What the ‘Succession’ Finale Ending Means for Season 3

Spoiler Alert
Graeme Hunter/HBO

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 10, of Succession, “This Is Not for Tears”]

Drama with the Roys was at an all-time high in the Season 2 finale of HBO’s Succession as the future of Waystar Royco remained in the balance.

The episode served as a big, hour-long game of “not it” as the family and their company cohorts tried to decide on who would be the fall-guy for the company’s crimes. After a tense yacht-set getaway wanes, a twisted blood sacrifice was made when Logan (Brian Cox) canned one of his own.

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The jockeying for favor can be devastating, but also horribly amusing.

Kendall (Jeremy Strong) served as the sacrificial lamb as Logan threw his power around and made Roman (Kieran Culkin) acting COO of Waystar Royco. It was agreed that Kendall would make a statement admitting guilt in covering up crooked activities within the empire, but the show offered one big sharp turn at the end.

The decision was made privately between father and son, and when Ken told his father he was OK with taking the fall, one gesture could have tipped viewers off to the ultimate ending. In what can only be described as a “Fredo Kiss” reminiscent of the one Al Pacino gives John Cazale in The Godfather Part II, Ken gives his father a peck on the cheek.

(Credit: HBO)

The symbolism suggests that Logan’s about to die as Fredo did in the classic film. Moments prior, Logan had told his son that he wasn’t a killer and in order to be head honcho, you need to be a killer. Perhaps he was wrong about Ken, who returns to New York to provide a statement, admitting guilt for all of Waystar Royco’s wrongdoing.

But when he gets to the table, Ken doesn’t roll over and die, he bites back 10 times harder and throws his father under the bus. The turn takes place when the statement introduces a “but” and leads into, “The truth is that my father is a malignant presence, a bully and a liar, and he was fully personally aware of these events for many years to hide and cover up.”

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Ken may as well be asking “who’s the killer now, dad?” So what will this mean for the Roy family moving forward? It’s tough to say, but one thing is for sure, when Season 3 returns Logan is likely to be in a lot of trouble.

As for Roman and Shiv (Sarah Snook) their roles in their father’s dealings could also come under scrutiny for their complicity, but we won’t know until the show returns.

Some other interesting plotlines were set up towards the end as well, in particular with Shiv and Tom’s marriage as he revealed his discomfort and anger over her reveal on their wedding night that she wanted an open relationship.

(Credit: HBO)

Also, now that Ken is sabotaging his father, does that mean he’ll be clear of any guilt? It’s hard to imagine that he’d be completely free once the dust settles on his damaging reveal.

In terms of what’s to come and who will take power, Cox told Deadline “It’s all up for grabs.” No decisions for Season 3 have been made as the show won’t begin filming until next spring. Until then, let us know what you thought of the cutthroat finale in the comments below.

Succession, Seasons 1 and 2, available on HBO Now, On Demand, HBO Go