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Succession season 4 episode 9 recap – Roman finally breaks down

Find out what happens to Roman during Logan's long awaited funeral with our Succession season 4 episode 9 recap. Warning, this review contains spoilers.

Succession season 4 episode 9 recap: Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession

Our Verdict

Roman buckles under pressure in one of Successions most sombre episodes to date.

Well, the big day is finally here, friends, and you will want to brace yourself for waterworks because the latest episode of Succession gives us front-row seats to Logan Roy’s funeral.

It’s a complicated day, packed with emotions, surprising speeches, and one of the most heart-breaking reactions from Roman that we’ve ever seen in the hit drama series, period. But while every funeral is a challenging event (for billionaires and regular folk alike), Logan’s proves to be extra intense as the events of Succession season 4 episode 8 come back in full swing, and power plays for Waystar continue, even during a wake. Warning, major spoilers for Succession ahead!

Succession season 4 episode 9 – titled Church and State – takes place on the morning after the results from election night, which we saw in the last episode. If you don’t remember, that particular outing resulted in ATN calling the US election in Jeryd Mencken’s favor – despite the fact that there were missing ballots in Wisconsin.

Well, understandably, people are pissed off. In one corner, we have folks outraged at ATN, and on the other side, people are fuming that Mencken isn’t in power. As a result, we start episode 9 with riots in the street, protesters banging on moving cars, and a general sense of dread. Quite the atmosphere for Logan’s final send-off, isn’t it?

To add to the feeling that this episode is a time bomb just waiting to explode, the Roy family kids aren’t doing too great either. Rava has decided that New York isn’t safe and is skipping the funeral along with Kendall’s kids. Shiv has to deal with the fact that her pregnancy may get in the way of her future CEO plans.

And finally, Roman is in charge of delivering the speech at his dad’s funeral in front of a room filled with some of the most powerful people in the world. And as you can imagine, with so much pressure, things don’t go smoothly.

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Firstly, Roman’s speech is put on hold as Ewan Roy – Logan’s estranged brother – comes into the picture and says a few words. Ewan is blunt and brutal when it comes to remembering his brother, and his harsh words leave the family slightly frazzled, especially Roman, who has to follow the impromptu speech and change the atmosphere of the room.

Yes, Logan was a bully, but this is his funeral packed with shareholders and power players – so we can’t leave a bad image of the Waystar founder. Unfortunately, Roman buckles under the pressure and breaks down, unable to say his speech. For the first time in the series, we see him fully weep and show complete vulnerability.

Kieran Culkin’s performance of grief and anxiety is stunning, and you can’t help but feel sympathy for Roman as his dreams of emulating his confident father are shattered. In the wake of Roman’s emotional outburst, Kendall delivers the speech in his stead, and for lack of a better phrase, fricking kills it.

Succession season 4 episode 9 recap: Jeremey Strong as Kendall Roy in Succession season 4

Succession is one of the best TV series for a reason, its writing never disappoints. And Succession season 4 episode 9 goes above and beyond with its hard-hitting poetry as Kendall breaks down the complicated man that was Logan Roy beautifully.

Kendall’s speech basically crowns him, as Roman would say, “the winner of the funeral,” as he impresses Mencken and the shareholders alike. However, his confidence does take a dip once the grieving party moves to the wake for drinks and sneaky business deals.

Despite calling the election in Mencken’s favor, Roman never got a firm promise from the presidential candidate that he would block GoJo’s deal to buy WayStar. Shiv knows that fact and uses it to her advantage. Despite being politically opposed to Mencken, Shiv is willing to put her feelings aside and convinces Lukas Matsson to try and please Mencken by instating a US CEO to Waystar.

Mencken is pro-American to the extreme, so having a US CEO would give him a win in the media. And who would be this new all-American CEO? Well, Shiv Roy, of course. Shiv’s plan seemingly works, with Mencken buying the pitch – meaning that both Kendall and Roman are out in the cold, at least for now.

Succession season 4 episode 9 recap: Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession

Kendall isn’t going down without a fight, and we can expect to see things get messy and personal in the upcoming finale. Shiv is pregnant, and Mencken is a pseudo-fascist with extremely conservative views, so we can imagine if her news became public – things would go badly. Roman may also surprise us all and make a major move for control.

At the end of Succession season 4 episode 9, we saw Roman’s emotions reach a fever pitch as he jumped into a sea of protestors, insulting them and then getting punched in the process. Right now, he is volatile, upset and will be the unpredictable wildcard in the upcoming finale. And, personally, we can’t wait to see all the future family backstabbing and chaos.

Succession season 4 is now available to watch on the streaming service HBO Max in the US and NOW TV in the UK. For more Waystar fun, fans can check out our guides to the best Succession characters and everyone in the Succession cast. We have also ranked all the Succession episodes, so feel free to head over to our list and see if you agree with our thoughts.

And if you need a Roy family break, we also have lists of all the new movies coming out in 2023 and the best movies of all time.