This week, the Roy siblings are squabbling over whether to have ATN help a right-wing celebrity maniac win the US Presidential campaign, an entirely fictional scenario none of us need worry about since, as we all know, all television news networks are bastions of morality and impartiality, and a right-wing celebrity maniac would never successfully win the US presidential race, ha ha, see what I did there? It’s been a strange decade for politics, hasn’t it? Whatever the case, their dilemma boils down to a battle for the soul of America: an unusual affair given that it’s still not entirely clear which of the Roys themselves have souls. This episode contains some of the funniest content of the season; It’s also really hard to watch. Like the best pitch black comedy successor manages to surprise you with something genuinely malicious every now and then, lulling you into a false sense of security with the rest of the gags that aren’t too dark. When Roman made a “joke” about “the blacks and the Jews” this week, my heart jumped, just like it did in season two when The acronym NRPI was discussed first – In both cases, the Roys’ abstracted and amusing awfulness crystallized into something all too real for a moment, and the show felt less like a gallows comedy and more like a warning. It is a pity that the warning comes too late in this case.
Maintaining our unique perspective
It’s Election Day and Tom Wambsgans (Matthew McFadyen) is clearly manic in his role as ATN’s big boss. Two nights ago, he didn’t get enough sleep from attending the “Orgasm Olympiads” with his possibly ex-wife Shiv for too long; Last night he didn’t get enough sleep because he took her too long to the Fighting Olympiad where they both fought for gold. He’s tense, to say the least, and Greg (Nicholas Braun) does little to ease the tension when he mentions that the GoJo CEO revealed on his night out with Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) that he has a “special relationship.” with Shiv. “You want to fry her ass?” asks Greg and Tom replies with a memorable Grade A chunk successor Dialogue: “Information, Greg, is like a bottle of fine wine. You store it, you hoard it, you save it for a special occasion, and when the time comes, you smash someone’s face with it.”
In the boardroom, the Roy siblings treat poll results like a sport. Taken together, they represent a kind of muddled political spectrum: Roman (Kieran Culkin), perhaps the most abused by his father and therefore perversely fond of him, has no real political ties and is happy to jump into bed with Nazis , if it could make papa proud posthumously; Shiv (Sarah Snook), everyone’s favorite half-assed boss in a pant suit, is rumored to be a Democrat; Caught between the two poles, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) also wants to take on Logan, but realizes that a fascist-run America may not be the safest place for his South Asian daughter. “My team is playing your team,” Roman tells Shiv, just before it is revealed that the captain of Roman’s team – Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) – is the right candidate to think “H” had some “good pitches” — turned a blind eye as his Wisconsin supporters set a fire that snuffed out a number of likely Democratic votes. After a concerned call from Rava (Natalie Gold), his ex-wife, about “intimidation” on the street, Kendall calls Nate (Ashley Zuckerman), adviser to Democratic candidate Daniel Jiménez (Elliot Villar). Nate wants to know if ATN will be covering “the s***heads kicking off”; Kendall, who is clearly torn between his business interests and protecting his terrified daughter, insists he makes sure the coverage is “f*** fair”.
Here’s the problem: Mencken is willing to work with the FDC to block the GoJo deal, and in that sense he’s the most attractive candidate for Roman and Kendall, who are still desperate for the idea of preserving Logan’s empire . “What would dad do?” Roman asks Kendall. “[Choose] The guy in the pocket, the guy who takes all our calls, the guy who prints US dollars… Nothing matters, Ken. Nothing fucking matters. Papa is dead and the country is one big pussy just waiting to be fucked.” (Considering this, his choice of words is interesting Fucking pussies – big or otherwise – doesn’t seem to be Roman’s thing(though he may have meant to say that the country was a big replica of his mother’s pussy to go inside.) Learning that his poll results are dismal, Connor (Alan Ruck) agrees on TV, in favor of Mencken in exchange for the post of ambassador to Slovakia, he gave a rogue speech in which he snapped, “I’m a billionaire – sorry!” among other things. Things are looking terribly, terribly grim.
Shiv mentions the future multiple times in this week’s episode as part of her reasoning why Mencken shouldn’t win, and while her brothers don’t yet know why she might make a special investment in tomorrow’s America, this is the day Tom finally finds it out of here. When Shiv corners him to apologize, he finds Tom in a bad mood, reflecting on what he found out about her connections to Matsson. She apologizes for her recent bad behavior by emphasizing the fact that her father just passed away. “Well, you hated him, Siobhan,” says Tom clearly. “You kind of killed him too.” Shiv reveals that she’s suddenly pregnant with Tom’s baby, and he brings the symbolic bottle of wine to her tearful face a little earlier than planned. “Is that even true?” he asks. “Or is that a new position, or a tactic, or what?” The expression Sarah Snook makes at that moment is extraordinary, a grimace of pain and disbelief that almost resembles a smile for a split second before she turns into pain.
It’s been a record week for Eggwatch this time – an embarrassment for Hirsches, if you will. For election night, Greg was demoted and is gregging again for Tom. Part of his job involves providing Coke, which he offers to Tom while hiding behind a handy whiteboard and gently calling out, “Just innocently rub the board, just clean the whiteboard over here!” “I don’t want to be hooked from two nights in a row he whimpers when Tom offers him a jab and he just pretends to do it. “It’s medically good for your brain,” says Dr. Tom Wambsgans. “What, are you saying that all Aztecs are stupid? Don’t be a racist little bugger.”
Greg’s gregging ends up causing a big problem later in the episode, as he attends a tense meeting about whether or not ATN should call Wisconsin, potentially helping Mencken win. ATN’s policy expert says he’s willing to call if the matter is marked “pending” and provided he can go on the air to explain what’s going on; Suddenly he wipes his eye and is blinded by a dollop of wasabi from Greg’s supermarket sushi, which he accidentally put his hand in. What follows is a scene that forced me to hit pause so I could laugh like a hyena Greg – who obviously doesn’t have Tom Wambsgans’ medical knowledge – desperately tries to flush the expert’s eyes out with LaCroix. “It’s clear!” Greg whines. “It’s natural! It’s just a hint of lemon!” Anyway, the announcement ultimately comes without any context and without the “pending” caveat, and unwittingly or unintentionally Greg makes the first of two decisions that ultimately govern the election influence.
As previously mentioned, Greg and Matsson have formed an unusual bond after nighting out at what Greg wonderfully puts at what Greg calls a number of “unbecoming venues”. (“I was dancing with an old man,” Greg reveals forcefully. “He didn’t want to dance, but they let us dance. He was so confused.”) This bond gives Greg an unusual amount of power over, well, Greg, and it There is perhaps no more obvious proof of his new status than the fact that Shiv is obviously threatened enough to drag him into an empty boardroom and do it Like Samuel L. Jackson asked if Marsellus Wallace looked like an idiot pulp Fiction. “I’m just telling you I’ll kill you if you try to fuck me,” she hisses. With surprising cunning, Greg says his silence on her bizarre affair with Matsson is “golden.” How golden? Is there an offer?” “Yes,” says Shiv. “How about I offer to keep all your internal organs in your body instead of pulling them out of your asshole?”
Shiv’s rejection of Greg eventually haunts her again, such as after a brief exchange with Kendall in which she describes him as “a good guy… basically a good guy” and “a good father… well, you’re fine with your brother.” asks her to call Nate instead and ask if Jiménez can block the GoJo deal in any way. Due to her loyalty to Matsson, Shiv merely pretends to have called and makes up a lie that Nate is looking for helpful options; Kendall says he’s going to call and pressure Nate himself, and Shiv’s face does that heartbreaking crumple again. When Kendall learns that Shiv lied, she approaches Greg and asks him if he’s noticed anything odd about her relationship with Matsson, and that’s it. “She’s kidding us,” Kendall says to Roman, “right, Shivvy?” Like a kid throwing a tantrum, Kendall throws sanity and humanity aside and decides that ATN should call the election in a big way for Mencken, noting that Problem with the burnt ballot papers ignored and led the discussion in all American media in favor of Mencken.
Greg, walking past the glass wall of the conference room, sees Shiv and smiles – a knowing, horrible smile that lends credibility to the idea that he knows far more about what he does at Waystar Royco than his awkward affect would suggest. When he’s tasked with delivering the message that ATN will be favoring Mencken for the win, it’s impossible to tell if his damn nervousness is because he genuinely thinks the wrong guy won, or if it’s just an act is to cover up his giddiness gain power. As Mencken delivers a victory speech peppered with phrases like “polluted land,” “proud and pure,” and “almost wanted to live,” I am reminded once again that the only reason you underestimate a man with no real scruples is because he looking like a human being idiot can be a big mistake.