‘Succession’ premiere: The Roy kids finally get a win over Logan

The Roy children are there to play ball. The first episode of Succession season four sees Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) lined up in their quest to defeat Logan (Brian Cox), delivering the double whammy of skipping Logan’s birthday party and taking Pierce Media Group right under his nose. In this week’s episode of vanity loungethe television podcast of keep watching, hosts Richard Lawson And Chris Murphy breaking down the unification of the Roy children, the end of Tom and Shiv’s marriage, and what exactly happened to Anne Pierce in Maine.

Before they can take on Papa Logan, the Roy kids must find — and get away with — their possibly terrible idea, The Hundred. “Rather than dealing with the most pressing issues in their lives, they’re like, ‘Oh, let’s start a made-up, fake, shitty business that has no way of getting anywhere,'” Murphy notes.

But The Hundred, the Roy children’s new media project, describes it as “understack meets masterclass meets The Economist meets the new yorker”—died on arrival. “It fails ten minutes into the episode,” Lawson notes, while pointing out that it’s a shrewd satire of recent real-life media ventures like Semafor and CNN+.

The abandoned business also serves as a table for the rest of the season. “It was oddly familiar,” Lawson says. “I think that’s such a good characterization of exactly that kind of heir: not heir to a static fortune, but heir to a business.” At first, children want to try building something new. Then, “they dropped this kind of stupid rich kid idea, and then they were like, ‘Oh, we’re rich kids. Let’s just buy this show’s version of the New York Times.

Enter Nan Pierce, the owner of Pierce Media Group. Due to a tip-off from Tom, the Roy children learn that Logan is out to buy him off and decide to get into the game. Played by Tony-winner Cherry Jones, Nan Pierce is diametrically opposed to Logan in her negotiation style, revealing something very true about a certain type of wealthy person. “It’s such a rich thing to be like, ‘Oh, I don’t care about money. It’s below me. And it’s like, no, you’re lying,” Murphy notes. “That might be all you care about, actually.”

The Roy children eventually face off against their father for Pierce Media Group and win with a $10 billion bid. But will their high offer end up biting them in the ass? Either way, it looks like Nan Pierce needs the money, if only to help cover “the Anne disaster in Maine,” no matter what. “What was the disaster in Maine?” Lawson wonders. “Did she run over one of the Kennebunkport bushes on her wooden-sided motorboat?”

In non-business relationships, Tom and Shiv seem to be at the end of the road when it comes to their marriage. Lawson enjoyed the scene in which they seem to stop. “I thought that was quite striking. I don’t think they’re good people, just because they had a moment of weakness and connection,” he says. “Throughout this episode, there were moments that cared for reminding us that these are, at the end of the day, flesh and blood people – who, as Roman says, should probably buy snowmobiles and sushi. They should just have fun, but they can’t.

But will the end of Tom and Shiv’s union affect Tom’s relationship with Logan? If he is no longer legally married to Shiv, if there is no longer a formal bond between them, what is Tom’s position at ATN? We will have to wait and see.

Listen below to hear Lawson and Murphy unbox the season premiere of Succession, and debate who will take over Waystar Royco by the end of the series. For your own questions, comments, and theories from the final season, please email stillwatchingpod@gmail.com.


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