In what felt like an inevitable progression, the deal-hungry mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox, spectacular throughout the show’s run, but especially here) went from buyer to seller, negotiating a deal for control of his company, Waystar, to the upstart tech enterprise GoJo and its chief Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård).
The agreement — brokered behind the backs of his grown children — deprived them of the baton pass each has sought from the beginning, with Logan concluding that securing the company’s future was a higher priority than passing it to his not-entirely-worthy heirs.
That concluded with a confrontation between Logan and Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), discovering that their father had again outwitted, outplayed and outflanked them. He did so by turning to his ex-wife and their mother (Harriet Walter) to remove the leverage that they might possess to scuttle any deal. (Shiv described the process in characteristically colorful and crude terms.)
In hindsight, an opening sequence that involved the Roys playing a game of Monopoly, and cheating, seemed like a bit of foreshadowing, except that Logan is accustomed to doing so with real properties. His kids, born into power, simply don’t measure up, at least for now.
The final showdown left the youngest, Roman, caught in the middle, with the vague promise of a position at the newly minted company and Shiv warning him in regard to his dad, “You can’t trust him.”
That sequence followed another operatic moment as Kendall — having survived the penultimate episode’s cliffhanger, but just barely — experienced a near breakdown. He confessed to his siblings about the death for which he was at least partly responsible during the first season, which his father had covered up.
The extra-long hour also contained several memorable lines, underscoring that being laugh-out-loud funny is one of “Succession’s” secret weapons. That included Willa (Justine Lupe) belatedly agreeing to marry the eldest Roy kid (Alan Ruck) not by saying “yes” to his proposal but rather, “How bad could it be?”
The answer probably won’t be pretty, but if the first three seasons are any guide, it will be pretty near irresistible.