Successor revealed: episode 4 review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In the aftermath of Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) death, there is a lot to unpack as the siblings continue to rally, mostly, together. The highlight of this season so far has not only been the stellar acting but seeing the siblings come together and support each other. 

As many fans theorised, Shiv (Sarah Snook) is pregnant, opening the episode with the reveal, which promises some interesting payoff given that Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) is looking for a way back into the siblings’ good graces now that his protector is gone. Finally, a successor is named (although it is temporary), with Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) agreeing to be joint CEOs of Waystar Royco after it was discovered Logan wished Kendall would succeed him. It makes sense for the narrative of the show given the growth and skills of the Roy brothers. They do promise to keep Shiv involved in an act of solidarity to maintain their alliance. The sibling alliance is one of the more intriguing parts of the season, and I’m wondering just how long that will last. When Logan’s wishes for Kendall to succeed him come to light, Shiv immediately turns on her brother and plants doubt if that was what their father would want. The strong point of the alliance is Roman and Kendall, as they come together and express their concerns for each other’s leadership, but not in a way to sabotage, more to find the best outcome. They are honest with each other and are not afraid of having frank conversations, which will possibly set up an interesting dynamic that is no doubt going to end in some form of betrayal.

Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.

One of the more memorable moments of the episode comes from the long-awaited return of Marcia (Hiam Abbass), who is hosting a sit-down after Logan’s death for everyone to gather. In a harsh but satisfying moment, Marica expels Kerry (Zoe Winters) in such a cold and cruel way that Logan would have admired it, but it will leave viewers cheering. There is a ruthlessness about Abbass’s performance that pairs perfectly with the distraught performance of Winters, but it also shows how powerful and cold Marcia is and why she is a formidable but perfect match for Logan, and it proves she can handle herself and be the killer that Logan desperately wanted his children to be.

The episode is an excellent follow-up to Logan’s death and shows different struggles for power. From the more seasoned Waystar employers of Gerri, Karl, and Frank, the siblings Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Tom try to secure their positions. Frank shows his loyalty to the siblings in a great balance of corporate and friendly relationships with Kendall, while everyone else is in it for themselves to some extent.

Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.

While the episode is a great continuation of the previous, the only thing that takes away from an otherwise perfect episode is Greg. Every actor gives a layered and perfect performance except Braun, who gives more of the same bumbling from the pilot, showing that Greg and his performance have not had any improvement or development. There is a moment when Greg assumes he will be the number two, causing Frank to laugh out loud and the viewer as well. While every other character, even Colin, who has no lines, contributes something to the story, Greg does not. There is nothing to him for the overall plot other than mumbling through lines and taking you out of an otherwise immersive follow-up.

The MVC goes to Kendall Roy not only for Jeremy Strong’s impeccable performance but for how Kendall is able to confront the siblings honestly and openly, reclaiming alliances, and for his willingness to accept his flaws and accept help. More than that, we see Kendall as a killer and embrace his time as CEO in what promises to be a ruthless CEO role for Kendall.

Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s