Every few years, a television show seemingly captures the attention of all of America’s fans of prestige television.
Shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City kicked off the golden era of prestige television back at the turn of the 21st century. And, other huge hits like Lost, Breaking Bad and Mad Men followed. Game of Thrones marked the peak of prestige television’s cultural impact, with shows like Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, Girls, and The Crown catching fire at the end of the 2010’s. But, right now, the undisputed top prestige television show is HBO’s Succession.
WARNING: This article will contain SPOILERS FOR SEASON 4, EPISODE 3 of Succession, “Connor’s Wedding”
Succession is based loosely on the Murdoch Family, the family that owns media giant News Corporation, home of Fox News, among other massive properties. It deals with the interfamily politics of family patriarch and founder of behemoth Waystar Royco, Logan Roy, and his children, Connor, Kendall, Siobhan, and Roman. As the title suggests, after Logan suffers a stroke in the pilot episode, the siblings — mainly Kendall, Siobhan, and Roman — jockey for the position of the future head of the company, usually foiled by shrewd actions by Logan Roy.
The third season ended with the best cliffhanger of all, as for the first time those three siblings teamed up against their father to to control Roystar WayCo, only for Logan to once again pull the rug out from under them by renegotiating the terms of his divorce settlement with his ex-wife and those children’s mothers to keep control of the company, and estrange Kendall, Siobhan and Roman.
The fourth and final season kicked off a few weeks ago, with the back-and-forth posturing between the two sides continuing. Logan was trying to sell off a significant part of the company, while the siblings looked to buy, and closed the purchase, of rival media brand, Pierce. At the end of last week’s episode, Roman, the youngest sibling and the one who has shown the most loyalty to Logan out of the three meaningful siblings, was seen considering rejoining his father’s side.
But, on Sunday evening, one of the great twists in television history happened. While the siblings waited for the beginning of Connor’s wedding to his much younger, incredibly vapid, fiancée Willa, news that Logan had collapsed on a plane heading for Sweden to sell part of the company reached the siblings. Logan eventually died, cause unknown at this time, setting off the most emotional episode of the series yet, and one that is receiving critical acclaim everywhere.
this episode of SUCCESSION is going to go down in history as one of the best episodes in modern TV history, the kind that defines what the series has always been about while capturing the raw humanity of the deeply flawed, broken people that are the Roy Family. I’m still reeling.
— Brendan Hodges (@metaplexmovies) April 10, 2023
The episode has gripped American culture so much that the Los Angeles Times even put out an obituary for Logan Roy, written in the same style a real-life obituary would be written.
The episode set Twitter ablaze, as well.
That episode of Succession was so wild and unexpected that it made us forget what genre of show we were watching. Like we know it’s a realistic drama series but were all thinking “oh so this is when he rises from the dead” like it’s Game of Thrones or some shit
— Tommy Smokes (@TomScibelli) April 10, 2023
That was one of the greatest episodes of television ever and I don’t know how I’ll recover #Succession pic.twitter.com/Zan0gTqO4z
— Kaitlyn Red Wing (@KaitlynRedWing) April 10, 2023
This episode was a perfect symphony. Everyone working in tandem to create this devastating harmony of panic, confusion & grief.
Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen & the cast gave us a masterclass. I’ve never seen anything like it. #Succession pic.twitter.com/D6xOnxPrcj
— Avery Thompson (@avery__thompson) April 10, 2023
And, it’s not lost on me that the episode was called “Connor’s Wedding”, in similar vein to the famous episodes of Game of Thrones: Red Wedding and Purple Wedding.
Succession airs on Sunday nights on HBO at 9PM, and streams on HBO Max.