Succession Ep. 4.3, ‘Connor’s Wedding’ was one of the best episodes of TV ever

Major SPOILERS for Succession Ep. 4.3 “Connor’s Wedding.”

Succession, much like Game of Thrones, devotes their best writing, most shocking moments and most compelling acting for the wedding episodes. I was surprised that Connor Roy’s wedding was moved up, so that within the Succession world, he would be marrying Willa just weeks before the presidential election. He was trying to make news. He did. The whole family made news. Everyone thought that the story would be Connor’s chaotic wedding and Logan Roy not even bothering to attend – after all, the deal with Lukas Matsson is falling apart, and Logan needed to fly to Sweden to soothe Matsson’s nerves.

Early in the episode, the vibe is familiar – Shiv doesn’t answer a call from her estranged husband Tom, Roman is hiding his communications with his father, they’re worried about how to tell Connor that their dad isn’t coming to his wedding. Roman even does his father’s bidding and tries to fire the woman he loves, Gerri. Then everything turns sideways – Tom calls again while Shiv is mingling with wedding guests. Logan collapsed in the plane’s bathroom. Logan is on the floor, Logan is getting chest compressions and CPR. Tom’s calm, compassionate manner towards his brothers-in-law was heartbreaking – he told them he was putting his phone against Logan’s ear, that Logan could hear them, so they needed to speak to their father.

Everything that followed was a tour de force in acting from Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfayden and Alan Ruck. They portrayed the different stages of grief, denial, panic, incompetence and shock. Give Macfayden his flowers too – he was mostly acting with a phone, nearly alone in a room, and he centered what was happening beautifully.

Anyway, this was one of the best episodes of television I’ve ever seen? There was no science fiction, no horror, no zombies. It was just a modern family, full of dysfunction and pain, trying to grapple with the death of the patriarch they thought was immortal. Logan never prepared any of them for his death and none of them (save for Connor, maybe?) know who they are without Logan as a living reference. One of the last things their father told them was: “I love you, but you are not serious people.”

Photos courtesy of HBO/Succession.

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29 Responses to “Succession Ep. 4.3, ‘Connor’s Wedding’ was one of the best episodes of TV ever”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Quite compelling and heartbreaking. Not sure it was the best episode of TV ever–or even this year–at least not for me, but it did strike a chord. Very depressing at first, and then watching the machinations that happened next was astounding, typical for all involved, and morbidly hilarious.

  2. Lala11_7 says:

    I have been indoctrinated over the years to watch HBO flagship programs because I LOVE good movies & series & HBO KNOWS HOW TO CULTUVATE THE BEST TALENT PERIOD! So even though I didn’t care for the PLOT of “Succession” due to sociopathic billionaires impacting the lives of everyday people in the MOST horrific ways…I watched & enjoyed the 3 seasons of the show…AFTER the seasons ended…but last night around 12:30 am…I got on Twitter & it was BLOWING UP about Logan…so I watched that episode without seeing the previous episodes this season…and yes…I agree…the WAY it was framed…the acting…the tension…the heartbreak…PERFECT ON EVERY LEVEL❤️

  3. Southern Fried says:

    Logan is faking it as a cruel joke I first thought. I’m happy this happened now so we can see how it plays without being rushed like some series will do, cram too much in the finales. Also I admit I was getting a bit bored watching the 3 kids flail around constantly.

    • Nina says:

      I also thought he was faking at first. I was like they’re not showing his body as they do chest compressions! This is a cruel prank to mess with his kids’ minds and force ‘I love you’ confessions out of them. But it started to dawn on me that Tom, the character, is not a good enough actor to pull this off and that he would never do something like this to Shiv despite their tumultuous history.

      And from that point, I was just sitting there thinking ‘holy crap, they’re killing Logan off in episode three?!’ while simultaneously yelling at the tv ‘WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GO TELL CONNOR?!’

      This show is so damn good. I can’t believe this is the year that will see the end of both Succession and Ted Lasso.

  4. Lightpurple says:

    Was anyone else screaming: “GO GET CONNOR!” throughout?

    • Liz says:

      It is so heartbreaking to see what an afterthought he is within the family, especially after his comments after the rehearsal dinner. And what Kendall said about the cake after his mother was institutionalized? These kids have experienced so much trauma.

      I love how they have structured this season so far. The teaser for next week’s episode was vicious!

    • Lizzie says:

      I was. I couldn’t believe they waited so long to think of him.

    • Arizona says:

      yes! I literally said out loud “no one is even thinking about going to get Connor, and it’s on a day that’s supposed to be all about him.”

    • Zazzoo says:

      Absolutely. They didn’t even think of him in their most raw coming together as a family above all else moment. It was soul crushing. Connor didn’t get to say goodbye. Maybe no one did but Connor wasn’t even given the chance.

    • Nope says:

      Conner is never part of any conversation it’s a running theme that they , including Logan, forget he exists

  5. sunny says:

    Magnificent television- writing, acting, direction. Every episode of the show has been building to this. And even though they very much telegraphed his death this final season in the first episode(that conversation he has when he leaves his birthday party) to do it here, like this is such a perfect subversion of audience expectation.

    And to have it happen like this? On a plane, only surrounded by sycophants and people he pays who are worried about keeping the company’s share price up? And he is here with them instead of with family because he choose going to close a business deal instead of attending his son’s wedding???? It was perfect because at every turn in his life, he choose business over loving his children. The last words we hear of him say alive are also just about business/the deal. God, these writers.

    • Lens says:

      People talk about the great acting in this episode – yes it’s good but all the praise should go the writers. Give actors great writing and they will be good. And it’s funny to me how so many thought this was some Machiavellian plot of Logan to fake his own death. He’s just that kind of a man. My son kept saying it looks like they are working on a dummy -that’s not Logan until the end.

  6. ShazBot says:

    I totally thought it was a joke/test at first but I love how they did it so Logan’s literal dying/death was never a focal point on screen and it was all about the reactions of everyone else. Truly breathtaking, and really really gets to the heart of the matter.

    • mia girl says:

      It was SUCH A GREAT CHOICE by the writers and director to not show Logan feeling ill, or in the bathroom as he began to die, and then only give glimpses of his body as the episode unfolded. As @ Lala11_7 says above, the framing of the episode/Logan’s death is masterful.

      Having it happen in the most unreachable of places, an airplane, just punctuated the distance that he and his children always had. The whole putting the cell phone to his ear and their continued desperate question “can he hear us?!” was about wanting to say some last words to their father, but also tragically symbolic of Kendall, Shiv and Roman’s life-long struggle to be given any attention or love from their father. Think about Logan’s last words to them at the end of episode 2 “I love you, but you are not serious people.” They spent their whole lives trying to be “serious people” for their father and even in his father’s final moments they wanted him to listen, but he left them without even saying goodbye.

      I also love that in not centering the episode on Logan dying/death, it gave him no deference. No matter what Logan thought of himself- a titan, a king, no matter how much money he had, how many times he could claim victory, how many people revered and feared him, how much of a “win at all costs” survivor he was, the writers gave him a rather unceremonious death. It came for him in airplane bathroom. And by centering it on the aftermath it shows that when you are all those things Logan was, for those around you, your death quickly becomes just as transactional and callous as you were.

      • Heather says:

        @miagirl this is such a brilliant take on how the unreachable airplane scene reflected Logan’s relationship with his children. It truly felt like we were in the dark like the children, only able to get glimpses of the full picture through these images phone conversations.

  7. Lucía says:

    Still processing it. And somehow there still are seven (!) episodes left.

  8. Eating Popcorn says:

    Started to write about how much I loved the scene between Ruck & Lupe (Connor & Willa) and then got to thinking about the phone scene between MacFayden & Braun (Tom & Greg) the ‘Go to the office, delete these files’ scene, not ‘the little Gregglets’ ONLY to have that superseded by Jeremy Strong on the deck talking to Frank telling him he wants to talk to the pilots. And then Shiv and Roman and Gerri and Kerry – it was a Tour de Force episode, yes maybe one of the greatest! Hard to choose a scene that wasn’t perfect.

  9. Nic919 says:

    Some of the interviews mention that the scene where they learn if it by phone was done as an uncut scene for up to 30 minutes with cameras following them around almost as if or was done live. I think that contributes to the real feeling of this episode.

    I have to say I did suspect something was going to happen when I heard reference from some critics last week that they didn’t get the screeners for this weeks episodes yet.

  10. Lizzie says:

    I love this show and this episode blew me away. I’d put it up there with Henry Blake’s death on MASH.

  11. Elsa says:

    This is one of my favorite shows. I saw it blowing up last night so I already saw the spoilers. For some strange reason, we were watching something else last night? Easter weekend has our timing off. So we are watching tonight and I can’t wait.

  12. Zazzoo says:

    I’m only a few months out from the death of an elderly family member. Every moment of this episode was so real, so raw, and so hard to watch. Mygawd HBO. We knew he wouldn’t survive the season and yet this was shocking and painful. I’m still reeling.

  13. Nick G says:

    I feel like I watched most if the episode holding my breath. My son kept saying “He’s not really dead, its a fake”, but something about Tom’s scratchy voice on the bad connection felt like the slowly dawning truth. Like how we feel a disconnection from shocking news that we can’t and don’t want to take in. Just stunning writing, direction and acting.

  14. Indywom says:

    As someone who has experienced the death of several loved ones, this show was so real and triggering. It was excellently played by everyone in the cast. Death is so final and the emotions the kids experienced were so realistic to what one goes through upon the loss of a loved one. Even the facial expressions on people were true. Even the varied ways in which each child experienced the loss is very accurate. On the other hand, as much as the kids probably wanted their father out of the way, the idea that they will no longer be able to get him to finally show them any kind of love or approval is forever loss. I look forward to the rest of the season although I will miss Brian Cox. The actor who plays Tom should get an Emmy for his performance on last night’s show.

    • zazzoo says:

      Yes, triggering. I rarely use that term because I’ve been through so much shiz in life I can’t stop every time something reminds me of the pain, but last night really hit me. I struggled to watch the entire episode … absolute brilliance and massive personal discomfort.

  15. honeychild says:

    What an amazing episode! When they considered flying their father’s body around for an extra hour until the markets closed — that was just *chef’s kiss*. And, it is the epitaph Logan deserved. With that said, I am going to miss the L to the OG being featured in the remaining episodes.

  16. MaryContrary says:

    I feel like I need to watch it a second time. Last night I just couldn’t believe it was happening-like, was Tom playing them initially? would he survive? Like I couldn’t process it. So, so painfully good.

    • margo says:

      I just re-watched it for the second time and was again blown away by the episode. The acting, the directing, the editing – absolutely incredible. Second time watching the episode and I was emotionally gutted for these people. They are simultaneously horrible humans and wounded souls adrift in the world trying desperately to matter. I was downright SHAKEN by Sarah Snook’s performance! Alan Ruck was impactful, too! And I agree Matthew Macfayden did an incredible job on the phone. There are not enough Emmy awards for this cast!!

  17. TIFFANY says:

    The episode was perfect. Just perfect.

    And Gerri leaving Roman in the room and just ignoring him is giving us the best hint of what to come. She is done done