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The Bidding War In The Succession S4 Premiere Shows That The Roys Have No Idea What They're Doing

"Succession" is about a lot of things all at once — a ruthless family at war, the goings-on of the ultra-rich, and more money than you could possibly imagine. This is more evident than ever in the Season 4 premiere, where the Roys find themselves locked into a bidding war that pits a father against his children and a husband against his wife.

Fighting tooth and nail over acquisition of Pierce Global Media (or PGM), one of the biggest competitors to the Roy's Waystar Royco, patriarch and King Lear figure Logan (Brian Cox) aligns himself with a group of trusted advisors, including Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), hapless Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), and longtime lieutenant Gerri (J. Cameron Smith). Opposing him are his own children — Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin). It's worth noting that Logan has another son, Alan Ruck's soon-to-be failed presidential candidate Connor, but he's basically on Logan's side by default in that he has zero skin in the game.

Vying for ownership of PGM directly with Nan Pierce (Cherry Jones), the head of the family, the warring Roys keep raising the stakes higher and higher, playing with billions of dollars like it is merely Monopoly money. So, what does this show us about the Roys? Well, frankly, it shows that the Roys are actually really dumb — especially the younger ones.

The Roy children have absolutely no idea what they're doing, professionally

Attempting to start some kind of rival media company called "The Hundred," the Roy kids are operating from a palatial house in sunny California, trying to come up with a pitch for any potential investors. Their pitch, though, is a total mess. Described as "Masterclass meets Substack meets The New Yorker meets The Economist," The Hundred sounds like a completely nebulous, undefined online concept, and that's because it is — it's just a half-formed idea created by ridiculous rich kids.

The Roy children have never wanted for anything and were born into their father's obscene wealth. Even though most of them have worked in Waystar Royco in some capacity, they didn't exactly have to apply for those jobs. The way they talk about facing off against their formidable father — with obvious fear in each of their eyes — makes one thing spectacularly clear. Kendall, Shiv, and Roman aren't really a match for Logan, and it's dangerous for them to go up against him.

In the end, merely by fumbling through negotiations driven by fear and anxiety, the Roy kids win ... by promising a whopping $10 billion to buy PGM. Whether or not they have $10 billion feels like it's questionable, but the way they talk about the money proves that, when it comes to the long term, they don't have the wherewithal to keep things afloat.

Logan isn't always a genius either, despite his reputation

Logan Roy might be one of the most powerful men in his industry, but when it comes to his children, he's kind of clueless. Logan's right that Kendall, Shiv, and Roman are totally inexperienced when it comes to business, but in that way, he also kind of underestimates just how big they'll go in order to best him. Both companies put billions of dollars and their reputations on the line to buy PGM, and it's entirely to compete with one another — if they hadn't been bidding against each other, they might have lost interest altogether.

Both the Roy children and their father are weakened by the other side, undone by competing against their own blood. The bottom line is, though, that none of them are particularly gifted at the business side of things — half of the dialogue between the three rogue Roy siblings or the stuff said between Logan with, say, Tom or Greg is meaningless gibberish where none of them say anything concrete. That's part of the joy of "Succession," though — watching the most powerful people in the world act like big, dumb idiots.

The fourth and final season of "Succession" airs at 9 P.M. EST on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.