With the conclusion of the fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed drama “Succession,” devoted fans now know the answer to the series’ central question: Which brother will prevail in the Roy family?
And for those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a spoiler alert on this note.
In Sunday night’s incredible 88-minute finale, which concluded HBO’s hit series that tells the story of a media mogul and his sons’ struggle to take over the family business, Waystar Royko stunned audiences as Neither of the Roy brothers won.
In the episode, Shiv Roy strikes one last blow against his brother Kendall, foiling his plans by voting for his media empire to be acquired by Swedish tech giant GoJo in order to retain his late father’s company and become CEO.
The feud between the brothers throughout the series escalated into an actual fight when a shouting match turned into a wrestling match, with the nihilistic Roman declaring the trio “nothing” in the end. And Shiva’s estranged husband and soon-to-be father of their child, Tom Wambsgans, succeeds as the new CEO, with cousin Greg by his side despite a last-minute betrayal.
In the last shot of the finale, Kendall looks down at the water in desperation. And the credits begin.
“I bet Tom and Greg,” Oregon-based trust and probate attorney Jennifer Gold said minutes after watching the show, “and I was right.”
“Succession” has always been about the recognition of its audience and its popularity among the media and influential groups the series represents and attracts, not so much, which means the finale will likely leave a cultural footprint. #Succession was trending on Twitter in the United States on Sunday night, followed by Shiva, Kendall, Greg and Tom Wambsgans.
The Emmy-winning series also reached debt ceiling discussions in Washington on Sunday, when an agreement was reached just hours before the finale aired. A White House official ended a call by telling reporters to “enjoy the succession.”
The finales of recent iconic television productions are a better analog for “Succession” than those of the network giants of decades past. For example, “The Sopranos” suddenly darkened to the song “Don’t Stop Believin'” in 2007, setting the standard for both noise and suspense.
“Succession” left its own questions unanswered. Did far-right presidential candidate Jared Menken, suspiciously declared the winner by Royce Channel, actually ascend to the White House? Will the Gozo deal really succeed? Tom and Shiva make their marriage a success?
“I’ll think about it for a while,” said Gould.
Pamela Soin, a management consultant in New York City, and a group of friends have watched every episode of “Succession” this season with some serious rituals, but Soin watched the final episode with her dad, A New Change, Sake its the long weekend for Memorial Day in the United States.
Soane said, “I think it was the closest thing to succession if they didn’t choose one of the brothers.”
Soin’s father, who had only seen the pilot episode on Sunday before falling asleep midway through the finale, expressed his hope on a family reunion to save Roy’s father’s company.
But this seems difficult to happen.
Soane said, “Those three kids with all of their personalities lost everything because of their character and who they are as people.”
The conclusions of successful television series can be unpredictable. A bloody 2013 ending to Walter White’s story in “Breaking Bad” and Don Draper’s more Zen ending in 2015’s “Mad Men” generally satisfy their meticulous fans. The 2019 conclusion of “Game of Thrones,” the last grand finale of the HBO show, didn’t do that. Endings are hard to come by, and disappointment becomes the norm, as the creators of ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Lost’ can attest.
For fans of Kendall who had assumed she would finally make it, Sunday’s finale came as a shock.
“A lot of people will be very upset by this ending,” Soane said.
Suraj Nandi, a 20-year-old college student from Bengaluru, India, said he was counting down the hours until the end of Sunday. Although the episode aired at 6:30 am local time, Nandi could not tune in for a few hours as she had to take her sick cat to the vet.
Nandi hopes that in the meantime no one will reveal anything about him.
“I am completely avoiding all social media platforms until I can watch them,” he wrote in a WhatsApp message half an hour before the episode aired. “I don’t want to take the risk!”
Dalton and Dazio reported from Los Angeles.