It’s one of the most talked about shows in recent memory, but after its debut in 2018, Succession’s ending came way too soon as we feel as though there were still loose ends to tie up… Or we just love it so much we don’t want it to be over.
For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Succession, which premiered in June 2018, follows the moneyed Roy family, who own a global entertainment and media conglomerate known as Waystar RoyCo. When Succession begins, the future of their company is up in the air after family patriarch and aging founder, Logan Roy, experiences some health issues that leave shareholders questioning his fitness to lead. His four adult children—Kendall, Roman, Shiv and Connor—waste no time when it comes to sharing their opinions on who should helm the company in their father’s place. Some of the Roy siblings will do just about anything to poach on their father’s empire (and, of course, Logan isn’t all too happy about this). The result? A series full of greed, backstabbing, and some very dark laughs.
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But as the series finale aired on Sunday, May 28, 2023, some of us aren’t prepared to face a world without our favorite snarky siblings.
Why is Succession ending?
Succession is ending because, well, creator Jesse Armstrong decided that “if it is to be said, so it be — so it is,” to borrow a line from Cousin Greg. He confirmed to The New Yorker that season four would with the show’s finale and that it’s really all there in the title: “There’s a promise in the title of Succession. I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind. From season two, I’ve been trying to think: Is it the next one, or the one after that, or is it the one after that?”
He continued: “I got together with a few of my fellow writers before we started the writing of season four, in about November, December 2021, and I sort of said, ‘Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?’ And we played out various scenarios: We could do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons. Or we could go on for ages and turn the show into something rather different, and be a more rangy, freewheeling kind of fun show, where there would be good weeks and bad weeks. Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference.”
But if you think it’ll be the last we see of the Roys, Armstrong made a promising tease about future spinoffs. He told The New Yorker that he’s open to revisiting their ridiculously capacious lives. “I do think that this succession story that we were telling is complete,” he said. “This is the muscular season to exhaust all our reserves of interest, and I think there’s some pain in all these characters that’s really strong. But the feeling that there could be something else in an allied world, or allied characters, or some of the same characters — that’s also strong in me. I have caveated the end of the show, when I’ve talked to some of my collaborators, like: Maybe there’s another part of this world we could come back to, if there was an appetite? Maybe there’s something else that could be done, that harnessed what’s been good about the way we’ve worked on this. So that is another true feeling.”
The interview ended speculation on whether Succession would conclude with either its fourth or fifth season, something Armstrong has teased since the show’s debut back in 2018. “I feel deeply conflicted. I quite enjoy this period when we’re editing — where the whole season is there — but we haven’t put it out yet. I like the interregnum,” Armstrong said. “And I also quite liked the period where me and my close collaborators knew that this was probably it, or this was it, but hadn’t had to face up to it in the world. It’s been a difficult decision, because the collaborations — with the cast, with my fellow writers, with Nick Britell and Mark Mylod and the other directors — they’ve just been so good. And I feel like I’ve done the best work I can do, working with them. And HBO has been generous and would probably have done more seasons, and they have been nice about saying, ‘It’s your decision.’ That’s nice, but it’s also a responsibility in the end — it feels quite perverse to stop doing it.”
The biggest biggest gear shift in the show came with Logan Roy’s death, the family patriarch who passed away in episode three of season four. His death is told almost entirely off-screen, with details relayed via a phone conversation from the jet to the Roys on the ground. “Even in death, Logan is unobtainable. He’s unreachable, he’s untouchable, he’s at arm’s length, still, to the siblings. There’s an unreal quality to it, because we’re not there, and we can’t really talk to him,” Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv, told Rolling Stone, explaining that the news of Logan’s impending death came as a shock to her and the rest of the cast. “There was a Zoom meeting early on in the season that I thought was going to be more of the Covid protocols, and then turned out to be more of a grenade lobbed in of revelation.”
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