Written by Lindsey Cook
A little over two years ago, I watched Kendall Roy deliver the bombshell press conference that ended Succession's second season, excited for where his mic drop moment would lead and asking some questions about the show's future. A pandemic, nine episodes, and 25 months later, Succession delivered another knockout final episode for its third season that upends the Waystar status quo and leaves me with plenty of questions on what the next season will bring.
1) Where does Waystar go from here?
Throughout the third season, several threats have been looming over Waystar Royco. At the beginning of the season, Kendall's bold statement over wrongdoings in Waystar's cruises division, along with the claim that he had damning papers to prove it, seemed like it could possibly go the distance and do Logan Roy in. A couple of FBI raids and DOJ investigations later, that threat has essentially withered away. Gerri mentions that they'll have to pay a "historic fine" but in terms of accountability, Kendall failed to even get Tom and Greg behind bars.
All the while, though, the truth has been hiding in plain sight. Waystar Royco is a titan in the media industry, sure, but an aging one that won't be able to keep up for much longer. The GoJo acquisition, therefore, seemed like an ideal merger, combining Waystar's content library and legacy branding with GoJo's cutting-edge tech (think Disney purchasing Fox, or Amazon buying MGM). But GoJo founder Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard) pitched a bold proposal that Logan didn't immediately bat down: instead of a merger of equals, GoJo would flat-out acquire Waystar. Matsson would be in control, the kids screwed out of the possibility of inheriting the family business, and Logan would walk away with a big payout and some control over key assets. Which has me wondering...
2) Is the GoJo deal actually a win for Logan?
The Roy patriarch proudly declares "I. Fucking. Win" when his children fail to block the GoJo deal, but for a man so unwilling to cede control throughout the series, is the GoJo deal really a win, or does it only matter that Logan bested his kids once again? I imagine season four will present some friction between Logan and Matsson, with the former having to give up control and power in order to save his company from total ruins. But Logan also summed it up quite well when he stated that all that matters is making your own pile. If winning is hoarding mountains of gold like an ancient dragon, then Logan is a most fearsome creature.
3) Where will the C suite end up in the new GoJo corporate structure?
Our favorite corporate lackeys Karl, Frank, and Gerri seem willing to go through with the acquisition (or at least, in Gerri's case, she notes that going against Logan won't benefit her interests) but I'm a bit worried that they'll struggle to maintain their positions once the acquisition goes through. I'll feel for Frank if he went through all that vamping to save the shareholder meeting only to be left out in the cold.
4) What's next for Tom thee Wamsgans?
The Fly Guy has officially gone full Michael Corleone, turning against his wife in favor of a seat at the left hand of the father, Logan. That final moment, in which Logan exchanges a brief moment of gratitude by patting Tom on the shoulder, is all Shiv (and the audience) needs to see to know what went down: Tom was the one to tip Logan off to the siblings' plan. Even worse, he plays it off like nothing has happened, asking Shiv what's going on and giving her a seemingly sweet kiss on the forehead while Shiv starts hearing Kill Bill sirens.
It's a shift of allegiances that shocks in the moment but makes sense as soon as you look at the trajectory of Tom's arc. This man has gone from feeling completely powerless in his relationship to finding purpose in offering his own head up a silver platter to the feds; when that threat is no longer on the table, he feels more directionless than ever before. All the while, Logan has been giving him tiny bits of reassurance all season—referring to Tom as "Son" in a UTI-induced delirium, letting Tom know that Logan will remember Tom's willingness to be the sacrificial lamb—so when Tom is left out of Shiv's decision-making once again, it finally clicks in his head that Shiv will never think of him as anything but a powerless, pathetic plaything, and he sides with the guy who always wins: Logan.
So where will Tom end up in the post-GoJo world? Likely top dog at ATN, with his ever-faithful Gregweiler by his side. If we're to see the similarities between the Roys and the Murdochs, we can follow that analogy and see a world where Logan maintains control over ATN, just as Rupert Murdoch did with Fox News. He's never been more in control of his career; his marriage, maybe less so...
5) How will Shiv react?
We saw Tom play it cool and innocent in the final moments of the season while Shiv clearly clocked her husband's betrayal, so how will she respond? She may not have ever loved Tom, but she has always underestimated him, and now the power dynamic in their relationship has shifted completely. She may have the Roy family name, but Tom's the one with Logan's approval for the moment. Still, even when it's seemed like divorce is the logical conclusion for these two, they've stubbornly tried to make things work, so I could see Shiv trying to find an angle within her relationship with Tom instead of simply walking away. Besides, it may not be as simple as making a clean break.
6) Is Shiv pregnant?
Was it just me or was Shiv clutching her stomach a lot this episode? It may be a stress thing, but between that, the fact that she's been drinking water and turning down champagne in recent episodes, and the cringey conversations she and Tom have had all season about bringing a Roy-Wamsgans into this world (start booking therapists now, kid) it would make sense that just when Shiv might finally cut the ruse and end things with Tom, a complication in the form of a pregnancy would arise.
7) Now that their planned coup is in ruins, will the Roy siblings stick together?
It's the beautiful tragedy of Succession that when we finally got what we've been waiting for all season (perhaps all series?) and saw the Roy siblings (well, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv; Connor, who is definitely the first-born, at least got a phone call) team up to take down their father, it was all for nothing. Their father figured out a way to best them once more, and now they're left out by the dumpsters where Kendall sat on the dirt ground and confessed his sins.
I'm not the first person to have noted that if the siblings could only stop getting in their own way, they could actually stand a chance against Logan. It's what Kendall pitched to them in episode two when everyone gathered in his daughter's room. They couldn't see it then, still caught up trying to fight each other for the kiss from daddy. Now that their attempt to block the GoJo deal has been thwarted, will they remain a united front, or will sibling pettiness break this alliance apart?
8) Will Connor and Willa make it to the altar?
Speaking of first pancake Connor Roy, my man is officially engaged to Willa (after some ruminations on her part), polling at close to 1%, and ready to make the ConHeads proud. I've loved how the show has utilized Alan Ruck this season and considering Succession's track record with weddings so far, I cannot wait to see how Connor and Willa celebrate their nuptials. There's a chance Willa might ditch Connor as soon as he's floundering again, but I do think Willa has grown to care for Connor, so maybe these two will make us believe in love once more!
9) What's going on with the presidential race?
Aside from Connor's presidential aspirations, we recently saw the Roys endorse an actual fascist as their presidential candidate of choice after "The Raisin" announced he wouldn't be seeking reelection (this was, of course, after Logan pressured ATN to spread the idea that the president was mentally unwell as a way to stop the DOJ investigation, so...yeah). Will we get more insights into Succession's political arena in the fourth season? Will Roman exchange another sexually charged bathroom meeting with Justin Kirk's Jeryd Mencken? The GoJo deal was mentioned as an important factor when deciding on a presidential candidate to get behind, so it would only be fitting if the deal gets some blowback from the government.
10) Will Greg become Europe's weirdest king?
A popular theory amongst Succession fans is that bumbling cousin Greg will actually flail his way to the very top of the Waystar org chart and end the series as CEO, but my guy has his eyes set on even higher aspirations when we last see him in season three. Forget Waystar, Greg is wooing a contessa and could possibly nab the Duchy of Luxembourg in the process. And hey, if things go sideways there, he's still made a deal with the devil (aka Tom) and has been promised the prospect of hiring 20 Gregs of his own. Kendall might have called it well when he described Greg as a parasite, but right now he's a parasite that's using its host to the full advantage and reaping the benefits.
That's all I have for now! What did you think of this season of Succession? I'd love to hear your thoughts!