The season three finale of Succession might be the best episode yet (and that is saying a lot). It should go without saying, but WARNING: maximum spoilers ahead.
The finale episode, titled ‘All the Bells Say’, turned everything on its head. The three main Roy children—Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Keiran Culkin), and Shiv (Sarah Snook)—banded together for the first time in their lives, only for Logan Roy (Brian Cox) to win, again.
A last-minute attempt by the kids to prevent their father from selling Waystar Royco to Lukas Matsson (an Elon Musk-style tech CEO, played deliciously by Alexander Skarsgard) backfired. Not only are they out in the cold, with no company to inherit, but they were each betrayed by the people they took for granted.
Let’s see where everyone ended up.
Shiv and Tom
It feels unbelievable to write, but Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfayden) and Shiv’s marriage is still, technically, a marriage. Despite being deeply unhappy and Tom beginning to realise just how little Shiv cares for him, they are still, technically, together. But perhaps not for long.
In the final scene, Tom arrives at Logan’s temporary office, having pulled off the ultimate betrayal: telling Logan that his children plan to use their supermajority vote to block the sale of Waystar.
Logan greets him with a paternal pat on the shoulder, thanking him. Alone of the three Roy kids, Shiv spies this moment. She realises what her husband has done, but he doesn’t know that she knows. This could be a very, very interesting dynamic in the already renewed season four.
Tom finally stepped out of his supporting role and became an active player. Who knew he had it in him?
Oh, Roman. The younger brother had been making real inroads with his dad (and therefore his future at Waystar) all season, until an ill-timed and ill-sent dick pic ruined that forever. What a way to go.
Of the three siblings, Roman is the one who needs the most convincing to team up and torpedo the vote. He’s been told by both his dad and Matsson that there will be a senior spot for him in this new company. Is that even true? Who knows. In the final confrontation, Roman almost wavers, before deciding to stick it out with his siblings. It’s a moment of loyalty that ultimately leaves him out in the cold.
As for Roman and Gerri (J. Smith Cameron)? The senior legal council-turned-interim CEO ultimately knew her loyalty’s lay with Logan, despite the weird sexual play between her and Roman. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.
After all that speculation, Kendall didn’t die in the penultimate episode. He did, however, very nearly drown in the pool, and whether it was through deliberate action or not caring if he lived, it worried his siblings (including Connor—we haven’t forgotten him).
Kendall confesses to his siblings that he was responsible for the death of the waiter at Shiv’s wedding. Touchingly, they rally around him, rather than use this ultimate piece of leverage. They’re still excusing their brother for the death and coverup of a teenager, which is still fundamentally immoral, but hey—it’s nice to see the kids come together for once.
It’s Kendall who floats the idea of using their supermajority vote to kill the Waystar sale, something he says their mother secured the kids in the divorce. Unfortunately, it’s their mum who also betrays her children, choosing to renegotiate the terms of the divorce and let her ex-husband Logan win. Again.
Conner! The eldest son! There’s probably something wrong with him but nobody is quite sure what. Simple unintelligence, perhaps? Connor (Alan Ruck) had a conniption about Kendall calling himself the “eldest son”, but hey, it’s what everyone was thinking. But things are looking up for the man. His ‘girlfriend’ Willow has accepted his proposal, and while “f**k it” may not be the most romantic ‘yes’ of all time, it’s the most enthusiasm we’ve seen from her this entire relationship.
Season three also showed us how those outside the Logan family think of Connor. To his family, he’s both a joke and a walking time bomb, but to certain sections of the (alt-right) internet, he’s a hero. There’s a moment where the family very seriously considers positioning Connor to be the next US President, which would be a wild plot to play out next season.
Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) is finally, finally growing up! Not only is he “one plane crash away” from becoming the weirdest royal in Europe, he’s hooked himself to Tom and is about to shoot up in the new company. Probably. If anyone can stumble their way through securing a royal wedding and becoming vice-President of something, it’s Cousin Greg.
What is there to say about Logan, except to quote Tom from earlier this season? “My hunch is that you’re going to get f**ked,” Tom told Kendall, “because I’ve seen you get f**ked a lot… and I’ve never seen Logan get f**ked once.”
Logan is on top. He’s won, again. He’s secured the deal at exactly the right time for him. He’s destroyed any kind of relationship with his children—perhaps forever—but they never really mattered to him much, anyway. He sees his children for all their flaws, and resents them for it. Tom, his son-in-law, has shown the most loyalty, and it’s Tom who’s about to be rewarded.
Season four can’t come soon enough.