Warning: This post contains spoilers about season 4 of HBO's Succession.
When Succession’s series finale airs on Sunday night, the Roy family's story will officially f--- off HBO airwaves.
But how will the various loose ends be tied over the course of the series' staggering 90-minute swan song? Very, very few people know — and because of that (not to mention how though creators have done everything in their power to make Succession as unpredictable as possible during its four-season run), speculation is at a fever pitch and fans have been furiously formulating theories leading up to the big farewell.
Below, read some of the most intriguing ideas for how it could all end (sorry, Conheads, your "Fun Guy" actually heading down to Uruguay doesn't look like it's in the cards).
1. Kendall Roy reigns over Waystar Royco once and for all
Kendall (Jeremy Strong) has been pushing for the top spot at his father's company since the very beginning of the series, but he’s been passed over time and again. For one, his dad Logan Roy (Brian Cox) didn’t think Kendall was enough of a "killer." Then Kendall was temporarily ostracized from his family after staging a coup d'pa at the end of season 2. More recently, his attempt to team up with sister Siobhan "Shiv" Roy (Sarah Snook) and younger brother Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) to block Logan’s negotiations with tech billionaire Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) failed.
But season 4 saw Kendall rise to the occasion as co-CEO. Where Roman stumbled after being intoxicated by power and grief on the eve of the presidential election, then crumbling during his eulogy for Logan, Kendall was able to step up and shine at Logan’s funeral — not to mention deftly maneuver the sly machinations of Matsson and Shiv as they quietly teamed up to vie for control of Waystar Royco.
Some Reddit users still hold out hope that Kendall isn't just a corporate Charlie Brown and that his efforts will pay off — but with serious consequences. "His siblings are done with him, his kids don't want anything to do with him (I think that's the real reason Rava kept them from the funeral but wanted to spare his feelings) and the job doesn't fill the voice Logan's withholding cause,” proposed one Reddit user. “But the final scene is him going to the roof."
2. Cousin Greg manages an upset
Let’s assume the deal with Matsson goes through. Just because he floated the idea of an American CEO past president-elect Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) doesn’t mean the chief executive role will go to Shiv. Matsson has grown to like Greg (Nicholas Braun), who has fumbled his way up the corporate ladder during the show’s four seasons.
In a surprising twist, Matsson could put Greg in charge “as a troll move,” as one Twitter user speculated, leaving Shiv out in the cold despite all her maneuvering.
3 . Tom pulls a fast one (again) and becomes CEO
Tom at the helm? (Pardon the nautical pun, we all know how well Waystar's cruise lines turned out.) But a Wambsgans reign is not nearly as far-fetched as it sounds. ATN’s chief proved at the end of season 3 he would do anything to secure a plum spot on the company’s executive bench, even going so far as to betray his own wife.
One Reddit user explained why Tom could nab the CEO role in the end: "Tom knows ATN, he would be easier to puppet master."
Nameberry editor in chief Sophie Kihm also points out that Tom’s surname could be a reference to early 20th century MLB player Bill Wambsganss, who’s remembered for completing the only unassisted triple play in World Series history.
"You have to wonder if Tom will complete an unassisted triple play and take out all three of the Roy siblings to become the leader of Waystar Royco,” she said.
4. Shiv and Tom embrace parenthood — and each other
Despite Shiv and Tom’s toxic relationship — which has included lies, betrayal and some of the most cringe-worthy fights in recent TV memory — there’s one powerful reason the two may put their differences aside and reunite: Shiv’s unexpected pregnancy. That’s not to say they’ll live happily ever after. It’s far more likely the pair will be miserable until the very end. But don’t be surprised if Shiv and Tom temporarily bury the hatchet for the sake of their baby.
5. Roman lives up to his murderous moniker
Names seem to hold significance in Succession. For instance, the word “shiv” is slang for a knife — and any casual viewer knows the former political operative has done her share of shanking her enemies (and siblings) in the past.
Similarly, Logan’s habit of calling Roman “Romulus” throughout the series could foreshadow things to come.
Romulus was one of two mythological twins who were abandoned by their father and went on to found Rome — but Romulus eventually killed his brother Remus. With Roman in a fragile state after Logan’s death, it’s possible Succession creator Jesse Armstrong has been dropping hints all along about what could transpire in the series finale.
Could Roman “kill” Kendall’s professionally? Or perhaps even literally? As Succession reaches its endgame, anything is possible.
6. Roman falls
“One day you’re in. The next day you’re out,” the saying goes. That could apply to Roman, who once had Logan’s ear and became co-CEO alongside Kendall in season 4. But his erratic behavior at ATN the evening of the presidential election, his inability to deliver a eulogy at Logan’s funeral and his self-destructive behavior with a street mob at the end of episode 9 all make it very possible — even likely — that Roman is on track to alienate himself from his family, and ultimately, Waystar Royco.
7. Everbody loses
If the Roy family has taught viewers anything over the course of four seasons, it’s that unbridled power consumes all. It supersedes blood ties, marriages and friendships. All that maneuvering, back-channeling and backstabbing may end up ruining everyone’s shot at the top spot, which would be the greatest irony of all.
"As we approach the finale episode I think one major piece of brilliance is that I no longer care who ends up as the successor, the siblings have destroyed relationships, lives, and sold their souls and for what?” one Reddit user wrote. “Regardless of who ends up as CEO or even with a role within the company, they will still be filthy-rich, broken people."
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Succession's series finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and can be streamed simultaneously on Max.
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