Succession Season 4 Power Ranking: Let’s Grieve, Or Whatever At Connor’s Wedding

(The bid for power has not only intensified in season 4 of "Succession," but is approaching its end: now more than ever, anyone can come out on top. As the series comes to a close, we'll be tracking the rise and fall of the Roys, their allies, and their never-ending list of enemies.)

Major spoilers follow.

There are no dramatic last words to mark the occasion of Logan Roy's death. "Succession" does not employ an emotional montage or an ominous atmospheric shift. It doesn't even do him the courtesy of a grand death scene. He may be the beast of every boardroom and the gravitational force that all these characters have spent 32 episodes revolving around, but when the time comes for him to pass, Logan (Brian Cox) is just a grizzled old man whose heart gives out in a plane bathroom.

Logan Roy dies offscreen. It's unceremonious in every way — except for the way it makes us feel. All at once, "Succession" halts in its tracks. Every plotline freezes in place as the bottom drops out. They finally did the thing, and at Connor's wedding of all places. The brilliance of the episode is that his death is never telegraphed and in the span of 60 intensely emotional minutes, it's hardly processed. We get our information at the same dizzying pace as the kids. It's fragmented and surreal, with no pause to let it all sink in. Instead, the wedding is pushed aside for a whirlwind of grief as the Roy kids are forced to bid their father a final farewell — which they will never even be sure that he heard. 

Are We Going To Be Okay?

What was meant to be a day of celebration (or, in Logan's case, dealmaking) becomes something else entirely. I sincerely expected to pop champagne on the day that Logan finally dropped dead, freeing his children from the shackles of his torment. But it's not that simple. Logan's exit doesn't remove him from their lives — it just robs them of a resolution. Now they won't get to beat their father in battle, seize the company, prove themselves, or earn that coveted kiss from daddy. They just lose him. They lose their shot at winning. And if they hope to heal or find a path forward, they must do it without ever knowing how he would have felt.

Though not a day of celebration for the Roy family, the episode still marks an emotional coming together. Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) share in their grief, shepherd one another through the day, and cap things off with a cathartic hug. But then there's a splintering. When all is said and done, they each go their separate ways — Shiv with Tom, Roman seeing off Logan's body and Kendall hanging back, lingering in his grief. So which of these will be the true path forward? Together, vulnerable and clinging close to the few people in life who understand the gaping hole left by Logan Roy? Or separated, on their own diverging paths?

In a way, Logan is what brought them all together. It took three seasons, but the siblings realized that joining forces was their best shot at a win. On their way to the coup in Italy, they joked that it was a simple two-step plan: oust their dad and then squabble over the scraps. "We can fight it out," Shiv declared. "It'll be fun."

Well. The king is dead, so let the battles begin. But first, let's see where everyone falls in the power ranking.

15. The Flight Attendant

Does anyone have worst luck than the poor, unlucky flight attendant who spent 30 minutes doing chest compressions to maybe revive conservative media mogul and certified terrible person, Logan Roy? God knows he probably spent the last few hours of his life barking orders at this random individual. And given the way Kendall petulantly demands to speak with the pilot ("The pilot's flying the plane, son"), plus Roman's insistence that — an hour after his dad has passed — there's still hope if only they could get a proper doctor to him, I have a terrible feeling that this flight attendant will have to lawyer up and pray the Roys are too busy to invent a bulls*** excuse to sue.

14. Roy Family Weddings

Mark my words, there will come a day when an investigative journalist (or psychic) connects the dots and comes to the very logical conclusion that the Roy family is cursed. What else could explain the fact that Shiv's wedding was marred by the suspicious death of a waiter, Caroline's by the emotional destruction of her children, and Connor's by the death of his father?! If I was them, I would simply never set foot at another wedding ceremony again — who knows what kind of horrific life-altering event it could provoke!

Specific casualties of this particular wedding are as follows:

  1.  Victoria Sponge cake - This cake now represents the death of childhood and all things joyous. Sorry, I don't make the rules. The loony cake was present for both of Connor's parents exiting his life so once he wraps up his honeymoon and presidential campaign, he'll probably dedicate his life to eradicating this monstrous, spongey delicacy.
  2. The wedding guests - Like us, they probably expected a rambunctious runaway bride situation with embarrassing drama and hilarious antics that would make a great tabloid news story. Instead, they got shuffled off the boat without ever getting to enjoy the substantial meal waiting on Ellis Island. Sad.
  3. Wedding planner Julie (aka Jamie Chung making a 5-second cameo) - Imagine the stress caused by pouring weeks upon weeks of effort into a single evening? Good, now triple that, because this isn't just any wedding we're talking about — it's the wedding of Connor "razzmatazz" Roy, which spent weeks teetering on the verge of collapse. Just last night the bride fled the rehearsal dinner to search her soul for answers. This was probably the messiest job of Julie's career and just as things were settling into place, the wedding was tanked by the abrupt death of the groom's father. Making matters a million times worse, Connor strikes me as the kind of guy who will call Julie a week from now to say "Well since all the guests left and your planning went to waste, I feel like I should get a discount."

13. Kerry Aka Chuckles The Clown

In the world of Waystar Royco, Kerry (Zoe Winters) has always been defined in relation to Logan: his assistant, his advisor, his girlfriend, his mediator, his constant companion, etc. But Logan is gone and in his absence, Kerry's power immediately fizzles. She is rendered useless and immediately sidelined by the old-guard Waystar execs, who treat her like a child.

After talking to Logan throughout the chest compressions, Kerry emerges from the front of the plane still in shock. In Tom's words, she's grinning like "she caught a foul ball at Yankee Stadium." He looks at her like she's insane — a far cry from the man who was hesitant to crush her ATN anchor dreams just one episode prior. But now the source of her power is gone and with Logan out of the picture, no one is interested in pretending that she has anything to offer.

12. Colin, Logan's Best Pal

Speaking of those displaced by Logan's absence, poor Colin (Scott Nicholson). All it takes is a single shot of the Waystar bodyman to emphasize the impact of this brutal shakeup. A constant presence but a peripheral character, Colin is not a person we've really formed an emotional attachment to. But seeing him in the dusk, struck by the loss of his boss and untethered without the purpose of following in his stride, we truly feel the weight of Logan's absence. Where does Colin go, if his charge can no longer be protected? In the capacity that we know him, Colin has lost his purpose.

And yet, I can't help but think. Colin still has a little something tucked into his back pocket. He knows Kendall's biggest secret. So while this could be considered the moment to finally revise his LinkedIn page and start sending out resumes, Colin has other options — like getting a cash influx from a trust-fund kid with a background in vehicular manslaughter.

11. Logan Roy: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

"Clean out the stalls. Strategic refocus. A bit more f***ing aggressive."

On a day that the Roy family should be together, celebrating Connor's wedding, Logan is on a charter plane over the Atlantic. His firstborn son is getting married, but he's on his way to save a deal jeopardized by his estranged children who were seeking vengeance for all the many times he f***ed them over. He could have died surrounded by his kids, but he chose to be on that plane.

The execution of this episode feels like a slap in the face, but Logan's death is no plot twist. His health has been in decline ever since we've known him. He's been working with borrowed time: he should've retired in episode 1 and ceded the throne to Kendall. But he changed his mind. He clung on and it's been nonstop ever since. It was bound to catch up with him, eventually. He may have plowed through health scares like nobody's business — a casual brain hemorrhage, a bout of heat exhaustion, and the piss-mad results of his UTI — but even Logan and all his gravitas could not evade death forever.

Although he's a corpse by the episode's end, part of me thinks that Logan still managed a win here. Isn't this how he wanted to go out? Logan resented the idea of retirement. Even with Waystar up for sale, he clung to ATN like a lifeline. He needed to be working. With no intention of ever slowing down, he was destined to die battling it out for his business until the very end. And it gets even better: when it all comes down to it, his children get on the phone to say "I love you, Dad." Sure, they tack on other comments like "I can't forgive you" and "You're a monster," but that doesn't change the devastation of his death. Logan would be thrilled to hear it. And call me crazy, but I have a hunch that even in death, Logan will loom over this series and all of its characters.

.... But all that being said, Logan lost to death. He died alone on a plane toilet, surrounded by sycophants. That's objectively sad. His time is finally over and now everything that he built is in the hands of lackeys, strangers, and worst of all, his own kids.

10. Greg

Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) just lucked out! Despite his list of nice things to say to Kerry, he was on the verge of being booted from Team Waystar. (At the very least, he was about to do lots of groveling and s***-eating in the hopes of maintaining his place.) But thanks to Logan's death, he has nothing to worry about... except for the fact that nobody (except, occasionally, Tom) likes him. But that's still an improvement from being on Logan's s*** list. Feel free to rummage to fruition wherever your heart desires, Greg — just maybe not at the funeral.

9. Tom

Tom, you fool, you bet on the wrong (elderly) horse.

Professionally speaking, everything was coming up Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). Logan was one maneuver away from ousting Cyd Peach and putting Tom in charge of ATN — but then he dropped dead in the bathroom, leaving Tom to fend for himself. "I lost my protector," he tells Greg, with tears in his eyes. I'll give Tom some credit here — I don't think he's crying over a lost promotion. Abrasive as he was, Logan had the ability to pull people in, and even though he would've thrown Tom overboard without a second thought, I think Wambsgans had come to think of him as a mentor figure. Y'know, the terrifying kind who could get him thrown in jail with a wave of his hand. As Logan's right-hand man, son-in-law, and greatest admirer, it couldn't have been easy to watch him die.

But even so, Tom can't stop himself from thinking strategically. He moves quickly, deleting all evidence of his move against Cyd and doing what he can to secure his position — but all that with the knowledge that he'll never be as safe as he was under Logan's protection. All he has now is a tenuous position at ATN and the remnants of his marriage with Shiv. She reaches out for him in this moment of despair, calling him into her car at the episode's end. But is this only a temporary reprieve? A choice fueled by grief? Is there still anything worth salvaging here? 

8. The F***y-Sucky Brigade

The old guard are in a fascinating position. For one, they are no longer at the mercy of Logan Roy. Yay! Sporadic games of Boar on the Floor are (probably) in the past! But this also means that the man who kept them around for decades is out of the picture, with his kids (sorta) at the helm. It'll be them vs the kids for control and I don't love their odds. Sure, the Roy kids are historically f***-ups who will self-sabotage their every chance at success. Also, they're emotionally compromised by their unresolved parental trauma which is extremely exacerbated at the moment. But they are Roys. And that last name carries a weight that no amount of toil-filled years will ever afford Karolina, Karl, or Frank.

7. Roman Roy

"Are you a c***?" Roman asks his father via a frazzled voicemail. If Logan listened to that message, then it's the last thing he ever heard his son say — and that will haunt Roman for years to come.

The most sentimental of the Roys, Roman is destroyed by the news of his father's death. Even before he gets the call, he's having an awful day. Asked to fire Gerri and already betraying his siblings by working with his dad, Roman's allegiances are shredded. He's clinging to the idea that his dad "needs" him, but at what cost? Turning against the few people he's able to be vulnerable with is the last straw — so he finally does what we've all been begging Roman to do and lashes out at Logan. And then the f***er dies.

Roman crumbles. In his final phone call, he struggles to process the news. "You're going to win," he tries convincing himself. "Because you're a monster." Trying to extemporize his final words doesn't go so well, hurts too much and so he shoves the phone into Kendall's hands, unable to keep going. Later, he'll regret this, racking his brain for his final words, and realizing that he didn't speak aloud an "I love you." That's some cruel irony: Roman, who has been most painfully open about his love for his family, is the only sibling who forgets to say it in this crucial moment.

So Roman spirals. He spends much of the episode in denial, taking the Schrödinger's dad approach: if a doctor hasn't seen Logan, then maybe the worst isn't true. But he can only convince himself so much, and when he's finally ready to speak his feelings aloud, he reaches out to Gerri, who has so often been his confidant. And he is coldly rejected. Roman has his siblings, at least, and he will cling closely to them, I hope. But for now, he is the most broken of them all. Even in death, Logan has a chokehold on his son. Roman still rushes to his side, wanting to honor his dad's death ... Or maybe, needing to see his body to truly believe he's gone.

6. Shiv Roy

"I can't have that," Shiv sobs when she hears the news. There's never a good time to lose a loved one, but it's painfully notable that Shiv's relationship with Logan has never been worse than it is when he dies. By virtue of staying out of the business and being his favorite, she spent many years free from the kind of turmoil that always plagued Kendall's relationship with his father. I'm sure Logan had plenty of opportunity to psychologically damage her too, but there was always a sense that she was the most in his good graces before coming into Waystar. After that, the blows were fast and furious. He questioned her competence and attacked her self-esteem. He made a promise and revoked it. He pushed her to the point of last week, finally expressing her rage directly to his face. And then he died.

Like her siblings, the closest Shiv gets to catharsis is a word soup phone call. By the time she's called back into the room and given the phone, the charade that Logan is still alive has begun to wear thin. But what is there to do, except say some final words? "I love you," she says. "Don't go, please, not now." Like Kendall, she's also struck by the reality of him, starting to express the pain of all that he's done. But it's too much to process all at once and the only thing she knows for sure is what she repeats again and again "I love you."

We've never seen Shiv so shattered, but she still musters the strength to put her head together with Kendall and Roman. They write a statement that she delivers and I think it's telling that we never see a debate or discussion about who will speak to the press. It's Shiv, with her brothers flanking her sides, and she pulls it off with grace. For a brief moment, she crumbles into Tom's arms but in typical Shiv fashion, she quickly withdraws, and pushes the turmoil back down.

5. Kendall Roy

"You think I want you dead?" Kendall once asked his dad. "I'll be broken when you die." And sure enough, Jeremy Strong hits us hard with Kendall's despair — so many pained looks off into the distance. But Kendall also surprises us. Broken as he may be, he becomes the glue that holds his siblings together.

The signs are there from the onslaught: during his final phone call, Ken manages to say it all in very few words. And he manages it with the clarity that his siblings lack. Perhaps because Kendall has been on the outskirts of the family for much longer or perhaps because death has been hanging over him since the waiter went into the water at Shiv's wedding. Kendall has had so much time to process his love-hate relationship with Logan and even though so much of the pain is raw, he doesn't have to stumble through the same frenzy of impossible emotions. "I love you, Dad. I do, I love you," he says. But unlike Roman, he doesn't ignore the worst of Logan to focus on the good. And unlike Shiv, he's sorted through these emotions before now. So he says what he knows to be true: "I can't forgive you. But it's okay. And I love you."

All that being said, if there's anything I know about Kendall Roy, it's that there's always a breakdown on the horizon. He knows how to pull it together in times of crisis, but only momentarily. Think back to the epic, mic-drop of a press conference — just ten minutes later, he was losing his mind in a bathtub. When it becomes clear that Logan is dead, Kendall gets logical. There's a lot in motion, and the old guard starts making their moves. So Kendal emphasizes the importance that before they take over the siblings must act.

"We are highly liable to misinterpretation. So what we do today will always be what we did the day our father died. So let's grieve and whatever, but not do anything that restricts our future freedom of movement."

It's self-serving but it's true. Their father's death is not just their father's death. Logan is inextricably tied to a bigger entity, to the company he's dedicated so much of his life to. It's thanks to Kendall's leadership that the siblings stick together and pull through with a win on the worst day of their lives.

4. Newlyweds, Connor & Willa

Connor's wedding day is a disaster. From the absence of his father to the trauma cake to the death of his father, things go very poorly. But then, he gets married. Willa stays, they power through, and they get married. Never mind the fact that his siblings basically forgot he existed during the ongoing death of their dad (it's like no one could hear me yelling "WHAT ABOUT CONNOR" through the screen)! Ignore the fact that Connor's immediate reaction to his father's death was "He didn't even like me"! Pretend you don't know that Willa isn't truly in love with Connor and literally ran away from him the night before! And definitely don't think about the line "My father's dead and I feel old," because that will absolutely wreck you! Focus on the positives: they got married. They aren't alone. They have someone else to seek comfort in. Forget the details.

3. Gerri

"I danced us through a f***ing thunderstorm without us getting wet," is a brilliant line but it's not the reason that Gerri (J. Smithe Cameron) is sitting pretty in a very high spot. At the top of this episode, she was doomed. Logan was on the verge of not just firing her, but sullying her reputation by hanging the Cruises disaster around her neck. Years of hard work and dedication were being flushed down the toilet and Gerri knew it — you could see it in her eyes after Roman delivered the news. We've never seen Gerri so vulnerable.

And then Logan died.

Now, Gerri is a solid choice to continue in her place as interim CEO. She isn't fired, because it was never official. And in her back pocket, if she's as pissed as she indicated, Gerri could always burn Roman with proof of sexual harassment. So while everyone else has been backed into a corner, Gerri has options.

2. Lukas Matsson

The man doesn't even have to make an appearance to win on a weekly basis — but judging by the season preview, we'll be seeing a lot more of Matsson to come.

I see how things aren't perfect — the company he was on the verge of buying has been devalued immensely by the loss of Logan. But that doesn't change the product. If anything, it puts him in a better position by lowering the price. But most importantly, it's all up to Matsson, for now. He can buy it or he can walk away. He can offer more money or less. He could string them along and then fall back. He has maneuverability here that no one else has.

1. The Cast And Crew Of Succession

There was a moment during Shiv's phone call to Logan where I almost couldn't hear her words over the sound of Sarah Snooks's Emmy being engraved.

"Succession" is frequently praised for its excellence: brilliant direction, impeccable performances, and astonishing scripts. And I guess I'm just here to say that all of those things are true times a thousand in "Connor's Wedding." The Emmy reels have already been solidified and we're only on the third episode. Everyone else in the drama category should be quaking their boots. I never really feared that this should would lose steam in its final season, but I couldn't foresee it hitting such a masterful stride. Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and Kieran Culkin delivered masterclass performances, as did every other performer in the episode. The quiet moment between Alan Ruck and Justin Lupe blew me away, as did every change in expression from Matthew Macfadyen and J. Smith Cameron. Everyone — in front of and behind the camera — was firing on all cylinders. And let's not forget Brian Cox, who built a character so immense that we can already feel the gaping chasm of his absence.

Logan is dead and so is "Succession" as we knew it — and there are seven more episodes to go. Maybe the real winner is all of us.

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