The Latest Episode Of ‘Succession’ Is One Of The Greatest Pieces Of TV Ever
— Updated on 23 May 2023

The Latest Episode Of ‘Succession’ Is One Of The Greatest Pieces Of TV Ever

— Updated on 23 May 2023

[WARNING: Major spoilers ahead regarding the Succession season 4 episode “Connor’s Wedding” — proceed with caution.]

Succession creator Jesse Armstrong very eloquently told us all a few months ago, “there’s a promise in the title” when it comes to its central character. From his haemorrhage stroke in the first season to his recent pondering of an afterlife with his bodyguard in the Succession season 4 opener, there was always a sense in which Logan Roy’s eventual death seemed inevitable. But here we are, in the wake of losing the show’s patriarch in the first 15 minutes of the last episode, and it couldn’t feel more shocking.

I guess we all kind of expected one last roaring “fuck off” from the titan of industry. As the episode progressed, we partially shared Roman’s denial of the state of his father. It seemed like the undefeated Logan Roy would ultimately succeed and his estranged children would be made to seem weak amidst their current disputes. However, if they were to deliver on the title’s promise, Logan Roy’s death seems like a more believable conclusion to his character on Succession than being handed a loss by those around him.

With everything going on – the deterioration of Tom and Shiv’s marriage, the pending deal with Gojo’s Lukas Matsson, and the siblings trying to notch a win against their father with the Pierce news business – the death of its central character seemed like the last thing the show was going to pull this early on in the season. True to life, the untimely and non-violent death of Logan Roy did not come with a massive soliloquy stating the character’s outlook on life and didn’t mark any kind of finality within the show. Instead, it happened awkwardly, at random, and almost entirely off-screen.

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Shiv Roy actress Sarah Snook teased the “magic” of this episode weeks ago, revealing that there was a 28-page scene in the script which they performed in one long 30-minute take. Every single second of the episode’s 62-minute runtime is just masterful characterisation. As director and executive producer Mark Mylod states, cutting away from the characters would essentially “let them off the hook”, so we almost voyeuristically are left to watch their spontaneous, and sometimes juvenile, reactions to hearing this devastating news.

This real-time approach, an idea that is being credited to Roman Roy actor Kieran Culkin, was difficult given the limitations of shooting on film. While the stylistic decision to shoot on film undoubtedly gives character to the show’s cinematography, you can only capture a take for 10 minutes before needing to reload the camera with a new roll of film. The crew hid rolls of film around the set to allow for quick reloads, with one camera on the actors at all times capturing their immediate and authentic reaction to this emergency.

This episode will most likely win pretty much every award on the table. “#SarahSnookEmmy” was instantly trending on Twitter, but all of the actors were turning in career-defining performances on this yacht in New York Harbor. Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy is able to communicate all of the conflicting emotions towards losing a man, with whom he has a complicated relationship, separated and without any chance of closure. “I can’t forgive you,” he says to his likely already deceased father, “but I love you.”

Culkin’s Roman Roy, after finally getting the nerve to stand up to Logan for not coming to his eldest son’s wedding, has to grapple with the fact that the explicit voice message he left for his father may be the last words he ever got to say to him.

RELATED: HBO’s ‘Succession’ Finale Has A Feature-Length Duration Of 90 Minutes

The perennially forgotten older sibling, Conor, is once again denied the chance to have his moment in an episode that is named after him. In a surprisingly poignant turn for a character relegated to comic relief, Alan Ruck’s Connor Roy reflects on how he never got to make his father proud and that he now feels old after losing him. While his younger siblings respond frantically, the man who learned of his father’s passing on his wedding day expresses the chilling sentiment: “He never even liked me.”

So, where do we go from here? With seven episodes remaining, we now turn our attention to the surviving members of the family and their ensuing race to the top. Will Succession feel the absence of Brian Cox’s Logan Roy like The Office did with Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott? Will the show experience a 20% drop in quality like the Waystar RoyCo price?

As Logan Roy said at the beginning of what would be his final episode:

“Strategic refocus. Clean out the stalls. A bit more aggressive.”

There’s still a lot to look forward to. If you’re itching to know what direction Succession is headed in a post-Logan Roy era, check out the brand new mid-season trailer below.

RELATED: Kendall Roy Has Unleashed His Full Villain Potential… But Will He Become CEO?

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