‘Succession’: 5 questions we have on the way to the final
With few exceptions, the hit HBO series “Succession” follows the “Seinfeld” model of “no hugging, no learning” as the ultra-privileged Roy siblings try to keep their late father, Logan (Brian Cox), on top. to replace. of the media empire Waystar Royco.
For some reason – despite their narcissism, recklessness and staggering lack of personal growth – we still really care about what happens to them and their lackeys. Who will emerge victorious? And at what personal cost?
With the 90-minute series finale airing on Sunday, we seem poised to get some kind of answer as the long corporate deathmatch comes to a close. But before that happens, the show still has plenty of questions to answer.
Can even a super-sized conclusion cover them all? Here are a few we’d like to see covered.
What will America decide?
Hoping to secure their own leadership positions, Kendall and Roman Roy (Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin) instructed Waystar’s right-wing news network ATN to proclaim victory for far-right presidential candidate Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk), who signaled that he would doing. squash the GoJo deal. But those burned ballots in Milwaukee mean the election is still contested, and the Democratic nominee, Daniel Jiménez (Elliot Villar), still has a shot at the White House. How long will the count last? Will we see a solution?
Whatever the outcome, the best Waystar buyers are vulnerable. If the Roys’ motives for calling the election for Mencken come to light, ATN may not survive. (Again, real-world parallels suggest so.) Perhaps none is as vulnerable as Tom, who as head of ATN is once again at risk of becoming the sacrificial lamb, a fate he narrowly escaped while on the company’s cruise line. scandal.
The finale may need a significant time jump to wrap it all up. As for the lasting damage of the assault on American democracy? That can be hard for a single TV episode to parse.
What will the board decide?
Logan once said life was a “fight for a knife in the mud.” If his kids want to take control of whatever company emerges from the Waystar-GoJo negotiations — winning it back from tech magnate Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard) — they’ll need to ramp up their efforts quickly (and bring a gun to that knife fight). ).
None of Roy’s siblings have safe positions or strong advocates. Kendall thought that supporting Mencken would ensure his later help in stopping the GoJo sale, which would help the Roy kids keep the company. But Mencken seems ready to ignore that promise. Nor does Mencken seem to respect any of the co-CE Bros: Roman lost all the money he had after his meltdown at Logan’s funeral. (Mencken calls him the “Grim Weeper.”) Kendall lost his own with his subservient approach to negotiation.
As things stand, Mencken is considering approving GoJo’s acquisition of Waystar if a US CEO is appointed, and none of the brothers were to be on Matsson’s shortlist. Their sister, Shiv (Sarah Snook), thinks she’s in line, but Matsson disagrees. If all Matsson wants is a useful pawn, he might look to Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), who is dedicated to the job and flexible in his loyalty, or Greg (Nicholas Braun), who is easy to manipulate.
However the deal turns out, there’s no guarantee that Matsson and the board will want a member of the Roy family in the first place. They have plenty of reasons not to. Given all the family power struggles and rash decision making, the board might decide to appoint someone with real experience – perhaps Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) or Stewy (Arian Moayed).
Can Shiv and Tom be saved?
In other words, is the Shivorce off? Put another way, Shiv could one day have it all – a powerful career And a functional family? Whatever she does, she may have to choose some goals and commit. She’s so busy flip-flopping in her different positions that it’s hard to know where she really stands.
For example, is Shiv really so repelled by Mencken? Or do her values only lean to the left if they don’t get in the way of her personal gain? Will Shiv only want the GoJo deal if it allows her to become CEO, or will she support it under different leadership? Shiv assures Matsson that her impending motherhood is a non-issue – as she describes it, she might as well give the child up for adoption. But does she really want to follow in the footsteps of her neglectful, abusive father?
Shiv must make these decisions – about the person and parent she wants to be – before she can consider reconciling with her estranged husband, Tom; otherwise their relationship will be doomed by its toxic dynamic, no matter how the business and political game plays out.
Will Kendall’s past win him over?
In every season finale to date, Kendall has had to accept on some level the drowning death of a waiter he helped cause at his sister’s wedding. News of his involvement has yet to become public; if or when it does, it’ll be a doozy, though right now “when” seems more likely than “if”.
His siblings know the truth; he confessed at the end of season 3. Cousin Greg is also aware of a few details as it was he who connected Kendall to the waiter. And Marcia (Hiam Abbas) and her son, Amir (Darius Homayoun), who were present during the aftermath of the accident, threaten Kendall’s alibi.
And then there’s Logan’s former bodyguard Colin (Scott Nicholson), who helped cover it up. This may be why in episode 9 Kendall was so concerned to learn that Colin was in therapy – and felt the need to let him know that he knew. We haven’t heard much about the podcast exploring the Roy family’s curse lately, but we have to remember that whatever confidentiality agreements are in place, secrets can leak out.
Cousin Greg, aka the younger Disgusting Brother, sold his soul a long time ago, and it has seen him come face to face with some of the most important people in the world. But do any of them respect him? (We can answer that ourselves: no.)
It may be that their – and our – disdain for Greg is part of the point of “Succession”: he defines failure upwards. At first his disarming meekness made him a good audience surrogate, his mediocrity a good source of comic relief. But then he began to master the skills essential to this tenuous world of ruthless ambition, including blackmail, perjury and betrayal. Now he is invited to every party, although no one seems to want him there.
This season, he took it to the next level by helping facilitate ATN’s pre-election runoff. When it all blows up, it seems unlikely that he will go down with Tom, not least because he knows where the bodies are buried when Tom ran the cruise division.
If Matsson succeeds, he might see the benefit of a Roy ally who isn’t as contentious as Kendall, Roman, or Shiv – a Roy he can control. At the very least, Matsson and Greg make better photo ops together, both over six feet tall. Leadership positions are less decided.