Succession season 4 episode 9 “Church and State” review: A slow burn

Succession. WBD.
Succession. WBD. /

Last week’s election results shook up the Roy kids in a way that will cause a ripple effect as we reach the final two episodes of Succession. Below I share my recap and review of “Church and State.”

The episode begins with the news announcing they are awaiting the confirmation of the election. People across the US are protesting outside of ATN because they were the first to call the election. Roman is prepping his speech for the funeral when he gets a call from Kendall. Amid that call, Kendall’s wife calls to inform him they aren’t coming. He arrives to attempt to stop her and snaps at her, but she refuses to allow him in.

In the car ride, after Shiv is picked up, she tells them that she is pregnant. Roman funnily responds, asking if it’s his. After arriving at the funeral, before heading inside, Kendall mentions to Jess that he wants to talk to family lawyers about getting custody. When trying to find a time of the week to meet with her, and notices a meeting is scheduled between Jess and him. He pushes her to tell him what it’s about, and she tells him she is leaving.

Succession season 4 episode 9 is the calm before the storm

Connor tells Shiv that he wants to perform a eulogy, but she explains that Roman is speaking. Matsson attends the funeral, and Shiv plays the game, saying they must offer Mencken a seat on the board. Of course, she mentions herself as the possible person, and he retorts with some things, but she shuts the door on any questions he might have. Matsson asks if she can make good with Mencken, and she says yes.

Greg walks up to Shiv to say he isn’t going to make it to the funeral. So mentions that they need a wheelman (carrying Logan’s body) and offers his service. She says yes to him. The funeral begins, and Logan’s brother Ewan takes the stage to provide his condolences, but not before the family tries to stop him. Ewan says several good and bad things about Logan, leaning heavily toward the bad stuff towards the end of the speech.

Of course, Roman has to follow and struggles a little as he begins his speech. He stops mid-speech and has a massive breakdown crying in the arms of Kendall and Shiv. We see Kendall take over for him and deliver a powerful, moving speech about his father. He didn’t shy away from the bad but reminded everyone of the good he provided for many people seated at the funeral.

As they carry Logan’s body out of the church, the kids struggle with tears coming down their faces. Kendall awaits at the door to shake everyone’s hands and thanks them for coming. Hugo comes over to tell him that Shiv is hiring a US CEO to get Mencken in Matsson’s favor. When they arrive at the grave, Roman continues to struggle and cannot watch it happen. Shiv also is uncomfortable and asks Frank and Karl how her dad really was, who says he was a good egg.

Kendall approaches Hugo and tells the media that Matsson doesn’t have the votes of two family members but don’t say who. He wants him to spin it massively in favor of the family not taking the deal. Kendall mentions that this is an explicit plan to screw up the deal, and he rules the world. He will bring him with him, although not as a collaboration, he will be his dog, and millions upon millions will be at the table.

We see Kendall arrive to talk to Mencken. He wonders when he is going to make his announcement about his regulatory concerns. However, Mencken mentions he will “try” to help, and Kendall isn’t fond of his answer, but Greg arrives before he can follow that up. As Greg rambles, Roman shows up to tell him to “f*k off.” Mencken makes fun of Roman for his tears at the funeral, and Connor shows up to grab five from him. Shiv sneaks in to pull Mencken away to chat with Matsson.

The meeting unfolds when Matsson tells him that he wants Waystar. Matsson breaks down their side of the deal, including the possibility of a US CEO, and of course, Mencken brings up Shiv hating him but says, like her father, she is flexible. After this, Shiv meets with Tom to discuss her being pregnant. He asks why she didn’t tell him and says they were in the middle of a honeymoon phase and didn’t want to ruin it.

As Tom walks away, Shiv is upset but gets a call from Matsson, who says, “It’s a yes” (meaning he got the behind-the-scenes to work) and followed by telling her that he thinks he can make a US CEO. Kendall approaches Roman about Shiv/Matsson, saying they might need to alter the move. Roman said he wasn’t in the mood, but Kendall said, “you f*ked it,” talking about the moves he made. We hear him repeat that “he f*ked it,” but he will handle it.

We see Roman storm out, heading to the streets for fresh air. He sees people on the streets protesting and screams at them, saying they don’t know the truth about what is happening. The episode ends with chaos, with Roman jumping the fence and getting punched in the face, and him running for safety.

Overall, another solid episode, but I will say Succession must have a big finale in store for us because this felt more like the calm before the storm. Of course, we see some moving chess pieces throughout the show, but it was just that, and that to me, as the second to the last episode, felt slightly underwhelming. The finale will run around 90 minutes, so we should be in for the ride of our lives.

Succession season 4, episode 9, “Church and State” is available on HBO and MAX.