Inside the “Succession” Season 4 Premiere & Logan Roy’s Bummer of a Birthday

It shouldn’t be all that surprising that Logan Roy (Brian Cox) would be a dour birthday boy. Succession’s fourth season premiere began with the big guy taking center stage in a birthday celebration at his house. He was less than cheerful. The reason why was clear, even if he’d never admit it.

A house party, however, is a perfect way for Succession creator Jesse Armstrong and director Mark Mylod to get a bunch of the show’s most important characters together in a single room as everyone tries to avoid Logan’s wrath and close a deal (of course Logan’s working on a deal during his birthday party) with a hated former rival. There’s just one catch—his children are going to rain on his parade in every way they can. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, three of Logan’s kids are having a fine old time thousands of miles from Logan and his bummer birthday bash. Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kiernan Culkin), and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) are gathering for their own kind of party as they’re about to pitch their new media venture, TheHundred, to some deep-pocketed potential investors. This is before they see an opening to ruin their father’s big day with even more panache than their mere absence.

The disparity in moods at these gatherings was stark. At Logan’s birthday, the overall vibe was uncomfortable tension as the partygoers walked on eggshells around the moody lion. In California, however, the Roy siblings are…getting along? Yes, quite well, actually, and while they still let fly the barbs that are one of Succession‘s hallmarks and the lingua franca of the Roy family, there’s a warmth and a unity here that’s been unusual for this oft-squabbling siblings.

“Their manner of interrelating is harsh jokes,” creator Jesse Armstrong confirms in a new “Inside the Episode” featurette from HBO. Yet there’s something surprisingly loving happening between the kids, too.”Though there has been a ton of conflict between them in this show…when the three of them get together, they can find those moments of connection.”

“They’re so rare, those moments of unity, aren’t they?” says the episode’s director, Mark Mylod. “When we find them, they do tend to be memorable.” Mylod goes on to say one of the things he loved about season four’s premiere is that for Kendal, Shiv, and Roman, there was “a sense of them having a second childhood.”

According to the man himself, the absence of his own kids at his birthday party is the source of Logan’s sour mood. “I think he thought his children would be there; it’s that simple,” Cox told The Hollywood Reporter. “He wanted the party to happen. But that’s Logan’s problem: He loves his kids. He’d be a lot happier if he didn’t love these kids, if he actually just really treated them with the contempt that I think at times they deserve, and he doesn’t do that.

“He’s obviously in a bad place with three of his kids, and if he was asked if he cared, he’d say no, but his every gesture suggests otherwise,” says Armstrong in the video.

The premiere pivots around the Roy kids’ realization that their father, only 48 hours from his company WayStar being bought by the tech behemoth GoJo, is about to purchase Pierce Media. The Roy children have a natural in with the Pierce matriarch, and they set up a meeting to try and buy the company right out from under their father. Once again, it’s a battle between Logan Roy and his increasingly confident offspring. It results in a swiftly moving seventy minutes of delicious drama, and provides the rarest of treats—it seems like the kids have the upperhand on their dear old dad. Yet we know that Logan Roy has been unbeatable when it comes to the long game

It’s also the beginning of the end as we inch closer to the finale of one of the best series on television. Check out the “Inside the Episode” here:

For more on Succession, check out these stories:

Critics Say “Succession” Season 4 Sees The Series Going Out on Top

“Succession” Trailer Teases The Roy Family Battle Royale in 4th and Final Season

“Succession” Season 4 Has Begun Filming in New York City

“Succession” Composer Nicholas Britell Goes Behind Season 3’s Score

Featured image: Brian Cox, Matthew Macfadyen. Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO


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