When The Godfather Part II hit theaters, film critics and audiences were initially doubtful that Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone could carry the mafia saga without Marlon Brando’s Vito. Certainly, young Pacino was superb in The Godfather, but he was not the lead. When the sequel hit theaters in December of 1974, it was clear that the saga still had much to offer. SUCCESSION’s remaining episodes appear to be analogous to the quality of that mafia tale. Despite the demise of one of television’s most visceral characters, SUCCESSION still has a powerful presence. “Honeymoon States” resumes twenty-four hours after one of the most shocking events in television history.
S4E4 opens with the “core Roy kids” preparing to meet with family and board members at their late father’s Manhattan brownstone. While mourning in bed, Shiv receives a call from her doctor. She receives a clean bill of health but learns that she is pregnant. Kendall is weathered and unshaven, curled in a corner in his bedroom. Roman, who had the most uneven emotions in the last episode, appears to be the calmest. All arrive at the brownstone in seemingly a better state of mind. Here, Marcia makes her first appearance since last season. Kendall, Shiv, and Roman are cordial to wife number three. Kendall is skeptical about Marcia’s claim that she and Logan talked for hours nightly. Connor arrives and after embracing his siblings, he greets Marcia and the two agree (via a 19th-century-esque spit handshake) that the Brownstone will be Connor’s for $63 million. Real estate deals at someone’s home before their eulogy is something indicative of the Roy family.
It is never revealed how, but Frank ascertains an undated, unsigned, and nonnotarized document in Logan’s safe. He alerts Gerri and Karl to its presence. The trio subsequently mulls over the idea of not informing the Roys, but ultimately decides to reveal the discovery. Kendall has been named as Logan’s successor….well, sort of. Kendall’s name is indeed on the document, however, it is unclear if his name is underlined or crossed out with a pen. Also, the document is not notarized, so it’s not valid(?)
Kendall, Shiv, and Roman seclude themselves to discuss the news. Here we see that no matter how close the siblings become, business will always trump personal feelings. When Shiv makes the valid observation that Kendall’s name may be crossed out instead of underlined, Kendall coldly responds “Well, it sure as fucking shit didn’t fucking say Shiv.” Since Roman once served as COO, it is collectively but reluctantly decided that Kendall and Roman will run the company as co-CEOs.
Despite the brothers’ promise to keep Shiv in all major decisions, we know that shit will continue to hit the Waystar fan. Just before the episode concludes, Kendall makes a decision that is vindictive as his betrayal of his father at the end of Season 2. Kendall and Roman turn down a plan by the Public Relations department to launch a campaign that questioned Logan’s judgment in the months leading up to his death. Roman immediately shuts this notion down, and seemingly Kendall follows suit. However, Kendall secretly orders the execution of the plan.
Coming off of one of the greatest hours of a drama series, SUCCESSION has not lost a step, even without the profound presence of Logan Roy. SUCCESSION returns on April 23, 2023, at 9:00 PM ET on HBO.