Succession Season 4, Episode 2: John, Paul, George and...Connor

The best quotes from episode two of Succession, from Kendall’s newfound faith to Connor's embarrassingly inaccurate view of the real world.

Succession episode 2
Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO

Succession is known for many things: a record-breaking use of the word “fuck,” accurate depictions of the mega-wealthy’s dress code, and an ongoing discourse around Jeremy Strong’s dedication to method acting and Brian Cox’s dedication to absolutely hating Jeremy Strong’s method acting. But above all, Succession is known for its impeccable one-liners. The Roys and co. are masters of the quick-witted insult, and even those in their orbit who may not think as quickly on their feet often sneak in there—perhaps not with a well-articulated jab, but at least with a line we can laugh at if not with (I’m looking at you, Cousin Greg). Jesse Armstrong’s writing—and the cast’s delivery—without fail, leads to screen grabs and quotes from each episode on Twitter and Instagram for days following each new episode. How many times have you seen the term “ludicrously capacious” over the past week (this article included)? So, I decided to recap this episode by breaking down some of the best lines of the night. Some are insults, some are humorous observations, some are just outright depressing—but altogether, they paint the picture of Succession episode two quite well.

“It’s like Jaws. If everyone in Jaws worked for Jaws.” —Greg

I’m not going to lie, after this quote was uttered by Greg as he watched Logan stalk through the ATN war room, I found myself Googling, “Is Jaws the name of the shark in Jaws?” Spoiler (actually, I don’t think this is a spoiler): It’s not. His name is Bruce, though I’m not sure that’s ever actually mentioned in the film (side note: according to Newsweek, the ferocious creature was named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Ramer—fitting). Of course, the quote would be a lot less menacing (and humorous) had Greg used the shark’s official name in his line. Either way, the complete nonsensical nature of this one is why it’s so good. In the world of Succession it isn’t possible to just say, “Logan is being really intimidating, walking around the ATN offices.” No, it has to be wittier than that. This time, an analogy to Jaws did the trick, as did the observation that Logan “looks like if Santa Claus was a hitman” (another great one).

After Logan finishes his death march through the desks, he has his underlings construct a makeshift stage to give a little speech to rouse the troops. Personally, the scene elicited images of The Wolf of Wall Street for me. You know, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort grabs a microphone and pumps up his employees for another day of selling lousy stock. Logan’s speech, however, was somehow more depressing, more demeaning, and included even more expletive language. I don’t have a specific line from this moment, mostly because I wasn’t listening to much of what he was saying. Instead, I was quivering on my couch out of empathetic fear for those in the room with Logan. I have to imagine the ATN reporters were having a similar experience.

Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO

“Hey, Buddha, nice Tom Fords.” —Roman

If we were doing winners and losers this week, it seems obvious that Kendall would be a winner. Not because he succeeded in any way over the last hour, but because he has found some inner peace through Buddhism. Good for him! It seems to be mostly fake and excessively shallow, brought up only to condescend his siblings. The line above proves he’s not really embracing Buddhist principles in any meaningful way. But hey, it’s better than nothing, right? Now, instead of promising to dedicate “several hundred thousands of dollars” to ruining the life of some poor woman just following the orders of their very scary father (really, Rom?), he has a more peaceful, if not completely unhelpful way of looking at things: “In Buddhism, sometimes your greatest tormentor can also be your most perceptive teacher.” There was also the incredible (but again, not really relevant) piece of advice Kendall gave later in the episode: “Just be water, my friend.” My personal favorite line from our newly laidback Ken, though, came when he bid adieu to the elusive helicopter as it flew out of sight: “Wave goodbye to daddy.”

“[I want to go] somewhere fun and real. Away from the fancy Dans. A real bar, with chicks, and guys who work with their hands and grease, and sweat from their hands, and have blood in their hair.” —Connor

In episode two, we see the Roy siblings travel into the real world for possibly the first time ever. After seasons of driving around in their Escalades, taking jets, and seemingly obtaining a private conference room at every establishment they visit, it was finally time for them to mingle among the common folk. This line from Connor, who is expressing how he wants the night before his wedding to play out, is an obvious one. It’s made for a laugh, for the audience to say, “HAHA, they don’t know what blue collar workers are actually like.” But you know what? It worked. I did laugh. Maybe if anyone else said it, the line would have felt forced. But Connor is so sad in this episode, and possesses a real desire to just be around real people for once, that I believe this man when he says he thinks construction workers or policemen or line cooks end the day with blood in their hair. Look at where a life of wealth and privilege has led him: he’s marrying a woman who doesn’t love him, running for president because he doesn’t have any real passions, and he has no one to celebrate with the night before his wedding—only his siblings who (also) don’t love him, and are more concerned with fucking over their father who (surprise) doesn’t love him, either.

Now, don’t get it twisted. I don’t really feel bad for Connor, at least not for the wealth and privilege he enjoys. I feel bad because he is so clearly lost in this world, and he has no real skills to get him out of it. So yes, I will laugh at this rambling line. And I’ll also laugh when he says he’ll “have just whatever a regular Joe would have” and then assumes the dive bar offers not just one Belgian beer, but multiple varieties.

Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO

“Stop ganging up on me like your Lennon and McCartney and I’m fucking George. I’m John, motherfuckers...He’s still Connor, but he won drinks with us at an auction.” —Roman

Connor cannot catch a break this episode (or any episode, to be fair), but this jab at him was especially rough, albeit hilarious. It shows just how his siblings truly see him—not as a member of the band, not even as a groupie, but as someone who paid their way in for just one night. The Beatles literally had four members, meaning there is one mop-headed Brit for each Roy. But Roman couldn’t even bother to call Connor Ringo.

“The good thing about having a family that doesn’t love you is you learn to live without it.” —Connor

We’ve had a lot of laughs tonight, but let’s end on a more serious note. Since this was a Connor-heavy episode, it seems fitting to finish on his most poignant and heartbreaking quote of all. For the past three seasons, Connor, for the most part, has been portrayed as an aloof oaf who just kind of hangs around. He spends his money in odd ways to keep himself occupied (not even in fun ways, I mean who wants to run for president?) and could only get a sex worker to agree to marry him (that being said, Willa is great and I agree with Kendall when he noted that Connor isn’t doing better. Though maybe Connor could find someone who respects his eccentricities a bit more). This quote, though, proves there is an actual man behind that gray beard, someone who is aware of what’s going on. He hears the jabs, he sees the looks, he knows what people think, but he has trained himself not to care. He has accepted his role in life (and again, it’s not a bad one; he is still an obnoxiously rich white man). After being the butt of the joke for years, we finally get a moment of heartbreaking humanity from Connor—which makes it all the more special when he returns home to find Willa in his bed. Did anyone else let out a cheesy “awwww” or was it just me?