Succession Season 4 Episode 9: Shock and awe as Logan is finally buried
Logan Roy has finally been buried – but in peace? Not in this episode, the penultimate of the entire series, which claims to rival the very best of Succession. The film, which took place at Logan’s funeral, was really moving, hilariously funny and storytelling compelling.
The show needed that. Last season was extremely fun — it’s just such a joy to watch these characters compete against each other — but like the siblings themselves, it had faltered a bit since Logan in season three episode died (which feels like a…). It’s been a lifetime now, but is actually less than a week in the time frame of the series).
It was entertaining but not entirely electrifying, and often bogged down under the weight of its ambitions, such as with the presidential election night story, which really had to be paused, paused, rewound, and googled to fully appreciate the plot’s intrigue and quirks to understand American television politics.
But now that there are nine, we’re reminded why this show, if it gets it right, ranks high on the list of the best TV series of all time.
This funeral was always a winner – a chance to bring all the characters back together for one-liners, manipulation, maneuvering, and slapstick. There was so much to absorb, such as how Shiv’s alliance with Mattson bore fruit as together they managed to capture the attention of fascist “apprentice” President Mencken. And Kendell recruits Hugo while Hugo plots to turn the situation in his favor.
However, there was all good in the church. Logan’s ex-wife and mother of the children, Caroline (a genius twist on Harriet Walter), went to church — “Can’t you hear the howling of the Dalmatians?” said Shiv — to a frosty reception, though he, like a mother, would would do, immediately noticed that Shiv is pregnant.
Kerri showed up and in a delicious moment was invited by Caroline in the front row to sit next to Marcia and Sally-Ann, who she explained to Marcia was “my Kerri”. As all four sat together, Marcia surprisingly held Kerris’ hand, a touching moment of humanity that set the stage for what was to come.
When Logan’s older brother Ewan decided to speak unannounced and ignored Greg’s attempts to stop him, Greg begged the angry siblings, “What am I supposed to do, take his legs?” – delivering a eulogy, referring to previously unknown trauma references that touched young Logan deeply, adding further depth to this monstrous figure. But Ewan wasn’t about to use that as an excuse when he confronted Logan about his “needy” attitude, the callousness of the vision being propagated across his media empire, part of a system where wealth belongs to the few before the Thank was held .
It was left to Roman to change this narrative and give the old man what is due him. Instead, he burst alone on stage in front of his father’s coffin. And this, perhaps more than any other moment, was the most heartbreaking on the show.
After failing to read his cue cards, a dazed Roman stumbled to his father’s coffin, where he was met by Kendall and Shiv, “Is he in there?” Roman said, “And he’s not coming back?” before breaking down in tears.
Oh Roman, the injured little boy behind the mischievous dark joke has finally been revealed. What happened to the overpowered livewire in the previous episode that took over reporting from ATN and effectively put Menckens in the White House?
We’ve seen this before. Roman has always been “weak,” or rather vulnerable and traumatized, but he’s never been on public display to such an extent. The end of the episode, in which he left the wake to throw himself into the midst of an anti-ATN protesting crowd, should be considered an act of self-harm. A truly disturbing vision of a boy collapsing under the pressure. Kieran Culkin was incredibly good in these scenes, Roman is far from just a one-liner machine in his hands.
Kendall and Shiv also got a chance to stand in for Roman – when the service opened, this reviewer was a little in tears.
So… where to now? One last full-length episode. Who will take over as CEO? Can we get an answer? Will it be possible to deliver the goods and the floor fans everywhere? Given the decidedly mixed reactions to the final episodes of Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, it’s tense just to think about it.
We have faith in Jesse, though… Mr. Armstrong can certainly pull a punch with twists and maybe some really mind-blowing scenes. Given the shock and awe conveyed in Episode 9, you’d bet all your money on him making it.
Succession is now available on Sky Atlantic
https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/tvfilm/succession-season-4-episode-9-review-sky-atlantic-b1082459.html Succession Season 4 Episode 9: Shock and awe as Logan is finally buried