Last season a brilliant family nightmare – The Hollywood Reporter

[This article contains spoilers for Sunday’s series finale of Succession. Duh.]

It was always about biblical subjects successor.

It would always come down to the birthrights, and which Roy sibling, or possibly a father-in-law, or maybe a distant relative, would maneuver the sale of the family birthright — or rather the corporation — for somewhere between a pile of porridge and more than a billion dollars. Or a snazzy title in a thriving company. Or the symbolic promise of a social media empire.

So yes, successor was always meant to be a show about the corruption of 21st century business empires and the intricate and corrosive connection between media and politics. It was always going to be a show that we had to discuss in terms of how we live now, or rather, how we want to believe the horrible people who rule everything live now. But how long is the cultural shelf life of this show? Three months? 5 years? Until a society with a short attention span either forgets the name “Murdoch” or suppresses the name “Trump” or decides that reminding them of those things is too unbearable. Currency is ephemeral, whether it’s about relevance or money.

If that was all successor was, maybe it would be a great show, but would it be a great show? I will say no. That’s why “America Decides” was perhaps my least favorite episode of the 40-episode series successor, followed by “Whatever It Takes,” the Season 3 episode at the Future Freedom Summit. Because successor it was always about the things that were the focus of the two episodes without tell you that it was about her. These were deadly and devastating episodes, but they were over-hyped episodes. They were episodes that said, “Yes, we ARE political satire and yes, this will confirm everything you’ve ever thought or feared about Fox News and the Republican Party.” [Disclaimer: “America Decides” and “Whatever It Takes” would be the best episodes of 95 percent of the 600-ish television shows that aired in the past year.]

For me it’s the reason we’re going to talk about successor as long as we’re talking about anything in this medium – a medium that successor unconditionally claims to put poison in the ears of the American people – can be summed up in three little words: sticker perambulated circuits.

Alan Ruck’s Connor Roy was the heart and soul of the first half of this season for me and he didn’t need to be a major part of the series finale because even at 90 minutes the finale had very little room for a heart and soul. But Connor got a scene and introduced us to Sticker Perambulated Circuits, or SPCs, as Sarah Snook’s Shiv aptly abbreviates them. I bet no more than one or two people reading this comment know what it’s like to own a media empire and have to make the heartbreaking choice of running a global business or losing everything for just billions of dollars to show for this defeat. But almost everyone who reads this comment understands how to walk through the house or apartment of a loved one with stickers or sticky notes or click through an online database of pictures in a virtual world.

From where I write this I can see a wooden menorah and a carved stone loon. They’re things I once put stickers on. Perhaps you are putting stickers on a painting of someone you can no longer identify, or on a samovar that needs polishing, or on a leather-bound book collection that you are displaying.

The Roys put stickers on a presidential election, a corporation whose tendrils extend into every aspect of American life, and literally people at a pivotal moment near the end of the finale. And yes, it was Tom Wambsgans who technically put the sticker on Cousin Greg, but if there was anything to take away from the finale, it was the two-pronged claim that the Roys were/were the worst people, and Tom beat them at it their own game. Meager. Pyrrhic.

It was a requirement of successor Thinkpiece Industry anticipates that at some point over the past few months everyone who has invested in the show will be thinking about who would be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of the show. I’ve given multiple answers at various points, including Connor. I’ve never been interested. Not even for a second. The truth has always been that it wouldn’t matter who ended up at the top of the Waystar RoyCo hierarchy at the end of the finals. It was a company built on a sand foundation and backed with lies.

Feel free to cheer a little if you predicted Tom. In the PR pictures he’s standing next to Lukas Matsson and everyone came to kiss his ring, so by the end of the show he’s kind of in charge. I mean, he’s seemingly the empty suit acting as American CEO for regulatory reasons, but if you’re Tom Wambsgans, that’s the ultimate win. Will he still be in that position five weeks, five months or five minutes after the black cut? Of course not. But who cares about hypotheses? I’ll always think Tony Soprano might have died two seconds after his show’s fateful black cut, but that’s like asking the AI ​​to reproduce or invent things that happen outside of the cinematic framework. And it’s a different argument.

My real point was that Jesse Armstrong would never turn the crucial assumption into a triumph. It would always be an utterly futile triumph. What started out as a typo, I once referred to the character who would end this series on the “Throne of Irony.” Tom works. But Kendall would have worked. Lawrence Yee, who was allowed to play at least one major off-screen role in the finale after being positioned as the series’ main antagonist in the pilot, would have worked. Guess what? Almost everyone would have worked because everyone would have been terrible. Wonderfully awful.

The test has always been how we got to the throne of irony successor final passed this test with flying colours. Even as the icy series of conclusions – Roman smiled enigmatically almost into a martini – Shiv placed her hand on Tom’s in a gesture that ended The graduate Feeling lusty and romantic, Kendall stares off into the distance like he always does best – had it not been for perfection, the series of scenes in the finale, some heartbreaking and others disarmingly light, to the end would have made this finale one to remember experience made .

Pick your favorite with everything directed by Mark Mylod with an impeccably wandering look who will receive his biggest Emmy competition from Mark Mylod and Mark Mylod this fall.

It was the last heartbreaking conversation between Shiv and Tom in a season of heartbreaking conversations, with Shiv pleading, “I thought it might be worth asking: Are there any positives to the nightmare we shared?” And Tom got it right felt that her hatred of failing exams drove her more than love?

Did Lukas sit with Tom and openly tell him that he didn’t need a partner but a “pain sponge” and explained that he couldn’t make Shiv CEO because that was one of the reasons he wanted to screw her? Alexander Skarsgård has played undead bloodsuckers and dead-eyed spousal abusers, and he’s never been scarier or more gross than he is in this film successor this season. A master class in charismatic dislike.

It would be much more likely that it would be a selection from several scenes in Caroline’s house in Barbados. I wouldn’t even force you to choose between Shiv and Roman’s conversation on the beach, with everyone posing as Kendall while they’re trying to decide if they can live with Kendall as CEO, and then between the three siblings Recalling to a family ritual and preparing a meal Fit for a king. I liked that best, because when we didn’t get a callback to the key scene of The Game’s pilot, it was an equally valid reminder that for all the horrors of Roy’s childhood, they were still a family with silly rituals — including you throw everything they can find into a blender and force someone to eat it. In addition, Roman Peters was allowed to lick special cheese.

Perhaps after those scenes you actually believed that the three Roy siblings — sorry, as always, Connor — would form an uneasy alliance that would hold together long enough to fend off Lukas, scuttle the deal, and preserve the family’s birthright keep. You might have been fooled by the rush of emotion when the kids saw Logan’s video of Karl of all people singing “Green Grow the Rushes.” But you knew it wouldn’t last, no matter how spectacularly Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong and Sarah Snook managed to make you believe, or maybe even want to believe.

So your favorite scenes then had to be the ones that hurt — the ones that restored the show’s natural order, one where the smiles and laughs of the Meal Fit for a King scene congealed like, well, a Meal Fit for a King scene spiked with Shiv’s saliva.

Was it a haunted Roman staring at his imperfect reflection and the healing scars of the past week? Locust Day Graduating and then accepting a hug from his brother that was intentionally or accidentally designed to burst his stitches, both literal and spiritual? Or was it the nadir? Shiv realized she couldn’t vote for anything that would bring Kendall to power – and then, in a stone’s throw in a glass office, if not a glass house, resorted to the most powerful weapons at her disposal: secrets. The whole “manslaughter” thing didn’t work out. Kendall squirmed away. The deathblow, the spiritual fatality, came, as I said at the beginning of this lengthy commentary novel, in the form of the birthright issue.

“I’m the oldest boy!” Kendall protested and was forced to tears of an irritated, too long overlooked and underappreciated child who was promised his inheritance at The Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton. What broke him, however, was Roman’s comment about Kendall’s children, about the legitimacy of his bloodline. Kendall’s attack on Roman was the end of things. The end of Shiv’s vote. The end of his birthright. The end of the Roy Dynasty.

For now I mean. As awful as things may seem at the end of this episode for many of our protagonists, they will always be as rich as Croesus and you won’t, which is the ultimate takeaway successor. You might think that you can relate to the comic tragedy of her life, the curious process of putting stickers on things that help you remember the things and people you love, but her stickers aren’t Your stickers and their tragedy is not your tragedy .

This is a great ending to a great TV show.

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