In the crushing final scene of a hectic season 3 of the HBO series Successionsiblings Roy, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Shiv (Sarah Snook), try to stop their father, patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the sale of the family business to external and technological entrepreneur Lukas Matsson (alexander Skarsgard). Logan is once again one step ahead of his children and pulls the rug out from under them with the foresight provided to him by Shiv’s partner, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen). It’s a betrayal that many analyzed as predicted earlier in the season.
This is not a first for Succession. Throughout Seasons 1 and 2, there are more subtle actions by the Roys, namely Kendall and Logan, and those around them, in earlier episodes that hint at future behavior. Here are some examples that fans may have missed.
Kendall’s bathroom scene (from Season 1, Episode 1: “Celebration”)
Reeling from the shocking news that Logan will not be stepping down as CEO of Waystar Royco and handing over the reins to him, Kendall walks into a bathroom at her father’s townhouse, stops, then proceeds to the destruction of everything within reach. It’s the first example of Kendall’s cool, calculated exterior crumbling. After collecting himself and acknowledging his destruction, he begins cleaning up the mess off the floor and into a trash can, trying to make the room presentable again.
This scene signifies the power imbalance between Logan and Kendall and what will be the outcome of their continued conflict throughout the series. Kendall rebels and is mad at her dad for not keeping his word or knowing when to step down and will challenge him at every opportunity, but at the end of the day all Kendall really wants is for her dad to l approve and accept it. He would prefer there was no fierce battle between them to achieve the highest position. Kendall also enters the bathroom before having dinner with her father in Episode 6 and before Logan’s vote of no-confidence in leadership. He has doubts and questions himself despite the supposed “support” of the other members of the board of directors.
The Roy Kids Bid Logan Farewell in the hospital (from season 1, episode 2: “Shit Show At The Fuck Factory”)
After Logan suffers a mid-air brain hemorrhage and is rushed to the hospital, not all of the Roy siblings wait so patiently for his recovery or eventual death. Although they all care deeply for their father, pressure from the Waystar board of directors to have a contingency should Logan be passed pulls Kendall in one direction and his siblings in another.
This is all the more evident in the way the Roy children leave the hospital for the night and say goodbye to him. While Connor (Alan Ruck), Roman and Shiv all bid him affectionate farewell, Kendall remains stony-looking as he gazes at his siblings. He keeps his distance and stands ominously on the end of Logan’s bed in a foreshadowing of their coming turmoil.
There’s Something About Gerri (from Season 1, Episode 4: “Sad Sack Wasp Trap”)
At the RECNY (Roy Endowment Creative New York) ball, pivotal and revealing moments occur that speak volumes about the loyalty of Logan’s children and employees. Connor exaggerates his importance to the unfolding of the event and, while examining the teleprompter, notices that the screen reads “Surprise Logan Retirement Announcement”. Believing this to be a conspiratorial plan by Kendall, Connor immediately informs his father and learns that Logan will give a speech contrary to what had previously been agreed. Kendall is made aware of this and pleads with Waystar General Counsel Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron), to prevent Logan from going on stage.
Although she assured Kendall that she would stop her father; Gerri sticks with Logan and simply says, “Good luck tonight.” You’re going to knock him out in the park”. This is the first time of many that Gerri will stay in Logan’s good graces in contradiction to his promises to his children. In Episode 5, she also lies to Kendall, “I work for Waystar, not Logan Roy,” and then, of course, in that Season 3 finale scene where she lets the kids wade in.
Logan The Puppet Master (From Season 1, Episode 10: “Nobody Ever Misses”)
You’ll no doubt see how Logan Roy plays his kids off against each other for the duration of the show, but in the final 30 minutes of Season 1, you can trace how quickly he cheats on his main adversary, Kendall. One evening he said to her: “You are nothing”, the next morning he said to her: “You are my number one boy”. When it comes to his children, his words carry no weight.
Logan would award them the title of “number one” individually in later seasons whenever he used them as pawns in his own corporate chess game.
Kendall’s Backbone (from Season 2, Episode 6: “Argestes”)
At a press conference known as Argestes, Shiv, Kendall, and Roman address the Waystar cruise line scandal (a story of sexual assaults, murders, and cover-ups plaguing the cruise line of Waystar). During the sibling roundtable, Shiv calls Waystar a “dinosaur” who will have to change in response to the scandal. It certainly doesn’t sit well with Logan. After the discussion, he loses his temper and backhands Roman. Kendall berates Logan and consoles Roman.
This storyline directly echoes Logan punching Kendall’s son, Iverson, in Season 1 Episode 5: “I Went to the Market.” against Logan at a press conference at home after Logan tries to make him a sacrificial lamb, is also hinted at in season 2, episode 5: “Tern Haven” when Kendall convinces Naomi Pierce (Annabelle Dexter Jones) to get its cousin Nan (Cherry Jones) to sell their press company: PGM. In a shrewd warning to her, he pleads, “Don’t block your own escape,” alluding to his own desperation to get out of his father’s clutches.
Opening titles (from season 1 and season 2)
Series titles are an introduction to a show and encompass what you can expect while watching. Sometimes clues in titles get away and are easier than you might think after being brought to your attention.
Of course, this could be open to interpretation, but in the penultimate shots before the show begins in Season 1, the family patriarch stands next to only one of his sons and then walks away. It makes sense that this is emblematic of Kendall and Logan’s feud at the forefront of the first season. However, in seasons 2 and 3, the other children appear next to their father and then he walks away, indicating that the other Roy children become more involved in the family empire and also take their father to maintain control.
NEXT: ‘Succession’ Renewed for Season 4 on HBO
The Oscar-winning trio have a new project in sight.
About the Author