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In a world of 24/7 news there is no such thing as a watertight secret, right? Tell that to the makers of Succession, who have left audiences and critics alike stunned at the death of Logan Roy, the media mogul played by Brian Cox. The king is dead. Or as we should say in homage to television’s sweariest show, the king is ******* dead.

Isn't he? 

It was a measure of the shock at the plot twist that fans poured on to social media asking if their eyes were to be believed. Was it Logan lying on the floor of the private jet? Had he really gone? It was the same in the episode as his children Shiv, Roman, Kendall and Connor tried and failed to process the news coming through.

Either this was the mother and father of all stunts or Logan Roy is no more. Regardless, series creator Jesse Armstrong has pulled a masterstroke. What a twist. What a talker. Logan would have been proud. The LA Times even published an obituary for Logan.

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Armstrong had made it clear from the off that this, the fourth season, would be the last. The end was nigh, but for Logan? Like this? In episode three? Talk about killing your darlings.



But then Logan Roy was no-one’s darling. He loved his warring kids but despised them. He had his first wife locked up in an asylum. He told his workers he wanted them to be pirates, not just beat the competition but grind their faces in the dirt. He was the Bluebeard of capitalism, an animal. Yet how we, how television, will miss him. Assuming he’s gone, that is.

READ MORE: The Roys are back and raring for a battle royale

In an interview published in the New York Times after the episode aired, Cox was typically sanguine about his screen death. The Scots actor said: “[Jesse Armstrong] called me, and he said, ‘Logan’s going to die.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s fine.’ I thought he would die in about episode 7 or 8, but episode 3, I thought … ‘Well that’s a bit early.’”

He added: “Not that I was bothered.”

'Well, they had to end it somehow, and it was Jesse's choice. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the problem with a lot of television, particularly American television, is it goes past its sell-by date.

'And the great thing about Jesse and the writers is they wouldn't do that. It was difficult for them because it wasn't easy to bring this to an end.

“'But I think there are lots of reasons for Jesse finishing it. And I applaud the fact that he did that. It was courageous because everybody loves the show. Always leave the party when it's at its height, not when it's going down.”

The episode began routinely enough, or as routine as it gets with the Roys, with the wedding of eldest son Connor. Logan was expected to attend but in fact was on his way to Sweden to save a deal.

Shiv, Roman and Kendall, bored already with their step brother’s wedding, took themselves off to a private suite. But then a phone call came through from 36,000 feet and the world stopped. Just for a while anyway. As awful and spoiled and entitled as they are, the kids were suddenly kids again, frightened and alone save for each other.

READ MORE: I'm happy to move on says Cox

With the decks now cleared there is no telling where the story goes next. A succession has to happen but who will wear dad’s crown?

Cox, meanwhile, has sent his commiserations, telling the New York Times that episode three changes everything. “The main protagonist is gone. And the kids are having to deal with it, or not. I think it's going to be hard next week for a lot of the audience because they're going to miss Logan. And I don't think that's a bad thing — I think that's actually quite a good thing.”

If you say so, sir.