Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Review: “Succession” Episode 5 Gives Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin Shining Moments and Clinches Their Emmy Awards


The great thing about how “Succession” is written is that each actor is given amazing scenes to submit for the Emmy Awards. Each character has moments in which they shine. And they are all breathtaking.

In Episode 5, we have not yet had Logan Roy’s funeral. It’s only a day or two — Roman can’t actually remember — since he died.

The whole gang gets on private planes to Lukas Matsson’s GoJo company retreat in Norway where The Deal to sell Waystar will be renegotiated and finalized. Maybe. Nothing is certain. The death is still very fresh, and the kids have left Connor back in New York to finalize funeral plans. (Maybe that’s the week after.)

I don’t know if the production actually filmed in Norway or upstate New York, but wherever it is, it’s amazing. Most of the episode takes place at this largely outdoors camp for billionaires, which isn’t easy to do to. But the starkness of the architecture, plus the gray skies, adds to the dread that builds through the whole process of deciding futures.

As I said, every actor gets tremendous moments in every episode. But this particular chapter belongs to Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Alexander Skarsgard. They tear the wood from the walls. Even the nails come flying up. Long scenes — an intimate one between Shiv and Matsson, and then a brutally raw one between Roman and Mattson — will leave you breathless. I was as rattled and haven’t stopped thinking about them. All the actors deserve Emmys and whatever other awards are out there.

There are five more episodes remaining for “Succession.” I don’t know what direction they will take. The dynamics have shifted certainly, and they could shift again easily. But with Logan, the kids’ mutual enemy, gone, the playing field has been reset. There’s a camaraderie now, but that could change also. There’s also the matter of Shiv and Tom’s marriage, her pregnancy, and what if anything, Cousin Greg, is planning.

Another night of must-see TV. Whew! I’m exhausted.

PS There is no ensemble like this on TV. “Yellowstone” looks silly by comparison. The Emmys should come up with a special award for this group! I guess that’s just Best TV Drama.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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