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Succession’s Final Season Is Just As Riveting And Sharp As Before

The media empire is sure as hell a fast-paced and cutthroat business. Whether it’s global news coverage or even video games and entertainment, the lifestyle of moguls and higher-ups who run these companies have to fight internally as much as externally and against many other rivals vying for the same seat of power and relevance. So it’s no surprise that some people can resonate with someone as unlikeable and belligerent as Logan Roy, the patriarch and lead character of the HBO series Succession. As big of an a-hole he is, especially with how he treats his own kin, you have to give it up to series creator Jesse Armstrong and his team of writers for making us watch the many episodes of the show and go “maybe he’s got a point about the business”.

With the series now close to the end with its fourth and final season, it doesn’t look like Succession is going to rest on its laurels. If these first four episodes we’ve seen are of any indication, we are clearly going to miss the messed-up dynasty that is the Roy family.

This review features general spoilers for Season 3.

After the Roy kids -Kendall, Roman, Shiv- get kicked out of the WayStar media dynasty by “loving” patriarch Logan in Season 3’s finale, they’re taking matters into their own hands and are trying one-up daddy dearest by poaching his partners and do all the stuff conglomerates do with a billion dollars in capital. And so far, Succession Season 4 does not disappoint in the slightest.

We get to see every main character’s story arc escalate in the first two episodes, with the third and fourth pulling the rug from under our feet just when you thought things were going in the same direction as in Season 2 with media company-related woes and whatnot. It’s really hard to navigate through the show’s fourth season without spoiling anything major at all, but I’ll say this: just when you thought you couldn’t be more shocked with the past seasons, Jesse Armstrong and his team did it again with a new narrative shift. It also asks the question “should you really let your offspring take over your legacy just because they’re blood, especially if you aren’t able to make the decision?”

While I’m still pondering on coming to that answer, I can however talk about some scene & acting highlights. The speech in the newsroom (and everything else after) during episode 2 was definitely one worth taking in given the context of the speechgiver’s mental health & history.  The episode 3 bit involving an airplane and a cruise ship go back-to-back without missing emotional and mentally-draining bits. The patriarch meeting in a nightclub that could cause Logan Roy to get seizures felt genuine yet conflicting, like a jerkass dad convincing his scarred kids that he isn’t playing mind games anymore.

Speaking of which, Brian Cox’s Logan Roy proves once again why his portrayal of faux Rupert Murdoch is captivating despite his questionable attitude, sanity, and methods. Matthew Macfadyen (as Tom) may be typecasted in the future as a corporate sleazeball who loves playing the managerial ladder game (we’ve all had jerkasses like these in our places of work), but his back-and-forth with the patriarchy and his camaraderie with “sidekick” Greg is somewhat adorable.

And this clearly goes without saying, but the trio of Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Shiv (Sarah Snook) finally teaming up for business and periods of grief, after all the nonsense and backstabbing in past seasons, is pretty heartwarming. Even if that may seem fleeting at times, the topic of family beyond everything else really plays out well amidst the meticulous swearing, creative s***-talking, and black comedy. You will clearly be missed when the 10th episode has passed, you captivating-to-watch family dynasty drama, you.

The ten-episode season debuts Monday, March 27 on HBO (Astro Ch 411) and HBO GO.

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