Succession, season 4, episode 10 recap: the grand finale twists and turns, and delivers

Roman and Shiv Roy help prepare a meal fit for a King with Kendall Roy  (HBO)
Roman and Shiv Roy help prepare a meal fit for a King with Kendall Roy (HBO)

Succession seasons 1-4 spoilers below

After nine weeks of drama, the finale is here. It’s Shiv and Matsson versus Kendall and it’s the day of the board vote that will decide whether the GoJo deal will go through.

For those on tenterhooks, fearing that episode 10 was not going to fulfil its potential, you can relax: the 90-minute final is everything we fans hoped for – and then some.

Without further ado, here’s everything that happened in episode 10.

The fight begins

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

Kendall is on the way to the Waystar Royco offices. The news show on the radio in the car sets the scene: the GoJo deal is likely to be sewn up tomorrow.

The offices are busy and Kendall is striding through the corridors, He seems apprehensive but excited. “Let’s carpe the diem, people,” he says. He and his team are talking board votes. Stewy isn’t siding with Kendall apparently, and Kendall seems put on the back foot by this.

One of Kendall’s people says that he doesn’t have the shareholders, or board numbers, to stop the deal. “I’ll get the votes,” says Kendall.

Kendall needs seven out of 13 people to win it. So far he has someone called Paul and someone called Dewi. He has Logan’s brother Ewan, and of course he has his own vote. So he is looking for three more.

Roman is nowhere to be found, but if Roman called for Kendall, Kendall would just need one more vote, assuming her managed to get Stewy back on his team. Kendall thinks he can get someone called Sonya, or Frank maybe, to side with him.

Chez Matsson

Over at Matsson’s camp, Shiv has heard that Kendall doesn’t have Stewy’s vote. Shiv is tallying up their own votes. They have Shiv, Simon, Frank, Sandy and Sandi, Diane Liu, Sonya and then potentially Stewy. So they seem to have the votes.

Matsson asks Shiv about Tom. Shiv honestly presents Tom’s pros and cons. “He’s very plausible corporate matter,” she says. “But he’s also just a highly interchangeable modular part.”

“Tom will honestly suck the biggest d**k in the room,” Shiv adds about her husband.

Shiv is called by her mum. Lady Caroline Collingwood tells her daughter that there’s someone staying with her who Shiv might want to see. It’s her brother, and not Kendall.

As she’s getting on the plane, Shiv calls Tom. They have one of their now typical conversations where they try to discuss their relationship, but say very few words and hold their cards close to their chest.

“I know that we’ve said the worst things,” says Shiv. “But once you’ve said and done the worst things… you’re kind of free.” She asks him if he could do a real relationship. Tom says that truthfully, he does not know.

Kendall calls his mum and asks about Roman. She won’t give him anything, so Kendall says he’s going down to Caroline’s house too.

Down at Caroline’s

Harriet Walker as Lady Caroline Collingwood (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Harriet Walker as Lady Caroline Collingwood (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

Shiv is the first to turn up at her mum’s gorgeous seafront mansion. Both Roman and Caroline pop out to welcome her. Roman has stitches and a cut over this eye. He looks a bit worse for wear, but he’s in a pretty good state given that he literally threw himself into a stream of angry protestors a couple of days earlier. Things could have gone a lot worse.

Kendall arrives, and starts talking business as soon as he walks into the garden where Shiv and Roman are relaxing. “Did you get your f***ing little screwdriver in on him?” asks Kendall, looking at Shiv.

Caroline comes out as the siblings are bickering, “Let’s be civil, please,” she says. The sibs start throwing accusations at each other, calling each other clowns, saying they’re f***ed. Roman says that Kendall is in a dream world and doesn’t have the votes. Shiv looks smug and bemused. She knows she’s winning here. Roman storms off. Caroline invites them all to stay for dinner.

At a Gallery in New York

Matsson and Tom are looking at art. It’s Tom’s final opportunity to save himself from getting the chop. “The colours go well,” he says to Matsson about one piece of art. “Trippy,” says Matsson and walks away.

Tom is sure he’s for the “hang”, as he puts it. He asks Greg to have his eyes and ears open. He says that Greg is in deep trouble without him.

Joan of Waystar

Shiv and Kendall are talking about the GoJo deal and their respective votes again. Matsson is talking to Lawrence Yee, says Kendall. Shiv says that she knew this was going on, though it’s likely she’s bluffing.

Roman shows up. Shiv offers her brothers The Hundred idea again – which had been their news project in the very first episode of the season – for when she takes over GoJo. She asks for her brother’s support.

“Don’t be all Joan of Waystar,” says Kendall. Shiv says she played it better, that she has won, and that Kendall should take it like a man.

A fish supper

Alexander Skarsgård as Lukas Matsson (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Alexander Skarsgård as Lukas Matsson (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

Matsson and Tom are having dinner. Tom is sweating: he knows this is the moment he’s going to get fired. Matsson asks for Tom to soft-pitch himself. Tom says he “follows the boss” and that he “digests strategy and implements”. He says he’s a grinder, that he has “an excess of vigilance” and that he has “a very high tolerance for pain and physical discomfort”.

Matsson confides in Tom: he’s not sure about Shiv. He wants to sleep with her, and he thinks she wants to sleep with him too (Tom, incredibly, manages not to show too much emotion as Matsson says this).

Matsson also indicates that he found Shiv a bit pushy when he told him to release the India numbers, and says, essentially, that he’s looking for someone else. Then he says, unbelievably, “Why not get the guy who put the baby inside her instead of the baby lady?” Matsson wants Tom.

Tom’s face is paralysed, but he does a fantastic job of neither whooping nor letting his jaw drop. “Right,” says Tom. “I could do it.”

Matsson goes to the bar to get shots. His number two, Oscar, who has been sitting elsewhere goes to the bar to join him. Greg, who has also been sitting elsewhere, approaches Tom. Tom says that Greg is going to be OK. Greg walks over to the bar, where Oscar and Matsson are speaking in Swedish.

In a genius move, Greg opens an automatic translator app on his phone, so that as they are chatting he can understand what they are saying. “Yes when you tell her that it won’t be her” is the key phrase that is translated.

Back to paradise

Caroline is having dinner with her children, who are still bickering about the GoJo deal. She puts her own opinion forward, saying that she thinks the deal is the perfect opportunity to start something fresh for them all. “Are we going to get an apology? For Italy?” asks Kendall. (In Italy Caroline screwed over her children by siding with Logan). Caroline just continues to talk ambiguously about continuity.

Kendall gets called by Greg. “I’m in the centre of the f***ing universe, with knowledge to take down solar systems, man,” says Greg.

After asking for “something amazing” from Kendall, he explains that Matsson does not want Shiv. When Kendall gets off the phone, he goes and does the kindest thing possible – he tells Shiv that she’s being screwed over. It’s not a totally selfless move, however, because, of course, he wants Shiv to abandon Matsson and the GoJo deal.

Shiv immediately calls Matsson, who doesn’t pick up – a very bad sign indeed. Shiv has been erased from the new deal announcement drafts, says Kendall. There’s the proof she needs that he isn’t making this up.

As Shiv walks off to confirm the bad news, Roman asks Kendall who could be replacing her. Neither of them know, but they think potentially Lawrence Yee.

Shiv returns, raging mad. She’s ready to utterly destroy Matsson. “We’re a powerful block,” says Kendall. Shiv says that she thinks Matsson has it all sewn up, but they will go for gold anyway. The trio call analyst Tellis. Tellis says that voting wise they could pull it. But it’s best if they present one strong leader rather than all three of them. The CE-Bros haven’t been good for business. So now the sibs must, once and for all, decide who will take over the business.

Kendall, puts himself forward. Roman says he thinks it’s him. Kendall suggests that Roman isn’t up to it, because of the funeral. Roman says that crying at his father’s funeral surely cannot be deemed a bad thing. He storms off again.

Shiv, arms folded, eyebrows raised, listens to Kendall’s arguments. He says that she can’t be it because she was sided with Matsson just an hour earlier and it would look weak to the board. He then says it can’t be Roman because he’s not up to it, and so it has to, objectively, be him. Shiv, rolls her eyes at her brother.

Conversations continue

By the beach now, Kendall is still talking about “reverse Viking” the deal. Kendall dives into the ocean.

Shiv and Roman talk about allowing their big brother to take over. “It can’t be him though,” says Roman about Kendall. “But it can’t be you.”

Shiv says, “Well OK. I hate him, but I fear you. He would be unbearable… and you would be a disaster.”

Roman says he can sort of see it for Kendall. He says that Matsson played Shiv “like a pregnant cello”. We probably should give it to him, says Shiv. They joke that they could attempt to kill Kendall, mimicking his voice. But they agree to give it to him.

They swim over to a pier where Kendall is laying out. “We anoint you,” says Shiv. “You can smile, b***h.” Kendall allows a massive smile to spread across his face.

The kids walk into the kitchen in an incredibly silly mood. They decide to make Kendall “a meal fit for a king”, putting a load of disgusting ingredients into a blender for Kendall to drink. Caroline walks in, and offers her children some “knob ends” of loaves of bread that she freezes. She takes the cheese off Roman because it belongs to her husband Peter. But once she leaves the room, Roman gets it out of the fridge again and starts licking it. It’s high jinx all around.

Kendall drinks the concoction, and when he can’t drink anymore, Roman tips it on his head. The next day, still in a fantastic mood, they all head back to New York.


Justine Lupe as Willa and Alan Ruck as Connor Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Justine Lupe as Willa and Alan Ruck as Connor Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

As they get off the plane, Roman, Kendall and Shiv are all making calls. They’re confirming board seats; Connor is on the phone to Shiv, asking her to come to “the great reallocation” (where people can pick their objects to take from Logan’s house). The kids decide to head to their father’s house.

At Logan’s apartment, Connor explains the rules of reallocation. Everyone needs to put their stickers on objects, and then the objects will go to the person who has put the most stickers on it. Kerry is in the background of another room as Connor is explaining the rules, indicating that she hasn’t been completely utterly cut out, yet again.

Willa explains that they’re clearing out the apartment completely as she has a tonne of stuff coming in. She’s going to stay in New York, while Connor goes off to Slovenia.

“We’re really excited how this long-distance thing can add another dimension,” says Connor. Shiv asks the group whether they’ve heard about the Wisconsin court thing? It’s a hiccup for Jerryd, Connor explains to Willa. Mencken might not make it, says Shiv. Willa looks a little crestfallen.

When the Roys and Willa walk into another room in the house, there’s a clip of Logan at dinner that was taken not too long ago (he’s sat next to Kerry) playing on a TV in the corner of the room. It makes for an incredibly moving watch, as the dinner was a happy one: Connor is making a joke, Gerri then tells a limerick, Karl sings, Logan recounts a rhyme. The Roys are teary as they watch it.

Tom is also at Logan’s apartment. Shiv asks him how the dinner with Matssson went, and whether he is going to get canned. Hmm, I don’t think so, says Tom in a slightly squeaky manner. Shiv says she found out that she’s not going to be the next CEO. Are you sure, asks Tom. “Yeah. Greg,” says Shiv. Tom manages to hold a poker face.

After a few empty exchanges, in which Tom indicates Shiv should vote through the deal anyway, Tom then says, “Shiv you should probably know… it’s me.” Shiv’s face is thunder. “It’s you? Bulls**t.” She’s raging mad. “Good f***ng luck.” She strides through to Kendall and Roman. “It’s Tom,” she says. Composer Nicholas Brittell’s incredible low tones set the mood as the sibs storm out, ready to confirm their board numbers. Meanwhile, Tom asks Greg if he can have a chat.

Tom and Greg have a chat in the bathroom. “Did you tell?” says Tom. He says he was so close to getting the top job, but now the other team has a real chance of winning. He slaps Greg on the head; Greg slaps Tom around the face. The two start fighting, pushing on each other’s faces and pulling each other’s lapels. Tom tidies himself up, and quickly exits the room.

Tom immediately calls Matsson. “Big f***ing problem,” he says. Then the camera is on Matsson, who is shouting at his staff. “Time to active, come on!” he shouts. “Call Frank, make sure he’s locked in!” We see the cars as they all arrive at the Waystar Rocyo headquarters.

At Waystar

Karoline is walking alongside Shiv. She suggests that if they do block the deal, it might be high time to chuck Hugo.

In Logan’s office, Kendall pauses and then sits in his father’s chair. Shiv, Roman, Kendall and Hugo are in the room and are talking about what they expect to happen during the meeting.

Stewy shows up, and, after some expected back and forth, indicates that he’ll side with Kendall. Stewy and Shiv go off to try and persuade Sandi to join their team.

Looking through the glass doors, Roman sees Gerri. “What’s she doing here?” he asks. “I don’t want to see her.” Roman starts freaking out. He says he’s going to call in to vote and might go home. He’s wavering and acting strangely.

He says, “Why isn’t it me?” while looking at the stitches on his face in a mirror. “Why isn’t it me?” he repeats, looking at his big brother. He starts to cry.

Kendall is shocked and terrified, and hugs his brother. “F***. Oh, you f***ing bastard,” says Roman. “I f***ing hate you.” Roman walks out sobbing. “It could have been you,” says Kendall.

He looks out of the window of his father’s office, holding a drink, readying himself for the showdown.

With 20 minutes of the episode left, the board meeting begins

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

Board members assemble in the glass meeting room which has become so familiar to Succession viewers. Frank introduces the motion.

Kendall gets right to it: “The deal is the bad deal.” He suggests they move to the vote straight away, as no one’s mind is going to be changed at this point.

Frank thinks it’s a good deal and votes yes. Soya also votes for the deal. Diane votes yes as well. Kendall votes no. Sandy and Sandi both vote yes. The camera pans to Shiv who is wide-eyed and tight-lipped. She looks extremely uncomfortable.

Dewi votes no. Ewan votes no. Stewy votes no, saying, “Team Ken, baby. I’m a no.”

Then it’s to Roman, who pauses for a terrifyingly long time. “Uhh, nope,” he eventually says.

It’s six to six. So now it’s just down to Shiv.

Shiv? Says Frank. Shiv? Says Kendall.

Shiv walks out, she just needs a second. Kendall follows her. “You OK, we have it,” says Kendall. Shiv says she wants to think. Kendall is confused. She wants to think about keeping the company or handing it over to Tom and “that piece of shit who killed our dad”? Shiv says she might have changed her mind. Kendall’s face falls.

Everything’s over, forever, if they don’t vote against the GoJo deal now, he says. “I am like a cog built to fit only one machine,” says Kendall. “If you don’t let me do this…”

Kendall says Shiv is voting against herself. Kendall looks devastated as Shiv says she doesn’t think he’d be good at leading Waystar. Roman is holding the bridge of his nose, eyes cast downwards. Kendall starts shouting at Shiv. The suits waiting outside are all looking at each other.

“I feel like, if I don’t get to do this, like I might die,” says Kendall. “Shiv, can you just vote?” says Roman.

Kendall literally pleads with Shiv to vote for him. Then Shiv, out of nowhere, says that Kendall cannot be CEO because he’s killed someone. Trying to brush it off, Kendall says he made that up, to connect the siblings. But this actually makes matters worse. Both Shiv and Roman are appalled that Kendall would make such a thing up. “I false-memoried it,” says Kendall.

Shiv says she won’t vote for him. Then Roman starts saying he won’t vote for Kendall now: either. “Absolutely not, man. Absolutely not.” “It’s disgusting,” shouts Kendall. “I’m the eldest boy!”

Then Roman says that if Kendall is going to play that card, Shiv’s kids are the bloodline. Roman says that Logan always thought Kendall’s kids “weren’t real”. “They are a pair of randos,” pushes Roman. “One is a buy-in, the other is half Rava, half some filing cabinet guy, right?”

Kendall starts pushing his fingers into Roman’s face, Shiv tries to break it off, Roman and Kendall tussle, Shiv walks off. Kendall seems to know he has lost it, with his face in his hands. But then he rallies and says to Roman that they can get Frank. Roman says that “they’re f***ing nothing” and resigns himself.

Kendall walks back to the glass meeting room. Onlookers whisper as he passes them. Kendall suggests adjourning the meeting. “Ken, it’s done,” says Frank. “We sell to GoJo. You don’t have it.” Kendall walks out of the building in shock.

In the end... it’s the GoJo deal

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)
Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy (©2023 HBO. All Rights Reserved)

Tom is walking down the corridor now, towards Karl and Frank. Frank looks at Karl, “Golden parachute, or one last rodeo?” he asks. “I’m thinking we should’ve slit his throat in the cradle,” says Frank.

Meanwhile, Hugo congratulates Tom, but Tom cuts him off and asks for Karolina. Greg sidles over, and also congratulates Tom. He asks about Tom’s planning. Tom says he wants to talk to Gerri – “she’s not afraid of the dark”. Tom says that Frank and Karl are dead. Greg is nodding, enough times that Tom eventually says, “You?”

“You f***ed it, quad man,” says Tom. But after calling Greg a “piece of sh*t”, he then puts one of Connor’s object reallocation stickers on Greg’s head, and says, “But I got you.”

Photographers take pictures as the deal is signed by Matsson and Roman. Roman immediately exits. Oscar, Ebba, Matsson, Tom, Karl and Frank all pose for a photo. Shiv looks on with an unreadable face. Tom tells her that he’s getting a car in 20 minutes, if she’d like to join.

So it ends. Roman is in a bar having a martini. Tom is joined by Shiv in the car, “Congratulations,” he says. He puts her hand out for him. She puts her hand on it.

Kendall is walking slowly, zombie-like, towards the sea. His bodyguard, Colin, is walking some paces behind him - a call back to a similar scene with Logan. Brittell’s piano chords are getting louder as Kendall, walks towards the railing. The sun is setting and there’s an orange huge over the lapping water and over Kendall’s coat. Kendall sits down; his face is pensive and mournful. The screen goes black.

Final thoughts

Succession’s writers did the near impossible by bringing together dozens of storylines that seemed, 90 minutes ago, far too numerous and sprawling to tie up – particularly in such a short amount of time. And while there are still many unanswered questions, such as whether Shiv and Tom will manage a kind of partnership, there is a clear new path for GoJo and Waystar.

The outcome is final: there doesn’t seem to be any way for Kendall to fulfil his dream of helming Waystar now. The final scene, which lingers on Kendall’s face seems to reinforce the hard facts: the show was really about Kendall, and he has lost. It’s a devastating outcome, particularly as it was his sister, rather than a colleague, who betrayed him in the end.

Succession is currently streaming on Sky and Now