Succession Season 2 closed out with a bang this past Sunday evening. Kendall Roy, played by Jeremy Strong, held a shockingly revealing press conference about his father’s errors in judgment as CEO of Waystar Royco. Then, the finale ended abruptly on a closeup of Logan Roy, who is played by Brian Cox, with a cryptic look on his face. (Caution: spoilers for Succession Season 2 ahead).
Was it a smirk? A look of pride? Of anger? Some Succession viewers disagreed over the significance of that final shot.
Viewers clash over meaning of ‘Succession’ season finale
On the recap podcast The Sweet Smell of Succession, hosts David Chen and Tara Ariano disagreed on what Logan’s face conveyed in that last closeup. Ariano assumed his smirk meant this was all a master plan originally concocted by the target of the press conference himself: Logan.
“Don’t you think the point of this is that [Logan and Kendall] planned it?” Ariano opined. “I think this is some kind of 9-D chess where Logan wanted to get out, he wanted to protect Kendall.”
Chen, however, took the opinion that it was a son taking vicious revenge against his father.
“100% disagree,” he said. “I think it was … Kendall surprising Logan.” Chen argues that Logan tells his son he’s “not a killer,” so Kendall responds, “‘I’m gonna show you that I am.’”
David Chen also thought Logan’s subtle smile at the end of the episode was actually a sign of respect for Kendall’s dastardly move.
“In the history of the show, we’ve consistently seen that the only … thing these people respect is power, and to some degree, treachery,” Chen said, reminding us of the hilarious scene earlier this season where “Tom congratulates Greg when he blackmails him.”
There is also some pride involved, Chen argued. Logan has “been trying to train [Kendall] to be this person his whole life … it may be at [Logan’s] expense, but he’s done it.”
Actor who plays Logan Roy breaks down the season 2 finale smirk
Brian Cox told the Los Angeles Times the second season finale “couldn’t have been a better finish.”
So what was behind that incredible last look?
An early scene in the finale episode, titled “This is Not for Tears,” might be the clue to it all: one of Waystar-Royco’s shareholders tells Logan he should be the one to step down amid the cruise scandal.
Cox says the “key” to his mysterious mug is that his character Logan “is a realist. He understands the reality of certain things and how it all shapes up.” Logan understands what a tricky a spot he’s in, and knows it will take extreme measures to keep a hold on his power.
“The smirk in the final shot,” he explains, is “a look of triumph and disaster.”
And yes, the press conference is an absolute catastrophe for Logan’s reputation. Kendall accuses his own father of being a “malignant presence, a bully and a liar.” He also announces that Logan knew the details of the cruise scandal, and would have signed off on any documents regarding hush money.
“This is the day his reign ends,” Kendall says ominously.
But where is Logan’s wife?
The Sweet Smell of Succession podcast host Tara Ariano still wondered where Logan’s wife Marcia ended up in this season finale, remarking that we haven’t seen her in several episodes.
“I wonder … about the Marcia of it all,” she said. Tariano reminded her co-host David Chen that Marcia was the one who “wanted [Logan] to sell [Waystar-Royco] in the premiere.”
Ariano believed Logan was just plotting how to get out the mess in the long run. Yes, Logan takes the blame from Kendall’s accusations, she admitted, but that’s “depending on what papers they have,” reminding listeners that the Roys control a big chunk of the media.
“I guess [your theory] does make more sense,” she conceded to Chen eventually. Still, she hinged her argument on that final shot: “Logan’s reaction,” she said, was “completely unsurprised.”
Chen contended, “I think he’s just impressed … Kendall betrays his father, and his father respects it.”
What does this mean for ‘Succession’ Season 3?
We will have to wait until Succession‘s third season premieres to see how Logan responds to his son’s bold press conference claims. But since Shiv and Kendall seem to be out of the picture for the top spot at the family company (and let’s be honest, Connor has never really been in the running), some fans think Season 3 will revolve around Roman’s path to the throne.
Brian Cox confirmed: season 2’s events have Logan thinking more highly of Roman, and perhaps season 3 could dive into Roman’s story line.
“I think that’s something that will emerge even more in the next season,” Cox predicted.
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