Succession Season 4 Recap: The Munsters

This is a man walking in a business district alone with a brief case representing the business people in the Waystar Royco team in Season 4 episode 1 of Succession
Ryoji Iwata

“Congratulations on saying the biggest number, you fucking morons.”

Season 4 of Succession circles back to Logan’s (Brian Cox) birthday party but instead of the family being there, this time, Logan is largely left alone with no faces he cares about, but plenty of sycophants. Only Connor (Alan Ruck) is willing to show a sign of support after the betrayal and disasters from the last season.

Tucked away in Los Angeles, Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall ( Jeremy Strong) look for investors for their big new media company idea: “The Hundred,” “Substack meets “MasterClass” meets “The Economist “meets “The New Yorker,” according to Kendall. Only Roman seems to care about this new venture while Shiv and Kendall are busy with their entertainments. Still, bonding over the mutual goal of fucking over their dad, they are warmer to each other, some might say, something like a normal family. Shiv even greets Roman with a kiss.

Still, on the heels of Logan’s betray in the last season of Succession, things are still shaky so the air is stiff. There is a general feeling that one of them will betray the other. So, Shiv’s late arrival to their meeting draws unnecessary attention and criticism. “We hear that you’ve been talking to the Jimenez transition team,” Roman tells her.

They are two days out from Logan selling Waystar but the only person who seems to remember how fickle they all are is Shiv. So doing the Shiv thing, she wants to keep her options open. None of them are confident about “The Hundred” but they all want to seem the most committed to the idea of it.

At Logan’s birthday party, his guests sing happy birthday to him and maybe because the kids aren’t there too, he looks very unamused. He stands in the doorway, looking away (literally looks around even) as they sing, gesturing with everything in him, that he doesn’t want to be there. But of course, he tells us how he really feels. “Munsters. Meet the fucking Munsters,” he tells Kerry (Zoe Winters). Even still, he notices Greg (Nicholas Braun) walk in with his new interest, Bridget (Francesca Root-Dodson), a person who Logan instantly recognizes as a newcomer which goes to show how paranoid he is and how exclusionary these types of gatherings are. If you are there, it means something. You can’t just slide into a group like this even if you tried.

Kerry immediately tries to intercept the intrusion but just ends up being mean for no reason because Bridget ends up staying anyways. “I’m a cousin, I get a plus one,” says Greg. He tries invoking Marcia (Hiam Abbass) in his defence but apparently, she is on vacation forever.

Back in the sibling huddle, Roman, Shiv and Kendall are still trying to convince themselves that their new venture is a good idea when Tom interrupts their discussion with a phone call. Obviously thinking their meeting is unimportant, Shiv leaves mid-discussion to answer.

Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) called to give a heads up that he had a drink with Naomi Pierce (Annabelle Dexter-Jones). It was definitely not sexual, but he can’t say what their meeting was about or why he would feel the need to call to alert her. Shiv takes this news to her siblings and they all discuss what it could mean (aw like real siblings). All the while there are investors waiting to hear their business pitch about “The Hundred”. They find out that Bridget is a Pierce and she was tagged at Logan’s party on social media, so they quickly realized that Logan’s plan was to give an offer to Pierce again.

While all this is going on, in his own world, Connor, stilling holding on to his one percent polling rank in his run for presidency is wrestling with the idea of being aggressive in media markets to protect his position. The cost of this? 100 million and this is just to maintain his percent so “he gets a place in the conversation.” Willa looks concerned and she’s not the only one.

Tom squeezes next to Logan to give an update about the Pierce acquisition. Then, he fumbles his way around asking Logan what would happen if he were to get a divorce from Shiv. Logan’s body language says you’re fucked and his reply basically confirms this. “If we’re good, we’re good,” he says. Meaning, you will be like everyone else to me (the Franks, Gerry’s, whatever) and with this response, Tom hears that he should be concerned.

On the other hand, Roman, Shiv and Kendall are deliberating about their next move: buy Pierce and possibly fuck Logan or go ahead with “The hundred”. Kendall narrows down what they were all thinking: they can’t ride on the coat tails of their dad anymore so now, it’s time to “start an empire with an established brand.”

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In real life, non-rich people (people not making 100k plus with financial stability) have this idea about the rich, that if you meet a kind rich person, get in their favour, they will feel compelled to raise you up from poverty like Cinderella. But Tom shows us in Succession that even in an instance when someone’s status is nebulous (as Bridget may or may not be rich to him) the unspoken rules of decorum that help the rich to identify their own are purposefully hidden to the normals. We know this because Tom mocks Bridget for wearing a large bag to the party because obviously she should have known the specific type of bag to wear and so because he invited her, Greg made a faux pas and everyone is silently talking about it. And it’s not just her bag, her every behaviour is under scrutiny and Tom is prepared with an itemized list of all her errors. “You are the laughing stock of polite society. You will never go to the Opera again,” he tells Greg.

Anyway, turns out Pierce is in fact looking for buyers and they are close to outlining a deal with a mysterious person but they still want to talk to Shiv, after which she determines the buyer is in fact Logan so after a lot of talking and gibberish words said, the three siblings decide to buy Pierce.

Almost as if he knows that his children are talking about him, Logan is uneasy at his party. He feels like everything is going too smoothly but also, not smoothly enough. People are too happy, so he decides he must leave his own party and he ends up at a restaurant with his driver Colin.

Their interaction is so intriguing because you can tell Logan isn’t entirely there. He is much more affectionate than he has been to him in the entire history of Succession. There is something not quite well about him, but he is still trying to assert his dominance to anyone and it seems, his driver just happens to be the recipient this time (usually it’s Marcia or Kerry). Everyone is a market he asserts. “Everything I try to do, people turn against me,” he says. “Nothing is the same as it was.” He even has a moment of vulnerability where he muses about the afterlife with concern, cutting off Colin as he is midsentence, Logan decides that he has his suspicions and they are the most important suspicions.  

Everyone is slightly off kilter. Connor is pitching a crazy wedding to Willa to get into the news cycle for his presidency. Greg apparently had sex with Bridget in a guest bedroom and learns that Logan’s paranoid ass has CCTV in all rooms and watches them back regularly and everyone is looking for Logan.  Where is he?

The acquisition discussion is still underway, but everyone is acting a little unstable. Even Nan Pierce is wobbling with a “headache” and it’s so bad she almost considers shirking the meeting with the three Roy siblings.

Somehow Frank and the rest of the crew find out that the rival bidders are the siblings and when he does, Tom immediately realizes that he sounded the whistle to the kids by accident. Logan doesn’t receive this news well, but he is perhaps slightly pacified by the revelation of Greg’s dalliance.  It’s decided Bridget has to leave and Greg has nothing to do with it.

Nan Pierce unconvinced of hearing the pitch from the Roy siblings, requires a little push to listen to them. The dance she plays is funny. She is clearly obsessed with money and her commentary about the fertilizer for her place says as much, but she keeps trying to appear unbothered as only a rich white person can. Roman sees through the farce and is the only one willing to outwardly mock it. In the end, money talks. The kids overbid, but they close the deal with 10 billion to “round it out”. Logan is not pleased.

With this win, Shiv finally goes home. Her dog no longer recognizes her scent because she is hardly there but Tom is and he is surprised to see her. With a little back and forth, we see that Shiv is angry that Tom is seeing other people despite their agreement and instead of comforting her (because he wants to stay in the marriage), Tom asks her, “Do you really want to get into a full accounting of all the pain in our marriage? Because if you do, I can do that,” as if he isn’t the one in the powerless position. He needs her, she doesn’t need him but he seems to forget himself for a moment. When he finally realizes what is happening, that she’s edging at divorce, he acts as though the rug is being pulled from under him, completely forgetting his whole cruel goading bit earlier.  Still in business diplomatic speak mode (this is how they all talk for some reason), Shiv tells him “I think it might be time for you and I to move on.” There is a hint of an opening from Shiv, but maybe not sensing it, Tom simply acquiesces to the break up with very very little tug. He tells her, “I could see if I can make love to you,” marking the total rundown of whatever they had. It’s finally over.  

On this emotional day, no one is happy. Back in his house, Logan is watching the ATN News Channel late at night and as is customary in Succession: he is not pleased. As usual, projecting his own feelings, he calls Cyd (Jeannie Berlin) to complain, asking, “Are you fucking losing it?” And we close the episode with him shaking his head at his show and really, his remaining empire.

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