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Does Kendall Roy Have A "Stupid" Walk? A 'Succession' Analysis

- Succession -
Does Kendall Roy Have A "Stupid" Walk? A 'Succession' Analysis

There's a lot of things one could criticize Kendall Roy for — his thirstiness for his father's approval, his stint with shoplifting, his ill-advised raps, etc. But in the Succession Season 3 teaser, Roman decided to pick on his big brother for something seemingly innocuous — his walk. As funny as Roman can be, he often goes for the long-hanging fruit when it comes to his insult comedy. But does Kendall Roy have a "stupid" walk? I decided to investigate.

Kendall starts the teaser pretty stupidly by pumping himself up in the mirror as he pronounced, "You are Kendall Roy. You are fucking Kendall Roy." But hey, he needed a good pep talk based on what he did in the Season 2 finale when he publicly threw his father under the bus for the cruise scandal at Waystar Royco. The rest of the family appears to be reeling from the betrayal as Kendall heads to the corporate offices. "Is it true? He's on his way?" Shiv wonders with some panic. Roman calmly retorts, "I don't see him yet... with his stupid walk."

Succession actually does spend a fair amount of time following Kendall walking to and fro places — in the minute-ish Season 3 teaser alone, he has multiple walks. But how stupid is it? Let's look at some examples.

The "Stupid" Walk

Head hung down to presumably thwart the paparazzi from getting a shot of his face, this is the "stupid" walk that the Season 3 preview flashes to after Roman's criticism.

Smirking Stroll

Lest you think Kendall is always such a sloucher, he coasts with confidence later on in the Season 3 preview, head held high with a big old smile on his face. Sure, he might look dumb for smirking so hard, but this is not inherently a stupid walk.

Man Walking

One could argue that Kendall's first walk of the series looked kind of cool. But this writer would argue that you're just being distracted by composer Nicholas Britell's theme music. Instead, Kendall's the embodiment of the "man walking" emoji (specifically, Apple's version), which is very not cool.

Usurping Stride

He might have been stressed as all hell when he tried to remove his dad as CEO in Season 1, but being so distracted by treason did wonders for his gait. Consider this his Saturday Night Fever moment.

Hangdogging

A very tentative pace, one hand slightly clenched, head mostly up but eyes avoiding any eye contact —  when you've been kicked down as much as Kendall was in the Season 2 premiere, how else are you supposed to walk?

Fleeing The Scene Of The Crime

You thought Kendall walked real hangdog when near his father? Well, check out how long to the ground he can get when he's fleeing from involuntary manslaughter.

Daddy's Bidding

When he had to disband his baby Vaulter on his father's behalf, his sullen deliberate march was textbook "stupid" walk.

Head Held High

The tip-off that Kendall wasn't going to be the "blood sacrifice" for his father in the Season 2 finale? How high Kendall is holding up his head walking into that press conference.

In the end, the key to the "stupid" walk seems to be Kendall's ability to look like he's slouching (slight downward tilt of the head, avoidant eyes) even with his prep school posture. How extreme the stupid walk is seems to be very dependent on where he stands with his father. And for Season 3, he may no longer be walking but running up off the fucking beanstalk(??). Either way, give Jeremy Strong another Emmy for his Succession walk alone!

Read more...

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Images: HBO, Peter Kramer/HBO, Colin Hutton/HBO

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