Succession Season 4 Episode 1 recap and ‘F**K OFF’ Power Rankings
At long last, the Roy family has returned to television and if the season 4 Succession premier is any indication, the audience and fans are in for a damn good time.
The most current and final season of Succession picks up a few months (or maybe even weeks) after the conclusion of season three, and there are no real surprises about what the characters are doing with their lives. As the audience is reintroduced to patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) we find him isolated from friends and family at a birthday celebration in his honor. In true Logan fashion, he loathes the attendees, leaves his own party early, and stews over the future of his enterprise and more importantly, his legacy.
No wonder he’s alone.
When the audience meets the three Roy children absent from the party, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Chiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) we find them in an uneasy power triumvirate trying to extract professional, if not familial, revenge upon their father. How so? In the best way they know possible; by starting a competing media conglomerate.
That is until an even better way to get back at their father presents itself – acquiring long time Waystar Royco rival, Pierce Media.
Do the Roy children need to acquire a faltering, but respected, media conglomerate? Probably not. Do the Roy children have a history of making good business decisions? No. Do the Roy children understand how money works? Not even close.
Do the Roy children want to stick it to their father? Absolutely. And for at least one singular episode, they pull of a Hail Mary, by pulling one over on their father.
And that is where we largely find ourselves at the beginning of season 4. Simple, straight forward, and brutal. Nice.
As for the rest of the episode, all of the Succession watermarks were present, including tense character interactions (‘Roast Me!’), beautiful outdoor scenery, intricate and ornate homes and of course, the SUVs and private planes that trot these characters across the globe. What would an episode of Succession be without an awkward and devastatingly funny interaction between Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Tom (Mathew Macfadyen), who now refer to each other, in frat/bachelor-ease, as ‘The Disgusting Brothers’. Well, that is how Greg refers to their relationship.
Speaking of Tom, it appears that he is playing both sides of the family and impossibly straddling the line between being one of Logan’s top lieutenants while remaining married (barely) to Shiv. Tom’s motivations and allegiances seem to remain murky, until the end of the episode, where he and Shiv are reunited, only to have a devastating late night conversation that, seemingly, puts an end to their marriage.
Tom’s demeanor is hard to read, although I believe he does genuinely seem sad. You should probably watch and decide for yourself because this breakup scene is hauntingly beautiful and one of the better sequences in a series full of them.
It appears that the final season of Succession, especially given how the premiere episode ended with the divorce scene, will largely focus on the relationship between Tom and Shiv. What fan of the show wouldn’t want more of that?
Succession, we are going to miss you when you are gone.
Netflix and Grill ‘F@@k Off’ Power Rankings
Here is the first of a weekly ranking of the power players in the Succession universe.
Wildcard: The mysterious Kerry (Zoe Winters), who refers to herself as Logan’s ‘friend assistant, and advisor’. Not much is known about Kerry and no other character can refer to themselves in those terms. Kerry has no obvious wealth, but she, by proxy of being Logan’s confidant and lover, has an incalculable amount of power.
#5: Kendall – still unstable (but less unstable than at his mother’s wedding) and still more of a liability than as asset, Kendall is a survivor, and a salesman, and can relate to other super-rich douche bags (Stewie). Those assets, combined with his pedigree and bankroll, make him difficult to write off.
#4: Roman – just because he has a big mouth doesn’t mean he has bad ideas. In fact, if it wasn’t for a junk mail mix up from the previous season, it is not difficult to imagine Roman being his father’s second in command and heir apparent
#3: Logan – in season three, as Kendall is plotting his coup d’e-tat, Tom gently reminds Kendall that he has ‘never seen Logan get fucked. Not once’. Well, for once, Logan got fucked. But Logan is still Logan, and even with his grip on power waning, has a bigger bankroll and rolodex (do people still use that term?) than any of his competitors
#2: Tom – Double agent? Heartbroken divorcee? Scorned family member with an axe-to-grind? It is hard to tell, but one thing is for certain; Tom, who has been riding a hot streak since the middle of season three, is the most like Logan in the sense that he came from nothing and is cunning and shrewd. He also, more so than anyone else in Logan’s orbit, presents himself well, gives good advice, and is loyal. No other lackey can say the same.
#1: Shiv – with a big win in her back pocket and the most real world experience and highest IQ of the Roy children, Shiv now has even more motivation, with the decision to divorce Tom, to take the reigns. Chiv makes more calculated, and less bad, decisions than her siblings, which means she is the most likely to step over their corpses.