Succession survival guide: What to know before the end of TV’s best show

Succession survival guide: What to know before the end of TV’s best show

Prepare yourself for a sharp uptick in the number of times you hear the phrase “f— off” each week. A new season of Succession is about to hit our screens.

This critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning HBO juggernaut will kick off its fourth and final season this Monday, marking the beginning of the end for one of the most exceptional TV shows in recent memory. But why is it ending again? And do we need to understand what a supermajority is again to keep up with the action? Here’s a quick guide to get you up to date.

Pictured: Logan Roy’s our culture reporters using the word ‘supermajority’ for the first time in their lives. Credit:HBO/Binge

Where we left the Roys

The season three finale ended on perhaps the most dramatic moment of the series to date. After learning that Logan was planning an impromptu sale of his company, Waystar Royco, to Scandi tech CEO Lukas Matsson, the kids finally put aside their differences and teamed up to take down daddy.

Unfortunately, the good vibes only lasted the length of a short car trip.

Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin), Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) and Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) confront Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in the closing moments of Succession’s season three finale.Credit:Foxtel/HBO

Minutes after confronting Logan and threatening to kill the deal with a power afforded to them in their parents’ divorce agreement, it became clear their attempts were futile. Thanks to a timely tip-off from Tom and a brutal betrayal from their mum, Logan had already outplayed them – renegotiating the terms of the divorce on the fly and cutting the kids out completely. As he so eloquently put it, “You’re playing toy f—ing soldiers. Go on, f— off. I have you beat. You morons.”

Yep, somehow Kendall crying in the dirt and confessing to “killing a kid” – mere hours after returning from hospital after nearly drowning in a hotel pool – wasn’t the most crushing moment of the episode.

What’s been happening off-screen

The big news is that this fourth season will be the show’s last! Succession creator Jesse Armstrong made the announcement in an interview with The New Yorker last month, after privately toying with the idea since season two. “I’ve never thought this could go on forever,” he said.

Of course, it’s been met with mixed reactions from fans. Though many have admired Armstrong’s decision to go out with a bang – what he calls a “muscular season to exhaust all our reserves of interest” – others are going full f—ing beast about the fact one of the best shows on television only has 10 eps to go.

Though totally respectful of Armstrong’s decision, some members of the cast have also seemed a bit down about it all.

In typical Cousin Greg fashion, actor Nicholas Braun told Entertainment Tonight he was “pretty bummed” and his last day was “sad as hell”. But, he went on, “the ending is fire”.

Sarah Snook has also revealed she didn’t know the show was definitely ending until the final table read.

“I was very upset,” the Australian actress who plays Shiv told The Los Angeles Times this week. “I felt a huge sense of loss, disappointment and sadness. It would have been nice to know at the beginning of the season, but I also understand not being told until the end because there was still a potential that maybe this wasn’t going to be the end.”

Scottish actor Brian Cox, however, has been a lot more chill, saying he “felt nothing” while filming the final scene and praising Armstrong for not indulging “the American inclination to milk it for all it’s worth”.

“HBO would love us to go for as long as Game of Thrones, but thank God it won’t happen,” he told Variety. I would find it hard-going to be saying ‘f— off’ to people for the next 10 years.” As is now customary in every interview with the frank 76-year-old, he also reaffirmed his disdain for the kind of method acting his co-star Jeremy Strong is known for, saying “I don’t put up with all that American shit … Just do the job.”

What to expect from the final season

In this final press tour, Armstrong has acknowledged there’s always been a “promise in the title of Succession”. But audiences expecting a neat ending, with one of the Roy failsons being given the keys to the kingdom, will surely be disappointed.

Snook has told us as much in a recent interview. “I think with this ending, there’s just as many questions thrown up about where these characters go from here,” she said.

But we do have a few pieces of information to tide us over from the season four trailer:

  • The kids are licking their wounds and preparing for the next “knife fight” against their dad, this time in an Avengers-style super-alliance with his old foes Sandy, Stewie and Nan Pierce.
  • There’s still an election on the horizon and Connor, The Eldest Son™, is battling Nazis (for the wrong reasons) and desperately clinging to his whopping one per cent of the vote.
  • Tom and Shiv are, understandably, on the ropes.
  • Greg, Tom’s true love, is rising up the ranks of Waystar Royco… but still has the general vibe and demeanour of a lost child wearing a large adult skin suit.
  • Logan is as bullish as ever, screaming about pirates while “terrifyingly moseying” around the newsroom and threatening a Night of the Long Knives.

It’s truly wild to think this whole show kicked off with him on his deathbed. My head says the show will end with him dying, but my heart says he will outlive us all.

Succession premieres March 27 on Binge, with new episodes dropping every Monday.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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