Is Logan Roy Actually Dead and Other Wild “Succession” Season 4 Theories
This article references events in “Succession” season 4, episodes 1-3, and spoilers for previous seasons. Reader discretion is advised.
“Succession” season 4 is here, and the troubled Roy siblings are, much like the Baudelaire orphans, preparing to wrap up their Series of Unfortunate Events. They’ve been tortured by their ageing patriarch, Logan Roy, for three straight seasons, fought each other tooth and nail for the top job, and entered season 4 betrayed, dejected and exiled. (Whether they’ll find much comfort together remains to be seen).
Plenty of theories are swirling on the internet regarding how Jessy Armstrong Jones will choose to wrap up “Succession” and beating the oedipal tragedy of a cliffhanger in season 3 will be tough.
We’ll be speculating from our seats, but we thought we’d turn to people who watch the show frame by frame, analyse micro-expressions and read between the lines for their hot takes. So, here are the most compelling, convincing, and totally rogue Succession season 4 theories brought to us by superfans.
Logan Isn’t Really Dead
Fans have been left shaken and stirred Logan Roy’s seeming demise. Already, “Connor’s Wedding” is being referred to as the series’ “Red Wedding” by fans. They’re, of course, alluding to HBO’s enthusiasm for making any wedding scenes maximally traumatic for fans.
For a quick recap: ten minutes into episode three Logan Roy seemingly… drops dead while in the air. Was he on his way to his firstborn son Connor’s wedding? Of course not! He was en route to Sweden to attempt to sell off Waystar Royco to GoJo tycoon Lukas Matsson.
His kids hear the news over a staticy aeroplane phone. It’s the kind of emotional, gut-wrenching drama “Succession” fans live for as the Roy children stumble through their conflicted goodbyes to a father who may already be dead.
Following the news, the Roy children are literally lost at sea on Connor Roy’s Trump-ified wedding yacht. Kendall drifts about the decks dissociatively, Roman is back at his vulnerable best, holding out hope his dad is alive, and Shiv Roy, played by Sarah Snook in an Emmy-deserving performance, is torn between rage and grief for her not-so-dearly-departed Dad.
Meanwhile, Connor is desperately trying to sure up the only love he has left in his life: his somewhat reluctant fiancé Willa.
As with any dramatic “Succession” moment, theories are swirling about Logan Roy’s death.
Like Roman Roy, some fans are in denial about Logan Roy’s departure, most notably Brian Cox. The actor who has played the patriarch for 3.3 seasons told “Rolling Stone”: “We don’t actually see Logan die. We know about it, we hear about it; but we don’t actually see it. We don’t even know if the body at the end of the episode is Logan’s body.”
Has Logan Roy Decamped to Scotland or Is Brian Cox in Denial?
In our opinion? Brian Cox who plays Logan Roy is dreaming.
“Succession” started with Logan’s brush with death and four years later, his continued health was starting to stretch the limits of credibility. Secondly? “Succession” season 4 was also, in our opinion, in desperate need of some tension. Up until Logan’s death its most viral moment had been an unattractive Burberry handbag.
Three episodes in, the kids and the Waystar Royco board have something to fight over.
Logan’s death also provides opportunity for the cast who thrive in scenes of tenderness, tragedy and distrust, to do what they do best. The best example? Tom Wambsgans’ reaction, played masterfully by Matthew Macfayden. Having lost he’s in the middle of a separation, and with Logan Roy’s death, he’s lost his last tie to the Roy inner circle – unless he can win back his wife’s affections. Wambsgans is torn between self-interest and a seemingly genuine desire to comfort his wife. Meanwhile, Roman has stepped on his relationship with his mentor (and kinky mother figure) Gerri, and is on his own. Finally, Kendall, whose last words to his dad are “I can’t forgive you… but I love you.” is left with his anger. This mingled fury and love has driven Kendall to self-destruct in the past; fans will have to see how he copes.
Redditors, usually relied on for absurd theories, are siding with the Logan is Dead line. Indeed, many are finding it pleasantly fitting. The_flying_failson sums it up nicely: “He died as he lived neglecting his family in the pursuit of getting more money to throw to the pile.”
Logans’ death sets the season up for an epic final story arc, and Brian Cox seems to be the only fan who can’t accept that.
Kerry [Logan’s Girlfriend] Is His Daughter
In the final two episodes of the season, the Roy children find themselves at their mother’s wedding, contemplating the arrival of a fifth sibling. They’ve begun to suspect their 80-something-year-old father is having an affair with his PA Kerry, and the two are actively trying to conceive. This is based on Kerry preparing a smoothie for Logan (the Roy children have fan theories all of their own! Cute!).
While a fifth heir or “hell seed” (Roman’s words) would be unlikely to change the corporate structure at Waystar Royco, at least until toilet trained, introducing a fifth Roy child would cut into Logan Roy’s will. With their father’s capricious affections drastically diminished, this is an unappealing prospect.
But an even less appealing prospect has been offered on Reddit!
Redditors have proposed there already is a fifth Roy — Kerry.
…Why Do They Think This?
u/maryssmith thinks the kids have misread the smoothie.
“The same juices Kerry is giving Logan are also the kind of thing you’d give an elderly man who has had health issues.” She points out it’s Connor who starts the baby-making rumour, the series’ most notorious idiot. Fans believe that drama with Logan’s kids may have caused him to shop around for any missing heirs — landing on Kerry.
Does This Theory “Have Legs”?
Unlikely. It would be a telenovela ending for a show that has always been driven by the character’s internal impulses and motivations, rather than deux ex machine twists of fate, or cheap surprises. There’s also the lecherous comments Logan made to Roman about Kerry’s legs in season 3, episode 9, to consider. Should the daughter rumour be true, those comments would be creepier than they were on the boat, and a particularly dark twist for a series that doesn’t need it. But he’s a pretty gross guy, so we’ll stay tuned.
The Siblings Pair Up With Their Biographer
In season 2, alarm bells ring when writer Michelle Pantsil reaches out to the Roy family to tell them she intends to write a biography of Logan. Cousin Greg is, of course, the only member of the family unwise enough to meet with her. But this could change.
Redditor u/mummifiedghost believes the Roy kids’ “500 foot reputational drop” following their exile from Waystar Royco may leave them desperate and angry enough to turn to Pantsil. Both older Roy siblings have staged impromptu press conferences and have had heated public outbursts. Redditors believe they’ll put their own reputations on the line to destroy their father’s, resulting in a three-way-kamikaze press run spearheaded by Shiv, an ex-democratic PR.
Complete-Departure55 even suggests the cash-strapped Roy kids will “make a movie about everything.”
Will They Spill?
Some Redditors believe their motivates would be malicious, and some believe they may genuinely need the cash. The Roy kids are still loaded, but the attention a biography, or even a movie promises could be attractive. While the Roy kids have their differences, a lifetime of emotional deprivation means one thing: they’re hungry for the limelight. From Kendell’s distressing rapping at his dad’s birthday in season 2, to Shiv’s impromptu press releases and every word that comes out of Roman’s mouth, we know there’s not a lot the Roy children won’t do for love, and short of that attention.
However, they all have bones, some literal, in their closet and with Logan on the way out, risking revealing their own secrets for a cheeky bit of revenge seems unlikely.
Roman Goes Back to Dad
From Reddit, to my Instagram DMs, the internet has zero faith in Roman’s ability to stick by his siblings. In the past, he’s ditched at every opportunity, especially when offered a kind word from his father. He’s unphased by the alt-right direction Waystar Royco is headed (further) in, and was the most reluctant to turn on his dad during the season finale.
Is It Likely?
Definitely. Roman is the only sibling with powerful allies in his dad’s camp. Shiv might have her estranged husband, but Roman has his oedipal crush and mentor Gerri and some saucy chemistry with his dad’s pick for Republican president Jaryd Mencken.
He also has a relationship with Snapchat-style tycoon and potential Waystar Royco acquirer Lukas Mattson, who will play a significant role in season 4.
More importantly, he’s the only sibling genuinely interested in creating “new media.”
In the first episode of season 4, the siblings are ready to take a media platform The Hundred, to market. As soon as Kendall and Shiv get wind that their dad has reopened negotiations with rival left-leaning legacy media company Pierce Global Media, Shiv and Kendall drop The Hundred like it’s hot. Shiv and Kendall are ready to abandon their creative baby, and fight their dad for the acquisition within seconds. Roman is disappointed, rolling his eyes during negotiations which he refers to as “discussing newspapers with an old lady.”
Why? Because Roman wants to run with something new, not take on another stuffy legacy media company. Back in season 2, he seduced “Vaulter” (ahem, Vulture) into bed with Waystar Royco when his brother failed abysmally. He also has a genuine interest in new media platforms — he’s just indifferent to whether they’re being used for evil.
Once Roman accepts his siblings have no intention of doing anything new or interesting, he will have little reason to stay. Plus, he can always charm his way back in.
A highlight from my Instagram dms: “Kendall will pull a Don Draper in Mad Men. Decamp at the last minute, join some commune or move to some kind of country like Norway and start a hippy-dippy organic produce farm.”
Is it Likely?
For Kendall’s sake, we hope so.
Kendall’s Shakespearean Arc Comes to an End
While Logan Roy’s death is so imminent, it hardly merits a “fan theory.” Meanwhile, Kendall’s death has been a looming threat in the tragi-comic world of “Succession” since the first episode. Indeed, threat of his death unified the siblings in the season 3 finale, and he remains the series’ most vulnerable character. In season 3, Kendall was taken to hospital after “one too many limoncellos.” We’ve been rooting, and cringing, for him for three seasons, so we hope not.
Greg Wins in the End
It’s not easy being 6’7 without a spine, but cousin Gregory Hirsch has oozed his way to the lower middle by being taken seriously by approximately nobody. He’s earnt a thirsty following amongst female viewers. If Greg the Egg could win “Succession” on fan support alone, he’d have it in the bag.
In one of many Greg Wins threads titled “Greg will dominate everyone in the end” commenter rao1434 lays out Greg’s strengths in a detailed essay that cites French philosopher Michelle Foucault: “He never tries to wow or overpower people with his use of language the way that folks like Logan (with the obscenities) or Kendall (with the corporate jargon) aim to, and the fact he’s so mumbly and bumbly makes it very easy to write him off as idiotic and inconsequential.”
By being unnotable, Greg accumulates secrets, despite being notoriously terrible at keeping them. Knowledge is power, and the powerful don’t always have the time to accumulate it, making Greg a useful tool and seeming lickspittle for people like Logan, Tom and Kendall. But, ultimately, their dirty laundry is sitting with him, making him possibly the most powerful person in the room.
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