‘Succession’ starts to land the plane: are we ready for the end? (spoilers)

SPOILERS for last night’s Succession, “Church & State”

It’s beyond weird to watch the final seasons of Ted Lasso and Succession concurrently. While the two shows have next to no similarities, both shows are generally considered to be two of the best shows of the past decade, with sharp writing and great performances. Only Ted Lasso’s final season has been awash in crappy storylines and uneven plots and characterization. Meanwhile, Succession is coming for all of the Emmys this year.

Last night’s episode, “Church & State,” was the penultimate episode of the series. The final season of Succession has been a compacted timeline (within the story) of less than a month – Logan Roy died on a plane about a week before the presidential election, and Logan’s death was episode 3. On episode 9, they finally held his funeral, the day after the presidential election. While the whole season has been full of tour-de-force performances, the three central “Roy kids” (Shiv, Roman and Kendall) have had the most to do and they’re all worthy of Emmys. I have literally no idea how Emmy voters are going to choose between Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong for Best Actor, honestly.

Anyway, I didn’t want to do a full review, I just wanted to give people a chance to talk about how f–king brutal and amazing this episode was and how great it is that Jesse Armstrong knows how to land the plane. Ewan Roy – played brilliantly by James Cromwell – deserves everything too, and I loved the part with Marcia, Caroline and the two mistresses in the front row. Roman breaking down by the coffin, Shiv’s stupid eulogy… good stuff. Am I the only one blown away by the subtlety of Alex Skarsgard’s performance? Like, Alex is giving one of the best performances of his career, and you can tell he’s just delighted to be part of this show.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the finale, but I’m rooting for “everyone gangs up against the Roys, the Swede gets Waystar Royco, and the kids end up completely estranged.” While I’m blown away by Kieran’s performance as Roman, let’s get one thing straight: Roman is not a good guy. He’s just not. None of them are. They are all terrible people and they all deserve what’s coming to them.

Photos courtesy of HBO/Succession.

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39 Responses to “‘Succession’ starts to land the plane: are we ready for the end? (spoilers)”

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  1. Alice says:

    Stewy was there and they cut him out and I’m furious about it.

    But yeah succession is giving a master class in how to execute a final season.

  2. Southern Fried says:

    Another masterpiece episode. I’ll definitely miss this series. I’d like to see the smug Swede go down in flames along with Shiv. He never intended to reward her with a thing. He’d have probably picked Greg as US CEO ffs. Uncle’s speech was surprising, everyone including us watching holding their breath. Tom is over Shiv but she wants him still. Gerri should get Waystar although in real life the corp should collapse into a smoldering heap. I could go on and on but I need to watch it again.

  3. Inge says:

    I actually like the last season of Ted Lasso the Amsterdam episode was fantastic.

    • Scarlett says:

      I keep reading about how the last season of Ted Lasso is bad and I keep wondering if everyone is watching the same show as me. I absolutely love the last season, Amsterdam episode was perfection, Jamie’s growth, Keely, Roy, Trent/Colin storyline, this is one of my favorite seasons, the writing is just beautiful!
      I am worried the show will end on a sad note, with Ted’s mental health coming into play ( his dad….), not sure why but it is a strong feeling I have and I hope I am wrong.

      • MaryContrary says:

        I think he’s actually done a lot of work and seems much more engaged with his feelings-like when he told Michelle he was not happy about finding out from their son that she was dating their marriage counselor. (Ick.) I think they’re leading up to him going back to the US, to his kid-and I think they’re going to have him reunite with Michelle. They were alluding to her relationship with Dr. Jake waning, and she seemed to “get” Ted’s jokes when they were dropping off Henry, and appreciate how much more connected to his feelings he’s gotten.

      • Snappyfish says:

        NO to Ted & Michelle. They’re divorced. I think his call to her was just to reassure everyone that they would coparent Henry well. If you go back to season two it’s clear when Ted is speaking to Beard that Michelle and Dr. Jacob were doing it while he was counseling Michelle and Ted. (he explains to Beard The reason he had an issue with Dr. Sharon is that while he & his wife are in marriage counseling it was really just the counselor & Michelle telling him all the things he was doing wrong, that’s a pretty big indication that some thing unprofessional was going on between Michelle and their counselor) I for one hope he stays in England. What a lovely way to grow up between the UK & America for Henry. I actually like this season of Ted Lasso very much. I’m sad it’s almost over. But no matter what Nate is dead to me although the lavender was a nice touch.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I’m with you. I also feel like they’re bringing the characters around to where they need to be.

  4. Haus of Cats says:

    I gave up on Ted Lasso after Last season. I will miss deeply miss Succession.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Same. I’m kind of rooting for Kendall to be King. These kids are all terrible people but they are also all terribly abused people, trapped in their individual and collective trauma. Brilliant show—writing, cinematography and every single performance A+++ ♥️

  5. Lucy2 says:

    I just caught up on this season of Succession, it is so good! Time has move very slowly episode to episode, but it’s so gripping I can’t look away.

  6. Onemoretime says:

    Yes they are all bad people but I can’t help root for my number one boy Kendall. None of the kids are ready to take over after Logan, whom I blame for their failures. He & their mother did a lot of emotional damage to those kids. Connor got the jackpot by not being raised by Logan.
    I will miss some others not so much ( cousin Greg looking at you)!
    Jess quitting was surprising but satisfying, I love her and she deserves better. Kendall get a gripe she deserves to be free from the Roy chaos.

    • VegasSchmegas says:

      If Kieran Culkin doesn’t win the Emmy, there is no justice! After this last episode, amazing! His grief was palpable.

      • Tacky says:

        IDK, I needed smelling salts after Mathew MacFadyen’s Tom told Shiv what he really thinks.

  7. MaryContrary says:

    The show does such an amazing job of illustrating how they came to be the horrible way they are: from Logan’s traumas as a child finally stated by his brother, to what absolute shit parents both he and Lady Caroline were (and continue to be in her case)-just such great writing. And omg the acting.

    • Tacky says:

      But the nut of the show is that Logan really does love his children and really does want them to fill his shoes, he just too damaged himself to teach them. It’s truly a Greek tragedy.

      • MaryContrary says:

        Absolutely. And the dysfunction continues-Kendall loves his children too but is a terrible father, and Shiv is already (half joking but half not) of dumping her baby to run Waystar for Mattson.

  8. Truthiness says:

    I want a spinoff series where Jess and Ebba start their own damn company.

  9. Harper says:

    I can’t cope with the fact that next week is the end. I love these characters so much, even though they are not nice humans and they would not be people I could be close to in real life. And for a show filled with business mumbo jumbo that I don’t get, there is a magic here that is very very special.

    That said, last night’s episode was the biggest miss of a portrayal of a Catholic funeral I ever saw in my life. They should’ve staged all those scheming conversations at the funeral home during the wake/visitation. That would have been more true to life.

    • Ula1010 says:

      OMG, yes. Scheming around a chorus of Hail Marys.

    • Truthiness says:

      My Catholic family always had open coffins during the wake. So there’s never any doubt who is in the coffin and that they’re really dead. So, no Roman meltdown desperately wanting to doubt that Logan’s in the box, but on the other hand I wish I’d never seen my grandmother kiss my grandfather’s corpse straight on the lips before they closed it up. We’d needed 3 days of wake to accomodate all the people (10 limos just for family) so that was an old corpse. No mistresses dared enter either, my dad and uncles knew who they were and would have carried them out. A Catholic matriarch widow gets her due.

    • outoftheshadows says:

      I couldn’t even tell if it was Catholic or Church of England.

  10. honeychild says:

    Loved last night’s ep! The wives and mistresses row was a moment. And, Ewan brought it with his eulogy. He was fair and told the truth. Ken and Shiv’s speeches were awkward, meaningless word salads, imo. No I love yous, just dad was a force and a misogynist. Just a mess.

    My dream ending: Jimenez ends up winning the election, cuz I can’t let the fictitious version of TFG win even on a HBO series. Maybe Kendall sets that in motion by having ATN take back calling the election for him since it looks like he is leaning towards Mattson anyway. Shiv becomes CEO, but she and Tom decide to divorce, cuz he just annoys me. Shiv’s no angel (at all, not even close) but she is the lesser evil of the tribe. Low bar I know. LOL

    • honeychild says:

      One more thing to add to the wish list, ATN becomes worthless after the election debacle and it is dissolved.

    • TIFFANY says:

      I don’t see Shiv being CEO of nothing. As Reta said in season 2, she is not as smart as she thinks she is.

    • Glamarazzi says:

      Oh Jimenez is winning that election! Both Shiv & KenRom based their path to taking the WayStar CEO slot on Mencken winning – he HADN’T won on election night, KenRom just called it for him because he made them empty promises. Now he’ll lose, all 3 kids will be punted by the Swede when he takes over, and Gerri will become CEO.

      • honeychild says:

        I am totally cool with Gerri for CEO. In fact, let me change my dream prediction. The Swede takes over and Gerri, for CEO. I agree Shiv isn’t the smartest but the boys are not that bright to me either. Maybe they have a spreadsheet talent we haven’t seen yet. But strategically, the siblings pretty much are equally clueless, it’s just that Shiv and Ken can give a decent speech. Roman’s just a borderline sociopath.

  11. TIFFANY says:

    I just can’t imagine James Cromwell not winning guest performance Emmy this year. That speech and his look at Kendall afterwards reminds us why he is one of the best character actors working.

    That funeral was just brutal but boy, did I love Caroline and Peter for lightening it up. Just great comic relief and the right level of uncomfortable.

    Emmy noms go be tight. Kieran is gonna have to go supporting ( Brian already said he is submitting for lead and he will be going up against Jeremy) and he will be against Matthew and Alex. That is gonna be the one to watch out for during award season.

    I think Sarah is a lock, whether it is lead or supporting

    • Eating Popcorn says:

      James Cromwell was amazing! The performances are all so good, even the little lines (Lupe, ‘it’s formally inventive’) are delivered with perfection.

  12. Kate says:

    Skarsgard’s performance has been A++. Weirdly I’ve never found him all that attractive until Succession. Now I get it!

    • TIFFANY says:

      He is really at his best when he is playing the absolute worst people.

      • TwinFalls says:

        Same! It’s so weird because the characters are repulsive and he’s so magnetic in the roles.

    • Isabella says:

      I loved the way he was all cleaned up for the funeral. Even his teeth looked all sparkly. I think he respected Logan in a weird way.

  13. Lara says:

    Sarah Snook has been phenomenal this season. Hope she wins all the awards. And Matthew in supporting category.

    • Truthiness says:

      Agreed. Brian Fox’s role was moved to Lead actor so there won’t be a split vote. After Tom & Shiv’s version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf out on the balcony he seems like he’s a lock. Jesse Armstrong too, for writing.

  14. Franklin B says:

    Ewan Roy’s speech was incredible. Moving & honest.
    Roman’s attempted eulogy broke my heart, he’s my pick for Emmy win (whichever category he ends up being in).
    Broken people, have broken children, and the cycle continues.