Succession season 4: what the trailer tells us about the new series
This article contains Succession seasons one to three spoilers
It’s only been a matter of days since the first full-length Succession season four trailer was released, but the two-and-a-half minute clip has already racked up over a million views.
Although the trailer doesn’t reveal any major plot twists, its numerous sequences do in fact weave together a pretty clear picture of what’s about to go down in season four.
Here we go through the trailer scene by scene to decipher what will be happening in season four.
“Why does everyone ask how I’m feeling?”
As the trailer opens Logan asks, “Why does everyone ask how I’m feeling?” Sure, it could be a passing comment – Logan’s health is of interest to a lot of people – but it could also be indicating something much more serious. Most people believe that Logan will die in season four, leaving room for someone to finally succeed him.
Back in series one, the show opened with Logan having a stroke and it would certainly be a full-circle moment for the show to close with Logan back in a hospital bed. That’s why so many fans’ ears pricked up when Logan asked this question in the trailer. Why are people overly concerned for his health? Has he been acting (particularly) strangely?
In the next sequence, the show’s irascible patriarch says, “I got them a huge deal” and “I got the election”, also provoking many more questions. What deal has he made? For whom and with whom? And when he says he got the election, does he mean that through his son Connor (who is currently running for the presidential Republican candidate nomination) he has the election tied up? Does he mean that whatever the outcome, it doesn’t matter because he’ll win because his channels will have covered the race? Or does he mean that he has made another deal with one of Connor’s competitors?
Kerry and Logan are still having a thing
When season three finished Marcia had filed for divorce from Logan and Logan had started to date his assistant Kerry. By the looks of the trailer, this relationship is ongoing as season four begins. But might Kerry become an issue later on? There is a fan theory swirling the internet that Logan might dump Kerry and she might get revenge by either spilling his secrets or accusing him of sexual misconduct, putting the media boss under even more pressure.
Greg and Tom are still in cahoots
Over three seasons, awkward cousin Greg Hirsch has gone from lowly lackey to being a major player in the firm’s top team. Granted, he’s still very much under the thumb of Shiv’s husband, Tom Wambsgans – Tom has taught Greg every trick in the book including how to effectively lie and blackmail. But one of the internet’s favourite theories is that over the course of the fourth season, Greg will finally take over and become Tom’s boss.
Whatever happens, it’s clear the hilarious relationship between them continues. In the trailer, Greg is on the phone to Tom reporting Logan’s movements at the office. In another scene, Greg says, “I have it on good authority, there is a kill list.” While everything Greg says needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, it’s nevertheless interesting. Who has made a kill list and why?
The Roy children threaten to partner up with all of Logan’s enemies
Season three ended with the youngest Roy children, Kendall, Shiv and Roman, joining forces to try and take down their father. But we all know that they don’t stand a chance against him without some sort of backing – Logan is just too strong and experienced. However, the trailer reveals their plan. “We partner up with Sandy, Stewy, with Pierce,” says Kendall in the trailer.
This would mean that the Roy children join forces with all of Logan’s arch enemies, making it the greatest betrayal of all time. Sandy Furness owns a rival media conglomerate, Stewy, a private-equity investor, is a mate of Kendall’s who also has a seat on the Waystar Royco board, and the Pierce family-run media-giant PGM.
Roman might be swayed by his father
But then, there’s another twist: in season four, Roman is courted by his father who is asking him to come and join team Logan. “You really want me?” says Roman and Logan replies “I need you”. Roman is the weakest link in the coup – he’s always sought his father’s approval and he’s not quite as power-hungry as his siblings. He’s been neglected over the years and his father feeds on his insecurities.
Lukas Matsson is still very much on the scene
If the number of times Lukas Matsson features in the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like the Swedish billionaire tech founder is going to be an important player in the battle between the Roys. In season three he was in talks with Logan to merge his company GoJo with Waystar Royco, but by the end of the series GoJo was looking to fully acquire Waystar Royco. As season four begins this threat still looms large over the media conglomerate.
But in the trailer, Roman, who was previously the go-between for Logan and Matsson (his eccentric communication style worked for Matsson), is yelling at Matsson. “We will grind you down, man. We are sand in the gears. I hate you, do you understand that,” says Roman in one scene of the trailer. Matsson looks amused and unbothered.
It’s a surprise – if Roman does side with his father, why is he saying this to Matsson? Does it suggest that he pretends to be on his father’s team, but then purposely sabotages the relationship to save Waystar Royco from being sold off?
They’re travelling the world again
One of the best bits about Succession is that the Roys, as one of the richest families in the world, tend to travel regularly, staying in some of the most luxurious spots on the planet. Season four will bring more of the same. The trailer zooms over several exquisite locations, including a glorious mountain range.
Does Logan win?
“We’ve been schooled by a barbarian that goes by the name Logan Roy,” says Gerri, the general counsel to Waystar RoyCo (who is also Shiv’s godmother) in another scene. Does she mean that they have, over years, been taught by Logan, or does she mean that in the current battle they are waging, Logan has schooled them all?
If it’s the latter it very much suggests that Logan beats the younger Roys, which doesn’t come as a major surprise. He’s a formidable opponent and he has Matsson in the wings prepared to make a deal with him.
Shiv and Tom finally have it out
For several seasons now, Shiv and Tom’s marriage has been on the rocks. In fact, it was on the rocks before they even got married – on their wedding night, Shiv told Tom she wanted to have an open relationship. But their relationship became even more strained at the end of season three when Tom chose to tell Logan about Shiv and her sibling’s plans to take down Logan, therefore choosing his boss over his wife.
Now it looks like the husband and wife finally have it out. “You’re a snake,” says Shiv and Tom replies, “You’ve hurt me more than you can possibly imagine.” While it’s going to be an emotional watch, fans are likely to be grateful that words are finally being said. The ice cold stand-off between the two was becoming unbearable.
Does Kendall join forces with the man running against Connor?
Far-right Congressman Jeryd Mencken features prominently in the trailer. “I have some concerns about your old man,” says the Republican presidential candidate in one scene, speaking to Kendall. In another, Mencken is speaking to Connor (the eldest Roy still seems to believe he has a shot at the presidency, despite ever-dwindling numbers). Then as the trailer reaches its denouement, it flashes to Mencken who is smiling deviously. What’s going on here? He’s certainly going to play an important role in the upcoming season, but why?
We have a theory: perhaps he makes a deal with Kendall in which, if Kendall wins Waystar Royco and Mencken wins the Republican candidacy, the two promise to work together. Mencken will be portrayed kindly in the press that Waystar controls, and in return, if Mencken wins the election, he will give the media company some relief of some kind.
Does Gerri sue Roman?
Then in another scene, Gerri is saying to Roman “I will sue and I will go public”. We know that Roman has been conducting himself very badly around Gerri – he gets sexual gratification from being humiliated and finds his dynamic with Gerri particularly exciting. If things start to go south for Logan’s top team, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Gerri might sue Roman. After all, he’s been massively disgusting and perverted towards her.
But there’s something about Gerri’s tone in the scene that makes it feel like she is quoting someone else. We can’t put our finger on why, but we think it’s a red herring placed in the trailer by the creators. The big question then is who is suing, and why? Could it be Kerry?
Stewy and Kendall hug it out
Stewy and Kendall are old college pals who have been battling it out since season one. Sometimes Stewy is an ally – he has been involved in some of Kendall’s plans to usurp his father – but most often he ends up backstabbing Kendall. Given that Stewy is a secondary character in many respects, it’s telling that he pops up twice in the trailer. In the first scene, he says, “Ken is your head on straight?” which is slightly alarming. What is Kendall planning to do? And is Stewy, of all people, trying to help him?
Then as the trailer closes Kendall is seen resting his head on Stewy’s shoulder, an extremely rare sight. While we don’t yet know the content of the conversation it does seem to indicate that Stewy has talked Kendall out of something that he might have regretted. Does it mean that Kendall doesn’t go through with trying to take down Logan? To what extent is Stewy involved?
Tom stays on team Logan
Then as the trailer closes there’s a compilation scene of the different characters walking across helicopter landing pads, sighing, looking up to the skies, and generally looking like they’re readying themselves for battle. In several of the scenes, Tom is with Logan, seeming to very much confirm that he remains on team Logan after having betrayed his wife and exposed her coup.
Succession season 4 will premiere on March 26