On closer inspection fourth and final season of Successionmost likely the serie The best HBO of the last ten years (and one of the most beautiful in general), finished last week in its subtitled version and available from tonight on Sky Italia and NOW in its dubbed version, is the neatest of the entire show.
Jesse Armstrong has always decided to tell the story of the Roy family in micro and macro events, thus choosing never to dwell on the everyday life of his characters, but leaving the viewer only the possibility of imagining them away from the cruel game of massacre that has become the passage of deliveries between King Logan and his three sons (the fourth was never a factor).
Meetings, mega boards, elections, presentations, weddings, birthdays and… funerals. Worldliness daughter of most extreme capitalism and which uses to fill the void of the European one with money “that always wins” because it represents everything for those who participate. Freudian marker, which brings us back to the primordial virility contests that are held as children, an Oedipal curse that transforms men in ties and with the world in their hands into pimply boys who use to confront their genitals to understand who should hit on the girl on duty. In these contexts fragility is weakness and humanity is an uncomfortable subject of discussion.
Each sequence of the series becomes a place of deep revelation for all the actors involved, but also a way to set the television gaze on the story to tell, using the language of the Shakespearean thriller to frame a hypothetical Murdoch dynasty. A dynasty where a son can legitimately be afraid that his father will poison his nephew only for a vile blackmail.
The wonderful last act does not betray this leitmotif, plumbing the narrative even more clearly and, relying on the wisdom of the staging, reaches heights never reached before with the previous seasons. So he gives us the only possible ending for a series that has always had the gaze, pace and thoughts of the master father, the man of facts, creator of life. profane deity. And, you know, deities aren’t known for treating their children well.
Recovering, as for the previous endings, a quotation from what is obviously one of his favorite poems (Dream Song 29 by John Berryman), Armstrong decides to name thelatest episode of Succession (an hour and a half, the longest of the series) With Open Eyes, sentencing the will to produce parallels with a poem symbol of a tormented paternal relationship and somehow anticipating the ending. Started with the realization of Roman (“We are bullshit“) and ended with Kendall’s yearning gaze (Jeremy Strong).
In the aftermath of the king’s funeral and the collapse of his Romulus (Kieran Culkin), event he sentenced as Logan (Brian Cox) has never been more influential on the fate of his company than now that it’s gone. The rift between the brothers is incurable with the two boys on one side and the matron Shiv (Sarah Snook) on the other, divided by the Swedish tycoon Lukas (Alexander Skarsgard), a successful bluff and therefore their exact opposite.
The turning point comes in the maternal home, where the last offense to the redheaded protagonist is consummated, the most tormented character because she is forced to constantly mirror herself with her weaker counterpart, who in some cases doesn’t even have her lineage, but always has something in common. more than her, the penis.
The most representative face of this large group is that of Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), coincidentally the one Lukas chose to supplant her and become CEO in her place. The one who most of all Shiv hurt on her way to maternal emancipation and the one who most of all ended up hurting her on her way to becoming her equal. Linked by a son, who will be the symbol of the definitive succession.
Dealer blows it Greg (Nicholas Braun) and this unites the little brothers again who decide to elect Kendall as the new King. An oxymoronic operation in terms: how can a king be elected? A king must be recognized, Logan would say, otherwise it is not credible in itself. The triumph of Kendall’s curse, who in fact is betrayed by Shiv herself in a final confrontation/clash that brings us back to those boyish disagreements mentioned above and which are, in the case of the trio, the symbol of their broken, broken, pathetic and terribly fragile. The face of the sins of the fathers.
Succession 4, the review of the first episodes: towards the end of a masterpiece
The worthy heir
Tom and Greg symbolize the ability to reinvent and twist an extraordinary series (sorry, we’ll say it whenever we can).
They are the two outsiders, both aggregated to the family, who become the emblem of the corruption of the system they have entered and therefore a sort of ferry couple for the viewer. Our very personal Charon, those who should constitute a clear and external gaze and who instead become the driving force and the most skilled players in the game of succession. Where you either win or die.
In fact they are the worthy heirs of Logan’s spirit, certainly more so than his children, the latter incapable because they are emotionally malfunctioning, made creaky because torn between great paternal affection and great resentment, both equally nourished by fear and mistreatment. But not the two of them.
Greg is the purest in this regard. A true social climber who doesn’t feel any affection for any of his relatives Roy and who relates to anyone only in order to increase his economic well-being. Tom gets it right away. Tom who is perhaps the best character in the series.
He loves Shiv, marries her above all for this, and only immediately after their conjugal union does he begin to realize that the woman he would have wanted as an ally is another adversary to tame. The frustration of feeling her leads him to deny the very idea of having a child with her, completely disillusioned and therefore refocused on himself. This certainly doesn’t make him a victim, on the contrary, more than once (like Greg) he reaches the most despicable bases, getting trampled on by anyone.
The best character and for long stretches the weakest. Bipolar until the third episode of this last season, the most beautiful of all Succession and one of the best of the 21st century, when he is the one who acts as a physical link between the brothers and their dad before he takes his last breath.
Succession: the mocking finale of a great tragicomedy of our times
“You are not serious people”
The timing of the tragedy is essential to the series Jesse Armstrong. Everything becomes believable only when it is framed in a television metric that passes, exactly, for directing, acting and editing. In the social events we have mentioned, everything takes the form of a dramaturgical dance, which moves the dancers according to an almost consequential choreographed rhythm. Once a duel/dialogue/duet ends, another one is triggered and so on. There’s usually a few isolated solos either in a closed room or when we enter the dance floor, following a specific character.
Timing is of the essence in Succession because only a change of pace at the right moment will allow the viewer to raise the degree of involvement and tension. That alone will allow the dance tail to rev up.
A tyrannical dance that has always led Logan, whose power is sublimated at the moment of departure. The series finale it is his triumph. The decisive awareness for all of his children (Connor had put down the helmet to take the hand of his betrothed the same night of the last meeting with his father) violent and theatrical, as in any self-respecting drama. The physical confrontation with the fall of a phony king, never been able to convince his subjects, let alone his rival suitors, who undermine him once again.
The open eyes are those of Shiv, who opens them wide at the moment of the vote, those of Roman who understands that the doubts that his father has always had towards them are more than founded, those of Kendall, who stares at the same sea that ever so attracted, as he processes his smallness.
The open eyes of the finale of Succession they are those of Logan, who metaphorically reopens them from the coffin of the previous episode, to look at his ultimate success and ultimate guilt. He condemns her for his children, cursed because they are offspring of a pagan deity.
The latest episode of Succession marks his entry into the Olympus of seriality, reaching the culmination of a sublime last season. It is both an almost perfect conclusion, perhaps the only possible one, and an extraordinary representation of the spirit of the whole series. An hour and a half that flies by without the viewer noticing, thanks to the extraordinary pace and sublime acting of all the performers.
Because we like it
- The ending it gives is practically perfect.
- The closure of the character arcs is extraordinary.
- One of the most powerful and significant installments of the series.
- The longest episode and one of the most breathtaking.
- Despite being the longest episode and one of the most breathtaking, unfortunately it is the last.