Cousin Greg Has Already Won “Succession” as the Only Likeable Character Left in the Room

Could Cousin Greg win Succession? Fans think it's likely.

This article contains spoilers for Succession, Season 4, Episode 1. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading now.

Since the first season of “Succession,” Cousin Greg, and with him, Nicholas Braun, has become an underdog fan favourites, and surprise sex symbols. Indeed, US sex toy brand Lovense creating a “Greg the Egg” toy that buzzes every time actor Nicholas Braun appears on screen.

Do I need a cousin Greg’s sex toy? No. I need one for Roman. Like a normal person.

Do I agree with Redditors in thinking he’s an oversized shoe-in as a series winner? Absolutely. Gregory Hirsch has gone from greening out in a mascot suit at a theme park in Season 1 to being in the room and not covered in his own vomit in Season 4. If that seems like a small ask, consider the other front runners. Kendall has had several brushes with death, Shiv has repeatedly compromised her ethics, and multiple betrayals have shattered Roman’s plucky and puckish persona.

Meanwhile, Greg has mumbled and bumbled his way to the middle, facing few personal consequences or reputational hits. He’s proven that when stakes are high, it can pay to play dumb.

The Roy siblings are being... boring. Pictured: Kendall, Shiv and Roman Roy negotiating with Naomi Pierce.
The Roy siblings are being business-y (boring) (for now). Image Credit: HBO

State of Play: Succession Season 4

In the first episode of “Succession” Season 4 we find some of our favourite characters notably flat. Roman’s insults are ringing hollow, Tom is finally out from under his wife’s thumb and less compelling and more unpleasant for it, and Shiv, never my personal favourite, has been drained of her fight. There’s a lack of tension in the air, and a lack of humour, the sibs and their dad are headed for war.

Thank goodness, in-bounds Cousin Greg, ready for uncle Logan’s birthday! Here are Greg’s top moments from Succesion, Season 1, Ep 4, accompanied by some wild speculation.

Greg’s First Ep (for Season 4)

Greg’s First Date

We’re moments into Logan Roy’s 84th birthday party. It’s boring, and Greg has brought a date, Bridget. She’s posting to Instagram, asking for selfies, eating too many canapes and carrying a hideous handbag. So far, so Greg.

Greg’s gained some confidence, over the last three seasons. He’s now entitled enough to think he has a place in the room but naive enough not to “get” the politics of being there. Interrogated by Logan’s PA, probable mistress (and possible daughter!) Kerry, Greg continuously misses the point. When asked whether Bridget could be a “hostile corporate asset” brought into a room full of c-suite executives and political pundits during an acquisition bid, he can’t recall his last name for a background check. He also seems stuck on whether cousins get “plus one privilege,” continuously missing the point.

He does think he’s falling for her, though, and patently feels everyone should be as excited as he is!

This is the simple magic of Cousin Greg. Amidst the existential angst, tragedy and sniping, he’s pumped someone wants to have sex with him (relatable!), and he’s unsure how her handbag, or motives for being in the room, could be relevant to the situation.

Greg’s First Sex Tape

Like a schoolboy fresh from his first kiss, Greg joyfully informs Tom he successfully hooked up with his date. The location? One of Logan Roy’s many guest rooms. Never one to miss an opportunity to kick a man when he’s up, Tom informs him there are cameras in every room, and that Logan Roy watches them back each night with a scotch “to make sure nobodies stolen a butter knife.” Greg walks his bragging back, describing a “rummage” and a sexual act that would probably fail to make a priest blush. Oh, the innocence of Greg!

Greg’s First Confession

Cousin Greg confesses his indiscretions to Tom
Greg being Image Credit: HBO

Greg has a knack for not reading the temperature of the room. That’s because Greg has survived by always putting Greg first. Thanks to an unfortunate combination of self-absorption and anxiety, he consistently overestimates the impact his actions have on things. This is what leads Greg to blushingly interrupt an important meeting and request a “private conversation” with Logan about his “rummage” in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

As recounted to Tom, Greg tells Logan he “never intended to soil these halls” and imputes that his date has loose morals and leads him astray. 

When Greg reports back to Tom, he says Logan called him disgusting but, ever the optimist, Greg thinks he may have had a twinkle in his eye. He probably did. Logan Roy is many things, but he’s no priest.

Greg’s date, however, has to go. Greg is of course, too cowardly to explain the situation to her. But, at least he’s honest about it. “I don’t want to see Guantanomo” he whimpers to Logan’s stoic butler-cum bodyguard Colin, who we suspect has seen worse than an angry woman with an ugly handbag storming out of a party. 

Greg’s First Roast

As mentioned, “Succession” Season 4, Ep 1 is short on laughs. Everyone is busy being angry. The script writers may be aware of this as they have Logan complain “nobodies funny anymore” before demanding jokes. Greg’s already working overtime (we bet he’s a Capricorn!) and is eventually forced to respond after Logan’s direct employees offer pathetically weak critiques of their boss.

“You’re mean,” he says flatly, perhaps feeling remorse for his date, probably feeling sorry for himself that he’s unlikely to get another “rummage” in before the night is over. “You scare people, and you’re scaring me right now.” Logan parries back with some nasty comments about Greg’s working-class dad. Greg responds flatly: “Where are your kids?” 

This is an… unexpected slay from Greg. Logan has been indirectly trying to contact his traitorous youngsters all day. There the three irritating elephants in the room, and Greg’s the only person disarming and-or clueless enough to call it. Has Greg the Egg grown a spine?

Greg’s First Win?

Logan Roy with son Kendall enjoying an uneasy car trip in Scotland
Logan’s love for his biological children is as stretched as his suit jackets. Image Credit: HBO

If the rest of the season follows the first episode, Greg will probably be burdened with most of the laughs on the show. 

But could he win it? 

Logan grew up poor in Scotland, and one of his most repeated resentments of his children is that, due to his hard work and cunning, they were raised in wealth he never could have imagined. While he wants them to be ambitious, he’s overcome with resentment whenever they get ahead of themselves. A taste of his love or admiration seems like poison for his kids who inevitably get a kick in the shins whenever they get ahead of themselves.

On the other hand, Greg has a lot in common with Logan. They both grew up poor. Indeed, in the first season of Succession, Greg is so genuinely cash-strapped he’s left penniless when Shiv neglects to pay him back the two dollars she took to get a Coke at the hospital. They were both raised by their mothers, who supported them. Indeed, he’s still providing for his as of season 4.

While Tom makes fun of him for his boat shoes and taking “free” snacks from the Waystar Royco kitchens on his first day on the job, as noted by Succession-watch-watchers, Logan Roy has been spotted wearing his wife’s watch. He doesn’t care about fashion or the accoutrements of wealth in the way his children do.

Greg The Egg Could “Get It” (and Not Just From Vibrator-Toting Fans)

Greg’s faced challenges the Roy siblings haven’t, and he doesn’t have their vulnerabilities. They’re frequently sent into tailspins by their father’s sudden withdrawals of affection. Greg doesn’t need or expect attention from Logan. He’s weathered humiliation because he has no choice and has learnt fast from the worst because he has no options. In the last moments of the episode, Greg shows he knows Logan well enough to assess when, and how far to push him. All while serving the ageing patriarch with a reminder that while his kids aren’t in the room, Greg is.

Could Greg win Succession? While nobodies successfully defined what winning means in this series, probably. And if not, at least we know he’ll keep us laughing.

Succession Season 4 Starts Monday, 27th of March. Stream it on Binge.

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