“Caliphate” Episode 6 Recap: “Living +” Turns Boys Into Power-Crazed Kings (Spoilers)

Editor’s note: (Here are some major spoilers for the sixth episode of Succession season 4, Living+.)

(CNN) There was so much to love about “Succession” Episode VI, in the most cringe-worthy way, and it’s honestly hard to say where to begin. The indelible image, with Game of Thrones apologies, was one of the Roy boys who became power-crazed royalty in the wake of their father’s death, yet somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

The episode opened with the familiar face of Logan Roy (They’re still paying Brian CoxAfter all, why not?) promoting a real estate brand, Living+, via a posthumous video, which the company intends to present at Investor Day. However, their soon-to-be landlord, Lucas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård, who launched his own Emmy campaign), teases the idea, using Sister Chef (Sarah Snook) as a back channel to vent his discontent after contentious negotiations with brothers Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman. (Kieran Culkin).

As over-the-top images of “succession” would pass, it’s hard to beat Mattson walking across the tarmac, barefoot, from one private jet to the next, as he referred to Schiff as his “inside girl.”

Even after Mattson tries to get rich to acquire Waystar Royco, Kendall and Roman are still trying to undermine the deal and, perhaps more importantly, prove they can fill their father’s shoes.

In one of the more public expressions of this concern, Roman dashes off to Hollywood, impulsively fires the company’s movie studio head (guest star Annabeth Gish) during a meeting, then is upset when Jerry (J. Smith-Cameron) tells him he can’t do it.

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“I want you to believe I’m as good as my dad,” said Roman, to which Jerry replied, emphatically, “Say it or believe it?”

While Roman grappled with apparent delusions of grandeur, Kendall was exposing himself, using Living+ as a lifeline that would boost the company’s stock price and potentially allow them to retain control of the company.

Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin in Episode 6 of “Succession.”

Gung ho about the idea, Kendall sought to craft a last-minute pitch for his show, complete with questionably spun earnings projections and a vision of an on-stage replica of Living+ that couldn’t be manufactured in time.

The naysayers prompt Schiff to question Kendall’s “schemes”, Roman to back off endorsing the idea and everyone else in the Waystar hierarchy to prepare for the worst, especially when Kendall incorporates footage of his late father during his stuttering opening.

And then, shockingly, the presentation goes well, causing Waystar’s brain confidence to suddenly shift, and Kendall beams with a cleansing dip into an ocean that certainly didn’t suffer from a lack of symbolism. It was as if he was washing away the stigma of failure, finally establishing himself as his own man.

Even that summary doesn’t do justice to the episode, which featured a number of clever moments, including the suggestion that Waystar’s conservative news division, the ATF, created a toxic environment to attract talent to the movie studio, which is a problem. arose in the past During Rupert Murdoch’s tenure at Fox.

The writers also went on to explore the complex interactions between Shiv and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), who continue to flirt and hurt each other (literally, in an instant) with near equal measure.

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Plus, there was that little line in which Jerry says of Mattson, “Nobody cares about a genius who acts weird,” which carries with it a lot of recent real-world echoes, adding, “His reputation is grounded.”

Where do boys Roy and Mattson go from here? That remains to be seen, but there was already a lot of genius in the buildup that, in an hour, should only increase the stock price of the Succession awards.

HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Television. Discovery.

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