‘Succession’ Finale: The Spirit of Logan Roy Looms Large as the Intergenerational Drama Comes to a Shocking Close


Actor Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in the series finale of 'Succession' — which delivered the familial fights and plot twists that fans have come to expect. Photo: Courtesy of HBO

This story contains spoilers for the Succession series finale. 

“Nothing is a line. Everything, everywhere is always moving. Forever. Get used to it.”

It’s not the most memorable quote from Logan Roy, the foul-mouthed media baron and Roy family patriarch on Succession. After all, it’s devoid of f-bombs, c-bombs, sexual metaphor and, well, more f-bombs. 

But it’s a quote that, in hindsight, proved most prescient during the Succession series finale Sunday night — an episode in which, despite his death earlier in the season, the spirit of Logan Roy loomed large.

Logan (played by Brian Cox, 76) uttered the above quote to his daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) in the fourth episode of the third season, when she learned that her newly minted President of Domestic Operations title wouldn’t grant her the power to avoid the slings and arrows of those who working beneath her. She complained that there was a line that couldn’t be crossed to which Logan responded, “Nothing is a line. Everything, everywhere is always moving. Forever. Get used to it.”

Fast forward to the series finale, where Roy siblings Shiv, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) confidently enter the boardroom for a final vote on the sale of their family empire, Waystar Royco, to tech company GoJo. The Roys know they have the numbers to secure the vote, and the empire, for themselves … until they don’t. Because everything, everywhere is always moving.

Shiv, who represents the tie-breaking vote in a six-to-six draw, bails on the boardroom and, eventually, the sibling alliance, when she reconsiders and votes in favour of the sale. The vote crushes Kendall — heir to the Waystar Royco throne — while setting Roman free from the shackles of corporate expectations. 

Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook as Tom and Shiv in the final episode of ‘Succession.’ The couple began a tenuous reconciliation — as evidenced by their hand-on-hand “embrace” — following Tom’s emergence over Shiv as Waystar Royco CEO. Photo: Courtesy of HBO.


Shiv, meanwhile, winds up back with ex-husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen, 48), who is anointed the new Waystar Royco CEO mere hours after the couple had a heated blowout over the revelation that he’d usurped his ex-wife for the position. Reunited in the back of a car, hand tenuously on top of hand rather than hand in hand, their positions have reversed from where they stood at the beginning of the series. Now, Tom is the one with the power and Shiv is the partner hoping to carve a niche for herself within a corporate structure that doesn’t view her in the highest regard.   


Family, Murder and a Foreshadowing Scottish Ballad


Meanwhile, earlier in the episode, the Roy siblings watch a video of their father, Logan, at a dinner with members of the company and oldest brother Connor (Alan Ruck, 66). They watch as Logan displays a tenderness and joyousness with his guests that he’s never shared with his own children, fawning over a rendition of the Robert Burns ballad “Green Grow The Rashes, O” performed by Waystar Royco CFO Karl Muller (David Rasche, 78). 

The ballad itself holds a warning for the Roy children in the line, “The war’ly race may riches chase, An’ riches still may fly them, O; An’ tho’ at last they catch them fast, Their hearts can ne’er enjoy them, O.” 


L-R: Willa (Justine Lupe), Connor (Alan Ruck), Shiv (Sarah Snook), Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) watch a video of Logan Roy enjoying a tender moment at a dinner party in the series finale of Succession. The video included a Scottish ballad that seemed to foretell the Roy children’s downfall. Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO


The ballad is of Scottish origin, like Logan himself, and in the video the patriarch remarks, “He’s murdering it” in praise of Karl’s rendition, before joining in the singing himself. It’s one of the numerous mentions of murder made in front of, or directly to, Kendall, who ultimately sees his life’s ambition to become company CEO thwarted by his prior revelation to his siblings that he played a part in the death of a caterer at Shiv’s wedding early in the series. 


The Spirit of Logan Roy 


Elsewhere in the episode, Roman has a breakdown after agreeing to let Kendall be the company CEO. He cries in his older brother’s arms, wondering aloud why he never achieved the top position. As Kendall attempts to console him, he hugs him so hard that he pops the stitches on Roman’s brow — an act that Variety described as “a moment of abuse-as-love that Logan himself would’ve appreciated.” 

As well, the Daily Beast observed that Tom’s demeanour as he enters the boardroom area, following news of his succession to CEO, “feels so Logan Roy, and yet, feels uniquely his. His entrance, triumphing over all, reads the same way as the footage of Logan in the show’s opening title sequence — in that thick cable knit sweater, shot from behind as he reads some sort of paperwork. Tom is front and centre.”

And then, of course, there’s the shot of Kendall at the close of both the episode and the series, walking near the Hudson River, alone with his grief over being abandoned by his siblings Shiv and Roman in his quest to become CEO. 

Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) stares at the Hudson River while trailed by Colin (Scott Nicholson), his father’s former bodyguard, in the final scene of the final episode of Succession. Photo: Courtesy of HBO


He’s trailed by his father’s trusty bodyguard, Colin (Scott Nicholson), in a scene reminiscent of one from earlier in the season when Logan — abandoned by his children — bails on his own birthday party to eat at a downtown restaurant, alone but for Colin. 

Logan, of course, roared back into the corporate fight after that lonely moment, ultimately stifled in his plans only by his unexpected passing. 

For Kendall, who consistently mirrored his father’s callousness and ruthlessness throughout the series, the prospects of a rebound from this devastating blow are unknown.