‘Succession’ Season 4 Episode 5 Review: ‘Kill List’ – Spoilers

After wrestling ogres to the death atop a real mountain, the Roys’ B-roll brothers manage to bleed the Swede out – but to what end?

(Editor’s note: Included in the following review spoilers for “Succession” Season 4 Episode 5, “Kill List”.)

And on the third day Shiv resurrects.

Last week (or yesterday in the “succession” timeline) Logan Roy’s only daughter took over and literally failed. She watched her brothers ascend to their father’s CEO seat while she sat uncertainly, wondering if Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) would keep their promise to respect the siblings’ equal status. Coupled with the “good news” from her doctor about her nearly five-month-old embryo and the manipulative comforts of her soon-to-be husband (in hopes of keeping her job), it had been a rough day – even before the insult. injured when Shiv tripped and fell on his father’s unofficial trail.

But that was last week. Or yesterday. Whatever. Today, Shiv (Sarah Snook) is smiling again. Smiling, she enters her brothers’ shared office to plan their trip to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgärd). She giggles in her PJs when Kendall offers to “cut Tom’s throat” (as a “good thing” for her), and even has a nice grin when Lukas greets her with a sexual-harassment joke. (“Will I sue if I hug you?” she asks. “Maybe,” says Shiv. “Would you like to know?”) She more than holds out in their private lives, which is no small task when the man who’s about to buy your company starts talking about “frozen blood bricks.” Shiv is laid-back and confidant, ready for Royco to crash GoJo’s corporate retreat in a way his brothers won’t, despite the “death grappling ogres” preparing for their grand trial.

So it’s no surprise that at the end of the episode, he’s the only sibling still smiling. Yes, technically Kendall and Roman achieve what they set out to do. Even more. They bid five points higher than Lukas’ initial number and 48 points higher than their own success rate. That the bubbly proposal includes ATN, the segment Logan (Brian Cox) originally intended to keep, is troubling—Lukas adamantly refuses to explain why he needs the news network for “angry old people”—but doesn’t stop Gerrit (J. Smith-Cameron) and Royco’s surviving co-workers from goofing off.

While Frank (Peter Friedman), Hugo (Fisher Stevens) and a happy pink Karl all end up on GoJo’s kill list, Kendall and Roman were actually GoJo who they really wanted to cut down. For the eldest brother, this is not surprising. Kendall is enjoying life on the throne. If it wasn’t clear when he was grinning maniacally while blackmailing Hugo for closure in Episode 4, it’s even more obvious when he storms into the office, barking out brazen orders and blasting Jay-Z’s “Takeover.” (The song choice also throws off Kendall’s state of mind, as a hard-hitting record number is hardly what someone puts on when they’re ready to give up control.)

Like so many other moments in Season 4 so far, the opening of Episode 5 hearkens back to the pilot, with Kendall blasting the Beastie Boys into her headphones to amp up her takeover of the Vaulter. Then he was upset, pounding the back of the seat in front of him with his fist and taking a drag on his cigarette to calm himself down before going to work. He’s calm now. Insured. Dad isn’t there to take back what was once promised to Kendall, and the anointed but never named heir steps in Royco and enjoys his unchecked authority.

Well, almost uncontrollably. Roman is already there, meeting with his team to prepare for GoJo. Notably, neither son is willing to sit in their father’s chair, but for now, this reflects mutual respect rather than shyness. They have each other’s backs and still do during their encounters with Lukas. Upon hearing his first offer, the B-roll brothers are too tight. They’re so over-prepared that they can’t imagine anything he’ll say that they’re not ready for, yet that’s exactly what Lukas expects. (“Nice file,” he quips when Roman tries to praise his soccer club.)

Succession Season 4 Episode 5 Alexander Skarsgard Lukas Matsson


Courtesy of Graeme Hunter/HBO

Lukas is an agent of chaos. You win negotiations by confusing and defeating your opponent, which is how Kendall and Roman feel after hearing a “joke” offer for “a single dollar,” Lukas’s surprise insistence on including ATN, and then a massive $1.87 per Share. Director Andrj Parekh brings you uncomfortably close to the steadfast faces of Kendall and Roman. They remain speechless and retreat while their attacking opponent still looms over the battlefield. (Again, an excellent blend of Parekh’s intelligent framing and Skarsgärd’s physical performance.)

But it’s the second meeting – seemingly another loss – that gets them back on track. After Lukas calls Kendall and Roman a “respectable band” to their rock star father, it’s game over for Kendall. He finishes, pretends to sell it, and tells Roman that they need to close the deal. For Kendall, it’s all upside down: she can either keep the company, keep her father’s seat and prove she’s always been worth it, or watch it all burn to the ground. Of course, she risks a “500-meter drop in fame” if things go south, but Kendall has hit rock bottom before. He is no longer afraid of her.

The non-confrontational Roman feels differently, but agrees to support his brother, and Lukas pokes him one too many times, attacking the unsuspecting Swede with a wild boar. “Remember when you asked my father when he was going to die?” says Roman and angrily walks up to Lukas. It’s clear that her hatred for the crazy tech mogul has been brewing for some time now, and she’s letting it all out. “You fucking killed him,” Roman says. “You inhumane, fucking dog-man.” By the time he finishes his “negotiation tactic”—telling Lukas he’ll never be sold simply because Roman “f***ing hates” the guy—the ensuing fallout feels worth it. Bad as the Roys are – and they are bad “Lukas, he’s worse at the moment.” He tries to bend them over a barrel to buy a mere for the company two days after their father died and did not go to them, did not wait for the funeral and did not express condolences. (He used his own father’s suicide to win a trauma competition that he initiates.)

In a battle of bad guys fighting for lots and lots of billions, Roman’s outburst is glorious and Culkin handled it brilliantly. Even better, it proves that this exact tactic is necessary to get Lukas paid, if only because it further complicates the back half of the final season of “Succession.” Kendall and Roman don’t want to sell. They want to keep the leading position, but the road to that has become much more difficult. Meanwhile, Shiv wants to sell him and he is in a similar wildcard state as Lukas.

Shiv heads to Norway to close the deal, and – unlike his rebellious, two-faced brothers, “majestic stags fighting their memory foam hard-ons” – returns with a lucrative offer and a new ally in Lukas Matsson. . While you should never trust a man who readily admits that he “likes to screw up,” whether it’s billion-dollar acquisitions or mailing frozen bodily fluids to his ex-girlfriend/head of communications, having a powerful madman in your corner is still an added value. force. What will you choose with him? Will he help Lukas get his own starring role in the revamped GoJo? Does he burn to help his siblings and maintain the brotherly pseudo-harmony? And what to do with Tom, a man with whom she had always loved to trifle, and who had never had more barbarous thorns to boast of?

It’s hard to say. I’d argue that even Shiv doesn’t really know his long-term intentions. But it’s good to see him smiling again.

grade: A-

Succession Season 4 Episode 5 Tom Greg Matthew Macfadyen

Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen in The Succession

Courtesy of Graeme Hunter/HBO

Greg Sprinkles

Greg is dancing. This is it. That’s all there is to say about Greg this week, but here’s your necessary shout-out to “The Quad Squad’s” lame attempt. (OK, OK, Lukas’ quip when he found out who Greg was — “Are there any more of them?!” — is the only moment I liked Lukas all episode. Perfect burn.)

Tommy with a rope

I don’t know about you there is to admire Tom’s martyr-like courage in the face of near-certain destruction, but…yeah? Imagine sitting down to talk to a psychotic techie—hopefully to save his livelihood – and that’s all he can offer as a topic of discussion… when he once talked about cargo pants? In a way, he’s just as crazy as Lukas often is, so maybe he’s just hoping for points from his bile, but that doesn’t matter in the end. Tom only cares about Shiv – not that he knows.

Well, it kind of is. Before the flight, Tom tells Greg that he is not worried about Matsson or the Viking crew; “Worried about getting caught by Bugsy Malone” cast, i.e. the Roy brothers. And you have a right to worry. Kendall and Roman throw it out of the plane as a parting gift for their sister. Lukas later suggests that he will do the same. But Shiv parries me every time. She keeps him alive only to pull pigtails on the playground — aka kick dirt on his dazzling white sneakers — and invite him to dinner on the way home from PJ. You’ll get your name off the kill list simply by withholding your name next the kill list, while reserving the right to do so at any time for any reason.

Take care, Tommy. This rope is only getting thinner and thinner.

Do you have a joke?

“As a kind of joke about what not to do, I sent him some of my blood.” Half a liter of frozen blood bricks, says Lukas. “I just did it…it became a joke, then a joke again, and now it’s apparently not a joke.”

In the immortal words of Shiv Roy, “First of all: Good!”

The best line yet to air on ATN

“If a business crashes in the woods and no one hears, is it a violation of the SEC?” – Roman

“Succession” Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.

Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *