Episodes 1 + 2
Kendall doesn’t actually get that he’s not likable. It’s probably his worst quality as a person, though self-awareness is not something the Roys excel at.
At the end of season 2, after spending a year on the verge of mental collapse following causing the accidental death of a young man, Kendall emerged out of the cocoon of miserable deference to his powerful father and decided to take him and his company down. The first two episodes of the new season have seen the full Kendall experience: the maniacal pixie sad boy is a true addict, getting off the high from the adrenaline of turning the world upside down with a press conference. He’s getting a team in order, he’s cracking jokes about committing murder like OJ with Greg, he’s crashed out at his ex-wife’s house and invited his new girlfriend over. Kendall loves chaos, he thrives in it, and right now, he needs it to distract himself from the fact that he has no real plan for how this should go.
Logan was right in episode 1 to declare that Kendall made a good play, and more or less extend an olive branch to negotiate his demands and announce that he was just delirious or unwell. Kendall has too much pride left to take this deal though, but even worse he actually believes in himself to be a cure for the sickness that is Waystar Royco’s company culture.
Kendall doesn’t get that people don’t like him. He’s not a leader of men (or women or NB), he’s not an undeniable force, and he’s not even aware of how to cater to what people around him desire most. In the second episode of this season, Kendall makes his case for why the Roy children should team up and “kill their dad” to takeover the company. It seems like he has them, until Logan sends over a care package of a box of donuts. Do these donuts scare the kids off from joining Kendall’s side? Probably not. It’s more a reminder of his omnipresence and that for all their snarky posturing they’re all just children in need of different forms of validation. That’s part of what Kendall doesn’t understand: he’s the only one in the family that wants to kill dad, because of his own misplaced sense of righteousness about himself. The other kids just want status and a pat on the head. The fact that Kendall erupts when his siblings leave his proposed alliance only reinforces how afraid he really is about whether he can pull this off.
It is fair to ask though, why nobody seems to have any sympathy for the fact that Logan was prepared to send Kendall to jail to protect the company (and Shiv’s role in pushing it forward). On some level they all know he’d do the same to them. But ultimately, the thorny issue of who gets to be the top kid will always come between them. It’s not completely clear what pushes them all to say no but what is clear is that none of them want to work under Kendall (even temporarily), and while Kendall thinks making a better world and being ahead of the curve on digital media should be an intriguing offer, truth be told, they don’t give a shit about the world. They only care about their position and getting the biggest piece of pie.
Logan is certainly terrible, creating a culture of toxic, vile corruption and abuse, but the Roy children understand the world he’s created for them, and it’s much easier fighting for the top seat with him then getting into the unknown of a corporation they no longer have any ownership in. If Kendall were to pull this off, there’s still a 98% chance Sandy and Stewie betray him in some way because—and I must reiterate—people don’t actually like him or see him as a capable boss.
The Roy kids (sans Kendall) all run back to daddy, who is resplendent and recharged after Marcia returns from their brief spat (but not for cheap that’s for sure). They’re back to pining for his affection like they’re 10 again, exactly how Logan likes it. Gerri is setup to take the brunt of the abuse the company is sure to face in the wake of all the scandal which will no doubt create more friction with Roman. But for now, the kids are staying in place, happy to keep fighting for position under daddy’s umbrella.
Greg and grandpa Ewan, the buddy comedy that won’t quit. You better believe Ewan brought the heat with words that are big and need a dictionary to understand.
Speaking of Greg, he got his own lawyer, after rejecting the company provided one and turning to a law school “friend” I guess. Have a hard time believing Greg has friends, especially hot black girl friends.
Roman’s been… weird so far this season. He seems more sensitive than usual. Maybe being in love with Gerri has made him more sensitive. He’s still on 100 with the barbs though, making fun of Kendall for seemingly having to think about his daughter’s name.
That said, our newly sensitive boy is gonna absolutely go crazy when Logan throws Gerri to the lions for slaughter.
Shiv is still dumb. Maybe the neediest character in this show. On some level she still thinks she can wrestle the top job from her dad but really that’s not enough, she needs him to tell her how good she is.
Kendall’s coked up tech messiah act is so pitch perfect to how Silicon Valley nerds see themselves. The performance of caring and the narcissism to think you can actually create a utopia comes so easily. On a basic level there’s no reason to believe Kendall could create a good company in the slightest. He has no vision. Credit to Jeremy Strong’s portrayal though, he’s so good at making you care about this dopey Icarus.