The WAGs of Succession: where next for Logan’s exes
Succession season 1-4 spoilers below
Season four of Succession has taken a fascinating turn. After the shock that was episode three, where patriarch Logan Roy died, and after all the drama that went down the following week at the wake, it seemed clear that the remainder of the fourth and final season was going to be high drama, with the show’s key characters battling it out on two fronts: over both the succession of the company and over Logan’s estate.
But the intensity of some of the show’s plotlines somewhat eased off in episodes five, six and seven, which focused on Lukas Matsson and the GoJo deal, Kendall and Roman’s behaviour as CE-bros, and Shiv’s relationships with both Tom and Matsson. Some of its most fascinating characters and storylines – namely, that of Logan’s girlfriend Kerry and Logan’s estranged wife, Marcia – have been, for now at least, shelved. We’ve only heard the odd word about the duo, which is surprising given how much they could know about the inner workings of Logan’s business.
“The woman who pays attention to what’s going on in business and who’s a sounding board to her husband is definitely empowered by the information they have,” said New York lawyer Dana Stutman to The Wall Street Journal, in an article titled “Succession knows the power wives always win”.
Exes of high powered individuals typically have a lot of agency: if we take Ruper Murdoch as an example, it was reported by Vanity Fair andThe Guardian that his divorce settlement with Jerry Hall actually included a clause banning her from sharing story ideas with the writers of Succession.
So what’s happened to Logan’s leading ladies, why have the writers momentarily parked their storylines and will they crop up soon? We certainly hope so.
Marcia’s appearance in episode four, titled Honeymoon States, was the reminder we all needed that Logan’s third wife is a malevolent force who has the potential to cause serious problems for the Roys. She circled the foyer like a shark, sold Logan’s apartment to Connor, explained to Kendall that she spoke to Logan every evening, “intimately”, despite not having seen him in seven weeks, and threw out Logan’s girlfriend Kerry when she tried to come in and get her belongings from upstairs: “We’re calling her a taxi to the subway so that she can go home to her little apartment,” said Marcia.
Up until then we’d somewhat forgotten about Marcia, who had been somewhere in Europe, bumped out of the way by Kerry. “Marcia’s not here. She’s in Milan. Shopping. Forever,” Kerry said.
“Marcia knows all the secrets,” said New York divorce attorney Nancy Chemtob to The Wall Street Journal, drawing on her own experiences of dealing with influential exes. It makes sense: Marcia’s been there behind closed doors for years, and must know scores worth of Logan’s darkest secrets. The sibs absolutely know this too, which is why vetoing her funeral requests, as they did this week, is such a risky move.
While there’s little we really know about Logan’s estranged wife, other than that she had a difficult past, moved to Paris in her early 30s and that she was previously married to a Lebanese businessman, we do know that she’s utterly cunning and an absolute survivor. Finally let’s not forget that Marcia knows about Kendall’s involvement with the waiter, and that she secured her role in the family trust in season three – it was part of the deal she made with Logan when he wanted her support during the sexual assault scandal. Marcia has the potential to cause havoc in subsequent episodes of season four.
The internet was abuzz with rumours about Kerry after episode three, deceptively titled Connor’s Wedding. Was Kerry involved in Logan’s death? Is she pregnant? Why was she acting so strangely? Then in the following episode, Marcia treated her abominably, literally chucking her out of Logan’s apartment during the wake. While collecting the things she had dropped on the marble floors, a frenzied Kerry said that she and Logan planned to marry.
Star divorce lawyer Laura A. Wasser explained to the WSJ: “So many people say, ‘You have a wife, I get it, but I’m the one you’re sleeping with each night and you need to make some kind of provision for me in your estate plan.” But she added, “If he didn’t, you’re out of luck.”
So has Kerry officially exited Succession? We think – and seriously hope – not; Kerry was becoming one of Succession’s most interesting characters. “She has terrifying political views. She is even further right than Logan in a way,” said Zoe Winters, who plays Kerry, to Vulture in April. “We saw her in season three pushing this fascist, racist political candidate [Jeryd Mencken] with looks toward Logan across the couch... She wants to have a voice in politics and on the international stage.”
We have no doubt that Kerry has some dirt on the Roys, too, and we’re hoping we get to see her use it as leverage in the final episodes of the show.
Lady Caroline Collingwood
We’ve also been missing the presence of Lady Caroline Collingwood from season four, but it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer until she graces our screens: speaking to Variety last month, Harriet Walter, who plays the sibs’ mum, said that she’ll be cropping up at Logan’s funeral, “unless I’ve been cut”.
Fantastic news. Shiv, Kendall and Roman’s mum has a seat on the board, and while it’s true that she’s not interested in becoming the successor, in the past she has literally worked against her children, siding with her husband, cheating them out of some of their inheritance. It means that she can’t be trusted and that she could definitely be persuaded by someone nefarious to make decisions that would trip up people in the running for the top spot. Probably just for the fun of it.
Plus, matters have now become more complicated as Shiv is pregnant, particularly given that Caroline cruelly said to her daughter that “some people just aren’t made to be mothers”. If she notices that Shiv is pregnant, or if Shiv dares to share her secret with her mother, this will cause drama-a-plenty.
“All her jokes and lightweight nastiness are self-defence, I think,” said Walter to The Guardian in October 2021. “I’m not whitewashing her, she’s not a human being I would want to befriend, but she’s not a wicked monster of the North. And that’s why Jesse is this sort of genius. You do care about these characters in some weird way. And they do stay with you as human beings, even though you can’t quite understand why.” We think a close eye needs to be kept on Lady Caroline.
Last but not least, there’s Connor’s mother who could start to cause some problems in the final episodes of the season. While, admittedly, we’re not exactly sure she’s alive, she was referenced so much at the beginning of season four that we started to think she was going to become an important plotline. And we could still be proved right.
Her background? We know that Logan got her shipped off to a mental institution and Connor never forgave his dad for it. We know that Connor is still very much affected: at his wedding to Willa he flipped out over the wedding cake because it reminded him of the cake he was fed after his mum was sent away to the psychiatric facility. We know that she was a patron of the arts. And we know that Connor was eight when his parents divorced. But that’s really everything.
Characters tend to talk about her in the past tense, which is why so many people assumed she was dead. But imagine she wasn’t, and imagine she popped up again. If Logan’s abuse was the cause of her mental health breakdown, she could become a major PR disaster for the Waystar Royco team. And if she did return she could also influence Connor, who looks, at the end of episode seven, very much like he might be in the running to become Vice President of the United States, and who also has a seat on the board.
Succession is currently streaming on Sky and NOW