“Succession” has remained one of HBO’s essential vehicles, gaining multiple awards and a healthy online fanbase. The show gives insight into a fictional billionaire family at the head of the media conglomerate Waystar Royco, held together by the crass patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox). “Succession” continues to up the ante, propelling its most beloved characters into dire situations they can’t escape, haunting them throughout each episode. Season four is no different, immediately pushing you headfirst into the shark-infested waters of Waystar Royco.
The final season begins just like its first season did, with a birthday party. This time though, Logan and his three youngest children are apart, a fate that weighs heavy on each side of the playing field. Despite his big house being filled with colleagues and old friends, it’s clear something is missing, and Logan feels it too. Logan’s resolve is failing, with the titan of media succumbing to philosophical ramblings about the afterlife and snapping at those still on his side.
He’s the same Logan we hate to love, uttering insults you can’t help but laugh at, although this time, there’s an underlying sadness to him. During a family therapy session in a neon-lit karaoke room, he looks at his children with disdain, all the while trying to repair their broken relationships, although the motives are again blended with business and personal needs. He, like his children, doesn’t know how to articulate his feelings and instead succumbs to anger, berating his team of seasoned veterans almost like they’re stand-ins for his kids. He’s a master gaslighter, and here is where Roman (Kieran Culkin), the most sensitive of the Roy siblings, starts to waver.
The relationship between the core three—Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Culkin)—is stronger than ever, but cracks are still visible even to the most casual watcher. More stable than last season, Kendall is still his typical self, although his mania seems to be spiraling down into something more sinister, a cliffhanger in episode four proving that he can be just as ruthless as his siblings. Shiv and her husband Tom are on the brink, separated but still married after Tom’s season finale betrayal, attempting to one-up each other into submission. And then there’s Roman, who is still the most perplexing of the three, motivations wavering just as much as his relationships are.