In a cast of hilariously amoral characters, Logan Roy is perhaps the most duplicated family member of Succession. However, when he doesn’t order Roman to laugh at the same volume as everyone else (he didn’t get it from a hyena farm), the Roy family patriarch also has some of the most insightful series.
Although Logan is careful to reveal what he really thinks, audiences sometimes get a glimpse of his mind. From business and politics to philosophy and human nature, Logan’s reflections demonstrate a keen understanding of what people really want.
ten “Most things don’t exist. The Ford Motor Company barely exists. It’s just a time-saving phrase for a collection of financial interests.”
Faced with the difficult decision to choose a scapegoat in the midst of an investigation into Waystar’s wide-ranging sexual assault cover-up, Logan follows that quote except for the fact that the family exists. He tells his family that’s why he thinks he should be the only one in the business to take the fall.
Logan’s thinking that most things don’t exist is consistent with his belief that lying is a game to be won, and whether people realize it or not, they’re playing the same way. . The fact that he ended up choosing Kendall to take the fall indicates that, perhaps, the family exists as a collection of financial interests, much like the Ford Motor Company.
9 “You want some old fucking Rosebud? Rosebud is a dollar. That’s all it took to get me the whore out of here.”
One of the most critically acclaimed episodes of season two, “Dundee,” followed Logan and the rest of the Roy family on a trip to his hometown in Scotland to celebrate his 50th anniversary as CEO by Waystar Royco. As he and Connor carpool through town together, Connor asks Logan to tell a story.
Instead of offering his son a story, he injects a dose of realism. Referencing a famous plot device from one of Orson Welles’ best films Citizen Kane, Logan dismisses the idea that there is an underlying tragic motive from his youth that led him to be successful, as newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane had been a childhood sled named Rosebud. Although it is probably not a coincidence that his late sister, whose death he would blame himself, is called Rose.
8 “Don’t be rude, but politics is what comes out of the asshole. Wouldn’t you rather be frank, feed the horse?”
Despite the ethical dilemmas within his own industry, Logan views politicians as inferior to him and lacking a degree of professional integrity that even top CEOs like him are capable of possessing. This sense of superiority is vindicated in a scene where the US President is left on hold when he calls Logan, only for the President to submit a submitted apology for another matter after Logan finally drops off.
In this analogy that Logan uses in another episode to poke fun at his political daughter, Shiv, the media business shapes the world by feeding it information and calculated perceptions. On the other hand, politics must react and obey these perceptions in order to maintain itself.
7 “I do with my madness what people really want. Don’t tell me about people – I would be bankrupt in a week if I didn’t.”
Besides being one of the SuccessionThe best characters at throwing slurs and disparagement, Logan also has a knack and willingness to manipulate the world and the people around him by appealing to their desires. That’s why, as the longtime CEO of a giant conglomerate, he has been able to navigate the changing and attention-focused world of the media industry.
However, this quote also educates the audience on what they really think in the scenes where he talks with his children one-on-one. Knowing that they are all in desperate need of his approval, his frequent tactics when he has something to gain are to tell his children that they are his “number one.” He even vaguely lets each of his children privately understand that he wants to name them as his successor, as if it’s a special secret between the two of them.
6 “Three thousand miles to pose with signage. Thanks F ** k, I’m not busy.”
Despite being a talented liar, Logan seems to hate the public relations aspect of his career and doesn’t necessarily seek to be noticed. Her trip back to Dundee was almost purely for PR reasons, and her reluctance to pose for photos was showcased throughout the episode.
In moments like this, Logan demonstrates his disrespect for performance for attention. While he performs regularly in terms of interpersonal lies, Logan, as one of the Successionthe most powerful characters in, does so in order to gain more influence. He views performance in his professional and personal life as a way to win a game, while playing for the approval of others is low.
5 “If your hands are clean, it’s only because your brothel also does manicures.”
In season 3 of Succession, Logan decides who he should designate to be the temporary CEO while he waits for the outcome of the sexual assault investigation, his CFO Karl tries to come up with his own name. In search of a candidate without scandal, Logan’s brutal response to Karl demonstrated his difficulty in finding a CEO without a questionable track record towards women.
Not only is this perhaps one of Logan’s best insults, but it also reflects how much he probably never believed his casual acceptance of cruise ship assaults would catch up with him. The fact that Karl believed he might be an option for the CEO is likely, in part, a product of how Logan had previously run his business.
4 “You make your own reality. And once you did, apparently everyone was of the opinion that it was all so obvious.”
In a moment of frustration, Logan lets go of the criticism he has received over the years for trade moves that others considered silly. Despite the fact that his foresight was correct in retrospect, he notes that both history and public opinion have come to view such moves as inevitable rather than impressive.
Rather than saying that his decisions, which led him to massive success, were obvious, Logan points out that his choices were the result of hard work. Even though technology is constantly evolving and this is forcing media companies to adapt, Logan attributes his resistance to his ability to impose his own reality on others.
3 “People come to us because we don’t sell them on anything. No package of F *** king Bleeding Heart, United Nations-Volvo-Gender-Bender Horses ***.”
Even though Logan largely despises human nature, he doesn’t entirely underestimate the intelligence of the public. In this quote, he doesn’t see virtue signage as an effective marketing tactic for his business.
On the contrary, he seems to believe that people are generally able to see through virtue signals since they have become so common in modern advertisements. However, this quote may instead symbolize how out of touch he is with his audience as Waystar increasingly loses its edge in the market.
2 “Sometimes it’s a big D ** k competition.”
Kendall, often appearing to rely on the business management textbooks he learned in college, simplified the art of negotiation for him in this quote from Logan. Sometimes, according to Logan, intimidation of reason is the way to go to make a deal.
With a knack for recognizing people’s weaknesses, Logan knows how to bully others when he needs to. He sees negotiation as another game to be won, and the best way to play is to appeal to what are said to be the deepest fears and desires of his opponents.
1 “The future is real. The past is all made up.”
While celebrating his 50th birthday in Dundee, Shiv wonders why Logan doesn’t seem to have much nostalgia for his hometown. His response reveals a major disregard for the past as being primarily a fabrication of memory and human nature’s inclination to make sense of the world through stories.
Although Logan seems to have an existential disbelief in almost everything, including the idea of family to some extent, the future and the present stand out as the only true concepts for him. He believes in seizing his own reality rather than being a pawn in that of others.
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