In 'Succession 2' episode 2, Kendall Roy continues to be Roman's punching bag but redeems himself with Logan
Kendall is still on his father's side despite Logan wanting to gut the company he considers his child. He acts as if he is still trying to get his father to change his mind, but in the end, he did "what his father told him to do", fires employees and got himself back in the room with his father
This article contains spoilers for 'Succession' season 2 episode 2
In the premiere episode of 'Succession' season 2, we saw how Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) was promised the post of Chief Executive Officer by her father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) after Waystar Royco stabilizes following the stunt Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) pulled. The coup Kendall planned with the help of his friend and one of Waystar's bitter enemies has now resulted in him being used as a punching bag by every Roy in the family and with every punch, the man is sinking deeper into the pits of depression and addiction.
In episode 2, when Ken actually gets bulldozed by the inexperienced Roman (Kieran Culkin) who is clearly bluffing after taking one good look at Ken who worked hard, over one of Waystar's acquisitions, he takes it with no second word. Roman wants the acquisition gutted, but Ken is all for spending time and money and rehauling the company to make it the best.
Logan takes Roman's side, probably to show Ken his place in the company now, possibly because he wants the facade of competition between Roman and Ken to continue until Shiv is ready to be CEO but either way, Ken is screwed. Or that's what it looks like initially.
Ken, once the poster boy and heir to the conglomerate is a huge disappointment and inconsequential in the present. He is very disturbed at this point and is mentally unstable. He falls back on his drug habits with the help of Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) but how long will this really help him keep his ruthless father and his manipulative inconsiderate siblings away from him?
Right now, he is still on his father's side despite Logan wanting to gut the company Kendall considers his child. He acts as if he is still trying to get his father to change his mind, but in the end, he did "what his father told him to do". He fired employees, did what his father wanted of him and got himself back in the room with his father even as Logan pushed Roman out of the room, figuratively speaking.
By now, Roman should be used to the way his father deals with his children but neither Roman nor Shiv seem to get it yet. They continue to hope and even want the position Logan has decided to hand over to Ken.
Shiv is, in fact, struggling between wanting what her father has promised her, which in her words is "100 percent not happening" and the offer she received from Senator Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian) to be his Chief of Staff if he makes it to the Oval office. When she gives her husband Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) the rundown of both the offers that she received, she claims saying yes to her father Logan was the best option even though she doesn't trust him. She wants it, but she is expecting the worst and it doesn't seem like it's working. Initially, she chooses to keep her cards close to her chest, so to speak, and see how things play out.
However, when she is with Gil and ends up making a crass joke about people of the working class, neither Nate Sofrelli (Ashley Zukerman) nor Gil appreciates it and things escalate pretty quickly from there and she ends up quitting the job, kissing what could have been an impressive political career goodbye. What she doesn't know yet is the fact that Ken is back in the room and with his attitude - of doing his father's bidding with no questions asked - he may go farther than Shiv could have guessed. What will she do when she learns of this latest twist?
We will have to wait and watch in episode 3, which will air on HBO Sunday at 9 p.m.