Note: This article contains spoilers for the first three seasons of Succession.
The last time we saw Kendall, Schiff, and Roman Roy, they were reeling from their parents’ betrayal. Their father, Logan, is usually the only one to slip a knife between their ribs.
There have been countless backstabs Succession, but nothing like that punctuated the Season 3 finale, when Logan revealed that he was going to sell the multi-billion dollar family business and made sure with their mother’s help that his kids couldn’t stop him. It was double sadism enough to achieve something unprecedented: the three siblings stop trying to destroy each other long enough to join forces against their father.
The fragile ceasefire between Roy’s children is where we find ourselves in the fourth and final season of Succession It airs Sundays on HBO.
In the past three seasons, Succession She closely followed the Roy family, a powerful and conniving clan that runs the Waystar-Royco media and entertainment conglomerate. At the center of the drama is a bloodthirsty battle for the throne. Patriarch and formidable CEO Logan Roy (Brian Cox) won’t run Waystar forever, and Roy’s emotionally stunted children – who see their father as the sun around which the universe revolves – have ambitions to replace him.
Fun-mirror version of the real world media strains including Murdoch, redstone, and Hearsts, Roys have an enormous sphere of influence over the media, politics, and even democracy. Not only does their dysfunction create tension at the family dinner table – their war of attrition disrupts the lives of everyone who gets in their way.
Seasons of the show were filled with drama, comic absurdity, and incredible cruelty, but now the temperature has reached a boiling point. Succession Creator Jesse Armstrong revealed in a New Yorker interview announced in February that the fourth season would be the show’s last, admitting that he did not want the show to remain more than welcome. With only 10 more episodes left, whatever happens now will carry extra weight.
The final episodes also hit an oddly perfect time in the broader culture, amid existential questions about The influence and motives of billionaires. In a moment riddled with scandals, financial failures, and much criticism around Elon Musk’s troubled takeover of Twitter, Succession It paints a believable picture of how people are driven to the brink by their hunger for power.
Or, in Logan Roy’s case, by refusing to give up even an inch of power, because he believes he’s the only one who deserves it. For all his stubbornness, Logan is not an immortal god. The series is not about a man in the prime of his life, but an old king whose kingdom is in decline. More than once, various characters (including his children) compare Logan to a dinosaur – terrifying, but soon to be extinct – and inherit the downward decline of their ancient media empire, which consists of newspapers and broadcast television.
Central question Succession From the very first episode, Roy Kidd (or, possibly, any wild card outside of the family) was going to take Logan’s place. At various points over the years, all of them (except for the eldest, Connor – played by Alan Ruck – who just wants to be President of the United States) have either floated near the top or been swamped by a blow.
Here’s the state of play as we enter Season 4 of the Succession series: Throughout season 3, second eldest son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) tries to oust Logan by bringing to light an ugly scandal in Waystar’s cruise division. In the end, he appears defeated from the fight. His father seems indomitable, and Kendall tells him he wants to cash in his company stock and never look back. “I’m a ghost,” says Kendall. “I won’t even speak on your anniversary.” He acts as if he is going to disappear completely, but ghosts tend to haunt the living.
Instead of cashing in, he teams up with his sister, Chief (Sarah Snook) and brother, Roman (Kieran Culkin), who realize something is afoot. At the end of Season 3, as the entire Roy clan is in Italy for the wedding of Caroline (Harriet Walter), the mother of Roy’s three youngest children, the marriage is supposed to take place between Waystar and video streaming company GoJo. Logan tries to survive by focusing on technology. Shiv and Roman both hope that one of them will be rewarded for his hard work and loyalty with the top job in the new company.
It turns out that there is no fusion. Logan quietly plans to sell Waystar directly to GoJo, which means none of Roy’s children will ever wear the crown, because there will be no family kingdom to inherit. Kendall, Schiff, and Roman believe they can count on the terms of their mother’s divorce settlement, which will prevent their father from obtaining an overwhelming majority of shareholders to agree to a sale. They believe they finally have a bit of power against their tyrannical father. But Caroline secretly agreed to change the settlement. What’s worse, Logan is tipped off about the kids’ plan to stop him by Chief’s husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). Logan unleashes his wrath on his progeny for their unforgivable rebellion. He roars: “You really won.”
There’s nothing Logan Roy won’t do to win – lies, blackmail, brute force, it’s all fair game. Over the course of three seasons, we’ve seen how the people around him, especially his kids, are just chess pieces, which is why he gets so angry when he can’t get them into the right position. Even the smallest of malice could put him on a path of petty punishment. In season two, Logan plays a deceptively cool role to disarm rival media mogul Nan Pierce (Sherry Jones), who owns Pierce Global Media, and convince her to sell her company to him. Waystar is facing a hostile takeover led by investor Stewie Hosseini (Ariane Moayed) and media mogul Sandy Furness (Larry Payne), and the PGM takeover would have made Waystar big enough to fend off the bid. But he would also have allowed Logan to make amends for PGM’s daring to air a negative interview about him on one of their news channels. For all his subtle attempts to flirt with PGM, the deal falls apart, and Logan doesn’t take the loss well. As Nan was walking away from a deal, she was on the verge of inking, Logan bangs on the car door screaming“We are not finished!”
Based on tractor For the new season, it looks like he was right. The final season picks up mostly where we left off, with the impending sale of Waystar to tech genius and GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), who is young, calm, and collected — the very opposite of Logan Roy. The three siblings seem to spend at least some of the series’ final 10 episodes fighting as a united front, possibly forming alliances with former friends and foes. Among the familiar favorite faces returning are Stewie, Flash’s Nan Pierce and her family. The trailer hints at the potential for Roman to waver when his father asks for his help; Shiv and Tom fight, presumably over his infidelity with her. Meanwhile, Tom made sure to take Greg (Nicholas Brown), the grandson of Logan’s estranged brother, with him as he defected to Logan’s side. Connor is still running for president and planning a wedding. Logan vows to kill the opposition – and will no doubt use every weapon in his arsenal to achieve victory over his children.
It’s possible that another ghost from the family’s past will throw a wrench into the plans of both Roy factions, whether it be people or recurring themes and breaks. One of the biggest looming questions is whether Kendall and his younger siblings will be able to trust each other. Historically, they don’t have a proven track record of working together, and tend to jump ship whenever there’s a chance they’ll be in a better position to inherit the land. But the old alliances have fallen apart. Roman is no longer in the bizarre, self-scratch-my-back-me-scratch-your situation with his father’s general counsel, Jerry Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron), after I stood by while his parents parented him. Shiv can no longer count on her husband to be her little dog. (Remember when she declared on her wedding night that she didn’t want to be monogamous? Or at her mother’s wedding, when her idea of ”dirty talk” was to make fun of him for wanting her even though she didn’t love him?) And Kendall — well, Kendall didn’t have anyone who His family is in his corner for a while.
Although Logan requires absolute loyalty, trust has never been a Roy family value. The siblings attempted to form an alliance once before, as early as Season 3, but it was soon decimated by fear of their father and each child’s hunger to crown this one favorite alliance. in this family, Paranoia Treats like a smart survival instinct. (Last season, during a private dinner between Logan and Kendall, Logan suspected his son of poisoning his food.) It is for this reason that any union between the members of the Roy family naturally feels tenuous, and only works until one of them sniffs his way to the top and gets his elbows in. Others are out of the way.
Succession It resonated deeply with audiences in part because it offers an intimate portrait of how powerful and wealthy people act behind closed doors to strike deals or make decisions that have ripple effects on the rest of society. We get involved in everything from their petty squabbles to major infidelities, and the show introduces a world where corporate acquisitions and leadership changes aren’t so much about stock prices, company growth, or other soothing goals, but about high emotions – most often the desire to punch someone else, or to take revenge on him. It’s not just work. It’s personal.
To this end, all of the kids, perhaps especially Kendall, have said and done terrible things because they believe this is the price of access to absolute power. It’s never explained why they’re so desperate for Waystar’s #1 spot.
It’s not a matter of money – they can hardly count what they already have. It’s not really a matter of vision, a burning passion to guide their media empire into a new future. The use of force is its own end. They want, in the words of their father, “the fucking win” — and they want Logan to see it. something Succession It satirised and woven through its plot lines is the constant knife-edge danger of Logan’s children becoming the very person they fear and, on some levels, hate, in an effort to bring him down. They are being beaten by their father. They are also his shadows. Can Roy take the throne without destroying himself? Can they cash out and get off this flight?