Just when you think the Roys have been through it all, another surprise comes their way. In the opening moments of “Honeymoon States,” episode four of Succession’s fourth season, Shiv (Sarah Snook) takes a call from her doctor the morning after her father’s death, confirming that she’s Pregnant.
In real life, Snook revealed at the Succession premiere that she’s also expecting a baby—leading Still Watching hosts Richard Lawson and Chris Murphy to wonder whether life merely imitates art, or if Shiv’s Pregnancy was by design. But either way, this development works for the show, complicating not only Shiv’s ambitions but also her relationship with Tom (Matthew Macfadyen).
Shiv’s major news has to take a back seat, though—because, as always on Succession, there’s business to attend to. Most of the action of the episode centers around a single pencil mark on a page, as Frank, Gerri, Karl, and the Roy siblings try to determine whether Logan (Brian Cox) meant to underline that he wanted Kendall (Jeremy Strong) to take over as CEO in the case of his untimely demise, or if he meant to cross Kendall’s name out entirely. “The point is that we’re never gonna know,” notes Lawson. “The point is the ambiguity, which leads to this polite-ish war of the wills in terms of who’s gonna step up.”
Somewhat miraculously, the two who are chosen by the episode’s end are Kendall and Roman. For all his foibles leading up to this moment, Kendall seems to be shining in the wake of his father’s death, stepping up to the plate in a way that previously seemed impossible for the prodigal son. “Kendall is really clicking in this episode, despite him still seeming very fraught,” Lawson says, though he still thinks something more nefarious might be at play. “I think Kendall is gonna become his father—like, his father’s ghost is gonna possess him,” he adds, pointing to the end of the episode—when Kendall asks Hugo to tarnish his father’s legacy.
Elsewhere in the Still Watching episode, Lawson and Murphy talk to public relations maven Risa Heller about how she’d advise the fictional Roy family in the aftermath of Logan’s death. “What I would say is, they would have to either say immediately, here’s who’s running the company in the interim, or announce the new governance structure,” she says, noting how bizarre it was that Shiv gave a public statement right after her father died.
“That, to me, was an insane thing to do,” Heller says. “Because first of all, practically, if you’re a human and your parent dies, who wants to go stand in front of 20 cameras and microphones to be like, ‘Our father died’? It’s a very weird thing to do, number one. Number two, there was no need for them to actually do that. They could have just put out a statement.”
Unfortunately, it looks like the PR foibles are just beginning for the growing Roy family. Listen to the latest episode of Still Watching to hear Lawson and Murphy discuss the fourth episode of Succession season four, and how the Roys handled the aftermath of their father’s death. For your own questions, comments, and final-season theories, please email email@example.com.