Let’s Please Take a Moment to Cherish Kerry’s Brother on ‘Succession’

The jet-black-haired beaut only made a brief appearance in Sunday night's episode, but he will live in my heart forever.

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Let’s Please Take a Moment to Cherish Kerry’s Brother on ‘Succession’
Illustration:HBO/Shutterstock

This post contains spoilers for the eighth episode of Succession Season 4.

In between Shiv flinging her dignity aside to saddle up beside Matsson and Mencken and Logan’s WAGs unionizing in the front pew at his funeral, Succession viewers were briefly introduced to a new character during Sunday’s night episode who struck a chord so deep in my soul, I felt compelled to single him out: Kerry’s brother.

Brother Castellabate, my Fugazi Lothario, speaks not a word. He’s introduced only once by Kerry in the episode—there as moral support for his grieving sister—and then briefly seen a handful of times in crowd shots of Logan’s funeral. His cameo is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quick. But the flash of this shiny black-haired stallion of a man, who looks as if Fabio listened to Turnstile and played Zelda, encapsulates what I treasure about this show.

Firstly, it’s the perfect visual gag. Before Kerry even identifies the man beside her as her brother, we already know his identical mane has to be of blood relation. Kerry’s striking jet-black hair and blunt fringe—that’s worked its way from the back to the foreground throughout the series—is not just her signature mop, but a defining family feature. I imagine a Castellabate in every grade at their parochial school, the teacher identifying the incoming sibling by their trademark hair upon entering the classroom. Absolutely stellar casting work. I guffawed upon seeing it.

Immediately I had a million questions. Where does Brother Castellabate live? In the city? Greenpoint? Did he drive in from New Brunswick for the day? Maybe the siblings are close enough that Kerry flew him in from Gainesville or whatever mid-size city he’s the alt-punk townie king of. Does she think fondly of their kind relationship whenever she witnessed Roman make incest jokes at the expense of his sister?

Rattling off these questions in my mind only stressed how little we know about Kerry—or really any of the supporting cast of Succession outside of their relationship with the Roy family. In an interview with GQ, Dagmara Dominczyk, who plays PR maven Karolina, explained that while she personally felt Karolina might be gay, she asked creator Jesse Armstrong “Will we ever see her in her room or with whoever she lives with?” and he responded, “Nope, we won’t.” Part of the excellence of this show is its dedicated focus on the power and pull of the central Roy family.

With that in mind, getting such a compelling peek at Kerry’s family felt like an indulgent extra scoop of ice cream. Of course, we probably won’t get anything more from him but his presence—along with her lawyer friend there for legal support—colors in more of the scope of Kerry’s grief. Chuckles the clown is calling in the reserves!

Does Brother Castellabate know the full nature of Kerry and Logan’s relationship? No idea. Is he catching a hardcore show at Saint Vitus after the funeral? Something deep in my bones says yes. While every ounce of my being wants a Brother Castellabate spinoff or Evenings with Gerri bottle episode, I respect that we will never get that. All future storylines of Brother Castellabate will only play out in my dreams.

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