Succession S4E2 Breakdown: A Father’s Love


Connor singing karaoke in Succession S4E2
Photograph by Macall Polay/HBO

There’s no other series in television’s long history that has weaved devastation and genuine, full bodied laughter the way that Succession has. They call it a dark comedy and I suppose that’s an accurate description, but it’s also an oversimplification. Jesse Armstrong and team have tapped into our deepest fears about the wealthiest people in the world and how much control they actually have. They’ve forced us to look at our own family dynamics, no matter how much or little money we come from. And of course, they’ve made us laugh. We’ve laughed a lot. Succession S4E2 is no different. In some ways, this episode gave us the best the series has to offer all at once. We’re about to get into heavy spoiler territory here so if you haven’t seen “Rehearsal”, you’ve been warned.

The Games We Play

All of the Roy children are tragic in their own right. None more so than any other, although arguments can certainly be made for both Connor and Kendall. What I loved about Succession S4E2 was that we got to spend time with the siblings together for the whole episode, which is a rare treat, and as viewers, we got to see the full spectrum of each sibling’s emotional pain. Their battle scars were each on full display.

The premise of “Rehearsal” was simple: Kendall, Shiv and Roman, despite appearing united last week in their efforts to purchase a dying media brand and take the fight to their father, each has their own doubts and is considering getting out. Shiv places a call to Sandy, a board member who has no love for Logan, to test the waters and see if a possible alliance could still be had. Sandy tells Shiv that she, her father and everyone’s favorite, Stewy, felt Logan was underselling the company and they wanted the kids’ support to push back on the sale price and drive it up a little more.

This one simple phone call set our story on motion. Shiv wants to push her brothers into siding with Sandy and company to drive up the sale price. Shiv correctly states that they overpaid for Pierce and could use the extra capital. Roman and Kendall maintain the position that they just want to cash out, until Kendall gets a call from the eccentric buyer himself, who tells Kendall that if Logan tries to ask for more money, he’ll walk away from the deal without hesitation.

The worst karaoke party ever in Succession S4E2
Courtesy of HBO

Here comes the manipulation and emotional damage on full display for viewers. Kendall wants nothing more than to destroy his father. Out of the four siblings, he’s the most motivated by revenge. He wants Logan to pay. So he never told his siblings about his call but rather just said that he now agreed with Shiv. He was using Shiv’s greedy nature as a weapon to ruin the sale of the company, although really Shiv wasn’t acting out of greed here, but rather a desire to get out of a bad deal with her brothers.

Connor, who started the episode at his wedding rehearsal only to be ditched by Willa, was honest if nothing else all while melting down over his fiancé running from their rehearsal. He told his siblings that he wanted the money. He didn’t want them to delay the sale. He didn’t want to anger their father. Which is why he tipped off Logan as to what was happening, setting up the showdown between father and children we’ve all wanted to see.

It was interesting to see Logan “negotiate” with his children here. He knew that if they voted with Sandy and Stewy, they could stop his deal. His children finally had the upper hand on him, but as we’ve seen lately, Logan is feeling competitive. The upcoming sale of his company has him going through a range of emotions, which all ultimately lead back to him wanting to show that he’s still the same Logan Roy, world conqueror.

Logan on the floor of ATN
Courtesy of HBO

Logan tried to play off his kids’ need for an apology from him. You could see it working with Roman. You could see Shiv insulted by her father’s tactic and Kendall amused but not swayed. While the siblings had to feel like they won this round with the old man, Logan was one step ahead of them, as always. He knew he could pull Roman in and as we saw at the end of Succession S4E2, he had his youngest child hook, line and sinker.

What Is Love?

“Rehearsal” saw one of Connor’s finest moments as he told his siblings exactly how different he was than them. He’s used to not being loved and said he didn’t need it. It was believable. His relationship with Willa has always been transactional. His father has shown him no affection. His siblings openly mock him. But do we believe him?

Roman is obviously in need of love and affection. He craves acceptance. All of his actions are rooted in a need for someone in his family to approve of him and to love him. Then there’s Shiv, who despite her tough exterior and harsh ways, does love Tom. In a subtle moment for her in this episode, you saw her pull out her phone and go to call him, until she realized she couldn’t.

Kendall is a bit of an outlier. He does crave love but he first craves self love. He wants to forgive himself. He wants to feel OK. He doesn’t outwardly crave anything from his father because to him it’s unattainable. His siblings are more of a realistic goal and Kendall does seem to relish his time with them, but he does often slip into his manipulative ways, like we saw here in “Rehearsal.”


Keri, everyone’s least favorite assistant, apparently wants to be a news anchor. In one of the more hilarious subplots in series history, Keri’s audition tape floated around to basically everyone, giving many the opportunity to laugh at how truly bad she is. Tom having Greg be the one to tell her she’s not good was the kind of cringy, comedic gold we’ve come to expect from this series. That being said, it does seem likely that Keri is going to stab Logan and the gang in the back at some point before it’s all said and done.

Greg breaks bad news to Keri
Courtesy of HBO

Greg had one of his best episodes, perhaps ever, calling Logan “Santa Claus, if Santa were a hitman,” and then also comparing him to Jaws later in the episode, only “if Jaws was everyone’s boss.” One for the record books.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Very curious to see if Roman is back on #TeamDad or if he does try to stick with his siblings. My hunch is that he does align with his Dad, although maybe not for too long.

Tom and Greg running ATN seems like it’s coming to an end, especially now with Logan being more hands on. Could the two characters we’ve seen go from relatively innocent to totally corrupt end the series in a place of humility?

Only eight episodes remain in one of television’s crowning achievements. The road from here should be filled with twists, turns and much more. Until next time 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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