Succession’s big finale: Here are seven questions we need to be answered

Before the last episode of the megasatire drops, we ask: Will Roman die? Is Tom Wambsgans poised for victory? What’s next for Greg?

When Game of Thrones came to a crashing halt, four years ago, the expectation was that TV’s next blockbuster would be lusty, epic and more than likely to feature dragons. But while there’s been no lack of fire-breathing monsters in Succession, the world’s buzziest post-Thrones series has tacked in the opposite direction from its HBO/Sky Atlantic predecessor. The battles are restricted to the boardroom, and, if there have been Red Wedding-type massacres aplenty, the actual body count is relatively modest.

Unlike Game of Thrones, Succession also understands that it’s best to quit while you’re ahead. And so, after just four seasons, Jesse Armstrong’s megasatire is about to end. Before Monday’s finale, which airs at 2am (and again at its regular 9pm) on Sky Atlantic, as well as streaming on Now, here are the questions we need to be answered.

Will Logan Roy die?

You haven’t been keeping up, have you? Logan died three episodes into series four, it happened off camera, on his private jet. So the great bruiser who overshadowed the sorry saga is gone – and the struggle to inherit his crown is under way in earnest.

Will anyone else die?

Logan’s most dysfunctional child, Roman, seemed to have all but given up when he slunk away into a riot at the end of the penultimate instalment. There has been speculation that Roman, who’s played by a scene-stealingly sleazy Kieran Culkin, is the character most likely to come to a tragic end. He’s the one who has made the most significant miscalculation in putting the weight of the Roys’ Fox News-style ATN network behind the Donald Trump-but-worse presidential demagogue Jeryd Mencken. Roman is also riddled with self-loathing – of all the Roys, he’s the one least likely to walk away with a happy ending.


Who will take over at the head of Waystar?

From the outset, Kendall Roy – played by Jeremy Strong – has coveted his father’s throne and regarded himself as heir apparent. He and Roman are now jointly running Waystar – but only until a takeover deal with the Swedish start-up GoJo goes through. Kendall is doing everything he can to block the acquisition, including getting into bed with the loathsome Mencken.

But the president-in-waiting has been playing the Roys, and it seems he will support GoJo after all. Kendall will therefore have to bully and/or sweet-talk the rest of the Waystar board into rejecting the buyout on the basis that GoJo isn’t paying enough of a premium. Victory is within reach. And yet, if we have learned anything from the previous four seasons, it’s that Kendall is dangerously lacking in self-awareness and could yet muck this up.

Will Shiv finally get the respect she deserves?

Arguably the most capable Roy, Shiv was never respected by her father because of her sex. She said as much at his funeral Mass: “It was hard to be his daughter. He was hard on women,” she told mourners. “He couldn’t fit a whole woman in his head.”

Now she has put her faith in another man: GoJo’s Lukas Matsson, who has promised to make her the all-American head of the new Waystar-GoJo conglomerate. This is to keep the ultranationalist Mencken happy rather than out of concern for Shiv (who is played by the Australian actor Sarah Snook). But still, power is finally within her grasp. Kendall wants his hands on that lever, too, of course. One of the siblings will have to lose. This being Succession, they may find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

What next for Tom Wambsgans?

Top toady Tom has semi-reconciled with Shiv, his now-pregnant wife. (He appears to have made peace with the fact that she’s a moral vacuum disguised as a human being.) Just a few weeks ago Shiv was telling anyone who’d listen that, under GoJo, Tom (played by Matthew Macfadyen) was a dead man walking who’d immediately be fired as head of ATN. But, as his betrayal of the Roy siblings to Logan last season demonstrated, Tom has an animal cunning – and, though the odds are against him, he may yet have a trick up his sleeve.

How will Cousin Greg fit in?

The Roys’ journey will almost certainly end in tragedy or triumph. But what about hapless Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), who has spent the past four seasons flapping around in the background? He’s unlikely to take centre stage as the journey ends – but he’s a fan favourite, so expect a send-off to remember.

What will be the next Succession?

There has been lots of chatter about how Succession changed TV. But did it? Where are the shameless copycats? There aren’t any – for the straightforward reason that the show has been a complete one-off. Just like Game of Thrones, it’s an impossible act to follow. So the one thing that can be said for sure about the next Succession is that it will be nothing like Succession.