Succession (Season 4), Episode 4: The feeling after Succession Episode 3 was that the real game begins now. Episode 4 confirms that theory, perhaps with the far-fetched but very real possibility of things getting ugly. Like the previous episode, “Connor’s Wedding” was also set in a single place. Logan’s former house – which is now Connor’s at the generous tag of $63 million – saw the arrival of all the major players in the aftermath of his death. Despite what ailments he would have had, Logan would literally die before letting anyone take over while he was alive.

Kendall has always seemed like the prime candidate to take Waystar ahead. He wants back into the game but takes it with a pinch of salt as it comes at the price of having a loving father. The dynamics between the siblings and the executives are set to change. We got out first signs of individual camps being formed in episode 4 of Succession season 4. Is this just an aberration or a foreboding depiction of things to come?

Either way, Succession is gathering momentum, and it is increasingly heading toward being a zero-sum game. Given how things are shaping up, episode 3 was, in fact, the anomaly in season 4 of the show. Here is a recap of episode 4 of Succession on HBO, titled “Honeymoon States.”

Succession (Season 4), Episode 4 Recap:

Honeymoon States

The day after begins very differently for the three siblings. Logan hasn’t slept and looks miserable. Roman looks the most normal among the three, which he later describes as a result of “pre-grieving.” Shiv gets a comforting phone call from Dr. Sharon that her bloodwork has come back without anomalies, and she is relieved. Like a slithering snake, Marcia is back at the house, greeting guests and taking centerstage. Kendall hears Hugo absolutely lose his cool over the phone with his daughter Juliette. Wonder what is cooking on that front.

Kendall meets up with Shiv and Roy, who has taken one of the rooms in the house. The siblings joke around about how Marcia has shown her true colors by seizing this opportunity to get brownie points. It is heartening to see them back to their normal selves, as this is what made Succession special in the first place. The Board is about to convene that afternoon to decide who the interim CEO will be until a new one is elected. The executives have their own mini-convention to discuss their positions.

It is a clear divide between Gerri and Karl. While Karolina supports Gerri, who has formerly taken over the role and done a great job, Frank sees the CFO (Karl) as the natural successor. The interim CEO has to conclude the sale of Waystar with GoJo and Matheson, who seem to be on the edge after Logan’s death. Tom does not fit into the crevasses at all. Karl elucidates his position for the viewers. The only man who liked Tom is now gone, and he is no longer married to Shiv. That makes him an outsider, and with no significant achievements on the corporate level, he is in dire straits.

Another man who is in the same boat is Greg. Despite technically being “family,” Greg has no “godfather” in the company and mostly stays afloat due to Tom. He tries to go around the house, first talking to the siblings and then to Marcia, to get some sort of foot into the door. Carrie is nowhere to be seen, and that is indeed strange. Is she really in Marcia’s trunk, as Roman jokingly implied? With Marcia, you never know.

Connor and Willa, now a married couple, reach the house. Although Willa and Marcia do not get along, Connor strikes up a conversation about buying the place. Since Marcia is the de facto owner of the house after Logan, she is in a position to sell it. The deal is quickly concluded for $63 million. Karl and Frank discover some sort of will in Logan’s private safe that was never executed. It is updated and seems four years old. They plan to use it against Gerri, but when they show it to her, she makes it clear that it cannot be enforced and, for now, join hands against Kendall, who is named as the successor by Logan in it.

The siblings read the obituaries dedicated to Logan in various papers. He is the talk of the town, and rightly so. When someone like Logan dies in the real world, there is an instant emotion of nostalgia that infects the media and press. It just goes on to show how death is a great leveler and how we are all fearful and respectful of it when the time comes. Hugo explains that his estranged daughter Juliette sold shares of Waystar the day Logan died. This would imply insider trading on his part since he did talk to her that day.

Hugo only shares this with Kendall, who indicates that this would land Hugo in a lot of trouble. Tom also goes for Kendall as his “godfather,” asking him to consider Tom as a server whenever he needs him. When the news of the informal will is broken to the children, they have stark reactions. Kendall is suddenly overcome with confidence and arrogance that he was deemed the most capable by Logan. Shiv’s inherent envy and competitiveness compels her to say that Kendall’s name has actually been crossed off as opposed to underlined by Logan.

This sparks a little argument between the two. There is a hint of bitterness in how they react to it. When everyone leaves, Kendall confides in Frank that Logan purposely made Kendall hate him. Frank feels that since Kendall is doing so well, does he really want to come back to this shit show? The GoJo deal is not in danger, but there is clear restlessness from the Matheson camp. The siblings talk to his assistant on speaker after Matheson calls Roman, and he does not pick up so that they can be sure of their position.

Succession (Season 4), Episode 4 Ending, Explained:

Why does Kendall go against Roman to publish Logan’s failures in public?

Is Matheson avoiding them just for that? They find it very high-handed, and the assistant too, whose tone is condescending. The derision in his voice is met with equal disdain by the siblings. They want clarity soon for the deal to conclude. Shiv confides to Roman that she does not want to spoil the dynamic the siblings have had in the last few months. Tom and Shiv have a bitter-sweet interaction on the staircase. Shiv is initially very hostile, but as Tom absorbs all the anger, she opens up about how heartbroken she is. The state of her life is a mess.

Tom nostalgically remembers when they first met, but Shiv is emotionless. Ron Petkus gives a preachy toast to Logan when all the guests convene in the dining. People have various reactions to it. The pick of them is Tom and Greg’s old banter, where the latter cannot say anything right and is instantly shamed by Tom. Carrie finally shows up at the house, and Marcia greets her. She is tearing up and wants to go upstairs to Logan’s room one final time. But Marcia denies her the chance.

Carrie mumbles to Roman that Logan is in the process of making their marriage official and asks him to check up on it. Kendall tries to clear things up with Shiv, but she is unwilling to talk. Stuey and his family arrive at the house. Kendall and Stuey have always shared a great rapport, and he breaks down when they joke about Logan’s death. He tells Stuey about the informal will and asks for his support. When it happened last time, Stuey’s family turned against him.

Kendall believes he can bring the deal home and start his own venture soon. Kendall is getting a little anxious as the Board meeting nears. His restlessness grows as the siblings ignore him. They finally get together. Roman makes it clear he isn’t vying for the chair. He isn’t sure Kendall should take over, and Shiv joins in. She tries to explain to Kendall that he would not be the ideal person to take over. Kendall tries to cut Shiv out of the equation and makes up vain justifications. But as he continues, Roman sees strength in Kendall’s argument that the Board would like the brothers due to their previous record.

Shiv is more convinced when she feels she is not being waded off completely. She is still unsure but agrees to the arrangement. At the executives’ meeting, Stuey supports the brothers, but the others are not sure. The Board approves it, and Shiv leaves the room as chants of “Long live the King!” pick pace.

Shiv is visibly angry and falls on the stairs. Roman and Kendall stare at Logan’s empty chair in the office, but Karolina pulls them from their trance. The comms team, led by Karolina and Hugo, made a strategy for how they will present the brothers to the markets and business world. They have two options – either trample on Logan and say the kids have been pulling the strings or start on a clean slate.

The team has no qualms about maligning Logan’s image, but the brothers disagree with that strategy. Kendall wonders if his name was really struck off by Logan alone. Kendall shows his true killer instincts by leveraging Juliette’s blow-up to instruct Hugo to publish Logan’s “bad dad” info in the press. Now, the games have really begun.

What does Kendall’s last instruction to Hugo mean for the show?

Despite the rather docile understanding that the siblings arrived at the “succession,” there is a bitter taste in Shiv’s mouth. She definitely seems to be ousted from the picture by her brothers, who had a relatively sound rationale for doing so. It will all boil down to how they rally again when Matheson, or potentially the Board, tries to create hurdles going forward. Kendall displayed his “hatred” for Logan by making a strategic move that Logan himself would have made to stabilize the firm’s image.

Remember that smile Logan had on his face when Kendall did a 180 in a press conference at the end of season 2? I am guessing he would have the same smile now seeing Kendall taking it to the next level. A lot of moving parts to the show now, and there are no alliances. The only alliance the players in Succession have right now is with themselves and their vested interests. Brian Cox was missed, but perhaps the direction that the story is now going into is more exciting and volatile. Things are heating up in this cutthroat zero-sum game that promises no pleasant outcomes.

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Succession (Season 4) Episode 4 Cast: Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin
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