Jeremy Strong as Kendall in HBO's 'Succession' Season 3

This New Succession Character Could Be A Game-Changer

She's def one to watch.

by Ani Bundel
David Russell/HBO

When Succession Season 2 ended, it did so with one doozy of a cliffhanger. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) went rogue after being asked by his father to take the fall for Waystar’s growing cruise ship sex scandal. Instead of throwing himself on his sword for the press as instructed, though, Kendall presented the incriminating papers Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) had squirreled away, proving Logan (Brian Cox) was central to the scandal and knew everything. Season 3 picks up minutes after Season 2 left off, covering the opening moments of the Roy Civil War as everyone lawyers up. And in the race for the best representation, everyone wanted the same woman. So, who is Lisa Arthur (Sanaa Lathan) in Succession, and why is she the attorney du jour?

Warning: Spoilers for Succession Season 3, Episode 1 follow. As Kendall rode away in a car trying to find a haven to set up as his war room, the names of who he needs on his side got bandied about. One came up fairly quickly: Lisa Arthur. She’d bring a lot of gravitas to Kendall’s case and could make him look like he’s above the mess that’s currently engulfing the company.

Over on Team Logan, it took the patriarch a long moment to pull out of the shock of Kendall’s betrayal. But once he sprang to life, one of the first names that came up was, once again, Lisa Arthur. Several white glove firms are on retainer with the company; several more would love to get themselves hired. Logan suggested playing “footsie” with them to see what they might bring to the table, but Lisa Arthur would bring a different tenor to the discussion. If she was willing to represent them, it would throw the accusations into a different light, suggesting there’s no “there” there.

David Russell/HBO

Shiv (Sarah Snook) was willing to take up the cause. She knew Lisa, and more importantly, she recognized Logan was looking to test the mettle and loyalty of his children. If she brought him Lisa, she reasoned, she’d be in prime position to get the Waystar CEO job, which Logan had decided to hand off for the moment.

But sometimes, war is not a battle of inches; it’s a battle of minutes. Kendall was faster than Logan and got his call into Lisa before Shiv did. For all the history Lisa and Shiv have, Lisa had already agreed to visit with Kendall and hear his pitch, and therefore could not legally hear anything from Shiv’s side of things. She did say she would let Shiv know right away if she became available, which viewers could take as code to say that should she not be impressed with Kendall, she would be in touch. But due to the unwillingness for either woman to speak plainly, it’s unclear whether Shiv understood that. All she seemed to have heard was that she needed to bring Lisa to get the CEO job, and she failed.

That failure did indeed cost her the CEO position. And it may have been enough to get her to consider switching teams altogether. But perhaps she should hold her fire for at least a minute. As the episode ended, Lisa has arrived at Kendall’s temporary war room at his ex-wife’s house, and after hearing his argument, she did not look impressed. So, big decisions are still yet to be made.

Succession Season 3 continues with new episodes every Sunday on HBO at 9 p.m. ET and streaming on HBO Max directly following.