barely a scene passes into the rare world of succession Without referring to money, the dollar amount is usually quite large. Connor Roy burned $100 million on his delusional presidential campaign. Roy’s other siblings outbid their father, Logan, in a bidding war for Pierce Global Media, offering $10 billion. (“Congratulations on saying the biggest number, you fucking moron,” Logan later lashes out at them.) But it’s a very small amount mentioned at the end of the second-to-last episode of the HBO series that packs the most emotional punch. Packs: $5 million.
That’s how much Logan, now pretty much dead, paid for a giant mausoleum in which he was buried after the brutal funeral sequence in Season Four, Episode Nine, “Church and State.” Of Roy’s offspring, only Connor knew in advance of the banned structure and its value. Shiva is surprised to learn that Logan bought it from an online pet supply mogul who made it, according to Connor’s recollection – a cheeky reference to the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 – while Kendall, who initially bought it from her father Was re-seated at the final resting place of , affected by the value of real estate. “$5 million?” “Good deal,” he asks, nodding to himself at Logan’s investment. Connor and Shiva agree.
It’s a small, funny moment that comes after an unbearably stuffy public ceremony, and Shiva can’t resist chiming in a little more: “Is this a tax write-off too because it’s technically a residence ?” she wonders. But the mention of that $5 million, small for a billionaire like Logan, has a poignant echo of a joke in Season Two, when he was seemingly immortal. In the episodic episode, “DC,” cousin Greg with his great-uncle Logan is considering the risks and benefits of trusting his morally rigid grandfather Evan Roy, who has promised Greg a $250 million inheritance. threatened to refuse if he continues to work for Waystar as Royko’s lackeys of corrupt executives.
Greg calculates to accompany Logan, hoping for even greater fortunes in the long run, and explains his reasoning to Connor and his advisor Tom: “I’m good anyway,” he says, because apparently But Evan’ll “leave” me fifty million anyway, so, I’m golden, baby. Connor is quick to brush him off with such confidence: “You can’t do anything with five, Greg. Five is a nightmare,” he says. “Can’t retire, not worth working. oh yeah five will drive you un poco loco, Tom chimes in to add, “The poorest rich man in America. The world’s tallest dwarf.”
When the scene aired, it read like a passive gag at the expense of low-grade Greg, though it did give us a glimpse into the money-poisonous mindset shared by Roy’s circle, where literal millions are more than a burden. It is believed. Bonus. Greg, unaccustomed to the financial logic of 0.01 percent, can only stutter as his brief satisfaction evaporates into instant regret. Of course, had he not been falling under the influence of his aristocratic relatives, he could reasonably have countered that the $5 million could just as easily have been used to generate more, and a comfortable standard of living with it. Yet it is too late: He has become infected with the strange greed that comes with material abundance. the real lesson he’s learning is No How much money – that meaningless piece of paper – will ever be enough.
If the $5 million Logan spent on his cemetery monument is a screenwriting coincidence, it’s a resounding coincidence. Ultimately, it is Ivan Roy’s triumphant retribution for the devastating speech he gave at his funeral, reminding those gathered of his brutal legacy as one who divided world events and peoples. that it must be Greg’s disapproving grandfather, the family’s unrepentant conscience, to deliver that blow—and Connor, the snobbish ne’er-do-well who laughed off the $5 million benefits, to inform us that Logan wisely did that. But the cost of buying a mausoleum looks very reasonable.
And, in a sickening way, maybe Connor was proved right. The Roy siblings’ sarcastic commentary on the grand tomb brings to mind the familiar saying: “You can’t take it with you.” After his remains are enshrined in a marble shrine, Logan emphasizes his importance in life by expressing his opulence for the last time. Capital can only ever be proof of itself, and is therefore as hollow as the dark space within these cold walls. Whoever comes out on top in the series finale could face the same bleak era as their empire, assuming Logan’s nihilism.
So, yes, $5 million is a nightmare. You can’t Do anything with $5 million, or $100 million, or $10 billion, except think about doubling it again, and in the meantime buy an expensive box to rot in after you drop dead on a private jet. It is a monument to the Roy family’s futile and all-consuming ambition: they have everything, they just don’t have the ability to enjoy it.