I love ‘Succession’, but there’s 1 tiny planning detail I can’t get my head around

I love ‘Succession’, but there’s 1 tiny planning detail I can’t get my head around

I don’t want to nitpick. Succession is easily one of my top three shows of the past few years, and probably one of my favourites of all time.

The writing is stunning, the characters are fantastic, and there are so many oof moments per episode that you sometimes feel like you’ve gone nine rounds with a boxer by the end credits.

Season 4, with Logan Roy’s shocking death, the siblings scrabbling about in the power vacuum he leaves behind, and an election episode that’s so tense it’s almost painful to watch, is pretty much peak television all-round.

But, all that being said, I have to ask: Who the heck decided it would be a good idea to have Logan’s funeral the day directly after a presidential election?

Logan’s funeral is literally the day after the election.

Sometimes time is a little difficult to quantify in Succession. In Season 4, though — at least in some cases — it’s pretty clear.

At the end of episode 8, after a gruelling and stressful night hunkered down in an ATN meeting room making decisions that will affect the fate of the entire country, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) leaves, gets into his car, and makes a call to his ex-wife Rava (Natalie Gold).

This man has not had a wink of sleep.
Credit: Macall Polay/HBO

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he says, after she’s told him he can’t come over in the middle of the night to see his kids Sophie and Iverson. “I’ll see you at the funeral.”

Wait, what? Tomorrow? The funeral?!

Of all the days they could have picked to bid a fond farewell to dear old dad, who decided that the day after a gruelling election night — when basically nobody gets any sleep at all — would be the day to do it? Given that it’s going to be filmed and is set to be an important projection of the Roys as fitting leaders for Waystar Royco, why would they coincide the event with a day when everybody is going to be focusing on the election result and nothing else?

Who is going to Logan’s funeral?

Granted, Kendall probably won’t have to speak at his father’s service, as Roman volunteers to read Logan’s eulogy on behalf of the Roy siblings in episode 7. But Romulus himself has just spent the evening swindling far-eight, racist, white supremacist Congressman Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) into the White House — will he be ready to deliver it? From the looks of the episode 9 trailer, he’s about to deliver…something.

Logan’s funeral will see the who’s who of Succession coming to pay tribute/sit there. In the trailer, we see Logan’s funeral is an opulent, formal affair in a Catholic church in uptown Manhattan, and we spy appearances by the Roy siblings, of course, alongside Logan’s estranged brother Ewan Roy (James Cromwell), Roy matriarch and Logan’s ex-wife Lady Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter), Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård), Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), Karl (David Rasche), Frank (Peter Friedman), Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), and Mencken.

Most of these people were connected to the previous day’s election. The timing is odd, to say the least. So why has it worked out this way?

Why is Logan’s funeral the day after the election?

If I had to guess, I’d say this is more of a structural season decision that the showrunners thought they could get away with, rather than a decision they hoped would make sense within the story. The thing is, in Succession Season 4, time is much tighter than it’s been in previous seasons. Each episode basically takes place on a single day, and the indication seems to be that these days are consecutive.

“We were locked into the fact that each episode is one day,” Brian Cox said on HBO’s Succession podcast(opens in a new tab) after the third episode. “Which we haven’t done in a series before. So he [Logan] dies on day three.”

Most of the episodes revolve around big events (the bachelor party, the wedding, the trip to visit Matsson, etc.) where there’s an excuse to get all the characters together in one room. The day after the election takes place, it’s helpful for the story to have another big event where Matsson, and even Mencken, can be present — so we can witness the fallout.

Does it make sense that a group of characters so powerful they can almost literally pick the next president would say yes to having their dad’s funeral straight after the most intense work night of the year? Probably not. But given how good Succession is, I reckon we can let it slide.

Succession is now streaming on HBO Max(opens in a new tab), with new episodes airing at 9 p.m. ET Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.


HBO Max logo

Credit: HBO Max

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Sam Haysom

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