Succession Funeral Episode: HBO’s hit drama Succession is finally coming to an end. The realization of that is as surreal as the drama of Waystar Royco itself, as it has unfolded over four seasons. Logan’s sudden departure from the show’s cinematic universe in episode 3 opened the door to a world of possibilities. Logan’s legacy was a transient issue beneath all the chaos. He had forged an empire out of nothing and made it one of America’s shining corporate lights. Kendall, Roman, and Shiv all seemed like second-best to Matsson at first. The Swede was the most fitting person to take the legacy forward.
But season 4 reversed that by changing his arc and making one of the offspring seem like the better choice. The departure also left a huge vacuum in the Roy family dynamics and how he had squared up against his children in the initial episodes. Their tepid job of processing grief and mourning his loss all led up to the funeral episode, where suppressed threads of emotion and love unraveled. Roman, who was so confident leading up to his eulogy and didn’t show much emotion prior, broke down like a castle of cards. He couldn’t speak when the realization that Logan was no more hit him.
Shiv and Roman struggled as well to cope. For some time in this episode, they were a family with genuine sadness to share with each other. All of that changed the moment they stepped out of the church, but that is beside the point. In HBO’s official Succession podcast hosted by Kara Swisher, James Cromwell, who plays Ewan, and Jeremy Strong gave their perspectives on Ewan and Kendall’s eulogies and how they really saw Logan. We have taken excerpts from the podcast, which is available to stream free on the Google Podcasts app.
“Logan’s meagerness was a measure of his empathy”
Cromwell described Ewan and Logan as two men coming from the same place with different worldviews. His reference to the brothers’ WWII story and how he personally experienced “the bombing of Dundee” distinguished them from today’s generation. The resolve and hardened realization that the world is a cold place fostered Logan’s fierce ambition and human agency to stop at nothing to get what he wanted. The difference between them was the empathy churn that flowed from them to other people. “All ethics and morals are for sale; every aspect of human consciousness is commodified as long as there is a buyer,” said Cromwell.
The seasoned actor insisted that Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator and primary writer, look at Ewan differently, given his characterization. As a war vet, Ewan must “look at the world differently” and not be “morally bankrupt.” The Roy family’s lifestyle and success all came at “incurring a treacherous cost,” something that Ewan himself didn’t have to bear; hence, his relative purity. Greg was in the same boat as him, but they chose to live their lives differently, bringing out the dichotomy that Cromwell referred to earlier. Logan’s “meagerness” was the pick of the phrases from the eulogy, and Cromwell dove into breaking down its lateral meaning.
“Meagerness is the lack of willingness to subrogate yourself in another’s shoes,” Cromwell explains. “The trauma and power from war and Logan’s success erected a barrier between him and other people. At a certain point, he stopped understanding and didn’t care about the consequences of his actions.” Speaking about the funeral setup, Cromwell alluded to the phenomenal work the production did to bring the scene to life. William Villanova, a real-life funeral planner in the upper east side, consulted on creating Logan’s funeral service to make it authentic and impactful.
“A wonderful moment for Kendall to speak the truth”
Kendall Roy’s penchant for finding grandeur in public peaking once again titillated viewers in episode 9. His eulogy, impromptu, came straight from the forward and reflected what he really thought of Logan; as a man and as a father. It stirred up our hearts and our screens. Jeremy Strong spoke to Swisher in the same podcast about creating that ingenious moment of creative brilliance and his thoughts about how Kendall really saw Logan. “Logan was a brute, but through Kendall’s eyes, you see his reverence for his father. It is not about market cap (alluding to Ewan’s remark about not letting him speak for the sake of “share price” in the episode) it is about the life force of the man.”
Strong felt that Kendall addressing “the money” and Logan’s tremendous influence was part of telling the whole truth. “That is my father’s legacy; it is money, and it is indeed something quickening that makes the world turn.” On Kendall’s shifting alliances in episode 9, Strong wasn’t shy of characterizing it as “Kendall’s Dracarys moment,” referring to the phrase used by Khaleesi’s character from HBO’s Game of Thrones.
“He can see the endgame. But the emotional turmoil of the election night, the deal turned sour, and Rava taking his kids out of the city on Logan’s funeral all culminated in him acting on his instincts. Kendall taking over from Roman to give a rousing eulogy was another triumph for Kendall, which further strengthens his stake at the claim.”
Succession will air its final episode this Sunday. It will mark the end of an era and will certainly leave a gaping hole in the hearts of all its viewers. You can follow our coverage of the episodes here.