What Did Logan Write on the Paper in Succession?

Image Credit: Macall Polay/HBO

HBO’s ‘Succession‘ explores the complex family dynamics and corporate politics that ensue after Logan Roy, the owner of Waystar RoyCo, experiences a decline in health. In the fourth season, Logan’s shocking demise completely turns the tables and ups the stakes in the game of succession. The fourth episode sees Frank unearth a piece of paper that holds crucial information in choosing the next CEO of Waystar. Naturally, viewers must wonder what is written on the paper and how it affects Kendall’s fate in the show. SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Did Logan Write on the Paper?

In ‘Succession’ season 1, Logan Roy, the owner of Waystar RoyCo, a global media conglomerate, suffers a debilitating stroke that makes him ponder about the company’s future. Logan is forced to look for a successor, and his quest never truly ends until the third episode of season 4, where Logan dies while onboard a private jet. In the episode, Logan passes away due to a heart complication, leaving behind his three children from his second marriage, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv, to deal with the company’s matters despite outsing them from Waystar a few months ago. In the fourth episode, titled ‘Honeymoon States,’ a memorial service is held for Logan, which most Waystar executives attend.

Following the service, the board members are scheduled to meet and pick an interim CEO to shepherd the company through the GoJo acquisition. The Old Guard comprising Gerri, Frank, Tom, and Karl, contemplate the choices for the role of interim CEO. Meanwhile, Frank discovers a paper in Logan’s safe that contains game-changing information. Later, Shiv, Roman, and Kendall are called into a room, and the details of the letter are revealed to them. In the latter, Logan had marked Kendall’s name to take over the company and replace him as the CEO. However, several other factors complicate the matter, especially since the piece of paper wasn’t presented to Logan’s lawyers. Hence, the letter cannot be considered a legally binding document. Nonetheless, the paper causes plenty of drama among the Roy siblings.

Did Logan Choose Kendall As His Successor?

Logan’s declining health forces him to look for a worthy successor who can take over the company after he steps down. However, the Scottish businessman does not trust any of his children to replace him and take on the responsibility. Nonetheless, Logan does see potential in each of them and tries to groom them for the responsibility. At the show’s start, Kendall is considered the heir apparent and the most likely candidate to take over the company from his father. However, Logan does not believe Kendall has the ruthlessness to succeed as a CEO. The letter in Logan’s vault confirms that he was at least considering having Kendall take over the company at some point. Frank speculates that the letter was written roughly four years ago. Thus, it is safe to say that Logan was close to choosing Kendall as his successor at the show’s very start. However, the letter has a pencil amendment with Kendall’s name underlined or struck off.

Image Credit: David Russell/HBO

If the name is underlined, it will imply that Logan was doubling down on his decision to choose Kendall. However, the name being struck off would mean he was no longer the first choice. Frank speculates that the amendment was made roughly 12-18 months before Logan’s death. A close-up shot of the letter shows Kendall’s name was underlined but accidentally got struck out, confirming that Logan was considering having Kendall take over the company amidst the latter’s public war against his father in season 3. The second season finale shows Logan smiling when Kendall alleges him of being complicit in covering up sexual assault incidents on the cruise ships. The incident would suggest that Logan was impressed with Kendall choosing to fight dirty and wanted to appoint him as his successor. Ultimately, the board agrees to make Kendall co-CEO with Roman, seemingly fulfilling Logan’s wish.

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