Succession Season 4 Episode 4 follows up the monumental ‘Connor’s Wedding’ episode that involved one of the most significant losses in the entire series. Witnessing live TV and fandom erupting in unison is always a feat. The last episode’s direction, writing, and acting showed me why Succession is one of the best shows—with the death of their father, Logan, Shiv, Roy, and Kendall grappling with the inevitable but surprising loss of their father. How can Succession Season 4 Episode 4 follow up with such a perfect episode, and how will they fill the gap of Logan Roy (Brian Cox)?
The answer is that this episode does not shy away from Logan’s loss. Almost in every shot, Logan’s presence is felt. Some scenes focus on his empty office chair, the emptiness of his apartment, and the fact that he isn’t sitting in his usual spot on the couch where viewers have spent so much time with the Roys at. The trio gazes at these empty spots with the camera panning from their point-of-view, and you can feel their mourning, albeit tinged with hate.
The episode uses Logan’s apartment as a backdrop for the bubbling power grabs that the incoming board meeting is going to settle. We have people giving speeches about how America lost a giant of the conservative movement. The Secret Service does a sweep of Logan’s place because Mr. Roy was friends with people at the DOJ. Marcia, Logan’s estranged wife, is hosting this wake of sorts and it’s clear that she is loving the power she now wields due to his death. She even sells Logan’s apartment to his first son, Connor (Alan Ruck), for 63 Million with friends and family discount!
Succession Season 4 Episode 4 hones in on this empty space and these empty friends with director Lorne Scafaria (who directed the infamous Kendall Roy 40th birthday party episode), using it to foreshadow how the Roy children will fill this gap. Unlike the start of the show, where Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and his siblings were struggling to feel seen by their father, the apartment is taken up by their need to stick together. They sit together, plan together, and organize together. The board meeting is invested in figuring out the interim leader of WaystarRoyco, and Scafaria made Kendall stand taller than all the other siblings, positioning him as the one in charge.
As a viewer, it’s easy for this episode to feel circular and reminiscent of past seasons where Kendall desperately wanted control of the company from his father. However, the only reason it doesn’t feel completely repetitive is that the conflict isn’t Kendall Vs Logan but now is Kendall and Roman VS Shiv, who feels sidelined and emotional over the fact that they cannot mourn without dealing with business.
A thread throughout Succession Season 4 Episode 4 is the natural way of things. As mentioned before, there are many ways that it’s made apparent that Kendall will be the new leader. He is positioned in front of his siblings. He stands tall when everyone is sitting down. He remains the most stoic in front of others. Given that he does get voted in as CEO with his brother Roman (Kieran Culkin), I was not at all surprised.
However, the positioning of Shiv felt the weight of the misogyny. She’s sidelined, often shown either teary-eyed, overly emotional, or sitting. I hate the idea of showcasing Shiv as weak or undeserving of a position of power because she’s anything but. It’s sad to see Kendall exert his need for their father’s validation over her. She even makes mention that she feels left out of her brother’s power grab and feels like it’s because people have seen her mascara-streaked face a couple of times.
Sarah Snook’s portrayal of Shiv is really painful to witness. Through her, we see how corporate America still believes that women are too emotional for leadership roles, despite her history of being one the cruelest and most power-hungry of them all. This all seems to set up Shiv as an antagonist for her brothers, which would be a huge disappointment to the Roy siblings’ progress between the end of Season 3 and now.
Sure, this episode sets the tone for the rest of this final season. Still, I’ve seen this show pit the Roy children against one another for three seasons straight. With such an explosive last episode, I had much higher hopes for this episode. However, Succession Season 4 Episode 4 feels regressive in its formulaic approach to politics and power. I hope next week will show a change to such a familiar song and dance.
Succession Season 4 Episode 4 is streaming on HBO Max now, with new episodes every Sunday.
Succession Season 4 Episode 4 – “Honeymoon States”
This episode sets the tone for the rest of this final season. However, I’ve seen this show pit the Roy children against one another for three seasons straight. With such an explosive last episode, I had much higher hopes for this episode. However, Succession Season 4 Episode 4 feels regressive in its formulaic approach to politics and power.
An avid reader since childhood, Cidnya has always surrounded her free time with pop culture. From watching horror movies to playing JRPGs, Cidnya loves to consume and immerse herself in various fictional worlds. Some of their favorite things include Twin Peaks, Batman, Kingdom Hearts, Coffee, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.