Succession Season 4 Premiere Recap: Is Logan Roy Finally Losing It?

In some unspecified time in the future, surely, Logan Roy must lose. (“Right. … Right?” his children echo in unison, exchanging anxious looks.) In Succession’s highly anticipated fourth and final season, there’s only so far more track within the circuit that’s each confined the series from the start, and guaranteed its status as considered one of the best on television yr after yr. That circuit goes like this: Iron-fisted media titan Logan (Brian Cox) reigns with impunity. One or multiple of his minions and peers—filial or otherwise—confront him on the battlefield. Loyalties are tested, and the person within the chair prevails, seemingly through sheer force of personality. In the method, he humiliates his friends and enemies alike, but none more so than his own children, Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin).

The specter of inheritance has all the time haunted Succession as much in a figurative sense as a literal one. Who, of the Roy children, is most like their father? Who most deserves to take a seat in his chair? Can any of them do it? Do they even need to? And in the event that they do, why? To impress him? He’s never impressed. His life’s best pleasure is to heckle and subdue them. It’s how he’s maintained his perch for a long time: his children are too busy hating themselves to hassle hating him enough to act on the impulse. And after they finally get organized enough to act—as Strong’s Kendall has attempted multiple times—Logan kicks up the psychological and emotional punishment to a level best described as gleefully sadistic. It’s the sport he knows the way to play best, and he can play it fast, as befits his impatience. Nobody can withstand long in his dungeon of the center. It’s carnage each time.

The havoc that game has wreaked on the Roy siblings is obvious from the early moments of the season 4 premiere, which takes place a while after the season 3 finale. (If you happen to recall, that episode ended with the Roy kids attempting to use their company veto power, just for Shiv’s now-separated husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), to warn Logan of their errant fidelity. Game, set, match.) Now, the children are united, if on unsteady ground. They’ve never spent enough time on the identical side to trust each other in the identical room. As Kendall and Roman bat around logo ideas for a latest media start-up called The Hundred—an “indispensable bespoke information hub” billed as “Substack meets Masterclass meets The Economist meets The Recent Yorker,” a terrible idea that will get significant funding within the IRL media landscape, only to put off all its employees inside a yr—they side-eye Shiv for any signs of betrayal.


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Meanwhile, Logan lurks through his own party as his children discuss the supposed upcoming sale of WayStar RoyCo, the family company. Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) arrives together with his date, Bridget, in tow, only to get berated by Logan’s assistant, Kerry (Zoe Winters). (“This isn’t a pre-fuck party,” she tells him, to which Greg shoots back, “I’m a cousin. I get a plus-one. I’m like an honorary kid.”) Greg’s confidence is boosted only barely within the presence of Connor, who’s polling at 1 percent in his presidential bid and practically shriveling at the thought of dropping to decimal points.

zoe winters and brian cox in succession season 4

Macall B. Polay/HBO

Miles away, Shiv steps out of a pitch meeting to field a call from Tom, warning her that he had a social, not sexual, drink with Naomi Pierce, Kendall’s ex-girlfriend and a member of the empire controlling Pierce Global Media, WayStar’s biggest competitor. Shiv’s too rattled by the concept Tom’s sleeping with one other woman to initially grasp what his call actually reveals: Roys are talking to Pierces, and if that’s the case, then something’s happening with the WayStar sale.

The siblings put their heads together long enough to work this out, and Kendall’s team uncovers Bridget’s Instagram from Logan’s party, from which she’s tagged one other Pierce member of the family. One Pierce is strange. Two Pierces is an indication. Logan’s eyeing an acquisition, and the children are going to get ahead of it. They begin understanding a plan while Tom tries to tease out Logan’s loyalty to him, an not possible task under normal circumstances but especially under Tom’s, as a soon-to-be ex-husband of Logan’s daughter. “If we’re good, we’re good,” Logan says. “Well, that’s heartening,” Tom replies, grinning like a traumatized schoolboy.

As Greg tries to administer Bridget—who’s busy asking Logan for selfies and congratulating him on the “big deal” she wasn’t imagined to overhear—Kendall, Roman, and Shiv resolve to fly out and negotiate with the Pierces. (After an extended, entertaining weighing of pros and cons amongst siblings, Kendall sums it up thusly: “Just take into consideration how fucking funny it could be if we screwed Dad over his decades-long obsession.” The motivation speaks volumes.)

Logan waits to listen to back from the Pierces himself, during which we get an intriguing set of scenes that present Logan on the precipice of victory, and utterly dissatisfied. He strolls through Central Park, strangely anonymous. “Nothing tastes prefer it used to,” he tells his “best pal” Colin over dinner. He even breaches the topic of eternity: “You think that there’s any afterwards…afterwards?” (In fact, he has to have his final say on the matter: “We will’t know. But I’ve got my suspicions. I’ve got my fucking suspicions.”) Meanwhile, his children jump at the concept he might need to hear from them on his birthday; Kerry called to ask in the event that they’d consider getting in contact. But they won’t do it with no direct ask or apology from the old man’s mouth. Everyone knows Logan won’t ever acquiesce.

Logan returns to the party once he’s heard in regards to the rival bid, and the 2 teams group up of their respective war rooms. In Logan’s, Karl (David Rasche) reveals that the enemy camp is led by “the children,” and Tom attempts to cover his tracks by implying the siblings might need learned of the Pierce takeover “one million ways.” Within the Roy kids’ group, Nan Pierce (Cherry Jones) recovers from her “appalling migraine,” and—after waxing poetic about her embarrassing tastes in wine—tells Roman, Shiv, and Kendall that their trip has been “in vain.” The siblings don’t take the bait. “How’s your financing?” she asks them, before quickly adding, “Not that I understand all of it. I don’t need to talk numbers. It’s not in regards to the numbers. Eight? Nine? What’s next?” (Nan loves nothing greater than to pretend to be apathetic about her obscene wealth.)

Team Dad and Team Kids huddle with their councils as Dad bids $6 billion and Kids bid $8. Nan is dissatisfied with each options. Tom calls Shiv to suss out the enemy camp’s ceiling, and Shiv—her hackles raised any time her separated husband moves his lips—barks out the number $12 billion. “Fuck off,” Tom says. “Sure. Ours too.” Privately, Kendall thinks $10 billion is more reasonable—“Can’t I just jizz in her Break Bumper?” Roman protests—and the siblings agree: $10 billion for PGM. Final offer.

sarah snook, kieran culkin, and jeremy strong in succession season 4

Claudette Barius/HBO

The deal goes through. Team Dad loses. Logan has Tom call the children, and their father keeps his message temporary: “Congratulations on saying the most important number, you fucking morons.” Shiv, Kendall, and Roman laugh and bump fists, but through prolonged, strained glances, their doubt personified within the high-note strings playing over the scene.

Finally, the rivals cross paths within the bedroom, as Shiv returns home to the apartment she once shared with Tom (and Mondale, their dog). There’s a gentleness during which Tom approaches his wife, even now, as Shiv collects her dry cleansing and jewellery, complimenting his physique only to mock him for it in the identical breath. His face is sort of too calm to match the torment in his words as he replies, “Do you really need to get right into a full accounting of all of the pain in our marriage?”

Shiv jumps straight to the subject of divorce. And after all she does, since it’s all the time been easier for Shiv to deflect blame and redirect her allegiance somewhat than confront her personal failings. (This behavior is what has all the time made her such a delicious hypocrite.) “I don’t think it’s good for me to listen to all that,” she says as Tom repeatedly tries to share his feelings, and it is perhaps essentially the most honest thing she’s revealed throughout their entire marriage. She will be able to’t withstand anything which may exacerbate her self-loathing, something Logan has already ensured she’ll never rid herself of entirely.

The 2 of them lie down together on the bed they once shared. They’re not united, exactly, but neither have they managed to completely untether themselves. “We gave it a go,” Shiv croaks as Tom squeezes her hand. She will be able to’t have fun the day’s victory any greater than she will truly mourn this loss.

Across town, Logan sits alone in a dark room, his face lit only by the evening news. There, he confronts his company’s obsolescence—which, after all, can also be his own. He calls Cyd Peach, a high-ranking executive at WayStar Royco’s news network, ATN. “Are you losing it?” he demands. “Are you fucking losing it?” We’re meant to ask ourselves if this query should, somewhat, be addressed at Logan himself. How, after three seasons of humiliation, can his kids have defeated him this easily? Has he lost his touch? Is Logan now not the enormous he thinks he’s?

It’s true, in some unspecified time in the future Succession had to interrupt the inspiration it’s built itself upon: that Logan will all the time rig the sport to win. This time, absolute control has slipped through his fingers, but each the style of the Pierce bidding war and his children’s ongoing trauma bonding imply his pieces are still in play. The youngsters are already shaking on the mere implication of his counterattack. Fret not, L-to-the-OG fans: Logan Roy has lost nothing yet.

Headshot of Lauren Puckett-Pope

Culture Author

Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture author at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE. 

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