Succession: what happened in season 1 and season 2 - and where to watch them on UK TV as season 3 is released

With season three of Succession debuting on Sky Atlantic and HBO, here’s your recap on the story of the Roy dynasty so far.

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The release of the third season of Succession is one of the most hyped TV events of 2021, and with good reason.

The story of the foul-mouthed media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his sharp-elbowed progeny has been a critical and commercial smash hit for HBO, since it debuted on our screens just three years ago.

Over two seasons so far, the Machiavellian tendencies of the filthy rich family have been at turns outrageous, shocking and laugh-out-loud funny (its creator is Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong after all).

If you’re now planning to get started on season three but could use a recap of where we left the Roys, here’s a refresher of the story so far.

*Spoiler warning for seasons one and two of Succession*

Brian Cox stars as media mogul Logan Roy in HBO's hit TV series, Succession.Brian Cox stars as media mogul Logan Roy in HBO's hit TV series, Succession.
Brian Cox stars as media mogul Logan Roy in HBO's hit TV series, Succession.

What happened in season one?

Let’s remind ourselves of how it all began. The Roys were gathering for Logan’s 80th birthday festivities when the ageing patriarch shocked them all by saying he’d decided against handing over the reigns of the family’s media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo.

But in the show’s first major twist, Logan suffered a stroke on his helicopter, leaving him unconscious in hospital.

Cue a bitter dispute between his four children - the headstrong Kendall (Jeremy Strong), the conniving Shiv (Sarah Snook), the wise-cracking Roman (Kieran Culkin) and the weirdo loser Connor (Alan Ruck) - over who should take over as CEO.

In the first series Logan recovers from the stroke to reassert his grip on the company, and sees off a badly botched boardroom coup from Kendall, resulting in the latter’s exile from the action at Connor’s ranch in New Mexico.

Things went from bad to worse for Kendall at Shiv’s wedding to Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) at a castle in England, where he accidentally kills a waiter by driving into a lake while they were in search of drugs. He stumbles back to the castle in shock, and Logan agrees to cover it up if Kendall calls off the hostile takeover and attends rehab.

An entertaining subplot of season two involves ‘Cousin Greg’ Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), who has secretly held on to incriminating documents about some pretty serious crimes on the company’s cruise ships division, which Tom had asked him to shred. This all comes back to the fore in season two...

Tom and Greg in Succession (Photo: HBO)Tom and Greg in Succession (Photo: HBO)
Tom and Greg in Succession (Photo: HBO)

What happened in season two?

For the majority of season two, Kendall is the compliant son, a spent force. He comes out of rehab with his cocaine habit intact, and does what his father tells him.

Logan offers the CEO job to Shiv, after meeting with his children individually, but she keeps this information secret - and carries on with her political career as chief of staff for Senator Gil Eavis’s presidential campaign.

In a memorable scene, Kendall, acting on his father’s orders, visits the offices of Vaulter, the hip startup he’d bought, and fires them on the spot, after blocking their wi-fi.

Meanwhile Logan is determined to take over a rival media giant Pierce Global Media (PGM), against the advice of his peers and family, but an attempt to cosy up to the Pierce family during a weekend away goes very wrong, when Logan refuses to name his successor and Shiv reveals his offer to her, much to everyone else’s shock.

The cruise ships scandal is exposed and Waystar RoyCo’s fortunes take a tumble. Despite Tom’s attempts to cover it up, they’re all summoned before a Senate hearing, and the Pierce takeover hits the rocks.

In the final episode the Roys gather on their superyacht in the Mediterranean, where they argue over who should be the public scapegoat for the cruise ships scandal and go to prison.

Finally Logan decides that Kendall should take the fall, and when his son asks him if he ever considered him to run Waystar, his father says that he never saw Kendall as “a killer”.

In a sensational twist, at a New York press conference where he’s been told to tow the line, Kendall goes wildly off-script, and says that his father was well aware of the misconduct on the cruise ships and personally oversaw the legal settlements.

Greg is also present at the press conference, with the un-shredded legal files - as Logan watches a telecast of the event.

The finale of Succession season two (Photo: HBO)The finale of Succession season two (Photo: HBO)
The finale of Succession season two (Photo: HBO)

The big questions for season 3

  • With Logan and Kendall now set up as deadly enemies, who will the other siblings side with?
  • Will Logan be able to keep his grip on the scandal-hit corporation?
  • Will Cousin Greg stay loyal to Kendall?
  • Will Shiv and Tom hold their shaky marriage together?
  • Will Roman avoid blowing up any more satellite shuttles?
  • Will Connor finally run for the White House?

How can I watch season 3 in the UK?

The third season of Succession premieres in the UK tonight (18 October).

Fans of the show will be able to watch the new season on the Sky Atlantic channel, which can be accessed through Sky or via NOW TV if you have an entertainment pass.

A seven day trial of the entertainment pass is available for first time subscribers, and will then cost £9.99 per month thereafter.

On NOW TV, new episodes will drop at 2am on Monday mornings, whereas on Sky Atlantic new episodes will air at 9pm on Monday evenings.

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