Shiv, Kendall, and Roman talking in Norway

Maybe the ‘CE-Bros’ Was a Bad Decision on ‘Succession’

Succession dropped a bombshell in its third episode of season 4: Logan Roy is dead, and in the midst of a deal with GoJo, run by Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård). The deal was causing Logan and Waystar Royco stress, and as we saw during Roman’s rant in episode 5, titled “Kill List,” it was clear that Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) taking over this quickly was a mistake.

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Dubbed the “CE-Bros” by Hugo, Kendall and Roman started their first day as co-CEOs and then instantly had to fly to Norway to work on this deal with GoJo. They did’t even get a week to deal with their father’s death before the were forced into work and acting like they know what the CEOs should be doing—which isn’t necessarily their fault. They both had wanted this for a long time, but the sudden push for them to be in charge while they’re both also dealing with Logan’s death is just a double whammy.

And while I do think that the kids taking over Waystar Royco has always been the point of the series, I think that neither Roman nor Kendall is in the emotional state to be finishing deals, even if they both think that they can do it with ease. The cracks in each of the kids are showing, and while Shiv (Sarah Snook) isn’t outwardly struggling in the way that both Kendall and Roman seem to be, the three of them are not okay.

And that was made very clear by Roman and Kendall’s conversation with Lukas Matsson this week and where they both are in grieving Logan Roy.

Two brothers who maybe shouldn’t be in charge

Lukas, Roman, and Kendall chatting in Norway
(HBO)

To be clear, Roman’s breaking point and subsequent rant at Lukas was relatable. As someone who also lost my father, I have been there—well, not literally. I’ve not been to Norway, watching as Alexander Skarsgård is trying to pee and talking about sending a block of his blood to an ex. But I’ve been at my breaking point about my own father’s death and people not letting me cope in my own time, which is the source of Roman’s anger towards Lukas.

He views Matsson as the reason for his father’s death, and he’s lashing out at him in anger out of fear for the future of Waystar Royco and his father’s legacy, all rolled into his own grief. But it also shows that rushing both Kendall and Roman into this might not have been the best option, even if they both believe they have the right to be CEO of the company. Maybe being the “CE-Bros” within a week of your father dying and having to make a major company decision in that timespan wasn’t the smartest move on anyone’s part.

But it’s where Kendall and Roman are, and episode 5, “Kill List,” was our indication that maybe these two shouldn’t have been given the reins so quickly after Logan’s death, because it seems as if none of the Roy siblings are okay.

(featured image: HBO)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.