Succession Series Finale Recap: Who Will Succeed Logan as Waystar CEO?

HBO’s Succession signed off on Sunday with a supersized series finale… but does Waystar officially have someone to fill Logan Roy’s big, big shoes?

As Sunday’s finale opens, the Waystar GoJo deal hangs in the balance, with a big board vote on the books for the next day. Kendall strides into the office and gets the bad news that they don’t have Stewy on board. His handlers try to caution him they don’t have the votes, but Kendall says with supreme confidence: “I’ll get the votes.” He doesn’t know what his own brother Roman’s vote is, though… or even where he is. Shiv is also brimming with confidence, with Stewy and both Sandi and Sandy in her pocket. Matsson is torn on the idea of Tom running ATN, and Shiv admits he is “highly interchangeable,” but advises Matsson to keep him around both for continuity and his slavish loyalty to power. Matsson also sees a magazine illustration that depicts him as Shiv’s puppet, but he laughs it off.

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Succession Series Finale Shiv
Succession Series Finale Shiv

Shiv then gets a ring from her mother Caroline, who is in the Caribbean and says one of her brothers is with her, too — and it’s not Kendall. Hmmm. Shiv relays to Matsson that she thinks she can get Roman on their side, which would help it look like less of an all-out family fight. She gets on a jet to go see him and fends off a worried call from Tom while also feeling him out if there’s “anything left” to their marriage. (Because it’d be easier for her to salvage it.) “You don’t like to fail a test, do you, Siobhan?” he pointedly asks her, and she offers a tepid apology for how she’s behaved, but all he can give her is: “I just don’t know.” Meanwhile, Kendall is badgering Stewy with voicemails when Hugo tips him off that Roman is with Caroline. He calls his mom immediately, but she insists that Roman is “very fragile” and may not make it for the vote. So he charters a flight to the Caribbean, too. Dueling private jets!

Shiv gets there first and sees Roman is banged up after his run-in with protestors. Kendall finally gets a hold of Stewy, and he agrees to join Ken’s side, but Matsson has also been in talks with Lawrence Yee… yes, from the old Vaulter days. (Callback!) He barges into Caroline’s and starts firing demands at Roman (“The world is pivoting on you”), but Roman just wants some space and walks off. Kendall agrees to stay for dinner, though, if only to show Shiv how unbothered he is by the impending vote. Back in New York, Tom is trying to impress Matsson with his observations at an art gallery and failing miserably, and he informs Greg that if he’s canned by Matsson, Greg can say goodbye to his cushy $200K assistant job, too.

Succession Series Finale Matsson Tom
Succession Series Finale Matsson Tom

Kendall tells Shiv he got Stewy back, but she’s not worried, even when he drops the gossip about our old friend Lawrence Yee. Roman joins the “scorpion party,” and Shiv floats the idea of reviving The Hundred for them to run, which Roman likens to “a job at the mall.” She reminds them that they grabbed the Waystar reins from her after Dad died, and she’s earned this victory: “I’m sorry for winning. But I did.” Tom has dinner with Matsson, who invites him to “soft pitch” him on keeping his job. After Tom stammers for a while, Matsson gets serious and admits he feels like Shiv is being a little “pushy” with her move to the top. He doesn’t even need her: “I know everything.” Plus, he adds: “I want to f–k her, a little bit.” So Matsson figures: “Why don’t I get the guy who put the baby inside her instead of the baby lady?” Whoa… so Tom Wambsgans, Waystar CEO?! Afterwards, Greg grabs some shots with Matsson and Oskar and uses his phone translator to gather that Matsson’s about to dump Shiv.

The Roy kids have dinner with Caroline, who urges them to sell the company and start a new chapter, but Kendall thinks it’s just a setup. It gets worse when she brings in her husband Peter and his friend to pitch them on an amazing business opportunity with “creamy margins” (ick). Kendall escapes to take a call from Greg, who spills the Matsson tea about Shiv — but only on the condition that they bring him along for the ride. Kendall confirms it and yanks Shiv and Roman away to break the news. Shiv doesn’t believe it and immediately calls Matsson… but he doesn’t pick up. Kendall knows a few names in the mix for CEO — but not Tom. And when they hear Shiv yell “motherf–ker” when she sees the deal memo has a big old blank space for the new CEO’s name, they know they can get her back on board. Shiv is rattled, but she runs through the options, and a consultant tallies up their votes and think they have a good shot at stopping this, but they’ll need a “coherent plan” with one name as CEO. But who?

Kendall says they’ll need a “king,” and admits: “I think it would be me, right?” But Roman counters that “Dad said it would be me.” The other two don’t buy it, and all three feel like Logan promised them the CEO seat at one time or another. Kendall asks Roman if he even wants it after his breakdown at the funeral, and Roman bristles at the idea that he can’t lead a company because he showed a little emotion. He walks off, and Kendall says Roman can’t do it and Shiv was too close to Matsson, so it has to be him. They seal their alliance with a late-night swim, and while Ken is in the water, Shiv and Roman confer, and they reluctantly agree to back Kendall… if they decide not to murder him, that is.  To anoint him, they make him chug a gross smoothie made of random fridge remnants and then pour the rest over his head — and it’s nice to watch them joking and having fun together, isn’t it?

Succession Series Finale Greg
Succession Series Finale Greg

But it’s back to business, and they fly back to New York for the all-important board meeting, lining up votes as they head in. They stop first, though, at Logan’s townhouse where Connor asks them to put stickers on the possessions they want to keep. Willa wants to make room for her cow-print couch — and she’s also sticking in New York while Connor goes to Slovenia. (Not so fast, though: A Wisconsin court decision is threatening to erase Mencken’s seeming victory.) Connor also has a video set up of Logan at a dinner party where he can rattle off all the presidential election losers in order. He was still sharp, huh? The kids sit rapt watching the video as Karl leads the party in a singalong of an old Scottish ballad. Shiv tells Tom that her deal with Matsson is off, thanks to intel from… Greg! Tom mumbles in response, finally telling her he’s Matsson’s pick for CEO. Shiv angrily calls him “an empty f–king suit,” wishing him: “Good f–king luck.” She tells her brothers it’s Tom, and they rush off to the vote while Tom gets into a vicious slap fight with Greg in the bathroom and calls Matsson to tip off that they’re in trouble.

Succession Series Finale Shiv
Succession Series Finale Shiv

Kendall, Roman and Shiv head into the office for the vote, and they line up their pitch, as Kendall takes a moment to enjoy taking a seat in Logan’s chair. Stewy arrives and admits he’s “a selfish person,” not committing to them but warming up to the idea of being chairman of the new board. Roman gets flustered, though, when he sees Gerri arrive, and he starts to question his choice to back Kendall: “Why isn’t it me?” Kendall pulls him in for a hug… but he mashes Roman’s wounded face into his shoulder as he does it, popping his brother’s stitches open in the process in a show of dominance. Whoa.

The board assembles, and Frank explains they will consider a revised GoJo offer after they hear from their co-CEOs. Kendall declares the GoJo offer “a bad deal” and lays out their new plan before calling for a vote, adding: “Let’s do it for my dad, guys.” They take a tally, and it’s tied, with the deciding vote coming down to Shiv… and she hesitates before stepping away. She insists she just needs a moment to think, telling Kendall: “I might have changed my mind.” Ken can’t believe it, telling her he can’t do anything but be CEO, but she counters: “I don’t think you’d be good at it.” Kendall screams at her, with everyone on the board hearing them, and Kendall pleads that if he doesn’t get this job, “I might die.” Shiv says he can’t be CEO “because you killed someone.” Kendall insists that was just something he made up to get them through a difficult moment. But that won’t change her vote: “I love you, but I cannot f–king stomach you.” He screams at her some more (“I’m the eldest boy!”) and when Roman dares to question the parentage of his kids with Rava, he grabs Roman and presses hard against his stitches, with Shiv escaping and calling him “a f–king child.”

Kendall still wants to flip another vote, but Roman has given up. He doesn’t even want what’s left of Waystar: “It’s nothing… we are bulls–t.” A defeated Kendall asks the board to adjourn the meeting, but the vote already happened: The GoJo deal is approved. Kendall walks off in a daze and heads straight for the elevator in silence. Tom shakes hands on his way through the office, accepting congratulations from all the board members, and tells Greg he’ll save him, putting a sticker on his forehead to seal it. Roman doesn’t want to stand next to Matsson in the big signing photo, but they make him do it anyway, and Matsson gloats over his new victory. Tom and Shiv take a car home together, with him offering his hand and her slowly deciding to take it, while Roman drinks at a bar alone and Kendall wanders aimlessly through the park, with his father’s bodyguard Colin trailing close behind. He gazes out at the water… as we cut to black.

Alright, now we want your vote: Give the Succession finale, and the final season as a whole, a grade in our polls, and then join us in the comments to share your thoughts. (Plus, see what series creator Jesse Armstrong had to say about the finale.) 

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