Succession Season 4, Episode 7 Recap

After tonight’s episode of Succession, we only have three more weeks until the series ends. Like me, you’re likely asking yourself what you even even want to happen by the time Succession wraps its final episode—let alone how it will actually end. We got a taste of what, ultimately could lead to each character’s downfall last episode. Honestly, it’s still anyone’s game, which is both very exciting and incredibly worrisome. So much is riding on how series creator Jesse Armstrong pulls off the ending of Succession. An unsatisfying conclusion, at least in the minds of the show’s fans, could dampen the legacy of one of the most popular HBO series of the last decade. Just ask Game of Thrones.

As we get closer to the end, the Roy siblings can taste it so badly that they’re going mental. Kendall (Jeremy Strong) opens the episode by stating that his racist news organization is “making the world safe.” Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) continue to be incredibly toxic both together and apart, and Roman (Kieran Culkin) is threatening to fire anyone who challenges his authority. Hell, even Connor’s (Alan Ruck) presidential campaign is up from 1% to 6%. Con-heads unite! At least we get Connor back this week—we haven’t seen the man since his appearance in the wedding episode. “I’m jumping on the digital battle bus,” he tells us before quickly departing a lunch with his siblings.

This week, Greg (Nicholas Braun) is the most disheartening Roy family member to see standing on the precipice of complete collapse. Once a shining, bumbling knight, he’s now a Roy through and through. Early in this week’s episode, Tom makes Greg tells 100 employees that they’ve been let go over Zoom. Greg is also sitting in an ominous dark room, for some inexplicable reason. But The Legend of Cousin Greg—where an innocent boy rises from theme park mascot to ATN executive—hasn’t been the thrill ride Succession promised back in Season One. It seems like Succession has completely moved away from the possibility of a happy ending for Greg. He’s now just as complicit in WayStar’s worst controversies as anyone else.

But the prime Roy siblings aren’t done being conniving assholes either. The company asks Roman to try to convince his eldest brother to drop out of the presidential race at the election party, but Connor won’t budge. “Everyone in this room thinks you’re a fucking joke,” Roman tells him. Rude! Then, Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) arrives. Gang’s all here. As we learned back in Episode Five, Matsson is simply the worst—so he’s likely to fuck things up all on his own. He also has Shiv playing both sides, and she wants a significant role post-buyout should the GoJo deal actually go through. Not a single one of her double-crossings has ever actually worked on Succession before, though, so I’m imagining that whatever happens somehow cuts her out once again.

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My hunch is immediately paid off Matsson’s communications director blabs to Kendall and Roman that his “numbers are fucky.” (As Kendall so memorably puts it.) “There’s a little issue we’re looking into with subscriber numbers,” the GoJo CEO tells Shiv when she interrogates him about it. “We discovered a metrics error that overstated our subs in India… like if there were two Indias it would make sense.” The deal for GoJo to buy WayStar has now become mostly illegal in the eyes of the SCC and the DOJ. If it somehow goes through, everyone is fucked. But our main characters are way more concerned with their own, selfish problems to even really care tonight. In what feels like their worst fight yet, Shiv and Tom engage in some incredibly mean yelling at each other. Meanwhile, Roman can’t earn Gerri’s forgiveness, and Kendall plots a way to go “reverse viking” by having WayStar buy GoJo without his siblings’ involvement.

It’s all… incredibly sad. Earlier this season, I saw a potentially righteous path for just about every character. The Roy siblings were finally realizing that becoming their father would mark their destruction, but now, they’re soldiering on anyway. Redemption may still be in the cards, but I don’t think anyone can do the necessary work to get there in just three episodes. The question now may not bewho succeeds—since that’s pretty much already happened—but who walks away from the final episode a little bit less of an awful person than everyone else. Personally, I don’t care who runs the company, or if this business deal goes through. It’s not real, of course. But if I’m invested for the characters, I’d love to see them grow and become something they weren’t in Season One, Episode One. These poor souls either need to finally be at peace, or absolutely punished for their sins. Take your pick, readers—because we’re (hopefully) getting one or the other very soon.

Assistant Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an Assistant Editor at Esquire, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day. His past work can be found at Spin, CBR, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.

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