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‘Succession’ Is Back, and the Stakes Have Never Been Higher (Or the Insults Better)

Shiv (Sarah Snook) holding a phone to her brothers Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) on Succession

We knew that the minute Succession came back, we were in for a ride. As the final season starts, we can see the seams ripping apart for the Roy family. At the end of season 3, Logan kicked three of his kids to the curb, leaving just Connor (Alan Ruck) in their wake. The aftermath of that has hit Waystar Royco in a way that Logan can’t control.

The first episode of the final season really shows that control slipping. A slew of Logan’s infamous insults to accompany it. What we really see throughout the premiere, though, is that Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) aren’t afraid of him anymore. At least, not in the business sense.

Logan wrote his kids off and created a need for them to get their own business and work together. Which they do in a way that only the Roy family can. Through their back and forth, Kendall and Shiv make a decision to leave behind their business idea to go for something they know with the Pierce family. It’s something that Roman tries to push back on, as they’d be bidding for the Pierce family against their father, but still they go for it.

We really see how this war between Logan, Greg, Tom, and Connor vs. Roman, Kendall, and Shiv is hurting everyone. But we especially see how this is taking its toll on Logan.

God, does Logan not know how to talk to his kids

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession looking shook

Logan insults people. He’s done it since season one. It’s his go-to. Not everyone can tell their kids to “affectionately” f**k off and make it work. But Logan could. Now, though, his “f**k off” attitude has no affection in it. His insults are biting more. His anger stems from the downfall of his relationship with the kids he likes (because we know he doesn’t like Connor).

And we get to see how he’s too proud to actually ask for help. On his birthday, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv are too busy making deals to come. Granted, they probably weren’t invited. But it is a shift from the rap number Kendall performed to celebrate his father’s work two seasons prior. By the end of the episode, Logan’s team is all but begging his kids to call him and tell him happy birthday.

They want proof their dad wants them to call. He clearly doesn’t know this is happening. Even when they end up successful with Pierce, he just tells them that they’re morons for spending as much as they did without recognizing the fact that they bested him. And maybe that was a dumb business deal. I don’t know, that’s not why I watch Succession. But I do think that Logan was upset that his kids beat him and didn’t know how to take it.

This episode did a great job of showing us just how broken the Roy family is. Shiv and Tom are done, Kendall is never okay, and who knows what’s happening with Roman and Gerri. It’s all a mess. Even if Greg is having sex at Logan’s birthday party and announcing it to him at the worst possible time.

(Featured image: 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.