It's been over two years since Succession's near-perfect season two finale – which saw Logan Roy (Brian Cox) demand a "blood sacrifice" from a beholden Kendall (Jeremy Strong) after the leaking of WayStar RoyCo's misconduct allegations – and now fans are finally being treated to the fallout of Logan's scapegoat scheme blowing up in his face.
After intense viewer speculation over who Logan would bully into taking the fall for him – (would it be Shiv 'The Chosen One' Roy or maybe Tom with "Greg sprinkles"?) – the sweary patriarch asked Kendall, still guilt-ridden over the waiter who drowned whilst finding him drugs, to drink from the poisoned chalice of corporate responsibility. Of course, Ken deviates from Logan's script at the press conference and drops a huge bomb – his father knew of the sexual misconduct allegations employees made within the company's cruises division and oversaw the legal settlements. Cue the dramatic theme music and the rolling credits.
Season three opens with a familiar shot of a stoney-faced Logan staring out of his black helicopter and while this time he isn't slumped against the window in the midst of a hemorrhagic stroke (throwback to the show's very first episode), Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck) are panicking around their father once again as chaos ensues around them.
While Logan's troops are shuttled from helicopters to vans and then from hotel rooms onto private jets as they figure out where exactly they should be going, Kendall has locked himself in a toilet, where he's slumped in a bath while a perpetually-nervous Greg (Nicholas Braun) weakly threatens to break down the door. Just when we think Kendall's coup attempt has triggered another downward spiral, he emerges from the bathroom, calling for action stations and walking off with the confidence of a son who's determined to prove to his father that he is, in fact, "a killer".
Unfortunately, he only has his assistant Jess (Juliana Canfield) and the hilariously clueless Greg by his side while trying to establish a game plan, tasking Greg with "taking his cultural temperature" and monitoring social media despite his apparent ineptitude. "The Pope followed you. Oh no, is this the real...? No, I don't think this is the Pope. It's a Pope," Greg timidly tells a sunken-faced Kendall.
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Back at Logan HQ, L to the OG decides to give Kendall a call, offering him one last chance to retreat. When Kendall declines, his father tells him that he's going to "grind his f***ing bones to make his bread" with Kendall shooting back with: "Well, I'm gonna run up off the f***ing beanstalk." Disney may want to give Jesse Armstrong a swerve when choosing a writer for their next fairytale live-action remake.
With the final peace offering out of the way, it's full steam ahead as Roman, Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) and Shiv argue over what their next play should be (Roman unsurprisingly wants to deny everything Kendall has said, paint him as a "bitter f**k-up who needs psychiatric help" and hope it all fades away, while Shiv and Gerri want to play it safe, call the Department of Justice and co-operate with the government) before Gerri calls the White House to gauge the President's opinion.
Whilst trying to call members of his father's team and encourage defections, Kendall learns that his access to the Waystar office is being cancelled and sends his limo in the direction of his ex-wife Rava's (Natalie Gold) house. "This is like OJ, except if like OJ never killed anyone," Greg says excitedly, to which a slightly manic-looking Kendall replies: "Who said I never killed anyone?" (When the adrenaline high of trying to usurp his father finally wears off, I think we can expect to see Kendall hit rock bottom again, repeating his pattern of: attempting a Waystar take-over, being foiled by his father and sinking back into drug addiction as a result.)
Worried by the White House's noncommittal response to whether the DoJ would investigate, Logan asks Shiv to sweet-talk high-profile lawyer Lisa Arthur (played by Sanaa Lathan) into representing him – however, she soon learns that Kendall has beaten them to it. Meanwhile, Logan makes plans to head to Sarajevo (which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US) and orders Frank, Carl and Tom to get in touch with shareholders and drum up as much support as possible whilst deploying as many "f***k offs" as he possibly can.
Of course, this wouldn't be Succession if Logan's position wasn't up for grabs at some point and while he's lawyering up and preparing for war, Logan drops the bombshell that he's willing to temporarily step back as CEO and it's between Shiv, Roman and Gerri for the WayStar crown. News that Logan is live-picking the new CEO inevitably makes it to the three nominees and they each begin their campaigns, with Shiv asking Tom to push her cause while Roman calls his father directly and makes a rather excruciatingly under-confident pitch, essentially saying pick me – but if you don't think I'm ready, pick Gerri. "If for some reason it ain't Romy time, then maybe it's crony time," Roman says before Logan hangs up and unsurprisingly declares that he's out of the running.
Meanwhile, Kendall is holed up in his ex-wife's flat, buzzing with excitement and over-confidence as public relations consultant Berry Schneider (Jihae Kim) swings by with an offer to work with him. Despite telling Rava that he did this for his family, the attention high is clearly going to his head. "I think the headline needs to be: 'F**k the weather, we're changing the cultural climate,'" he tells Berry during her strategy pitch, before interrupting her again to say that he wants his Twitter "to be off the hook" and to have some "Bojack guys" make his tweets a bit cooler. Yikes.
Over in a hotel room, Roman is trying (and failing) to seduce Gerri, as she tries to figure out just how clean Roman is when it comes to the Waystar scandals. Logan then rings and tells Gerri that she'll be the next CEO since Shiv blew it with Lisa. An unsurprising choice given that Logan wanted his temporary successor to be a woman with experience that he could essentially puppet, while Shiv is too inexperienced and Roman is a trigger-happy young man.
Kendall then sits down with Lisa Arthur to work out how exactly he can take down his father without implicating himself or damaging the company, while Rava gets upset at Greg for opening a treasured bottle of her wine on the instruction of Kendall's girlfriend Naomi (Annabelle Dexter-Jones). Instead of apologising, Kendall gloats to Greg about being surrounded by "all these brilliant f**king women".
Meanwhile, news of Gerri's CEO appointment has leaked and Kendall rings to tell them that he's secured Lisa Arthur as his lawyer. Logan decides to go with his second option, Leo, before declaring: "We'll f**king beast them. We'll go full f**king beast!"
Read more about Succession:
- Succession creator confirms he knows how the show ends: "It can't go on forever"
- Succession season 3 review: The ruthless Roys make a punchy return in superb comedy-drama
- How to watch and stream Succession in the UK – your guide to the show