The 'Succession' Insult Index: Episode 5

"Hercule Poirot of piss, over here."
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
The 'Succession' Insult Index: Episode 5
Photo: ©2021 HBO. All Rights Reserved

Throughout season three of Succession, we’ve been staring down the barrel of the shareholder meeting, the drama being that without a deal with would-be hostile takeover-ers Sandy and Stewy, Waystar shareholders would have to hold a good ol’ vote for who they wanted at the top. 

This week, we arrive at this fabled meeting as rows of seats are set and platters of deli sandwiches carted into an exhibition hall. All episode, the Roys’ control of Waystar Royco hangs in the balance and tensions are high – which is exactly where we like them when it comes to insults. Here’s this week’s Succession Insult Index, which, I do have to just say from the out, is essentially dominated by piss. Enjoy!


10) ‘It sounded like you wanted to jumpstart our father like he’s a fucking pick-up truck.’

Roman Roy to Shiv Roy

Logan’s incapacitation this episode brings out the differences in his children – Roman caring, Shiv business-like – artfully expressed here by one master of insults, Roman Roy.

9) ‘I need to know what the temperature is among the shitmunchers.’

Succession Insult Index: Episode 5

Photo: ©2021 HBO. All Rights Reserved

Logan Roy RE: the Waystar Royco shareholders.

Logan Roy there, using some classic Peep Show parlance to drip some trademark casual disdain on the people who may well control the fate of his company. We love a crossover. 

8) ‘I guess he’ll have to make time, Madam Secretary.’

Connor Roy to Shiv Roy

During the last episode and this one, Shiv has been relishing her new role as a company woman a little bit too much, in a way that kind of implies that her pride is coming before a significant fall (this sort of begins at the end of this episode, when Logan snaps at her after she seeks praise from Daddy for striking a deal in his absence). 

Shiv previously offered her older brother Connor – who believes that for the job of President he might actually need a little bit of work experience – control of Waystar’s food and wine TV channel, but big bro wants an audience with the big man himself. He hits Shiv with this surprisingly zingy banger that seems to get right to the heart of her current predicament. 


7) ‘We nail you to the cross, Frank, alright?’

Logan Roy to Frank Vernon

And so begins an entire episode of Frank performing a one man show (“Much ado about… something!”) for the shareholders while the grownups deal with Logan’s UTI.  

6) ‘Thanks, I no longer wish to receive these calls.’

Shiv Roy to Kendall Roy

Succession Insult Index: Episode 5

Photo: ©2021 HBO. All Rights Reserved

This in response to Kendall ending his phone call with his sister thus: “Puppetmaster, out.” I would probably answer him as though he were an automated marketing scam as well. 

5) ‘All these years, he still has to play maître d’ at the Bistro Bullshit'.’

Kendall Roy RE: Frank Vernon

There’s no getting away from the fact that Frank has the worst rap this episode, but actor Peter Friedman plays it amazingly. Of all the disparagements sent Frank’s way this episode, this one from Kendall from his “hashtag Resistance” apartment is probably the funniest. 

4) ‘That is an imaginary cat, now could you please fuck off?’

Roman Roy to Kendall Roy

Off all the possible ways to tell your prodigal brother to fuck off, doing so while a security guard sprints out of the door with a made-up cat that your elderly, UTI-addled father has demanded be removed from under his chair is probably one of the best! (Honourable mention to Shiv saying “Oh fuck” mid-conversation in this scene, just before you realise that it’s the sight of Kendall she’s reacting to.) 


3) ‘Hercule Poirot of piss, over here.’

Roman Roy to Tom Wambsgans

Now we’re into the piss jokes which were, let’s face it, really where this script sang. It does really feel like Roman finds his jokes as soon as this episode’s piss storyline comes into play, which feels appropriate for the character. This one comes in response to Tom’s equally funny “I believe he has been piss-mad for quite some time”, for what I think was the best one-two of the night.  

2) ‘I’m giving all my money to Greenpeace, Greg.’

Ewan Roy to Greg Hirsch

Succession VICE

Photo: ©2021 HBO. All Rights Reserved

Sick of his grandson’s amoral umming and ahh-ing, Ewan decides that the only thing for it is to leave his fortune to saving the planet. He’s almost certainly right that this is much, much better than giving it to Greg (who later in the episode weighs up the pros and cons of suing Greenpeace), but it might finally light a fire under Greg’s dormantly Machiavellian ass.  

1) ‘The demented fucking piss-mad King of England’

Roman Roy RE: Logan Roy 

Could it be anything else? Line of the season, possibly even line of the whole show. Piss mad!