Blows, betrayals and everything necessary for an ending worthy of a series like “Succession”. This Sunday, May 28, the story created by Jesse Armstrong came to an end. Nearly five years after the premiere of its first episode, the fate of Waystar, the business conglomerate owned by the Roy family, has finally been decided.
This final chapter of the fourth season had an extraordinary duration of almost 90 minutes. And perhaps it is much more understandable if you take into account all the moments that the three great protagonists of the series went through after the death of businessman Logan Roy.
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At the start of season four episode 10, Kendall seemed pretty sure he was getting “the numbers” to stop Waystar’s sale to GoJo. “I don’t know what Roman will do, but I’ll take care of this,” he says at some point. But it was not so true. Just a few minutes later she was getting on a plane to her mother’s house, the space where a large section of the chapter takes place. The reason? An impromptu family reunion of the Roy brothers (except, as always, Connor).
The mother welcomed Roman first, then Shiv, and finally Kendall. The latter, as he had accustomed us in all the seasons of “Succession”, arrived with his typical brusque ways and tried to get Rom’s statement about which side he will vote for. The latter of course, still in shock after the beating that Mencken’s followers gave him in the epilogue of episode 9, he doesn’t really want to talk, so he leaves him with the word in his mouth.
By then Shiv (Sarah Snook) still seems certain that her approach to Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) makes sense in her own interests. But not only that occupies her mind. Also the future of her bond with Tom, with whom she will have a child in a few months, but whom she does not stop facing at every opportunity she gets. Along these lines, the young executive asks her by phone about her fate as a couple. “Would there be something positive in the nightmare we shared?” she asks.
The unexpected twist for Tom
“You’re falling in love with our itinerary opportunities (…) you don’t like failing the test, do you, Shioban?” Tom reacts. To which Shiv replies –in clear allusion to his several discussions- “Once you have said and done the worst things, you are free. Are you interested in a real relationship?” Here comes a supremely honest”Don’t know” by Tom.
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The importance of Tom Wambsgans throughout the final episode will have a zigzagging path, perhaps as much as it has throughout the series. Perceptive and very adept at siding with the one in power, the character played by Matthew Macfadyen first approached Logan and, much later, Matsson himself.
And witness to all this has been throughout these four seasons none other than Greg (Nicholas Braun). This (initially) introverted boy who jumped from a simple assistant to someone who asks to be “the fourth of the table” of power, is one of the key characters of this final episode.
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Going back to Tom. The father of Shiv’s future child sits across from Matsson for what will be an awkward conversation. The Swedish founder and CEO of GoJo tells his caller that he has some chemistry with Shiv (“I want to fuck her and with the right circumstances I think she wants to fuck me too”). In the midst of all this there is an offer: he is the president you need to take over the reins of Waystar after the apparently imminent purchase. “I need a Logan 2.0, but only this time it’s fucking sexy,” says the European.
What happened to Greg at the end of “Succession”?
We return to Greg for a pivotal moment. The young executive uses his cell phone applications to translate Matsson’s dialogue with his Swedish friends. “When will you tell her that you will not name her?” Warns the translation that we see on the screen. Immediately, playing to put the eggs in several baskets, Greg picks up his cell phone and calls (from the bathroom, a space that will be common to us in this episode) to inform Kendall – but not before asking for a share of power in exchange – that Shiv has been ‘used’.
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Knowing Shiv of this information, the closest thing to a fantasy is unleashed in “Succession”. The executive and future mother of a family loses her mind when she finds out that she has been used by her Swedish ‘ex-friend’ and, after a brief negotiation, she agrees with Roman to ‘crown’ Kendall in the highest position. This union unleashes something rarely seen: happy siblings, playing pranks on each other and even carrying out absurd (and very unpleasant) challenges in mom’s kitchen. The new ‘king’ must swallow a smoothie that includes a spit from his younger sister.
Already united to stop the sale to GoJo, the brothers return to the United States and go to their father’s house (now bought by Connor from Marcia) to star in another curious moment: the emotion of seeing an unpublished home video of their father with his ‘ right hand’ on Waystar. In the images one of its directors can be seen singing while Logan watches him moved. Here tears fall and what some of us believed would be a true alliance of brothers is breathed.
But if we imagined a cloud of words referring to the development of the entire series, perhaps “betrayal” would be one of the largest to appear. This could not be alien in this final chapter. Shiv tells Tom that Greg leaked to him that she won’t be president. And he, perhaps because of his background, decides this time to tell his wife: he is in Matsson’s plans for the position. “Go to hell,” the executive yells at him before stating that “they have the numbers to stop the sale.”
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Minutes later another key moment occurs. The closest couple. The dynamic duo. The Master and the Apprentice, or whatever they want to call it, ‘breaks’ into the bathroom of the late Logan Roy. Tom tells Greg why he has leaked information about Matsson to the Roy brothers. He does not know how to react and a brawl begins. Slapped on both sides. Everything indicates that Tom is finally reaping what he sowed in Greg (today a calculating and upstart guy, capable of risking everything not to lose his privileges).
What happened at the end of “Succession”?
The last stretch of this final episode of Succession shows us Stewy (Arian Moayed) playing his last cards. This quickly leads to the big moment: the vote. And then we see all the directors sitting around listening to what should have been a strong and convincing speech from Kendall, but ended up being more of the same: slynesses and attempts to downplay the sales proposition in advance. But that did not change fate. Although one more betrayal was missing.
As has been the case in most of the series, Shiv isn’t happy with any scenario that doesn’t grant her the power she believes she deserves. And when it’s her turn to make her vow public, key, her final, she staggers out of the meeting room. She there she is chased by Kendall and then by Roman. We will be, then, protagonists of the last great dramatic moment of a series at times monumental. Shiv explains the reasons why she doesn’t think Kendall would make a great president and when he rebukes her and demands support, she pulls a rabbit out of the hat: Remember when, long ago, Kendall was involved in a fatal car accident? ? An unacceptable precedent for someone who aspires to be president of a company as large as Waystar.
Shiv brings this up. Roman is taken aback and Kendall stumbles. The level of tension increases, but what is most notorious is how everyone, just a few meters away, hears what is happening. Thus, they will be witnesses, when Roman questions the origin of his older brother and he loses his temper. He pushes him against the wall, covers his face. Shiv tries to intervene and is nearly pushed (“she’s pregnant!” Roman yells in his defense). All seems lost for Kendall who, as has happened in most of the series, sees his options to take command of Waystar crumble. Or more precisely, to (this time) lead the campaign against the sale of GoJo.
Shiv follows the logic and votes for the sale. But the end of the series created by Jesse Armstrong would have something more for everyone. Indeed, Tom will be the visible head of the new project. And as Kendall presses the elevator’s zero button, Shiv’s husband shakes hands with the one she’d slapped only hours before in the late patriarch’s bathroom: Greg. “Matsson hates you, but I’m going to keep you. I have the power to do it,” she tells him. Finally, the apprentice (or Judas, as Matsson himself called him) will keep his monthly salary.
The end of one of the most successful drama series of the last decade also has executives like Frank and Karl regretting not having “cut Tom’s throat” when he was harmless. Both flirt with the possibility of continuing in their posts, but are unaware that this time they may end up expectorated. Matsson celebrates the signing and it is time for the photographs.
In the end, two images to close this fourth and final season: Kendall, once again, defeated, walking through a park alone escorted by his father’s bodyguard, and Shiv resting his hand on Tom’s, for some the most overrated of characters. in the beginnings of “Succession” and, probably, the only real winner in its final stretch.
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
List: Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook
Synopsis: In this game, the most ambitious will win… and the one with the least scruples. Get ready to find out what will happen to Waystar RoyCo and every member of the Roy family.
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