‘Succession’ S4 E3 is a Perfectly Written Episode

HBO loves their Wedding episodes.

Sunday night’s episode of the final season of Succession may have been its best episode yet, and one of HBO’s masterpieces. It’s up there with the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones. 

This was the shows third Wedding episode. In the first one, at Shiv’s wedding, Kendall kills the waiter kid when he was high on drugs. The second one, at their Mother’s wedding, Kendall has a breakdown, among a ton of other things. Now, at their brother Connor’s wedding, Logan Roy, the media titan and one of the most powerful men on Earth, is dead.

The writers did a wonderful job at such a pivotal moment. First, let’s talk about how they perfectly subverted everyone’s expectations. ‘Subverting expectations’ is a phrase thrown around a lot in television today, because they just want to keep people on their toes. However, few shows are able to properly deliver on a twist of this kind. It was theorized by fans that we could definitely see a Logan Roy death at some point this season, but no one expected it this early in the season.

The writers did a great job of lining up the conflict early on: the kids wanted more money from the Gojo deal, Logan wanted out, and you thought it was heading for a disaster. The deal would inevitably fall apart, then the kids and their father would be at ends with each other yet again. Now, Logan is completely out of the picture. Suddenly, the entire conflict for the rest of the shows run is a total mystery, with no prior indication of what will happen. The Roy siblings (and us, the audience) are in uncharted territory.

As for how they handled the actual death of such a huge character, it was about as realistic as you could have done it. Those who have experienced a loss know that it’s never graceful. You rarely ever get to say goodbye, the person never usually gets to give their last words as they peacefully pass away. 

It happens suddenly, and without warning.

Logan Roy, a billionaire, incredibly influential and known by all, died after collapsing in the bathroom of his plane. Tom tries to give the Roy siblings their time to say goodbye to their father, but given he was unresponsive on the plane, he probably didn’t hear them. No matter your status, no one gets to choose how they die, not even the great Logan Roy.

Additionally, the writers did an incredible job with the technological disconnect between the Roy siblings and what was happening to their father on the plane. Roman especially, who refuses to believe his father is actually dead until a “real doctor” confirms it. Kendall and Shiv are equally in disbelief that this could happen to their dad. Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, and Sarah Snook all did a fantastic job of individually capturing that feeling of helplessness when you can do nothing but sit by a phone and wait for the worst news of your life.

Raw, emotional, all-in-all a perfectly written episode of television. 

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