Succession, episode 9, review: only in death have we discovered the real Logan Roy

Only now do we reach Logan Roy’s funeral. His death feels like weeks ago – because it was, in television terms – but here is a reminder that this series is unfolding over a matter of days. Yesterday was election day. Today, Logan is laid to rest. In a mausoleum he bought from a dotcom pet supply millionaire. Shiv joked that Logan even did a smart business deal here: “A tax write-off, because it’s technically a residence.”

There weren’t many other jokes in this episode, although Greg can always be relied upon to bring the comedy. He watched helplessly as his grandfather, Logan’s estranged brother, Ewan (James Cromwell), strode up unannounced to give the first eulogy. “What do you want me to do?” he appealed to Shiv. “Take his legs out?”

That eulogy, courtesy of the show’s writer and creator Jesse Armstrong, provided the show’s deepest insight into Logan Roy’s psyche. Tough beginnings, and then tragedy: Logan blamed himself for bringing home the polio that killed his baby sister. Ewan’s speech read like a novel from that era, a world away from the snappy, modern dialogue that powers this show. “He was a man who has, here and there, drawn in the edges of the world, now and then darkened the skies a little… he was mean and he made but a mean estimation of the world, and he fed a certain kind of meagreness in men… I don’t know when but sometime he decided not to try any more, and it was a terrible shame.”

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