Succession season 2, episode 8 recap: Dundee


In episode 208 of HBO’s Succession, a whistleblower emerges, Shiv and Logan make peace, Rhea gains power, Greg considers a Grexit and Ken raps.

Previously on Succession, Logan (Brian Cox) and Ken (Jeremy Strong) went on an unexpected PR quest, and the Roy kids negotiated family vs. business with their mom, Caroline (Harriet Walter). As “Dundee” begins, we’re reminded that Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter) set up Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) by making her consider a job at Pierce — thereby jeopardizing Shiv becoming CEO. The Roys attend a party for Connor (Alan Ruck) and his love interest, Willa (Justine Lupe). In fact, the party is for Willa, who is on her way to becoming a playwright.

Awkwardly, one of Shiv’s flings is at the party and her husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), seems to know. Later, Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) and others record farewell messages for Logan, who is soon to pass the Waystar Royco company torch. However, it’s rumored that Logan’s had affairs with both Rhea Jarrell and even Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) — a woman that Roman seems to like. Sensing family disturbance, Shiv wants a truce with her brothers to deal with Rhea.

Dealing with Rhea

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As various Roys strategize about Rhea, it’s amidst numerous other Succession scandals. The latest one involves someone named whistleblower James Weissel, who isn’t accepting a payout offer of $10 million. Shiv is rather direct in dealing with Rhea, confronting her about wanting to be CEO. No less direct is Logan’s wife, Marcia (Hiam Abbass), who asks Rhea if she’s been tested for STDs (Marcia definitely suspects Logan’s been with her). Interestingly, Shiv actually asks her husband to flirt with Rhea, saying, “not dirty flirty, just hurty flirty.” For his part, Ken remains fairly aloof in the Rhea situation, which no doubt influences her to tell him he’s “the one” to inherit Waystar.

Surprise party

Succession eventually offers another party, this time in honor (though almost in remembrance) of Logan Roy’s reign at the as CEO of Waystar Royco. Not everyone is there to celebrate the man. Ewan Roy (James Cromwell), Logan’s estranged brother, is there to get in a few jabs. For example, he says a Logan Roy School for Journalism is equivalent to a Jack the Ripper women’s health clinic. He even says Logan may be worse than Hitler, in terms of lives lost due to climate change denial (ouch!).

This enmity threatens his grandson, Greg (Nicholas Braun), who has been working his way into a successful spot in the family business. Ewan threatens to remove Greg from his will for working with Logan. This has Greg worried, and he tells Logan about Ewan pressuring him to “Grexit.” However, Logan assures him that Ewan is too cowardly to cut his grandson out of the will. In other words, Greg’s main probably maybe the sand mites he’s recently acquired.

A bunch of other stuff happens to keep Succession engaging. Roman works to buy a Scottish sports team.  Also, Ken has been sleeping with one of Willa’s play’s stars, Jennifer (Sydney Lemmon). He steadily keeps her attention, threatening the production of the play (which is struggling for money).

Also, when Ken introduces her to Logan at the party, he eventually ditches her for her supposed lack of intelligence. With the Roys wanting the party to actually be a party, Shiv and Logan call a truce for the night. In fact, Logan at one point says she is smart. For her part, Shiv tells everyone not to tell Logan about James Weissel, who is considered an “existential threat.”

Ken.W.A. / Shiv’s guidance to Logan

What would a party be without some embarrassment? Kendall Roy hands it out like Christmas candy when he picks up the microphone and raps. Roman says “I think this might be the end of the company,” calling it a “black hole of embarrassment.” After Ken spits fire, Shiv tells Logan that he can’t act based on sentiment regarding the Waystar Rayco CEO declaration.

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Accordingly, Logan appoints Rhea as the new CEO, with viewers likely knowing it’s temporary. Marcia takes this very personally, calling Logan’s commemorative plaque his “shiny little gravestone.” It’s about as biting as when Ewan paraphrases Tacitus regarding Waystar Royco: “He made a wasteland and they call it an empire.”

What are your thoughts on this Succession episode? Let us know in the comments!