It’s a chicken—no, it’s a airplane…and it’s Superman, falling. The stunning epicenter of Succession season 4, episode 3, “Connor’s Wedding ceremony,” is maybe the best trick creator Jesse Armstrong might pull within the present’s fourth and remaining season, although, after all, killing off the ever-looming patriarch in a sequence known as Succession is not any trick in any respect. It’s proper there in plain textual content. Armstrong and his collaborators have been teasing this inevitability—and sure, it was all the time inevitable—for a number of seasons. Logan Roy had well being points. Logan Roy was 84. Logan Roy couldn’t escape the gradual creep of mortality; even he knew that, given the “fucking suspicions” in regards to the afterlife he expressed to “greatest pal” Colin earlier within the season. The brilliance of Succession is that it satisfied the viewers not of what Logan himself thought, however of what his kids believed: The person was superhuman. He was invincible. When “Connor’s Wedding ceremony” delivered the information of Logan’s loss of life with out a lot as an extended, lingering close-up on Brian Cox’s face, each viewer at residence felt as unmoored and bamboozled as his children.
We all know what we count on from the episode because it begins: Logan skips out on his eldest son’s wedding ceremony and jets off to Sweden to easy over Matsson’s ruffled feathers, leaving Roman to drop a stink bomb in Gerri’s purse. Roman—nonetheless in a psychosexual spell over Gerri he refuses to type out in remedy—very a lot doesn’t wish to do that. However he does, as a result of he needs to be the “critical individual” his father doesn’t consider him to be. He needs to be the Chosen One. So he tells Gerri that Logan’s chopping her unfastened, that the Waystar RoyCo household will quickly not be hers. It’s a betrayal, such an unpleasant one which even when Roman virtually begs for her sympathy later, after Logan’s loss of life, all Gerri can handle is a taut “Okay” and “The room’s all yours.”
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Even after this uncomfortable dialog, the episode stays gentle on its ft, tossing in basic Succession barbs about Connor’s aversion to Victoria sponge cake (a.okay.a “looney cake”) and Greg’s makes an attempt at flirtation (“journalism, taking quotes and kicking asses!”). Then the ground shatters beneath it. The descent begins.
Roman solutions a name from Tom, who wastes no time altering all the pieces: “Your dad could be very sick.” Logan has suffered some kind of cardiac arrest whereas within the airport rest room (an incident with, in actuality, a lower than 50 % restoration charge and a a lot decrease long-term survival charge). Roman and Kendall drop into rapid emergency mode, however when have they ever needed to deal with a actual emergency? They flail and stutter for what looks like hours because the seconds creep by, too absorbed of their panic to acknowledge that neither their sister nor their eldest brother is with them as their father’s coronary heart stops. Tom hovers the telephone close to Logan’s ear because the flight attendant makes an attempt chest compressions, however Roman has completely no basis for the emotional maturity this requires. “You probably did a superb job,” he tells his dying dad, solely to violently flinch from the sound of his personal voice. “No, I don’t—I’m sorry, I don’t know the way to try this,” he says, volleying the telephone to Kendall prefer it’s a dwell bomb. To his credit score, Kendall maintains his honesty: “I don’t know. I can’t—I can’t forgive you. Nevertheless it’s, uh, it’s okay. And—and I like you.”
Kendall runs off to seek out Shiv, who doesn’t grasp the gravity of what’s taking place till Roman reveals, “They suppose he’s gone.” In between sobbing, shaky breaths, she tries to persuade herself that Logan could be listening to her voice, however she will be able to’t ignore the suspicion she’s being hoodwinked, as all the time, by Logan’s specter. “Are you simply being good to me?” she asks her estranged husband, virtually whispering now. “Is he gone?” She makes an attempt her personal remaining phrases, even calling Logan “Daddy” in one among a number of gut-wrenching line deliveries the episode so completely squeezes from its forged.
Lastly, Kendall and Shiv hyperlink arms and convey Connor into the fray. He’s no extra geared up to deal with it than they’re. (“He by no means even favored me,” are his first phrases, adopted by the admission that he by no means made his father proud.) The children, really united for maybe the ultimate time, attempt to offload and deny and settle as Logan’s crew, nonetheless within the air, begin “coordinating a response.” Logan’s loss of life is not only a household incident; it’s a market one. Karl, Karolina, Frank, and Tom—minus Kerry, apparently clawing to the final vestiges of her sanity—make plans to draft a press release. Tom will get Greg on the telephone to execute one final grunt job, which incorporates deleting a pc folder labeled “Logistics.”
When the youngsters catch wind of the assertion, they’re pressured to swallow actuality like a piece of ice. They’ll’t take any time to breathe, or they’ll be left unguarded. The warfare for Waystar has began already, and the optics matter. They’ll’t ask for the airplane to circle whereas they type out what to do subsequent. As Kendall observes, “What we do as we speak will all the time be what we did the day our father died. So, let’s grieve and no matter, however—” his eyes flash to Roman, “—not do something that restricts our future freedom of motion.”
Each Connor’s wedding ceremony boat and Logan’s airplane make a U-turn, and the teams converge on the airstrip. Karolina will get out a press release. Shiv delivers one to the press by way of a low monotone, virtually a growl. She leaves the airport with Tom; Roman walks together with his father’s corpse to the ambulance; Kendall watches, weeping, from afar. Solely Connor will get a reprieve from this cataclysm, having shared a dialog together with his bride wherein they’re lastly upfront about what they should be completely happy collectively. They’re married in entrance of a tiny group of household and buddies, a singular second of pleasure in an in any other case devastating episode.
In the meantime, Logan will hang-out the remaining story like a black gap, sucking all that continues to be into its heart. Succession satisfied us that Logan wouldn’t, might not, lose—a minimum of not till the ultimate moments of such an acclaimed sequence. That’s what the standard order of tv kind instructs us: This loss of life must be the climax, and the climax doesn’t occur in a season’s third episode. However that’s the place we, like the youngsters, had been unsuitable. Logan might all the time fall, at any time and in any method. However the “American titan” doesn’t should be current to be felt. That’s his actual energy, and the genius of Armstrong’s inventive endeavor right here: Logan was neither invincible nor all-powerful, however he was all over the place. Exorcising him, not defeating him, would be the hardest factor his kids ever try and do.
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Lauren Puckett-Pope is a employees tradition author at ELLE, the place she primarily covers movie, tv and books. She was beforehand an affiliate editor at ELLE.