season is that he was so stark where he was so the man all of a sudden like oh. I don't know what's happening next and then you you know my wife and i'm back on drugs and you know everything's falling apart well he. I just wish there were moments where he tried to fight back a little bit more and it didn't quite happen at least in this. I <hes> episode of the of of the second season you can. You totally get why he's broken right. You could see why he's just hollowed out and it's kind of interesting that way. It's just really kind of wow like this guy this is this is what a dead man walking really looks like so the the first season. Did this really quite clever thing where they set it up in the opening episode inside of logan roy has stroke the name of the show is succession which of his kids it's going to take over from him and then weirdly really you know that entire plotline gets resolved in episode four of season one and then it starts getting interesting. That was one of the things i loved about season one. It was the the thing that you thought would be the big driving plotline for the whole season is the internal infighting between the kids did not actually become that driving line in this season again. What we wind up with is this kind of. We'll start one hitchcock ian word for mcgovern. It's a macguffin win that you get this wonderful. Macguffin introduced the very beginning where logan roy of if i'm gonna fight back i'm gonna have to name a successor and like why no no one ever explains why he needs to name of success in order to fight back. I have a feeling this is also going to be one of those things. That gets resolved by about well i think i think there's more this idea that what you want. The the season needs to propel right so i think the idea of logan roy sort of jangling succession throughout the season i think is sort of a key driving force for like all the drama yeah that takes place. I would say the last episode what was really really smartly done. Was that whole setup around like well look. Are you going to sell like detect companies acquiring after you like it. It really captures what's been happening with in the real world what happened with rupert murdoch's company twenty first century factories sold the disney with all these other merger happening. It's because of big tech coming in and kind of stealing your son okay so this is why we invited you on you. Actually understand this stuff and you can explain it. There is this another line in the in the show is like tech has its hands around your throat says the banker to the patriarch so can you explain what that means and why why why is tech like an existential risk to media companies so i think that's what you're talking about really really vividly captures the state of play which is you're or a big media company that means you movie studios and cable networks and maybe some broadcast networks maybe some newspapers. We know what's happened in newspapers right. No one's reading print. That's die hi t._v. People are still watching but not the way they used to so there are fewer people paying cable bill now right that cuts into twentieth century fox and disney to some degree and a bunch of these other media..