“Succession” Season Four: Best Season Yet?


“Succession” is in its final season, and it has been incredibly strong so far. With this season, the show has a chance to immortalize itself as one of the best series of the streaming era. 

Although the constant, intense business issues and power struggles are interesting, they aren’t why you watch. You watch for the well-crafted family dynamics of the Roys, whose affluent lifestyle is foreign to most of us but their family relationships are very relatable. 

Logan Roy (Brian Cox), as always, is the scene stealer. Season Four Logan is a bit more unhinged and I am fully enjoying it. Episode One has Logan unhappy at his own birthday party, feeling alone and uncomfortable. On paper, he has everything he wanted. He squashed a coup attempt, his business is successful and he is about to make a very beneficial sale. He attempts to persuade himself that he should feel successful, but he is incomplete.

Logan pushed his kids away. He is left with a bunch of boring yes-man that mean nothing to him. Logan looks around at his birthday party. He feels no love for anyone in the room. Logan loves the challenges his kids put him through. He even loves the little jokes and insults they make at his expense. Logan loves that part so much that he tries to replicate it with Cousin Greg but Greg, in his typical fashion, makes it awkward.

Logan wants to have it both ways. He wants a relationship with his kids but he doesn’t want to put the effort in to make it happen. Logan refuses to cede significant power to his kids or to let his kids get in the way of him achieving success on his terms. In Episode Two, Logan delivers an incredibly poignant line. He says his children are not serious people, which is true. I’m fascinated to see how Logan’s desire to have his kids around affects his decisions this season. 

Every Roy sibling’s character is well crafted by this point. Jesse Armstrong and the other writers play very well on what we already know about them. 

Connor Roy (Alan Ruck), the least smart but also the least manipulative and conniving of the kids, has had his moment in the sun this season. He gave an incredibly sad speech about his relationships and his relationship with love. He knows his soon-to-be wife doesn’t love him, and he knows how messed up his family is. Connor has learned to cope with disappointments. He has made himself content without love which is incredibly sad. 

The first thing that often comes to mind about Connor is his dopiness, and it’s fair to think of him that way. Connor’s political campaign and the way he talks about it are incredibly out of touch. Yet, when it comes to relationships, Connor seems to have more maturity than the rest of his family. 

Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) has impressed with his business sense this season, but his relationship with his father always prevents him from being whole. Through the first two episodes, Roman is clearly the character whose thoughts are least affected by emotional bias.

While his siblings are motivated by a desire to screw over their dad, Roman seems interested in making the best business decisions. Roman’s judgment, of course, is skewed by his great fear of his dad. When Roman’s siblings attack Logan for his treatment of Roman when he was a kid, all Roman can do is deflect, even taking the blame for Logan hitting him, saying he was asking for it. Roman constantly justifies the abuse his dad gives him. Roman still loves his dad the most of any of the kids, and he is not able to deal with the trauma his dad inflicted on him. When his siblings confront Logan about it, Roman just becomes isolated from his siblings. At the end of the episode, Roman runs back to his Dad, seemingly allowing the cycle to continue. 

Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Siobhan Roy (Sarah Snook) see themselves as the two smartest in the family. This season, they have worked together closely. The two harbor so much resentment for their dad, and it has clearly affected their business decisions. They both hope to become head of the company, but every time they are outsmarted, giving validity to Logan’s indictment: “you aren’t serious people.” This season has really nailed down that idea. Every business decision they have made has been about “how can we screw over dad?” 

The show’s name is “Succession,” and there have been four seasons of build up about who will succeed Logan. I will be disappointed if the show ends without a clear cut succession. But the showrunners have kept me guessing up to this point. I’m sure the show won’t end in an obvious way.