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The final episode of “Succession” airs this Sunday, and it might be time to start fearing for the worst.
The Roy family’s incredible dysfunction has captivated HBO viewers since the show premiered in August 2018. All of the characters, to varying degrees, are terrible people willing to crush people and stab friends and family in the back as they jockey for position.
With Logan Roy dead, his children have spent most of season four attempting to take over the empire he left behind, but they’re definitely not aligned.
Shiv has teamed up with Lukas Matsson to help him secure Waystar Royco and he clearly hinted he wanted an American CEO to help the deal go through.
Meanwhile, Kendall and Roy are doing their best to make sure that never happens, including calling the election early for Jeryd Mencken.
Now, it’s time to find out how this all ends.
“Succession” has, ultimately, been Kendall’s journey.
To be clear, I have absolutely no inside information on how “Succession” will end. This is purely speculation from me based on what I’ve witnessed so far. Let’s go ahead and make that clear so there’s no confusion.
In my humble opinion, the show has been about Kendall’s journey to get out of his dad’s shadow. Kendall is a terrible person. He’s a horrible human. He killed the server, had it covered up, is a horrific father and is borderline delusional about who he is as a person.
“Succession” has to close with putting a bow on Kendall’s journey, and I wouldn’t expect many smiles. For the first time ever in the show’s history, Kendall appeared to show some real guts after his father’s funeral.
The heir apparent made it clear he’s going to try to take over, and told Hugo it’s time for him to be his dog.
There won’t be a happy ending on “Succession” for Kendall.
However, anyone holding out hope that this is going to be a happy ending hasn’t been paying attention. Giving any of the Roy children a happy ending would cut against everything the show has been about.
I think there’s two realistic endings and only two realistic endings for Kendall. First, he gets to the top of the ladder, but in the process destroys every relationship that’s important to him. In order to get there, he must abandon his family, crush Shiv and maybe even cut ties with Roman.
After all, Roman looked weak at the funeral. If you think Kendall wouldn’t throw his brother to the wolves at this point, you’re kidding yourself.
The other outcome, which would honestly be perfect, is that Kendall realizes he won’t win and kills himself. I’m definitely not hoping for this outcome, but it’s very possible. Kendall’s entire journey has been about carving out his own legacy as his father’s crushes him with pressure. Is suicide the exit strategy for Kendall if he realizes he’s, ultimately, a failure?
I fear that’s how this will end. He either loses everything in order to sit on the throne or he kills himself following a failure. Neither scenario is a win, but both make perfect sense.
What about Shiv?
Shiv’s fate is the most obvious to me. Matsson said he wanted an American CEO in order to help ease any concerns about the acquisition deal that might exist.
Logan’s daughter thinks that means it’s her. No chance. No chance at all. It’s almost certainly going to be Tom, and that would be perfectly poetic.
Shiv treated Tom terribly, walked all over him for their relationship, threw her family to the dogs to get ahead and is now carrying his baby.
Karma catches up with everyone eventually. The deal possibly going through (tie this into the Kendall suicide theory) and then Tom becoming CEO would be incredibly poetic and a Shakespearean level twist.
Roman’s “Succession” fate remains the murkiest.
Of all of Logan’s main children, Roman is probably the least miserable. He’s never dreamed of climbing to the top of the ladder, never truly betrayed his father and seems to be the most self-aware.
However, keeping with the theme of tragedy, it’s unlikely he rides off into the sunset smiling and happy. The problem is, I truly have no idea what will happen with him.
If the deal goes through (again, this is the Kendall suicide theory), what does Roman do? Are the writers really going to have Roman and Kendall both die? I doubt it. It seems more likely the ending will see Roman truly alone. Kendall would be dead, Shiv mentally and emotionally destroyed and cut off after betraying her family and Roman would be by himself.
Where does Greg fit?
Twitter is on fire that Greg will ultimately take over as CEO once a deal goes through. If that happens, I will lose it laughing just because it’s so absurd.
Greg has been getting close to Lukas, and he clearly fits the American requirement that’s being hunted for. However, do we really think the board would ever approve a deal where Greg takes over as CEO? Then again, it would be very ironic if the show’s biggest fool won, thus, showing just how pointless all this carnage was.
I don’t see it happening. I see Greg’s fate tied to Tom’s as it has been for years. Tom takes over as CEO, Greg is the number two and finally feels validated and important.
FINAL CALLS: The deal goes through, Kendall commits suicide, Shiv is left out in the cold, Roman collapses realizes he’s truly alone, Tom takes over as CEO and Greg is with him. The only people who get happy endings are those who were crushed for four years. Again, that’s pure speculation but I think it makes the most sense.
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Roman, was once Rowoman, is outed as an it and runs away to live out his fabulous life on The Seychelles.
Shiv (it’s her name!) knifes Tom in the back of a Wendy’s.
Kendall takes his kids, pulls an L Ron Hubbard, buys a huge ship, sets sail and never ports.
Greg starts banging cocktail waitresses two at a time at the Tropicana.
Marcia takes over and moves Waystar to Morocco.
Fade to black.