Performer of the Week: Sarah Snook

Succession Season 4 Shiv Episode 4 Sarah Snook


THE SHOW | Succession

THE EPISODE |Connor’s Wedding” (April 9, 2023)

THE PERFORMANCE | Before we get started, let’s be clear: We could’ve honored a number of different actors for this week’s spectacular heartbreak of an episode, with Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck all submitting some of their finest work of the series. But when we think back on Logan Roy’s death (as we will for years to come), Shiv’s stricken face will haunt us the most, we think. Logan’s daughter fought through wildly mixed emotions in the wake of her dad’s sudden passing, and Snook wowed us with a powerfully vulnerable turn that captured the whirlwind of grief with devastating clarity.

Logan’s death came as an abrupt shock in the middle of Connor’s wedding day, and when Kendall broke the news to Shiv, Snook cycled from blissful unawareness to concern to confusion. Her face broke into sobs as Shiv cried out, “No… I can’t have that!” Watching Shiv go from giving her dying dad upbeat words of encouragement over the phone to suddenly snapping, “Is he f—king dead?” was absolutely agonizing, but Snook masterfully conveyed how bewildering and surreal the initial moments of a loved one’s death can be. Then as Shiv said her final words to Logan, she went from showering him with love (“Don’t go, please, not now”) to cursing him out and back again, with Snook giving a voice to Shiv’s complicated relationship with her father. As the tragedy started to settle in, Shiv lashed out at her brothers for not telling her earlier and then even wondered if they should keep Logan’s plane circling in a painful illustration of how grief makes us say and do things we wouldn’t normally dream of saying or doing.

When it came time to announce the news, Shiv summoned her strength and took the lead, with Snook putting on a brave face as a watery-eyed Shiv delivered the family’s statement to the press. It was an impossible task, but she did it, and an emotionally spent Shiv then took refuge in hugs from her estranged husband Tom and her brothers. We felt emotionally spent, too, after that hour of television, but we also knew that we witnessed something very special, thanks in large part to Snook’s delicately crafted portrait of a child saying goodbye to a parent too soon.

Scroll down to see who scored Honorable Mention shout-outs this week…