Succession review: Why the five-star finale should go down as one of TV's greatest
Maybe, given his roots by the Tay, he could have roared some fiery McGonagall at his feckless progeny. Or ranted like Dundee United autocrat Jim McLean. Or paraphrased Dundonian popsters the Associates: “Alive and kicking at the f*****g country club!”
But the Waystar supremo did not rise again. In the last-ever Succession, Shiv, Kendall and Roman were going to have to work it out by themselves. The future of the media empire - and Succession’s position in the roll-call of TV’s all-time greatest dramas - were in their hands.
The endgame with GoJo lurking for takeover was variously described as “the family deathmarch”, a “f*****g scorpion party” and “the incredible f***-brothers bandwagon”. But Shiv was in there. She was right in there - having long ago anticipated the camel tone craze in power-fashion and seemingly set up to be Matsson’s CEO - and then suddenly she wasn’t. “He played you like a big fiddle, like a pregnant cello,” consoled Roman.
Roman himself - who throughout had hissed a million insults so quietly that the action had to be stopped and rewound, only last week at the funeral he was lost for words - continued to blub at regular intervals.
Even Kendall cried when the “troika” happened across home-movie footage of the old bugger at dinner, demanding party-pieces and singing songs. Kendall had maintained a pall-bearer’s gait and demeanour for four brilliant seasons but in the finale, a change. “Bitch, you can smile!” exclaimed Roman. “Look at these goddamn teeth!” The Succession siblings were bonding at Mum’s, the closest they’d ever been, as Roman and Shiv whipped up a smoothie for their brother - sprouts, skimmed milk, “wartime pickle” and the oleaginous Peter’s “special cheese” - for the man who would be king.
Kendall went for a midnight swim, confident there were no sharks in the water. “They commute,” warned Roman. “In case you didn’t know, all the seas are connected.”
All the boardrooms, too, for as Shiv predicted a “very explosive megaf**k” with their united front blocking GoJo’s bid, suddenly Tom bared his goddamn teeth. Who thought he had it in him? Who thought Matsson would think he had it in him? And who thought Greg would acquire sufficient leverage to ever declare: “I’m in the centre of the f*****g’ universe with knowledge to take down solar systems.”
And then came a fight between Tom and Greg, the two least fighty men on TV. And then came a fight between Roman and Kendall, Shiv having changed her mind and telling big brother: “I love you but I can’t f*****g stomach you!”
In the closing scenes Shiv could barely hold Tom’s hand, Roman enjoyed a drink and Kendall walked back down to the sea. The latter feared the world would be “sluggish and grey” without Dad. Post-Succession, the same could be said of TV.
In the final reckoning I place the show above Mad Men and Breaking Bad but just below The Sopranos and The Wire. And who reckoned it would end like this? What’s that Logan, you “f*****g knew it”?
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