Succession’s new fourth season is perfection


Graphic courtesy of The Times

“Succession” returned for its final season on March 26, 2023. The hit award-winning HBO show stars Jeremy Strong (Kendall), Sarah Snook (Shiv), Brian Cox (Logan), Kieran Culkin (Roman), Matthew Macfadyen (Tom) and Nicholas Braun (Greg) as the Roy family, a powerful clan heading one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world. A biting social satire that is able to combine nasty and obscene comedy with intense drama, “Succession” is undeniably one of the best shows running at the moment. 

Season 1 to season 3 centered mostly on the relationships the children (Shiv, Kendall and Roman) have with each other and their father (Logan). These filial dynamics were set against a backdrop of high stakes financial dealings, vicious corporate culture and political corruption. In Season 1, the main plotline centers around the question of who will grab the top spot at the company, after Logan, the CEO, has a stroke. Kendall and Roman become CEO and COO, respectively, and they try to save their company, both in their own style and with their own motivations. Season 2’s plot focuses on the family’s new mission: acquiring a rival company, PGM. Shiv’s role as the sole daughter and also a major political tycoon becomes more central to the family dynamic, especially when Logan secretly offers her the role of the successor. Season 3 follows with the attempted acquisition of another company; tensions arise and the family breaks out into a civil war as each member tries to secure an ally in the grand political and financial web of conglomerates. Betrayal follows betrayal, as the Roys desperately try to climb to the top, often over each other. 

For the Roys, backstabbing is a family tradition.

Upon entering Season 3, Shiv, Kendall and Roman are united against their father for the first time. In the first episode, Logan has his birthday party, and all three children are noticeably absent. If their absence bothered him, he did not show it. His birthday party is lavish and wealthy, and influential figures abound. In this elite class of people, outsiders are easily sniffed out. Greg’s date, an eager blond girl who reeks of the middle class, is ruthlessly evicted. Yet, Logan is bored, and he escapes to a nearby restaurant with one of his advisors. In a scene telling of the new direction the fourth season is taking, Logan tells his advisor that he is one of his best friends, an unprecedented moment of sincere openness. Perhaps, age is turning Logan soft.

If the last three seasons were concentrated on the impact family trauma has on one’s adult self, Season 4 seems to be the climax of this conflict. In the second episode, for the first time, Logan apologizes to his children. It is a heartbreaking moment, as the faces of his children make it clear that no amount of apologies will fix the damage he has inflicted on their psyches.

This is the final season of a show which has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series two years in a row. As usual, “Succession” will not disappoint.