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Is the “succession” preparing for its end? | News Today

Is the “succession” preparing for its end?

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Warning: This story contains spoilers for Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s “Succession”, “Chiantishire.”

Like Kendall Roy’s train wreck playlist at a 40th birthday party, this season of HBO’s “Succession” has produced “all the firecrackers, all the time.” There was a tense confrontation over an FBI raid. There was a comically chaotic shareholder meeting. There was an episode set in a fictional version of the Conservative Political Action Conference, eerily mirroring the real-world symbiotic relationship between the right-wing political candidates and the right-wing media. There was “Too Much Birthday,” featuring the aforementioned disastrous birthday, which resulted in a sad and pathetic Kendall (Jeremy Strong) sitting in a giant pile of gifts, falling apart.

Sunday night’s episode was perhaps the most explosive of the series to date, in terms of the number of shocking moments and turning points. The fact that a scene involving a dick pic sent by mistake was not the most amazing event of the episode? This is the “Succession”. And the episode’s ominous cliffhanger – Kendall floating face down in a pool – portends a grim season finale next week.

It is also the furthest that the writers of the series have gone in positioning the chess pieces towards a sort of endgame. While some fans have questioned whether the beloved Emmy-winning series has lost some of its luster this season, I couldn’t disagree more (and this week’s momentous episode should allay those doubts) . Yet as smart, delicious, and irresistible as the series continues to be, and with a fourth season in the works, I find myself increasingly hoping that the writers prepare for its final stages and start taking us there. All good things come to an end.

Right now, we know that the idea of ​​anyone succeeding Patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) as the head of the Waystar Royco family media conglomerate – the show’s initial premise – is an illusion. All the main characters continue to go around in circles, unable to escape the abuse of this terrible family, despite their best efforts.

Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) in the penultimate episode of Season 3 of HBO’s “Succession”.

Sad Kendall this season is just the latest version of Sad Kendall. Over the series’ three seasons, he’s gone through variations and mirror images of the same devastating arcs. In the first few minutes of the pilot episode, he inflates himself in the car and tells his driver, “This is the day we realize it.” He’s set to land a deal with media startup Vaulter and looks set to take over from Logan, who is nearing retirement. But surprise! Logan decides he’s staying.

Later in Season 1, Kendall attempts to oust her father, summoning Waystar’s board of directors for a vote of no confidence. He fails in spectacular fashion, starting a downward spiral that culminates when Kendall kills a server in a car crash in the Season 1 finale. In return for covering up the incident, a shocked Kendall agrees to give up the fight. against Logan and to be at his disposal.

Enter Sad Kendall in season 2. Sad Kendall is an empty robot that runs through movements. Sad Kendall does everything her father tells her, like dump Vaulter and unceremoniously fire his staff. He is reduced to menial tasks, like administering Logan’s drugs. In one of the few scenes in which the Roy siblings try to truly express their emotions, he becomes vulnerable with Shiv (Sarah Snook). Unable to tell the whole truth to his sister, he simply says “Shiv, it won’t be me” and asks for a tearful hug.

Throughout Season 2, as growing scandals reveal decades of serial sexual abuse and corporate cover-ups, Logan decides that Kendall must be the “blood sacrifice.” Still in the throes of guilt from the car accident, Kendall has no choice but to take the fall, knowing that if he doesn’t, Logan will no longer protect him. It will be more like “No Real People Involved”: a scary understatement for people like the waiter and the Waystar employees who have been sexually abused, who don’t matter to the Roys.

Sad Kendall (Jeremy Strong) in HBO Season 2 Finale "Succession."
Sad Kendall (Jeremy Strong) in HBO’s “Succession” Season 2 finale.

But … at a press conference in the dying minutes of Season 2, Kendall reveals that Logan was aware of the scandals and authorized golden parachutes to the company’s sex abusers and withheld money from the company. survivors of their abuse. At the start of Season 3, which picks up a few moments after that bombshell, things improve for our number one boy, kind of like they’re in the pilot all the time. But now we know that the other shoe will fall, that it will fail resoundingly, and that Sad Kendall will be back.

Sure enough, Kendall’s midseason coup attempt on Logan went nowhere, his siblings turned on him, and he is miserable and lonely at his own extravagant birthday party. . Sunday’s episode wrapped up another iteration of the Sad Kendall arc. It was only fitting that it contained a lot of references to the Season 1 finale, given that Kendall has hit rock bottom yet.

Although in a less dramatic fashion than Sad Kendall, many Roys go through similar cycles of apparent rise, fall, and attempted resurgence, only to find themselves in one place again. For example, how many times has Shiv thought she would become the best dog, when in reality Logan is only throwing the possibility around for strategic reasons? How many times has she done something shocking and despicable – even for “Succession” – in order to move forward? Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) appeared to be a key player in Kendall’s coup, having retained some of the documents revealing the cover-ups. But he got off the ship and is now back in Team Waystar, continuing his parasitic and toxic dynamic with Tom (Matthew Macfadyen). And Tom – poor and miserable Tom – can’t escape his marriage of convenience to Shiv, who never seems to lead anywhere for his career either.

Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) in HBO Season 3 "Succession."
Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) in season 3 of HBO’s “Succession”.

There are only a limited number of new characters, corporate scandals, failed corporate deals, and family feuds that can be introduced before it all ends up taking its course. But just when it looked like the series could be written in a corner, this week’s episode set the wheels in motion for a potential endgame, at least for Kendall. The possibility of his death makes sense, given everything that has happened to him over the past three seasons, but the other characters will almost certainly remain in their regular cycles. Anything that breaks those cycles would have to strike a balance between being shocking and being consistent with the series and the character in question.

In many ways, having each character spin their wheels is precisely the point. At its core, the series is about a horrific family stuck in well-established patterns of abuse and trauma. But given how meticulously plotted, crisp, and mindful the show is, I’m confident that unlike the Roys, the writers of “Succession” will know when to fold them.

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