Every week here on Balls.ie, football scribe John Brewin reviews and rate the main characters in the latest episode of the final series of Succession. As ever, please note this article does contain spoilers.
First thing’s first, don’t read this until you have seen the episode. An almighty spoiler is coming your way.
Few TV twists have shocked quite like this. Indomitable, scene-stealing tyrant Logan Roy is very probably dead by the time his children hear of his mid-flight cardiac arrest and sob their goodbyes. There’s not even time for one last “fuck off”. But wasn’t this what Succession was always supposed to be about: who succeeds Logan?
The third episode of the now-very-much final season is a startling piece of drama, shot as one rolling scene for over half the episode. The comedy, kept latent, takes a back seat as death opens up so many variables. And all while never actually breaking the show’s careful formulae.
With Logan gone, the alliance of his children against him is bound to break. There’s that chorus line of his trusted advisers to negotiate, too. Kendall, Roman and Shiv may well be set to inherit the empire, but they also inherit its problems. And most of all, they will not have Logan to protect them. The show must go on without him but what kind of show might that be?
Logan Roy - 10/10
“I think today’s the day.”
On the last day of his life, boarding his jet to Sweden, Logan pledges “a new strategic refocus”, to be “a bit more fucking aggressive’. He’s already planted bombs in the demise of Gerri, Roman forced to play hatchet man to the employee and former confidante he once regularly furnished with dick pics. Strong work, as ever. But after one final trip to the restroom, Logan’s family and staff members can begin the next phases of their lives. Colin the faithful security guard is saddest of all, with Kerry in Jackie Onassis mode. In death, Logan is sure to make everyone else’s lives as intolerable as he did in life.
The final reckoning: Farewell, king.
Kendall Roy - 8/10
“I can’t forgive you but it’s OK, and I love you.”
“Tell them to do it right,” Kendall tells Frank, suddenly desperate to avert the one thing he fantasised about the most to by conferencing in America’s top cardiologists. Logan’s death robs him of his chance of the patricidal revenge he has been spoiling for since, well, forever. And yet, “we’re not estranged,” he tells Logan’s executives. “Let’s not do anything that restricts our future freedom of movement,” he tells his siblings. “What we do today will always be what we did the day our father died.” Kendall was always the most serious proposition of all of the Roy children.
The final reckoning: The prodigal son
Roman Roy - 6/10
“That’s the question: are you a cunt?”
“You’re a monster and you’re going to win,” he tells his father’s deaf ear as a flight attendant performs CPR. Disbelief rather than grief overcomes Roman. He’s last to accept the bad news, painfully aware his final words to his father was a voice message full of spiteful, puerile snark. Did Logan ever hear them? He will never know, and as his siblings move into damage limitation, Roman is slowest to shift gear. “I’m pretty sad,” he tells Gerri, the friend he just knifed. The son Logan employed as a hatchet man turned out to too soft-hearted for the gig.
The final reckoning: Tech-bro a-go-go?
Connor Roy - 9/10
“Mr Scrooge just happened to be a huge wealth creator.”
“The good thing about having a family that doesn't love you is you learn how to live without it,” he sighed in the previous episode. Connor ends up least affected by a family tragedy that ought to mar his wedding. Single-minded as ever, his father’s son in at least that respect, he gets his heart’s desire: Willa. With her, some honesty is shared. “I’m not gonna walk, not today,” she says and they can giggle together before a far-more select, and cheerier, wedding ceremony than they had planned for. “He never even liked me,” he says of his father. Well, who’s happy now?
The final reckoning: Counting inheritance cash
Shiv Roy - 6/10
“Are you just being nice to me?”
The devastation of bereavement takes a rain check once Shiv becomes aware that Logan’s associates are taking over PR management of the announcement. The game face, all business, is quickly reshaped, though decorated by tears. “An American titan” is the description drafted by the former politico, the Democrat adviser for her father, the right-wing rabble rouser. Shiv’s back on Tom’s arm for now but remains the family enigma.
Shiv went to the hair salon and said “My brother is getting married tomorrow, give me the Erling Haaland” pic.twitter.com/3ojJj1PQWU
— Ursula K LeBron (@killakow) April 10, 2023
The final reckoning: Back among the liberal elite
Tom Wambsgans 8/10
“I’m so sorry to call you like this.”
Tom’s world is turning upside down as much as the children he is informing that Logan is breathing his last. He’s also quickest to work on who is playing what game. “It’s like she caught a foul-ball at Yankee Stadium,” he says of Kerry, her grief not appearing especially authentic. “I lost my protector,” he tells Cousin Greg, who he trusts to activate the latest scam. Having offered careful, soothing telephone sympathy and been Shiv’s comforter some previously severed ties are also reconnected.
The final reckoning: Back among the Roys
Cousin Greg - 7/10
“Who are these little Gregs?”
Kicked to the sidelines by actual stuff happening, Greg still manages to be the big mouth who lets the world know - causing a stock market price crash - about the death of the patriarch, the man Tom tells he found him “visually aggravating”. Tom, fellow “disgusting brother” at least still has his back and deals him into the emergency strategy.
The final reckoning: Most eligible bachelor