One of the most emotional episodes of Succession landed the plane. An incredible hour of storytelling and pathos, “Connor’s Wedding” comes out the gates firing. The dust of the Karaoke bar skirmish has not even settled, and Succession will never be the same. Directed by Mark Mylod and written by Jesse Armstrong, Mariam Battye, Jaime Carragher, and Nathan Elston, this one packs a punch.

The Recap – Succession – “Connor’s Wedding”

Roman (Kieran Culkin) rides to Connor’s wedding when Logan (Brian Cox) and Kerry (Zoe Winters) call. They want him to come to meet Matsson, and voice distrusts with Gerri (J. Smith Cameron). Logan asks Roman to fire Gerri, but when Rome gives some pushback, Logan questions his loyalty. Roman agrees to do it.

At Connor’s wedding, Greg (Nicholas Braun) calls Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). Tom relays that Greg is not welcome on the trip to Matsson. Greg tries to get in with Tom, but Tom says he’s already got others “Gregging for him.” Greg is less than pleased he has become “a verb.” Willa (Justine Lupe) tells her mom about the plan for the day. Her mom loves Connor (Alan Ruck). He shows up, and Willa walks away. Everyone seems to be enjoying the party.

Succsion Connor's Wedding
A photo from the production of episode 403 of “Succession”. Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.

Logan shows up at the airport and asks Tom about Matsson. There seems to be some issue about the ATN carve out, but Logan refuses to budge. Tom believes that there’s still a deal to be made. Logan mentions he’s looking to let both Cyd and Gerri go as he boards the plane. Karolina (Dagmara Dominczyk) and Tom follow.

At the wedding, Shiv (Sarah Snook) talks to Roman about the Matsson deal. Roman is visibly shaken and nervous. Tom calls to confirm he’s actually going to do it, and Roman says she’s not there yet. When they hang up, Gerri is standing in front of Roman. He walks over and tries to banter, but it quickly goes off the rails. He tells her she’s out, and Gerri is furious. When he tries to apologize, she shuts him down. She’s also shaken that her career is gone.

The wedding begins boarding the yacht. Connor throws a fit about the cake. Roman calls his dad to ask him why Logan made him fire Gerri. As soon as he hangs up, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) sneaks up and grabs him. The very shaken Roman holds back tears as he boards. They meet Willa at the top of the platform. She wants to know what “Looney Cake” is, and they explain that Connor ate cake for a week straight when his mom was hospitalized. She nods, and they walk to the VIP area.

Kendall, Shiv, and Roman head upstairs. Shiv and Kendall know that Logan is going to Stockholm. On the way upstairs they blow off Greg. Kendall is not concerned about the deal, but Shiv is worried. Connor believes Logan is coming, and they volunteer to have Shiv tell Connor the truth.

Tom keeps calling Roman, who finally answers. Logan collapsed in the bathroom on the plane. Tom thinks Logan stopped breathing. Frank (Peter Friedman) and Karl (David Rasche) believe he’s dying. They put them on speakerphone, and they can speak to him while the pilots work to save him. Roman and Kendall try to say goodbye, but they struggle to do so. Kendall runs to get Shiv.

The party is in full swing downstairs, and Kendall struggles to find her. He finally finds her and pushes her through the boat. He tells her what happened. Roman tells her they think Logan has died. They hand her the phone to tell Logan goodbye. She asks if he’s dead and if Tom is just being nice to her. Tom and Roman tell him this is the last chance to say something to him. After she stops, Tom tells them his heart and breathing have stopped. We hear a defibrillator in the background.

Kendall calls Jess to get the best doctors on the line. He steps upstairs and calls Frank. Kendall wants to speak to the pilots, but they are unable to (they are flying the plane). Frank thinks Logan is gone.

The kids begin second-guessing themselves. Roman wonders if his voicemail caused him to have a heart attack and die. Shiv wonders why they did not get her sooner. They realize Connor does not know. Shiv and Kendall go to get Conn, and tell him the news. At first, he seems to handle it, but then he steps upstairs and into a private room. Connor breaks down.

In the room Roman struggles to accept what happened. Shiv and Kendall are trying to come to grips with it, and Roman is making it more difficult. He refuses to talk about Logan in the past tense when they “don’t know for sure.”

Tom, Karl, Karolina, and Frank begin planning the next steps. While Karl gets a drink, Karolina lays out the contact list. They need to speak with Matsson, the Board, Gerri, and others. Kerry walks into the room and seems extremely unhinged. Karolina lets her know that they’re using the space to coordinate. Kerry tried to include herself, but they tell her to go to the back of the plane. They divide up the list of people they need to call.

Tom steps into a room on the plane and calls Greg. He tells Greg to go to the office. When Greg questions why, Tom tells him Logan is dead. Greg seems to be in shock, and Tom makes a dark joke. When Greg asks if Tom is okay, we cut back to Tom crying. He’s not okay, but he tells Greg to make sure the narrative is that Tom was by Logan’s side.

Hugo (Fisher Stevens) steps into a room with the kids. The plane thinks Hugo can act as a good liaison between the sides. Tom calls Kendall to confirm CPR has stopped. Karolina speaks to Hugo on the phone. The yacht begins pulling out of the harbor. Hugo lets the kids know the plane started writing the statement about Logan’s death.

Roman calls the plane and puts them on speaker. Shiv asks why they’re putting something together already. Frank says sorry, but they need to think of the market. Karl also notes they thought they could handle it because the family was estranged. The kids push back and hang up.

Gerri joins the room after a short brief with Hugo. She apologizes to them, and Roman reminds everyone that no doctor has seen him. Kendall tries to see if there’s a way to delay the news. Gerri begins working on seeing if there’s a way to help them. Shiv suggests circling the plane, and Roman pushes back. When Hugo and Gerri leave the room, Kendall makes it clear they need to be on the ball today. Otherwise, it will restrict their movement in the future if they’re not careful.

Succession Connor's Wedding

Connor and Willa talk in private. They debate getting married today on the positives and negatives. It might be weird if they get married today. Yet Connor’s scared she’ll leave him if they back out. He also does not want people to assume she left him if they do not go through with it. Conn asks her if Willa is only with him for money, and she reassured him that she will stay.

The kids discuss their initial response when Gerri walks in with Karolina on the phone. Rumors about Logan are already leaking. The group does not know who started them, but they need a statement in some form. The kids step outside and need 5 minutes. Gerri lets them know the C-Suite can handle the statement and excuse the kids from the board meeting.

Kendall does not like this plan. Shiv believes their name needs to be on the statement. Roman still seems unsure, but Kendall knows they need to be in control. Roman agrees. They let Hugo need they’re going to draft. He lets them know it’ll need approvals and that someone has to call Matsson. They volunteer Roman.

Roman walks back into the room with Gerri and tells her he needs it. She gets ready to leave, and he tries to connect with her. She instead hurries up and rushes out. Roman bangs his head on the wall.

Shiv, Roman, Kendall, Hugo, and Gerri leave the yacht. They are picked up by helicopter and flown to the airport. They meet those on the plane as they disembark. Frank tells Hugo he expects that he, Gerri, and Karl are on the statement. Tom walks off the plane.

A press conference is being readied for the kids. Kendall and Roman make jokes about they’re not going to be okay after this while Shiv reads the statement. Hugo pulls in the press, and the three kids walk out. Shiv leads the way and gives the statement confirming Logan’s death. She answers a question about their role in the future of the company, saying they intend to be there. Shiv walks into Tom, who hugs her. She steps away.

Succession Connor's Wedding

They go out to take a breather and hug on the tarmac. Shiv steps out and asks Tom to go through it with her. they drive away together. Kendall will not go up to see Logan. Roman goes alone. Willa and Connor get married at a mostly empty ceremony. After some time, the EMTs remove him. Roman walks back, and Kendall watches from a distance.

Episode Breakdown – Succession – “Connor’s Wedding”

The long-promised demise of a bad man came to pass. Say goodbye to Brian Cox, who leaves Succession as one of the great performers in recent history. The episode three sendoff was quite a surprise, especially considering the fallout to come. However, with so much to work through and so many other characters to sunset, Succession needed to pull this card now. Where the show goes from here seems pretty obvious, highlighted by a beautifully moving shot of three siblings about to kill each other to control a company.

The performances from the ensemble shine and the direction is masterful. Yet the writing needs to let Jesse Armstrong take a bow. It’s likely that “Connor’s Wedding” will go down as the best-written episode of the show. This teleplay should quickly earn a place among the best episodes of television in the past decade. Armstrong and his team pack in some of the most emotional and empathy-inducing moments in Succession history. Armstrong pushes the cast as far as he can, but he also shows the buzzards are watching. It’s a dramatic episode in every sense of the world, exploring how mythmaking is truly the tool of maniacal.

Upon the passing of their dad, the kids finally show their competence. They take over the statement and get out ahead of the press. They ensure their faces are on national TV when the news comes out, not their rivals (Gerri, Frank, Tom, and Karl). Even Karl gets caught off-guard, asking Hugo to put their names on the statement after the presser is already scheduled. It’s a power move, and Shiv’s last words to the camera about their future involvement speak volumes.

Who stands out the most here will be a fight for years. It’s hard to argue against Culkin, who breaks out the best performances of his career for the episode. Not far behind is Snook, who seems to have taken the crown for Best Actress should she accept the category placement. Strong and Macfadyen each display incredible bravado as performers, but it seems likely that we’re about to watch their best in the episodes to come. However, Macfadyen’s job as the telephone operator might be the most subtlety impressive aspect of the episode.

Gerri’s and Roman’s relationship seems forever broken. When she dipped out on him when Roman needed her most, Gerri sent a strong message. Roman clearly did not go to bat against Logan. Why should she go to bat for him on any level now? He’s simply a cold-blooded suit, and any aspect of their relationship is now gone.

The question of where control goes will now be an open discussion. Do the Roys want to sell off their legacy to Matsson? Why lose a dime when they can simply take back over? Even more important, does the board even think this is in their best interests? For Stewy and Sandi, the money might be too good to pass up. A stock freefall at the end of the episode will bring out the wolves. Wolves mean red meat, and who ends up on the chopping block will be the most important aspect of where we go. The show was called Succession for a reason. Now the brawl to answer who succeeds begins.

Alan’s Rating: 10/10

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