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Deal or no deal: ‘Succession’ season 4, episode 6 recap

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MAY 03, 2023

Contains spoilers for “Succession” season four, episode six.

Delusions of grandeur, bloated projections and fantasies of infinite progress. This week, “Succession” delivered a biting satire of big tech in the form of “prison camps for grannies.” Logan Roy’s last attempt to save his precious company from obsolescence, just short of his own demise, is gated communities for Disney adults who are afraid of death. It’s so blatantly dystopian — the irony of a dead man peddling longevity treatments — that nobody’s believing this, right? 

“Living+” is undoubtedly the cringiest episode since Kendall’s miserable 40th birthday party in season 3, also directed by the brilliant Lorene Scafaria. The bulls—t brothers head west for a product launch at Waystar Studios in Los Angeles, with a new disastrous plan to price out Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) by overinflating the value of the company’s newest pitch. As Kendall (Jeremy Strong) reaches a new manic high, we can only cover our eyes and prepare for the worst crash and burn yet. 

Meanwhile, trigger-happy Roman (Kieran Culkin) is on a killing spree. Thinking he can fix the broken machine that spit out “Kalispitron” by pumping it with more money, he meets with studio executive Joy Palmer (Annabeth Gish) to hammer out a new hit. But when she subtly questions his authority — there are few ways to interpret “I’m sure you are where you are for a reason” — he fires her, equivocating all the while as if convincing himself that he can actually do it. Roman is a wriggly sheep in wolf’s clothing, and Kendall is his biggest enabler. 

His next victim is Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), who he’s attempted to fire once before. Unlike Roman, she is very good at her job, but perhaps too honest about his weaknesses, and his bruised ego can only take so much of the truth. Yes, it’s a move his dad might make, but his dad hasn’t sent repeated dick pics to Waystar’s legal counsel — ammo she surely has stored for a moment like this.

New string arrangements of the show’s core melody by composer Nicholas Britell accompany Kendall’s grand theatrical vision for the Living+ reveal. He’s building a paper empire just as flimsy as his far-fetched set design with the help of Greg (Nicholas Braun), the hype-man-slash-pitch-bot who is easily blinded by their shiny pipe dream. And, in the middle of all this, Shiv (Sarah Snook), egged on by her “boy on the outside” Matsson, preys on Roman’s doubts.

She’s been busy rekindling her spark with Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) with their usual brand of  cruel public foreplay, this time by biting each other’s arms at an investor reception. When he catches her in a vulnerable moment, scheduling her grief in conference rooms because she has no space to cry alone, he finds an opportunity for honesty himself. Tom finally says the unspoken about their transactional relationship, explaining his season 3 betrayal with one word: money. 

Shiv is a master puppeteer and Tom is willingly conspiring, pulled back into her schemes by the allure of the Roy lifestyle, but he’s not so subordinate as before. And Shiv is surprisingly open about her “connection” with Matsson, though she can’t bring herself to be forthright about everything — Chekhov’s baby is about to surface at any moment. More than once, Snook takes a split second to smile when only the camera can see it, before regaining her composure and glaring down at Macfadyen with her signature blue daggers.

Meanwhile, the big three (Gerri, Frank and Karl) have secured box seats for the best view of Ken’s real time mental breakdown, as he preaches immortality to an audience that is exceedingly difficult to read. Shiv and Rome are shocked at the gullibility of the general public and Kendall’s miraculous ability to fail upwards, though it may have been a real dumpster fire had Karl (David Rasche) not scared him straight moments before walking on stage. 

In the end, Kendall makes it through unscathed. His victory is sure to be short-lived, given his proclivity towards self-destruction and a Bojack-like relationship with bodies of water. For now, though, he’s floating in the Pacific Ocean: buoyant, cleansed, reborn.

Contact Asha Pruitt at 


MAY 03, 2023