Spoilers for Season 3 are included in this story Succession.
If we didn’t know that HBO had already greenlit a fourth season of SuccessionSeason 3’s final episode could have made a wonderful series finale.
Every one of the main Roy kids has attempted to become the Waystar Royco heir. All three have failed. Season 3, Episode 9, Logan threatens Logan to sell his company, ending any possibility of Roy children governing the empire. Logan is finally defeated by the children, who realize their power as a group rather than individually. But they don’t succeed. Again.
They storm in and start throwing tantrums childlike. Logan is shocked when they see them.Logan is a brutal capitalist dictatorship and their children are being exposed to it for the second time. As if disappointing their father weren’t terrible enough, the Roy siblings suffer betrayals at the hands of their own mother, Caroline and Shiv’s husband, Tom. As Logan says at the end of the episode, “I f-cking win.”
What’s the future of Logan’s show? These are our questions after the last episode, and some predictions for season 4.
Will Tom win?
Andrew R. Chow: At fifty minutes, a nervous Kendall asked Shiv whether her husband Tom would join them in their plot to topple their father. Tom has been buried so deep under his wife’s thumb for three seasons that the idea that he would do anything but meekly accept their machinations seemed ludicrous to me.
It was a terrible mistake. Tom nearly retreated from the conversation and immediately called Logan to warn him of the ambush. He also gave the Roy patriarch time to turn his guns into sausages. Tom is now the heir apparent to a job at the WayStar GoJo Death Star and seems to be ahead of any Roy siblings. SocialMedia erupted in his praise last night; he’s made Kendall’s fake newspaper headline reducing Shiv to “Wife of Toms Wambsgams” come true.
But while Tom’s play was momentarily successful, I have a lot of doubts. Watching him saunter into the room in the season’s closing moments, I was reminded of the Game of Thrones The season 4 finale was (spoiler alert) Stannis Baratheon came galloping to Jon Snow’s rescue north of the wall. At the time, “Stannis the Mannis” memes proliferated on Twitter for a once-defeated character that had finally found his mojo. But we knew all along that Stan didn’t have the wiliness of Tyrion, the ruthlessness of Dany or the rallying ability of Jon—and ten episodes later, he was dead.
So Tom, too, finally figured out that he needs to act for himself; that his wife isn’t thinking about his best interests, if she’s even thinking about him at all. But now he’s gone from one master to another—and we know that in order to truly get in Logan’s good graces, he has to respect or even fear you. Logan saw Tom as an ally in his interest. However, Tom was only a pawn. Even if Tom does land a job in the C-suite, his best scenario seems to be to become New Frank. This is an executive who has ostensible wealth, power, but is still a human footstool. Tom also has three extremely angry Roy foes. I’m guessing that this is his peak before a devastating fall.
Eliana Dockterman:Tom was playing the long game in retrospect. In the hope that Logan would recall his loyalty, he offered to be Logan’s fall man by going to prison. (He did.) Tom refused to team up with Kendall against Logan because, as Tom told Kendall at the time, “I’ve seen you get f-cked a lot, and I’ve never seen Logan get f-cked once.”
And he stood silent as his wife told him she was out of his league, and that she didn’t love him. Logan discovered this early in Marcia’s season. If you insult your spouse, you will pay the consequences.
Tom actually hinted that Greg, his true love and not Shiv was what he really wanted, several episodes back, and that he’d happily leave his wife.
However, I do agree with you that wins on SuccessionThey are fleeting. Tom sacrificed his relationship with Shiv to earn Logan’s love. It may not seem that big of a deal. The Roys have a tendency to make relationships that are purely transactional and emotionless. Logan gave Marcia a break to keep her married; Roman kept Tabitha with him despite Gerry having his heart or at least his libido. Shiv believed Tom could be Tabitha’s lapdog. Shiv and Tom even advised Greg to trade up from dating a PR exec to a duchess because, well, he’d be one plane crash away from becoming “Europe’s weirdest king.”
However, I think Tom does love Shiv. Logan patted Tom across the shoulder, and the Roy children looked at each other through an open window. It was a scene that perfectly replicated the end of The Season. Godfather. But the finale scene is even more shocking. Tom left Logan’s side and went to his wife to ask, “What happened?” He kissed Shiv on her head, while she silently seethed.
Tom doesn’t fool anyone. Shiv has no idea who betrayed Shiv. This is a power game? Perhaps it’s a display of genuine pity for his spouse? Tom, as savvy as he’s become, is He’s not as cruel as the other Roys. I’m not sure he’s ready for the emotional fallout of this betrayal.
What happens to Shiv and Tom’s marriage?
ARC: I’ll let an Adele meme sum this one up:
ED: Although I don’t like to disagree with Adele on matters of heart and soul, it is something I can actually Shiv and Tom should remain together. Shiv didn’t say anything when she discovered that Tom had double-crossed herself. It reminds me of Season 2’s finale, when Kendall betrayed Logan. We saw a flicker of a smile on Logan’s lips as he watched his son’s devastating press conference. Shiv doesn’t crack a smile. However, Shiv may have finally come to respect Tom in marriage.
Practically speaking Tom is now in power. Shiv is advised to remain close to him. Shiv may even be able to enjoy the toxic chess games that are bound to follow if they get married.
The moment when Roy’s three children dream about fighting for control over the company, which I recall vividly in my car seat, is a time that all three Roy children remember. “That would be fun,” Kendall says. They LoveThese are power games. Shiv has now found a worthy opponent.
Logan cedes control of the company?
ED:It was difficult for me to comprehend why Logan would leave Waystar Royco’s control, or why he did so in this moment. Even on death’s door, he kept a stranglehold on the company. He never intended to give any of his sons the leadership, but it was a shame to hand power over to Lukas.
Logan’s closest real-life parallel is Rupert MurdochThe tycoon behind Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York PostAnd many other left-leaning news outlets. And perhaps it’s instructive that Murdoch did break up his vast media empire in 2017 when he sold 20th Century Fox Studios and most of his entertainment assets to Disney.
Murdoch retained Fox News, not surprisingly. Lukas presents Logan with the idea of buying Waystar Royco. Logan responds that he can still control what assets are most valuable to him. Logan may be happy to give up his influence on the studios and cursed cruise lines and focus solely on ATN.
Tom, as the head of the news division, would, of course, play a crucial role in Logan’s team next season if this were the case. Logan may spend his most time working to ensure that the white nationalist congressman whom he supported earlier in the season is elected president. Shiv may even be able to get back in politics by supporting a candidate from the left, hoping that he will foil her father or husband. And while Connor’s presidential dream may be dead, there’s always VP.
ARC: Logan’s prior position as Waystar CEO gave him power in several key respects: to make key decisions about his company; to receive public adulation and respect; and to lord over those he cares about most. After three seasons, I think it’s fairly clear that the aspect of power he cherishes most is the third: he structures his whole identity around being a patriarch and dominating any room of peers and family.
While this agreement with Lukas may mean that he loses corporate control, it will also allow him to exert greater influence over his family. His children will be the ones he resents, particularly after they have made mistakes in his eyes. As a firm believer in negative reinforcement, he probably believes that he is doing what is best for them—by forcing them to “make their own f-cking pile,” just like he had to. To top it all, he can save face and get to be seen as a 21st-century tech guru, rather than slowly taking over an ocean liner. Or, as he so eloquently put it: “It works.”
Does Connor, the true eldest son, play a greater role?
ED: Every season Succession He belonged to another Roy sibling. The car accident ended season 1. Kendall was the first heir apparent. Shiv seemed to be ascending in season 2 but sabotaged her own chances to take control when she blurted out she’d been promised the kingdom at an important dinner.
Season 3 was Roman’s time to shine. His father endorsed an Internet-savvy fascist president and he lured Lukas Matsson, a tech bro into merging with Waystar Royco. But then, in the end, he betrayed his true weakness—not his love for dick pics, but his love for Logan. We all know that Logan can’t stand sentiment.
Logan is a formidable opponent for any child. But let’s not forget about Connor. Connor, a comic relief for so long, was reminded by his siblings of his tragic past that he had. He is Logan’s eldest son, not Kendall. Connor may be a buffoon. But if Tom’s surge has taught us anything, it’s beware the most disrespected family members. They will exact their revenge. It’s possible that Connor will reach his breaking point in a short time.
Or perhaps he’ll just spend next season instructing the bartenders at his wedding on how to properly hyper-decant wine.
ARC: Are there any universes in which Shiv jumps on the Conheads’ rising popularity wave and Connor Roy’s dark horse presidential race centered around the promise to end Big Tech? Semi-relatedly, I’m choosing to believe that Willa was drinking so hard during the wedding out of sheer exuberance about her engagement. It is certain that this relationship will be a happy one.
Logan will Logan have another child?
ED:Logan seems to be increasing his number of sperm. As long as we’re throwing out wild theories, here’s one: Logan, disappointed with his children, does indeed try to impregnate his assistant and produce a worthy heir. This show leaps decades (years?) The future. All are in their old age makeup. This cycle repeats itself with a young, new heir.
ARC: Lorgan would be perfectly on-brand to begin drinking Maca root to help his children get into shape. His disappointment at his grandson’s inability to read picture books was evident, so it would be perfectly on-brand for Lorgan to immediately start preparing a backup option for his frailty line. Many of them. Red Wedding comparisonsFollow the episode on Twitter; SuccessionIt is possible to set Kerry up as a target for infanticide. (Sorry—too dark.)