Season 3, Episode 2: “Mass in War”
There is an insane genius in the way Kendall Roy uses language. Here’s a guy who essentially learned to communicate by listening to cable TV speakers, speakers at leadership conferences, and macho bragging rights from his college venture capitalists. Now that national attention is on the rise, Ken revolves around jargon with a fierce, improvisational flair, like a jazz singer dispersed in half.
In this week’s episode “Mass in War,” he omits words like “epiphenomenal” and phrases like “let’s start with a clean slate” and “clean up our brand so we can go supersonic.” Even when his siblings ask how he is doing, Ken responds deliberately seriously, like a guest at Power Lunch. (“Some regret, but you know … pretty clean.”)
Mass in War is more like the second installment of last week’s episode than your typical Legacy episode. The swarms do not travel to any special place or gather for any major event; they simply continue to operate in the same crisis mode they were in at the beginning of the season. Logan is still in Sarajevo, worried about his inability to reach his offspring on the phone. What about children? Well, they really do gather in an unusual place: in the bedroom of Kendall’s daughter, Sophie. (A novel depicting shock after Ken calls his siblings into her room: “He remembered his child’s name.”)
As Roman, Siobhan, and (surprisingly) Connor huddle together, Kendall makes his presentation, and buzzwords fly around the room. His argument is a mixture of smug and pragmatic. On the one hand, he tries to position himself as a noble truth-teller in the family, finally calling for an end to decades of privileged, exploitative, chauvinistic “vibes” in Waystar. He puts the most pressure on Shiv, crawling under her skin, saying that he is doing what she did not, while “Roy’s symbolic woman awakened the snowflake.” “Right now, I’m the real you,” he plays.
But Kendall also makes a compelling case that the only way for Roy’s children to save Waystar and hold on to any socio-political influence is to banish Logan, who is now weak enough that the united front of his sons and daughter could end. his.
Indeed, we see signs that Logan is struggling with adversity throughout this episode. Last week, he ordered his team to retain three white shoe law firms and link a group of other leading lawyers with conflicts of interest. This week, Logan has trouble getting anyone in his family to register – with the exception of his wife Marcia (Khiam Abbass), who is returning in part because she hates his children and would like to help destroy Ken.
And one more thing: on their own, the younger Royces seem to be struggling. Although Siobhan pretends to keep her husband informed, he must hear from Greg that she sneaked into Kendall’s ex-apartment. She unconvincingly reminds Tom that she loves him – and he responds in kind, adding: “It’s nice to know that we don’t have an unbalanced love portfolio” – but she hesitates to tell him anything about who is in line to become the new “King of the Potato” Waystar. … “And when she finally gets back to Logan, he promises to give her the fancy corporate title” president, “which could mean” whatever you want it to mean “… which, in Logan’s language, means it’s probably will be pointless.
Even more pathetic, Roman gets a similar excuse from Jerry. When he shows up at her new office for Waystar CEO and makes his usual bad guy jokes about how she chained herself to “a fire hydrant spewing cultural insensitivity and semen,” she quickly pushes him back out the door. She gives him vague reassurances that she plans to start working with him on quarterly calls “as a signal”, although it seems pretty obvious that the newly empowered Jerry is in no rush to concede anything to Roman, of all people.
Kendall is definitely confident in himself. But as we are reminded in several key scenes, when he is away from his siblings, he still owes the rebellious Waystar councilors, Stewie (Arian Moayed) and Sandy, who poke him by sending a Trojan horse model. to his wife’s apartment. And as Ken urgently tries to chart a bold course for Waystar’s future, his lawyer tries to get him to focus on the Brightstar scandal and his potential legal obligations.
As for Connor … well, he’s Connor. He appears to be responding to Kendall’s request for a meeting, partly because he’s happy to be included, and partly because Logan made him fly home on a disappointing international flight with “a selection of heavily chilled cheeses.” Why did Ken want Connor to be a part of this? This may be because he is less interested in preserving Waystar’s legacy than in humiliating his father in their big game by taking all of his board pieces.
However, there are two problems with Kendall’s all-together plan. First, he still thinks it makes sense for him to sit at the head of the table after the coup, and neither Siobhan nor Roman disagrees. Second, they are all afraid of Logan, who scares them when he sends a box of donuts to their “secret” meeting. “I don’t think he will ever fail or ever fail,” Roman admits.
One by one, the brothers and sisters part ways, each accepting an insult from Ken. First comes Connor (“You’re out of date”), then Roman (“You’re an idiot”), and then Shiv, who is told that she only made it this far because “girls are now doubly counted” … thus showing how loyal to her business. Kendall is truly committed to “changing the cultural climate.”
However, during all this rush behind other people – “the hustle and bustle” as Kendall calls it – there is no person who can ultimately hold the key to everyone’s future. Greg, who confesses his waryness to Ken, saying “I’m too young to be in that much in Congress,” rejects Waystar’s chosen lawyer and takes the advice of his moralizing grandfather, Ewan Roy (James Cromwell), a man who believes Ken to be “selfish popinjay “. They find themselves in the office of an old leftist lawyer (played by Peter Riegert), who tells Greg that his two priorities will be the welfare of his client and “identifying the structural contradictions of capitalism embodied in the architecture of corporate relations.” America.”
In a way, that’s exactly what Kendall wants to do. That is, if he really believes all the words that endlessly break from his lips.
Logan insists that there are familiar faces around him, and almost demands that his closest entourage return Marcia to the fold. As Hugo eventually explains to her, “We would like to visually return to the Logan we all know.” However, Marcia’s lawyer informs Hugo that it will be a costly return, albeit less expensive than the divorce and the breakup of the board of directors.
Perhaps in response to his humiliating phone call with Logan last week, Roman goes crazy in this episode, making inappropriate comments to Jerry (“How are your daughters? Do you have pictures?”) And responding to Kendall’s request that he touched nothing in this episode. Sophie’s room, immediately placing his hands on various objects on her dresser.
Something in Roman’s presence also brings out the villain in Shiva. When Kendall talks about Waystar as “a shrinking empire within a falling empire,” she inserts, “Unsubscribe.” She then hits Roman where he lives, suggesting that he can’t keep smartening up like a stallion unless he wants to, you know, unmatched. (When he leaves, Shiv shrugs: “It is not my fault that he has sex.”)
Save this for later: Marcia reminds Logan that he has dirt on Kendall. He dismisses this advice, saying: “You drop the bombs, you will also get burns.” But if Logan starts losing, bad? Perhaps the time has come for the nuclear option.