The Succession's Season 4 Premiere May Have Foreshadowed The End Of The Series

This article contains spoilers for "Succession."

There are moments in "Succession" where Logan feels so impenetrable that the sudden reveal of his vulnerability is almost a jump-scare. The premiere of season 4 finds him at the top of his professional game, with an election and a multi-billion-dollar sale in his back pocket, and not a hint of his previous health issues in sight. This time, though, his weakness is an emotional one — his relationship with three of his four children is suffering, and they are absent for his birthday.

This episode, which kicks off the hit show's final season, mirrors the series premiere so closely that it's impossible to ignore. Both are centered around Logan's birthday, and both of them find him in a compromised position — in "Celebration," his health is called into question, while in "The Munsters," it's his family dynamic that suffers. In both cases, the media mogul is forced unwillingly to take stock of his surroundings and comes to a very different — but still overwhelmingly cynical — conclusion.

The parallels between these two extremely important episodes all seem to point in one direction: Logan is going to die this season. The show might conclude with his death, or maybe stick around for a little bit of the fall-out, but it seems only natural that the narrative arc would end with the Rupert Murdoch-like media titan's life. "Succession" might technically be an ensemble show, but Logan is the sun around which every character orbits.

Physical weakness vs. emotional weakness

In the pilot episode of "Succession," Logan is in a great place with all four of his children. Logan doubts Kendall's ability to close an important deal and decides to test Kendall's business acumen by weighing it against his loyalty to his father. When Kendall fails, Logan calls him soft and challenges his own son to strike him, then berates him when he tears up. He views Kendall's emotions as a huge weakness, but by season 4, he cannot hide his own sadness. The first episode ends with Logan suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Despite how tough he is with his children, he is incredibly vulnerable in this episode in a way that he cannot help.

The season 4 premiere doesn't suggest that Logan is suffering from medical issues, but he certainly isn't getting any younger. Season 3 featured quite a few health scares for Logan, from his crazy-making UTI to his heart complications on a long walk. He commands so much power that it's easy to forget just how human he is — until he brings it up himself over a laminated diner menu. Health complications pushed Logan to bottle his emotions, to soldier onward, and to prove his toughness, while his moments of isolation instead inspired him to finally reflect on his own mortality.

It's Logan's party and he'll cry if he wants to

Logan is clearly feeling isolated and uncomfortable in the season 4 premiere of "Succession." His health is okay, but he is emotionally uncomfortable. He very obviously feels alienated from everyone at the party, presumably organized by his "friend, assistant, and advisor," Kerry. The impersonal celebration bears a stark contrast to the close family gathering in the first season. "He's obviously in a bad place with three of his kids," series creator Jesse Armstrong told HBO, "and if he was asked whether he cared he would say no, but his every gesture, I think, suggests otherwise."

Logan wants to be challenged by his children, for them to prove their good business sense, but he is conflicted by his desire for their loyalty. Kendall is fooled into choosing loyalty in the first episode, but by season 4 his rebellion is in full swing and he's even brought his siblings onto his side. Upon reflection, it's as if his father had encouraged Kendall to give him a fight all along. Brian Cox, who gives an Emmy Award-winning performance, feels that Logan holds himself partially responsible for his alienation from his kids — partially being a keyword here.

"The moroseness is the fact that in a sense, he knows he's failed in his relationship with his children," Cox explained to Variety, "He's not a fool. He knows he's failed."

Logan's loneliness forces him to reflect

His isolation forces Logan to look in the mirror and reflect on his own mortality. "When the kids aren't around, he is very focused on who he is," Cox said. "And not in a good way." This compels him to become more emotionally vulnerable than ever before.

In the first season premiere, Logan walks to the party in the daylight, planning to backstab his son, and Colin walks in front of him warding off the paparazzi. In the final season premiere, Colin trails behind him as he walks away from the depressing party, through the dark, and into a diner, where he ponders questions of life and death with Colin at his side while his son stabs him in the back.

Instead of forcing us to question Logan's mortality by showing his health risks, Logan raises these questions himself. "I think there's a couple of ways of thinking about this show but one way is certainly that it's a show about mortality," Armstrong explained, per HBO. "And that interests me, seeing somebody who's maybe committed quite a lot of capital to not thinking about where all human lives go. And you can keep that at bay for a long time, but no one can keep it at bay forever."

His love for his children is his Achilles heel

Logan is forced to reap what he has sown in the season 4 premiere — his children choose a cunning business move over what will probably be their father's final birthday celebration. Now that he feels his death drawing closer, no longer able to prolong the inevitable, he can't help but regret having created such selfish people. This time, it is his love of family that exposes him.

"If he didn't love his children, it would be so much easier," Cox told Variety. "But the fact that he loves his children is his Achilles heel. That's his Achilles heel."

Without one of the Roy children at the helm of the Waystar empire immortalizing Logan's legacy, his death feels more imminent than ever. He sells off his life's work because he cannot trust it in the hands of his own children, who are ultimately spoiled and narcissistic. Even though his life is drawing to a close, the media titan is still in search of closure, both with his business and his family.

"He's getting old," Cox admitted. "He's tired — he's very tired! He doesn't want to be doing the same old, same old again and again and again. He wants some kind of completion to what he does, and who he is. But of course, he's not going to get it. Not with those kids — because they're too busy playing their own horrendous furrows."

All signs point to Logan's death, but it's possible that Logan doesn't see it that way. He will probably leave his life the same way most people do — loose ends untied, dreams unfulfilled, and problems unresolved.