The 'Succession' Season 3 Episode Titles Promise Parties & Disruption For The Roys

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The 'Succession' Season 3 Episode Titles Promise Parties & Disruption For The Roys

When Succession comes back on Oct. 17, the Roys are going to Italy... and Idaho? The Succession Season 3 episodes titles courtesy of HBO's TV schedule have been lovingly curated by the good people who update Succession's Wikipedia page. These titles reveal the names of seven out of the nine episodes, with the names of the season premiere and finale still TBD. (As for what the other two episodes titles could be, one fan on Reddit has an interesting theory for the Season 3 finale title.) But as Meatloaf sang, seven out of nine ain't bad. So I decided to speculate wildly about what these episode titles could mean, particularly the most enigmatic of the titles — "Retired Janitors of Idaho."

Season 3 will see Kendall Roy pitted against his father Logan Roy... for real this time, you guys. The Season 3 posters teased that the teams behind them aren't set (except Cousin Greg is solidly #TeamKendall) and there's bound to be a fair amount of rotating between Shiv, Roman, Tom, and Connor along the way as they try to orchestrate their own power plays.

Some of the episode titles give a glimmer of insight into what else could be happening to the Roy dynasty this season. (Others... well, they're vague as hell.) But since there's a month to go before Season 3 premieres, I thought why not decode what the released episode titles could mean.

"Mass In Time Of War"

Season 3, Episode 2

"Mass in Time of War" is the English translation of a classical piece by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn (the title in Latin is "Missa in tempore belli"). According to conductor Martin Pearlman for Boston Baroque, Haydn wrote this mass in 1796 in honor of the name day for Princess Maria Hermengilde of Esterházy. But with Austria preparing to go to war against Napoleon the title and music "reflect a sense of foreboding."

Logan probably would view Kendall as a Napoleonic figure trying (but failing) to invade his empire. Just like Princess Maria's name day, perhaps the whole Roy family will be gathered for some sort of celebration where the impending doom caused by the fallout of Kendall's coup will be palpable.

For what it's worth, Succession composer Nicholas Britell's mom told The Islander News that her son's concert debut was him playing a Haydn piano concerto at the age of 10. So Haydn's music may be particularly significant to the man who brought the world the glorious Succession theme song.

"The Disruption"

Season 3, Episode 3

Kendall loves himself a disruption. In Season 1's "Lifeboats," when he was temporary CEO of a secretly sinking Waystar Royco, he asked the leaders of their brands to bring him new, innovative ideas and to be "disruptive."

Roman also likes the word. In "Lifeboats," he says, they need to "break shit up, like, just disrupt." In "Which Side Are You On?" Roman tells Vaulter's Lawrence, "Like, we're fuckin' disruptors, yeah?" (Great vocab, Roman.)

When Kendall cries out, "The revolution will be televised!" in the Season 3 trailer, perhaps he's referencing the "disruption" at the heart of Episode 3. And, because Roman considers himself to be a "disrupter," maybe he'll be on Ken's side for this one.

"Lion In The Meadow"

Season 3, Episode 4

This line sounds almost Shakespearean and there's a fair amount of parallels between Succession and some of Shakespeare's works. But step aside, Shakespeare, because there's a children's book by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy named A Lion in the Meadow. It's about a boy who sees a lion in a meadow, but his mother doesn't believe him. The Amazon listing (where the used hardcover costs a price only the Roys afford —$985???) has the description as, "But what's a little boy to do when the dragon from the matchbox grows too big and the lion in the meadow decides to move into the house?"

There's no evidence that this episode's title comes from this children's book. But! If it does, dragons and lions in the house sounds rather ominous for Kendall. Plus, a disbelieving mother... could that mean the return of Caroline Collingwood?? (Harriet Walter is confirmed to be returning for Season 3.)

As for other lion-themed hints, the "lion's den" was a term used twice in Season 1 when referencing Senator Gil Eavis mingling with Logan's pride. Shiv says it regarding Gil going on ATN in "Prague" and Ken says it about Gil being at Shiv's wedding in "Pre-Nuptial." But I don't think this title necessarily means Gil will be back. (Eric Bogosian hasn't been announced as returning for Season 3.)

More likely, it's referencing a character who is acting like a lion lying in wait. With all his roaring, Logan is sure like a lion. But hey, Roman literally went "Roar" when called a lion in the Season 2 finale, and Kendall once sang "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" while high, so the cubs could be lions, too. Or maybe this is Tom or Greg's time to pounce.

"Retired Janitors Of Idaho"

Season 3, Episode 5

Argestes from Season 2 was modeled at least partially by the "billionaire summer camp" conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. But something tells me this is going to be a line a character says disparagingly about working-class people and not have anything to do with billionaires.

Could there be former cruise employees residing in the Gem State who corroborate what Ken told the media? After all, Greg was worried the "janitors" would accidentally throw away his "secret" papers that he was meant to have shred from the cruise scandal. These former employees don't even have to be janitors or from Idaho — they could be any blue-collar worker from the Northwest or Midwest and whoever is making this comment is showing their disdain for anyone not white collar who doesn't live in a major coastal city.

Another idea? If Connor is still running for president, perhaps some "retired janitors" will mindbogglingly be his biggest supporters.

"Going For What It Takes"

Season 3, Episode 6

Anyone's guess is as good as mine here. But whatever "what it takes" is will surely piss Logan off.

"Too Much Birthday"

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Season 3, Episode 7

Oddly, like the "Lion In The Meadow," this episode's title could be derived from a children's book — The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday. Sister's sixth birthday shindig becomes overwhelming to her and she has a bit of a meltdown. "At the first big party, we sometimes forget that the birthday bear may end up upset," the book says. It's painfully relevant to anyone who has ended up crying on their birthday. (Who, me? Never.)

Again, I have no idea if the Succession writers were really inspired by the children's section of their local bookstore this season. But the first episode of Succession took place on Logan's 80th birthday and it seems the Roys may be honoring someone else in the family, who most likely will have a meltdown during the celebrations.


Season 3, Episode 8

This shire isn't home to hobbits, but rather wine-drinkers. "Chiantishire" is apparently a nickname for a part of Tuscany, Italy — where rich, British people have taken over for their second homes or vacations. So, of course, the Roys will be spending their hols there. (See? I can be cool and kind of British, too.)

Vulture visited the set of Season 3 in Tuscany where the final two episodes will take place (one of the locations is the Villa Cetinale in Sovicille — a 17th-century villa with 13 bedrooms). So there's not much decoding that needs to be done for this episode's title. "I don't know how much of a social signifier it is to Americans — anybody who can go abroad is really rich — but [Tuscany] has this particular flavor for the English upper class," show creator Jesse Armstrong told Vulture. "Some call it Chiantishire in a slightly sickening way."

Though, to make some guesses on what could be going down in Tuscany besides a Roy family lunch and a lavish party, newcomer Dasha Nekrasova was on set in Italy for the Vulture story. That could possibly be connected to the fact that The Guardian wrote in 2014 that not just Brits but Russian oligarchs were also buying up property in Chiantishire. Are the Roys making a deal with a Soviet bloc company while in Italy? They sure can't just enjoy a party or a vacation without some drama or a deal going on.

Who knows if any of these theories will be true, but what I do know is I want to spend too many birthdays in Idaho and Chiantishire with the Roys come Season 3.


Ranking Every Single Logan Roy "Fuck Off" In Succession

Alexander Skarsgård Joins Succession Season 3 & The Tall Boys' Club

Should We Actually Feel Bad For Tom On Succession?

Images: HBO; Graeme Hunter/HBO

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