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Kendall Roy: It won't be him, or will it?

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"Kendall's, I don't know. It's like you put him in a big diaper, and now he can shit himself whenever he likes. He has all the shots, but he doesn't know when to play them. I, I don't know."

Rhea's evaluation of Kendall as potential successor

Kendall seems to have the most business experience and training but can he put it together?

More importantly, does he have too much of a conscience for the Roy family or Waystar?  Or as Logan would put it, can he swing the big dick required to run the company?

Is he a nice guy, at least relatively speaking, or just another entitled, rich asshole?

Will he ever get out from under the black cloud or will Logan make sure he never gets out?

I would think long term though, especially beyond season 2, it would be better for the show to have Kendall rehabilitated, both from his addiction and from his current bottom position in the power rankings for the Waystar contenders.

If nothing else to have more equally-viable contenders.

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I think the story of Kendall’s soiled sheets at Tern Haven might have made the rounds.

I hate Kendall so much in the Pilot, and through most of S1. But damn if Jeremy Strong hasn’t made me love him.

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6 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

I think the story of Kendall’s soiled sheets at Tern Haven might have made the rounds.

I hate Kendall so much in the Pilot, and through most of S1. But damn if Jeremy Strong hasn’t made me love him.

Yeah but wouldn't Naomi have found out about the sheets before the rest of the world?

Yet she still wanted him.

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I thought the "big diaper" comment was about Roman, which made more sense to me.  Still, LOVE Rhea's assessment of the kids.

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The diaper comment was about Kendall but I’m not really sure what she meant by it?

Except that I also figured him shitting the bed was making the gossip rounds. But I mean, how could it not? That was ridiculous!

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Rhea's evaluation of Kendall as potential successor

Kendall seems to have the most business experience and training but can he put it together?

I think we're accustomed to our central characters being bold, smart, talented, and charismatic, even if they're otherwise troubled or morally questionable (or even sociopathic). Look at the protagonists of the most celebrated, buzzy TV shows of the recent past: Don Draper (Mad Men), Walter White (Breaking Bad), Olivia Pope (Scandal), Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones), Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul), Anneliese Keating (How to Get Away with Murder), etc.

So given all that and that Succession is also a celebrated, buzzy show, I think the natural expectation was that the central character must also be bold, smart, talented and charismatic. The interesting thing with Succession is that its central character, Kendall, is none of those things. He is notably lacking in boldness, and in fact his weakness and cowardice seem to be his overriding attribute. He is not particularly smart or talented, and the various storylines are littered with his errors in judgment. And lastly and most interestingly, he is completely uncharismatic and unlikable (to the point where Roman gets in a good joke by "worrying" that Kendall will come across as "too cool and likable"). We're used to shows centered on Michael Corleone types, and instead, we have a show about Fredo: a sniveling, gormless, pathetic weakling.

Of course, because there is this natural expectation that Kendall is a troubled but brilliant Michael Corleone type like all the Don Drapers and Walter Whites before him, I think fans believe that Kendall can't possibly be as mediocre as he appears: either he's a hidden genius and his more boneheaded moves are part of an elaborate strategy, or he will transform into one over the course of the show. I think the reality is something much simpler, though: the writers centering their narrative around a refreshingly mediocre protagonist and asking us to root for him and sympathize with him in spite of his many deficiencies, rather than holding out hope that he will become something much better than he is.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Kendall is in his late 30s/early 40s. His personality is fully formed at this point. This is about as good as he's ever going to get, so expecting him to somehow become something that he's not--i.e. a resolute, charismatic, intelligent, and talented leader of men--makes no sense.

I think it's refreshing, but I also think it means that Kendall isn't a magnificent business mastermind and nor will he be transformed in the crucible of Logan's abuse into a magnificent business mastermind. 

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More importantly, does he have too much of a conscience for the Roy family or Waystar?

He's too weak, but I'd chalk up it to cowardice rather than a conscience. He has done many horrible things over the course of the show which have given him no pause and for which he has never apologized or even expressed any real remorse, such as forcing Greg to do lines to prevent him from overdosing.

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Will he ever get out from under the black cloud or will Logan make sure he never gets out?

As of S2, I think he's unwilling to do the two things that would help him the most: confess to the cops and get off the drugs. But beyond that, I think to be truly happy and fulfilled, Kendall needs to forgive himself for not being the cool, likable, charismatic, brilliant Logan 2.0 he desperately wishes he were and he needs to stop trying to be that person. He's much closer to Pete Campbell than Don Draper, and Pete Campbell only found peace and happiness when he stopped trying to be a creative, womanizing, alpha mastermind Don Draper type and decided to be himself, in all his uncool beta glory.

Edited by Eyes High
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25 minutes ago, HeddaGabler said:

Given the fact that Kendall appears to be the only family member who actually engages with business statistics and the fine details of acquisitions, I'm sure Logan knows that Kendall is actually an asset, and that a sober Kendall is actually a formidable adversary to Logan. Otherwise, Logan would not have printed rumours about Kendall using drugs again (Season 1, right before the family met for counselling) to throw Kendall off. Kendall can be controlled with drugs and emotional whipsawing, so Logan uses that to his advantage. He controls Roman through fear and intimidation, and now he's trying to figure out how to get Shiv under control too. 

I completely agree. Kendall is on point when it comes to business. The strategies he used in the takeover last season were sophisticated, and how he analyzed and then tore apart Vaulter this season was very sophisticated. Kendall nearly managed to pull off the incredibly difficult Pierce deal for his father, despite Logan threatening to blow it up over Shiv. Even the zombie remains of his takeover bid are still an enormous threat to the company. I think he's legitimately effective at his job, a strong COO to Logan's CEO. At this point, I don't think Logan could run Waystar without him.

Kendall's major issue isn't his competence, it's that he's emotionally fragile. His mental health is precarious. That's the point of the drugs -- if he can numb or manipulate his emotions enough, then he can function. But obviously there are costs. Like his ability to be a husband and father.

And it's to Logan's benefit to keep Kendall emotionally fragile and isolated, so he does.

I don't even think Logan has a problem with Kendall, I think he has genuine affection for him -- he's basically Logan's best friend! The issue is that Logan can't stand to relate to anyone as a peer, he's too insecure for that. Unless he's on top, he's freaking the fuck out. And I think he also doesn't understand at all why Kendall's not the same way. But like, it's a modern era, lots of men aren't like that anymore. Logan was so hurt by the dinosaur comment because he knows it's true.

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15 hours ago, rue721 said:

I completely agree. Kendall is on point when it comes to business. The strategies he used in the takeover last season were sophisticated, and how he analyzed and then tore apart Vaulter this season was very sophisticated. Kendall nearly managed to pull off the incredibly difficult Pierce deal for his father, despite Logan threatening to blow it up over Shiv. Even the zombie remains of his takeover bid are still an enormous threat to the company. I think he's legitimately effective at his job, a strong COO to Logan's CEO. At this point, I don't think Logan could run Waystar without him.

Kendall has no business instincts whatsoever. Look at his big S1 prize, the Vaulter acquisition (cooked up while he was still sober and relatively stable). This seems to have been an allusion to James Murdoch’s ill-advised tech investments. Roman of all people knew Vaulter was a bad deal at the time and that Kendall paid too much for it, and he was right. And while Kendall insisted that there was value in the company in S2 by going over the numbers, Roman sniffed out a far more valuable piece of information (the workers were planning to unionize) and correctly urged Logan to gut it. Kendall’s supposed masterstroke with disassembling Vaulter was just carrying out someone else’s smarter agenda based on someone else’s smarter idea. Kendall also urged Logan to adopt precisely the wrong strategy with the cruise story, which had the opposite effect (the magazine moved up the story rather than postponing it). Kendall is only effective to the extent of carrying out the orders of someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and sometimes not even then. Leave him to his own devices, and he’s a walking disaster. 

As for Kendall’s big problem being his emotional fragility and not his competence, I think both can be true, and of course the two feed each other: as Kendall fucks up due to his incompetence and lack of instincts, he becomes more and more fragile, which makes it even harder for him to function effectively. And emotional resilience is a big part of handling any high-pressure job, let alone a CEO position. Logan was telling Kendall he was too soft to be CEO in 1x01. At the time it seemed as if he was just being a dick, but in hindsight, it seems like a fair assessment. 

Edited by Eyes High
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5 hours ago, Eyes High said:

Kendall has no business instincts whatsoever. Look at his big S1 prize, the Vaulter acquisition (cooked up while he was still sober and relatively stable). This seems to have been an allusion to James Murdoch’s ill-advised tech investments. Roman of all people knew Vaulter was a bad deal at the time and that Kendall paid too much for it, and he was right. And while Kendall insisted that there was value in the company in S2 by going over the numbers, Roman sniffed out a far more valuable piece of information (the workers were planning to unionize) and correctly urged Logan to gut it. Kendall’s supposed masterstroke with disassembling Vaulter was just carrying out someone else’s smarter agenda based on someone else’s smarter idea. Kendall also urged Logan to adopt precisely the wrong strategy with the cruise story, which had the opposite effect (the magazine moved up the story rather than postponing it). Kendall is only effective to the extent of carrying out the orders of someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and sometimes not even then. Leave him to his own devices, and he’s a walking disaster. 

As for Kendall’s big problem being his emotional fragility and not his competence, I think both can be true, and of course the two feed each other: as Kendall fucks up due to his incompetence and lack of instincts, he becomes more and more fragile, which makes it even harder for him to function effectively. And emotional resilience is a big part of handling any high-pressure job, let alone a CEO position. Logan was telling Kendall he was too soft to be CEO in 1x01. At the time it seemed as if he was just being a dick, but in hindsight, it seems like a fair assessment. 

That's the way Kendall's always come across to me. I wasn't sure which brother was supposed to be right regarding Vaulter, but I couldn't believe that Roman's real life information was supposed to really be inferior to Kendall's numbers.

So basically I got the same impression that I think you're describing here. Kendall isn't ignorant about business. He's obviously the one that's had some education in this area. He's able to run numbers etc. But that, to me, makes him seem like a regular guy who could do a job at a business rather than the guy I'd want as a leader. And that's even before you get to his emotional issues.

Also I remember when Kendall was telling Logan about the bear hug and Logan demanded to know what Kendall's big vision was that he was supposedly saving the company with and he had nothing but cliches to my ears. He's not a visionary. Logan's visions might be short-sighted or selfish, but they are his vision.

Edited by sistermagpie
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I don't know that Roman was making any kind of educated assessment of Vaulter so much as trying to kill one of Kendall's pet projects.

I don't think he expected Logan to have Kendall kill it.

Kendall is right, they can't only stick to old media and continue to survive.  

As for the unionization, he convinced the Valuter employees to hold off.  But he can use whatever important parts of Vaulter he salvaged for another new media attempt or even re-use the Vaulter brand name.

We assume Vaulter is over with but in Argestes, pretty sure Lawrence was there.

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Lawrence was there. The problem with Vaulter is that it was being poorly managed, not that it was a completely bad idea. Kendall had previously recommended cutting some dead wood and using the rest to be profitable. Roman's 'information' was staff chatter while drinking. On a reliability scale, Roman's information, while leading Logan to a decision, didn't necessarily lead Logan to a smart decision. 

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2 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

Also I remember when Kendall was telling Logan about the bear hug and Logan demanded to know what Kendall's big vision was that he was supposedly saving the company with and he had nothing but cliches to my ears. He's not a visionary. Logan's visions might be short-sighted or selfish, but they are his vision.

When Logan dropped the bomb in the pilot that he wouldn't be handing off the CEO spot to Kendall after all, Kendall confronted him in the dining room and actually did start ranting about his personal vision and strategy for the company. It was jargon-y because everything he says is jargon-y, but it was coherent and basically about repositioning the company for the modern era, which was especially urgent given its fairly long-term downward spiral (which then turned out to be even worse than suspected, given that Logan had put the company in a ton of precarious debt). Kendall's succession was an integral part of his vision, obviously, but so was repositioning Waystar via Vaulter, which is why he fought so so so hard to keep hold of Vaulter. It eventually became the last remnant of his vision for the company/family and had a lot of symbolic meaning to Kendall.

But as Kendall was trying to argue for his vision to Logan in the pilot, Logan got into his face and taunted him, saying that "sometimes it really is a big dick contest" and asking "do you want to hit me," etc. Literally physically getting in his space to intimidate him. Kendall folded right away. In the bathroom with the bear hug letter, it was the same dynamic but even worse. By that point, he could barely get a word out he was freaking out so bad.

If it were just about business skill and acumen, Kendall could best Logan pretty easily. That's exactly why he's Logan's right hand man at Waystar! But when it comes to family dynamics, Logan is still the undisputed top dog. And that's the thing, at the end of the day, it's not really about the business, it's about the family.

The real competition is to become family patriarch or matriarch after Logan, and whoever wins that competition will become CEO as well.

What's tragic about Kendall is that he actually DOES know business but at the end of the day...who cares? It's irrelevant.

I don't think Roman understands anything about running the company, and he's had one "professional" disaster after another. But he understands that this is about the family, first and foremost -- which gives him a leg up over his brother.

And that's also why Roman was always going to come out against Vaulter. Everyone could see from a mile away that Logan was going to have to crush it in order to completely put Kendall in his place. He didn't need an MBA to see why he should take Logan's side rather than his brother's.

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1 hour ago, rue721 said:

If it were just about business skill and acumen, Kendall could best Logan pretty easily. That's exactly why he's Logan's right hand man at Waystar! But when it comes to family dynamics, Logan is still the undisputed top dog. And that's the thing, at the end of the day, it's not really about the business, it's about the family.

Probably, but could he best the next guy his age with an MBA? That's more how it seems to me. That Kendall is a standard competent businessman, but there's nothing exceptionally skilled about him. The plan to move the company into 21st century media makes a lot of sense, but it's also probably something any 14-year-old would say, because that's where people get their news now. So even when Kendall is making a case for himself as the person to save the company, it's seems like exactly what anybody would see it as: Logan's unremarkable son inheriting the business--which, of course, is at least better than either of his other two sons taking over. He was raised to be the assistant. He's younger so more connected to the world in 2019 -- but then, he's also super rich so not as connected as Logan himself was at his age.

Logan right now seems like a dinosaur, but he must have had some business acumen since he's the only one in the family that's actually made a fortune. And he's had more success with his interpersonal machinations than anybody else.

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Logan identified businesses and how to goose them to be profitable and influential.

They've alluded to how he has leverage over presidents and prime ministers because of his media holdings being able to shape public opinion.

Remember he couldn't believe he was snubbed by the POTUS in season 1.

So he figured out the game for mid to late 20th century media.

Yeah I'm not saying Kendall has some special vision but compared to Logan and the rest of the clan, he has a clue.  I'm sure Shiv is media-savvy and Roman knows about hot tech companies as well.

Though you'd think the other executives at Waystar would have ideas as well and be able to see how the media landscape was changing against them.  However, they were all like Logan set in their old media ways.

Since he beat Kendall's attempt to take over and move the company in a new direction, Logan couldn't go back and pursue new media.  So he doubled-down and said they will be the best and biggest of the remaining old media.

Hence Shiv's a propos comment about dinosaurs, though she was referring to MoLester's sexual harassment and the company covering it and other crimes for years.

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I went and rewatched the pilot in light of the discussion about Vaulter, and the exchange between Roman and Kendall about Vaulter is quite something: Roman laughs at the ridiculously exorbitant price Kendall is proposing for Vaulter, and Kendall asks him whether it's too low or too high. He genuinely doesn't know and is seeking Roman's advice! Roman scoffs at Kendall paying so much for "a bit of content and a brand name," and Logan, who lest we forget built a billion dollar empire from nothingalso scoffs at Kendall paying "a billion dollars for a gay little website." Kendall doesn't listen, of course, because as I said, he lacks any business acumen whatsoever, and it comes back to bite him in the ass in Season 2, but it certainly sets the tone. 

And in case it somehow wasn't clear from 1x01 that Kendall was far, far overestimating Vaulter's value and that his decision to acquire it, either at that price or even at all, was ridiculously ill-advised, it becomes even more clear when we revisit Vaulter in Season 2 and they're doing extremely badly (and attempting to conceal their poor performance). And what Kendall supposedly does so well by dismantling Vaulter in Season 2 he's doing against his own preferences about Vaulter's fate, at the direction of Logan and on the suggestion of Roman, who both had Vaulter's number from the start.

4 hours ago, rue721 said:

When Logan dropped the bomb in the pilot that he wouldn't be handing off the CEO spot to Kendall after all, Kendall confronted him in the dining room and actually did start ranting about his personal vision and strategy for the company. It was jargon-y because everything he says is jargon-y, but it was coherent and basically about repositioning the company for the modern era

Was it, though? I mean, this is what he said, verbatim:

Logan: Is that why you're paying a billion dollars for a gay little website?

Kendall: It is not a fucking website! It's a portfolio of online brands and digital video content and it's part of an upstream investment strategy to save us, if you'll just let me.

Like, that's it, and if Vaulter, acquired at a ridiculous price and underperforming in S2, was supposed to be the crown jewel in that strategy, well, that says it all, doesn't it? At least Shiv and Roman when asked about their visions for the company had actual concrete plans (Shiv wanted to dump news and focus on parks and resorts, Roman wanted to go the financialization route as GE did), not just dumb buzzwords.

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But as Kendall was trying to argue for his vision to Logan in the pilot, Logan got into his face and taunted him, saying that "sometimes it really is a big dick contest" and asking "do you want to hit me," etc. Literally physically getting in his space to intimidate him. Kendall folded right away. In the bathroom with the bear hug letter, it was the same dynamic but even worse. By that point, he could barely get a word out he was freaking out so bad.

Look, if Kendall can't handle his father getting up in his face and taunting him without having a total meltdown, he has no business being CEO of any company (much less head of a billion dollar empire), especially in a world populated by executives and high rollers who are even more dangerous, ruthless and cruel than his father (Stewy, Lawrence, Rhea, etc.). If he goes to pieces because his father is mean to him, how is he going to keep it together and deal with all these people who are even more awful than Logan but have no blood relation to him? As they say, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, and there are few kitchens hotter than being head of a billion dollar company.

In light of Season 2's arc of Logan assessing and then reassessing Shiv as potential heir after her various screwups, I do wonder if in 1x01 Logan really was planning to step down until Kendall's various screwups--looking weak in the negotiation with Lawrence, overpaying for Vaulter, etc.--made him change his mind.

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If it were just about business skill and acumen, Kendall could best Logan pretty easily.

That's a bizarre claim given that Logan built a billion dollar empire from nothing, and Kendall's big Vaulter strategy turned out so terribly that he had to euthanize the company.

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What's tragic about Kendall is that he actually DOES know business

Does he? I don't think that's been established at all.

The thing about Kendall--the novel thing about Kendall--is that despite his impressive academic credentials (Harvard undergrad, Columbia MBA) and academic understanding of business, he really has no business instincts at all. Lots of writers use Ivy League credentials as a shorthand for competence and brilliance (looking at you, Aaron Sorkin), but in Kendall's case, his impressive learning can't compensate for that lack of instinct, which is why he makes so many blunders, and not just with Vaulter.

Logan points this out in the very first episode when upbraiding him about letting Lawrence walk all over him: "I know that you've read a lot of books about business management and this and that, but you know what? (...) Sometimes it is a big dick competition." Translation: books aren't everything. Certainly Kendall's book learning avails him nothing when he makes one mistake after another in Season 1.

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And that's also why Roman was always going to come out against Vaulter.

Roman laughed in Kendall's face when informed of the proposed price for Vaulter. He always knew the acquisition was trash even when he had no animosity towards Kendall over the bear hug. 

Edited by Eyes High
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I just don’t hate Kendall that much at all.

And in the pilot, didn’t Roman have a wife and child? I made that mistake before. Roman is definitely a total loser. Maybe Kendall isn’t the sharpest MBA around, but he’s leaps and bounds ahead of Rome.

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Overpaying for new media properties is hardly an unusual thing.

Kendall knew he was overpaying but he wanted it badly.

BTW I think the macho confrontations, like Kendall and Lawrence trash talking each other or Logan getting into Kendall's face like a pro wrestler, is a TV thing.

Very entertaining to see but it's typically not how business is done.

Certainly there are a lot of alpha males and Kendall certainly isn't one.  Maybe Logan is a better business man.  Well he's certainly more successful.

But who's to say he didn't have it easier back in the '60s to '80s when he built his empire vs. now, where old media is hanging on for dear life?

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Not to speak for Eyes High, but I don't get the impression that they hate Kendall, rather that he's refreshing for not being written as the young hotshot who's saving the company.

I feel like when it comes to him and Roman (who yes, did seem like he was still being worked out in the pilot given the wife and child who disappeared!), Roman is a guy you wouldn't hire at all. Kendall's somebody who could be a perfectly good employee, but he keeps trying to push himself to play a role that he's not particularly well-suited for. If Logan wasn't his father he might just be another guy working at the company and doing fine with nobody ever thinking he should be CEO. Would he, in that alternate universe, have started a company of his own? Maybe not. But he might still have had a good career--being an entrepreneur isn't the only mark of success.

If Logan were starting out now instead of the 60s the old/new media thing probably wouldn't be an issue because he'd have the perspective of somebody born a lot later scoping out a different environment. It was never easy to become the giant success Logan is in any time period--that's why there's so few of him. But he'd probably still have the same dominating, charismatic personality. That's another advantage he has--Logan's being who he is while Kendall seems to often be fighting against his own instincts and people can see right through him. (Now I'm remembering that wonderful scene where he's on the phone with the guy who holds their loan in season one and says "Come on, man, fuck off" trying to pull a power move and it's met with the longest, most uncomfortable silence on the other end that the other guy has no intention of breaking first.)

Like there *could* be a story where Logan is destroying the company by continuing to work against Kendall's better business instincts but the Vaulter storyline doesn't prove it. Even the story where he tried to invest in the girls promoting artists mostly made the young women look like they had something there while Kendall just used his father's power to indulge in a Logan-like act of abusive revenge.

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Kendall's acquisition of Vaulter mirrors Logan's attempt at Pierce, ridiculously overpaying to get the toy he wanted. 

 When Kendall succeeded, Logan had to make sure the toy was destroyed. And now Logan get didn't get his toy at all. Logan and Kendall are very much alike. It's just that Logan has never given Kendall the freedom to become the man the Logan wants him to be. Because Logan really doesn't want that at all.

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10 hours ago, scrb said:

Overpaying for new media properties is hardly an unusual thing.

It's still stupid. Mic was valued at $100 million in 2017 and was sold for $5 million to Bustle, and similar properties are a dime a dozen.

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Kendall knew he was overpaying but he wanted it badly.

Given what Waystar wound up acquiring with Vaulter from what we saw in 2x02, "wanting it badly" is not a great argument in favour of Kendall having great business instincts. 

9 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

Kendall's acquisition of Vaulter mirrors Logan's attempt at Pierce, ridiculously overpaying to get the toy he wanted. 

Well, no. Logan was trying to stave off a takeover bid by taking on excessive amounts of debt. Kendall saw Vaulter as the centerpiece of his investment strategy and the future of the company (a spectacular miscalculation).

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Logan and Kendall are very much alike.

Logan and Kendall are opposites. Logan grew up without money, is entirely self-made, and is bold, talented, charismatic, and extremely successful. Kendall was born into insane wealth, has achieved nothing in the business world on his own, and is weak, untalented, uncharismatic, and a failure at everything he tries. Even when acting as his dad's dutiful little automaton in S2, he's still fucking up left and right, as with the cruise story. As Rhea said, he has all the shots but doesn't know when to play them.

Kendall desperately wants to be like Logan, but he knows he isn't. All the people around him--who regard his attempts at imitating Logan's toughness and bravado with a mixture of pity and contempt--seem to know it, too.

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It's just that Logan has never given Kendall the freedom to become the man the Logan wants him to be.

No, Logan gave Kendall plenty of freedom and responsibility, as we saw in 1x01 he was an executive at Waystar handling key decisions, leading discussions, and making big calls. It's just that Logan saw what Kendall was doing with the freedom he was giving him--bungling critical negotiations, paying a billion dollars for garbage--and didn't care for it.

I think Logan mentally wrote Kendall off as a possible successor in 1x01 after the Vaulter debacle and was already eyeing Shiv. He made noises in 1x01 about getting Shiv to come into the company and leave politics, and he chewed her out in 1x07 about not wanting to compete by staying out of the company.

Edited by Eyes High

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I truly don't agree with any of that analysis. I sense a strong bias to always see Kendall in the wrong. Nothing will change your mind and you don't see interested in different perspectives.

But yeah... all of that is not the Kendall Roy I'm watching. It's idiot alternate universe Kendall.

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5 hours ago, Eyes High said:

No, Logan gave Kendall plenty of freedom and responsibility, as we saw in 1x01 he was an executive at Waystar handling key decisions, leading discussions, and making big calls. It's just that Logan saw what Kendall was doing with the freedom he was giving him--bungling critical negotiations, paying a billion dollars for garbage--and didn't care for it.

The only thing I would disagree with is that I don't think Logan's making Kendall his successor has anything to do with his opinions of what Kendall was doing in that moment. I think it's just always going to be Logan's pattern: he knows he should pick a successor, he needs it to be one of his children because they're his, but he doesn't really want to hand over the company to anyone, so the minute somebody thinks they're next in line, Logan will start seeing them as incompetent and looking for reasons to reject them or sabotage them. 

If Logan was actually looking for a worthy successor just in terms of someone who would be a great leader to bring the company into the 21st century and if Kendall wasn't his son I don't think he'd ever consider him for the job because his name probably wouldn't even come up. The only reason he's in the running is that he's his son, not because of anything he's done to distinguish himself compared to everybody else out there in the businessworld. Same with all the kids, of course. When it comes to handing over his company to someone I don't think Logan's motivated by good business instincts one way or the other. It's all emotional. 

He knows Kendall isn't a businessman he'd particularly respect if they were just meeting as rivals, but then, he's also pretty responsible for making him the man he is. Kendall can never compete with Logan on Logan's turf. He might have been able to have done so if he had his own area of expertise that was just his, either in a different field or maybe even like Gerri has a specific, important job of her own within the company. 

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In the Dundee episode, Kendall is happy, throughout most of it.

First he's drowning in pussy but it isn't necessarily because of Naomi.

He spots the lead in Willa's play and seduces her, then flies her out to Scotland to be his fuck buddy for the weekend.

But he loses interest quickly because she's tongue-tied in front of Logan.  What did he expect, Dorothy Parker in a young actress' body?

But he's confident enough to perform L to the OG in front of everyone.

How long will it last?

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So I would say Kendall snapped out of his funk, declared independence from Logan in This is Not for Tears (S02E10).

Logan telling him that he's not a killer is another way of saying he's got too much of a conscience, isn't ruthless enough.

There was no way Kendall was going to be eliminated after just two seasons, unless they only plan to do one more season.

But this turn seems kind of abrupt, since Kendall has been a sad sack all season.

Did Naomi and the actress help him regain his lust for the throne, as well as just lust?

In season 1, Kendall thought he sexed up Rava so well that his marital woes were over.  He was cocky about being "the man" but apparently he overestimated his sexual prowess or his theory that women can be permanently won over by sexy times was wrong.

Even through this season 2 finale, he was still the doormat, as when Logan made him send Naomi away (not enough provisions, seriously?), despite his protestations that she was "good" for him.

So what was the trigger, Logan telling him he didn't have the chops because he wasn't a killer?

Or did "Gregory" hook him up with the photos and the crumpled papers and the recordings of Tom burning the papers?

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On 10/13/2019 at 11:22 PM, scrb said:

So what was the trigger, Logan telling him he didn't have the chops because he wasn't a killer?

I think we're supposed to believe that, but the whole thing is muddy.

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