Successionthe end is finally upon us and the suspense is killing us. After four seasons, the hit HBO show is still on the air for its final series, and in the best way: we couldn’t quite guess what would happen. We are talking about the series finale which is probably the most eagerly awaited since then Game of Thrones, and in fact most of the plot is resolved in the end (much to the chagrin of the audience). This week’s episode, “Church and State,” is as dramatic as it is heartbreaking, and it sets the board for the final leg of a game of chess between Roy’s kids for Logan’s (Brian Cox) inheritance, but there’s absolutely no clear hint of what might be going on.
Who’s Running to Take Over Waystar Royco?
Outside of the series, we had been mourning Logan Roy for over a month before his funeral and burial were finally held at “Church and Country”. However, in the world of the show, the Roy kids regroup, go to Norway, come back, then go to Los Angeles, decide the presidential election and, of course, plot a lot of schemes and schemes against each other – all in a matter of days. When we met Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiva (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) at the start of the episode, everyone was expecting things to be tense, but they turned out to be a bit light and smooth. Still, they knew that they had to face each other soon.
While the council set for what everyone expected to be a showdown between the siblings, “Church and State” actually all but ruled out one of them. It was a particularly difficult episode for Roman, a troublemaker going into a self-destructive spiral after facing his father’s casket for the first time. Stability was never his thing, admittedly, but given that the old man finally abdicated Waystar Royco’s throne, one would think Roman might focus at least a little. But he has been in denial all along, despite his claims to have “grieved” Logan.
However, with the Gojo-Waystar acquisition deal to be analyzed by the government, Roman was named co-CEO with Kendall, whose name Logan underlined in his will. Nothing has grown as big as Kendall since Logan’s death. Leaving his father’s shadow is just what he needs, as he eventually becomes a murderer. Logan always criticizes him for not being there. While he plays well in front of everyone, he soon begins plotting to take over Waystar alone, blackmailing Hugo (Fisher Stevens) to weaken Roman and even take Shiv’s betrayal in stride. Some of it he even did in front of Logan’s casket and burial chamber, as if they were some sort of passing torch. He’s the new Logan, and he watches over the throne.
However, in his way, there is Shiv. He was named the American CEO of the company acquired by Gojo-Waystar by Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), the real owner. Shiv moved to partner with him after his brother became co-CEO, but soon started sidelining him in decisions about the company. Not one to be left behind, she quickly catches them but fumbles when it comes to keeping her secret. The only secret she’s managed to uncover in her own way is her pregnancy, which might end up ruining her efforts. But she doesn’t care, neither does Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), by the way, the child’s father, because the couple can’t seem to separate even after breaking it off.
What Happens in Other Countries?
One of the main arcs of Succession Season 4 is the presidential election. In previous seasons, we’ve seen how influential Logan has become in American politics, going as far as voting for Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) itself for the conservative slot in the election. Given his radical discourse, no one really expected him to win against liberal candidate Daniel Jimenez (Elliot Villar), but, well, he won, and reminded us all of our own election nightmares a few years ago.
As a reflection of how Mencken’s victory came to be, with the loss of the vote and fires burning across the US, the entire nation is currently finding itself like a boiling cauldron waiting to explode. It all started when Kendall agreed with Roman to call the election win in Mencken’s favour, selling his soul to a radical politician who promised to stop Matsson’s acquisition of Waystar, only now he seems a bit bored with the whole thing. Their deal may still go ahead, of course, but things are not looking good for CE-Bros. Mencken is currently in talks with Matsson and Shiv, who are putting aside their ideological differences with the president-elect in favor of power (Logan would be very proud), so Kendall may have chosen Mencken in vain, even putting his own family at risk for the sake of his dream of taking over the family business. .
Things were so volatile that, as far as we know, Mencken could even end up turning on the ATN, and clan Roy could still lose it all and be “set as an example” by a political demagogue. The only person who seems aware of the dangers the country is facing right now is Kendall’s ex-wife Rava (Gold Natalia), but unfortunately no one took it seriously.
What Can We Expect From Jesse Armstrong?
Succession no different from other serials and films written by their creators, Jesse Armstrong. As a general pattern, Armstrong likes to ponder existential questions while distilling sharp, witty dialogue through the despicable characters he has created. It was the nature of everything he ever wrote, from Mark (David Mitchell) and Jezz (Robert Webb) in the Peek show to Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) in the Thickand one we will surely miss with the dirty ways Roy’s kids left our Sunday night for good.
Despite the existential switch, the show probably takes place frequently (regardless of Peek showThat very existential), Armstrong has never been the type of storyteller who reaches for the predictable for the sake of morality, which explains why we are less than a week away from Successionseries finale and still have no idea where this is going. The Roy family were all despicable, so whoever won, would still be a loss for everyone who was fated to live in that universe.
What we can expect for sure is the drama. When Succession is partly a satire on the way we live today (and a very good one at that), it is primarily a family drama with a lot of Shakespearean influence. A powerful yet decadent king whose kingdom his children want to rule? A son destined to become a tyrannical father? It’s the kind of plot that has been around forever, and Roy is the perfect embodiment of it. So while we may not know what to expect in terms of outcome, we can certainly expect an ending that is more akin to a Shakespearean tragedy than a cautionary tale.
Last series of Succession premieres this Sunday on HBO and Max.