Succession Season 4: After Episode 8, Can Kendall Win The Show?
Spoilers for Season 1-4 of the sequel below
In the first few minutes of the first episode of Succession season 1 everything was on display. First, the CEO of the media group Waystar, Royco Logan, was shown feeling uneasy. Seconds later, the camera panned to his son, Kendall, sitting in the back of a car, puffing out his cheeks and cheering loudly while listening to the Beastie Boys’ “An Open Letter to NYC.”
“This is the day we make it happen,” Kendall told his driver. He got out of the car, lit a cigarette and took a drag before dropping it on the ground before heading out to try and take over media startup Vaulter from its CEO Lawrence Yee.
Now, more than thirty episodes later and only two episodes of Succession left – ever – the series has come full circle. Logan continues to play a big role while his family is rocked by his sudden death in episode three of season four. Not only does Kendall still strive for absolute power, he is now in an extremely powerful position to take the helm of the family business.
It’s an exceptional storyline for the eldest sibling. Although Kendall’s intentions have been incredibly transparent since the beginning of the series, the writers of Jesse Armstrong and the Succession writers did an excellent job in some episodes from previous seasons and made us forget his fanatical nature.
Because despite his three major attempts at patricide, Kendall naturally spent portions of the turbulent show in self-inflicted perjury after being involved in a fatal car accident that he (with good reason) felt responsible for. He’s had multiple mishaps — one at his mother’s wedding and another at his own 40th birthday party — he’s used a slew of recreational drugs, almost drowned in a pool, and at certain moments even supported his father in business decisions, arguably even even more alarming to watch than the drug episodes.
But Kendall was back on good form in season four, and we have to say it was nice to see him win — even if winning for Kendall means reflecting on betraying his siblings, fixating on his dad and destroying lucrative businesses that would allow him retirement packages and job security for his longtime colleagues and family members.
Then, in episode eight, he seemed incredibly conflicted for the first time in weeks. He was almost mute during some conversations between the Roys and the heads of ATN about coverage of the US presidential election.
Kendall was torn between opting for power — which would most likely be bolstered by supporting Menken — and doing the right thing, namely supporting Democrat Jiménez, a less radical candidate who would be less likely to play into major political divisions , which are spreading in the country US. But given his track record of self-election, it’s not surprising, yet somehow shocking given the implications of his decision, that Kendall is opting for power.
There are different schools of thought as to Kendall’s motivations: some think he is addicted to “the game”, others think he is obsessed with his father (either by destroying his father or proving himself to his father by destroying his father) and still others think he’s just obsessed with being a megalomaniac.
Yet his lust for power is regularly at odds with other aspects of his character: he harbors a quiet loyalty to his siblings, who, despite struggles and threats, remain bound by their troubled childhoods and isolating wealth. He practices Buddhism, loves his children, and often tries to do the right thing, such as yelling at his father when Logan hit Roman.
As his character opened up over the seasons, not only did we start to feel sorry for him, but we also started to really like him. His extremely complex combination of depression, confidence, edginess, traumatization, vulnerability, and charismatic (albeit in a zombie sort of way) simultaneously made him incredibly endearing.
But after he signed on to support Menken – a quick decision made after finding out Shiv was working with Matsson – it seems an earlier, more eager version of Kendall is emerging. And that total insanity means he can absolutely win the show because when he’s in that zone, he’ll do anything and crush anyone to get what he wants. The decision to call Menken could well take the country to the brink, but Kendall doesn’t care.
It makes him just as psychotic as his father – something he’s always wanted to be. But Logan was much more in control: he was good at what he did, with that killer business instinct his son coveted so much. Kendall has blinkers on and wants sole and exclusive power – whatever the consequences, which makes him far more dangerous.
Succession is currently streaming on Sky and NOW
https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/tvfilm/succession-season-4-episode-8-logan-kendall-roy-brian-cox-jeremy-strong-b1072224.html Succession Season 4: After Episode 8, Can Kendall Win The Show?