It’s natural for the people who put so much into their characters to feel emotional when the journey comes to an end. Transforming into a different person is an art-form, and it’s certainly not like any other job on the planet. Still, these sentiments from Snook are a little concerning for the end of the show when taken at full. She talks about not being told that the fourth season was the end of the show, something that would seemingly be vital information for any actor who wants to help conclude the arc of their character. Going in blind might mean that we are going to get more of an ambiguous ending than we originally thought.
Avoiding “Jumping the Shark”
No matter how the show ends, we know that Succession hasn’t “jumped the shark” in the sense that so many other legendary series have. Dexter, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead would have benefited tremendously from knowing when it was time to call it quits. Overstaying your welcome often overshadows the iconic scenes and moments from earlier on in the story.
On the other side of the coin, getting cut off prematurely can be just as detrimental to the plot. Deadwood needed a movie nearly two decades later to make up for the cancellation it received on HBO in the mid-2000s. Ending a story is a very delicate choice that involves many factors. Often these variables are outside of the storytellers’ hands, but Succession doesn’t seem like the type of show that would be rushed out the door before creator Jesse Armstrong is ready.
Is There An Endgame?
What makes the end of a show excellently executed? Well, it’s simple enough to look at the past to glean some answers. Breaking Bad, and more recently Better Call Saul, both seemed to pinpoint this location on the storytelling map to perfection. All character arcs were completed without being rushed, yet there’s still some room for interpretation in the lives of the protagonists. Stranger Things’ creators Matt and Ross Duffer and the cast of the Netflix hit have been candid about how the upcoming final season of their show will satisfy fans because the show was never meant to go past five seasons. Even though they still have to stick the landing, it has to be a huge boon for the actors and writers to all be on the same page about where they are in the path to the endgame.
Hearing Sarah Snook say she was unaware the show was ending this season means that we may not get all of the answers we’re looking for when watching Succession. The main plot since the pilot has been all about who will overtake Logan and succeed to the throne of Waystar Royco. The various interludes that have taken place between that time and now have been intricate and fascinating. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) is a broken man with a (potentially) good heart. Tom and Shiv have navigated their selfish relationship with slime and substance, leaving us to wonder whether there is any authentic love below the surface of the facade. And let’s not forget the way Greg went from puny nepo baby to potential CEO. It would be unfair to think that we need answers to all of the questions we have about these characters, but we certainly deserve closure on the central thematic elements that make it special.
What Could More Seasons Accomplish?
This is almost an impossible question to answer until we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the new season. If more seasons means repetitive storytelling such as Logan foiling the plans of the Roy children over and over again until he croaks, we’ll take a hard pass on that. But if extra time allows the relationship between Kendall, Shiv, and Roman to breathe, or it creates a scenario where the satirical writing can commentate ever more on the current pulse of the political landscape in America, then there should be a green light by all means necessary.