Recap: ‘Succession’ S4E4: Underlined or crossed out?

Logan Roy may be dead, but he casts a long shadow over the future of his company — and the psyches of his children.


Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin. (Courtesy photo by David M. Russell/HBO)

Colleen Secaur, Contributing Writer

One of the “Succession” locales that most accurately conveys the monstrous wealth and conservative values of the Roy family is, of course, Logan Roy’s Manhattan home. With ornate wooden paneling, swanky elevators and spiral staircases, it perfectly encapsulates the late patriarch and entrepreneur’s traditional values. This makes it the perfect setting for this season’s fourth episode, “Honeymoon States,” which deals with the emotional and financial aftermath of Logan’s passing.

As always, the interests of the company conflict with each sibling’s personal agenda in increasingly interesting and malicious ways throughout the episode,  brought into focus by the discovery of an undated document of Logan’s, wherein he bequests the position of CEO to Kendall. When shown the document, however, Shiv immediately points out that the faint line of pencil hovering near Kendall’s name could pass as either an underline or a cross-out. The cross-out does seem more likely given, as Roman quips, that Kendall tried to put his dad in jail “like, 12 times.” Despite his siblings’ protests, Kendall holds on to hope over the piece of paper, reminding us that his greatest priority is the succession battle.

Logan’s estranged wife Marcia, who disappeared from the show for almost a whole season, comes back in full force this episode. Right off the bat, she screws Connor out of $63 million for Logan’s home and brutally ices out Kerry by ordering a taxi “to take her to the subway.”

Tom Wambsgans, much like Kerry, is attempting to hang on to power and failing miserably, as everyone around him realizes that the only reason he stuck around was because of Logan. After failing to appeal to the corporate inner circle and Kendall, he reverts back to making emotional appeals to Shiv, asking her to recall when they first met. This approach might actually work out for him though, because, unbeknownst to him, Shiv is pregnant.

One of the most fascinating throughlines in “Succession” is how the women of Waystar Royco, and by extension the Roy family, cope with the decades of sexual malpractice and prejudice baked into the company’s DNA. Kerry is nothing without her sexual connection to Logan, and Shiv is terrified at the prospect of her pregnancy transforming her into her mother, pushed out of power and unable to parent. It doesn’t help that immediately after her brothers needle and prod her out of an interim leadership position, she trips and falls — almost in tears, but not quite.

As the episode nears its end, Roman and Kendall are applauded by the corporate stooges who ousted them from the company mere weeks ago, and who now profess their confidence in them as interim co-CEOs in the impending GoJo deal. All this talk about the deal, and the demonstrated unpredictability of GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson, spell incoming doom for the fledgling Waystar leadership team. However, Kendall in particular is too blinded by the fact that he has finally beat his father to see the warning signs. With the deal, the upcoming presidential election — which the siblings are still very much split on — and the just-barely-under-wraps family secret of Kendall’s manslaughter, things don’t exactly look like sunshine and rainbows for Waystar Royco. In the immortal words of the late Logan Roy, we can expect a “shitshow at the fuck factory” in the weeks to come.

Contact Colleen Secaur at [email protected].