HBO’s Succession season 4 is set to release in Spring 2023, giving way to a new era in the show’s power dynamics and perhaps its most ambitious season to date. Season 3 received some of the series’ highest praise, taking home the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. After a finale that created some of the most significant upheavals in the Roy family, Succession’s newest venture will likely be more compelling than anything they’ve done before.
Picking up where season 3 left off, the new teaser trailer for Succession season 4 begins with the words of patriarch Logan Roy: “Everything I try to do, people turn against me.” In the season 3 finale, Kendall, Siobhan, and Roman try to stop Logan from selling the company to tech CEO Lukas Mattson only to realize that Logan has already locked them out of the deal by changing the terms of his divorce agreement with his ex-wife Caroline Collingwood. When Shiv questions who would’ve told Logan about their plan, she realizes too late that it was her own husband, Tom Wambsgans. This betrayal sets the stage for Succession season 4, when, ostracized from their father’s plans, the siblings band together into a “rebel alliance” as Connor jokes in the teaser. Logan Roy is undoubtedly still on top, but the power dynamics could very well shift in season 4.
Over time the Roy children have proposed the idea that by working together, they could take down Logan. However, as confident as they’ve been, they might have missed their window, making things a lot more difficult going forward. In season 3, Succession’s Kendall Roy tried to rally the siblings under his flag and failed, succumbing to his old vices and even trying to drown himself after realizing that he couldn’t do it alone. The end of season 3 finds Kendall in a very vulnerable place, breaking down to confess his role in the waiter’s death in season 1. Being that Logan held this over Kendall’s head in the past, one could expect that the consequences might still come back to him. Regardless of their determination, it would seem the trio has lost a lot of their leverage heading into Succession season 4. However, as Logan’s health continues to decline, more opportunities might present themselves to emphasize the future of the company. Stopping him from selling the company to Mattson and Gojo is no doubt a race against time.
Tom and Greg have made perhaps Succession’s biggest progression in terms of power. In the season 3 finale, Tom asks Greg, his frequent partner and confidant, if he wants to make a “deal with the devil,” foreshadowing his move to side with Logan. Tom had already solidified his relationship with Logan in season 3 after offering to take the fall for the Cruises Department incident and go to prison. Now that Tom and Greg have both escaped their incarcerated fate, their future at Waystar Royco is looking optimistic. However, Tom’s betrayal of Shiv will no doubt create an even larger set of issues, pushing him to decide where his loyalty lies.
All said, Succession’s creators have proven season after season that they have the ability to continue raising the stakes and confronting audience expectations in unexpected ways. These expectations, undoubtedly, have grown larger as the series continues to bring in not only more viewers, but more awards and recognition. However, writer Jesse Armstrong assures viewers that « the level of ambition for the quality of the next season would be utterly the same whether we’ve received more, or fewer or none. » (via THR) It appears the ambition of the characters will match the writers in season 4.
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