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‘Succession’ Actor Discusses the Notorious “Kill List,” Golden Parachutes, and Kendall Roy’s Rise to Power

Succession stands out from its HBO counterparts in its restrained approach to character deaths, but after Logan Roy’s shocking demise, it’s understandable for viewers to feel apprehensive about an episode named “Kill List.”

Fortunately, no one perishes in this episode, though their job security is significantly more precarious.

Upon ascending to CEO positions, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) guide the struggling Waystar Royco to Norway to renegotiate the company’s sale to GoJo.

The episode features the season’s first glimpse of Alexander Skarsgård as the extremely wealthy, immature Lukas Matsson, who shares some similarities with the Roys but is also a formidable rival, having previously dealt with the late Logan and others.

“Kill List” follows the intricate negotiations between Matsson, Kendall, and Roman, with Shiv (Sarah Snook) also attempting to forge her own path, separate from her unpredictable brothers.

In a surprising turn, instead of sabotaging the deal to maintain control over Waystar, Kendall and Roman end up with a more lucrative offer than anticipated.

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This is partly because Matsson wants to make things difficult for the Roy siblings, now that their mutual animosity is evident.

To eliminate Matsson, Kendall and Rome must devise a clever plan or risk revealing their desperation to maintain Logan Roy’s legacy, even if it means disappointing an impatient board eager to finalize the deal.

However, not every executive may want the sale to proceed, as hinted in the closing moments of “Kill List.”

As a result of Matsson’s latest proposal, several key figures may lose their jobs after the sale: Hugo (Fisher Stevens), Karl (David Rasche), and Frank (Peter Friedman), among others.

Hugo and Karl are visibly upset, but Frank remains relatively unperturbed.

Perhaps Frank’s calm demeanor stems from his past experience, having been fired in Succession’s pilot to make way for Roman’s rise and later dismissed after Kendall’s unsuccessful coup.

It’s puzzling why Frank remains involved, given the harsh treatment he receives from the surrounding characters. Even Peter Friedman, who portrays Frank, is uncertain, though his excellent performance in the series, particularly as the executor of Logan’s will in the final season, adds significant value.

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As Succession reaches its fourth and final season’s midpoint, Friedman discusses the first five episodes with The Hollywood Reporter, focusing on Frank’s connections with the ascending Kendall and the late, not-so-beloved Logan Roy.

Frank has been a constant presence in the series since its inception, despite being fired in the first episode. What are your thoughts on his journey thus far and his continued involvement?

Friedman admits he is unsure and looks forward to learning more about Frank’s motivations in the future.

He often wonders what keeps a seemingly moral character like Frank associated with these ruthless individuals.

Frank might be attracted to power and the perks it provides, but viewers have yet to see this side of him. Friedman acknowledges that he knows little about his character and learns more from fan speculation than from the script itself.

However, he believes Frank to be warm and paternal, with some inexplicable attraction to these ruthless characters.

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