I, and it seems like a lot of Succession fandom, am obsessed with Stewy. He is so unabashedly shameful he becomes someone we root for. He seems fully aware of how terrible he is and yet doesn’t think twice about it, so why should we? The only problem with Stewy, that I can see, is that he is not on screen enough, especially considering how much he does with the few moments he is given. That being said, he seems to be in that character sweet spot, where he is on screen enough to be significant, but not so much that it’s no longer special. Regardless, Stewy, with the time he has been allotted, has provided Succession with great moments. Here are some of his best.
Introduction to Stewy (S1 E3)
First impressions matter, and Stewy makes the most of his. Lots of characters show an aspect of themselves to start, Logan’s dementia, Kendall’s new age-young at heart business mindset, Roman’s petulance. But Stewy… not so much. He gave us all of himself, as he steals doughnuts, speaks crassly, barely graces Kendall with his attention, and makes indecent proposals about Kendall’s ex. After it is all said and done you wonder who the hell that guy was, and when we will get to see him again.
Subtly, it’s Stewy’s selfish nature that we see the most in this scene. He can only barely be concerned with Kendall’s significant worries. He steals a doughnut from a shop when he could just as easily buy the whole store, he wonders if someone can date Kendall’s ex, while the divorce is still not finalized, and he does coke in front of Kendall who is in recovery. He even asked if Kendall wants a taste.
You could chalk the doughnut up to humor, the lack of attention to ADHD, the indecent question to a lack of awareness, and the offering of drugs to a recovering addict as a lack of understanding, but that would be too much explaining. At the end of the day, Stewy showed us who he is from day one- a selfish narcissist who will always think of his needs first. And I’m here for it.
Can I trust you? (S1 E6)
If his first interaction was full of subtle hints at Stewy’s motives, this moment is a slap in the face. Stewy is a killer, Kendall, at this point, is not. Kendall thought that friendship mattered in business. Not Stewy. Nothing overcomes the bottom line. And Stewy tells Kendall as much.
Kendall wants Stewy on his side as he looks to hold his disastrous vote of no confidence against Logan. When Kendall asks Stewy if he can trust him, the response is simple and succinct, “No.”
When asked again, Stewy doubled down, “No.”
If only Kendall had listened, what might have been averted? Although playing this down the concrete roads of what actually played out, Kendall screwed Stewy more than Stewy ever could have screwed him, despite who screwed who first. Thus, the complicated state of their relationship is born in this moment, and I can only hope we get more of it in season three.
More Stewy, more blatant honesty, more interactions with Kendall, more development of an infinitely complex relationship. Most shows would kill for one relationship as interesting as this. Succession has so many this one had to take a break for most of a season.
Logan and the visuals (S1 E7)
After first meeting Stewy, and seeing how he fell into the deal with Kendall based on nothing other than their relationship, it could be easy to believe that Stewy has no business acumen whatsoever, and, as an emblem of privilege, has fallen into millions of dollars through trust funds and relationships. And there seems to be a lot of truth to that notion. However, in this meeting with Logan- post Logan’s recovery- as a completely unwanted parasite on the back of Waystar Royco, Stewy shows us that maybe there is some ability behind his bank statement.
Very few people stand up to Logan, butStewy does, “Teevee..? Oh, I remember those. We still have one of those in my gym.”
And even fewer make it past one of Logan’s withering insults like, “Oh, it’s so great to have the wisdom of my son’s college drinking buddy in the room.”
But Stewy replies, “I just love the way he asks me for money.” (By the way, now that we are fully in ‘analyze Logan’s facial expressions mode’ in Succession fandom, Logan’s face after this line provides hours of analysis as to how he feels about Stewy’s comeback).
He also refuses to be talked down to or treated like the business baby and get ostracized from Logan’s inner circle as so many others allow.
Gerri: Well it’s a part of a larger strategy.
Stewy: No I- I get all that.
And now, they are sitting and talking, it’s officially a meeting. And in a way that Kendall never does in the first season, and Roman doesn’t until the last episode of season 2. Stewy fits right into the business back and forth. All of the banter was just a prelude to an actual business discussion where Stewy got to share his opinion. How much Logan listened would be based on the quality of the preceding repartee. And Stewy nailed it.
Once seated, he addresses Logan in a way no one has, “I think the issue here, sir, is that… everyone fucking hates you.”
Then he grabs his attention and convinces him to do something he didn’t want to do before making a massive business deal (address his family’s visuals). Stewy is used to scorn and derision, people not liking him or wanting him around, and he just doesn’t care. He wants to make a profit, and he knows how to do it. In that moment, quite possibly, Logan found a kindred spirit.
On the island in Crete (S2 E10)
Majestic island setting in the Mediterranean. Shakespearean villain. A flower to sniff while contemplating unsavory matters. Power precariously balancing on a single conversation. And throughout it all, Stewy is in his element. Stewy will always operate best as a villain, no matter how much we love him, and he never shows this better than on the island. He is nihilistic, vindictive, heartless, and he seems to be above it all as he turns the screws to Logan and Kendall.
“No, I don’t think that works.” The man who uses words to cut like a ginzu knife responds to the business deal of a lifetime, with this surprisingly soft and noncommittal decline. And then he gives us his business philosophy,
“It doesn’t mean anything.”
This seems to be the greatness of Stewy. Whether he is stealing doughnuts, or committing to a hostile takeover, making a massive business deal or declining one as an ultimate fuck you, none of it means anything to Stewy. It is just what he does. He makes decisions that make money, everything else is complicated airflow.
Did you like this post? Click here for Did You blank It? homepage.
For more posts like this, like, comment, or follow, or check us out on Twitter @BlankDid.
If you liked this, you may also like:
Rulebook for ‘Boar on the Floor’ [Succession]
Business Advice According To [Succession]
“L to the OG” Grammy Acceptance Speech by Kendall Roy [Succession]
Tom and Greg “We Here For You”: A Beautiful Relationship [Succession]
Best Insults In All Of [Succession]
Who is more full of shit? The Pierces or The Roys (Pt. 1) [Succession]