“Succession” Finale Recap: Who Deserves To Fuck Off This Week?

Jonathan, we’re so glad you came. We’re devastated that this is our last ever Succession recap, but we know our devastation pales in comparison to whatever Kendall Roy is feeling after his 11th hour loss. He figured out the shapes! He sat in the chair! They crowned him at their mummy’s beach house!! Didn’t that mean anything?

Speaking of that glorious coronation, beyond the horse race of it all, there were a bunch of memorable setpieces that can only be described as Succession-y. Roman and Shiv imitating what Kendall would say if they murdered him, making time amidst the chaos for The Great Reallocation, and “I’m A Little Teapot” in the manner of Logan Roy. These are the moments we’ll remember fondly when we think of these billionaire ghouls.

The finale begins an unspecified number of days after Logan’s funeral, on the eve of the final board vote on the Gojo acquisition, and the siblings are prepping for their own fight for a knife in the mud. But more on their trip to Barbados later. When the episode starts, Shiv is still scheming with Matsson under the false impression that he’s going to install her as Waystar’s U.S. CEO. Kendall has a five-person team working on one of his signature Presentations to persuade the board to vote against the acquisition and keep the Roys at the helm (you’ll never guess who Kendall thinks the CEO should be – it’s gonna blow your fucking mind). As for Roman, his vote is up in the air, as is the date of his return from whatever jerk-dungeon he’s being pity-spanked in. (He’s at his mother’s.) 

In classic Succession fashion, the big climax takes place in a conference room, which is not what I *personally* associate with the most riveting content. But leave it to this writing team and the Incredible Fuck Brother Bandwagon to imbue it with the intensity of the season 10 Vanderpump reunions. So goodbye, our dear, dear world of a prestige drama. Also, please consider a Tom-Shiv mini-series, and maybe we can think about calling it MAX.


(-1) “NEW JESS! NEW JESS!” – In my imaginary prequel, Kendall’s college girlfriend forced him to watch The Devil Wears Prada, and Miranda Priestly has been a subtle influence on his CEO cosplay act ever since. We start the finale at self-awareness level zero and are only nosediving from here.

(-1) He comes in very hot to Caroline’s Caribbean Air Clear, ready for a cup of fucking tea screaming at Roman to vote against the GoJo acquisition. No surprise that Kendall is the only person in the world who’s immune to the relaxing qualities of a tropical fucking island. Instead it’s all, I have Ewan, I have Paul, I have Dewi, and I have Stewy. He’s like a reverse Arya Stark.

(-1) Pouring out the lemonade in case Shiv poisoned it, as if she’s resourceful enough to bother with that.

(-5) It’s taken us until the finale to learn two major things that have made Kendall tick. The first is that he built his entire self-image around a promise that Logan made when he was seven years old at Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton. The other is the strong implication that Kendall probably can’t have kids that are biologically his, which was cruelly revealed by Roman to be top of Logan’s mind.

(-1) “Maybe it makes you a good person that you weren’t snaking at the funeral. Maybe you’re well-adjusted and I’m a business psycho? It’s a fucking horrible job that clearly kills you.” – Kendall’s argument that Roman can’t be the CEO because he cried at the funeral is absurd, but beyond that, it’s clear that Kendall largely equates leadership with making grandiose speeches and having a driver. 


(-1) Karma is my boyfriend / Karma is a god / Karma is the Vaulter guy coming for your job – Karma Remix (feat. Laurence Yee) (Kendall’s Version)

(+1) The closest Kendall gets to being the successor is sitting in Logan’s chair, like he’s at Bring Your Kids To Work Day. Toy soldiers indeed.

(-3) The stitches-popping bear hug was heart-wrenching and cruel, even if you’re in the camp that Roman “liked it”. I’m not, and even if that were true, that’s not why Kendall did it. 

(-1) At the board meeting where it all went to shit, Kendall starts with his usual glad-handing and faux-charm, but when it comes to giving any solid reasons why they should vote against the acquisition, he essentially argues that it’s a bad deal because he said so. He doesn’t even attempt to make a real case, like the India subscriber numbers are bullshit. Could this perhaps be what Shiv means when she says she just doesn’t think he’d be good at it? 

(-2) “Here’s the only thing: I am like a cog built to fit only one machine. This is the one thing I know how to do… I feel like, if I don’t get to do this, I might die.” – This is very sad, but emotionally manipulative because that’s a Kendall problem, not Shiv’s or the shareholders’ problem.

(-5) When Shiv left the vote to think for a second, there was maybe a slight chance that she would have stuck with Kendall, but his reaction to the possibility of losing was clearly what confirmed that she should vote against him. The point of no return was when Kendall threw away his sole claim to personal growth and tried to walk back that he killed the waiter. 

(-1) Also, “WHICH” people did Kendall kill… was there another? They just glossed right over that one like it was Kendall’s possible infertility. Either way, once you’re getting into the weeds on whether you killed someone, you simply cannot expect your sister to vote for you.

(-1) “I’M THE ELDEST BOY!” – A giant NO flew out of my mouth like so much of Jeremy Strong’s spit. On that note, it sucks for Kendall that he drank the Meal Fit For A King for nothing, but it also shows how non-serious they are about picking the CEO of their family’s publicly traded conglomerate. Kings don’t wear silly hats, kings wear crowns and know how to count votes.

(-3) Colin guarding Kendall at the end shows that he can only go on at the behest of Logan’s protection and supervision. He is not a serious person and he never had it… or anything that wasn’t from his dad.

TOTAL: -25


(+1) “You’re a clown. You live in a fucking dreamworld, you don’t have it.” – No one can say that Kendall wasn’t warned that he didn’t have the votes. Even Tellis (the worst) told him. But there was no way he would ever take Roman seriously in that teenage casualwear.

(+1) “Who wants a piece of me? Pay a buck, take a pop at the human fucking vote. Why not just cut my arms off? I can give one to each of you to take home and then maybe you’ll fuck off.” – Kendall would, Shiv wouldn’t. 

(+1) “All the seas, in case you didn’t know this, are connected. Like a huge water subway full of things that want to eat me.” It’s interesting how Kendall has such a thing for water, and Roman clearly doesn’t.


(+1) “You get the bauble. Congratulations. It’s haunted and cursed and nothing will ever go right, but enjoy your bauble.” – He seems to have gained some clarity at Caroline’s.

(-5) It was extremely cruel to bring up Kendall’s kids, even if he was invoking Logan’s opinion to make a point. (Arguably worse!) Kendall might say things like “carpe the diem,” but no one deserves that. And Shiv was already going to vote against him, so it was hardly even necessary. 

(+5) For delivering the wisest take delivered since “you’re not serious people”: “We are bullshit! You are bullshit. You’re fucking bullshit, man. I’m fucking bullshit. She’s bullshit. It’s all fucking nothing.” – YES, go take up your snowmobiles and sushi like you were meant to. 

(+1) Despite his breakdown in episode 9, it seems like Roman came out of this okay. We say goodbye to little Romey with a martini nod to Gerri.



(+1) Shiv plants a seed of persuasion that surely helped land Tom the CEO role. “He’s very competent, but if he irks you or it’s complicated, it is okay. He is very plausible corporate matter, but he’s also just a modular changeable part, and I would say that to his face… Separate feelings aside, Tom will honestly suck the biggest dick in the room, that’s just my assessment.” She knows that this quality is Matsson’s primary love language (with blood bricks a close second).

(+1) You just know that Shiv loved the cartoon that implied she was pulling Matsson’s strings. Bet she already sent it to Framebridge. 

(+1) For referring to her mother as “an associate of mine” so she wouldn’t have to be all, “my mom just called.”

(-1) For her non-serious pitch to Tom to continue their marriage: “I thought it might be worth raising: Are there any positives about the nightmare we’ve shared? I guess if there was anything there, then it would be so *convenient*… think of the scheduling! It’s mess-free.” 

(+1) For her serious pitch to continue their marriage: “Look, I know that we’ve said the worst things, but I think I’ve always just been scared in relationships … like, what’s the worst thing a person thinks? But we know. Once you’ve said and done the worst things, you’re kind of free. I guess my question is: are you interested in a real relationship?”


(+1) “You grabbed the crown and pushed me out. So I don’t know why I’m the cunt here. I won and I’m sorry for winning. But I did. I’m sorry, and, you know what, I’m actually tired of saying fucking sorry. I played it better, so why don’t you take it like a man and just eat it.” – It’s giving Taylor Swift-levels of girlbossing.

(+1) “We were thinking of murdering you, but it’s too much prep. Too much murder admin. So, we anoint you… you can smile, bitch!” – Ironic, considering it all.

(+1) “I don’t think you’d be good at it. You can’t be CEO because you killed someone … I love you, but I cannot stomach you.” – She’s definitely not impartial, but she’s not wrong.

(+1) Shiv bests Kendall by following the skeleton key to the show, which Gerri once articulated as always doing what will serve her interests. In this case, that meant going with Tom over Kendall.

(+1) Kendall may have gotten to sit in Logan’s chair, but Shiv got a permanent photo on his desk next to Ronald Reagan.



(+1) Because cityscapes are featured prominently in this episode, notice that Tom starts the episode on a high floor in an office that looks very different from the filing cabinet (oof, sensitive phrase) office that he and Greg started out in.

(+1) “We should Czechoslovakia it. We should make it all lovely velvet parting of the ways.” – The best way to pull Shiv in is to make her terrified of loss. Siobhan hates to fail a test.

(+1) “More hang, more fucking hanging than a dictator’s birthday.” – A timely joke with the election results still up in the air.

(+1) At dinner with Matsson, he goes from “those cod cheeks were a worthy opponent” to “I think we may have been badly advised. Greg fucked it,” because Tom is nothing if not a pathological people-pleaser.


(+2) “Sure I can sing for my supper… I’m a grinder. I grind cuz I worry. I worry all night about everything: all the threats to me and to my division and my physical body. And I have an excess of vigilance, I think, and I have a very high tolerance for pain and physical discomfort.” – This pitch won him the spot, and the cherry on top was Tom just taking it when Matsson said he and Shiv would mutually want to fuck (under the right circumstances).

(+1) Props to Matthew MacFadyen for subtly, yet meaningfully, adjusting Tom’s presence when he walks into the board meeting after he’s been crowned. After the signing and photo opps, the pain sponge tells Shiv he has a car in 20 if she wants to join – a flip from the end of episode 3 when she invites him into her car. 

(+1) For icing Hugo in favor of Karolina. Woof woof.

(+1) Shiv and Tom go home together, having struck their respective Faustian bargains. Shiv with Tom, and Tom with Matsson. They hold hands, sort of. 



(-1) I’m not sure that Greg even knew who he was Gregging for in this episode.

(-1) The highest paid assistant in human history is about to get decimated on pay (as he should).

(-1) “If I give you something incredible, would you give me something amazing? Basically, can you guys win, you and Rome? And could I quad it up, like, full quad?” Stop trying to make a full quad happen, this family can barely stand up a duet.


(+2) It was legitimately smart to use the translator on his phone, wiley little Greglet. 

(+3) Being the Sporus to Tom’s Nero was the best move Greg pulled in the entire series, even if he sort of turned on him at the end. Merciful Tom is gonna keep him.

(-1) Matsson calls him Judas at the signing and everybody laughs. Look who’s starting out on the right foot with the new boss. 



(+1) “Sometimes I feel like every piece of fish in the city is the same piece of xeroxed branzino.” – I happen to agree, but it can’t be worse than Caroline’s gummy fish.

(-1) “I wanna fuck her a little bit, and I think under the right circumstances, she’d fuck me too” – He really did play Shiv like a pregnant cello (non-derogatory).

(+3) He’s found himself the perfect pain sponge in clumsy interloper Tom Wambsgans.

(-1) “What’s the return policy on this?” – Fuck off.



(+1) With these brilliant systems for Stickering Perambulating Circuits and tiering of the bereaved, it’s even more obvious that America flunked it. 

(+2) “I give you, ladies and gentlemen, ‘I Am A Little Teapot’ in the manner of Logan Roy.” This is what Logan meant when he asked to be roasted.


(-1) Connor is trying to keep it from Willa that their long distance relationship hangs in the balance of a Wisconsin election case. They call that the second-week itch, I believe.



(+1) “I seem to have landed myself in the only hellhole in paradise.” – Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Roy family motto. Put it on the t-shirts.

(+3) Caroline Collingwood is possibly the worst TV mother I can think of, but as a viewer, she’s my favorite to watch. The pot-stirring is master-class level. “There is someone here you might want to see… I promised I wouldn’t say, but it’s one of your brothers, and it’s not Kendall.” 

(-2) “I’d love for the whole family to be here, but if it’s going to be thumbscrews, I’d rather it didn’t happen in my house.” – It’s a Caroline Classic to provide a venue for her children’s confrontations, and then say that she doesn’t want them fighting around her. “Are you staying for dinner, or are you in and out with all the shouting? Because I’d love it if it wasn’t a horror show.”


(+1) “Huge board meeting, what an event! That’s never happened before in my life. I’ve never had my plans ruined by a huge board meeting.” – As if she actually wants her family around anyway.

(-2) “Don’t touch that, that’s Peter cheese! I made the mistake myself. His special cheeses, he gets really boring about it.” – This is especially sharp given the running theme that Caroline barely feeds them. She has never cared for her children half as much as she cares for Peter’s cheeses, and she certainly wasn’t saving their knobbies. Caroline even has Peter doing Roman’s eyedrops because she couldn’t look at his beaten-up face. 

(+1) Then again, there’s something about eyes, they just kind of revolt me… blobs of jelly roaming around in your head… face eggs.

(-1) “I’m glad you’re getting along so well. I mean, Peter will be disappointed, but it’s nice to see you got something to agree about besides what a terrible mother I am.” – Was the entire point of the Caribbean Air Clear to let Jonathan pitch her kids on a creamy margined tax evasion scheme? As soon as their car drove away, Peter turned to Caroline and said, “such a waste of time.” So that’s why he did Roman’s eye drops.


The final Fuck Off goes to the Roy who will always be number 1 boy in our hearts, if not on the org chart. At least he has his dad’s best friend Colin to babysit him in perpetuity. 

If you can’t get enough Succession convo from Betches, check out our weekly bonus recaps on the @BETCHES Podcast, which can be found on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Images courtesy of HBO.

Sami Sage
Sami Sage
Sami Sage is a cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of Betches Media. In her spare time she stares at her dogs and opens and closes the instagram app continuously.