HBO isn't wasting any time filling the void left by the conclusion of Succession's finale. Warner Bros. Discovery has brought back the beloved Gemstone family for a third season, which premiered yesterday with a double dose of episodes to kick things off in style.
The second season ended with the Gemstones making amends amongst themselves and thwarting their rivals, the Lissons, who exposed themselves as the main villains of the season in comical fashion. But if two seasons have taught us anything, the not-so-righteous Gemstones rise to fame has brought them a lifetime's worth of adversaries to contend with.
Episode 1 begins with a flashback to the year 2000, where we see Aimee-Leigh getting violently attacked by a woman by the name "May-May", before being rescued by an unknown savior.
Back to the present, we learn that the family's patriarch, Eli Gemstone, has finally let go of the reins, deciding to leave his three incompetent children to take charge of the family business (calling it a church at this point feels like a bad joke).
At the newly launched Zion resort, Jesse is up to his usual shenanigans with his boys club. He promptly fires his father's driver for blabbing family business to the "Christian Times". On the other hand, Judy has returned from her tour, but she's acting strangely around BJ. Meanwhile, Kelvin and Keefe have embarked on their latest youth mission, the Smut Busters, with one objective: to rid the world of all sex toys.
However, the situation at the church takes a nosedive when Martin drops the bombshell that Dusty Daniels, a prominent benefactor and former race car driver, is cutting ties with the congregation. With over $200 million at stake, the Gemstone siblings pull out all the stops to win Dusty back, only to face unexpected competition from the Simkins.
In a playful twist, Dusty challenges the two families to a race, pitting them against each other for his money. Unsurprisingly, Jesse suffers a humiliating defeat at the hands of the eldest Simkin.
Turning our attention back to Eli, the semi-retired preacher is blissfully enjoying his newfound tranquility before it gets disrupted when an unexpected visitor from his past resurfaces. Surprise, surprise, it's his estranged sister, Mary, who happens to be Aimee-Leigh's assailant from the flashback.
Deep-seated animosity and an untold history have tainted their relationship, yet Mary now pleads with Eli for assistance from her recently released convict husband, who has absconded with her sons.
Remember how we mentioned Judy's strange behavior around BJ? Well, the cat's out of the bag now that Jesse and Kelvin have uncovered that she's been cheating on her husband with her band's guitarist, Stephen. But that's not all. In retaliation for losing the car race to the eldest Simkin, Jesse sets his numbskull friends on him as the first episode concludes.
Jesse seems to have learned nothing from the first season, when he antagonized a fellow pastor, John Seasons, and Chad paid for his misdeeds. If there ever was a time for him to step up as the eldest of the Gemstone siblings, now would be the perfect time.
As for Judy's betrayal of BJ, a character who has won the hearts of fans over the past two seasons, it's safe to say audiences aren't loving this particular subplot. Despite being the perpetual butt of the joke in the family, this could be the opportunity for BJ to prove that he's far from the spineless man his brothers-in-law believe him to be.