Get lost. That’s it… Inheritance is over. In Waystar Royco’s battle royale, GoJo wins and we all choke on a big slice of Tomelette. It’s the conclusion that few of us foresaw, with business alliances, shifting sibling rivalries and strategic bids for Empire in Jesse Armstrong’s HBO’s Stonehenge in flux.
Nepo’s final episode follows Roman’s disastrous coffinside collapse, King Lear’s funeral (with Logan Swinger in the front row), and Baby Monopoly is trending . Our potential successors take a quick Caribbean jaunt, like the opening scene of a Bond movie, and while we crave high-speed car chases or laser watches, their mother, Lady Caroline — a master of passive aggression — — all the way to a Bond villain. After a clash in the ocean, the siblings unite, but their three-way pact never holds fast enough to get them through an entire episode, let alone a crucial board vote. Shiv and Roman joke about murdering Kendall, then proceed to do so at the last moment—in a commercial sense, but also in an almost non-commercial sense. There are guest bathroom punches, conference room punches, and delicious cameos on cow-print sofas. Lucas “Privacy, Pussy, Spaghetti” Matsson takes the throne and Tom “Highly Interchangeable Modular Parts” Wambsgans ascends to CEO of the United States.
The ending felt completely appropriate, despite its unpredictable ending. No matter how rough or flat the terrain of Kendall’s failure, it’s been accentuated (or underlined) since the pilot’s flight to the sun. Watching him march forward with half-melted wings flapping Icarus is Succession dreadful joy.
It’s hard to say who’s the real winner. Each character still lives on the fringes of their status: wealth and privilege are forever, and only power sets them apart. Who has power now but Matsson? Shiv’s partnership with Tom – the phony divorce proceedings, the babies, the biting – is never clear cut. Roy’s sons—Kendall, Roman, even Connor—are “nobbies” (breadcrumbs) forgotten in the bag. Honestly, I wonder if Greg still has that sticker on his face? All of them have the shrewdness and cunning to succeed Logan if they work together. But each of them is too selfish, too distrustful and untrustworthy, too ravaged by their own wealth and an unsympathetic childhood. Who is Roy’s child if not the sponge of pain, soaking up cruel ambition and soaking in ruthlessness? When trust is trivial, when everything is a game or a successful endeavor, betrayal is the only currency left. When sincerity dies, betrayal is the only trump card. That was the card Tom played to win.