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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The Observer

‘Succession’ mid-season review: A killer final season

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This review contains spoilers for all of “Succession.”

“Hello! F****-sucky brigade. How can I help you?” is the last thing Roman Roy says on a phone call before learning his dad is dying — a scene that encapsulates how “Succession” perfectly balances both biting humor and gutting emotional moments.  

The season three finale found three of the Roy siblings, Kendall, Shiv and Roman, finally united through their anger at their father for selling Waystar Royco, the family company, and barring them from succession. The beginning of the fourth and final season seemed to be building toward some huge, dramatic confrontation between the kids and their father, Logan. In the first episode, Kendall, Shiv and Roman completely abandon their plans to start a new company separate from their family legacy in order to buy the news network their dad wants. In the second, Kendall and Shiv plan to stall Waystar’s sale at a board meeting. Essentially, the kids’ business strategy is to do whatever makes their dad the angriest. For the entirety of the series, the kids’ motivations have centered around their father, whether it be winning his approval or trying to “kill” him, in a business sense. Then, by the third episode, Logan is dead. 

Logan’s death was inevitable. The very title of the show reminds you of the fact that someone must take over the company from the aging patriarch. However, characters as pivotal as Logan Roy don’t die fifteen minutes into the third episode of a ten-episode season. The timing of his death isn’t just for shock value. Logan’s death will have devastating ramifications for the rest of the season, according to show creator Jesse Armstrong.

“We don’t just want to see people crying and then have a funeral and be done with the show,” Armstrong said. “We want to see how a death of someone significant rebounds around a family.” 

The third episode is innocuously titled “Connor’s Wedding,” and it’s perfectly constructed to convey the devastating impact of Logan’s death. In this episode, Logan has decided to skip the wedding of his eldest son Connor in order to attend a business meeting. Kendall, Shiv and Roman, who are all attending Connor’s wedding, have to be informed via phone call that their father has collapsed on the plane to his meeting and is in critical condition. There’s no dramatic death scene, and the audience finds out about Logan’s condition at the same time as the kids. There’s a sense of disbelief that a powerhouse like Logan would die so suddenly.

The performances in this episode are absolutely heartbreaking. Despite their anger at their father, each of the kids desperately try to say their final words to him. Sarah Snook’s performance as Shiv is particularly heartwrenching as we witness the usually collected Shiv revert to a tearful, almost childlike state as she tells her father, “It’s ok, Daddy. It’s ok, I love you.” The separation between Logan and his family is painful, and it all stems from Logan’s decision to always prioritize business over everything else. He dies surrounded by underlings who don’t care about him while his family can only communicate with him through the phone. 

Logan was horrifyingly abusive to his children, and it’s obvious that it would be better if they could leave him and the company behind. However, there is no catharsis with Logan’s death, only pain and unresolved trauma. His death so early in the season will have ramifications that will push the series to new dramatic lengths, that I, for one, am excited to witness. 

In honor of Logan Roy’s death, I can only end this article with a tribute that has a certain “flava.” So, do yourself a favor and give “L to the OG”  a watch in remembrance of the true OG.