Another season of Succession has come to a close and, yet again, Logan Roy proves that the rest of his family should truly fuck off.
The season finale of season three, an episode titled All the Bells Say, found the Roy family taking in the nuptials of the less-than-great matriarch Caroline Collingwood to Peter Munion. Still in Tuscany, the luxurious fete serves as a backdrop to the inner dealings of Waystar Royco. Logan appears to fend off a “deal” with GoJo’s Matsson, played by Alexander Skarsgard in his least sexy role to date, that would call for GoJo to take primary control over the company. Such a move would leave all Roys other than Logan at the mercy of Matsson’s vision. Obviously, the Roy children hate this because it puts a microscope on a reality none of them want to actually face: They’re all just financially leeching off of Logan and haven’t ever had to actually prove themselves in a business setting longterm. Unfortunately for them, the reality is that the DOJ is boring down hard on Waystar and the only way for them to effectively survive is to arrange a deal. Life is rough, Roys, get a helmet.
Kendall is continuing his free-fall into depression, appearing to be physically fine from what may or may not have been a suicide attempt last episode. In a moment that was arguably one of the top five of this season, he talks with his siblings Shiv and Roman about the cater waiter whose blood is on his hands and we see the trio come together in a way we haven’t seen in many, many episodes. These three banding together is a highlight of the finale for sure, but the crown jewel is the reveal at the end.
Tom Wambsgans, a man one would have guessed was merely Shiv’s husband puppet and personal doormat, emerged as perhaps the most cunning character of them all. Acting as an informant to Logan, Tom clued in the Roy patriarch to the conversations his children were having behind-the-scenes all while appearing to be Shiv’s dutiful and doting partner who merely listened to her scheming. His own scheming, quiet and calculated, has clearly been happening for the better part of the entire season and is unveiled in the last few moments of the episode. Upon Shiv, Roman, and Kendall demanding their father not give GoJo the reigns to Waystar Royco and indicating they’ll use their standing in the company to outrank him, Logan shows his cards: He’s already looped in his ex-wife, Caroline, to rejigger their divorce agreement so their children don’t have the standing in the company that they think they do. Because Tom tipped him off, Logan has the time to engineer this master plan and, yet again, the Roy children have to declare defeat while their father shouts his own version of, “game, set, match.”
Other subplots this week included Cousin Greg thinking he’s about to be Mr. Contessa aka the Duchy of Luxembourg, Gerri proving to Roman once and for all that her loyalty lies with the company and not his dick, and Willa having the most romantic response to Connor’s proposal that one can think of: “Fuck it!”
It’s going to be a long year (or more) until the next season. Ugh.
Here are our winners and losers for this entire season:
Jenna’s take: Tom is the GOAT.
Winner: TOM! I high-key love that all of Shiv’s vicious remarks and manipulative behavior with Tom Wambsgans backfired in such a momentous way. We’ve long known that Tom is willing to put up with a lot in an effort to glean some semblance of a reward. He married Shiv, with whom he seemed madly in love up until this season, and dealt with her cruelty because it meant he got the woman of his dreams in tandem with having connections to a family that would raise his social and professional standing. I didn’t expect him to be this good at the long con and I got to say: Tom’s talked about having a big dick before, but this is truly BDE in action. Anyway, everything he’s done is just further proof that being mean to your partner is shitty and will bite you in the ass!!! Don’t do it!!!!
Loser: Oh god, so many losers in this episode and this season, but I think the biggest of them all may be Shiv. Roman may not have daddy’s support anymore, but he’s got other business connections that could ultimately let him succeed. Sure, Kendall is barely surviving—emotionally, mentally, and potentially physically—but that’s been the status quo for a few episodes now and the move for him longterm seems clearly to be pulling a permanent rumspringa from the Roy clan. Connor is a moron, but somehow convinced Willa to marry him so he’s fine. Which leaves Shiv. After getting shut out by daddy and betrayed by the husband she treats about as well as the scum under her Jimmy Choos, she’s got really no one or anything in her corner.
Ashley’s take: Logan’s the only one not getting fucked.
Winner: Logan, because not only did he not get fucked the way I thought he may, but because he seems to be ending the season with a few billion dollars more to his name than he started. No jail either? His children (and minions) declawed? I really thought his hubris was going to get the best of him, but nope, he comes out on top, UTI be damned.
Honorable mention: Tom. TOM. FUCKING TOM. I cannot believe I didn’t see that betrayal coming, but I’m shook. I’m gagged. I’m STILL REELING. The siblings came together to fight dad only to get fucked by TOM. Incredible.
Loser: Um, literally every single one of the Roy children (except Connor, perhaps—Team Fuck It). I mean, okay, that moment in the finale where they came together to fight dad was brilliant, but they spent most of this season fucking each other over, and for what? For dad to just fuck them in the end. Major L. But I hope this is the beginning of a deeper bond between them next season… I won’t hold my breath, but we’ll see.
Megan’s take: Everyone still sort of loses, because they’re all bad people.
Winner: Ostensibly, the winner here is Tom, because he played his wife like a fiddle, gamed the system that he was a part of, and sold Shiv and her sibling’s little coup out to their papa. Yay, we’re all supposed to cheer for the “underdog” getting a leg up on a family that is actually evil through and through, but, uh, Tom Wambsgans is also evil? Just not as evil as the rest of the Roys, because he is a Roy by marriage and by constitution, but not by blood. Anyway, they want you think the winner is Tom, and because I sort of want this fictional man to win, I will concede. However, I can’t imagine Tom is going to “win” anything because he essentially just bought himself some time before Shiv unhinges her entire jaw and eats him whole.
Loser: These children have certainly learned by now that boundaries are useful and they could all stand to have some! All the kids lose! Losers!! Please!! Find a new line of work!
Shannon’s take: It’s the one you don’t see coming
Winner: My colleagues seem to be overlooking the true winner of this entire game and they are probably doing so because they’re misogynists and the winner of this whole shit is a woman. Caroline Collingwood, the mother of The Three (but not the eldest son) and Logan’s ex-wife not only got half of everything when she left him but in the end, she got to take almost all of it away from her children for no other reason than she simply could. She also got to enjoy a lavish wedding in Italy, is getting some fresh dick, and probably got all of the properties she wanted out of Logan while they were negotiating taking away control from the kids. And she did it all without having to get any blood on her hands or having to endure an entire public meltdown. Homegirl just had to sit through a phone call. The best part of it all is that, unlike Tom, she isn’t still married to a Roy so she can check out of this fucked up family whenever she wants and check back in as it suits her, like a winner.
Loser: I really hated Roman this season but of all the kids he probably lost the most. It was obvious that Logan never loved him, but for this brief and shining moment he was finally Daddy’s number one boy—and in the blink of an eye, it was all gone. He was probably the only one who really still had a shred of trust in his father and by the time he realized he was a loser it was too late. Honestly, seeing him on his knee asking Gerri for help was possibly the most painful few seconds of television I’ve seen in a long time. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it was burnt to the ground in less than 60 seconds!