Succession (Season 4), Episode 9: Episode 9 was a bitter-sweet emotional rollercoaster. Logan’s memorial and funeral were always going to be unpredictable and volatile. Such is the expense of losing a father that any person’s measure of meagreness and generosity is different. It takes shape on its own, unguided by rational decision-making. All of it happens instinctually and involuntarily, as it happened in season 1 when Logan fell ill.
The ending of Succession’s penultimate episode brought forth a striking revelation. It has set up the finale temptingly to decide finally who will be the person taking Logan’s legacy forward. There were question marks about how Roman spiraled out of control and broke into violent protestors risking his own life. All of those questions are answered in this recap of Succession’s episode 9, along with an explanation of what that ending means for Roman’s character.
Succession (Season 4), Episode 9 Recap:
Church and State
As indicated in the last episode, our Roy siblings are all dressed in black and are raring to go to Logan’s funeral. Well, not all of them. Roman is cheery and excited after calling the election for Mencken and possibly influencing the American voter patterns. Everything has fallen in line with the middle child, which is a rarity. He gleefully practices his speech for the funeral to himself. Kendall’s excitement is a little ambiguous, mainly because of what Mencken coming to office would mean for him, personally, and for his adopted black daughter, who already bore the brunt of it a few episodes ago.
What forces Kendall to confront Rava?
Rava informs him that she is taking the kids upstate, fearing the disturbances anticipated in the city. Jimenez protestors are already outside ATN offices, and it could all spiral out of control as emotions run high. Ken immediately asks Fikret to take him to Rava’s place when he learns she hasn’t left yet. He wants his children to be present at their grandfather’s funeral. Shiv once again encourages Matsson to release the numbers. He expresses his concerns over Mencken blocking the deal.
Kendall almost loses his cool at Rava, trying to force the kids out of the locked car. Rava keeps insisting she doesn’t feel it is safe, but Ken sees it as an attempt to hurt him. Tom is concerned about seeing coverage of the timeline last night at ATN when they called the election. His role has been quite diminished in the papers. He has already been sacrificed to the sword and might as well get the recognition for it. He also asks Greg, who heads to the funeral, to save him a place and tell Mencken’s team Tom made the call.
How do the Roy siblings mend relations with each other?
The siblings travel in the same vehicle, but the mood inside is dire. They hardly talk to one another. But you can see that they want to move past the election night by not acknowledging their betrayals or feelings. Shiv is indeed pregnant and announces the same to her brothers. Roman keeps making incest jokes, and Shiv tries to hit him down. Ken shuts both of them down for the funeral. Jess meets the siblings at the spot after protestors heckle them.
Ken expresses his wish to get full custody of the children to Jess. He sees his schedule and spots a meeting slot reserved for Jess herself. Ken confronts her about it, and she says that she wants to move on from her role with him. Ken accepts that but feels it is due to Mencken coming to power and ATN supporting him. Jess indirectly confirms that assertion. That throws him off, and his tone suddenly changes. He calls Jess’ move “juvenile” and “dumb” as she tears up.
The most interesting conversation we hear before the funeral begins is between Roman and Frank. The former confirms that the GoJo deal will be blocked. And if Kendall is getting cold feet about doing it themselves, Roman will be the one in charge of running the company. Ken and Shiv greet Caroline, their biological mother. She instantly recognizes Shiv is pregnant without her even saying anything. But she isn’t as heartbroken as Ken thought she would be.
What does Shiv propose to Matsson to convince Mencken?
Matsson arrives with Ebba and the others, and Shiv is relieved to confirm that there isn’t a lot of blowback to them publishing the new subscriber numbers from South East Asia. She proposes that Matsson offer Mencken a US CEO to sweeten the deal, slyly hinting at her own name. And then manifesting the idea in her words. That is what this has been all about from Shiv, based on personal material interest. She is shocked to learn that Matsson knows about the pregnancy. News does travel fast whenever any human touch is involved.
Carrie has shown up. She brought a lawyer friend as she was concerned she wouldn’t be let in. His four former lovers are sitting on a bench together, and Marcia expresses solidarity with Carrie. Tom informs Greg there is a fire in Baltimore, and he won’t be able to make it to the funeral. Greg takes his place as one of the men holding the casket. The procession finally begins, but there is controversy as Ewan Roy, Logan’s estranged brother, and Greg’s grandfather, gets up on the dice. Attempts to stop him fall by the wayside.
What do Ewan, Kendall, and Shiv say about Logan in their eulogies?
Ewan recounts the time he spent with Roy as small children adrift on the open sea during WWII. Such was the fear at the time that they had to remain quiet so as not to attract the attention of German U-boats. Things turn even more personal when Ewan recalls how Logan thought he was guilty of “bringing home polio” from his boarding school and “killing their young sister.” But he also asserts how Logan has made the world a darker place through manipulations and his scheming through ATN. Ewan calls Logan “not generous” and “mean,” and that is how he sees the world.
Roman is next to follow Ewan. He is uncharacteristically underconfident and dull. He sees the casket and breaks down. This is the first time he has cried since Logan died, exemplifying how much he loved him. The siblings come to comfort him, and Kendall takes over from him. This is perhaps Kiernan Culkin’s most surprising and genuine moment as Roman in Succession so far. Kendall alludes to Ewan’s statement about Logan and calls his father a “brute” but also someone who “Acted fearlessly.” Ken acknowledges the gigantic corporate empire Logan created all by himself.
It is a rousing, eloquent, and heartfelt eulogy from Kendall that brings tears to everybody’s eyes. He is truly the most capable among the lot and cares for Logan more than he lets on. The remarkable culmination of writing and acting makes it one of the best standalone scenes in season 4 of Succession. Shiv follows suit and regales the times the siblings would play outside his office, and he would get angry. But when he let someone in, Logan was warm and generous, and loving. Shiv isn’t remiss in her duty to point out Logan was tough on women.
But she follows it up with a heartfelt adieu to Logan, not quite getting the applause of the audience like Ken. The funeral is over, and the games once again begin as Hugo informs Ken of Shiv’s bid for a US CEO to woo Mencken. The kids are surprised to see Logan’s grand resting place. Connor is the only one who knew beforehand about it. As the casket goes into the ground, Roman cannot take it anymore and goes back into the car. Shiv asks Frank and Carl if Logan really was “hard” on them, prompting the former to call him a “salty dog.”
Succession (Season 4), Episode 9 Ending, Explained:
How does Kendall channel Logan’s ruthlessness in spirit?
Ken instructs Hugo to release a press form to weaken the GoJo deal further. Ken makes it clear; he wants to take over and run the company, making Hugo his loyal liaison. Ken’s demeanor is reflective of Logan in some ways. His emphatic show of force and ambition might just indicate he has the juice to take Waystar forward. Hugo expresses his willingness to follow Ken’s dictum verbatim.
It is almost as if, at that moment, Ken channeled Logan’s spirit to make him proud but also as a “f*ck you” to him for making Ken like this. He “acted on” his intentions as Logan did. His next move is recruiting Colin to work for him. Ken “touches base” with Mencken about collaborating in the future. The president-elect is not forthcoming about opposing the deal, leaving Ken flustered. Greg jumps in to do Tom’s bidding, but Roman shoos him away – literally. Connor is next to talk to Mencken about his ambassadorship.
Shiv comes in next to take him to Matsson. They ask Mencken what would make him comfortable with the deal. Mencken cites ideological similarities with Logan that prompted them to work together. He almost seems bored and uninterested in listening to Shiv and Matsson talk. Mencken talks like a man who would block the deal. Tom and Shiv have a cold face-off as she drinks champagne in front of him. But he breaks down as he talks about being the “first one” with Logan when he had a heart attack.
Will Mencken support the GoJo deal? Will Shiv become the new CEO?
Matsson makes an explosive call to Shiv, saying that Mencken’s camp has accepted in principle the deal with a US CEO. Ken tells Roman about Shiv’s proposal to Mencken, although he squarely believes the president-elect would keep his word. If he doesn’t, they can hurt him through ATN. Ken asserts the situation hangs in the balance. Ken reiterates it is “them against Shiv and everyone else.”
Why does Roman go berserk and rogue?
Roman is livid and, in a shocking move, goes on foot to confront the protestors who have been asked to leave by the police. He jumps over the barricade and gets hurt in the process. Roman’s inner frustrations about not having received the love he was promised surfaced in that final scene. His sense of self-worth was at an all-time low after Kendall suggested to him that Mencken would not keep his promise and the ball was in his court.
He used ATN and Roman to get a chance at the presidency, and now he doesn’t owe them anything. They can use the platform to vilify him and make life difficult, but that would all trace back to them and reflect poorly on ATN. That would destroy Logan’s legacy. Season 4 of Succession had built up Roman as this capable, independent guy who could one day himself be in charge. His flaking at the eulogy, however painstaking it may have been, was the first red flag. Mencken’s betrayal was the second, and Kendall stepping up to take the mantle was the third that eventually led to his breaking down. Is there redemption still left for Roman? We will have to wait and see.