Heading into the Succession finale, there are currently three characters in the strongest position as they gun for the top spot.


Kendall Roy is currently putting a team together to tank the GoJo deal and is riding high after giving a successful eulogy at his father's funeral.

Meanwhile, Lukas Matsson is still trying to push the deal through, and at the end of episode 9 seems confidant of its viability. Shiv is hoping that Matsson's need to appease potential President Jeryd Mencken will result in her being crowned the US CEO.

However, in amongst the sibling rivalry between Kendall and Shiv couldn't we be forgetting one crucial player, who would only need a couple of things to go his way to end up on top? We are of course talking about Cousin Greg.

Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch in Succession season 4.
Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch in Succession season 4. HBO

Now, don't get us wrong, Greg is largely useless and there is no doubt that he would make for an inept CEO. But maybe that's exactly the point.

At the end of the episode, Matsson tells Shiv that he thinks he can make "a US CEO work". Note that he doesn't say, "I think I can make you as US CEO work."

That feels as though it could be the fatal flaw in Shiv's plan. Matsson is not a trustworthy or steady person to deal with, his proposals change on a whim and we've seen how he thinks of and treats his female colleagues with Ebba.

Not only that, but he knows that Shiv has her own interests and would be unlikely to play ball with some of his more outlandish suggestions. Would it not therefore make sense for him to put in place a puppet CEO, someone he can control completely? Enter, Greg Hirsch.

This season, Greg has been steadily getting closer to Matsson (even if it seems that Matsson still thinks of him as somewhat of a joke). He may also have ingratiated himself with Mencken by leading him to believe that it was his decision that ATN should call the election in his favour.

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Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen in Succession
Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen in Succession. HBO

All around, because of his combination of incompetence and sycophancy, Greg has, whether intentionally or not, been making himself an attractive prospect as CEO to powerful people who would wish to have a steer on the company themselves.

The theory that Matsson might get the GoJo deal through and then implement Greg as his CEO would also make sense from a narrative stand-point.

His introduction to the family was part of the show's very first episode, and his becoming CEO of Waystar Royco would make for a full circle moment in the finale, with the series arc ultimately being about the corruption of someone entering this toxic inner circle of a family.

This season has also seen Greg becoming, at the behest of Tom, a pro at delivering the news that employees were being fired. Would it not be the ultimate karma for Tom, who Matsson has expressed a clear distaste for, to be fired by Greg, his long-time underling and frenemy in the finale?

The end of the season could then see Greg on top at Waystar, Kendall (and potentially Shiv and Roman) on top at Pierce, the rival media conglomerate they bought earlier in the season, and now battling it out as rivals.

Of course, this is all highly speculative. There's just as much chance that any number of other characters end up on top at Waystar, or that in a shock ending twist, none of them do, and there are already plenty of other theories floating around.

But we'll certainly have our eye on Greg in this final episode. Episode 4 saw him laughed out of a room when he suggested he could be Kendall's number two at the company. Perhaps now is the moment where in fact, through a twist of fate and his own blind subservience, he becomes number one?

Succession concludes on Sky Atlantic on Monday 29th May – sign up for Sky TV here or stream on NOW. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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