Last round for HBO’s Emmy-winning series ‘Succession’ 

“Succession” aired its fourth and final season on March 26, 2023. The drama follows a wealthy family after Logan Roy, the family’s patriarch, founded a mass media company named Waystar. However, he has no intentions of stepping down. Illustration by Sarah Chantres/The Daily Campus

The hit HBO drama “Succession” made its return Sunday night for its fourth and final season. The season premiered with a wave of chaotic scenes of the characters we’ve come to know and heavily foreshadowed the intensity that is to come in the next few weeks.  

For those who are unfamiliar with the show, “Succession” follows the complexities of a wealthy family whose patriarch, Logan Roy, founded the mass media company Waystar. In his old age, many of Logan’s advisors — and much of the public — are interested in who he will name as the next CEO of his billion dollar company once retires. However, Logan still believes he has a fair amount of energy in him and isn’t planning on stepping down or announcing his replacement any time soon. 

His three younger children, Kendall, Shiv and Roman, have been bickering and scheming to attain the successor position. Over the first three seasons, there were separate moments where each of them looked like they would shape up to be the next leader of the company — even multiple times for some — with all of it being pulled away by their miserly father in the final hour.  

If you haven’t caught up with the third season yet, we see the Roy children finally realize that their efforts in competing with each other for their father’s approval are fruitless, and conclude that their best chance is to team up as siblings to take Logan down. Although the road is not always smooth, as anyone with siblings would tell you, in the first episode of season four, it seems like the Roy children are able to cooperate together despite incessant bickering. Logan starts to believe his children may become a larger threat, as they swindle him out of a deal to acquire a smaller media network in the season premiere.  

Amazing supporting characters such as Greg, the distant mooching cousin, and Tom, Shiv’s conflicting soon-to-be ex-husband — who call themselves the ‘disgusting brothers’ — also returned in the first episode. Both of them are influential members of Logan’s team, but only out of fear, making it likely that they’ll be at a crossroads with the Roy children quite often this season.  

Writer/creator Jesse Armstrong continues to dazzle viewers around the world Sunday nights with the show’s effortless blend of drama and comedy. There were multiple times in this latest episode that I can recount feeling tension between characters and then erupting with laughter after a witty moment. Roman, the youngest of the Roy children, is usually the most humorous, but has the tendency to go overboard with wildly inappropriate comments. In this episode, it was Logan’s well-timed delivery that ultimately forced me to break. The dialogue is some of the best writing on television currently. You can tell because this show isn’t heavily action-based; many of the scenes just consist of people in a room having a discussion, yet you will find yourself completely enthralled.  

There were also some tasteful emotional scenes in this episode that allowed the audience to see some characters in a more honest and vulnerable light. Notably, when Logan goes out to a diner with his security assistant, Collins. Logan is obviously distraught because his antics have driven three of his children away — they didn’t even show up to his birthday party. It is at this diner that Logan confides in Collins how he actually thinks of people: as “economic units” and that he’s never had any real hope for them.  

We’re given another display of vulnerability later, when Shiv returns home after acquiring the Pierce media network and enters into a confrontation with Tom. They quietly, and somewhat calmly, discuss the end of the marriage and how the two aren’t going to work out being together anymore. The interesting character dynamics in Armstrong’s writing are on full display here, as we find ourselves rooting for the Roy children against Logan, but also rooting for Tom, who is on Logan’s side, against Shiv, the wife who never truly loved him.  

Overall, the season four premiere had a bit of a slow start, which is to be expected for this show, but it quickly made up for it in the second half with its mesmerizing situational dialogue. Armstrong said that he could have dragged out the narrative for a fifth season, but it wouldn’t have been done as well, which leaves many fans excited to see how this show will eloquently wrap up as it draws to a close. If you enjoy an artistic blend of comedy and drama, then I highly recommend checking out “Succession” on HBO Max.  

Rating: 4.5/5 

Leave a Reply