‘Succession’ Style, Episode 9: The Funeral
This article contains spoilers for Episode 9 of the final season of “Succession.”
We knew it was coming: the funeral service for Logan Roy. After several episodes of planning and maneuvering, the Roy children finally have the chance to ceremonially mourn their father. Of course it wouldn’t be a Roy family gathering without some wheeling and dealing, a surprise eulogy from Logan’s estranged brother, public relations schemes and the chaotic backdrop of protests in the wake of a disputed election.
The funeral guests wore black, and the Roy children stuck to the dress code. Logan’s wives and mistresses dressed the part of widows, each in their own way, creating an apt tableau of the women who knew another side of the man who “made life happen.”
Jessica Testa: This week I found myself wondering: Does Roman Roy read our style recaps? Because his immediate observation upon seeing Marcia at Logan’s funeral — “Marcia’s looking chic” — is something one of us would definitely say, if we didn’t already say it during her one (one!) real appearance this season. Although we wouldn’t be so, uh, crude about it.
Vanessa Friedman: Interesting that she and Caroline, Logan’s first wife, were the only ones in hats.
Guy Trebay: What has been admirable about the costume designer Michelle Matland’s work throughout is the restraint.
JT: With all the powerful people in the room — and the writing repeatedly tells us that the most powerful people in the world are in attendance — nobody was very interested in peacocking. Maybe that’s the point. Real power means never needing to peacock.
VF: And then there was Logan’s brother, entirely off on his own in a turtleneck and blazer.
Anna Grace Lee: A subtly plaid blazer, of course.
VF: It really emphasized the way he stands apart from what his brother hath wrought.
JT: I loved the reappearance of Caroline. Shiv’s mother immediately clocking her pregnancy when her brothers had been either ignoring or ignorant of it was perfect. And bringing the wives and mistresses together was weirdly kind for such an unkind character.
VF: She had quite an emerald pin. It was like a “I got a big settlement” flag.
GT: One of the things we tend to overlook is how subject anatomy is to fashion. That has been brought home again and again on this series, where people are anomalous in height, from Roman’s 5-foot-6 to Greg’s geeky 6-foot-7 — as opposed to the male actor median in Hollywood of 5-foot-10. Likewise, the state of artificial preservation. Caroline’s weathered face was starkly in contrast with the poreless, unwrinkled Botox faces that are now the norm.
VF: Marcia is likewise visibly “mature.”
GT: And the “mature” actresses are not American-born.
Stella Bugbee: The costumes of the four women who loved Logan worked best when they all sat next to one another.
GT: The quartet in a pew was incredible image-making. It rendered Logan more alive than any words could.
VF: Kendall’s speech was quite extraordinary. When he said his father had “the will to be, and be seen,” that seemed to reflect the tension within the children. They both do, and do not, want to be seen (or be seen in a specific way), and that is a driving force in how they dress.
JT: Kendall has never looked so comfortable, even in his grief, finally out of Logan’s shadow.
VF: Kendall’s brushed gray herringbone tweed overcoat, with the collar standing up just so at the cemetery, was a power coat — a mantle to assume.
GT: The coat seemed off to me, stiff and ill-fitting, too countrified (with the deep inverted back vent) for a power coat.
JT: Was anyone else surprised by Logan’s Stalinesque mausoleum? The sibs seemed to be. It was more evidence they didn’t really know him.
AGL: Lightheartedly discussing the price of the mausoleum — a $5 million “good deal” — was so morbid, and so them.
GT: Was that Woodlawn Cemetery, does anyone know? The church was St. Ignatius Loyola, where Jacqueline Onassis’ funeral was held.
VF: Also Oscar de la Renta’s memorial.
SB: This was Roman’s episode from his opening monologue, where he looks in the mirror and strokes the beard that he’s clearly growing because it looks like his father’s, to the end, running against the unruly tide of protesters in his suit.
GT: And dabbing on the moisturizer.
JT: You can’t imagine how hard I was trying to zoom in on the brand.
SB: Hard to imagine Logan using moisturizer or being punched in the face.
GT: Ms. Matland has been slowly shrinking Roman, it seems, through his clothes. And the slightly too high-waist trousers made him seem yet smaller, which amplified the harrowing pulpit reversion from warehouse rat to sobbing child.
VF: What did you guys think about how Matsson cleaned up?
AGL: There was something kind of eerie about seeing Matsson in his suit, disguised as a normal person.
GT: Universal truth. At key moments, you’re going to have to shave and put on hard pants.
Jessica Testa, Stella Bugbee, Vanessa Friedman, Guy Trebay and Anna Grace Lee contributed reporting.