The Biggest Unanswered Questions Ahead of the Final Season of “Succession”

Everything you need to remember before Sunday's premiere

March 24, 2023 7:14 am
Succession characters
"Succession" has plenty of loose ends to tie up before its final season wraps up.
Graeme Hunter/Macall B. Polay/David Russell/HBO

On Sunday night, the fourth and final season of Succession kicks off on HBO, and while it’s impossible to forget the closing moments of Season 3’s shocking finale — one that saw Shiv, Kendall and Roman absolutely stunned and in shambles after their father caught wind of their plan to oust him and beat them to the punch by cutting them out of the company entirely — it’s been a long time since we caught up with the Roy family. In fact, we didn’t get a single new episode of the show in 2022; it’s been 15 long months without America’s most dysfunctional nepo babies on our screens.

In other words, you’d be forgiven for needing a bit of a refresher on where everything left off ahead of Sunday’s premiere. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the biggest loose ends the show still needs to tie up before its highly anticipated series finale in May. Will Gerri and Roman ride off into the sunset together? Will Kendall do another cringey song at some point? (And is there any way he can possibly top “L to the OG” or his show-stopping rendition of Billy Joel’s “Honesty” from last season?) Most importantly, who will get the kiss from daddy and take over as CEO of Waystar Royco? All pressing concerns, no doubt, but these are the main ones to keep at the front of your mind heading into Season 4.

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What will happen with Shiv and Tom’s relationship?

When we last left these two, Shiv was reeling from Tom’s massive betrayal just like the rest of us. It was a long time coming — one can only endure so much abuse before he eventually snaps — and yet no one really believed Tom actually had it in him to sell out his spouse in order to curry favor with Logan. And yet it was Tom who tipped off Logan to the Roy children’s planned coup, allowing him to cobble together a deal with Lukas Mattson to sell the company out from under them and convince their mother (his ex-wife Caroline) to renegotiate her divorce settlement, eliminating a clause that would have allowed the Roy spawn to vote as a supermajority and overrule him. What will become of Tom and Shiv’s marriage now that he’s essentially thrown her to the wolves and sided with her father over her? Divorce seems like the easy answer, but is it possible this will actually bring them closer together? Will Shiv finally grow to respect Tom now that she knows he’s got a spine? Now that the tables are turned and he’s in her father’s inner circle while she’s been cast out, will she try to use her relationship with him to climb back into Logan’s good graces — or was the metaphorical knife in the back from Tom a signal that he’s finally done with her for good?

Will ATN continue to cozy up to the alt-right?

Last season, we saw the Roys squabbling over which presidential candidate Waystar’s Fox News-esque TV network, ATN, should throw its weight behind. In an episode that felt a little too “ripped from the headlines,” Roman convinces them to align with Jeryd Mencken, a candidate who can be described most generously as “alt-right” and probably more realistically as a neo-Nazi. We know all too well what happens in real life when those types of fringe candidates are given a legitimate platform by mainstream news sources, but will it play out in a similar fashion on Succession? The photo with Mencken that all the Roys posed for last season feels a bit like a Chekhov’s gun waiting to go off — especially given that Shiv has worked for left-leaning candidates in the past and always publicly presented herself as liberal. Might someone looking to destroy her post-Waystar career prospects try to leak it to the press?

Will Connor become president?

No. That’s easy enough to answer. Last we heard, he was polling at under 1%, and he can’t even get an endorsement from his own father. But it’ll still be interesting to see how the eldest Roy son’s campaign affects the family dynamics. He’s the only one not at all interested in taking over for Logan, but last season we also saw that he’s getting sick of being overlooked and taken for granted. To think of him as a total non-factor feels foolish.

Will the Roy children be able to stay united?

For nearly three entire seasons, we’ve seen the Roy siblings — specifically Kendall, Roman and Shiv — jockeying for position, bickering and generally working against each other to try to win their father’s love (or, more importantly, to secure their position as his successor). But the season 3 finale saw them joining forces to take down Logan, and though they were spectacularly unsuccessful — instead getting cut out of the company completely — it’s hard not to feel like they could have been a force to be reckoned with this whole time had they simply been able to work together and present a united front. But now that they’ve lost, will they continue getting along and aligning to overthrow their father, or will they turn on each other yet again? It seems like it’s only a matter of time before one of them goes crawling back to Logan, right?

Is Logan actually hooking up with his assistant Kerry?

Last season, there were plenty of whispers about the possibility that Logan was having an affair with his much-younger assistant Kerry. Connor even speculated that she may be slipping him some sort of “maca root” beverage to boost his fertility in an attempt to get pregnant and produce a new Roy heir. On its surface, it sounds absurd — Logan is in poor health, and he’s not particularly fond of any of the children he already has. Does he really have the patience (or, let’s be honest, the stamina) to sire a new kid and wait until it reaches adulthood before he steps down from the company?

What’s going on with Marcia?

The Kerry stuff, however implausible it may be, did seem to weigh on Logan’s relationship with his wife Marcia, and we barely saw her at all in season 3. It’s not the first time Logan has been unfaithful in a marriage, of course, and it does seem to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. We did learn last season that Marcia worked out some sort of deal — with a signed contract and everything — to stay married to him for appearance’s sake. We don’t know the exact terms of that deal, but given that she’s still legally his wife, she presumably still has some sort of stake in the company. How will that impact Logan’s planned deal with Mattson?

What are Lukas Mattson’s intentions?

And speaking of Mattson, what exactly is his end-game? We know he wants to buy Waystar, and a deal seems inevitable, but what happens once he takes the reins? Are layoffs looming? Will he keep Logan loyalists like Gerri, Frank and Karl onboard? Is he invested in the company’s future, or does he simply want gut it and sell it for parts? The fates of so many characters are in his hands, and yet we don’t really have a clear picture of where his true allegiances lie.

Will Logan die?

Last season, it was Kendall who had a brush with death. But Succession has spent three seasons now hammering home Logan’s failing health, with no real payoff yet. We’ve seen him hospitalized, peeing on carpets and occasionally losing touch with reality — most recently, becoming temporarily delirious at an important company function as the result of an untreated urinary tract infection (or, as his children so eloquently described it, becoming “piss-mad”). Despite all that, he seems more determined than ever to hold onto power and remain CEO of Waystar Royco. If that continues to be the case, the only way for us to actually get the titular succession that has been driving the show’s plot for so long would be for Logan to actually kick the bucket. I’m willing to bet we’ll finally see the death that the show has been teasing for three seasons, but when will it happen, and what sort of power struggle will take place in its wake?

Who will succeed Logan and take over Waystar?

This is obviously the biggest question the series still has to answer. We likely won’t know until the series finale, and there are a number of possibilities still on the table. Can Tom, the former family punching bag, hold onto his newfound power and keep maneuvering his way to the top, or will the possible prison sentence he so narrowly avoided last season finally catch up with him? Can Cousin Greg, who agreed to a “deal with the devil” with Tom (and Logan by default) at the end of last season, continue falling upward and eventually find himself on top? He’d certainly be the most entertaining choice, and it would be rather poetic to see the goofy outsider who we first saw working as a theme-park character (and puking inside the costume) beat out all the entitled, calculating ultra-wealthy people who overlooked him and rise all the way up the ranks. There’s no telling how it’ll all shake out, but one thing’s for certain: this is not a show that has been building towards a happy ending. Succession is about comeuppance and hurt feelings, generational trauma and ruthless backstabbing. Regardless of whoever takes over the throne, there’s guaranteed to be a bunch of others who are left devastated and directionless after their rejection. We can’t wait to watch.

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