And so, with a deliciously unexpected twist, the best show on television concludes for another year.
And what a way to go out.
After alternating between ghostly, grieving man-child and coked-up zombie (a self-ascribed “techno Gatsby”) all season, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) emerged from his cocoon of sorrow with a vendetta in the season two finale of Succession.
Selected as the sacrificial lamb to take the blame for the covering up of unexplained deaths and sexual assaults in Waystar Royco’s cruise lines, the second-born Roy pivoted at the last minute and used his press conference to put his father (Brian Cox’s Logan Roy) to the sword, implicating him in the whole conspiracy.
And it wouldn’t have been possible without Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), who was on hand to provide him with the evidence (squirrelled away on Thanksgiving in season one) to take Logan down.
And that was just the last five minutes…
Here are all the questions we will be stewing over in the long wait for Succession season 3.
1. Can Kendall and Cousin Greg take down Logan Roy?
We should have seen it coming. The signs were there from the first episode of the season.
In episode one we saw a broken Kendall take Cousin Greg, who told him explicitly last season that he possessed documents that proved wrongdoing at Waystar Royco, under his wing.
Nine episodes and an untold amount of time later, it’s Greg, the “Machiavellian f**k” standing at the back of the room with the murder weapon that Kendall intends to stick in his dad’s back.
But does this unlikely duo really have what it takes to take Logan on?
In the final moments of the episode, Kendall showed some of the Hamlet-esque gusto that he has been lacking this season. But he has already failed at taking Dad down twice. And it’s almost impossible to figure out where he is emotionally. Earlier this year, a devastating visit to the family of the man he killed was followed by him spitting his undying love for daddy over a beat by a guy called Squiggle.
Perhaps his Dad’s latest betrayal has finally convinced him that Logan doesn’t, and never will, have his best interests at heart. Or maybe he’s just trying to prove that he is a “killer”, after all.
And Greg, well… he has proven on numerous occasions that he must be taken seriously. Bumbling testimony in front of congress aside…
2. Who goes down with the ship?
Implicating Logan means implicating a whole load of people under him. At the very least, Tom (Matthew MacFadyen), who ordered the destruction of documents which Greg now possesses, is screwed.
And what about Logan’s general counsel, Gerri (J Smith Cameron)? She is unlikely to come away unscathed. Same could be said for Frank and Karl.
Everyone on Logan’s blood sacrifice list (read: everyone) is in danger now, not just Logan.
3. Will Logan sell Kendall out as a murderer?
Logan and a handful of his dirtiest “rat-f**kers” are the only people who know that Kendall was heavily involved in the accidental death of the young waiter in England during the afters at Tom and Shiv’s wedding.
After everything we’ve seen from him this season (boar on the floor, setting Shiv up for a fall with Rhea, countless psychopathic power plays with his second-born), it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that Logan would use this to derail Kendall’s case against him.
4. Are Gerri and Roman going to try and make their alliance work?
For the first time in his life, it seems like Roman (Kieran Culkin) is serious about something.
It’s not exactly clear what has passed between Gerri and the jester of the family since he proposed marriage to her a couple of episodes back, but his staunch defence of her in the finale suggests that their “rock star and the mole woman” plan is still in the works.
— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) October 14, 2019
After impressing his father with his business acumen in Turkey, Roman was named sole Chief Operating Officer before Kendall blew the whole company up. And Gerri, temporarily safe from the sword, was in a strong position to shepherd him to the top.
Everything is now up in the air following the press conference, but should these two make it out unscathed, they could well be a force to be reckoned with next season.
5. Are Shiv and Tom finished?
Tom had a tough time of it in season two. Enduring an open marriage that he had not knowingly signed up for, he also faced scrutiny and shame in his professional life, culminating in a humiliating testimony in front of congress, after which he was described as “a man with two assholes”.
But in the finale, he finally stood up for himself. Shiv’s reluctance to bat for him in front of the rest of the group was seemingly the last straw for him, as he finally decided to open up to her.
“I wonder if the sad I’d be without you is less than the sad I get from being with you,” he told her. It sounded like a break-up.
But Shiv (Sarah Snook) later begged her father not to sacrifice Tom (though possibly both of them already knew it was Kendall’s head on the table), apparently moved to try and save her marriage.
Can these two make it work, now that Shiv has made it clear that she isn’t willing to throw him under the bus?
Tom may be finished, regardless. Either because he can no longer stomach his wife’s infidelity, or Logan will literally murder him for eating chicken directly off his plate.
6. Is Logan… proud of his son?
The episode ended with a glimpse of Logan’s reaction to Kendall’s press conference. Was that… a smirk? Is he proud of his son, a literal killer, who has now become the metaphorical killer that could lead the company?
We’ve learned that in this world, duplicity garners respect when employed intelligently. And thus far, nothing else has been enough to please him. Perhaps this is the move that finally makes Kendall a viable successor in his eyes. You truly, despicably, love to see it.