HomeEntertainment NewsAre the CE-Bros Over in 'Succession' Season 4?

Are the CE-Bros Over in ‘Succession’ Season 4?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 4 of Succession

If the CE-Bros aren’t over after this latest episode of Jesse Armstrong‘s Succession, then Waystar Royco might as well already be dead in the water. Roman (Kieran Culkin) put up a pretty solid smoke screen there for a while, fooling just about everyone around him—audience included—that he was capable of running one of the most iconic companies in the world. Despite that, it only took about a minute alone on stage at his father’s funeral to tear that entire act down, as Roman completely lost it over the death of Logan (Brian Cox) in front of everyone, including the potential president-elect, Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk).


Kendall (Jeremy Strong) finally got his knight-in-shining-armor moment on that funeral stage, delivering an incredible, on-the-fly eulogy for Logan in an attempt to save not only Roman’s breakdown, but also his father’s reputation after Uncle Ewan (James Cromwell) had decided to rip his own brother apart in public. In that moment, sans-notes, Kendall proved to everyone that he had always been capable of steering the Waystar ship solo, and walked off that stage looking more like a leader than he ever had in his entire life. Ultimately, when push came to shove, Kendall shoved.

RELATED: ‘Succession’ and Why Bad People Make for Good TV

The Façade of Roman Roy

Image via HBO

It seemed as if Roman was a changed man in this fourth season of Succession, taking the bull by the horns and making tough decisions on behalf of Waystar as the newly-made co-CEO alongside Kendall. Though in reality, it was the shock of Logan’s death that jolted Roman into a constant state of fight-or-flight: he wanted things to be back to normal again—and fast. In order to make that happen, he avoided the emotional impact that his father’s death was having on him and instead focused his energy into becoming his father.

The answers to all of Roman’s questions were found in the “what would Dad do” trope, and because of that, he ultimately made irrational business decisions because he thought that Logan would’ve handled certain situations in the same way. The only problem was, no one ever really knew what Logan’s next move was going to be—not even his own children. And in addition to that, Roman was not the new Logan Roy, even as much as he wanted to believe that sentiment to be true.

The more Roman refused to address the emotional impact of his father’s death, the more illogical his decisions would become. In many cases, he wasn’t even acting as a co-CEO, but had become the dictator of Waystar, leaving Kendall to clean up his messes and attempt to justify his decisions. He fired Waystar studio head, Joy Palmer (Annabeth Gish), as well as long-standing Waystar bigwig, Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), in fits of rage, justifying these decisions, again, under the guise of his father. But ultimately, what truly broke the camel’s back was Roman’s premature election call for Mencken on ATN.

Kendall Isn’t Sure if Roman Is Qualified

Jeremy Strong in Succession Season 4 Episode 8
Image via HBO

While Kendall tried to justify Roman’s firings and other decisions by also trying to convince himself that their father would’ve made the same decision, everything changed when it came to the presidential election. In a very honest conversation between him and Shiv (Sarah Snook), the two discussed what could potentially be the fallout of calling the election for Mencken, as well as Kendall’s place in all of this. “I have sometimes felt like I could do it,” Kendall says. “You know, like, I should do it. Me. Just me. But I don’t want that to be an end to the family thing, right? I would like to be able to talk openly about that feeling, maybe.”

And the thing is, because this election is happening right on the coattails of Logan’s death, there was never really an in-depth discussion of what the actual right move for Waystar should be. When minds are muddled by a major shock, it’s tough to see clearly in that moment, and when it was disputed whether Kendall’s name was underlined or crossed out on Logan’s document, a compromise had to be made. Because the decision was made so swiftly, no one had the time to have an honest discussion about whether adding on Roman as co-CEO was the right move.

Cut ahead to Logan’s funeral, and it now seems clearer than ever that the co-CEO decision was not properly thought through, as Waystar’s entire future is hanging on Roman’s hasty election call. While Roman lets his emotions get the best of him in high-stress moments, Kendall remains cool and collected, and his eulogy proved that for everyone to see—including Roman. At this point, Roman knows that it’s just a matter of time before his brother becomes the sole CEO, and after the repast following Logan’s funeral, his decision to walk out into a crowd of protestors is just another indication that Roman is incapable of not acting on his emotions.

Is Kendall Too Much of an Obvious Choice?

Shiv, Kendall, and Roman sitting around a table looking at something in a scene from Succession.
Image via HBO

In looking back at the first season of Succession, it’s wild to think that anyone but Kendall should’ve been made CEO of Waystar, but at the time, it just seemed like too easy of a move. When something seems too good to be true, it makes us question its validity, which is exactly what happened with Kendall. With each passing episode, Kendall’s instability became more and more obvious, which eventually led us all to believe that he was actually never capable of running Waystar, a personal win to all of us who originally questioned his capabilities.

But sometimes, it’s our gut instincts that end up being correct, and after this penultimate episode of Succession, it turns out that we might’ve had our CEO picked out all along. While we still have an entire 90-minute series finale ahead of us to see what ends up happening with this decision, it doesn’t seem likely that Roman will be sticking around as co-CEO, especially if he winds up being trampled by that horde of protestors in an act of provocation.



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