The following post includes spoilers for the third episode of the fourth season of Succession. If you don’t want to know what happens, then kindly “fuck off!”
In Sunday night’s episode of Succession, we finally arrived at the promise of the premise: What happens when Logan Roy dies? Despite his skirmish
with death being what escorted us into the fucked-up Roy family dynamics in Season 1—and his contemplation of the afterlife with his “best pal” Colin in the fourth season premiere—his abrupt end still comes as a shock.
Should we have seen it coming? Of course. But so much of this brilliant show is sterile and lifeless that death somehow bowed out as an option. How can something as inorganic as a power-hungry magnate like Logan die? (The AV Club published a great piece on how no one on the show can fuck well, which is arguably the most life-affirming activity one can partake in. The Roys and their associates are not just spiritually opposite from “people of the earth,” they literally live their lives in penthouses and private jets. The aseptic nature of the show lends immortality to its power players.) After four seasons, I’m not convinced the man was nourished by food or water at all—he appears to have fed entirely on emotionally manipulating his kids and furrowing his brow to advise billion-dollar business trades.
But in the most recent episode, amidst the rocky terrain of grieving children and tiptoeing board members, one sign of life broke through the rubble like a resilient sprig after a volcanic eruption: Connor and Willa’s relationship. Now look, I am not saying these two are a model of romantic love. But Eros be damned, they’re the only couple on this entire show that can speak honestly about the dynamics of their relationship. And on top of that, Connor is the only Roy-kin who’s created a life in the sun outside of the long shadow of his father.
After learning of his father’s death, the eldest Roy morosely quips, “He never even liked me.” Dark, yes, but frankly much more in touch with the truth of the situation than Roman, who told his dad he was “a good man, a good dad” over the phone. Like…sure Jan. A few scenes later, Connor and Willa are deciding if they should keep on with the ceremony, one Logan was not even planning to attend. “I guess the truth is, I’m scared if we don’t, you’ll walk away,” he tells his sugar baby bride-to-be. “My father’s dead and I feel old,” he continues. Honest? Check. Vulnerable? Check. In touch with the fragility of life? Check!! Shiv and Tom could never.
He then asks Willa what we’ve all thought we’ve known the answer to since the beginning, “Are you just with me for money, Willa?” “I mean there is something about money and safety here, yeah, but I’m happy,” she reassures him. While I knew (we all knew) the first half of that answer, the latter part came as a surprise. But you know what? I fucking believe her! Willa’s had endless opportunities to leave. In fact, she has a few times (tbt to her midnight excursion to an aquarium supply store) but she’s decided to stay. Their conversation ends with her joking that she isn’t going to walk, “not today anyway.” The two share a genuine laugh. Somewhere Esther Perel is shedding a tear.
As the other Roy children deliver a botched statement to the press and the market vultures begin to descend on Logan’s barely cold body, Connor and Willa decide to proceed with their wedding to a crowd of maybe seven people, all of whom cheer loudly for the newlyweds. In front of the remaining few, Connor commits to a life separate from his emotionally abusive father, with someone he’s able to actually be himself around. “Could something good come out of something bad?” Connor asked Willa earlier during their private conversation. It can and it did. Connor, Willa, let us know where you’re registered. I have a hyper-decanter I’d love to send you.