And that’s all there is from the Roy family.
Succession Season 4 Episode 10 found Logan’s legacy to be three broken children at each other’s throats, with more pain between them than any of them really deserve.
It’s one of the Disgusting Brothers a the top, and the king has his queen. Who woulda thunk it?
The GoJo deal fell apart relatively quickly in the eyes of the Roy siblings when Matsson did what Kendall had promised to do and shivved the Shiv.
It was never going to be Shiv at the top, and who could blame Matsson for pulling that plug? She stormed in without a care for what Matsson wanted from the deal.
Before they were aware of that, it was Shiv and Kendall tracking down the ever more unhinged Roman, who believed he and his siblings were exactly what their father made them feel like — nothing.
There was something about Roman’s state of mind that seeped into Kendall and Shiv, allowing them to consider a future in which they all worked together as a quasi-loving team, and they even went so far as to anoint Kendall to the seat he believed was his destiny.
Shiv: So, we were thinking of murdering you.
Roman: Don’t tell him.
Shiv: But, uh, you know it’s too much prep, too much murder admin.
Roman: No stomach for the admin.
Shiv: We anoint you.
Roman: You get the bauble. Congratulations. It’s haunted and cursed, and nothing will ever go right, but yeah, enjoy your bauble.
For a bit, they allowed themselves that fantasy, and it was the first time we’d ever seen them almost happy, whether together or apart. They laughed and joked and had enormous smiles on their faces.
But while they were carefree for a minute, Matsson and his team were taking the deal seriously, on the phone pleading their case. When they had Frank, you knew it was going to be tough.
Even though it was relatively obvious Shiv wouldn’t ascend to the throne in either deal, Matsson choosing Tom was a bit of a surprise.
And I thought, if I could get anyone in the world, why don’t I get the guy who put the baby inside her instead of the baby lady?
It played perfectly against Shiv’s overpowering attention to the deal that Matsson would want a yes man, a frontman, as he called it. He doesn’t like getting called out for his dirty plays, and he needs someone to take the pressure off while he does whatever it is that he does.
Matsson asked Tom to pitch himself, and in his lyrical fashion that circles everything and nothing at once, Tom sold himself without having to sell himself at all.
Matsson: I need an American. I don’t want to scare the horses. ATN being the uh profit center. Mencken likes you if that happens. You know, you, um, you’re fuckin’ talented, so uh. But, also, honestly, I’m not looking for a partner. You know? I’m looking for a frontman cause we’re going to cut shit close to the bone. We’re gonna get right fuckin’ in there. It’s gonna get nasty. Uh, so I need a pain sponge when I’m under the hood doing what I love, you know?
Matsson: That’s kind of what I’m after. So, would that be a problem?
Tom: Nah. No, man. Nah. I could do it.
Matsson: Logan Mach 2. Only this time, he’s fuckin’ sexy [laughs]. Yeah, do you want to do some shots?
All that remained was the vote.
Shiv was a hard sell. She couldn’t let go of the fact that Kendall grabbed the crown for himself, even if he pulled Roman up along with him for a bit while pushing her out.
That she temporarily considered allowing his ascension (when she and Roman weren’t contemplating killing him and bemoaning how poorly he’d take it if they tried and botched it) was a bit of a shock.
If it hadn’t come together where and when it did, it might not have gotten as far as it did.
They took it to the wire, and Shiv’s deciding vote tore what amity they had found and split it wide open like a coconut.
Nobody wanted to see that, but could you have envisioned it ending any other way?
The reality of what their father had done to them by pitting them against each other and promising the moon to each as often as he pulled it away or denied it outright was that all the love in the world wouldn’t have allowed them to function with any one of them taking the reins over the others.
Kendall’s childhood was wrecked, believing he was the chosen one. Kendall screaming, “I am the eldest boy,” was downright agonizing. Roman believed he was worthless and nothing, a value he attributed to his siblings, as well.
How ugly it got in those final moments was difficult to watch, and one could guess that it was as difficult for Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin to pull off, too.
Kendall called forth the line of succession, and in response, Roman unleashed what Logan thought of Kendall’s kids — they even his. Had that ever been a line of contention before? It would explain why Logan had no relationship with the kids and why Kendall’s own was so tenuous.
Shiv, at least, knew her child was her own, and its father would be the man stepping into Logan’s substantial shoes, which is a double-edged sword if ever there was one.
Shiv’s own delicate relationship with Tom was strengthened by her vote.
She got to remain a part of the company her father built either way, and she revealed early in the episode (as she had many times during Succession Season 4) that she was open to growing closer to Tom, but the only thing holding her back was her belief that Tom didn’t feel the same.
You’ve got to hope that if anyone makes it out of this in one piece with a possible future, it’s Tom and Shiv.
The best parts of the finale for me were when there was hope they’d all find their way back to each other as a family.
By the time the credits rolled, that possibility seemed more distant than it had all season long.
Roman needed to break away from the corporate bullshit that contributed to some of his deepest pain, and as he sipped a martini with a wry smile on his face, I imagined that he’ll rediscover his mojo far away from that culture and his family.
Shiv has Tom and a baby on the way. If they can be as honest with each other as they falsely claim to be when they’re on the outs, things might swing in the right direction for them.
Connor and Willa have had a parasitic relationship since they first met, and that shows no sign of stopping.
They’ll push and pull and always find each other back in their orbit, especially with billions of dollars on the table. For some people, money is the answer.
It’s most unclear what will become of Kendall. When he walked to the edge of the raging water, it wouldn’t have been shocking if he had tossed himself over the railing, Colin following right behind him.
It’s his face on which the credits rolled, and that’s significant. He’s got nothing but money remaining. He held onto the idea he could become his dad or at least what his dad wanted, and that’s all gone.
They will all be defined by the last four years at each other’s throats, trying to capture the brass ring and take the crown for themselves, but while Shiv has Tom, and Roman has, well, Roman, Kendall will be hard-pressed to escape what he believed to be his legacy.
Succession was a once-in-a-lifetime show for everyone involved, talent and viewers alike. We’ll miss these characters, their salty quips, fierce wit, and desire to mow down anyone who got in their way.
All that’s left are the memories and meme-worthy Succession quotes to soothe the pain.
What did you think of the finale? Where do you imagine the tides will take the Roys next?
Au revoir, my friend. That’s a wrap!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.