‘Succession’ Season 4, Episode 9 Recap: Dearly Departed
But when everyone enters the church, the atmosphere softens. The Roy brothers’ mother, Lady Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter) sets the tone. She voluntarily asked Kelly to be present, who had brought her lawyer in case someone of hers tried to bar her from her funeral. Marcia, and the legendary Sally Ann. (Caroline introduces Sally Ann as “my Kelly.”) These women share the bond of loving a very difficult man. And when Marcia reaches out to Kelly, she sobs.
Then the service begins with a surprise. Logan’s ardent liberal brother Ewan (James Cromwell) ignores his grandson Greg’s attempts to stop him from taking the pulpit. Ewan begins by sharing some inspiring stories about Logan. It’s about how the two comforted each other as they crossed the Atlantic as boys during World War II. He also talked about how Logan believed he blamed himself for his sister’s death from polio and brought it home from a boarding school he hated. That aside, Ewan finally denounced Logan’s legacy, saying that Logan’s older brother fed “a kind of human impoverishment.” (After his grandfather returned to his seat, the ever-cheerful Greg said, “That was a tough opinion you gave.”)
This is where reaction shots really start to become an important factor. During Ewan’s takedown, I could see Roman looking devastated. He entered the day in an eerily optimistic mood, intending to pay tribute to a truly grown-up father in front of America’s most important people after the election night coup. But Yuan’s imperative and authoritative words shake him. Roman had never had this kind of spotlight before. And now his brothers expect him to “tell the backside” of Logan Roy’s story.
he can’t do that. Roman begins his banal “great, great man” speech, but then he freezes up and asks his family to bail him out. He broke down crying in front of everyone, gestured to the coffin his father was in, and cried, “Let me out!” Another stunning performance from Kieran Culkin. (The face to watch during Roman’s fall is Jeri, who seems genuinely grieving for her former apprentice.)
Kendall takes his place. And he does a great job because he has a lot of experience putting together sentences that his colleagues can understand. He acknowledges the pain his father may have caused, but at the same time praises how Logan made “a bloody and complicated life” happen. “God knows the future will be dull and gray if we can’t match his virus,” he says, as both Menken and Lucas Mattson watch with reluctant admiration. Rumors abound that Jeremy Strong’s intensity on set can irritate his castmates, but scenes like this show the results on screen, and it’s compelling and real.