Succession, S.3, Ep. 8: ““All the Bells Say”
Last Sunday was a strange night. The penultimate episode of Succession‘s third season ended with Kendall face-down in a pool, leading to much online speculation that the character was in fact dead. The same night, a massive profile of the actor who played him, Jeremy Strong, appeared in The New Yorker, depicting the actor as something of an obsessed weirdo, although many celebrity friends spent the next week defending him. Also that night, Strong showed up at the premiere of the movie Don’t Look Up, directed by Succession executive producer Adam McKay.
But as the season finale picked up, we see the pool, but Kendall’s not in it. It turns out he was found, fished out, went to a hospital, and is still alive, albeit in a much-diminished capacity.
His quest to destroy his father is all but over, Kendall reconnects with his siblings, admitting his role in the death of the waiter to Roman and Shiv. The three soon decide to team up, against a scheme by their father to sell the company without their involvement.
Also, it turns out it’s still the wedding weekend for Caroline — I would have guessed it was over two episodes ago — and the characters are all scheming, as they always do. For one thing, for the second time over the course of a single wedding weekend, Logan and Roman go to visit Matsson, the tech mogul who wants to buy their company.
It’s also a great episode for Alan Ruck’s Connor. First, he gets into an argument with his siblings in which he repeatedly declares “I am the oldest son,” and expresses the possibility of wanting to take over the company himself (I thought he wanted to be president?) It’s probably Ruck’s best moment since the “when a man dies it is sad” eulogy for Lester in season 2. But things get better for Connor when Willa finally accepts his marriage proposal- even as he’s left entirely out of the episode’s endgame.
And what an endgame it is- Kendall, Roman, and Shiv, after a season of sniping at each other, agree at the last minute to join forces, visit their father, and use powers granted to them in their parents’ divorce to stop any sale of the company.
They arrive where Logan is, hold together after their father attempts various divide-and-conquer moves, but then… their mother, Caroline, tells them she has agreed with her ex-husband to undo those powers. And then Tom arrives, indicating strongly that he ratted out his own wife to his father-in-law.
This sets up a hell of a dynamic for Season 4, with Tom and Shiv on opposite sides, the three main siblings locked out of power, and Logan agreeing to sell the company. But knowing this show, those dynamics will likely shift numerous times throughout the season.
– The scene with the characters playing Monopoly was a bit on the nose, but wonderful all the same.
– Another great season for the Tom/Greg relationship, with Tom having the realization that Greg is seeking to marry a royal heiress- and we all know how well that worked out for Tom.
– The four siblings all develop the theory that Logan is hoping to conceive a child with his young assistant and presumed mistress, leading to a run of one-liners unlike anything all season. I’m still laughing at “Dad’s scrambling the fighters.”
– Overall, a strong season of Succession, about equal with the first but not on the level of the second. But it nailed the landing, for sure. Thank you for reading, and hopefully, we don’t have to wait another two years for a new season.