Everything You Need to Remember About Succession Ahead of Its Final Season

7 minute read

If your life has been lacking in cold-blooded schemes, betrayal, and intergenerational power plays, fear not—the fourth and final season of Succession will debut on Sunday, bringing with it the high-stakes family drama that has made the series an Emmy-winning hit. Following the shocking events of season three, when Kendall, Roman, and Shiv attempted—and ultimately failed—to stage a coup against their father, the fearsome Logan Roy, season four promises an epic fight for power and legacy, as the family’s once-great media conglomerate Waystar Royco prepares for a merger with tech giant JoGo—a deal that effectively ends the future of Roy leadership at the company.

Ahead of the season four premiere, here’s what to remember about Succession ahead of its fourth and final season.

When does season 4 premiere?

The fourth season of Succession will premiere on Sunday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Max. HBO’s official log line for 10-episode season reads: “The sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson moves ever closer. The prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is completed. A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed.”

Is it the last season?

Unfortunately for the fans, Succession‘s fourth season is also its final season. While speculation long swirled that the series would end in either a fourth or fifth season, earlier this year, creator Jesse Armstrong confirmed in an interview with the New Yorker that the show would conclude with the season four finale.

“I’ve never thought this could go on forever,” Armstrong said. “The end has always been kind of present in my mind. From season two, I’ve been trying to think: Is it the next one, or the one after that, or is it the one after that?”

Armstrong said he weighed a few options on where to take Succession but chose in the end to “do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong.” But while the show is ending, he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of more stories about the dramas and rivalries of Waystar Royco and the cut-throat Roy family.

“The feeling that there could be something else in an allied world, or allied characters, or some of the same characters—that’s also strong in me,” he said. “Maybe there’s another part of this world we could come back to, if there was an appetite? Maybe there’s something else that could be done, that harnessed what’s been good about the way we’ve worked on this.”

Where did season three leave off?

Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Brian Cox in the final episode of season 3 of Succession
Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Brian Cox in the final episode of season 3 of SuccessionGraeme Hunter—HBO

When we last encountered the scheming Roy family, siblings Kendall, Roman, and Shiv banded together to try and stop their father Logan from merging the family business, Waystar Royco with GoJo, a streaming platfrom founded by tech mogul, Lukas Mattson, in a buyout deal that would completely cut them out of the business. To do this, the siblings planned to stage a coup by invoking “a supermajority” their mother secured in her divorce from Logan, which would allow them to overthrow their father and split control of the company evenly. In a jaw-dropping move, their mother traded their supermajority for a property offered to her by Logan, who was alerted to the scheme by none other than Tom, Shiv’s husband. Tom also recruited the Roys’ cousin, Greg, to join him and Logan in thwarting the siblings’ plan, leaving Kendall, Roman, and Shiv with no power and no stake in the new company.

Who in the cast is returning for season 4?

Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch and Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans
Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch and Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in season 4 of SuccessionMacall B. Polay—HBO

Viewers can expect to see all of the major players from the last season of Succession returning to the show. Leading the cast is Brian Cox, as family patriarch Logan Roy, as well as his four children: Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy, Sarah Snook as Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, and Alan Ruck as Connor Roy.

Also returning are members of the extended Roy family, including Matthew Macfadyen as Tom, Shiv’s power-hungry husband, Nicholas Braun as the Roys’ hapless Cousin Greg, Hiam Abbass as Logan’s tenacious wife Marcia, Justine Lupe as Connor’s fiancée Willa, and Annabelle Dexter-Jones as Kendall’s girlfriend Naomi. Familiar business friends and frenemies will be resurfacing with J. Smith Cameron as Gerri, Waystar Royco’s long-suffering general counsel, Arian Moayed as Kendall’s finance friend and rival Stewy, Peter Friedman, David, Rasche, and Fisher Stevens as Waystar Royco advisers Frank, Karl, and Hugo, Zoë Winters as Logan’s executive assistant Kerry, Dagmara Domińczyk as Kendall’s assistant, and Alexander Skarsgård as tech mogul Lukas Matsson.

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Some minor characters from earlier seasons will also make appearances in the fourth and final season, including Natalie Gold as Kendall’s ex-wife Rava and Caitlin Fitzgerald as Tabitha, an ex-girlfriend of Roman’s; additionally, this season will also introduce a number of new characters, who will be played by Annabeth Gish, Adam Godley, Eili Harboe, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

What is the status of Tom and Shiv’s marriage?

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans and Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans and Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in SuccessionMacall Polay—HBO

The rocky romantic partnership of Tom and Shiv has long been a point of tension throughout all the seasons of Succession. The couple, who became engaged during the first season and married in an extravagant wedding during its finale, have struggled with class differences, power plays, and fidelity. Tom, who’s perpetually belittled by Shiv’s family though he grovels for Logan’s favor, often acquiesces to Shiv’s desires and demands, including taking the fall for a corrupt Waystar Royco business deal that could have landed him in jail and reluctantly considering an open relationship, which Shiv cruelly proposes on their wedding night. Their complicated and often toxic relationship may be best summed up in a sobering line from Tom in the season 2 finale, when he and Shiv are on their honeymoon: “I wonder if the sad I’d be without you,” he says, “would be less than the sad I get from being with you.”

By the end of season 3, however, it’s clear that Tom is no longer willing to be controlled or taken advantage of by Shiv; in the finale, Shiv, who, alongside her brothers, is planning to stop her father from selling their company and effectively cutting her out of the business, is betrayed by Tom in a stunning flip of power, after he alerts Logan to their plan. In the last scene of the episode, Tom is seen patting the shoulder of Shiv as she silently realizes the extent of his betrayal.

What’s happening with Waystar Royco?

HBO Succession S4  09.21.22  NORWAY  sc- 405-25.  int ridge top restaurant Kendall & Roman square off with Matsson Kristi Fitts - Publicist kristi.fitts@warnermedia.com   Succession S4 | Sourdough Productions, LLC Kaufmann Astoria Studios 34-12 36th St 3rd flr Astoria NY 11106Office: 718-706-5850
Alexander Skarsgård as Lukas Matsson in season 4 of SuccessionGraeme Hunter—HBO

At the end of Season 3, Waystar Royco, the Roys’ once-dominant media conglomerate appears to be sold to GoJo, a streaming platform created by tech mogul Lukas Mattson. With this merger, Logan is not only relinquishing control of the company whose leadership he’s prized above all else, but he’s effectively making a statement that he does not believe that any of his children are fit to to take over his position in the future.

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com