Review: Succession, “With Open Eyes” | Season 4, Episode 10
One last time, the show exercises its awesome, awful power to make us feel something for its wretched characters
The Roys were always going to be fine. GoJo deal or no GoJo deal, President Mencken or President Jimenez—the generational wealth passed down to Connor, Kendall, Roman, and Siobhan Roy and the clout their surname carries will set them (and their children, grandchildren, and probably great-grandchildren) up for life. Weep not for their loss in the boardroom tonight, because they each won the lottery at birth.
The Roys were never going to be fine. Reverse Viking or sabotaged board vote, CEO Ken or CEO Shiv—the psychological damage Logan Roy passed down and/or inflicted will fuck up the sibs (and their children, grandchildren, and probably great-grandchildren) for life. Rejoice not for their implosion in the adjacent conference room, because the repercussions of a Roy defeat are most acutely felt by people like you and me.
It’s inevitable that the Roys would lose control of Waystar at the end of Succession, because everything that came before showed us how ill-equipped they’d be to shepherd the firm: So entitled, so capricious, so motivated to win the approval of a father who’d never truly give it. It was less of a given that the series’ conclusion would be as thrillingly paced and occasionally delightful as “With Open Eyes,”1 the fourth and final Succession episode to pull its title from the stanzas of John Berryman’s “Dream Song 29.” One last time, the show exercises its awesome, awful power to make us feel something for these wretched characters, all the while generating high drama out of something as dry and mundane as a vote by a publicly traded company’s board of directors.