Caution spoilers ahead!

The beginning of “Kill List” brings us back to the very first episode of the series where Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) blasts hip-hop music in the back of his limo, gearing himself up for his Vaulter meeting. Only this time, the stakes are higher when Kendall and his brother Roman (Kieran Culkin) are set to complete the GoJo deal with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), the tech billionaire who was bidding to buy into Waystar Royco last season. Like his dealings with Vaulter in season one – Matsson even mentions this in one of their meetings – it becomes apparent that Kendall has no idea how to run Waystar. He comes into meetings with a series of business cliches, playing the part of a cool executive, but ultimately achieves nothing.


The older, more experienced C-suite players know this and are nervous that the Roy children will blow up the deal. There will be no golden parachutes, and Karl (David Rasche) can kiss his Greek island goodbye. It may be a representation of how the richest and most influential people in the world have no clue what they’re doing. From Elon Musk‘s shambolic moves with Twitter to the recent rocket explosion at SpaceX (yet another Succession reference), it seems that accountability is only an imaginary idea to those in power.


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

The Waystar executives are invited to a mountain retreat in Norway to get the sale done, and similar to their stay at the Pierce estate, come off as old, unsophisticated and out-of-touch. Hugo gets mocked for loading his plate with carbs at brunch while Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and Greg (Nicholas Braun) fumble through a conversation about the state of France. It’s all a ploy to decide who is on the kill list and who isn’t, and it turns out to be almost all of them.

As Kendall and Roman fail to make any headway in negotiations, Matsson sniffs out their incompetence and easily outmaneuvers them, buying the entire company, including its news broadcast service ATN. He even exposes their plan, baiting Roman into standing up for himself and admitting their attempt to tank the deal. Meanwhile, Shiv (Sarah Snook) also emerges as a winner, ascending quickly from rock bottom in last week’s episode. Although her brothers initially freeze her out of conversations with Matsson, she gives advice to him on buying the company and how to deal with the public relations aspect of his relationship with a female employee. She rids herself of the “toxic asset” that is ATN and gets Tom under her control again. In just one episode, the power dynamics have shifted again, leaving everything in uncertainty. But what we may be more assured of is that the legacy of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) will not live through the end of the series, and his children will be unable to forge their own.

Leave a comment

Read more about: