From Logan’s stroke, Kendal’s crash, Boar on the Floor to the nail-biting cliffhanger Jackson Maher recaps the key points of Succession to refresh your memory before the third season.
It’s been almost two years since we last saw Succession on our TV screens. The world has changed a lot since then, as I’m sure you know, but perhaps no show has been as eagerly awaited by the TV Illuminati (with honourable mentions to Better Call Saul and Atlanta). Regardless, you’d be forgiven if you’d forgotten about what exactly happened in the show. Some of that is the time that’s passed, but some of it is by design—this show is filled with liars!
So, let’s recap.
The show follows the political intrigue of the obscenely wealthy Roy family, owners of one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, Waystar Royco. At the start of the series, the family is preparing for its patriarch Logan to step down as CEO and hand the reins over to his son Kendall. Logan pulls the ol’ switcheroo on Kendall though and decides to stay on, and tries to bring his other children Roman and Shiv into the fold. Mid-negotiation, he suffers a stroke.
The chaos caused by Logan’s health scare and recovery drives Kendall to make a number of risky business moves to save the company, including taking investment from his friend Stewy, who is merely a puppet of Logan’s arch-nemesis in business, Sandy.
Meanwhile, Roman takes over as COO while Shiv joins the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders look-alike Gil Eaves. Shiv’s fiance Tom takes over the Cruises division of Waystar and is met with troubling news about a vast coverup of negligence and crimes. What kind of crimes? Theft, sexual assault, rape, murder, you know, the bad ones.
Tom enlists Cousin Greg, a newcomer to the family’s inner circle, to destroy the evidence, but unbeknownst to Tom, Greg keeps some of the records for himself. A still very-much-recovering Logan returns to the company, and Kendall moves for a vote of no-confidence. Kendall gets stuck in traffic and the vote falls apart, removing Kendall from the company and throwing him back into the throes of substance abuse. He decides to throw his lot in with Sandy and Stewy and commit to a hostile takeover of Waystar but, at Shiv’s wedding to Tom, he crashes his car into a pond while trying to score drugs, killing the passenger. Logan finds out and blackmails Kendall back into the family.
The second season picks up just a few days later. Kendall’s rehab is cut short so that he can submarine Sandy and Stewy’s takeover bid before the entire family gathers in the Hamptons to discuss whether they should fight the takeover or sell Waystar and get out while they can. Roman and Shiv both pitch Logan on different views for the company and Logan offers Shiv the position of successor and future CEO, so long as she leaves the Eaves campaign.
Kendall commits himself to his father’s will, doing anything and everything he asks for, from taking over his medications to gutting a subsidiary company named Vaulter because his dad told him to.
Logan moves to acquire rival Pierce Media in order to become too big to buy for Sandy and Stewy, but news of the acquisition gets out and he searches for the leak by playing a friendly game of Boar on the Floor.
Tom is named head of ATN (the in-universe Fox News) and is put in charge of addressing the network’s public relations nightmare ahead of the Pierce deal. Apparently, their star anchor is something of a Nazi.
Meanwhile, Logan and Kendall bring in Rhea Jarrell, the CEO of Pierce, to negotiate an acquisition. Rhea heads to leave but a shooting in the building keeps her in a safe room with them, and Shiv joins the negotiation, getting a soft yes from Rhea.
In the less glamorous safe room, Tom and Greg stay hydrated before Greg blackmails Tom with the records he kept back during the coverup. Kendall tells Shiv he is definitely not going to be the future CEO and just hopes that she will keep him in the fold when she takes over.
The Roys meet with the Pierce family and nearly submarine the deal because the Roys are human garbage. Shiv tells everyone that she is the successor, which goes over very poorly and just about guarantees that she won’t be.
The Pierce deal looks like it’s on the one-yard line before the scandal about the cruises goes public. The Pierce family distances themselves and the family prepares themselves for the media and congressional firestorm that the scandal will bring by trying to name Rhea CEO and make her the face of the problem. If only she could have also taken the fall for the massive scandal that is Kendall’s rapping.
After Rhea drops out as CEO, and Tom and Greg have terrible congressional testimonies respectively, Logan sends Roman to secure investment that would bring the company private. He gets close to Eduard an Azerbaijani billionaire, but that deal falls apart too when Roman becomes a hostage in a totally different kind of hostile takeover in Turkey.
It becomes clear that the Roy family is in need of a “blood sacrifice.” The company needs someone juicy enough to take the fall for the scandal and take the blame for the family. While many names are bandied about, Logan and Shiv decide that the only person they can spare is Kendall.
Logan tells Kendall about his decision and Kendall asks him if he was ever seriously in contention to take the CEO position. Logan reluctantly tells him no, because “you have to be a killer.”
While Kendall prepares to take the responsibility for both this scandal and the death of the man he killed, he flies to a press conference with Greg, who still has some of the records from the document destruction. Kendall pivots, and in the final scene of the season, he publicly blames Logan, becoming the killer Logan always doubted.
Hopefully, that will get you up to speed before the highly anticipated third season which arrives on Monday 18th October on Sky Atlantic and NOW.