Expectations are high for Succession’s fourth and final season.
Lauded by critics and viewers alike begins, saying goodbye to the Roys and their cohorts will be difficult.
As the season begins and the dull ache of loss threatens, you’ll be happy to know the Roys are still at each other’s throats, even as time ticks away at a corporate sale of Waystar International.
The Roys have never been great at family-ing, but at the end of Succession Season 3, it was even dourer than expected when alliances shifted, and long-term relationships seemed beyond repair.
Critics were sent four episodes of Succession Season 4, and I’m happy to report that this is one series that will go out long before its flame dies.
In a moving letter to critics accompanying the episodes, creator Jesse Armstrong self-flagellates just a little, wondering how he’s going to say goodbye to the incredible characters he’s created.
He won’t be alone in his grief.
Succession Season 4 takes big swings on screen that deliver beautifully.
Since the show’s inception, people have argued about whether Succession is a comedy or a drama.
The beauty in this show is how creatively writing colorful characters in extraordinary circumstances allows you a lot of latitude in either direction.
Three of the Roy siblings (Kendall, Shiv, and Roman) are seemingly in lockstep against their father for the first time since we’ve been privy to their machinations.
They’ve decided to escape from the belly of the beast to make their own mark on the world, and you can’t help but laugh at them batting around ideas.
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall as Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin were breathing life into those scenes.
The siblings’ insecurities are never more apparent as they try to one-up each other to the point even their one-upmanship is being one-upped.
It almost feels like we might finally discover who they are together.
Of course, on Succession, as in business, there is always another shoe drop. After all, it’s rooted in its title.
Succession has always been and will always be about which child will take the reins when Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is ready to step down.
He’s selling the business, so that would seem solved, but there are a lot of other aspects in the family that work to shake up the multi-billion dollar deal so that anything could happen.
On his birthday, the Roy patriarch doesn’t feel like he’s on top of the world. As his world is changing at his doing, he misses his kids.
Sure, he has spent most of his life pitting them against each other, but they were his constant. As he celebrates another year of life, he’s got eldest son Connor (Alan Ruck), Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), and Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) by his side, and it’s wholly unsatisfying.
So, how will all of those juicy nuggets come together to finish off the story? Only time will tell.
What we do know is that the comedy is wicked and on point, while the drama picks up considerably as the key players and everyone else in their orbit navigate the ever-changing landscape of life and business within the Waystar Royco dynasty.
Succession Season 4’s early episodes are emotionally rich and rewarding in unexpected ways, providing the talented cast with a wealth of material so great it could define their careers.
And that’s all you’re going to get from me. An aura as the season lurches into starting position.
Where’s the enjoyment of big swings if you don’t get to see them for yourself?
This will be a season full of surprises, and you’re going to want to witness them firsthand.
Succession Season 4 premieres on Sunday, March 26 at 9/8c on HBO and HBO Max.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.