Succession S4E1: Life, Death & Logan Roy

“The Munsters”

Logan and Kerri in Succession S4E1

The final chapter of one of television’s greatest achievements from the 21st century has begun. Succession S4E1, titled “The Munsters,” saw the kids unite, Logan discuss the afterlife, Shiv and Tom’s tortured marriage break our hearts one more time and well…don’t ask to smell Greg’s fingers. If you haven’t seen the season premiere of Succession’s final season, beware because there are spoilers ahead.

“Your Face Gives Me a Headache”

After last season’s finale saw the youngest three Roy siblings reunite after years of backstabbing and betrayal, we picked up where we left off with them here in Succession S4E1Kendall, Shiv and Roman are looking to launch their own cutting edge news platform and listening to pitches they visibly dislike. The siblings have always discussed trying to modernize, yet always go back to what they know: their father’s traditional news business. Which is a cycle we would see play out again here.

The Pierce family, who own a more moderate news network that Logan wanted to purchase last season, is looking to sell again. This news came to the siblings at the 11th hour, when they discovered that their father was closing in on a deal to purchase their network on the eve of selling his own company. What could go wrong here?

Shiv, Roman and Kendall talking in Succession S4E1
HBO/Screenshot from Succession S4E1

It was interesting to see the younger Roy siblings debate their next move. Roman was the most opposed and was clearly in favor of launching the new platform. Despite finally taking his biggest stand to date against his father, Roman is still afraid to go to war with his father. Or is he fatigued from it? Perhaps happy to finally not be at odds with his siblings and equally as happy to be avoiding his father’s wrath? Roman has always been the most desperate for his father’s approval and going along with his siblings to do battle with Dad one more time wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. Even if going to war with Dad one more time was exactly what Shiv and Kendall wanted.

The Worst Birthday Party Ever

Succession S4E1 gave us the worst birthday party of all time, for none other than Logan. Logan was bored out of his mind, surrounded by his yes men and women only. The reality was that his youngest three children really weren’t coming back to him this time and that the more powerful people in the world weren’t surrounding him, likely seeing him as less important with the sale of his company days away from happening.

Logan is a complicated character for many, many reasons but perhaps none more fascinating than his dynamic with his children. He doesn’t take them seriously. He doesn’t believe that they can come out from his shadow. He thinks they have very real talents but not the killer instincts to truly thrive in this world. He beats them down but he doesn’t see it as the abuse that they see it as. He, in his mind, thinks he’s protecting them. He loves them and doesn’t understand why they take these things personally and are so removed from him these days.

But the party equally showed that he feels disrespected and bored. With this sale of his company going through in two days, Logan sees it as a win, or at least that’s what he says. But his killer instinct hasn’t diminished. The fight is still there. You can tell that his desire for power is as strong as ever. Can this man truly retire and ride off into the sunset? Not a chance.

My favorite scene in Succession S4E1 was Logan at the restaurant with his bodyguard Collin, the same bodyguard who cleaned up the vehicular homicide Kendall was responsible for in Season 1. Logan escaped his party with Collin and wanted some real conversation. He trusts Collin because Collin does his job and does it well. He doesn’t push back, he doesn’t complain about why he doesn’t have more. He just does what he’s supposed to do and Logan Roy admires that.

At the restaurant, Logan asked Collin what he thought happened after you die. Logan said that he thinks this is it, there’s nothing after, which says so much about his mentality and the way he acts. He lives like there’s no tomorrow, with no remorse for his actions because he believes he’s never going to have to account for them. That with money and power, he’ll win the game of life and go out on top. But was this foreshadowing? Succession started with Logan nearly dead and the kids fighting over who would succeed Dad. Now the kids are at war with Dad but if the end game is him dying with the kids birthright gone, what do they have to fight for after all? What’s their motivation? Serious questions to possibly end the series on.

Innocents No More

In many ways, Succession has been a study of the way that greed corrupts. Greg was a true innocent when this series started. Tom, less so, but still way on the other end of the spectrum from where he is now. These two men are obsessed with power and will do anything Logan asks of them. While their heart is still there and on display at times, they have been corrupted by a system designed to break the strongest and most pure.

Tom and Greg talking in Succession S4E1
HBO/Screenshot from Succession S4E1

Yet I couldn’t help but feel for Tom when he and Shiv discussed divorce at the end of Succession S4E1He is a snake in the grass, yes, but he’s been hurt, he’s been lied to and humiliated. Was he driven to his choices by pain or greed? Likely both. No, Tom isn’t an innocent anymore by any means but there are shreds of humanity hiding in there. It’s nice when the show reminds us of that.

Tom and Shiv in Succession S4E1
HBO/Screenshot from Succession S4E1

The Highest Number

Kendall, Shiv and Roman won the bidding war and are purchasing an aging media empire for the cool sum of ten billion dollars. They’re going to war with their father, who despite being angry, will not go quietly into the night. He will fire back on his children and war will be waged.

So what does the final act of this Shakespearean-esque drama look like? A potentially dangerous Trump-like President looms on the horizon. The rich are getting richer. The way people consume news and the manner in which that news is presented is nothing more than a weapon in this war of the most powerful people on Earth. How does it all end? Succession S4E1 didn’t give us many clues except that Logan’s mortality and how the kids will react to his possible death are the stories to watch. Until next week my friends…

Written by Andrew Grevas

Andrew is the Founder / Editor in Chief of 25YL. He’s engaged with 2 sons, a staunch defender of the series finales for both Lost & The Sopranos and watched Twin Peaks at the age of 5 during its original run, which explains a lot about his personality.

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