Perhaps needing to take the conversation from all the mess surrounding The Idol, HBO released the final trailer for the upcoming fourth and final season of Succession today. And it’s a banger. Because this is the end. Succession will not drag on. Jesse Armstrong is not interested in pushing his story to the point of staleness. So all the conflicts, the betrayals, the hurt, the anger, all the Roy family toxicity that has been building up over three seasons …
We will finally see where that takes them. And from the looks of this trailer, the conclusion will be explosive, probably bloody. Logan, as Gerri says, is a barbarian – the most ruthless, the most savage, especially when it comes to his children. And now his children are his primary adversaries, allying with his enemies to take him down. This showdown is basically the boardroom equivalent of Blackwater, Hardhome, and the Battle of the Bastards on Game of Thrones. Except where GoT limped to its finale, most of us have a lot more confidence that Succession will get it right… which basically means that everyone will be wrong.
There are no heroes here. All of these people, in one way or another, are despicable. There is no loyalty, no trust, promises are lies, oaths are broken, people are discarded one day and then exploited the next day. And one of Logan’s most barbaric superpowers is that he knows exactly how to exploit and then expose his children.
By now, all of us who’ve been watching Succession can see it in the scene in the trailer between Logan and Roman. “You really want me?” Roman asks Logan tentatively… and Logan replies, “I need you”. Three words in the Roy family that are more important, and carry so much more weight, than “I love you”. That is what Connor, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv have been longing to believe their whole lives. That their father needs them. That they are vital to him. That the are essential. This is the meaning of life – and they have dedicated their entire lives to the search for that grail.
It is nothing to them or to Logan later on when he tells them that “I love you, but you are not serious people”. Logan has taught them that his love for them is less important, less essential, than his elusive need for them. It may be one of the cruelest acts of a parent because in making his need their ultimate prize, he’s ensured that they can never quit him.
What, then, does the last chapter of this story look like? Isn’t the point of Succession that nobody ends up happy… and if that’s the case, does that include the audience?