Succession finale predictions: How will it end?

Cameron Frew
Kendall in the Succession finale

The Succession finale is nearly here, so these are our predictions for the biggest prestige TV event of the year: who will thrive, and what will be left of them?

Five years ago, Succession began its f*ck-off-filled, scandal-laced story. The core will-he-won’t-he tension was simple: Kendall believed – and perhaps was even told – that he was about to succeed his father, Logan Roy, and take control of Waystar Royco, much to the eye-rolling chagrin of his siblings.

As we approach the last episode, Logan may have kicked the bucket, but little has changed. Kendall still wants the crown, and he’ll slit anyone’s throat to become the king – even if it’s his own flesh and blood, and that’s before we get to Tom, Greg, Lukas Matsson, and everyone else looking for a slice of pie.

Season 4 Episode 10 is airing this weekend, and the “capacious, gargantuan” 90-minute finale will wrap up Succession for good – with open eyes to all possibilities, these are our predictions.

Succession finale predictions

We’re not saying all of our predictions will rummage to fruition. Some of them are contradictory compared to the rest of the list and there’s some outlandish theorizing, but maybe we’ll be right when the tenth episode rolls around.

Or, just like Logan with his kids, Succession will have us beat. Whatever happens, we’re just happy to have been along for the ride.

Kendall fulfills his destiny… or dies

Kendall in the water in Succession Season 4

It’s glory or nothing for Kendall: he’ll either become the “killer” his dad said he’d never be and take control of Waystar, like Michael in The Godfather, or he’ll lose everything and part ways with this world.

Kendall is somebody who wants to be good: his protectiveness of his siblings is a reflex, he aspires to be a great father (even if it’s a fleeting notion out of insecurity), and his misgivings over ATN’s maneuvering of the election were clear. Roman clearly isn’t up to the task, “Pinky can’t dance”, and he’s carefully garnered support from the top brass. He even has his own “dog” with Hugo.

He also has serious demons to contend with; a history of drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention his role in the waiter’s death in Season 1. If he got away with the latter, it’d track with the show’s themes (they can keep getting away with it). Or, if he’s exposed and ousted at the final board meeting, could the show conclude with his suicide, inevitably in a body of water; death after a rebirth?

Matsson cuts Shiv out

Shiv and Lukas Matsson in Succession Season 4 Episode 9

Shiv and Lukas Matsson have been close in Season 4 – a little too close. Their dynamic isn’t sexual or romantic, but their collusions are sprawling and dangerous – as Shiv told him at the funeral, some people think he’s just a puppet for her.

At the end of Episode 9, her future as a girlboss American CEO seemed promising. Jeryd Mencken has seemingly agreed to Matsson’s offer to win him over, placing her in a competitive position as the board meeting looms – but surely he doesn’t like being minimized in his own company? What if all the “blood brick” stuff with Ebba has been an elaborate ruse to get a Roy child on-side? Or, what seems more likely, perhaps Matsson will place his hand upon the shoulder of his own puppet and leave Shiv in the lurch after getting what he wants – after all, she may not have any leverage after giving him so much free advice.

Greg ascends and fires Tom

Tom and Greg in the Succession finale

Greg, the prodigal cousin. While Tom has floundered around Matsson and the Swedes while having shouting matches with Shiv and yawning his way through any part of life that isn’t work, Greg has been playing the game – and he’s on everyone’s team, everywhere, all at once.

He took some ribbing from Matsson when they first met, but he won him over with his crass indifference over mass layoffs at the tailgate party, and they’ve since been out socially together (drinking things that aren’t usually drinks). At the funeral, Matsson greeted him by saying, “Hey, sexy.”

If Matsson is now in bed with Mencken, here’s how it could play out: Mencken agrees to a US CEO, but doesn’t want it to be Shiv because of her political leanings, nor does he want Roman after his weakness at the funeral, and Kendall wants too much control. Matsson isn’t keen on Tom’s servile brown-nosing, so what if they duck-duck-goose their way to a frontman without any baggage… like Greg.

Also, from the trailer, we’ll see Ewan again when the board convenes – and he has voting rights. Could he pave the way for Greg to take the top job (he hates Logan’s kids, but there’s a sense of embittered attachment to his grandson)? We’d have a strong bet on what his first task would be: firing Tom.

He’s always been the Sporus to Tom’s Nero – but if he inherits majority voting rights, will he remain loyal?

Shiv and Tom take PGM

Shiv and Tom in Succession

Remember at the start of Season 4 when Shiv and her brothers snatched Pierce straight off their father’s hands, all by saying the “biggest f*cking number” – what happened to that deal?

If Matsson flanks her and kicks her to the kerb, PGM could offer a way to the top: she could leak the Swede’s dirty deeds and cause GoJo’s stock to collapse, allowing Pierce to initiate a hostile takeover… with Shiv at the top.

As for Tom, he’s got a baby on the way with Shiv and doesn’t have a place at Waystar in any future of the company. The show has planted several seeds that indicate they’ll get back together – their kid will be a disaster, or the next President of the United States.

Waystar stock plummets after election fraud

Kendall in Succession Season 4 Episode 8

How could we forget about the election? More specifically, how Kendall and Roman weaponized ATN and prematurely called Jeryd Mencken as the winner stirred up a culture war on the streets of the country.

While the whole fourth season has unfolded across a tight timeframe, if Kendall and Roman’s election fraud were leaked to the press, a black hole would consume the company’s share price. Matsson called it a “parts shop”, so what if he’s able to take the lot for pennies compared to his super-sized offer after Norway?

GoJo drinks from the poisoned chalice

Lukas Matsson and Shiv in Succession

We cannot see a path in which Matsson straight-up wins. Yes, he has the upper hand with Mencken over the CE-Bros. And yes, he’s got a powerful Roy ally on his side who’d be a convenient fit for an American CEO. But he’s also emotionally abusive, he’s been harassing his head of comms for years, and let’s not forget about those wonky numbers.

In the finale’s trailer, Matsson warns that he’s going to “cut sh*t close to the bone” and “get nasty” – we think he’ll emerge victorious from the board meeting, until Shiv or someone (Greg, in another Machiavellian stroke) airs his dirty laundry and makes his position untenable.

Roman becomes Jeryd Mencken’s dog

Jeryd Mencken and Roman in Succession

Roman is easily the biggest question mark heading into the finale. In Kendall’s eyes, he “f*cked it” with Mencken, leaving them with their pants down under a volatile POTUS. Amid unbearable grief, his brother’s disappointment, and self-loathing, he dive-bombed into a stream of protesters who hated his guts, left to walk away hunched over and in even further pain.

How the hell does he end up somewhere that’s even vaguely nice? We think the most likely option is pleading for Mencken’s help – they’ve been icky cohorts ever since they first met, and while he wasn’t impressed with his funeral meltdown, they share a bond.

Roman clearly isn’t capable of wielding power even halfway comparable to his dad’s, but if Hugo is Kendall’s dog as the new era begins, could he find sanctuary under Mencken’s west wing as a dispassionate, fascist foot soldier? Maybe he’ll van it to Macedonia and set up a moped rental, who knows?

A miserable ending

Showrunner Jesse Armstrong also wrote Peep Show, which has one of the best, bleakest conclusions of any sitcom. Whether all of our predictions come true or none of them, we’re sure of this much: it won’t be a happy ending.

Succession Season 4 Episodes 1-9 are streaming on HBO and Sky now. Episode 10 will be available to watch on May 28 in the US and May 29 in the UK. Check out our other coverage below:

Season 4 cast | Season 4 release schedule | Season 4 runtimes | Is Succession based on a real family? | What time does Succession drop? | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9