Photo: Macall Polay / HBO
Kendall Roy thinks he’s a media fanatic. In the lunch interview that opens this punchy episode, he cheekily offers a reporter the idea of his own profile of him: “Kendall Roy ordered the fennel salad and picked it with curiosity.” That’s a pretty good guess, in fact, given the long tradition of tortured directing that goes with important person profiles. And he wants her and her readers to know that he is not in tune with the negative press his actions have sparked. From the nickname ‘dipussy’, he said, rather weakly, ‘it doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s what it means to be in the public arena, and not only is he ready to take a few hits, but he’s ready to step right into oncoming traffic.
The text and subtext of Kendall’s behavior in “The Disruption” – all hinted at so nicely by Jeremy Strong, who is locked into this character – is a complex fusion of childish strategy, selfishness, need and vulnerability to both pathetic and heartbreaking. One correct thing Kendall understands about the modern media (and social media) ecosystem is that it rewards people who stay in the conversation, even if everyone else is leaning on them. When a TV host laughs at one of his tweets (“We must reverse the culture of corruption that silences women”) for false awakening, he is right to believe that it amplifies its relevance more than it does. does not damage its reputation. Just ask any Republican politician if they are called out for their hypocrisies via quotes or tweets. Daily show segment ruined their careers.
But there is much more to it. He’s bound to appear bulletproof to the public and those around him, to be the good player who doesn’t mind getting shouted “bad tweets” in the limo and is ready to appear in the limo. late-night show (hosted by Ziwe) which attacks him most loudly. (His communications people don’t like it, but he waves to them.) Still, there’s a part of him that thinks he deserves it because he lives with the guilt of knowing exactly what happened. spent on these cruise ships just like his father and siblings. , and his addiction had already resulted in the death of a man, which was later covered up. He has spoken of exposing his father as a “cleanse,” but he can never feel clean, even when he offers himself generously for a diffused boost.
As with everything, however, Kendall’s feelings go back to her father – just like Roman’s, just like Shiv’s. The episode after Kendall’s unsuccessful attempt to forge unity against this common enemy, they all came back to gravely hurt each other because of a man who has alternately betrayed, neglected, and manipulated them all their lives. Now that they have held opposing fighting positions in the “hullabaloo” cruise scandal, Kendall and Shiv, in particular, deal far more devastating blows than any well-targeted tweet or talk show monologue. They are brothers and sisters. They know where the weak points are.
For Shiv, it’s a reminder that she completely sold herself. Back in the days when she had no role in Waystar, she could freelance as a cool, liberal Roy, someone who could offer wisdom (and access) to progressive politicians and who would surely seek justice for the victims of sexual assault on cruise lines. Now, she appears at a benefit specifically to get a read on Kendall and discourage him from returning to her office at company headquarters. “Did they make you dress everything for that?” Kendall asks with a smile before entering to kill him. “It’s you now. I’m sorry for you, Siobhan.
Still, one wonders how much Kendall wants to hurt Shiv, especially when he shows up on the day of the Town Hall event and brings Nirvana’s song “Rape Me” to the room. She feels less like a target here than collateral damage, the victim of a well-timed prank meant to remind everyone in the company (and beyond) what this PR-managed event, less than open, is intended to cover. Whether it’s essentially Shiv’s meteoric debut as president of all that domestic hell has likely been lost to him, or maybe he doesn’t really feel like he’s gone anymore. too far. Her ambition – the thing she sold for – is to run this business one day, and he humiliates him.
Hell has no fury like a despised Roy. The open letter Shiv writes in response to Kendall’s behavior – laden with false concerns about his addiction and this inventory of personal flaws (drugs, serial liar, absent father, history of problematic relationships with women, etc.) – n ‘ is not even as smart or well calculated as his IED at the town hall meeting. Even Roman, who speaks more naturally of his sycophancy to Logan, doesn’t want anything to do with the statement, nor does Connor, who calls him “a Times New Roman firing squad.” Shiv publishes the letter anyway, programmed to undermine a TV appearance and worded in such a way that Kendall can’t laugh at it. It breaks him.
Logan presides over all this drama with imperious smugness. He’s mostly interested in how his children’s actions might affect him, of course, but there’s a sadistic part of him that enjoys watching them fight. These are the pit bulls he trained, and now he has a front row seat for the aerial combat match. When Roman arrives in his office at the end of the episode, Logan nods in thanks for Romulus’ refusal to sign Shiv’s open letter – not because the letter was unduly mean to his favorite son, but because he didn’t. not signing it was the safe thing to do. He then asks about the fly-fishing trip to Montana, the “cherished memory” Roman half-whispers after dismissing other softball questions about his warm relationship with his father.
Connor actually took him fishing, says Roman. “A single childhood memory with multiple uses. If he and his siblings ever win that coveted kiss from daddy, it will be the first.
• “Open the kimono” is unfortunate rhetoric at the best of times, not to mention the prelude to an interview about sexual misconduct in your family’s business.
• Gerri’s debut as interim CEO in a nutshell: (1) Tells Carl to go ahead with the purchase of an Israeli machine learning operation. (2) Carl nods and passes the idea on to Logan. (3) Logan says kill the case.
• A full page apology beginning with the slogan “We Get It” appears to be a reference to a specific incident of corporate penance in the real world, but this may be a case where it looks like all. Hugo thinks it’s “pretty funky”, but Roman and Shiv treat it like animals. Roman: “We understand… a bit like these ladies on the cruise ship understood it? “Shiv:” We already understood that. Stop complaining about rape.
• Logan’s legal strategy of telling authorities to fuck off after all is not paying dividends.
• There is a specific villainy that Tom allows himself to display with Greg, who is his subordinate and perhaps the only person around whom he can abuse. Therefore threatening like “DOJ is going to be like a combine in a wheat field of dicks”.
• Another candidate from Tom’s Night Line: Offering himself as a drop man to Logan in case anyone needs to go to jail, Tom quietly assures him, “I’m not going to squirm. . Simply glue the trout on the head and put it in your pocket. Now it’s the kind of fly fishing expedition that could send Logan to the bait shop.