SPOILER ALERT spoilers for "Church and State" Season 4 Episode 9 of "Succession" currently airing on HBO Max. First comes the coronation, then the hangover. This Sunday's "In a Row" - the penultimate episode of the series and the longest ever, running at over 70 minutes - brings regime change for America and a huge headache for the Roy kids the morning after the election. Titled "The Church and the State" , Episode 9 begins as the increasingly quiet brothers prepare for their father's funeral as society collapses around them thanks to ATN. Shiv watches the news in horror; Roman "entertainer" barely looks at the screen to eulogize and get excited in front of the mirror . Outside, the air is full of menace. As Tom later put it with typical Wambsgans delicacy "It gets a little Tiananmen-y in there." Meanwhile, Kendall is insulated from wear and tear by her chauffeur-driven Mercedes and designer sunglasses, but fails to notice the revolution brewing in her inner bunker. The usual backseat music of drug hits was replaced by protesters and sirens. His assistant Jess resigns. His ex-wife, Rava , abandons him by skipping the funeral and smuggling him out of town, prioritizing the physical and perhaps spiritual safety of his children. And Shiv sharpens his knife as he prepares to bury not only his father, but also the corporate sugar daddy's freaky tricks, in hopes of finally securing the family's media empire, Waystar Royco. Inside the church, the brothers' uncle, Ewan Roy , disobeys his order not to speak, instead rushing onto the stage to unload a tragic yet damning character assassination of the head of the family, Logan . With Ewan's condemnations ringing in the congregation's ears, there is pressure on Roman to deliver a grandiose eulogy, affecting newly anointed President Mencken , who saved the show and has yet to commit to killing the GoJo deal. However, with a change where only ex-girlfriends can see it coming, the Entertainer can't handle it. So Kendall steps in, followed quickly by Shiv, and each stubbornly fights for his father's legacy, even in death. At the end of the episode, an all-out war begins between the brothers. With Mencken and Lukas Matsson in the bag, Shiv seems to have made the GoJo deal by handing him the keys to the puppet kingdom. Feeling her birth just slipped out of her hands, Kendall instructs her lap dog Hugo to inform the media against Matsson's offer. Meanwhile, the brother, who has completely lost his appetite for war, escapes his father's funeral and stumbles into the streets to watch Rome burn. Gold spoke to Variety about Rava's relationship with Kendall, why she skipped Logan's funeral, and who shouldn't replace Logan Roy. As we watch Kendall try to transform into Logan and become the "" in these last few episodes, what does Rava think and how does she deal with it? When I read [the script], I was very surprised by the decision not to go to the funeral. Not in a bad way. I just thought, "Wow, that's bold." But I think it looks more finished now than ever - and it's pretty much done. The collateral has stopped being damaged and I think we see him getting really scared, maybe dealing with his own complicity and getting out of Dodge - and he's not going to come to him. He puts his children [Sophie, played by Swayam Bhatia, and Iverson, played by Quentin Morales] and their safety first. I was also surprised that the children decided to skip the funeral, taking away the chance to say goodbye to their grandparents. Did you think it was too harsh? I found this to be a shocking decision but it was absolutely perfect and absolutely right. I think Rava is clearly very contradictory. I don't think this is necessarily easy for him, and [the authors] write conflicting resolutions very well. Was it the right call? Wrong call? Other people decide that. And you know, he wasn't the world's furthest grandpa. He was terrible to his grandchildren. Brian probably wouldn't like me saying that. However, he hit his grandson in the face with a tin. He despised them, despised my parenting style. He was a terrible father to Kendall. Yes, there is a scene in Season 3 Episode 8 where Logan suspects Kendall may have poisoned her food and so asks Iverson to try it first. Definitely not the best grandpa. I mean, I don't know if the kids were dying to go to the funeral. But I think they've done a great job in this episode of revealing how uneasy there is in New York and how scary it feels. I defend my character and his decision but I love how messy it is. I love how tough it is. And I love how contradictory he is about it. Not easy. And that's what makes writing so good. Certainly, "Succession" always shines in these moments of uncertainty. Much has been written about Jeremy Strong's method. How was it working with him? I love working with Jeremy. He's a very lively, spontaneous actor. We don't have many conversations before a scene; all on the page. That's why we shoot it and shoot it many times, and each version is very different. There were places [in Episode 9] where we physically fought, beat each other. That wasn't what remained - it wasn't that which served the overall story - but we had the opportunity to act as an actor and as a stage partner with him, which was so much fun to do. He has always been kind and supportive, and I think it's fair to say we love working with each other. What do you know about Rava's past? Did you talk to Jesse Armstrong about it? I don't know what your past is. I know Sophie is adopted. We talked about it, but I don't know where [Rava's] parents are from. Jesse and I never had a private conversation about it. In my mind, he grew up in New York and had a privileged background. I think he met Kendall in business school. But this was not reviewed by Jesse, this is purely my own interpretation. It's not official canon. Was Iverson adopted too? No, Iverson is not adopted. But again - and this wasn't discussed at length with Jesse, I think it was a quicker conversation - I think it was very difficult for Rava to get pregnant. The birthday party in Season 3, Episode 7 - Kendall frantically searching for gifts from her children - felt like a pivotal moment on the air. What was your reaction to that scene? I thought the scene was beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. According to him, everything is so absurd and depressing. Since none of these people are his friends, it's just a big show. She immediately brings a gift that some staff members have bought and put in the gift room. I think Rava is thinking, “Come have dinner and spend some time with your children, let them give the gift to you personally”. But no, he has to take her to this big, crappy party because where is she? I guess that's what you had in mind. I think he's trying to give her a chance to co-parent. Their relationship is very complex. Have you had a chance to go through the compliment tunnel? No, unfortunately. But I was shown around the [party set] by the team. God, what the team and production designer Stephen Carter did. I went through Lady Caroline's birth canal, which was very exciting. And I spent some time on the fake Waystar and the giant crib, which was a big beautiful bed, where many actors would cuddle and relax with a giant teddy bear between shots. So that was nice too. When did you find out about Logan's death? Did you have any news about your coming? No no! When I try to predict what will happen in "Succession", I am completely wrong. They're too smart for me. I'm close with these cast members, writers, and everyone involved, so I'd say they had a hard time keeping this a secret and they did a great job. But I read Chapter 7 and was like, "Wait." I had to reread it many times. Then I wrote to Jesse and he very kindly told me what had happened. Who do you think should take Logan's place? Wow, I can't even try to guess that. I will pass this. Passing by because of spoilers - you know what happens at the end? - or because you really can't decide? I know a little; I don't know much So no, I'm not passing this off as a non-spoiler. I think this is difficult. I love all these actors and these characters. I'll say this in the pilot episode, Kendall is poised to succeed. And that won't happen. In the pilot episode, [Rava] was very happy for Kendall, getting what he wanted, working hard, getting what he deserved, and in that pilot episode, he seemed in a healthy place to get it. it's clear I think he's in a different place right now. Kendall continues to talk about her big plans, and it all has changed she's there, she's not, she's doing this, she's doing this, and she's kind of - she doesn't believe a word of it. Justin Kirk said he's never gotten so many messages from people about a project he's been working on since his first appearance on "Succession" last season. Was there a moment when you suddenly realized that the show had become this cultural crushing force? I think the first episode I did in Season 3, when Kendall comes to my apartment, we have a really nice and funny episode where Greg opens my wine bottle. I loved this. Yes, I was getting more phone calls, texts and chats about it, and especially about my character - [before] I had no idea how people were reacting to it. And so in Season 3, "Oh, okay, people have feelings about it. I like that!" This interview was edited and summarized. Gotopnews.com