Television’s most miserable wealthy family is back to fight over control of Waystar Royco, and The Ringer will be following their scheming every step of the way. Each week, we’ll break down the biggest developments, track who’s leading the literal line of succession, and catalog each episode’s most savage burns, best Cousin Greg–isms, and more. Let’s continue with the fifth episode, “Retired Janitors of Idaho.”
Succession’s Line of Succession, Week 5
After weeks of anticipation, the Waystar shareholder meeting to determine the future of the company has finally arrived. Without the support of Adrien Brody’s Josh Aaronson, the Roys are likely on the losing end of a potential shareholder vote, and are therefore desperate to broker a deal with Stewy, Sandy, and Sandy’s daughter, who is named … Sandi. (That’s not confusing at all.) Stewy and the Sandies are also hoping to settle, perhaps fearing that Logan will pull something out of his ass to prevail like he always does. The problem is that Sandy refuses to make any concessions to Logan, the man he hates with the fire of a thousand suns. He wants a fourth board seat for his team, veto rights on any Roy kid becoming CEO, and the end of the use of private jets at Waystar. (It’s Sandy’s pettiest request, and yet it might be the one that everyone in the room balks at most.)
In short, everything is on a knife’s edge in “Retired Janitors of Idaho,” and an especially curmudgeonly Logan appears willing to risk the company on a vote if he doesn’t get his way in the negotiations. But as becomes apparent, there’s a razor-thin line between Logan being a cutthroat businessman and an old man losing his grip on reality due to a UTI. Yes, on one of the most important days in Waystar’s history, Logan forgets to take his medicine and becomes increasingly delusional. (A UTI destroying the mental facilities of an elderly man is a real thing; as Connor helpfully notes, Ronald Reagan almost started a war with Belgium while suffering from a urinary tract infection.) At one point, Logan refers to Tom as “son” and calls Shiv “Marcia.” He even asks his security guard, Colin, to remove a dead cat from under his chair. And, well, spoiler alert: There isn’t, in fact, a dead cat under his chair. But no one knows what’s happening to Logan, or what to do, so their only course of action is to have Colin “remove” the “cat.”
With Logan indisposed for most of “Retired Janitors of Idaho,” the company’s future rests in the hands of Shiv, Roman, and Waystar’s corporate underlings. In the end, it’s Shiv who connects on a Hail Mary, arranging a one-on-one meeting with Sandi in which they broker a deal that suits both of their interests right before the shareholders go to a vote. Shiv is willing to hand over a fourth board seat to Sandi, provided that Team Logan gets an additional board seat of its own—one that, oh what a coincidence, could belong to her. And so, with only moments to spare, the vote is called off.
By the time Logan takes his meds and returns to his normal self, everything is already…