'Succession' Season 2 Episode 7: Kendall faces his guilt as his secret comes out in the open
The question now is: will he continue to remain under the control of his father or will he wage a war against him
At the end of season 1 of 'Succession', Kendall's (Jeremy Strong) driver ran into a river while on the road with him. Of course, Logan Roy's (Brian Cox) son escaped, but he did not save the driver and let him drown to his death. This incident became something that Logan could use to his advantage. He promised his son that he will make it all disappear in return for his loyalty. This promise was the main reason behind Ken's shocking personality transformation at the beginning of season 2.
He turned into a timid, underconfident individual who initially let his brother Roman (Kieran Culkin) use him as a punching bag. It was not until episode 4 that we saw Ken turn smart about the way in which he supported his father. Yes, he would blindly follow his father's instructions, but plan them in such a way that the results of his actions did not affect him negatively.
As an example, let's take the time when Ken along with other Roy family members visited Nan Pierce and her family at their home Tern Haven. Ken was trying his best to close the PGM acquisition that his father wanted so badly. However, when things do not go as expected, it is Ken's newly developed relationship with Naomi Pierce (Cherry Jones), that helps Nan sway towards the Roy.
The point to note here is that Ken's intention when he started to have a rapport with Naomi was not to help his father. He just wanted a hit of his favorite drug, and the only person who could give him that at the Tern Haven was Naomi. His actions were never calculated to help his father, but to keep himself safe in case the truth about his car accident were to come to light.
In the latest episode, we saw how the media finally got hold of information regarding the car accident. However, instead of Ken, it was his father Logan who bore the brunt of it in the headlines. Reports claimed that Logan punched the driver, which affected him mentally and led to him running the car into the river.
In an attempt to bury the controversy before it takes a life of its own, Logan is advised to visit the driver's father for a photo op, and make it seem like the Roys are apologizing for the loss. Logan, who knows for a fact that Ken is the one most affected by the news, maliciously asks him to accompany him, and Ken is back where he started in season 2 - timid, worried, and mentally unstable because of all the guilt that has piled up so far.
At one point in the episode, he even asks his father if he should speak to the victim's family and tell them the truth about the role that he played or even offer condolences for their loss. Logan, however, doesn't think it is a good idea and instead tells Ken to grow a pair and move on. Maybe not exactly in those terms, but it definitely comes across as such. Ken is, of course, unable to follow his father's instructions and to assuage his guilt he leaves an envelope full of money for the victim's family in the dead of the night. He does this after he fails to confess in someone regarding the confusion and the pain he is going through. He has no one to help him through his struggles and putting that envelope in the victim's home was his way of exorcising his guilt. The question now is: will he continue to remain under the control of his father or will he wage a war against him. After all, he is known for trying his damnedest to overthrow his father.
Now, after Logan betrayed Shiv's confidence by taking her out of the succession race on Rhea Jarrell's (Holly Hunter) words, Ken might now even have the support of his sister, and which may play to his advantage. As we draw close to the finale of the show, it is going to be fascinating to watch where the chips will fall now!
The next episode of 'Succession' season 2 will air on Sunday at 9 pm ET on HBO.