‘Succession’ Just Showed Us Who Is (and Always Has Been) the Next Logan Roy
There's a new daddy in town
Succession has always been centered around a basic question: Who is going to take over the company when Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is gone? Whether that means retired or dead was up for debate but now that he has died on a plane with Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) speaking for his corpse, the question remained. Would the kids run Waystar Royco? Would the board take it over?
But what the aftermath of Logan Roy’s death showed audiences was that it wasn’t ever really about who would have control of the company. Given that this story has always basically been King Lear through a Fox News lens, what mattered most was which of his children was the most like him. We’ve had the clues from season one and beyond and while many pushed them aside because of his antics, it has always been obvious that the child most like Logan Roy is Kendall (Jeremy Strong).
From that first season, Kendall was the one who wanted this. He wanted the company, he wanted to be in charge, and he wanted his father’s approval. It’s why the “number one boy” scene hit so hard at the end when Kendall fell off the deep end into his addiction again and was forced to come to his father for help. While that might not have been a Logan move, it was his reaction to it and the lack of guilt he felt about it as the seasons progressed that did scream Logan. Pair that with his interactions with employees, coworkers, and even his siblings and it’s clear that the Roy child most like Logan has always been Kendall. Which is probably why Kendall gets the middle name of Logan over Logan Roy’s eldest son.
Being the oldest doesn’t matter
When it comes to the Roy family, age is not a factor in anything. Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) has often been an outcast not only to his siblings but to his father as well. He is the older brother by nearly 15 years—Alan Ruck is 22 years older than Jeremy Strong but Ruck has said that he thinks Connor is in his mid-50s—but Connor’s place in the family has never been the same as Kendall’s. They leave him out of things, push him aside, and make him feel less than. Learning that Kendall has the middle name of “Logan” and not Connor hurts.
And the show has done a great job (however mean it has been to Connor) of making that distinction clear. So that we’re never really questioning whether or not Connor is ever going to be in charge or if he’s even like his father. He’s always been an outsider and someone the rest of the Roys just “deal with.” It’s why when he does break, it actually hurts to watch because whether or not you care about Connor, you feel for him in those moments.
When Logan’s faults peek through, they’re seen (by other characters and by the audience) as weaknesses. It’s starting to become the same way for Kendall, when we see him break. I say this as someone who loves Kendall very much—he’s my favorite character on the show—but it makes sense that he’s been relegated to sort of a side sibling in recent episodes. It feels like they’re leading up to showing just how alike Logan and Kendall are.
It’s been Kendall all along
Kendall Roy has always wanted Waystar Royco. From the first moment we meet him, we can see it. And in a lot of ways, the show masked his Logan-like behavior by presenting his desperation as Kendall’s way of lashing out against his father. The biggest difference between them is that Logan doesn’t need the approval of his son to do anything (or at least that’s what he acted like). Kendall does.
From the start of the show, he needed his father’s approval. His lashing out against Logan, trying to get him in trouble, and refusing to take the fall for him all came from a place of wanting to belong and it was all, actually, pages out of Logan’s handbook.
But at that point, Logan was alive so we just all saw it as a spoiled child pushing back against the powers that be. Now though? Hindsight is 20/20. He was clearly doing it because he is the most like his father. Put in a similar situation, Logan would do the exact same thing. He’d let someone else take the fall for him, he’d screw over people he cares about to get his way.
Kendall and Logan have always been similar and now that Kendall is in charge of Waystar Royco (alongside Roman Roy), I wouldn’t be surprised if Kendall’s Logan tendencies continue to be made more obvious as the series continues on. At the end of the last episode, the big question was whether he would embrace his father’s legacy or throw it under the bus. We all know what the most Logan move would be.
(Featured image: HBO)
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