Part of Succession’s success is that it has never strayed far from its original conceit. The first season was about the looming specter of Logan’s (Brian Cox) death, as the children jockeyed for the title of his successor. Now, the children are a unit (or are they?) as they fight to overthrow him. Everyone wants to be top dog, even if the only thing they’ve all managed to do as a result is ruin their own lives. We want to watch that happen again and again because Armstrong and his writers are especially adept at finding new ways of making it interesting. New allegiances are made, new covenants are broken, and we remain on the edge of our seats to see who will “win.” If this show is a rubber band, it has been pulled in every possible direction, but never to the point of losing its elasticity.
While Kendall, Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) have decamped to the sunny hills of California, business is still happening in a dark, wood-paneled Manhattan. Logan is still planning on selling Waystar Royco to GoJo, the tech company whose offer the kids failed to squash at the end of Season 3, but not before acquiring Pierce Global Media. When the kids get wind of the acquisition, they leap into action. As Kendall puts it to Roman, “Think about how fucking funny it would be if we screwed Dad over his decadeslong obsession.” And they’re off.
What follows is what I would describe as the platonic ideal of a Succession episode. The kids are fighting their father to see who can place the biggest bid on PGN, and meanwhile, Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) had sex with his date in Logan’s wine cellar and is freaking out after learning that there was a security camera filming him. Connor (Alan Ruck), the first and most forgotten Roy child, is still running for president and needs to put another $100 million in his campaign chest to keep his 1% of the vote from getting “squeezed.”
And then there’s Tom. Played brilliantly by Matthew Macfadyen over the course of the series, Tom Wambsgans, Shiv’s soon-to-be ex-husband (they’re separated at the moment) is not the beating heart of the show, but its punching bag. For four seasons, he has been something of a lapdog to anyone who can move him further up the ladder, and last we saw him, he had finally made a big move: screwing over Shiv in order to align himself with her father. Now, he is in the room with Logan as he makes decisions — he’s gotten what he always claimed to want, but is it worth it?
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