While Succession‘s Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) seemed like he might have met his end in the penultimate episode of Season 3, it turns out in finale “All the Bells Say” that he survived his near pool drowning. And while he has so often been at odds with siblings Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) over the years, this episode sees him land squarely on their side.
The Season 3 finale hinges on Roy patriarch Logan’s (Brian Cox) negotiations with Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård) with regard to a merger between his Waystar Royco and the tech entrepreneur’s GoJo, with Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron) informing the Roy siblings of major fines to be imposed on Waystar by the DOJ, and the company’s compromised position as it looks to lock in a deal. (“GoJo’s market cap has overtaken ours,” she says, “and their board may be considering entertaining other options.”)
When Logan goes to meet with Mattson, he asks, “Shall we dance or what?”, with Mattson speaking to the weakness of his bargaining position. “[GoJo is] flying like a rocket ship,” the entrepreneur tells him, “and you’re sinking like a lead balloon.” While Mattson sees his company and Roy’s as making for a good fit, what he’s really interested in is taking over leadership of Waystar, in exchange for a massive payout to Roy and control of various assets. Mattson’s takeover would give him control of the company’s board, and while he promises Roy to fill it in a way that is “so f***ing nice” for him, Roy says that “this is not happening.”
Later, Shiv, Roman and Connor (Alan Ruck) stage an intervention with Kendall—concerned that he is, either consciously or subconsciously, trying to kill himself. Connor’s girlfriend Willa (Justine Lupe) says “F**k it” and begrudgingly accepts his marriage proposal, with all of the Roys (apart from Logan) then attending their mother Caroline’s (Harriet Walter) wedding to Peter (Pip Torrens). At the reception, Connor informs his siblings that Logan appears to be trying for another baby, with Shiv raising red flags about what’s going down between him and Mattson. It appears that a financier has just jetted out to Mattson’s Italian estate, meaning that a deal between the two is almost in place.
Kendall is down in the dumps about his life—telling Shiv and Roman about the waiter that he let die the night of Shiv’s wedding. But while he’s apathetic for the moment about business goings-on, he decides to team up with Shiv and Roy in the finale to help them go “full coup.” After all, if Mattson’s allowed to take over Waystar, it means that Logan is closing the door on the prospect that any of his children will ever assume the mantle. And in order for him to put Mattson in charge, he needs a supermajority amongst those involved with Waystar’s holding company, including them. (Caroline had negotiated their voting authority in the course of her divorce proceedings with Logan.) The idea is that they’ll block Logan’s deal with Mattson, and then push him out of the company entirely, splitting it up into equal pieces that they will separately control.
When the Roys pull up to Logan’s door to stage their coup, the patriarch immediately tries to push against their loyalties to each other and manipulate them to his advantage. But at this point, Shiv and Roman have come to realize that they’ll never be able to trust their father, or the notion that he has their best interest in mind, as much as he might say so—standing by Kendall, and remaining a united front.
Shiv reiterates that she and her siblings have the power to kill their father’s deal, and they will—to which Logan responds, ‘You’re playing toy f**ing soldiers. Go on, f**k off!”
Unfortunately for them, it turns out that in this case, Logan isn’t bluffing. In fact, he’d recently connected with Caroline and gotten her to revise the terms of their divorce agreement, such that the siblings would no longer have a say in the deal with GoJo. (It’s implied that Shiv’s husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) tipped Logan off to his children’s plot, thereby giving him the time to get one over on them.)
“Mom, you just slit our throats,” Shiv says—with Logan saying in closing, “I f***ing win.”
Jesse Armstrong scripted tonight’s finale, with Mark Mylod directing. Armstrong created Succession and serves as showrunner, exec producing alongside Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Jane Tranter, Mark Mylod, Tony Roche, Scott Ferguson, Jon Brown, Lucy Prebble, Will Tracy and Will Ferrell.
The Emmy-winning drama series was renewed for a fourth season in October.
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