AFTER such a blistering start to its fourth and final season, you’d think Succession might want to slow things down a little, to allow us all to take note of who trusts who and what their motivations are even just for a minute.

Creator Jesse Armstrong affords his audience no such luxury though. If episode one established what’s at stake this season, episode two takes things to the next level, playing and testing everybody’s loyalties and giving it an air of superiority over its immediate predecessor.

We pick up after the Roy children’s acquisition of Nan Pierce’s media empire PGM much to the disgust of their father Logan. The sale of the company remains the primary focus of the season although we’re also treated to one glorious comedy-gold sub-plot before Logan and his children are finally put in the same room together for the first time this season.

READ MORE: Brian Cox is BACK and better than ever in Succession curtain-raiser

When it comes to performances, it feels like Succession should simply hold an awards show of its own. If Sarah Snook stole the show as Shiv last week, this time it’s Alan Ruck’s time to shine as the forgotten son Connor. So often a device for comedic relief at his own expense, this episode finally delves into the impact being the family outcast has on him.

As with every marriage in this show, his upcoming wedding to his fiancé Willa seems doomed to fail and his siblings couldn’t care less about him. He’s become so used to rejection that even when his family does arrive to spend time with him he’s still sidelined. As a character that’s so often struggled to get a word in edgeways, it’s refreshing to see him take centre stage for once.

For the first three seasons, the focal point of the drama so often revolved around Logan and Kendall, Shiv’s failing marriage to Tom has stolen that particular show. There’s a real and compelling bitterness punctuating the pair’s relationship which has finally come to the surface after three seasons of bubbling under the surface.

Meanwhile, comparisons to Jaws and the threat of nuclear war are just two of the ways we hear Logan talked about in this episode as Brian Cox takes his character’s no-holds barred approach to business to the next level. “If Santa Claus was a hitman”, is how Greg describes him at one stage.

Alexander Skarsgård's Lukas Mattson also makes a welcome, albeit slightly too brief, return as the somewhat unhinged billionaire vying to buy out Waystar. He looks set to come back into the fold over the next few weeks.

For those first encountering Succession, it might strike them odd that its creator Jesse Armstrong is also the man behind popular British sitcom Peep Show. Indeed, to go from the story of two dysfunctional best friends in a flat in London to a that of a Shakespearean, power-hungry family warring over control of a media empire does seem like quit the leap.

But watching cousin Greg brilliantly attempt to deliver some unwelcome news to a colleague shows Armstrong calling back to his comedy roots. Succession has always been funny but this one feels punctuated with more Peep Show-esque moments than we’ve otherwise come to expect.

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As with episode one, what makes episode two so good is its ability to push the main plotline forward while simultaneously weaving in a brilliant sub-plot that doesn’t feel like it’s just filling in time. Whether it’s Roman’s relationship advice for Connor or watching Logan deliver a cult-like speech to his employees, everyone gets their moment.

It’s truly a marvel watching these characters churn out more creative ways to hurt one another. Simply put, TV doesn’t get better than this.