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Succession Is Taking Privilege to a Whole New Level in Season 3

Kendall Roy walking down a hall in Succession

HBO’s Succession is easily my favorite show on television right now. Watching as a rich, white, privileged family self-destructs before my eyes and still somehow barely face consequences? It’s a commentary on our society filled with characters we’re supposed to hate, and yet I am loudly (and proudly) a Kendall Roy stan. With season 3 underway, we’re slowly seeing the aftermath of what happened in Cruises at Waystar Royco, and it has resulted in a clear divide in the family.

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At the end of season 2, Kendall was supposed to be the sacrificial lamb for the family and take the brunt of the fall and maybe even serve time for something he did not do. Instead, Kendall sacrificed his father and twisted the knife in, and we’ve been seeing the divide grow in season 3.

So far, it has been Kendall trying to get his siblings on his side while also dealing with whatever is happening with him personally, and in the third episode titled “The Disruption,” Kendall seems to fully break while clinging to this idea of an “ally.”

Kandall Roy’s newfound “allyship”

When Kendall goes to a red carpet, he turns around and yells, “Fuck the patriarchy,” which is funny when you see the behind-closed-doors side of Kendall. But as the face of Logan Roy’s downfall, Kendall is taking to the “ally” thing as his entire new public persona.

In fact, in the most recent episode, as Shiv finally took to her place as the face of Waystar Royco, she was publicly humiliated by Kendall as he had Nirvana’s “Rape Me” playing over the loudspeaker while she was speaking because of what Cruises is being accused of.

The use of Nirvana’s song even garnered the attention of Courtney Love Cobain, writing that Succession “understood” Kurt Cobain.

This has always been Succession’s thing

So how is the show exploring this level of privilege? Well, it always has been, but this season, in particular, is showing us the privilege of Kendall Roy as well as the company of Waystar Royco continuing to thrive under the allegations against them.

Money is power, and that’s so incredibly clear on Succession. Kendall co-opting this allyship in order to make himself appealing to the general public over his family and acting like he hates being a Roy? That to me is the epitome of privilege.

Especially since it’s all a game to the Roy family, to the point where Shiv writes a letter separating herself (and essentially the family) from Kendall, and it clearly hits him more than he wants to admit.

I’m interested to see how this season continues to play with the different levels of privilege that each member of the Roy family has, and I’m fascinated to see what Kendall Roy does next.

(image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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