Are Shiv (Sarah Snook), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) playing hardball with the GoJo deal? Or are they potentially ruining everything out of spite for Logan (Brian Cox)? That’s the major question at the end of Succession season four, episode two, as the Roy children join forces with Sandi (Hope Davis) and Stewy (Arian Moayed) in a bid to drive their father back to the bargaining table with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) the day before the GoJo deal is supposed to go through. It also happens to be the day before Connor’s (Alan Ruck) wedding to Willa (Justine Lupe), who appears to be getting cold feet—although the Roy siblings barely have the capacity to pretend to care about Connor’s impending nuptials.
On the latest episode of Still Watching, hosts Richard Lawson and Chris Murphy try to suss out who on the show, if anyone, might have the purest intentions. “If anything, I trust Matsson more than anyone involved in the GoJo deal right now,” says Murphy. “He seems like, as Roman said last episode, a 4chan weirdo, but he does not seem like a liar.”
Matsson makes it very clear to Kendall on the phone that if they try to renegotiate the terms of the sale, he’s going to walk. And yet, the Roy siblings—particularly Kendall and Shiv—seem more than happy to take that risk if it means they can squeeze a few more dollars out of him and hurt their father in the process. “I think the kids think they have him figured out better than Logan does,” says Lawson. “But I just don’t know that.”
More surprising than Shiv and Kendall’s potentially reteaming with Sandi and Stewy to mess with their dad is the family’s heart-to-heart, and the location in which it transpires. In a private room at Maru, a swanky karaoke spot in New York’s Koreatown, Logan comes face-to-face with his children for the first time this season—and a lot of Logan’s bravado, demonstrated earlier in the episode on the floor of ATN, falls by the wayside. “We have seen some moments of emotional vulnerability on this show before—and in this season, maybe especially. But that scene felt like something new, where [Logan’s] walk-and-talk bluster is kind of gone,” notes Lawson.
In his own way, Logan tries to make amends with his kids. “There’s no amount of words that he could possibly say to apologize for everything that he’s put his kids through,” Murphy notes. “But they’re able to get at least a kernel of an apology.” Time will tell if it’s enough to keep them from blowing up his GoJo deal, but he seems to have made inroads with Roman at least.
But is Roman entertaining his father’s dangling ATN in front of him for the right reasons? Lawson isn’t so sure. “Maybe [Roman’s] just trying to hold the family together out of pure business
interest,” Lawson notes. “I think these people are all capable of love, or finding it, but they have absolutely no idea what to do with the faintest shred of a sincere sentiment.”
Joined by Vanity Fair political correspondent Bess Levin, Lawson and Murphy also delve into the real-life inspiration for the dysfunctional Roys—the Murdoch family—and the stark similarities between that media dynasty and its fictional counterpart. “There are so, so, so many similarities between these two families,” Levin says. “At the basic center of it, you have this patriarch running a global media empire. Rupert Murdoch has a child from his first marriage, Prudence,
who has never worked for the business—a similarity to Connor Roy. And then from his
second marriage, he has three children, Lachlan, Elizabeth, and James, who have all
worked for him over the years and jockeyed for the top job in a very similar fashion to Kendall, Shiv, and Roman.”
And as with the Roys, the interpersonal relationships between the Murdoch family members are decidedly messy. “I believe, at this point, the relationship between James and
Lachlan is said to be pretty nonexistent,” Levin shares. “I believe somebody said that Prudence—the oldest one, the Connor of them all—she’s Switzerland.”
Many questions loom heading into the third episode: Will the GoJo deal fall apart? Will Connor’s wedding? Listen below to hear Lawson and Murphy discuss the second episode of Succession season four and debate who won this week at Waystar Royco (as well as what songs the Roys would sing at karaoke). For your own questions, comments, and final-season theories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.