Without their father, who are the Roys?

It seemed as though the show’s final season would provide an answer to the persistent question of whether the Roy kids could ever defeat Logan. But this conflict covered up the series’ central concern, which has been shrouded in secrecy ever since the first episode: What will his children look like when Logan is gone? Can the siblings move on without their father, the factor that brought them together and kept them apart? Can they ever truly escape the influence of their father? Although we don’t know, “Connor’s Wedding” suggests that the answer is probably no.

The brilliance of successor is that it was able to take an inevitable plot point – one we pretty much knew was coming since the show’s first scene, when a disoriented Logan relieves himself in the corner of his bedroom – and turn it into one to make an absolute eye-catcher. In a series of scenes that unfold over a long phone call with Tom Wambsgans of all people, the Roys learn their father’s heart stopped while he was in the bathroom on his private jet, and any of his children may already be speaking to them -Dead Logan over a phone held to his ear. (Well, not poor Connor, whom no one informs until it’s definitely too late.) Grief is a leveler, and whether it’s Shiv’s confident alto that shifts to a child’s high, thin voice when she says, “Daddy, I love you, please not now,” or Kendall’s crying when Frank tells him Logan is gone, we feel it landing.

But while their awkward, amazingly genuine efforts to comfort each other bring them closer — it’s devastating to watch them hug while they can only look down — the decisions they make in the rest of the episode laid the groundwork for the way they are almost certain to be spun apart in the remaining episodes of the series.

“Whatever we do now will always be what we were doing the day our father died,” Kendall says, and while referring to how he and his siblings have served the markets, the SEC and the public will look like all things in succession, The line has a separate family fee. Not only is Logan so tall that her private grief is still defined by his larger stature, but it speaks to how her own decisions and actions, sibling to sibling, will resonate in the days to come. Because just like Karolina, who immediately switches into ice-cold crisis management mode and starts making a list of who needs to be informed and when, the Roy siblings have a timeline problem.

When Logan has a crisis on the plane, Tom first tries to call Shiv, but she voicemails him twice, and while Tom decides who to call next, Kendall and Roman are in a friendly, only slightly caustic, moment. Banter, convincing her little sister that she should be the one to break the news to Connor that Logan isn’t coming to his wedding. As soon as she leaves, Tom reaches Roman and in the ensuing panicked confusion, “Who’s in charge?” Kendall barks, “Who’s medically competent?” – neither of them runs to get Shiv, despite Tom asking for her several times . It’s been ages before Kendall is looking for her.

This is not cruelty – the brothers are in shock. But it’s negligence, the product of a life of allowing other people – Jess, Hugo, Tom’s “Greglets” – to have their desires fulfilled. The Roys can’t understand it at this moment, they have responsibilities that are outside of themselves. When Kendall finally reaches his sister, he’s seen trying to piece together flimsy facts into some sort of coherent narrative – bathroom, trouble breathing, chest compressions – and Shiv’s shock is devastating. The brothers insist they came to her immediately, but in the cold light of day, especially after Shiv has spoken to Tom – we see them together in the final moments of the episode – things won’t go that way.

But in these first moments of shock, the Roys are surprisingly gentle with each other. When Roman, against all logic, insists it’s too soon to actually tell Logan he’s dead, Kendall and Shiv treat him with kid gloves. “Okay,” she says in a low voice, without poison. The brothers don’t tear Shiv apart when she makes the terrifying suggestion that they “leave the plane up there a moment longer” because she feels too distraught to make any business decisions (although the fact that that comment was out there is, does not appear good ). As for Connor, he’s so used to being the follower that he’s rolling with his exclusion from final goodbyes and going through with his marriage to Willa — not as a planned spectacle for his presidential campaign, but privately after he’s made sure of her see at eye level what they are letting themselves in for. (Willa assures Connor that she’s with him about his money, but isn’t only for his money.) It’s the healthiest thing anyone does in the entire episode.

Killing Logan in the third episode of the season leaves a lot of room for the show’s various factions to compete for the loot. It seems impossible that the Roy siblings’ alliance will last — this isn’t a show that’s going to deliver seven episodes of togetherness. If it turns out Roman was talking to Logan while plotting against him with his siblings, if Shiv gets the full download from Tom, if the jostling for position starts in earnest, they’ll have plenty of time to tear each other apart.

It would be one thing if the siblings had genuine trust, built on the belief that they could count on each other. But they don’t. While we had the novelty of seeing Kendall, Roman, and Shiv work together, including a moment of genuine joy as they thwart Logan’s attempted acquisition of PGM, the alliance felt fragile. Shiv has kept her options open from the start, while Ken withheld the details of his conversation with Matsson. As for Roman, when he starts going behind their backs, he lets his siblings’ paranoid fear come true via a birthday message to his father. They learned how to love without trust from their father, and the irony of Marriage Connor is that Logan’s influence is so inescapable that even his death is strategic. In death as in life, Logan will pit his children against each other.

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But there is a caveat based on truth successor understands perfectly. Siblings can weather disasters that would destroy a friendship or marriage. We’re talking about a family where Shiv issued a press release calling Kendall a drug addict and an absentee father. where Kendall turned the entire DOJ against the family business; where Roman burned them both in his pursuit of Matsson. They came out on the other side of it. After all, your sibling is the person you practice your actual feelings on before learning how to make them more palatable for al fresco consumption. And while the Roys never seemed overly concerned with how they come across to others, deep down they do care what their siblings think of them. They survived saying the unspeakable to each other.

Just before Shiv makes the press statement, Kendall and Roman take a moment together. “We’re going to be fine,” Kendall tells Roman, getting straight to the point. “You’re not going to be okay,” Roman says with a bit of old cheek. Kendall parries with the classic sibling comeback “Y.”you are not be okay.” The ritual intimacy of sibling ribs was the only thing that got me thinking, maybe they will be ok. Or at least they have a chance.