Kendall Roy has had a lot of terrible ideas. He wrote and performed a rap for his dad that made “Angela Bassett did the thing” look like “Lose Yourself.” He told his kids they could feed their rabbit bagels. He threw a birthday party for himself with an entryway designed to look like a birth canal. But Living+, the new Waystar product that gives this episode of Succession his name, may be the single worst idea he’s ever had.
To put it simply, Living+ is a series of Waystar-planned communities, where (presumably wealthy White) people can escape the difficulties of the world in Waystar-sponsored bliss, going to town halls sponsored by ATN, attending advance screenings of Waystar Studios movies, and possibly even achieving eternal life. It sounds like absolute Hell on Earth, not to mention impossible to execute. If Living+ were a play, to quote The Producers, it would close on page four. But as Bialystock and Bloom know with Springtime for Hitler (and we’ll get back to Nazis later) so too does Kendall know with Living+. He doesn’t want to go through with it: he just wants to jack the Waystar stock price up so high with BS numbers that Matsson backs off and keeps the company in the family’s hands.
Living+ is an expansion of “Land Cruises,” one of Logan’s last ideas before he died. At the beginning of the episode, the Roys watch outtakes of a video their Dad made before a Waystar investors describing the project, which is an attempt to bring the fun of cruises onto land — already an awful idea, especially if you’ve ever been on a cruise. The video, which primarily shows Logan’s head, makes him look like the projection of Oz the Great and Powerful, except the kids know that there’s nothing behind the curtain. What you saw with Logan was what you got, especially since the video includes him yelling at the off-camera crew that “you’re as bad as my fucking idiot kids!” Kendall’s desire to see Living+ through isn’t just to get Matsson off his back but, as we’ll see later, keep his father alive.
The Roys cannot outrun their grief, despite their feckless attempts to keep it at bay. Kendall and Roman manifest theirs by making boneheaded business decisions like Living+. “It just hasn’t hit you yet,” Joy, the head of Waystar Studios, tells Roman. “I’m sure it will, but you’ll be OK. It takes time” — after which Roman fires her. Shiv…