“Succession”, season 4, episode 10: three children alone in Manhattan

  Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), in the final episode of “Succession”.

On June 3, 2018, these family films which showed the childhood of offspring from a prosperous and powerful dynasty in the credits of a new series asked the question: which of Logan Roy’s children would succeed him at the head of his conglomerate?

Five years and four seasons of Succession later, the answer came, on the night of October 28 to 29, at the end of a long (an hour and a half) finale, a nightmare made up of sincere reconciliations and impulsive betrayals which tossed the Roy children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) between their sumptuous and miserable childhood to their unquenchable appetites for power and money. This roller coaster ride ended like all roller coaster rides: where it started. Ken, Shiv, and Rom didn’t take the power that Logan took turns dangling at them. Of course, they are still just as rich, but even more unhappy.

Waystar Royco, the media and entertainment empire built by their father, has been sold, according to the will of its creator, and against that of his heirs, to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard), a Swedish leader of a digital empire. For Jesse Armstrong, the creator of the series, the Succession in question was not dynastic, it was historical. The series can be read as chronicling the last days of an obsolete form of capitalism, the contemporary equivalent of when oil tycoons replaced steel and railroad tycoons.

Individual trajectories

However, we do not look Succession for its macroeconomic relevance any more than one reads William Shakespeare to learn the history of England or Denmark. What counts here are the individual trajectories, this tragic and exasperating obstinacy that the Roy children have in coming up against their limits. The configuration in which we had left them at the end of the previous episode only holds a few sequences. Shiv made an alliance with Lukas Matsson after he promised him the executive management of the group. Kendall seeks to muster the votes of enough board members to derail the sale. To get out of the spiral of self-destruction in which he has been caught since his father’s funeral, Roman took refuge with their mother, Lady Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter), in a colonial residence in Barbados.

Unbeknownst to Shiv, Matsson offers her promised job to Shiv’s husband, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) at the same time as the two elders each take their private jet to Barbados to bring Roman back. in their camp. There, Shiv learns from Kendall of Matsson’s betrayal, which was exposed by cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun). The eldest is careful not to reveal to his younger sister the identity of his competitor. Once the betrayed wife rallied to her brothers, the trio can hope for a majority on the board of directors, it remains to be determined who will be the future leader.

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