best pals

Poor Colin

“Like a dog without his person.” Photo: HBO

For a show set in the upper echelons of global capitalism, Succession actually features quite a few individuals who could theoretically qualify as working stiffs. You may have to squint a bit, though. The “Keystone Fucks” — Frank, Karl, Gerri — certainly count as Waystar Royco’s equivalent of the laboring class, even if Karl has made (almost) enough money to go in on a Greek island with his brother-in-law. Karolina, Hugo, and Cyd are most definitely working stiffs. Cousin Greg counts, given that he serves as Tom’s presumably poorly paid body man.

But the unambiguously stiffest worker of them all is Colin, Logan’s loyal, long-serving shadow. Good ol’ Colin. Scary, menacing, surprisingly sweet Colin. He’s the best. Infinitely more competent than a Gary and certainly more physically capable than a Michael Clayton, Colin is a bodyguard, body man, chauffeur, fixer, and all-around “best pal,” all rolled into one sandy-blond package. This is a guy who will do the cleanup after your son accidentally kills a waiter during a bender and pretends to bag up imaginary dead cats in your honor as you’re melting down in a UTI-induced haze. When Logan wants a lowly employee fired, Colin is there, almost instantly, with a pen and severance package in hand.

Now that Logan is off to the great shitshow at the fuck factory in the sky (or down below; he has his suspicions), it’s hard not to feel sad for Colin. Sure, he worked for a morally reprehensible corporation and did morally reprehensible things as part of the job — sullying the name of the dead waiter, for one — but, you know, who among us, etc., etc.? It was already a little tough not to feel bummed for the guy when Logan was alive, given how much of his waking life he has dedicated to the job in the first place. (Turns out Colin had a wife and kid all along!) With Logan gone, though, Colin is adrift, in jeans, without a king to serve, at least momentarily. “He looks like a dog without his person,” Roman quips at the wake after observing Colin’s general state of uncertainty. But he’s still in service: When a distraught Kerry spills the deep contents of her capacious bag, Colin steps up once again to organize her discreet exit from the premises.

With initiative like that, it’s no wonder Colin seemed to be the only person Logan respected with any level of consistency when he was alive. Well, that and the fact that Colin doesn’t really say all that much, a quality that’s probably written into the job description. But, boy, is he good at staying quiet! Consider his skill as a listener on display in the diner during the fourth-season premiere, “The Munsters” (which is my vote for the best scene in the entire series aside from the obvious pick). “I mean, what are people?” asks Logan pensively. “Right?” responds Colin, like a good bud acknowledging your emotions. “What is a person?” Logan goes on. “It has values and aims, but it operates in a market — marriage market, job market, money market, market for ideas …” “Uh-huh. So everything is a market?” says Colin. A listener, a learner, a therapist. What a champ.

Depending on how far back Colin’s history with Logan goes — this has never been made clear — it’s entirely possible that Colin represents the longest positive relationship that Logan has ever had. If this is indeed the case, then it makes all the sense in the world that it comes from a purely transactional arrangement. Colin almost certainly doesn’t make as much money as, say, any of the Keystone Fucks. In New York’s Succession Club newsletter, my colleague Laura Thompson recently dug up what his salary range would likely be: around $325,000 before bonuses (though it’s a safe bet that Logan doled out extra cash on the reg). But unlike most other individuals hovering in Logan’s orbit, you never get the sense that Colin is angling for more power.

“I think he’s very content!” Scott Nicholson, who plays Colin, told us last season. “If he moved up in any way in the company, that would be great, but I don’t think he has any aspirations to move up because he’s in a very powerful position himself.” This is a key insight. In other words, here we have a guy who has a sharp sense of clarity about his place in the world, in contrast to the Roy children, who have yet to really grok the mismatch between who they want to become and what they can do. A Colin is a Colin, and Colin knows this about himself.

So what happens to him now? Given that he runs what is presumably a very accomplished private-security service, he will probably move on to some other mogul. A Murdoch or a Redstone, maybe a Bezos, but most likely some newly minted tech bro who doesn’t already have a long-serving security chief. The chatbot revolution will be good for Colin. Chances are, though, none of those future appointments will generate the kind of working arrangement in which he’ll be told “You’re my best pal.” Can you imagine Bezos saying that? Poor sweet, loyal Colin.

Poor Colin