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This Week’s Gold Medal in Cruelty Went To a Surprise ‘Succession’ Dark Horse

Kendall, Shiv, and Roman sitting together on Succession

The Roy family on HBO’s Succession isn’t easy to deal with. They’re all worried about themselves, their status, and who can screw someone else over—so to be crowned the most vicious is quite a feat. But in episode 4, titled “Honeymoon States,” we get to see what happens when “mom” comes back to town—not any of the Roy kids’ mothers, but instead, Marcia, a woman who just presumably left Logan (Brian Cox) back during season 2 and who has decided to come back to claim what she thinks is hers.

Marcia left when Logan and Rhea (Holly Hunter) had their thing, and we’ve not seen her since. It meant that Logan and Kerry (Zoe Winters) got closer and, according to her, as she revealed to Roman (Kieran Culkin) during Logan’s wake, had plans to get married to each other. But it was said in a rush as she was collecting her belongings because Marcia didn’t want her there, not helped by Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) making jokes about it the entire time. And the only one who was nice to her was Roman.

And just when you think that there can’t be someone more vicious and conniving than Logan Roy himself …

In comes Marcia Roy (Hiam Abbass), a character who we haven’t seen for nearly an entire season (and maybe even longer than that) but comes back for Logan’s wake and seems to take over the house (that was left to her) and is incredibly vicious to Logan’s new girlfriend—which doesn’t necessarily seem fair given how Marcia was nowhere to be found prior to his death.

There was no reason to be that mean when you’re not with Logan

Marcia being mean to Kerry on Succession
(David M. Russell/HBO)

Kerry is far from perfect and, for the most part, not a character that I genuinely like. But she didn’t deserve that. Kerry was, seemingly, told not to come to the wake—that she wasn’t welcome—when, in his last moments, Kerry was closer to Logan than his entire family. The kids, for the most part, were not speaking with Logan and even the one who was, Connor (Alan Ruck), didn’t believe his father even liked him.

Marcia, while technically still married to Logan, wasn’t around and hadn’t been for a long while. So her suddenly playing grieving wife and kicking out the woman who was close with Logan when he died? It doesn’t read as a woman scorned but, instead, as a woman who doesn’t want what she deems hers to be taken away. It makes Marcia just as bad as the board that Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman are trying to trick.

Yes, the Roy family has always been about business and what they think is theirs and that’s it, but with Logan’s death, we have seen the kids breaking over the loss of their father. We’ve seen their upset and how they’re handling it, but Marcia came in, slashed the woman that Logan was with over her, and only cared about getting money for the house that Logan left her.

She wouldn’t even just let Connor have the apartment in New York. She told him that he could buy it off her. That’s not, to me, a woman who cares about those people grieving. That’s vicious.

Class, power, and general distain

marcia and logan sitting together on succession

Marcia has dealt with Logan’s old flames before. And she’s never shown the level of disrespect and distain that she did for Kerry. Back in season 2 with Rhea, Marcia was not outright vicious to her in the way she is to Kerry. And she doesn’t shame her for her status in the world in the same way that she does when Kerry is sobbing in the foyer of Logan’s home.

Roman is really the only one who shows he has a heart of any kind but at least the rest of the Roy family isn’t shaming her as she’s leaving. Greg is trying to relate to Marcia but that’s just Greg. Marcia on the other hand even throws digs at Kerry every chance she can and even says to Roman “We’re calling Kerry a taxi to the subway so that she can go home to her little apartment.”

It definitely feels like Marcia’s hatred of Kerry comes from a place of Marcia seeing her as “less than.” With Rhea, at least (in Marcia’s eyes) it was more of an equal trade but for Kerry to be her successor? That is an insult to her when the reality is that it has nothing to do with Marcia. She is cruel, mean, and throws Kerry’s status at her as she kicks her out and it was just brutal to watch.

(featured image: David M. Russell/HBO)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.