Succession season 2, episode 3 recap: Hunting


Episode 203 of HBO’s Succession sees Logan launch a power-mad game at a dinner party in Hungary. What is “Boar on the Floor”?

In the last installment of Succession, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) was relatively subtle with his power, manipulating Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) into shutting down a business venture considered unproductive and sketchy.  This time around, however, Logan takes out the big guns, both literally and figuratively. The Roy family, along with various business associates from Waystar Royco, head off to Hungary for a wild boar hunt. Then again, are the boar really wild, or is it like shooting fish in a barrel?

Before the trip

Logan’s daughter, Shiv (Sarah Snook), has had a rough start with her jerk of a husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). He’s a bit upset that he’s not a prospect for taking over Waystar. To assuage him, she says her being considered is just a modification of the plan. To complicate things, Shiv has second thoughts about their virtual media monopoly status. She also doesn’t want them to snag PGM, yet another media company.

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There’s another possible family problem for her: She doesn’t like her brother Connor (Alan Ruck) trying to run for President. In fact, she’s not alone on that. Their brother Roman (Kieran Culkin) also questioned how he can run despite never doing anything with his life. Connor also unleashes a video proclaiming his intent to be imprisoned rather than pay such high taxes, demanding a flat tax instead.

Meanwhile, Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) foolishly meets with Michelle Pantsil (Jessica Hecht), who wishes to write an unauthorized biography of Greg’s granduncle, Logan. Thinking it’s off the cuff, Greg tells her Logan is scary, vindictive and paranoid. However, he cuts the meeting off when she says she’s not obligated to make him anonymous, as that was not explicitly stated beforehand. This comes back to haunt Greg later, as Logan really is scary, vindictive and paranoid. In fact, Logan’s doctor (John Rue) wants Logan to have downtime, urging him to not go on the Hungary retreat lest he has another stress-related health problem.

It’s also apparent that Logan wants to buy PGN to annoy his brother Ewan (James Cromwell), who has different political views and sees PGN as a competitor. While Ken initially questions the move, he’s so much under his father’s blackmailing thumb that he quickly acquiesces.
Roman takes a risk by contacting Naomi Pierce over at PGN, at the suggestion of his girlfriend, Tabitha (Caitlin FitzGerald). Like Greg meeting the biographer, this ends up being regrettable.

The hunt

Succession does little to moderate Logan on this hunting excursion. On the plane ride over to Hungary, he tells Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) to stop the publication of Pantsil’s book. It quickly becomes clear that, instead of merely hunting wild pigs, he fully intends to find weak links in the Waystar Royco chain — with emphasis on his own family. He tells Ken: “Historically speaking when I’m betrayed it’s usually you.” In an interesting development, Logan brings back Frank Vernon (Peter Friedman) to deal with Stewy (Arian Moayed) and Sandy (Larry Pine), who are trying to take over Waystar.

With the actual hunt, Logan gives an interesting safety briefing: “If you move against me I’ll put a hole in your ****ing head.” Understandably nervous yet foolishly trusting, Greg confides to Tom that he spoke to Pantsil. Tom urges him to “put that in the locker” lest Logan kills him, adding he should “Trust no one, ever.” With the actual pig hunt, it’s obvious that there isn’t much of a thrill involved. What’s really interesting is what happens afterward.

Logan senses dissension in the ranks. He’s right. Karl (David Rasche) and Gerri have doubts about the PGN acquisition, and Logan knows that Naomi Pierce knows about the maneuver. He publicly mentions there are “snakes in the basket,” and he needs to find out who they are. While most people are afraid to talk, Tom steps forward and suggests people, in general, are afraid of the Pierce acquisition. Logan doesn’t like this and starts going after everyone verbally.

He says Frank is a creep who only crawled back for being low on options. He harasses Karl about his infidelities with his wife (though Karl claims his wife knows about his “libertine” lifestyle). He also demands everyone puts their phones on the table for a game of “Boar on the Floor.”

Boar on the Floor

“Boar on the Floor” is a strange moment for Succession and even stranger for how plausible it seems. Logan commands some of his “guests” to get down on the floor and fight over sausages. Indeed, some people begin acting like animals at his behest, as he commands them “Oink for your sausages, piggies.” Karl actually steals Tom’s sausage link! Even some who aren’t on the floor, like Ken and Roman, begin to accuse each other of falling short of Logan’s expectations. Soon, however, some truth does come out. Roman admits that he took a call from Naomi Pierce.

Logan then asks him and the others, “How much is a gallon of milk?” It may seem like an odd question, but it’s to demonstrate that they lead sheltered, privileged lives and don’t understand the cut-throat nature of life in the real world. Ken eventually says they’re all against the Pierce acquisition, but were afraid to disagree (except for Gerri). It’s also suggested that someone named “Mo” talked to the biographer, and apparently, Mo is dead (though it’s unclear how she died). On the down-low, Greg thanks Tom for not spilling the beans about his meeting with Pantsil. Also, PGM/Pierce’s CEO, Rhea Jarrell, emailed Frank, which means she’s a weak link in their chain.

Other stuff

Though “Boar on the Floor” is this episode’s most prominent feature, Succession weaves a bunch of other subplots in between the oinks. When Tom gets back from the retreat into insanity, he diplomatically says Logan was “peppery” and asks Shiv about her weekend. She doesn’t mention that she had an affair (Saamer Usmani). As the episode ends, she gets a call from Logan who says, “Time to bring you in.” Will she really take over the company soon, or is this some exotic bluff?

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It’s also apparent that none of the Roys like Connor’s anti-tax video, with Shiv saying, “Going to jail is not a good look.” She also rejects an offer to work for him on the campaign. It’s suggested that he wants Washington while his love interest, Willa (Justine Lupe) wants Broadway. Will Connor have any luck, or will he end up as the mockery everyone makes him out to be?

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