‘Succession’ series finale review: An Ouroboros-ian farewell to Television’s Roy-alty

Though the season four finale presents an illusion of finality, the siblings are caught in the loop of generational trauma and aspirations dictated by their late father

May 29, 2023 05:17 pm | Updated May 30, 2023 06:22 pm IST

A still from ‘Succession’

A still from ‘Succession’ | Photo Credit: JioCinema

It all came down to a few weeks spread over ten episodes to determine the future of Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) most prized possession: Waystar Royco. 

Spoilers ahead...

The siblings had a tumultuous fourth season which included them partaking in serious political decisions like prematurely calling an election in the favour of a Republican Presidential candidate that attracted ire from society and resulted in unrest in the United States of America. 

Succession season 4 episode 10 (English)
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Cast: Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Brian Cox, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun, Peter Friedman, J. Smith-Cameron, Alan Ruck
Runtime: 90 minutes
Storyline: Ahead of the final board vote on the Waystar-GoJo deal, Kendall and Shiv try to shore up their opposing interests and get a fix on the whereabouts of a physically and emotionally bruised Roman.

Siobhan ‘Shiv’ Roy (Sarah Snook) had to work on her marriage only to watch it fall apart again while Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) strained his relationship with Gerry Kellman (J. Smith Cameron) and Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) contemplated on completely snatching away the custody of his children from their mother. The death of their father forced them to reckon with the present and break out of the cycle of deceit and games but not until one final board meeting.

The series finale titled ‘With Open Eyes’ takes place a few days after Logan’s funeral: Shiv is finalising the terms to push for a deal with GoJo’s founder Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) and trying to get Roman on her side while Kendall is equally interested in pursuing the youngest brother’s vote. 

The trio end up at their mother’s house to finalise their votes and persuade others. But a call from Greg (Nicholas Braun) informing Kendall of Lukas’ plans to sideline Shiv drives a wedge in their scheme, leaving them to re-calibrate their strategies. In typical Succession fashion, they are left in a cycle where they have to grapple with the same set of permutations and combinations as they attempt to change their fortunes.

Even in an atmosphere of tension and mistrust, the siblings reach an agreement. However, when they arrive for the board meeting to vote for the future of the company, Shiv is reluctant to support Kendall and brings up the accident he was involved in that resulted in the death of a waiter to de-legitimise his claim — an accusation Kendall is adamant on denying. Watching Jeremy Strong as Kendall wilfully ignore Logan’s missteps and legacy and plead with Shiv for her vote has the potential to make you scrunch your face and physically recoil from the screen. However, it is Kieran as an emotionally bruised Roman who drives it home with his vulnerability.

Shiv, on an impulse, votes to put the company out of the siblings’ reach, pronouncing Lukas the master of their empire. Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) who earlier struck an agreement with Lukas to run the U.S. leg of the company is made the CEO.

When the metaphorical bubble bursts, Kendall is distraught upon being released from the clutches of what he believed was his destiny while Roman is relieved that he gets to live a life far from his father’s shadows and Shiv is doomed to live in an unhappy marriage with a man who she considered beneath her all along.

Though the finale presents an illusion of finality, the siblings are caught in the loop of generational trauma and aspirations dictated by their late father and the circumstances they were born into. Like the Ouroboros, an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail, which symbolises the concept of eternal return, the trio are damned to a life with little respite.

Succession is currently streaming on JioCinema

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.