'Succession' reveals Logan's most shameful secret

Whereas the trailers main as much as Succession Season 4, episode 9 teased us with Roman’s (Kieran Culkin) eulogy for his father Logan (Brian Cox), the true bombshell comes when Logan’s brother Ewan (James Cromwell) takes the stage for a shock funeral tribute.

Ewan and Logan famously differed on their ideologies, to the purpose that Ewan spends a lot of his eulogy lambasting Logan’s conservative legacy. “He has wrought probably the most horrible issues,” he says, not lengthy after professing his love for his late brother.

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Nevertheless, earlier than Ewan dives into the general public view of Logan Roy, media mogul and business titan, he speaks on Logan Roy, the kid. He tells a “sob story” — his phrases — about his and Logan’s terrifying childhood crossing from Scotland to Canada throughout World Warfare II. On this second, Logan is not the king of the Waystar boardroom, however a frightened little one within the maintain of a ship. That portrait of Logan’s fraught youth continues with Ewan’s subsequent vignette, which lastly clarifies one in all Logan’s and Succession‘s largest mysteries: What occurred to Logan’s sister Rose?

What occurred to Logan and Ewan’s sister Rose in Succession?

Two old men argue in a fancy apartment.

James Cromwell and Brian Cox in “Succession.”
Credit score: Peter Kramer / HBO

For all its double crossings, Succession just isn’t a present that tends to maintain secrets and techniques. The collection trusts that its viewers can join dots based mostly on context clues and well-placed dialogue. In flip, we will belief that we’ll get the knowledge we’d like, once we want it. Nevertheless, in some instances, Succession likes to depart us only a tad at nighttime. Rose is a kind of instances.

We first study Rose in Season 2, episode 8, when the Roy household travels to Dundee, Scotland, to have fun 50 years of Waystar. There, the Roy siblings try to sabotage potential CEO Rhea (Holly Hunter), telling her to convey up Logan’s late sister Rose in a toast. It is the primary we hear of Rose within the present, and based mostly on Logan’s chilly response to her point out, he’d fairly we not hear of her in any respect.

Later that very same episode, Ewan makes an attempt to appease Logan, saying: “All these years, blaming your self for Rose… That actually wasn’t your fault.” For Succession, all that issues is that we all know Rose exists, and that Logan blames himself for her demise. The smaller particulars of what occurred are much less vital within the second, however that hasn’t stopped audiences from theorizing: Did she die by suicide(opens in a brand new tab)? Was she lobotomized(opens in a brand new tab)? Because it seems, the reality is far murkier.

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Ewan reveals that when Logan’s aunt and uncle despatched him away to a “higher faculty,” Logan hated it. “He wasn’t properly. He was sick. And he mewed and he cried, and ultimately he bought out and got here dwelling, below his personal steam,” Ewan says. However upon Logan’s return dwelling, their child sister Rose bought sick, then handed away.

“He all the time believed that he introduced dwelling the polio, which took her,” Ewan continues. “I do not even know if that is true. However our aunt and uncle definitely did nothing to disabuse him of that notion. They let it lie with him.”

It is just some sentences, but it surely reveals a lot: How Rose died, why Logan blames himself, and the way the incident furthered his uncle and aunt’s emotional abuse — one thing that Succession had already implied in Season 1, together with bodily abuse. Nevertheless, the point out of Rose can be a reminder of the finality of Logan’s demise, and of Season 4 itself.

The reveal of Rose’s demise reminds us Succession is sort of at an finish.

An old man in a baseball cap in a private jet.

Brian Cox in “Succession.”
Credit score: Peter Kramer / HBO

Between Logan’s demise, a tumultuous election, and the looming chance of a Waystar-GoJo merger, it is clear that Succession‘s fourth season is the conclusion of the Roys’ saga. However nowhere within the season has this sense of an ending sunk in additional for me than through the Rose part of Ewan’s eulogy.

Since Season 2, Rose’s presence has hung over the present, if even solely within the farthest background or in written notes. (She seems in Logan’s final needs, as he writes he needs to be buried with a photograph of her(opens in a brand new tab).) No matter guilt Logan feels towards her frames his different familial relationships in a brand new gentle: Is he so distant from his personal kids partially as a result of he cannot bear an identical form of guilt?

Provided that Logan is an skilled at holding the previous at arm’s size, we all know there isn’t any method he’d ever voluntarily reveal what had occurred to Rose. That was one thing he would take to the grave. I would lengthy made my peace with not realizing the complete extent of the reality as, once more, Succession tells us what we have to know. Nevertheless, Ewan blows all that up in his eulogy, obliterating Logan’s personal concepts that the previous “is all made up,” as Logan tells Shiv (Sarah Snook) in Dundee.

We have all the time identified Logan to be the grasp of his personal narrative, so seeing somebody inform such an intimate a part of his story is surprising. There isn’t any doubt that he would have hated this part of Ewan’s eulogy: The reveal of his most private secret, the general public nature of that reveal, and naturally, the truth that he merely has no management over who now is aware of the reality. Sure, Logan has been useless since episode 3, however Ewan’s eulogy is a kind of moments the place you’re feeling each his presence and his absence.

Past the useless Logan of all of it, Ewan’s point out of Rose can be the closest Succession has ever gotten to a surprising backstory drop. It is the form of secret reveal and backbone you’d solely anticipate from the ultimate episodes of a present, solely Succession delivers it not with bombast and hype, however with the quiet sorrow of a conflicted eulogy. Regardless that she’s by no means been bodily current within the present, Rose turns into a harbinger for the top of Succession — and one other sophisticated layer to Logan’s mammoth legacy.

The collection finale of Succession airs Could 28 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.(opens in a brand new tab)


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