|Season 2, Episode 2|
|Air date||August 18, 2019|
|Written by||Jon Brown|
|Directed by||Andrij Parekh|
|<font-family:Trajan Pro;font color="white">Episode Guide|
The Summer Palace
Roman and Kendall do a “routine health check” of a new media brand to help Vaulter to determine the future of the company. Tom tasks Greg with sniffing out waste at ATN, as Greg wonders if the divisive media outlet is the right fit for him. Connor and Willa host a soiree to mark their return to New York. Shiv brings Tom in the loop about her future at Waystar and with Gil’s campaign.
Everyone is at Waystar Royco celebrating Ken's daughter's birthday. Shiv Roy, Roman Roy and Kendall Roy are all called away for a quick impromptu meeting with Logan Roy. While Connor Roy comments on how quick they are to serve their father.
The Roys gather around to listen to Stewy’s interview on PGM, using the previous talking points Ken knew they would hit. Claiming that Logan is too old, and out of the loop to run his business. Logan agrees to go with Shiv's proposal of immediately firing back at their opponents that day.
Shiv and Tom Wambsgans are getting ready and briefly touch on the fact they will have an open relationship. Tom doesn't say much, simply agreeing with his wife.
At work, Shiv talks with Nate Sofrelli and he asks for her not to say anything about their affair. because his wife doesn't know. Shiv doesn't care, telling Nate it's not her problem. After the meeting Gil Eavis tells Shiv he is promoting her to Chief of Staff for his political campaign.
Connor and Willa Ferreyra host a soiree to mark their return to New York. Though it really is Connor quietly announcing his political campaign. He doesn't tell anyone directly in the room, but make sure the idea is sitting at the edge of their mind. Everyone is in attendance including Gerri Killman and Greg Hirsch. Tom and Shiv agree to have a double date with Roman and Tabitha.
That night Shiv visits her father to talk company strategy. Marcia Roy takes note of how Logan finds a reason for her to leave the room, while they talk in private. Logan wants Shiv to come in for six months to work with Gerri, another six months in Hong Kong, and 12 months with him, along with other strategy projects, that would take up to three years before Logan feels she's ready to come in. Shiv wants to fast-track it.
The next day Ken informs Lawrence Yee that his father and Waystar Royco will be performing a routine check of Vaulter. Ken will be conducting the audit personally, in partnership with his brother Roman. The brothers assess the company to identify areas of weakness and improvement. Roman - feeling out of his depth and unable to identify and perform tasks that contribute towards the audit - briefly calls Gerri, requesting that she visits Vaulter to help him. When she refuses, Roman hangs up on her. Ken spends the next 36 hours examining an overwhelming volume of Vaulter company material thanks to Lawrence, who is trying to bury him in paperwork to hinder his investigation. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Ken, Roman has taken out a couple of Vaulter staff members and gotten them drunk, in order to find out any details or gossip that he can present in his findings.
Tom has been moved up into HTN and has brought Greg with him. Greg tries to tell Tom that he doesn't like what the TV media stands for, but Tom dismisses his concerns and instructs him to search for any potential efficiencies that Tom can use to gain approval from Logan. By the end of the day, Greg informs him that they should consider digitizing HTN’s media library due to the excessive time that is spent manually locating media each time it is required for inclusion in a broadcast. Tom enthusiastically calculates the potential number of “skulls” that can be cut from the company as a result of digitizing.
Ken and Roman attend a meeting with their father to present their findings and conclusions about Vaulter. Ken suggests they retain Vaulter as it shows potential, but Roman offers a contrasting opinion, citing his discovery of systemic staff laziness and ingrained low-productivity, in addition to efforts underway by the workforce to unionize; an action that would significantly strengthen the staff’s negotiating position and reinforce the existing negative behaviours exhibited by the employees. Ultimately, Logan commits to Roman’s suggestion, and confirms his decision to dissolve Vaulter.
Shiv informs Tom of her father’s decision to appoint her as CEO as his replacement. Shiv admits that Logan informed her of his wishes the previous week while they were at the Hamptons. Tom asks if their plan is still him to inherit the company, She confirms it is, and that her taking over is just a small deviation. They hug while Tom looks concerned.
Greg is looking for new apartments and is faced with the likely reality of living in a compact studio, in contrast to the opulent homes possessed by his colleagues and relatives. After viewing such a property, he is summoned to a very luxurious apartment by Ken. Ken casually informs him that the apartment is his, temporarily while it awaits a long-term tenant, asking only in return that Greg hosts a party there that night. To Greg’s concern, the party swiftly escalates, with Ken intoxicated and Greg unable to sleep due to his bedroom being occupied by Ken’s acquaintances.
The double date between Shiv and Tom, Roman and Tabitha, that was prearranged the night before takes place at Roman‘s Apartment. The evening begins with an awkward atmosphere, with Tabitha slyly reminding Tom of their first interaction during his stag party, while their partners are in the other room. The dinner begins slowly but livens when Shiv and Roman begin mocking Tom’s gait and sartorial naïveté. Irritated at Logan’s selection of Shiv to ascend to the position of CEO within Waystar Royco - a role sought by Tom - he abruptly and rudely shuts Shiv’s teasing down, suppressing the dinner party’s jovial atmosphere.
That night, Ken accesses Vaulter to covertly install Wi-Fi blockers. The following morning he arrives to inform everyone they have been terminated and have 15 minutes to vacate the building. Lawrence demands to know why, with Ken’s only response being “because my dad told me to.”
Meanwhile, Shiv jokingly enquires whether Gil wishes to sanitize his hands after shaking the hand of a member of the public who greets him in the street. This ends up in an argument between Shiv and Gil in which Gil criticizes Shiv for his perception that she is out of touch with the electorate, with Shiv accusing Gil of double-standards. Nate takes Gil’s side and Shiv quits while simultaneously being fired.
After Ken concludes his activities dealing with Vaulter, he visits Logan's office to share the details. He tells Logan that they have kept the profit centers with them and have gutted the rest, letting the vast majority of the staff go with unfavourable severance terms. Logan is satisfied and involves him in the proxy war much to the chagrin of Roman. Later, Ken makes a quick stop at a bodega. On his way out he steals a packet of batteries, only to immediately toss them in the garbage can outside.
- Shiv Roy is promoted to Chief of Staff for Gil Eavis before quitting a day or so later.
- Logan's plan for Shiv was; Six months with Gerri, six months with Karl. Hong Kong for, say, another 12. Uh, Berlin, or London. Management training program for six. Come back, spend 12 months alongside me. And when you're ready, He'd step aside.
- Shiv and Tom previously had a plan for Tom to move up and eventually get Waystar Royco.
- Kendall Roy still rides around on the back on a bike with a driver.
- Kendall has started shoplifting