- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
[This story contains spoilers for the fourth-season premiere of HBO’s Succession.]
Succession has always loved a party: The HBO series has staged a number of set pieces over its three previous seasons that gets a host of characters in the same space to play off one another, break into their own subgroups, and gossip and wonder about what’s happening on the other side of the room.
The show’s fourth and last season opens with another party — it’s Logan’s (Brian Cox) birthday — but it has a distinctly different vibe than parties from seasons past. A few months have passed since Logan’s maneuvers in the season three finale iced out Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) from taking control of Waystar Royco. Instead of attending their dad’s birthday party, they’re about to meet with some (extremely shady, human rights-abusing) potential backers for a new media company they’re trying to start called TheHundred (which has no spaces in its name and, apparently, no good web design in its beta version).
Logan, meanwhile, is surrounded by the rest of his family and…other people at the party and is palpably miserable. He’s two days out from closing the GoJo deal that will make him even more obscenely rich (at the expense of giving up day-to-day control of his company), but what he really wants is to see his kids (besides Alan Ruck’s Connor, who’s in attendance).
“I think he thought his children would be there; it’s that simple,” Cox told The Hollywood Reporter of Logan’s sour mood at the party. “He wanted the party to happen. But that’s Logan’s problem: He loves his kids. He’d be a lot happier if he didn’t love these kids, if he actually just really treated them with the contempt that I think at times they deserve, and he doesn’t do that.
“This sense of something which is incomplete is very strong for him,” Cox added. “We’ve got to a situation now where he’s being forced to take measures to keep these children from being the idiots — I mean, they’re pretty idiotic, but being any more idiotic than they already are. And it’s acutely sad and depressing for him. And isolating — he feels quite isolated.”
Meanwhile, Kendall, Shiv and Roman are trying to talk themselves into their new company — Roman seems to have bought in the most, while Shiv has calls out for other jobs and Kendall is Kendall — when Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) calls Shiv to tell her that he had a drink or a meeting or a date or something with Naomi Pierce, Kendall’s ex-girlfriend and a member of the Pierce media dynasty. That single phone call, plus another Pierce kid getting tagged on Instagram by Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) unvetted date to Logan’s party, sets the three off on a quixotic effort to buy Pierce out from under their father. (The editing in the episode is masterful, cutting back and forth between the party and the three siblings almost as if they were just in different rooms, not entirely different locations.)
“They’re just sort of addicted to this thing,” Kieran Culkin told THR about the three siblings. “They’re just drawn to Dad, competing with him.… It’s not a bad idea to get Pierce — I don’t know why they hadn’t thought of that before. But the bid they end up putting together, it’s not all that smart. They’re not thinking clearly — they’re just trying to beat Dad instead of make a really smart business decision.”
Logan drives home that point when, after the Pierce family accepts the kids’ over-the-top bid of $10 billion, he barks into the phone, “Congratulations on saying the biggest number, you fucking morons.” Logan is angry he got outbid and the kids know it, but it’s hard to see it not blowing up in their faces later.
(Side note: The way these three talk about their cut of the GoJo deal — “We’ll have 2, 3 bill[ion],” Shiv casually notes — is not of this reality. Yes, it’s the world they’ve known their whole lives, but still. “It’s like Monopoly money for them,” Snook told THR.)
The family back-and-forth wraps with about 10 minutes left in the episode, paving the way for a quietly devastating scene where Shiv returns to her apartment to pick up some clothes and runs into Tom. He wants to talk about their dissolving marriage, and it looks like she does, too, but she can’t let her guard down enough to bring herself to do it. “I think she’s surprised how hurt she is by Tom’s betrayal,” Snook said, even if she probably would have done the same thing were the roles reversed.
The premiere sets up a host of potential avenues for Succession to explore over its final run, including the (almost certainly doomed) Pierce acquisition by the kids, Logan’s re-engagement with the ATN news channel (as teased in the season four trailer) and Connor’s extremely quixotic presidential bid (and wedding, also part of the trailer). Alexander Skarsgard’s Lukas Mattson is lurking somewhere, too, and Kendall’s involvement in death of the waiter from the season one finale is ever-present. Let’s go.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
The Full Monty
‘The Full Monty’ Star Hugo Speer Says He Was Dropped From Disney+ Spinoff After Runner Saw Him Naked in Trailer
Neil Patrick Harris Says Filming for ‘Uncoupled’ Season 2 Is “on Pause” Due to Writers Strike
Writers Guild Members Get Candid About What Makes This Writers Strike Different Than Previous Ones: “We’re Mad”
The Good Fight
Script to Scene: ‘The Good Fight’ Scribes Detail the Paramount+ Drama’s Final Moments
The Good Wife
Hollywood Flashback: ‘The Good Wife’ Won Showrunners Robert and Michelle King Their First Case