By Charlie Roberts, Fourth Year, Civil Engineering
HBO’s Succession (2018-23) returned last week with the opening episode of its final season – the beginning of the end to the family feudal drama. Following on from the season 3 finale, which culminated in Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) thwarting the siblings’ attempt to overthrow Logan (Brian Cox), season 4 promises to close out the saga. And it’s anyone’s guess as to how it’ll conclude.
The episode is a fairly smooth opener, focusing mainly on a bidding war between the two factions. Sprawled around a stunning house perched on a hillside, we find Roman (Kieran Culkin), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) about to launch an innovative media disrupter, doing something new with the money they’ll get from the sale of Waystar-Royco.
However, it’s not long before they get wind of their father making a bid for PGM, the rival family-owned media company he has long sought after. Quickly throwing their new business venture to the side, they change their minds and decide instead to counter Logan’s bid, roped in by the irresistible lure of a family battle.
Logan himself is having a birthday party, mirroring the start of season one where we were first introduced to the family. Despite the celebrations that have been put on for him, he is visibly miserable, and Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) jest of “Where are all your kids, Uncle Logan? On your big birthday?” clearly cuts deep.
He leaves to take a break, and in a conversation with his personal security guard, informs him he’s his best pal, showing how devoid he is of real connection. This becomes further evident when he explains how he sees human beings merely as markets.
Similar to Kendall’s breakdown at his extravagant birthday in the last season, he too simultaneously has everything and nothing.
In typical style, moments of drama are alleviated with snappy, iconic one-liners. Tom reels off some humdingers about Greg’s date’s “gargantuan” handbag; Greg is befuddled as to how Connor’s (Alan Ruck) electoral percent could get squeezed lower than 1%, because “That’s the lowest number.”
There’s also something comedic in how indifferent the characters are to ridiculous sums of money, and how it’s almost just a plaything to them. Connor is genuinely on the fence as to whether he should spend 100 million dollars to merely stay afloat in his delusional presidential campaign.
As the bid between the two sides rises towards an 11-figure sum, Roman points out the absurdity of what they are playing with. As they decide whether to increase from 9.5 to 10 billion dollars just to be sure, he addresses how this 0.5 billion dollar difference is “five hundred times a thousand, thousand dollars of actual money.” But, just before you think he’s noted something remotely down-to-earth, he argues they could be spending that on snowmobiles and sushi instead.
They win the bid, and there’s a sense of victory as the kids have finally beaten their Dad in something, even if it was just saying the bigger number.
Seasons 1, 2 and 3 focused on Kendall, Shiv and Roman respectively, and the possibility of each of them taking over the company. It looks as though season 4 might see the combination of them all.
Featured Image: Courtesy of IMDB
Who do you want to succeed Logan?