Okay, you saw Logan’s little smile at the end of the Succession season two finale. It was a small one, the teeny tiniest little curl of the edges of his lips as his son, Kendall, hung him out to dry during a live televised press conference and put the responsibility for the entire cruise fiasco at his feet. But it was definitely there. On one hand, Logan doesn’t smile much so you could be forgiven if it confused you and you thought he was having a small stroke from the stress. On the other hand, that almost imperceptible display of pleasure, from him, is the equivalent of a loud, bellowing laugh from most normal people. It was a smile. He was pleased. That’s not in question. What is in question, however, is what the smile meant. What was it, exactly, that pleased him that moment?
I’ve been thinking about it a lot since the episode aired. Too much, probably. And after all this thought, I have come up with three possibilities, which I will now present in no particular order.
POSSIBILITY NUMBER ONE — Logan smiled because this was his plan all along
Possibility number one has two sub-possibilities. This is already a mess. Let’s do it anyway.
The first sub-possibility is that Logan pulled all the strings and pushed Kendall into it, all the way to the end, through pure manipulation. Hoo boy, this one would be diabolical and fun but it is also a really tremendous reach. For this to be true, you have to assume all of the following:
— Logan, a man who is increasingly unable to make a decision and stick to it (see, uh, everything with Shiv), played a long game filled with subterfuge and subtle psychological warfare even though he’s more of an “OINK FOR YOUR SAUSAGES” kind of problem solver.
— He bet his entire company and his son’s future — and potentially his son’s freedom — on the fact that his button-pushing would result in Kendall snapping at the exact moment he needed to, not before on the boat and not after from prison.