Succession Season 4 Episode 4 Recap – Who is appointed head of Waystar?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 17, 2023 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Succession Season 4 Episode 4 Recap - Who is appointed head of Waystar?
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Summary

Succession delivers one of its funniest episodes ever in “Honeymoon States”, while also sneaking in one of Kendall’s most spiteful double-crosses yet.

This recap of Succession Season 4 Episode 4, “Honeymoon States”, contains spoilers.


How do you follow up one of the best episodes of television of all time?

If you’re Succession, I suppose you deliver another one, though expertly calibrated to be equally as impressive though not in quite the same way. Episode 3 was a wrenchingly sad, virtuosic actor’s showcase, sudden bereavement in real-time.

“Honeymoon States” isn’t like that. The humanity has retreated, to be replaced by a made-for-TV veneer. It’s much funnier and a little sillier, but also viciously spiteful. In other words, it’s your typical episode of Succession, just with final-season stakes, now haunted by the specter of Logan Roy instead of his frail physical form.

Succession Season 4 Episode 4 Recap

Logan, you’ll recall, is dead. His loss has sent the global press into a frenzy of platitudes and backhanded compliments: “A complicated man”, one outlet calls him, and others describe him as, “A sharp reader of the national mood,” and “very much a man of his era.”

Kendall and Roman, laughingly passing the broadsheets back and forth, translate: He was a bit racist, was relaxed about sexual assault, and he threw things at staff.

What does Frank find in Logan’s safe?

How would a complicated man of his era prepare for his own death? As it turns out, not very well. Frank, the executor of Logan’s estate, finds only a single document in his safe, which pre-dates all the personal battles we have witnessed over the last three seasons and has nonetheless been hastily edited in pencil, perhaps as recently as 18 months ago.

Some of the annotations are about what to do with expensive artworks that have been stored for tax purposes. One is Cousin Greg’s name with a question mark beside it.

The most important, though, is a printed line expressing Logan’s desire that Kendall succeeds him. This is either underlined or crossed out; it’s difficult to tell. Logan either wanted Kendall to take the reins of Waystar or didn’t, and since he’s dead there’s no way to tell.

Who is appointed head of Waystar?

Naturally, Kendall’s entire demeanor changes when he reads the paper. Roman thinks it’s too old to matter and dismisses it out of hand. Shiv highlights the ambiguity of whether Kendall’s name is underlined or crossed out. He venomously retorts, “Well it sure as f*ck doesn’t say Shiv.”

A sniff of power is all it takes, I guess. Or is it approval?

Either way, Kendall is keen to take the position and tries to aggressively corner Roman and Shiv into playing along. His suggestion is that his appointment is merely tokenistic, and they’ll really, behind the scenes, shepherd Waystar through the GoJo sale, remold ATN, and acquire the Pierce estate together, which they’ll run three ways, equal “to the gram”.

But the double-crossing begins immediately. An idea is floated that Kendall and Roman run Waystar together since Roman is still officially the chief operating officer and doesn’t have Kendall’s lingering toxicity. Shiv, you’ll notice, is cut out of this deal. There isn’t much debate allowed before she’s forced to acquiesce. Kendall assures her that the triumvirate is still intact, just not if anyone asks.

Shiv is so shaken up by the sudden change in her fortunes that she falls down a small set of stairs, has tears in her eyes, and hurries away.

Is Shiv pregnant?

On the subject of Shiv, consider the opening scene of this episode, in which she receives a call from her doctor giving her good news about some tests. She also mentions a 20-week scan. The implication is that Shiv is pregnant.

This complicates matters everywhere. Her little tumble – and the stress that caused it – are suddenly life-threatening, if not for her then her own personal successor. I’m also not entirely sure about the parentage. She and Tom have been estranged for a while. What has she been doing in the meantime?

There are few answers in this regard yet, but I’m sure they’re coming.

Why is the episode titled “Honeymoon States”?

The title of the episode comes from Connor’s post-wedding itinerary, which is comprised entirely of swing states in his presidential campaign.

I have no idea if any of this is going to matter in the long run. It seems inconceivable that Connor would become president, but that has never stopped anyone from becoming president before. But it mostly seems like a way to reiterate that he has no identity or purpose beyond spending money.

There was that line in a previous episode about how much he was investing just to keep his name in the conversation. Here, he offers to buy Marcia’s house for $63 million, totally on a whim, and then starts saying “Mi casa, su casa” when people ask for privacy.

Succession Season 4 Episode 4 Ending Explained

The latest episode ends with one of Kendall’s most brutal double-crosses yet.

After Kendall and Roman’s appointment as the new heads of Waystar, Hugo and Karolina sit them down for a PR pitch in which they theoretically lay out their options. They can either play up the idea of a united family front, which nobody will believe, or they can drag Logan’s name through the mud by implying that he was barely capable towards the end and that people around him were making decisions for him.

For spice, they can even play up him being an abuser.

Roman wants nothing to do with this. And neither does Kendall, at least not as far as Roman is concerned. However, earlier in the episode, he unwittingly gathered some leverage on Hugo. His daughter, who he may or may not have spoken to during the uncertainty surrounding Logan’s condition, suspiciously dumped Waystar stock right before Logan’s death was announced and the value tanked. It’s insider trading, at least if it’s described in the right way.

Kendall knows this, and he threatens to make sure everyone else knows unless Hugo annihilates his father’s reputation in the press without getting approval from Karolina or Roman.

Kendall claims it’s what Logan would have wanted. He might be right.

You can stream Succession Season 4 Episode 4, “Honeymoon States” exclusively on HBO and HBO Max.


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