Season three goes out with a jaw-dropping bang, as a Tuscan wedding sets the stage for Logan to suck the last drops of blood out of his progeny.
Last week’s Succession cliffhanger became a modern-day version of Dallas’s “Who shot JR?” The internet was a-flurry with theories and Easter eggs pointing to the fate of Kendall (Jeremy Strong), who was last seen drifting alone in a pool, a precarious situation considering he was just told to fuck off by Logan (Brian Cox). The question floating around was, “Is Kendall dead?” Rest assured, Kendall’s fate is revealed, but the fate of Waystar hangs in the balance as the merger with GoJo seems to take an unexpected twist. The season three finale of Succession is full of twists and features some devilishly delicious moments as the power structures shift amongst the Roy family.
The Succession finale starts with some light poolside reading between Logan and Iverson (Quentin Morales). As Logan reads the children’s book Goodbye, Mog, he says the chilling Mog line “I wanna sleep forever.” Iverson picked quite the haunting book for storytime, and Logan’s switching the subject, yelling for Kerri (Zoë Winters) to pick a book with more action. Logan reassures the kids that their dad was “okay.” An ominous reassurance, with viewers’ minds racing to dissect if the past tense means Kendall was fine in the pool … or if Kendall was fine while he was alive. Storytime is interrupted with a phone call, Logan shouting for Gerri as he gets Karl on the phone.
On the other side of the villa, Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Connor (Alan Ruck), Willa (Justine Lupe), Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), and Greg (Nicholas Braun) play a fun game of Monopoly. The tone seems lighthearted, the plays razzing each other about board game strategy. Comfry (Dasha Nekrasova) approaches the table, and they realize Kendall is back at the villa. They thank Comfry for helping him, as it’s revealed she found him in the pool. Kendall, in rough shape, rounds the corner, and stops by the table to reassure the family that it was an accident after “one too many limoncellos.” The table seems split on if it was intentional or not, but their bickering is put to rest as Logan summons Roman to meet with Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), as their deal may be off the table.
At Matsson’s estate, Logan gets down to brass tacks, asking if the merger is happening. Matsson proposes a new deal, he wants to buy Waystar. Matsson assures Logan he’d keep Roman on, and assess his top team to see if it’s a fit for the buyout. Logan says he’s not interested in a buyout but agrees to stick around Matsson’s compound and see if the old deal has shape. Logan sends Roman back, as he doesn’t want him to miss out on his mother’s wedding. Roman is reluctant but trusts his dad to do what’s best, and departs via boat back to Italy.
Roman returns just in time for a little sibling intervention for Kendall. They worry that his pool incident wasn’t an accident, and they think he needs help. Kendall calls them out against the intervention, turning the tables on his siblings, saying they need help in their continued devotion to Logan. He tells them they have no idea what he’s gone through as the eldest brother, being promised to take over for Logan, only to have the rug pulled out from under him. Connor’s having none of it, saying he’s the elder brother, and he’s constantly overlooked. A moment of love between these sibs doesn’t last long, as again they equate love with power and abuse, throwing down some more sibling shade over their brunch table.
Caroline (Harriet Walter) and Peter’s (Pip Torrens) wedding goes off without a hitch, even if to Peter’s dismay, Logan is unable to attend. At the reception, Shiv and Roman get wind that a deal is happening behind their backs. Roman reveals to Shiv that Matsson offered to buy Waystar, but said Logan declined the deal. It looks like he’s making moves towards that offer, flying in Karl (David Rache) and Frank (Peter Friedman).
Kendall’s fate is revealed, but the fate of Waystar hangs in the balance.
Shiv gathers Roman and Kendall to discuss their options. They find a secure place amongst the rubbish bins, talking through their options. Kendall says he wants out. He breaks down in front of his siblings, telling his siblings that he killed the caterer. Shiv and Roman at first seem shocked, but soon go into managing the situation. They lean into jokes as a defense mechanism, Roman joking Kendall may have had a bad night at Shiv’s wedding, but he had it worse as with one less waiter, it took him two hours to get a gin and tonic. They have a nice moment where Kendall, sitting on the ground, is held by the shoulders by Roman, and Shiv holds his head in her hand. The sibs are back, ready to take on their dad.
En route via van to Logan’s action station, Shiv, Roman, and Kendall strategize their plan. They plan a coup, knowing they can take control of the board, thanks to Caroline’s divorce agreement, he needs a majority in the holding company to sanction a deal. The siblings get real with each other in the back of the van, knowing that their father will never give any of them full control of the company. It’s their time to take it away from Logan. They start making calls, with Shiv calling Tom to alert him to their plan. Tom asks Shiv what’s the plan for him in this new company. She reassures him that they’ll fit him into the plan. Tom wastes no time pulling his “Sporus” Greg into the fold, convincing him to do a deal with the devil.
The sibs arrive at Logan’s villa, and they confront him about the deal with Matsson. Logan’s going to make the deal, as he can feel it in his bones that it’s the right deal to make. There are some tense moments in this scene, as Logan tries to get his kids back on his side. He soon discovers they’ve sided against him, and he goes around and gives them all verbal lashings. His mocking of Shiv is particularly deviant, as he rarely seems to show the same level of anger towards her that he shows his sons.
The kids bring up that Logan needs a majority to make the deal. Logan yells he’s got them beat and gets Kerri to make a call. She puts Caroline on speakerphone, who reveals that she gave up the majority clause in the divorce settlement. The kids stand together, all alone in the fact they have no other cards to pull, other than out of love Logan should listen to kids. Logan gets one last moment to ridicule his kids and tell them to “fuck off.” Roman crawls to Gerri, asking his mentor for help. Her priorities are to help the shareholders, not to help the family at this time.
In the final moments of the finale, Logan leaves the room and runs into Tom in the hallway. He gives Tom a pat on the shoulder, both sharing a look of recognition. Shiv sees the moment shared between her husband and father, realizing it was Tom who leaked their plan. The final image is that of Shiv, holding back tears, as Tom attempts to comfort her after the double betrayal at the hands of her father and her husband.
Episode Superlatives and Predictions
- The MVP of the Episode: Kendall, played by Jeremy Strong. His revealing breakdown and confessing to the caterer’s death was a poignant moment that allowed him to fall back into the good graces of Shiv and Roman.
- The Most Iconic Line – an exchange between Tom and Greg:
Tom: “Do you want a deal with the devil?”
Greg: “Well, what am I going to do with a soul, anyways?”
- Predictions for season 4: the siblings got a taste of a coup, and even if it makes Roman want to puke, they do make a good team. It could be interesting to have a season where the sibs join forces and fight against Logan and his new deal with Matsson. As they’re spoiled kids, if they don’t keep their shiny toy, they’re going to make sure no one can have it.
- It throws a fun curveball that it was Midwest-nice Tom who betrayed Shiv. As Shiv is used to betrayal from those she loves, there’s a part of her that feels scorned, but perhaps another one was always waiting for the shoe to drop, especially after her indifference to his potential prison sentence.
- Also throwing it out there: Succession has had two season finales with weddings – with Connor and Willa’s pending nuptials, the writers might say “Fuck it” and go for a third finale wedding in the upcoming fourth season.