Succession season 3 recap: was Waystar Royco sold - what happened with Tom and Shiv?

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It’s been a little over a year since Succession was last on our screens - more than enough time, really, to have forgotten some of the details of the internecine family strife that consumes the billionaire Roys.

Who actually owns the family company right now - and who is about to take control? Who’s on speaking terms with who - and which fights are about to break out next? Which crimes have been discovered - and which shoe is still waiting to drop? 

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Here’s everything you need to know about how Succession Season 3 ended before you watch Season 4 - though, obviously, do be warned that there are detailed spoilers here right from the start. 

What happened with… the Department of Justice Investigation?

The senior leadership of Waystar Royco discuss Kendall's whistleblowing press conference in Succession Season 3 (Credit: HBO)The senior leadership of Waystar Royco discuss Kendall's whistleblowing press conference in Succession Season 3 (Credit: HBO)
The senior leadership of Waystar Royco discuss Kendall's whistleblowing press conference in Succession Season 3 (Credit: HBO) | HBO

Succession Series 3 picked up moments after Season 2’s cliffhanger finale: Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) holding a press conference to accuse his father Logan (Brian Cox) of culpability in Waystar Royco’s coverup of crimes that took place on its cruise lines. Furious, Logan flees to Sarajevo - Bosnia-Herzegovina has no extradition treaty with the US - while Kendall tries to convince his siblings to join him. Feeling there’s no obvious benefit, they each - Roman (Kieran Culkin), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Connor (Alan Ruck) - turned him down, allying themselves instead with Logan.

With a Department of Justice investigation looming, Logan steps back from day-to-day control of Waystar, naming Gerri Kelman (J. Smith-Cameron) as interim CEO and Shiv as President of Domestic Operations, ostensibly with a view towards promoting her to permanent CEO when things had calmed down. At the same time, though, Logan is pressuring the White House - via both personal lobbying and critical press coverage - to get the President to drop the case. The FBI raid Logan’s Waystar offices, and his relationship with the President becomes increasingly strained - to the point that the President decides not to seek a second term in the upcoming election, leaving the Roys without their much-needed political cover.

Kendall’s testimony to the Department of Justice goes poorly, however, and it starts to become apparent that his evidence for Logan’s crimes - unredacted documents provided by Cousin Greg (Nick Braun) - weren’t as legally damning as he’d believed. The investigation winds down, resulting in a settlement; the threat of prison time for any of the Roys evaporates, and Logan meets with other wealthy Republicans to decide who to back for the next election.

What happened with… Waystar Royco?

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Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession Season 3, looming menacingly behind a glass door (Credit: HBO)Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession Season 3, looming menacingly behind a glass door (Credit: HBO)
Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession Season 3, looming menacingly behind a glass door (Credit: HBO) | HBO

Even though the DOJ investigation fizzled out, it worried the shareholders - between increased political pressure and further infighting between Logan and his children, it looked like their investments were under threat. If put to a vote, Logan would likely lose his majority ownership stake, and in turn also his control of the company.

Logan’s efforts to buy new media company GoJo stall, as does an attempt at a merger of equals. Instead, GoJo CEO Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård) offers to buy Waystar from Logan, who is - despite everything - tempted. Mattson proposes that Logan takes a vast exit settlement, which he accepts.

Where did that leave… Kendall, Roman, Shiv, and Tom?

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession Season 3, betraying Shiv (Credit: HBO/Graeme Hunter)Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession Season 3, betraying Shiv (Credit: HBO/Graeme Hunter)
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession Season 3, betraying Shiv (Credit: HBO/Graeme Hunter) | HBO/Graeme Hunter

Hearing rumours of Logan’s plans to sell the company, Roman and Shiv approach Kendall to ask for help. Still dejected after a suicide attempt, Kendall finally confides in them about the death of a waiter at Shiv’s wedding - a death he blames himself for. They’re more reassuring than he expected, though, and it seems like the siblings are united in a way they haven’t been since they were children - if indeed ever, really.

Kendall explains that a clause in their parents’ divorce settlement would allow them to veto Logan’s sale of the company. They move to confront him, but when they arrive it’s too late: Logan knew about the clause, and agreed with their mother to revise it. They have no standing, and Logan dismisses their pleas, shouting Roman down when asks for love.

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How did Logan know? Shiv had called her husband Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) to tell him their plans. Their marriage at this point, though, was increasingly fraught, and in the end Tom betrayed her - warning Logan of the children’s plans and giving him time to prepare accordingly. The final scene of the series is Shiv realising exactly what Tom had done.

What happened with… Connor and Willa? 

 Alan Ruck as Connor Roy and Justine Lupe as Willa in Succession Season 3, sitting together on a sofa (Credit: HBO) Alan Ruck as Connor Roy and Justine Lupe as Willa in Succession Season 3, sitting together on a sofa (Credit: HBO)
Alan Ruck as Connor Roy and Justine Lupe as Willa in Succession Season 3, sitting together on a sofa (Credit: HBO) | HBO

Connor - the eldest son! - is the only character with something approaching a happy ending in Series 3. Even though his presidential campaign was, to be charitable, struggling, his girlfriend Willa (Justine Lupe) finally accepted his proposal with an emphatic “how bad could it be?”

What are the big questions going into Season 4?

  • How much control - if any - has Logan retained at the new Waystar RoyCoGoJo company?
  • Is Logan having another child with his assistant Kerry (Zoë Winters)?
  • What will happen to Tom and Shiv - will they get a divorce?
  • Will we ever see Comfry Pellets (Dasha Nekrasova) again?

Succession Season 4 airs on Sky Atlantic on Monday 27 March at 2am, with a later repeat at 9pm. You can find more of our coverage of Succession Season 4 right here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly television newsletter, listen to us discuss Succession on our Screen Babble podcast, and follow us on twitter @NationalWorldTV. 

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