‘Succession’ Season 4 Episode 1 Review: ‘The Munsters’ – Spoilers
Even the saddest birthday turns out to be too much for Logan as the kids win the battle, which reignites the war.
(Editor’s note: Included in the following review spoilers for “Succession” Season 4 Episode 1, “The Munsters”.)
Succession sure knows how to take “happy birthday” out of “happy.” After Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) devastating blow last season, the beginning of the end begins with another flashback, this time missing vaginal access or cups of cocktails. Logan (Brian Cox) doesn’t celebrate like his son, though he doesn’t celebrate like he used to. When Succession first premiered, it was Logan’s 80th birthday. The Roy family gathered at the palace in New York before taking helicopters to a fateful softball game. Now, after the fall in Tuscany, there is no warm welcome when Logan comes up in the elevator. His three children are on the other side. His wife Marcia (Hiam Abbass) is in Milan…shopping…forever. The birthday boy shuffles around his many rooms as if seeking an escape, wondering aloud why everyone is so damn happy.
The better question is why not. In the Season 3 finale and the intervening months between now and now, Logan has gotten everything he claims he’s wanted: he’s two days away from earning a huge payday and his personal fortune by selling Waystar Royco to GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård ). She has fended off her children’s hostile takeover attempts time and time again, and is about to acquire her white whale: Pierce Global Media, run by her leftist nemesis Nancy “Nan” Pierce (Cherry Jones). As Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) tells him, “This is it. He landed on the Logan plane. 48 hours and it’s over – congratulations.”
Courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO
But before such greetings prove premature, Logan isn’t happy, and his first question to Tom suggests why: “Did you hear about the rats?” he wonders and admits (as much as a stubborn old man like Logan can) that he misses his kids. Soon after, he flees his own party with his bodyguard and “best buddy” Colin (Scott Nicholson). Her night only goes downhill from here as her birthday dinner at a random restaurant is interrupted due to impromptu negotiations about PGM – she effectively loses the negotiations… or doesn’t she? If you consider the bigger picture, Logan may be the winner again.
“Succession’s” series premiere echoes in “The Munsters.” It’s Logan’s birthday again. Again, his party is not the most important thing. (It may literally be her last priority.) Kendall tries to pull off an acquisition again to impress her father and closes the deal again, only to be brutally undermined by the conclusion that it’s not nearly enough. At the time, Kendall was told that Logan would not step down as CEO despite promising the top job to his first-born son. Today, Kendall’s only birthday communication with her dad comes in the form of a one-sided phone call where Logan screams at his rogue kids, “Congratulations on saying the biggest number, you fucking morons.”
Is Logan a sore loser? Sure. She wanted Pierce, and she wanted it bad. Kendall wasn’t wrong when she called the New York Times-style media company her father’s “decade-long obsession.” But Logan is also right to gauge his children’s tactics: in last-minute negotiations, the Roy “brothers” have no idea how much money they’re spending—it’s telling that Roman, of all people, tries to emphasize the billion dollars—and doesn’t they know or don’t care that Nan is playing them against themselves. They only see revenge and pay three “bills” up to stick it on their father.
Beyond their shrewd business acumen, they don’t realize how their decision to reconnect with Logan will affect their psyches, which seem shockingly healthy at the start of Episode 1. work – he doesn’t send dick pics to Gerri (J. Smith Cameron) or masturbate in his office window. He’s holding a meeting for the brothers’ start-up, The Hundred, “a revolutionary new media brand redefining news for the 21st century.” Is it bullshit, as Shiv (Sarah Snook) later claims? Totally. Anything with the word “boutique” in the pitch pack and aimed at “clickbait but for smart people” probably isn’t destined for greatness. But still, Roman seems to have spent those three months working—spending personal capital, signing authors and courting investors—rather than licking his wounds.
Courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO
The same goes for Kendall. Let’s not forget the last time we saw him the second coming of Weird Al, one day removed from floating face down in a pool. He then had an emotional breakdown at his mother’s wedding and could barely stand up. Just a few months ago, Kendall was broke and could have been broke for another failed coup. Instead, he walks into the Pacific Palisades mansion and screams “Romey!” and made jokes about torturing journalists. (Yes, that stung.) Kendall looks good — really good — and it can’t be a coincidence that this satisfaction comes after three months of acrimonious separation from her toxic father.
Can she, Shiv and Roman have a good time now that they’ve had a taste of revenge? Maybe, but the forced laughter after Logan’s verbal backstabbing predicts a much less cheerful future. After all, the CEO of Waystar Royco is going to be a very rich man over time. With the GoJo sale going through and PGM not being his new toy, what else will Logan have to do but confuse the wayward kids who miss him so much? Logan always wanted a worthy opponent—that’s the only way his victories carry anything—and he also wanted at least one of his children to rise to the challenge. Stealing a PGM isn’t exactly proof that they’re ready to pounce, but they’ve poked the bear, and that bear likes to fight back.
“Succession” Season 4 should test the Roy trio’s newly formed bond; They once came together to act as one against their father, but can they keep their relationship together after decades of being pitted against each other by a diabolical puppet master? Season after season, we’ve seen Kendall, Shiv, and Roman try to cooperate with each other, protect each other, be there as brothers should be, only to fall victim to a temptation that lies at the core of their being – and they’re quite purposeful. by their father. Even after this week’s successful (if less than brilliant) triumph, the fractures are evident.
Right buckle up, chatters. Our most recent birthday is just the beginning.
Courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO
Bridget Randomfuck, we barely knew each other. Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) date on Logan’s birthday proves to be exactly the kind of tension-relieving, insult-inducing break that Episode 1 needed, allowing everyone from Tom to Kerry (Zoe Winters) to take a hit (or six) on the unsuspecting woman. “from applications.” Hearing Tom’s criticisms— right now of her handbag — is as close to a warm reception as “The Succession” can get (and her “carrying flat shoes on the subway” brought the house down at the series’ New York premiere).
Still, I have to wonder how far Tom’s destruction went: It’s easy to believe that Logan has security cameras “out the wazoo” in his own home, but he doesn’t review the footage from the final shot of Episode 1. (He’s watching ATN.) So Tom got Greg to tell Logan that he’s “making it happen” just to hook up with his favorite Sporus? Or was he really looking for the foolish little man, knowing that the ribbon would eventually be marked as the master of the house? I’d have to lean towards the former, but please share your thoughts.
Shiv Show at the Fuck Factory
From the Disgusting Brothers to Tom’s Other her romantic relationship, her marriage to Shiv, seems not to. After last season’s betrayal(s), not only did the two go their separate ways, but now it looks like Shiv is locked in a divorce by getting Pierce. Nan – who, we must say, sucks – mentioned how messy it would be for Shiv to marry an ATN executive and without missing a beat promised divorce proceedings. (A claim that raised Kendall’s eyebrows, if not Roman’s.)
At the end of the episode, she wakes Tom to take more stuff out of their apartment, remind Mondale of how he smells, and tell her hurt husband it’s over, cutting off any attempts to discuss their problems. Coupled with his repeated need for independent protection in Los Angeles — telling his brothers, “I’ve got to take care of myself because no one else will” (and in case Roman “gets his tail in an AI machine,” which is of course quite a likely cause for concern) – Shiv is ready to fly solo, or at least he’s about to. Not trusting your brothers, your father or your husband does that to you, although it’s hard to believe that Shiv will ever be able to divorce Roy, even if he can divorce Tom.
Do you have a joke?
Logan’s request for a roast may not have gone over well (although I’m proud of Greg for giving it a real try), but it’s the perfect excuse to honor Part 1’s funniest fling. Maybe I’m biased by how much I despise Nan—there’s something about her smug superiority complex that gets under my skin—but I have to take two bald-faced jabs at Roman for her fake ignorance:
“I know, it’s so confusing,” she says when Nan pretends to be pressured by offers of “eight or nine” billion. “What comes after nine? 9B?”
And lest we forget the opening insult, after Nan pretends to have a headache before “feeling better” and agrees to meet them: “Okay, we can talk to an old lady about the papers. Amazing.”
The best line still airing on ATN
Shout out to Justine Lupe as Willa for cracking a subtle joke on Connor’s frenzied trajectory to an extreme wedding. After asking her bride-to-be if she’d be okay with ‘bum fights’ on her big day — you know, for the free publicity — Willa reverently stutters, “I always… I mean, it’s stupid, but she wanted the beautiful wedding.”
Dare to dream, Willa. Dare to dream.
“Succession” Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.
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