This article contains spoilers of Episode 5 of the last season of "Succession."
The Roys went to Norway this week to close the deal with Matsson. From the moment the Waystar Royco team emerged from their black SUVs and stepped onto Matsson terrain, the playing field was unlevel. The characters' choices of style were just as interesting and complex as the psychosocial maneuverings that took place on the trip. Kendall said to Roman that their decisions were like 'a walk on a tightrope with a straight razor'
Stella Bugbee : Let's begin with the differences in the mountain gear of Matsson's team from Norway compared to the American overdressed in their city layers.
Vanessa Friedman: Vests on Swedes vs. coats on Roys. Tom Ford athleisure Kendall and a T shirt on Lukas. It's on their turf. It's their territory.
Guy Trebay, prepare to be iced. This episode was a point-counterpoint. The moment when the Roys, their flunkies, and Matsson are greeted at the secret Norwegian hideaway by Matsson and his flunkies. The drivers are in suits, while the principals wear super casual clothes.
Jessica Testa: This episode has too many turtlenecks for my taste. Matsson Turtleneck, under $200 by Fjallraven was my favorite.
VF: It was interesting to see how this episode pushed the Roys outside of their comfort zones, and I also noticed that the discomfort was reflected in the way they dressed. The Roys did not fit into the group, and they talked about why they felt that the merger was awkward. Another favorite detail was Connor telling Roman and Kendall that Marcia wanted Logan buried in a kilt. A kilt?
SB: A move to emasculate Logan. What about Matsson's sexual attraction to Shiv? The sicko who asked for a picture of Kendall with Roman after the deal and then the last shot of her smiling satisfied.
JT: From the moment that he wasn't sure if it was okay to bro-hug, tension was present.
GT: It is shocking that such wealthy and powerful people have so little satisfying (or consummated) sexual activity.
The scene in which she kicked dirt onto Tom's white shoes and said, "This is why people do not take you seriously" only increased the VF. Then she compared him with Matsson and his 'broad body'.
Anna Grace Lee said: "Your shoes are similar to looking at the sun. No, they're dangerous.'
Gt: You're emasculating men?
This episode was a strong one on the theme of emasculation. The naked sauna, the kilt and the scene where Matsson fears his blood will come back to haunt him are all part of the theme. Shiv's brutal attack on Tom is also a highlight. She calls him an spelunker.
Matsson, on the other hand, is an alpinist.
JT: I'm 6-foo4-4, ripped and the real power move. They tease Greg about his height but can't help but gawk at Matsson.
AGL: Matsson's cargo pants made him look like a character from Fortnite.
Matsson's wealth is not a secret. He is too wealthy and powerful to care about his clothing.
SB: He flashes his abs while ripping off his anorak and urinates during negotiations. These are all signs that he does not 'have good boundaries', as he told Shiv before he explained he harassed Shiv's direct report.
AGL: the blood! What was the blood about?
What to do if you receive a frozen block of blood?
Put it in your freezer.
GT: His aim is acquisition but all he is doing is excreting.
His accessories include bodily fluids.
AGL: I wonder now if Karolina knew something when she said, "You look refreshed" so pointedly at Matsson's director of communications during the brunch.
You look good.' Very refreshed.
AGL: Could we please talk about Shiv's raincoat?
Shiv's clothing messaging confuses me. She is saying something but it's often not clear what.
This trench coat did not belong in the landscape.
JT: It is by Mackage and retails at $1,190.
SB: Her hybridity is hinted at by the puffer hood and trench. She is the bridge that connects both sensibilities and can make this deal happen.
Frank and Karl putting on their compression socks while on the plane was another detail that I liked. They would have been on the list of redundant employees after that.
JT: I love the compression socks! My favorite moment.
GT: You are about to die, even if you don't have a deep vein embolism.
Shiv, unlike her brothers, did not make a fool of herself.
SB: Shiv saved Gerri and Karolina quietly while Matsson drank. Matsson compliment: 'I like that you can handle a joke. That's nice. She seemed to get a rare feeling of pleasure when she heard, "Like your dad". She needed the acknowledgement.