Recap: ‘Succession’ S4E2: Not serious people

The rebel Roys, Connor and their dad come together on the eve of Waystar’s sale and a pivotal wedding.


David M. Russell

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery. Photograph by David Russell/HBO)

Colleen Secaur, Contributing Writer

As someone who admittedly wants to see Kendall, Shiv and Roman come out of “Succession” relatively unscathed, it is absolutely infuriating, if par for the course, to see them continually base their business strategies and personal grievances around the boogeyman that is Logan Roy.

We have witnessed firsthand on screen Logan’s horrifying behavior toward each of his children — backhanding Roman, forcing Kendall’s child to eat food he suspects is poisoned, et cetera. We have learned even more about Logan’s past abuse — locking Connor’s mother up, repeatedly beating Roman and so on. When Logan arrives in the karaoke room where Connor demands to be with his siblings, it is incredibly apparent that the kids, with the exception of Roman, have absorbed his behavior but are simultaneously intoxicated with the belief that they are leaps and bounds beyond him.

Throughout the series, Roman has undergone a fascinating evolution from a sexual deviant who exists to provide comic relief to the heir apparent in the third season. A common through line across all the seasons is, however, Roman’s tendency to be easily manipulated by his father, presumably due to the physical abuse he endures. As we see Shiv and Kendall sneak around behind each other’s — and Roman’s — backs with conversations with Stewy, Sandi and Matsson about the sale of Waystar, they both gang up on Roman for nothing more than sending his dad a “happy birthday” text.

When Logan eventually shows up to the karaoke room, Kendall and Shiv throw all kinds of business mumbo jumbo at him to deflect from the fact that their primary business strategy is simply getting under their dad’s skin. Roman has thus far in the season supported the siblings blazing their own path, first with The Hundred, and now with the payout from the Waystar sale. Nevertheless, by the end of the episode, all it takes for Roman to seemingly switch sides is for his father to tell him that he loves and needs him.

Meanwhile, at ATN, Logan rouses the troops with an impassioned speech — which is directly inspired by one given by Rupert Murdoch, the real life figure who inspired Logan Roy — to dispel rumors that he’s going hands-off after the Waystar sale, and attempts to give his assistant and implied main squeeze Kerry an anchor position. One of the running gags of the episode is characters ranging from the siblings to Waystar executives openly mocking Kerry’s audition tape, which is full of mechanical smiles and awkward hand waving. After Logan catches wind of it, he passes off the sin eating duties to Tom, who must tell Kerry that she can’t be an anchor. Tom then delegates to Greg, who is as incapable as ever.

The glaring deficiencies of Logan’s cohort, whether in the professional or personal, compound the aging CEO’s existential concerns that were voiced in the season premiere. After the company is sold, it seems as though Logan will be surrounded by a motley crew of idiotic “yes men,” as opposed to the idiotic children he prefers. To echo his ex-wife Caroline in season three, Logan “has never [seen] anything he’s loved that he didn’t want to kick, just to see if it’d come back.” He’s kicked all of his children pretty hard, and it’s only a matter of time before they all start crawling back.

Contact Colleen Secaur at [email protected].