Truly, birthday parties on this show are NIGHTMARE EVENTS to be avoided at all costs, yes? I literally said the words, “oh no” at the ten second point of this episode and it only got more cringe-y. Please, Kendall, please please PLEASE don’t ever even consider singing at another public forum and do not — I cannot stress this enough — go into professional party-planning. Like ever.

Zero Effs, AKA Who Cares?!?!?!?Okay,  I actually DO care about this: Why is Kendall wearing necklaces over his turtlenecks now? More broadly: What is Kendall doing? I feel like the text messages from his driver this week are seriously like:

Kendall’s Driver: This is the most embarrassing he’s ever been.

Logan’s Driver: Worse than L to the OG? Come on, man.

Kendall’s Driver: WORSE. He was gonna swoop into his birthday party ON A LITERAL CRUCIFIX.

Logan’s Driver: Yikes, blasphemous. I think mine is banging his personal assistant after all.

Kendall’s Driver: Wow! Cliché.

1-3 Effs,  AKA This Is Moderately Diverting:  Ah, yes, welcome back to The Succession Writers Plunge You into The Middle of a Deal and Pretend You’ve Know About It All Along, starring a depressed Alexander Skarsgård, whose character I’ve decided is actually his vampire one from True Blood in disguise as a tech sociopath. I assume this plotline will move up the effs rankings later but right now it was mostly used as a way to get Shiv and Roman to bitch at each other. I am worried about Roman’s phone, which, yes, was peed on, but which he also left unlocked in a urinal. People can get into your email if your phone’s unlocked, you dingdong! (I also think Roman is dead-on when he theorized that Shiv is bummed Tom isn’t going to jail, although Roman was also an asshole in this episode — which says something because Roman is ALWAYS an asshole and also almost EVERYONE was an asshole in this episode. But he was extra asshole-y this week. Kendall wasn’t wrong when he said Roman wasn’t a person.)

Also: Why does Naomi ONLY wear weirdly long tunic top, dress-over-pants-y things? It’s an odd costuming choice. The outfit she wore to Kendall’s party was markedly similar to the one she wore to the Keeping Journalists Alive Gala. I feel like this character should be better dressed, although her jewelry is perfect. (Maybe they should just let Annabelle Dexter-Jones do her own wardrobe?) On the other hand, perhaps her wardrobe is spiraling because her boyfriend is the wooooooOOOOOOORrrrrrrrssssssst. (Kendall has to be back on cocaine, right? Either way, he has become tragique. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.)

4-7 Effs, AKA We Are Quite Intrigued:

Tom’s Teresa Giudice-level table flip of joy over the prospect of not going to jail will live in my head forever. (It will not live rent-free. I charge rent to everything in my head and the primary currency I accept is anxiety.)

Greg slipping into a weird Southern accent when he tried to ask out Kendall’s assistant person — I privately think of her as “Ponytail” and realized I did not ever learn her name; it turns out that it’s “Comfry,” which was definitely never going to stick in my head — was hilarious; the idea that she’s going to date him potentially to just annoy Kendall who is driving her crazy sourcing and then selling 80s lunch boxes is likewise really funny. The fact that Tom was annoyed about Greg’s forthcoming romance is also highly diverting. I don’t think the show thinks Tom is in love with Greg, but he’s also not not in love with Greg. You know? I mean, who did he run to tell that he wasn’t going to prison? (Well, in fairness, I suppose he was also telling Greg that Greg isn’t going to prison. Allegedly. While we’re all cozy here in this parenthesis, I’ll note that I will not be surprised if someone goes to prison. They’re not gonna just deus ex machina this prison thing with an off-camera phone call. I don’t think.)

8-10 Effs: THIS IS WHAT I AM HERE FOR: This party. Y’all. Everyone walks through a VAGINA to be BORN into this party, need I say more?!?! Everyone on Twitter was making Stefon “New York City’s hottest club is Kendall Roy’s birthday party” jokes and truly I cannot top that. It did have everything. Including a hallway of flowers that had random (live) (human) heads yelling compliments at you. Stefon would have a name for that, and it would probably be offensive.

PS: Kendall, you need to take your Dad’s buy-out and get the hell out.  Take your two billion dollars and buy a boat! Your family is full of dickheads! Don’t let them kick you around anymore! I hope someone gave this man a copy of Codependent No More for this milestone birthday.

Bits of note which didn’t fit into our super scientific system of effs but which deserve recognition nevertheless: “I will remain coated, as is my right.”; “Call me old-fashioned, but I think you should ask before you construct a giant replica of someone’s vagina, no?” ; Those AMAZING fake tabloid covers!; and, finally, perhaps the best bit of all is the fact that the title of the episode comes from a Berenstain Bears book. This episode was directed by Lorene Scafaria, who directed Hustlers, and she nailed it.

PS: I love this:

And, finally, the best outfit of the week lives above, in the header: Shiv has moved back into the conversation. Even if she did graduate from the Elaine Benes School of Dance.

Tags: Succession