The fate and future of the Roy family children and the company their late father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) created hangs in the balance in the highly-anticipated series finale of HBO’s Succession.
The entire series has been building up to the last few episodes, as all of Logan’s children – Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Connor (Alan Ruck) – get ready for the final Waystar Royco board vote on the merger with Lukas Matsson’s (Alexander Skarsgard) GoJo.
While Roman appeared poised to come into the final vote in a strong position, he broke down in tears at Logan’s funeral and – as protests erupted in the New York City streets over ATN calling Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) the new President of the United States – he went outside alone and antagonized the protesters until he was assaulted.
Now Kendall has taken the reigns, revealing late in last week’s episode to Roman that he has a plan to fend off Matsson and Shiv at the board meeting and keep the company that their father started.
The 90-minute series finale is directed by Mark Mylod and written by series creator Jesse Armstrong.
Logan: The fate and future of the Roy family children and the company their late father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) created hangs in the balance in the highly-anticipated series finale of HBO’s Succession
Building: The entire series has been building up to the last few episodes, as all of Logan’s children – Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Connor (Alan Ruck) – get ready for the final Waystar Royco board vote on the merger with Lukas Matsson’s (Alexander Skarsgard) GoJo
Protest: While Roman appeared poised to come into the final vote in a strong position, he broke down in tears at Logan’s funeral and – as protests erupted in the New York City streets over ATN calling Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) the new President of the United States – he went outside alone and antagonized the protesters until he was assaulted
The series finale begins with Kendall listening to radio reports about the Waystar/GoJo merger as Kendall arrives at the office to get ready for the board presentation.
Kendall is told that they don’t think they have Stewy (Arian Moayed) as he’s told they don’t think they have the shareholders to tank the deal with GoJo.
‘Right now you have four and… is Roman even gonna show?’ Kendall is told, as he admits he doesn’t know if Roman will show up.
‘I don’t know where he is, and I don’t know where he stands, but I got him,’ an overly confident Kendall says as the title sequence begins.
Shiv tells Matsson and their team that they think Kendall has lost Stewy, as she goes through the list of people they have.
‘So, then we got Diane Liu, Sonya. And then we– we have it. Then, if we peel off Dewi, Paul, and Ewan, then there’s only, like… Is that… Ken and Rome in the against,’ Shiv adds.
She also isn’t sure if Roman will show up to the vote as well, as Shiv asks they contemplate what to do with Tom Wambsgnans (Matthew McFadyen).
‘Well, he’s very competent, but if he irks you, or it’s complicated, it is okay. He is very plausible corporate matter, but he’s also just a highly interchangeable modular part,’ Shiv says, adding she would say that to his face.
‘Okay, but if we wanted continuity because there’s been a lot of changes… You know, ATN is going gangbusters, and he is well-liked. So if he were to stay on, that would also be okay with me,’ she tells Matsson.
Shiv gets a call from her mother, asking if she could show up to the event that she invited all of them to, hinting that Roman is there.
She says she’ll ‘give it a think’ as she tells Matsson that she got a line on Roman and she wants to go get him and bring him to their side.
‘It would be… It would, just in an– It would be nice, in an abundance of caution, just to… close nice,’ she says.
Tom calls Shiv and wants to know where his position is – if he will stay on as the head of ATN or not, as they ultimately talk about their relationship.
‘You don’t like to fail a test, do you, Siobhan?’ Tom tells her as Shiv adds, ‘I know that we’ve said the worst things. But I… I think I’ve always just been scared in relationships of, uh… You know, like… The underneaths. You know, what’s the worst thing a person thinks? But we know.But… Once you’ve said and done the worst things, you’re kind of free. Yeah, I guess– I guess my question is… Are you interested in a real relationship?’
Tom responds, ‘Honest to God, I don’t know… Shiv,’ as Shiv ends the call rather curtly.
Kendall tries to call Stewy but he doesn’t answer, and he calls his mother, trying to get Roman on the phone.
Kendall decides to go up to his mother’s place and try to secure Roman for the board, while Shiv is seen heading up there as well.
Shiv gets there first and asks what happened to his face – referring to his bruises from the protest.
‘Oh yeah, Iust had a discussion with some of your pals about the merits of liberal democracy,’ Roman says.
Kendall is on his way to see Roman when he finally gets through to Stewy, who says he’s still with him… but he says Vaulter’s Lawrence Yee may be a problem.
Kendall arrives at his mother’s place and starts aggressively going after Roman, saying DefCon 1.
Roman says he doesn’t have it, adding he was in a ‘very violent fight, that I won by the way,’ which is a complete lie.
Their mother Caroline (Harriet Mary Walter) asks if they are staying for dinner, and while Shiv says she will stay, Kendall insists they have an ‘important board meeting,’ which Caroline jokes she’s never heard that before.
Lukas is at an art show of sorts with Tom and Greg, as Tom is worried Matsson will just fire him when he takes over.
Tom tells Greg, ‘He’s gonna f***ing fire me. I know it. I need ears and eyes out. You know, like, on the assistant loop. Ebba. Like, is he planning to kill me? If he wins, if he gets in, you are f***ed. You’re f***ed.’
Greg insists, ‘Well, he likes me, so… You? You, 200k? The highest paid assistant in human history? It’s new management, bro. You’re gonna get busted down to 20, 30, 40k.’
The next morning, Kendall tells Shiv that he got Stewy back, but Shiv isn’t, ‘sweating it.’
Kendall tells her that he’s heard Matsson is talking to Lawrence Yee as Roman arrives, calling their meeting a ‘scorpion party.’
Shiv adds, ‘I would love for both of you to support me taking over the firm. All right, well, I don’t know what to say. ‘Cause you… You know, you f***ing grabbed the crown, the two of you. Dad died, and you f***ing… You grabbed the crown and pushed me out. So I don’t know why I’m the cunt here?’
‘And I’m sorry for winning. But I did. Sorry. I’m sorry. And you know what? I’m actually tired of saying fucking sorry. I played it better, so why don’t you take it like a man and just eat it?’ Shiv says.
Tom is at dinner with Matsson, who asks him to pitch himself as to his worth about sticking around at ATN.
‘And on a hang level, who would you say you are?’ Matsson asks, and he says, ‘I’m a grinder. I grind ’cause I worry. I worry all night about everything. All the, uh, threats to… To me and to my division and my physical body.
He asks Tom if he can be discreet, adding that Shiv is smart but he doesn’t know if he needs ‘more ideas.’
Matsson reveals he wants to have sex with Shiv and he thinks she wants to have sex with him too, but Tom says he’s fine with it.
Lukas says, ‘I need an American ’cause I don’t wanna scare the horses. ATN being the– the profit center. Mencken likes you, if that happens, you know? You, um… You’re f***ing talented,’ as they seemingly strike a deal of sorts.
Matsson goes to get shots and Greg asks if they are going to be OK but Tom says they will be OK.
Back at Caroline’s house, she brings in her husband and his friend to pitch him a business opportunity, when Greg calls Kendall.
Greg says he will tell something ‘incredible’ if he gives him something amazing, and Kendall agrees.
The pitch continues without Kendall, as Kendall makes a call and learns Matsson is talking to other people.
Kendall pulls Roman and Shiv aside and tells Shiv that Matsson is talking to other people for another U.S.-based CEO.
‘Call whoever, it checks out,’ Kendall tells her, adding she shouldn’t call Matsson, but she’s already dialing… though he doesn’t pick up.
An upset Shiv says he rarely doesn’t pick up and Kendall tells Shiv that they have removed her name as CEO from the new presentation draft.
She goes into her room and starts screaming, pulling up the presentation draft and sees her name isn’t there.
Kendall tells Roman they should just lay it out for her when she returns, telling them she hasn’t talked to Lukas.
Roman says they might get some people on board, and Kendall says he’s ready to kill this, but Shiv thinks Matsson might already have it locked up.
They call Tellis (Kevin Changaris) and he tells them that Matsson doesn’t necessarily need Shiv’s name as the CEO.
They ask if they would look good if all three would be named as CEO, but Tellis doesn’t think it would look good.
‘I think it hasn’t been great for credibility. The Incredible F**k Brother Bandwagon,’ Tellis says.
‘You need to look like a united front with a coherent plan that’s not a cop-out at the fudge factory. One strong name for CEO, either combined with a chair, or a chair with business chops,’ Tellis says, off the record.
Kendall says that he thinks it should be him to lead the company and Roman says he promised it to him and Shiv added Logan also promised it to her too.
Kendall says he said it to him first but Roman says he said it to him last, as Kendall said he can’t even do the rounds.
‘Why? What? ‘Cause I, like, fucking… I cried a little at my father’s funeral? That means I’m totally f***ed forever? That doesn’t seem right,’ Roman says.
Kendall adds, ‘It absolutely does not make you a bad person. Like, maybe it makes you a good person that you weren’t snaking at the funeral. Like, maybe– maybe you’re well-adjusted, and I’m a business psycho. I don’t know, man. It– Like, it’s– it’s a f***ing horrible job.’
Shiv adds, ‘And me?’ and Kendall adds, ‘I love you, Shiv. I f***ing love you. But we simply cannot walk in there and say we’re blocking his offer, and we have this compelling vision, and say that leading it is you, when yesterday, you were singing his song. We simply can’t. And we can’t say it’s Roman and he might flop.’
Kendall adds, ‘So… Obviously, I want it to be me. But I genuinely think anyone would say, anyone, objectively, would say, la, my profile, experience, position, desire, public pronouncements. It’s me. If we want to hold on to this company for us, for my kids, for yours… It’s me.’
They all head down to the water as Kendall dives in and Shiv and Roman stay behind and talk.
‘It can’t be him, though. But it really can’t be you,’ Roman says.
‘Well, okay. I hate him, but I fear you. He would be unbearable, and you would be… A disaster. He’d be… It will be terrible. It will. But… I don’t know, I can sort of, unfortunately, see it. Whereas you?’ Roman says.
‘Matsson took me seriously,’ Shiv says, as Roman adds, ‘Or he played you like a big fiddle. Like a pregnant cello,’ though he immediately apologizes.
They start joking about killing Kendall and swim out to him and Shiv says, ‘We anoint you.’
They head inside and joke that in order to anoint him he has to complete a task as they all joke they need to make him, ‘a meal fit for a king,’ as they start putting random ingredients together.
Caroline comes down and tells them to be quiet, as they tell her they’ve all decided to anoint Kendall.
She mentions she hasn’t seen them so happy in quite awhile and tells them to put away Peter’s ‘special cheese.’
Naturally, Roman starts licking the cheese as the siblings start putting random things in a blender for this ‘meal fit for a king,’ laughing and smiling the entire time.
Kendall says he’s not drinking that but they give it to him and Kendall asks if they’re all going to be all right.
‘Just f***ing drink it,’ Shiv says as he takes many big gulps before Roman dumps the rest on his head.
The next morning they all leave Caroline’s home together and head to the plane.
They’re all seen leaving the plane, making calls, trying to get as many shareholders as they can, before leaving to their father’s place.
Connor is presiding over his father’s estate where they each get to claim items from Logan’s home, where they all put stickers on the things they want.
Connor and Willa (Justine Lupe) talk about their future plans, as Shiv mentions a Wisconsin court hiccup that might affect the election.
They go into the dining room where Connor shows them a ‘virtual dinner’ with their late father, as they watch a video of Logan rattling off names of Presidents – all with a smile on their face.
‘I can’t believe he could still do that,’ Shiv says, as they watch the rest of the game unfold on the video, as Connor impersonates Logan.
Karl (David Rasche) starts singing a song, but Logan insists playfully that he’s ‘murdering it’ before joining him in song, as the skids all look on.
Tom approaches Shiv, who asks if he thinks he’s going to get canned, as Shiv tells Tom that she’s not with Matsson anymore, which stuns Tom.
‘Are you sure? Is that even true?’ Tom asks, as Shiv says it came from Greg, saying it is ‘terrible.’
He asks who it might be, as Shiv says maybe Lawrence from Vaulter, though Tom adds she should just vote it through… as she realizes it’s Tom who Matsson’s eyeing.
‘Yeah, Shiv, you should probably know, it’s me,’ Tom tells her, as Shiv tells him to f**k off and she tells Kendall and Roman that the American CEO is Tom as they all leave and get their plan together.
Tom pulls Greg into the bathroom and asks if he told them and starts assaulting them, as Tom tells Matsson and he screams at his team to get on the phones.
The siblings get to the meeting and Kendall says Stewy is still ‘wobbly’ as they all get to work in their offices.
Shiv tells Hugo (Fisher Stevens) what’s happening as Kendall sits in his father’s chair for the first time.
Stewy arrives and they ask if they have him and it seems they do, as Roman sees Gerri (J. Smith Cameron) is still there and he doesn’t want to see her.
Roman starts freaking out a bit, saying he wants to call his vote in because he doesn’t want anyone to see his stitches… while he wonders why he’s not the CEO.
Kendall gives him a hug as Roman cries into his suit, as Kendall insists it could have been him as the CEO.
Roman leaves as Kendall starts to take a look around his father’s office, while the board starts to assemble… including a reluctant Roman.
Frank (Peter Friedman) calls the board meeting to order, handing the floor to Kendall, who says the GoJo offer is a ‘bad deal.’
‘We were proud to land it, me and Rome. We know it inside out, but it’s a bad deal. And if you want it to go through, you’ll have to fire me and find someone else to take it through, yeah? I think you have your packs here with the structural arguments and the financing options. And look, it’s a nice thick pack. We’ve knocked it out of the park. And, Gojo, Matsson is flailing. Kill this, excuse me, gojo bulls**t. And, you know, let’s eat their lunch,’ Kendall says.
They start the vote and it gets to Roman and he looks to be reconsidering but votes no, but when the vote gets to Shiv, she leaves the board room.
Kendall tells her they have the votes, and Shiv says she needs a moment to think, but Kendall wants to know what she needs to think about.
‘I might have changed my mind,’ Shiv says, ‘as Kendall says, ‘What the f**k? I’m good for this company. I’m good for us. You know, we all vote, we keep control. We don’t, then everything’s over, forever.’
‘Here’s the thing. I am like a cog built to fit only one machine. Like, if you don’t let me do this– I mean, it– it’s the one thing I know how to do,’ Kendall says, but Shiv simply says, ‘I don’t think you would be good at it.’
Back in the board room, Frank says it’s 6 to 6 and they need Shiv’s vote, but Shiv brings up that he can’t be CEO because he killed someone – bringing up the story of the kid being killed… but now he insists it did not happen.
‘F***ing vote for me. Just vote for me, Shiv,’ Kendall says, but Shiv says she won’t.
‘I love you but I cannot f***ing stomach you,’ she says, as Kendall starts screaming,’I am the eldest boy!’
Roman: Now Kendall has taken the reigns, revealing late in last week’s episode to Roman that he has a plan to fend off Matsson and Shiv at the board meeting and keep the company that their father started
While it was announced just before the season started that Season 4 would be the last, fans were quite shocked when Logan Roy was killed off in the third episode.
The shocking death came as Logan was trying to finalize the merger, which resulted in the company’s stock price briefly plummeting.
The family managed to get more out of Matsson than they had planned… though Kendall has had designs on tanking the deal, while Matsson has been getting closer to Shiv (Sarah Snook) as well.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong first confirmed that Season 4 will be the end of the show in a wide-ranging interview with The New Yorker, where he was asked why he decided to confirm the final season before it debuted.
‘One, we could have said it as soon as I sort of decided, almost when we were writing it, which I think would be weird and perverse,’ Armstrong began.
‘We could have said it at the end of the season. I quite like that idea, creatively, because then the audience is just able to enjoy everything as it comes, without trying to figure things out, or perceiving things in a certain way once they know it’s the final season,’ he added.
‘But, also, the countervailing thought is that we don’t hide the ball very much on the show. I feel a responsibility to the viewership, and I personally wouldn’t like the feeling of, “Oh, that’s it, guys. That was the end.” I wouldn’t like that in a show. I think I would like to know it is coming to an end,’ he clarified.
He added, ‘And, also, there’s a bunch of prosaic things, like it might be weird for me and the cast as we do interviews. It’s pretty definitively the end, so then it just might be uncomfortable having to sort of dissemble like a politician for ages about it. Hopefully, the show is against bulls**t, and I wouldn’t like to be bulls****ing anyone when I was talking about it.’