Succession will wrap its final episode this weekend with a 90-minute spectacular that teases sibling reckonings and back-stabbing business moves. In a teaser for the series finale, the Roy children are pitted against Swedish billionaire Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård)—who tells them to buckle up because, “it’s going to get nasty.”
From what we’ve seen so far this season, Succession could truly end any way you see fit. After Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) death, we already got the big “succession” that the series was working toward when Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) were named co-CEO’s. Will they keep their titles if the GoJo deal goes through? Will someone else, like Shiv (Sarah Snook), Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), or Greg (Nicholas Braun), pull through? What about Connor (Alan Ruck)? It’s tough to say, but there’s a lot riding on the series finale for creator Jesse Armstrong and HBO. Is it enough to pick a true successor and reveal the fate of WayStar RoyCo, or were we working toward something greater here? We’ll find out soon.
For now, let’s see what Reddit thinks. It’s the fan theory capitol of the Internet, and for good reason. One commenter predicted last week that Roman would emotionally collapse at Logan’s funeral—and another nailed that ATN would falsely call the election for Mencken. If anyone’s going to get the end of Succession right, it’s these people.
Kendall Gets Everything He Wants, or Does He?
A very popular refrain I see from r/SuccessionTV browsers is the theory that Kendall will gain control and become CEO of WayStar RoyCo, but lose everything—like his family and personal happines—in the process. He would also control a company that needed to be bought out to survive, and is now just putting out fires every day. As I predicted before, running the Death Star may not be all the Empire’s cracked it up to be. After last night’s episode, most people are out on Shiv or Roman, but their banners still fly high.
Roy Kids Out, Tom Wambsgans In
Tom seems to be a bit on the outs due to both his toxic relationship with Shiv and his sullied reputation as ATN President following the election. Some Redditors, however, are claiming all these potential setbacks are merely misdirection. Tom is going to end up as the CEO, according to u/PlutoMMA. “Matsson thinks that Mencken agreed to an American CEO, but I have a strong feeling that one or both of them don’t want it to be Shiv,” they wrote. “Tom knows ATN, he would be easier to puppet master.” A decent theory, honestly! I could easily see it playing out where all the Roy siblings lose and misogyny from villainous guys like Matsson and Mencken gives way to choosing Tom over Shiv. That guy’s gone demon mode, lately. So has his underling, Greg.
A lot of (too many?!) commenters on r/SuccessionTV are out for blood. They want scandal, they want murder, and I can’t blame ’em. Sometimes, you just have to spice it up. But Succession has largely kept the human toll of the Roy family’s dirty business to the sidelines. Sure, Roman blew up a rocket and Kendall accidentally killed that one guy in a car accident—but no one has murdered each other for personal gain just yet. Are we saving a big crime for the finale? “I just don’t think that’s the stuff Jesse Armstrong wants you to worry about,” user u/QuietRainyDay posted. “We have seen the kids make endless terrible decisions, and yet here they are still, rich and powerful enough to influence a Presidential election. Thats the scary part. The shocking part. Thats what should make you uncomfortable.” Fair enough!
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Maybe This Isn’t the End
As one user named u/cold_breadfruit_9794 pointed out, “It’s hard to entirely predict because I feel like Jesse Armstrong likes to leave the most batshit ‘sky is falling’ and unpredictable twists until the end. All I know is it will be open ended enough that it feels like another season could happen.”
Entirely possible! Though this is painted as the end of Succession, everyone seems to agree that ending at Season Four felt too soon. There’s been a good amount of talk regarding potential spinoffs as well, as HBO could have a tough time saying goodbye to one of its most popular series of the last decade. We’ll find out soon enough this Sunday.
Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.