[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the series finale of Succession, “With Open Eyes.”]
In the last episode of SuccessionHowever, the focus of the series is to narrow the action down to its triple essence, on the brink of failure or success. Turns out, the previously announced epic runtime wasn’t about giving each co-player a final big emotional goodbye: instead, it was one last chance to join Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong), as the final battle descended upon Power to a single council vote.
While the presidential election may still be unresolved (good news, wolla! Connor may not be shipped overseas for an ambassadorial position!), the board vote on the GoJo deal is just around the corner. With Shiv Mattson’s empowered maneuvering for the throne initially keeping the siblings in battle mode against each other, Shiv and Kendall’s mutual scramble for board votes brings them to Barbados, where Roman is in hiding after an unfortunate incident with protesters in the aftermath of Logan’s funeral.
When Shiv is tipped off to the fact that Mattson is going to do it no Being its CEO after all (because back in New York Tom is being offered the good fortune, albeit on the condition that Mattson wants to treat Waystar’s American CEO like a front man/”pain sponge”), devastating…and on Willingness to negotiate. An ensuing late-night bonding session in Barbados, enhanced by some really funny but random Ms. Caroline, eventually leads to the siblings reuniting over sealing the deal.
The concept that gets stuck while watching “The Babies” in Lady Caroline’s Barbados Kitchen (very impressive, how the show manages to sneak one last exotic location down the wires) is the idea that when people experience trauma at a young age, they become mentally “stuck” and / or romantically around the same age. Seeing these adults completely fall back on messy kids playing disgusting games feels like confirmation of that notion, as we’ve learned enough about Logan Roy’s parentage over the past four seasons to know how much damage he’s done to his offspring.
And that realization is key to the final panel room scenes, in which the siblings end up tearing each other apart in the final stages of a power struggle that sees Ruiz lose and Tom officially becomes Lucas Mattson’s puppet. It’s hard to pinpoint the most brutal moments: Shiv and Roman stammering about how many people Ken might have killed, Roman bringing up Logan’s less than kind opinions about Kendall’s kids, or Roman putting his entire body to defend his pregnant sister from Kendall’s physical wrath.