We say this pretty much every week after an episode of “Succession,” but that was television, baby!
During Sunday night’s penultimate episode of the HBO series, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is finally laid to rest. But the ghosts of his past — and his past abuses — are very much present and brought to the foreground. The Roy kids are grieving not only his death but the decades of trauma he caused. Roman (Kieran Culkin), whom Logan abused the most, not coincidentally has an especially visceral reaction to all of this.
Speaking of how the cycles of abuse in this family run deep, look no further than Kendall (Jeremy Strong), who, prior to the funeral, handles two pieces of news in horrifically toxic ways. His stalwart assistant Jess (Juliana Canfield) informs him she’s quitting. In addition, his ex-wife Rava (Natalie Gold) decides she and their kids won’t be attending Logan’s funeral out of safety concerns for their daughter, as riots have started in reaction to Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) being the potential next president. Naturally, Kendall has failed to notice how his decision to enable the election of a fascist president will have immediate consequences for two women of color in his life.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Logan’s funeral without everyone settling scores, scheming and making business deals in the background. As always, the show delivered, capturing the fast-moving chaos at the funeral and featuring some incredible guest stars, standout performances and razor-sharp writing. (TV and film writers, including those who worked on “Succession,” are currently on strike over pay and working conditions.)
Join HuffPost’s Marina Fang, Candice Frederick and Ruth Etiesit Samuel as we recap all the drama at Logan’s funeral, and “pre-grieve” next week’s series finale.
Pre-Finale Thoughts (Or 'Pre-Grieving' The Finale?)
Yeah, I have no idea and I don’t really want to know. But I hope Jess and Gerri work together somehow. — Candice
Right, it’s always a fool’s errand to make predictions about this show. I just hope the series finale is as satisfying as watching this show has been, and that it feels definitive. Judging from this spectacular final season, I have faith that they’ll stick the landing. But whatever happens, I will miss talking about this show, and talking about it with both of you! — Marina
We Spotted An A+ Detail On The Latest 'Succession' Episode
Two things of note:
- The date is Wednesday, Nov. 9, which may remind you of a certain real-life election
- “12:15-18 A.M.: Darwin Injures Eye At Critical Moment”! *chef’s kiss*
Tom Is Tired
The day after a presidential election is always exhausting, let alone for the head of the network who probably incorrectly called the election and is now facing some serious legal troubles. So I imagine he’s been busy dealing with the fallout, talking to lawyers, etc. Not disagreeing with you, Candice, on your larger point on his ineptitude and power-grabbing nonsense. But I could see why he basically has not slept this entire season. “Bedtime for Bonzo!” — Marina
Oh, yes, for sure. He is cleaning up the whole election nightmare that was primarily caused by decisions the siblings made that he only enacted. He’s probably taking the fall for the whole thing, because that’s what he does. But I wonder if he will finally sell them out. I’d live for that. — Candice
Totally. — Marina
Rava Has Been Through Hell
And threatening to sue Rava for full custody of their kids? Sir, you’re a murderer. Good luck with that. — Candice
Candice, I literally thought the same thing. If that man tries anything, I need Rava to spill every single thing — and I mean, everything — that he has ever done, and weaponize it against him. — Ruth
When he threatens to file an emergency restraining order to stop her from leaving the city — while she is already leaving the city — and she says: “Sure, go do that, OK?” I yelped in delight. I hope Rava takes those kids far, far away from their menace of a father.
The thing that ties together Kendall’s reactions to these two pieces of news: Of course, he fails to recognize how his decision to enable the election of a fascist president will have immediate consequences on two women of color in his life. And instead, he makes this all about himself! Of course. — Marina
Jess Decides To Quit! Go Jess!
But Jess is free. So, she won. — Candice
As soon as Kendall asked what the meeting was about and Jess said, “Oh, uh, don’t worry about it,” I gasped. Because I KNEW that miss mamas was trying to exit. Waystar Royco is a sinking ship, and Jess has been through and witnessed enough to know that it’s time to go. I don’t know whether to applaud her or pity her for staying so long, but regardless, I'm glad she’s getting out.
Kendall was such a [insert expletive here] during the whole exchange. Mind you, Jess literally said that she didn’t want to tell him then and disrupt the day. I increasingly hate him more and more out of the siblings. — Ruth
Same, Ruth. I thought: “She’s doing it! She’s quitting! Go Jess!” — Marina
Of Course, Everyone’s Making Business Moves At This Damn Funeral
Is Matsson maybe giving Shiv a new job?I mean, I don’t really know why Shiv would trust anything Matsson says at this point, but I guess she’s desperate and pregnant — and literally everyone at this funeral knows that. I’m honestly majorly embarrassed for her here. But Kendall and Roman are most certainly going to find a way to screw her out of the family business, so I guess she has to hang on to something.
It’s just that Matsson sort of offering her a CEO position is akin to Kendall being named the successor. OR WAS HIS NAME ACTUALLY CROSSED OUT?
I think Shiv is definitely getting that same very vague treatment. — Candice
Sis thinks she’s so bright, but Shiv is simply not. — Ruth
This 'Succession' Easter Egg Was Absolutely Genius
Marcia’s line at the end to Shiv — “He broke my heart. And he broke your hearts too.” — felt like a fitting farewell moment, assuming she isn’t in the series finale. Take a bow, Hiam Abbass! — Marina
This absolutely sent me, especially because Logan would’ve hated literally every second of those women convening and sitting together. It was giving “Real Ex-Housewives of Waystar Royco.” — Ruth
“Real Ex-Housewives of Waystar Royco”! I am cackling. I am not in favor of any “Succession” spinoffs — leave a good thing alone! — but there’s one great idea for one. — Marina
This is the segment I call “Caroline’s Chaos.” One of the many things I enjoy about her is that she very occasionally flits into a scene or episode, causes absolute pandemonium or hurts one of her children’s feelings pretty badly and just … disappears, rarely to ever be seen again throughout a season. Walter is just terrific.
Her bringing Kerry to the front row with Logan’s actual wife was HILARIOUS. Why did she do that? I don’t really understand why she does or says anything she does. She has no rhyme or reason or care in the world. I stan.
And I just knew Marcia was pissed but tried to maintain some sense of decorum at this dumpster fire. But I was shocked that she consoled Kerry. Why is Kerry this emotional over this man? This is so weird to me! It was all just hysterical and chaotic. — Candice
There Are A Lot Of Great Details During These Eulogy Scenes
I kept rewinding some of the eulogy scenes and noticed the level of detail. For instance, one thing I cannot stop thinking about: When Shiv talks about her dad’s misogyny and says how he “was hard on women,” the camera cuts to Gerri and Karolina. And then, it immediately does a focus pull to Kendall, who, like his father, treats women horribly, including in this very episode. A+ television.
Comparing The 'Eulogies' From Uncle Ewan, Kendall And Shiv
This is the most I can recall Uncle Ewan ever talking and, man, did he come through. He refused to let one of the siblings recite revisionist history and told the church exactly who TF Logan is. More funerals, and even celebrity tributes for that matter, should be just like this. Factual.
I found it interesting that the siblings had far more rehearsed eulogies than Uncle Ewan, who spoke with his whole chest. Meanwhile, the siblings seemed like they were reciting things they were told or maybe copied and pasted a result from a “How to do a eulogy” Google search. They don’t even know what to say about their dad. And Shiv asking if he was really that bad? LOL. — Candice
Yeah, I kept thinking how it was so telling that even in death, these kids have nothing meaningful to say about their father. And Kendall’s remarks were just hilarious word salad: “The corpuscles of life gushing around this nation.” LOL, what?
Also telling: Shiv asks Frank and Karl that question after noticing how visceral Roman’s reaction is and how he’s clearly reliving some of their father’s abuses. And I chuckled a bit when Frank did not seem very convinced by his own answer. — Marina
That Funeral Meltdown On 'Succession' Was A S**t Show
Yeah, remember no one wanted it last episode? And then HE assigned it to himself, and we were all (rightly) like: “Welp, this is gonna be a disaster!”
I’ve rewound the “Is he in there? Can we get him out?!” multiple times. I know we say “give [X Actor] an Emmy!” like, every single episode. But Kieran Culkin has had so many incredible moments throughout the show’s run, and it’s hard to imagine Roman without Culkin’s panache. And Roman’s arc during this final season has especially stood out.
One of the many things I will miss about this show is the way there are these incredibly consistent through lines. Something I think about a lot is how “Succession” is about these idiot kids trying to escape the cycles of abuse started by Logan — only to keep spinning their wheels. Even in death, they can't escape. As you noted, Ruth, it’s absolutely not a coincidence that Roman, whom Logan abused the most, has the most visceral reaction here. And that theme of these unbreakable cycles of abuse runs through all of these characters and their “eulogies,” which we’ll, of course, get into.
It’s funny how this show almost — almost — got me feeling bad for the sibling who most directly enabled the election of a fascist president — and then had me cackling at the end when the protesters were pummeling him. This show contains multitudes. Starting with him bombastically rehearsing his failed speech and then ending with that: It’s a great set of bookends for the episode. — Marina
As expected, the biggest poser on this show is Roman — and he proved that once again last night. The whole “not your son, I’ve pre-grieved” shit was classic avoidance. Him saying that he wanted to fuck corpses and other truly inappropriate and disgusting things he said even long before the eulogy grossed me out. All I can think is that this man, this absolute asshole, also needs intense therapy. Breaking down at the podium was just the culmination, but doesn’t ameliorate any of his assholery.
I cackled when Kendall told Roman that he “fucked it.” I mean, all three of them did. Roman just did it more catastrophically. But none of them has ever been able to own up to their fuckery.
I was waiting for the camera to cut to Gerri, whose face was a perfect blend of repulsion and pity. My girl. And Matsson’s “Grim Reaper” comment was well played. None of the siblings should expect any respect from him as he, like each of them, is not a good person. They’ve all fucked each other. Business as usual. — Candice