Death happens to everyone, including the incredibly wealthy and powerful, and particularly prominent characters in HBO series.
But on “Succession,” we didn’t witness the agonisingly emotional end. Not at this point in the show’s final season, for sure.
Logan Roy, the CEO of Waystar Royco (Brian Cox), the dominant figure around whom all people circle and strive to accomplish, passed away after passing out on his opulent private jet. Roy is carried low to the earth, literally in the clouds, and spends the entire episode silently undergoing fruitless resuscitation attempts.
The show’s title has finally been kept, as the competition to succeed him has already taken on urgent life before his corpse bag is rudely deposited in the ambulance. The significant upheaval has reset the power struggle inside the family. Let’s dissect it.
CEO Logan Roy is visited by death, who stays
The Winter Lion Roy has struggled with his health from the beginning, having a serious stroke in the first season while being cared for by his ferociously guarded former wife Marcia (Hiam Abbass). Cox said to USA TODAY that Roy was originally going to die in Season 1, but the show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, changed his mind after seeing how well-liked the cynical character reminiscent of Rupert Murdoch was by viewers. Instead, Logan bounced back, postponing the succession conflict (and divorced Marcia, knocking her out of the power game).
The outmanoeuvred patriarch was sent on his fateful final journey to see GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgrd) to ask for more money in last week’s episode, where siblings Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shioban (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) banded together to thwart streaming giant GoJo’s plan to acquire Waystar (minus ATN).
siblings who are together and driven by remorse
Roy doesn’t think twice about leaving and skipping his son Connor’s (Alan Ruck) boat wedding to Willa (Justine Lupe), which the siblings obediently attend. Roman informs Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), the now out-of-favor Waystar general counsel and Roman’s ex-girlfriend, of the Logan-required plan to dismiss her, and there are nefarious pre-nuptial dealings. The exchange is terrible. As it turns out, Logan enters the restroom of the private jet when the distressed Roman is leaving his father a furious voicemail, complaining of shortness of breath.
When Shiv’s ex-husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) quickly phones from the plane with the terrible news that Logan has fallen and is undoubtedly dead or dying, quiet chaos breaks out at the wedding. As Tom brings the phone up to Logan’s ear, distraught Kendall and Roy rant their final words to their father. I’m not able to forgive you, Roman continues. And I cherish you. It is unknown if Logan hears these words.
Shiv, who had been ignoring Tom’s calls, is quietly escorted into a separate room to hear the startling news and tenderly bid her farewell. Roman is horrified, thinking that his voicemail might have been the final straw for his father.
Logan’s usage of the phrases “sorry” and “I love you” during the previous night’s family gathering in the karaoke room has left each sibling feeling pain and remorse. But, they still cheerfully turned him down and sent him back for a better GoJo bargain, smugly content in their victory over their cunning old father.
Paradoxically, Logan’s passing negates the siblings’ eagerly anticipated success. The three are soon embroiled in a fresh power battle for control of the business with Logan’s lackeys in the C-suite, Frank (Peter Friedman), Karl (David Rasche), and Hugo (Fisher Stevens). Even from the plane, this conflict can be seen as the participants prepare and negotiate how to break the shocking news that Logan Roy, a once-dominant media tycoon, has passed away.