In last week’s episode of Succession, The Raisin – the Roys’ friend in the White House – decided to step down from his position, leaving the Republicans in the lurch mid-election. A successor needed to be chosen imminently: enter the Roy family, media emperors and, therefore, political kingmakers.
In an episode where we’re reminded of the stakes of the Roys’ power, and the pretty horrendous types of discourse they’re willing to ally with in order to keep it, there was obviously a big opportunity for insults, and there were few characters who got out entirely unscathed – though Connor Roy, sadly not chosen to play the role of “President” this time, and some guy called Peter Munion got it worst. Here’s this week’s ten most biting lines:
10) ‘I don’t do requests because I’m not a DJ.’
Lisa Arthur to Kendall Roy
Lisa Arthur is a woman who talks sense, tells the truth and doesn’t sugar coat, and therefore Kendall Roy fires her as his legal counsel this episode. She does get to leave with a couple of zingers, however, the best of which was this.
9) ‘Kerry, get Shiv a fucking medal.’
Logan Roy to Kerry
While Pinkie may have been the golden child earlier in the season, it seems that it’s Roman’s time to bask in the glow of Daddy’s attention now. Shiv wants a bit of acknowledgement of her conniving to keep Waystar in Roy hands, but all she gets is a joke between her dad and his apparent new girlfriend made at her expense. Both of the siblings’ parents seem to be in new relationships of some kind this episode, and it appears to throw emotional spanners in the works all over the place.
8) ‘You know Glen, the Brexit pervert?’
Roman Roy to Shiv Roy RE: Glen, the Brexit pervert
It’s rare that the Roys have any engagement with Brits other than their parents (their mum is one of my favourite characters purely for the episode where she roasts Roman over his American food tastes: “Sorry it’s not a 48 ounce T-bone steak with truffle fries”), so it’s good to check in and see what they think of us. Although in fairness, at an event like the one the Roys are attending, it’s probable that Glen really is a Brexit pervert of UKIP proportions.
7) ‘Course he didn’t know, Ken bores the shit out of Mom.’
Roman Roy to Shiv Roy RE: Kendall Roy
What’s funny about this call to big brother is that Roman and Shiv genuinely want to know whether Kendall was aware of their mum’s impending nuptials, but as soon as it becomes clear that he didn’t, the two youngest go knives out. It’s mean but, like all the best insults on this show, you can totally see how it would be true.
6) ‘Is Greg necessary?’
Hugo Baker to Logan Roy RE: Greg Hirsch
Hugo asking whether Greg really *needs* to be in the room while the Roys attempt to select the new Republican presidential nominee is funny enough on its own, but it’s taken stratospheric by Logan directly addressing Greg immediately afterwards: “Just keep your trap shut.”
5) ‘Who is Peter Onion?’
Shiv Roy RE: Peter Munion
This is just a throwaway joke re: the name of the siblings’ mum’s betrothed, but Sarah Snook’s delivery and look of genuine confusion sells it extremely hard. Also: Peter Onion just sounds funny!
4) ‘The Fuck Fuck Donkey Gang’
Logan Roy RE: the Democratic Party
3) ‘Crap hands’
Roman Roy RE: Connor Roy
Elite sibling insult, even funnier when deployed while debating whether to make said sibling the President of the United States.
2) ‘I might call the guy who waxes my balls, he’s a possible.’
Roman Roy RE: Connor Roy
Roman goes two for two when it comes to discussing Connor’s possible Presidency, essentially asking: If Connor, why not anyone? Maybe Roman’s ball waxer has some great ideas about fiscal policy. (Also, of course Roman, enjoyer of the fancy hotel bathroom hand cream, gets his balls waxed.)
1) ‘The seat sniffer?’
Logan Roy RE: Peter Munion
What’s amazing during this episode is the fact that while the stakes literally could not be higher, the Roys – as always – find time to be petty about intra-family drama, in this case, the remarriage of Kendall, Shiv and Roman’s mother to a man named Peter Munion. Upon hearing his name, Logan leaps to attention, and the sheer jolt of energy Brian Cox gives the line “The seat sniffer?” makes it the funniest and most savage thing anyone says all episode, in an episode where people were really horrible to each other! A huge achievement.