Succession SPOILER ALERT. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. First, I want to say that every episode of Succession is great. It’s the best show on television. This episode is no different.
Real life captured.
They captured the way that people experience death in real life. You’re in the middle of your life, dealing with your own stresses and minute details, and then wham! Death happens and interrupts life, ready or not.
It’s done so well in this episode. So good too, because at first, it’s not final. It’s unknown if Logan would survive. You don’t see his death scene. You don’t see Logan at all at first. You think that maybe it’s just a misdirect. It wasn’t. The show captures so well what the death of a parent or loved one is like. No pretense. No lead up. No clue. We’re watching what we think is an episode about Conor Roy’s wedding, and it hits us hard, and early in the episode. Early in the season, for that matter. Episode 3, and the show has lost its most dominant character. The patriarch of the Roy family, and founder of their massive Waystar Royco company. Logan Roy is gone. The absence of the death scene is one of the many great choices in this episode too. He left this world as most of us will, with no fanfare. In his case, on a flight, in a bathroom.
The Roy siblings have their moments. Usually at odds, but there’s love there, and it shows. Definitely as Kendall reveals the incident with the waiter at Shiv’s wedding. Most recently as they’re forced to come together and ‘trust’ one another in their joint effort to gain more money/stake in the Royco empire, at odds with their father. Now in this latest episode, the siblings supported one another again, each in their own way as they struggled to realize and cope with their father’s death. Even Roman being in attendance at Conor’s wedding, and not with his father on the plane headed to Mattson is telling. They’re there for each other when it counts.
The title of the episode itself is misleading. Season 4, Episode 3 “Conor’s Wedding”. Consistent though, that even with his name in the title of the episode, like his role in the family, Conor remains on the outside. The title is appropriate. Conor got married. He did. Logan’s death occurs on Conor’s wedding day though, and he gets married anyway. Conor’s immediate reaction to hearing about his father’s possible death is telling. “He never liked me.” The “loony cake” hang-up is a big reveal too. Another Roman-in-the-dog-crate-esque detail to give us a further glimpse into the Roy family past.
As for the other siblings, this is small, but I appreciate that Shiv was wearing black already, and not some floral dress like at their mother’s wedding. I thought this was a great costume choice. It set the funeral tone of the episode while we still believed it was going to be about a wedding. This was subtle and not at all out of character for Shiv, but important because during this momentous episode for the Roy siblings, we as viewers weren’t distracted by what they were wearing.
The actors performances and the characters reactions were more raw this way. The acting was top notch too, as always. The line where Kendall asks for “the best airplane medicine expert in the world” was heartbreaking. The most complicated relationship with his father, and yet trying to help him in the most Kendall way possible.
Despite their divorce and recent relationship troubles, Tom was there for Shiv on this “difficult day” and in this case he acted as an in between for the rest of the Roy siblings too. He was decent and supportive in this situation, and consistent with his character, he himself then turns to Greg for a strange sort of support (if you can call it that).
Reactions to the News
Each Roy sibling reacted exactly as you’d think they would when they hear the news that their father died but also very much in character in regards to seeing their father’s body.
Kendall: “Do you want to?” Roman: “Shouldn’t we?” Shiv: “I mean, he’s not going to get angry if we don’t.”
Roman, ever loyal goes to see him. He’s the only one of the Roy siblings to even think of it. Shiv begins to lean on Tom (literally and figuratively) and leaves. Kendall remains just steps away, but can’t bring himself to see his father’s body. Conor didn’t even get off the boat. He got married anyway (with very few people in attendance). Everything has changed, and yet the characters react exactly as you’d think they would. Even Logan’s team, immediately shifting to predict the public reaction and business implications of his death. Ready to prepare a statement.
The Kerry “Chuckles The Clown” part was so funny. One of the lighter parts of the episode. We all know how talented a newscaster she is. She responds to the shock of Logan’s death as awkwardly as if she were reporting on it. #chucklestheclown was actually trending on Twitter. So was #redwedding. The importance and shock of this episode had those Game of Thrones red wedding type vibes. Just without all the blood and violence.
The power of the episode was driven by relationships, and performances. The way the episode itself is shot is pretty incredible too. Like a play. A 27-minute scene, shot all at once with camera film being reloaded on the fly as they went along. They explain more about this in the post-episode interviews. Worth a watch, and as always, this episode especially was so well done. The performances were perfect.
As to the future of the Roy family on Succession, here are some of the most interesting quotes from the look ahead.
Shiv sets the tone. “For some of us it’s a sad day, but for others it’s coronation demolition derby.”
Tom Wambsgans throws his hat in the ring, only to get some tough love from Karl. Tom, “If there’s a ring, my hat’s in.” And Karl’s reaction: “The negative case would go, you are a clumsy interloper and no one trusts you. The only guy pulling for you is dead. You’re just married to the ex bosses’ daughter, and she doesn’t even like you.” “That’s how the naysayers might frame it.” Ouch. Rough.
And I liked the comment from Lukas Matsson too, describing what’s left of the Waystar Royco empire. “This is a parts shop. Good parts, bad brand.”
This show is so. Good. RIP Logan. A huge part of the show obviously, but I get why it happened. I can’t wait to see the rest.
If you want something lighter after the heaviness of that episode, Kieran Culkin was just on Hot Ones. He did really well with the hot sauce, and was just plain delightful throughout.
Til’ next Sunday!