‘Succession’ Season 4, Episode 9 Recap: Dearly Departed (2023)


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This week, Logan Roy’s family and associates gather for his funeral, pausing all grudges so they can pay conflicted respects to the man.

‘Succession’ Season 4, Episode 9 Recap: Dearly Departed (1)

By Noel Murray

‘Succession’ Season 4, Episode 9: ‘Church and State’

When people talk about TV or movies as visual medium, they’re usually referring to pretty pictures or striking compositions. But you know what’s also an important part of visual storytelling? The simple reaction shot.

(Video) Succession | Inside the Episode: Season 4, Episode 9 | Max

It wouldn’t take much retooling to turn any given “Succession” episode into a radio play, since most of the show’s “action,” so to speak, is in the dialogue. But boy would we ever miss those reaction shots. What these actors can do just with their faces — and what the directors and the editors can do with how and where they use them — is sublime.

This week, Logan Roy’s family and associates gather for his funeral, temporarily putting aside all grudges so they can pay their respects to a giant of a man. Kendall insists, “Today is just about today” (a phrase that should be etched into the family crest for the eternally capricious and opportunistic Roys). Throughout the day, these folks talk a lot — especially during the service, as one Roy after another rises to say a few words. And again, a lot of what’s really happening in the story is in the reactions.

Before the funeral even begins, the whole vibe surrounding the event is unsettled because of the postelection unrest in the New York streets (described by Tom as “a bit Tiananmen-y”). Kendall is furious when his ex-wife Rava (Natalie Gold) takes their kids out of the city for their safety. He is nearly as irritated when he learns his assistant Jess (Juliana Canfield) intends to resign, because of the potential violence that Jeryd Mencken and ATN have unleashed. “You have no idea how things will turn out and it’s very juvenile,” Kendall grumbles.

But once everyone’s inside the church, the mood softens. The tone is set by the Roy siblings’ mother, Lady Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter), who takes it upon herself to ask Kerry — who brought an attorney, just in case anyone tried to bar her from the funeral — to sit with her, Marcia, and the fabled Sally Ann. (Caroline introduces Sally Ann as “my Kerry.”) These ladies share the bond of having loved a very difficult man; and when Marcia reaches out for Kerry’s hand, Kerry sobs.

Then the service begins, with a surprise. Logan’s fiery liberal brother, Ewan (James Cromwell), ignores his grandson Greg’s attempt to stop him from taking the pulpit. Ewan first shares some touching stories about Logan: about how they comforted each other as boys when they crossed the Atlantic during World War II; and about how Logan blamed himself for their sister dying of polio, which he was convinced he brought home from the boarding school he hated. With that out of the way, Ewan finishes by torching Logan’s legacy, saying his brother fed “a certain kind of meagerness in men.” (The ever-sycophantic Greg, after his grandfather sits back down: “That was a good hard take that you gave.”)

Here is where the reaction shots really start to become a factor. During Ewan’s takedown, we see Roman looking stricken. He came into this day feeling creepily upbeat, planning to follow his election night coup with a real grown-up eulogy for his father, in front of some of America’s most important people. But Ewan’s commanding, authoritative words shake him. Roman has never had this kind of spotlight; and now his siblings expect him to “say the other side” of the Logan Roy story.

He can’t. Roman starts to give his generic “great, great man” speech, but then freezes and asks his family to bail him out. He breaks down in front of everyone, gesturing at the coffin containing his father and whimpering, “Get him out.” It’s another shattering performance from Kieran Culkin. (The face to watch during Roman’s meltdown is Gerri’s. She looks genuinely pained for her former protégé.)

So Kendall fills in; and because he has lots of experience with throwing together sentences that his social peers can understand, he does a fine job. He acknowledges the pain his father could cause but he also celebrates how Logan made “bloody, complicated life” happen. “If we can’t match his vim, then God knows the future will be sluggish and gray,” he says, as both Mencken and Lukas Matsson look on with what appears to be grudging admiration. For all the gossip about how Jeremy Strong’s intensity on-set can frustrate his castmates, the results are on the screen in scenes like this one, so riveting and real.

Shiv follows with her own impromptu eulogy, mostly focused on how terrifying Logan could be when she and her siblings were little kids. Like Culkin and Strong, Sarah Snook nails her big moment, playing this speech so that it sits right between “here’s a funny story about a grumpy old man” and an accusation of abuse. Shiv calls her father “hard on women” — and the shot of Kendall that follows is a reminder of his own issues with Rava and Jess.

It is interesting to hear Shiv give such a harsh assessment of Logan’s parenting after what she had said to Matsson before the funeral. Readjusting their strategy for a looming Mencken presidency, they have decided to show they can play ball with a neo-fascist. Step 1: Promise that GoJo-Waystar will have an American CEO … like maybe Shiv. But when Matsson mentions that he heard a rumor about her being pregnant, she concocts a version of motherhood where she is “emailing through her vanity cesarean” and her kid “will never see her.” It’s positively Logan-esque.


(Video) SUCCESSION Full Series Recap | Season 1-4 Ending Explained

After the funeral, the scramble for Waystar begins. Kendall capitalizes on his eulogy momentum by authorizing Hugo to start leaking to the media about Matsson’s shaky standing with the Waystar board. (“You’ll be my dog, but the scraps from the table will be millions,” he tells Hugo about the state of their business relationship. “Woof woof,” Hugo replies.) He also coaxes his father’s former bodyguard/confessor Colin to come work for him. He too is becoming more Logan-y by the minute.

But as it turns out, Shiv’s play has juice. Kendall realizes he may have miscalculated when he corners Mencken at the post-funeral reception and the presumptive President-elect intimates that ATN may need him more than vice versa. “I thought you were the sound system,” Mencken says to Kendall. “Now you want to choose the track?” It doesn’t help that Kendall is interrupted by a succession of embarrassing family members: first Greg, then Roman (Mencken: “It’s the Grim Weeper!”), then Connor.

It’s no wonder that Mencken seems relieved to talk with Shiv and Matsson, who seem … well, cooler. They both encourage him to broaden his thinking, with Shiv reminding him that Logan was more about “money, winning and gossip” than ideological purity and Matsson talking up the potential advantages (including “fun”) of allying with a “thought leader” tech bro. So as we head into the “Succession” finale next week, Kendall and Shiv both, seen in the right light, seem to have an edge in the fight to become the new Waystar CEO.

So where does that leave Roman? Still reeling from his funeral disaster. As Kendall asks for his brother’s help in the coming board battle against Shiv, he chastises Roman bluntly for screwing everything up. Roman then leaves the reception to crash one of the protest marches happening outside, where he yells at and gets smacked around by the angry leftists.

This suits him just fine. When it comes to reactions, Roman would always rather people look at him with anger than with pity — or, worse, with indifference.

Due diligence

  • Here’s another one for the “Kendall can’t stand to see his family get bullied” file: When Mencken makes fun of Roman’s crying jag, Kendall immediately shuts that joke down.

  • And here’s another brilliant reaction shot: When Kendall speaks at the funeral about how Logan “made” him and his siblings, the editors cut to Lady Caroline, looking a bit peeved.

    (Video) Succession's 4 Eulogies EXPLAINED

  • There is not a lot of gut-busting comedy this week, though the Roy kids do get in some good riffs while gawking at Logan’s tomb, an ornate shrine he bought from a dot-com pet supply guy. Shiv calls the seller “cat food Ozymandias,” asks whether her dad was “in a bidding war with Stalin and Liberace,” then suggests the grave could be a tax write-off because, “It’s technically a residence.”

  • The tomb has plenty of room for more family members, should any of Logan’s children want to spend eternity with their problematic patriarch. Connor pipes up and says he wouldn’t mind a top bunk. Kendall hesitates, saying, “I had trouble finishing a scotch with him.” And Roman? “He made me breathe funny,” he says.

  • Shiv, bothered by how little she really knew — or perhaps wanted to know — about her father’s character, asks Frank and Karl, “How bad was Dad?” They reassure her that he was “a salty dog but a good egg,” adding, “What you saw was what you got.” Then after she leaves, Karl half-shrugs, looks at Frank and asks, “Right?” Frank, halfheartedly: “Right.”

  • Shiv, as the funeral ends and the cemetery prepares to inter her father: “I’m intrigued to see how he gets out of this one.”


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(Video) Succession 4x10 Promo "With Open Eyes" (HD) Series Finale


What happened in episode 9 of Succession? ›

Roman (Kieran Culkin) thought he was ready to take over after his triumph on election night. He was wrong. At Logan's funeral, Roman's plans for greatness go awry after Uncle Ewan unloads some heavy truths.

Who betrayed the siblings Succession? ›

Sick of being constantly humiliated, Tom betrays Shiv at the end of Season 3, tipping off Logan about the Roy siblings' plan to unite and stop the GoJo deal. “He does the one thing she believes he could never do, because he would never have the guts or courage,” Snook told The Times.

Why did the house smell in Succession? ›

Colin, the head of Logan's security detail, takes Kendall aside to inform him that he is not a suspect in the police investigation into Andrew Dodds' death. The other children arrive, and the source of the stench is discovered to be a bag of dead raccoons stuffed in the chimney.

Where is Logan Roy's funeral? ›

It's fitting that the Succession funeral episode—in which media titan Logan Roy (Brian Cox) was laid to rest—was filmed at Manhattan's Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, a Roman Catholic cathedral that has seen its share of real VIP send-offs.

Did Shiv and Nate sleep together? ›

While Shiv and Nate slept together while she was still engaged to Tom, they'd each agreed to somewhat of an open relationship.

Who is Lukas Matsson based on? ›

Peter Thiel

The German-American billionaire co-founder of PayPal, Palantir, and venture capitalist is another person who has been cited as an inspiration for Lukas—specifically with regard to his funding of psychedelics.

Why does Shiv turn on Kendall? ›

She 'can't stomach' Kendall

Soon after, Kendall is noticeably cocky in the boardroom scene, so confident he has the votes. Another interpretation is that this kind of behavior reminded Shiv that Kendall becoming CEO would destroy the company and turn him into a monster like their father.

Why did Shiv vote against Kendall? ›

Shiv also had plenty of good reasons to not hand Kendall the keys to the Waystar kingdom, specifically because of the incident he was in with the caterer who died in Succession season 1. Shiv made that choice in the Succession series finale to serve herself but to also protect Logan's legacy and Waystar's name.

Why does Shiv vote against Kendall? ›

Shiv's vote was an attempt to stop Kendall from going down their father's path. On top of that, Shiv also voted for the GoJo deal for selfish reasons. Shiv knew that her brothers are snakes and that Kendall would lock Shiv out of the company as soon as they reach their first impasse.

Why did Kendall throw away batteries in Succession? ›

Kendall then throws the batteries away as soon as he leaves the store. The theft was never about the prize; it was about feeling some semblance of power.

Did Tom betray Shiv in Succession? ›

The line was made painfully ironic in the season 3 finale, when Tom did in fact betray Shiv, and he did so in Logan's favor.

Who is the rat in Succession? ›

The Rat Pack: Kendall, Siobhan and Roman

Logan calls his other children “the rats.” We might call them nepo babies. These backbiting siblings usually work in opposition to one another — see the open letter from Shiv (Sarah Snook) about Kendall (Jeremy Strong), just for starters.

What is Logan Roy's illness? ›

DALLAS, April 10, 2023 — The American Heart Association sends fans of the two-time Emmy Award winning best drama series “Succession” our heartfelt condolences following the sudden cardiac death that killed off main character, Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox.

Who is Logan Roy's second wife? ›

Lady Caroline Collingwood (Dame Harriet Walter) orchestrates it all, whose boldness knows no bounds as the second wife to Logan, and mother to all the Roy siblings except Connor (Alan Ruck), Yet, she has no relationship with any of them.

Who is Logan Roy's third child? ›

Roman is the third and youngest son of Logan Roy from his second marriage. He is desperate for attention and approval from his father, which at times puts him at odds with his siblings, particularly Kendall and Shiv.

Are Shiv and Roman twins? ›

Roman Roy and Shiv Roy are definitely siblings in Succession, but the show has hinted that the two characters are actually twins.

Who is Shiv's baby daddy? ›

Shiv as a single mom to a rando's child would not look attractive to the conservative Waystar board, and it especially wouldn't look good to Logan. (Plus, executive producer and writer Lucy Prebble confirmed on the official Succession podcast that Tom is the father.)

Why is Shiv called Pinky? ›

Conversation. always thinking about shiv's contrasting nicknames, shiv and pinky, both presumably given by logan. one is the dangerous weapon she needs to be to live up to him, & the other is the reminder of how she'll always be seen by him — the fourth finger, the youngest child, the baby!

Who is Kendall Roy based on? ›

Kendall Roy parallels James Murdoch

Jeremy Strong may be known by his cast mates, and the rest of the world for that matter, as an intense method actor, but the intensity is all part of how he gets into his character, Kendall Roy.

How much did GoJo pay for Waystar? ›

Rather than paying more for Logan's original deal — let's call it Waystar standard — he suggests buying Waystar and ATN for $187 per share.

What did Madsen tweet on Succession? ›

“Doderick Macht Frei,” it reads, extremely offensively, and if the words weren't enough, Matsson has also found the time to mock up a picture of Doderick the dog, holding balloons, in front of Auschwitz.

Is Rhea sleeping with Logan on succession? ›

Well, after she figured out that Logan was having an affair with Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter), she freaked out — and rightfully so. Logan hadn't just betrayed his marriage vows, but was angling to give this outsider the keys to Waystar RoyCo.

Do Kendall and Shiv have the same mom? ›

Lady Caroline Collingwood is the second wife of Logan Roy, and mother of Kendall Roy, Roman Roy and Shiv Roy.

Why did Shiv not vote? ›

One Last Curtain Call for 'Succession' Initially, Shiv says she won't vote for Kendall because she doesn't think he'd be good at the job.

Why did Shiv betray her brothers? ›

There's no use in trying to pinpoint the sole reason for Shiv betraying her brothers because there's just too much behind it. Ultimately, her decision wasn't really about betraying them, actually, but about siding with Tom, because that's the only way she could continue to play the game.

When did Shiv change her mind? ›

Why did Shiv change her mind in Succession? There are quite likely multiple reasons why Shiv changed her mind about who should be CEO during the last episode of Succession. It dwindles down to her trust in her brother running the company. When Kendall sat in Logan's chair, Shiv's mood changed drastically.

What did Kendall Roy do to his dad? ›

They came close to succeeding, but Kendall made a cocaine run that killed a waiter at his sister's wedding, with his dad finding out and then covering it up in the Season 1 finale. A grateful and indebted hostage, Kendall switched sides, working under Logan once more to stop the bid.

Was Logan abused succession? ›

Logan claims his uncle was incredibly hard on him and physically abusive. He tells his own children that he was beaten by Noah brutally, and often.

Does Kendall become CEO of Waystar? ›

Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) will not run Waystar-Royco, and her estranged husband, Tom Wambsgans, a nobody from Minnesota, will instead become the American CEO of the newly merged company.

Does Shiv love Tom or not? ›

Yes, Succession's Shiv Roy Really Does Love Tom – Here's The Evidence - IMDb. Of the three main Roy children, Shiv (Sarah Snook) has always been the hardest to pin down.

Do Shiv and Tom get divorced? ›

Another interesting aspect of this pending divorce is the ownership and structure of the family business. Tom is a key figure within Waystar, and his divorce from Shiv and following Logan's death in season 4's third episode, his role going forward could be in serious question.

Is Kendall Logan's son? ›

Kendall Roy, Logan's eldest son from his second marriage and a division president at the firm, is the heir apparent.

Who is the most evil Succession characters? ›

In a recent interview, actor Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman Roy, ranked Connor as the show's most evil character. His reasoning might surprise you. Since its debut in 2018, Succession has amassed a large number of fans and widespread critical acclaim.

Why did Tom and Shiv separate? ›

Since the tenor of their relationship up until now has been for Tom to behave as Shiv's devoted lapdog, his betrayal has really upset the balance of it all. Since Shiv is tired, she lays down in their bed at an angle and says Tom can stay where he is, in an opposite place. They lay down in silence, bodies apart.

Is Shiv pregnant Succession? ›

Shiv decides to finally tell Tom she is pregnant with his baby. For Succession fans, this was confirmation that she is still pregnant and that Tom is in fact the daddy.

What happened to Connor Roy's arm? ›

Connor's arm injury was real

Eldest sibling Connor Roy wore a sling in series three, explaining how he'd had a fall at his ranch. In real life, actor Alan Ruck tore his shoulder while shovelling snow at home.

Does Kendall's son in Succession have autism? ›

Iverson Roy is the son of Kendall and Rava Roy, and the younger brother of Sophie Roy. Iverson is likely on the Autism spectrum.

What were Logan Roy's last words? ›

I love you, but you're not serious people,” were Logan Roy's final words to his children as a group.

Who did Logan cheat on Marcia with? ›

Marcia is Logan's third wife, and she's been in the show since the very beginning. However, Logan's infidelity caused a rift between them that never fully repaired. In Season 2, as Logan attempted to buy PGM, he entered into an affair with Pierce's CEO Rhea Jarrell.

How old is Shiv Roy? ›

Shiv is the youngest sibling, as confirmed by a Succession family tree video released by HBO. Logan also nicknames Shiv “Pinky” referring to the smallest finger, which could refer to her position as the youngest. It's estimated she's in her early-to-mid thirties. Snook, who plays Shiv, is aged 35.

Who is Connor Roy's mother? ›

The Roy Family assembles in England for Shiv and Tom's wedding. The children reunite with their mother, Caroline Collingwood.

Who inherits Logan Roy's estate? ›

Upon his death or decision to sell the property, the proceeds shall be divided equally among my remaining children. Kendall Roy: I give my son, Kendall Roy, 25% of my shares in Waystar Royco, granting him the opportunity to prove his worth as the rightful heir to my media empire.

Who is older Shiv or Kendall? ›

At the last possible minute, Shiv voted to let her family's company be sold to Swedish tech weirdo Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), who handed the CEO position to Tom. This dealt a devastating blow to her older brother Kendall (Jeremy Strong), who has only ever wanted to be CEO (and maybe become a rapper).

Is Shiv the youngest Roy? ›

The youngest child in the Roy family, Shiv possesses natural leadership instincts, but would rather wield her talents in politics.

What happened in episode 9 season 3 Succession? ›

'Succession' recap, Season 3 finale, Episode 9: 'All The Bells Say' Logan Roy considers an offer he never would have expected to deliberate over. His children ponder their options in return. And we find out exactly how things worked out for Kendall in the pool.

What happened in the last scene of Succession? ›

In the end, it is Tom Wambsgans who “wins” Succession. He is plucked from the social climbing ladder he so tightly clings to by Matsson, with the GoJo CEO telling him that he doesn't want to take Shiv with him if the Waystar Royco takeover goes through, essentially because he fancies her and it's too complicated.

What did Tom do to Shiv? ›

Tom betrays Shiv by giving crucial intel to Logan during the Succession season 3 finale. Shiv fights hard for the CEO position and sticks with Logan, even when Kendall, confident he's got what it takes to bring Logan down, invites her to join his side.

Where was episode 9 of Succession filmed? ›

Succession finale filming locations: Barbados

We already knew the Roys were headed to Barbados thanks to long-time Succession director Mark Mylod, who directed the finale “With Open Eyes”.

Was Shiv pregnant in Succession? ›

Shiv and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) are in the middle of a brutal divorce. Despite their many confrontations during the season, she didn't tell him about the pregnancy until episode eight. She and Tom get into a fight, and she tells him that she's pregnant, and that it's his baby.

Who told Logan the kids were coming? ›

The season ended, however, with a final twist as Tom arrived and received a clear happy greeting from Logan. It was at that moment that Shiv realised that Tom had betrayed her and informed Logan of what the siblings were planning, enabling her father to outmanoeuvre them.

Is episode 9 the last episode of season 3 of Succession? ›

"All the Bells Say" is the ninth and final episode of the third season of the HBO satirical comedy-drama television series Succession, and the 29th overall.

Why Shiv betrayed Kendall? ›

Speaking to Swisher, Strong said Shiv might have betrayed Kendall as payback for his failure to support his sister during the presidential election when Kendall took Roman's side and helped elect a far-right fascist as U.S. President.

Does Shiva really love Tom? ›

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of Succession, "The Munsters." Read at your own risk!]

Did Tom betray Shiv in the finale? ›

The line was made painfully ironic in the season 3 finale, when Tom did in fact betray Shiv, and he did so in Logan's favor.

Where is Shiv's wedding filmed in Succession? ›

Shiv honored her English roots by having her wedding at a UK castle in season one. This 19th-century medieval castle in Herefordshire on the edge of the Cotswolds is the elegant estate where Shiv's ill-fated marriage to Tom took place in season one.

Where is the big house in Succession? ›

Succession season 4 trailer (HBO)

Located in Los Angeles's Pacific Palisades neighborhood on San Onofre Drive, the approximately 20,000-square-foot mansion is the ultimate blend of indoor-outdoor living and high-tech features.

What Castle was in episode 9 of Succession? ›

After multiple recces of the castle interiors, grounds and the wider estate, Eastnor was chosen to be the location for Succession Season 1, episodes 9 and 10, to be directed by British Director, Mark Mylod (Game of Thrones, Cold Feet and The Affair).


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