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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

On the ‘Succession’ Finale, Love Is a Smoothie Stuffed with Scorching Sauce and Spit

*Minor spoilers for the Succession finale beneath

On Sunday evening, after 4 seasons of treachery, stress, and torturing one another with meals, the story of the Roy household lastly got here to an finish. And whereas a lot of the dialogue of the sequence finale has been centered round how every of the Roy youngsters fared — personally and professionally — following the loss of life of their father, the episode additionally confirmed this trio of mentally scarred siblings can put scheming apart and simply act like a household, if just for one evening.

As Kendall and Shiv arrive in Barbados for a “Caribbean air clear” on the house of their mom, Caroline, they’re working totally different angles. Kendall is making an attempt to shore up Roman’s vote for his or her “Roy Boys” takeover of Waystar Royco, whereas Shiv is making an attempt to show that she made the suitable resolution in siding with the Gojo founder, Matsson, and never her brothers, a duo of everlasting fuck-ups. In the meantime, Roman is simply strolling across the island in a stained shirt beneath a head of mussed hair, clearly nonetheless deeply traumatized by his father’s loss of life. After agreeing to put aside their variations and work collectively eventually, the siblings determine to rejoice by taking part in their favourite disgusting childhood recreation, “meal match for a king.”

The sport includes pulling essentially the most revolting dregs from the fridge, throwing all the pieces in a blender, and serving it to the “king.” On this case, that meant Roman gleefully pulling from Caroline’s fridge zero-fat milk, “frozen knobbies” (a sack of bread heels caught within the freezer), sizzling sauce, and ranch dressing. Shiv, equally giddy, then pours the components right into a blender and purees them till they arrive collectively right into a putrid brown glop. As she presents it to Kendall, our cursed “king,” she provides a last, particular ingredient — a dollop of her personal spit. Kendall drinks the concoction (for actual, apparently) with solely slightly peer strain from his siblings, decided to show that he can deal with something. After Kendall downs a decent quantity, Roman dumps the remainder of the smoothie on him and plops the blender jug on high of his head like a wretched crown.

As Kendall sits there, grinning ear to ear and lined in his taupe-toned “feast,” it turns into clear that that is, by some means, one of the vital touching moments within the sequence. Right here, we lastly see the Roy youngsters act like siblings, like household, in a manner that’s recognizable to us regular, non-billionaire sorts. In a fucked-up manner, that is the closest we’ve ever seen them, and in that closeness, they really discover a second of happiness. That’s in stark distinction to the best way that this household has, all through the sequence, wielded meals as a weapon. Keep in mind the time Logan despatched donuts to let his youngsters know he was on to one in every of their little plots? Or when he made his grandson Iverson strive a pasta dish at a dinner with Kendall to make it possible for his son wasn’t making an attempt to poison him? However this scene features slightly in another way within the Roy household dynamic, and in lots of household dynamics, the place slightly little bit of good-natured torment can generally truly imply love.

“Meal match for a king” is sadistic, to make certain. It’s additionally not too far off from the pranks my brother and I used to play on one another as youngsters. Siblings, even ones who aren’t preventing with one another for management over a multi-billion-dollar firm, torture one another. Who amongst us hasn’t slipped salt into our brother’s lemonade, or tricked them into consuming one thing doused in sizzling sauce, all for the sake of comedy? Making your siblings eat gross shit is a ceremony of passage, and within the Roy household, that’s solely amplified by their inherently aggressive relationship.

“Meal match for a king” isn’t about anybody Roy’s particular victory, and even their broader wrestle over the corporate. It’s a determined try to seek out the heat of nostalgia within the midst of a very hellish ordeal. And it feels particularly becoming that the Roy youngsters can solely discover that heat within the context of one thing as objectively repulsive as a spit-spiked smoothie.

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