Fourth, final season of ‘Succession opens with compelling plot line, garnering 2.3 million viewers

Trisha Dasgupta, Senior Life&Arts Reporter

Ruthless negotiating, back-stabbing family members, outrageously out-of-touch billionaire sons — the Roy family is back. 

The highly anticipated first episode of the fourth and final season of HBO’s “Succession” premiered Sunday night, putting the infamous Roys back on screen in all of their vicious glory. The opener brought in 2.3 million viewers and broke the previous series’ high with a 33% increase in viewership. 

The season premiere, titled “The Munsters,” hits all the spots that made the show so beloved and critically acclaimed in the first place. The episode enthralls with a compelling plot and equal parts witty humor and thoughtful introspection from complex characters audiences have come to love. 

The episode opens with a birthday party for Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the cruel and unrelenting patriarch of the Roy family. The current CEO of Waystar-Royco, a massive right-wing media conglomerate, Logan’s role in the company stands as the current point of contention between him and his now-estranged children. Immediately drawing a striking parallel to the pilot episode, which also opened with Logan’s birthday, the show reinforces to viewers its continuous attention to detail.  

Right from the start, the episode showcases a heavy load of “Succession’s” famous insults and one-liners with a biting script that will leave viewers laughing out loud scene after scene. Matthew Macfadyen’s performance as Tom Wambsgans stands out in this episode with Tom and Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) absurd relationship providing several hysterical moments. However, Macfadyen demonstrates a complete 180 towards the end of the episode that shows off his chops for deeply emotional scenes with on-screen wife Siobhan Roy (Sarah Snook). 

Snook also delivered a commendable performance, displaying her unique gift for playing the deeply cruel and broken Roy daughter. In “The Munsters,” Shiv, alongside Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong), work on slighting their father once again, entering negotiations with Waystar Royco’s biggest competitor, the Pierce family. This spectacular plotline continues the season three finale, in which the three siblings band together to put forth a united front against Logan. 

The dynamic between the three proves sensational, with viewers seeing a new side of the family’s relationship. Culkin’s outstanding portrayal of Roman’s quiet fear of his bigger-than-life father brings further nuance to an already complex character. Meanwhile Strong, as usual, embodies Kendall’s desperate attempt at grandiose with uncanny ease. 

With the season four premiere, “Succession” manages to pull off an ostensibly difficult task: making a fresh, anxiety-inducing and nail-biting story with a plot previously explored for three seasons prior. Taking great care with the plot and thematic through-lines of the show, the writers and showrunners craft an intricate show unlike many of its competitors on air, bringing an intense and rich sense of storytelling to the airwaves. 

Just one episode in, it might seem too early to determine whether or not the final season of “Succession” will garner as many Emmys as it has in the past. However, if the rest of the episodes continue with the same storytelling quality as “The Munsters,” HBO can look forward to another sweep in next year’s award season. 

5 ludicrously capacious, monstrous, gargantuan bags out of 5.