Half the Planet Confused by the End of Succession
Contains massive spoilers so do not read if you’ve been watching Succession because you care about who actually takes over.
Truth be told, I never cared about the underlying plot in Succession. After the first season, it was pretty clear that the family patriarch didn’t trust any of his children with his job. With good reason, but still, whether they answered the question was secondary to watching how horrible and unaware these characters were.
“That was stupid,” my husband said as the credits rolled on the final episode. “Shiv wouldn’t have done that.”
“Of course she would,” I said. “This show is about maintaining power at any cost.”
“Now she doesn’t have any.”
“She’s spent her whole life jockeying for position with her two moronic brothers, and they have repeatedly, and successfully, shut her out. She has more clout as the CEO’s wife than continuing to try to prove herself.
But why she didn’t just fuck off into the sunset on her own private jet I can’t imagine.”
“She doesn’t have any voting power on the board anymore.”
“So what? She hates everything that company stands for. Except money. She’s got plenty.”
And that was the most disappointing element of the Succession.
As a morality tale, the show implies that extreme wealth makes a person miserable in every way, but is so addictive it’s impossible to quit. As someone who has gone from middle class to impoverished back to middle class, I can say that having enough money to not need a calculator at the grocery store is a much happier life.
Middle class is, I realize, nothing like the unimaginable wealth of the Roy family. And I’m not saying money comes at no cost. Nonetheless, the message feels like a little carrot to keep the peons like me in line. The old, Money is the root of all evil, put into a plot line. As in, You’re better off. You don’t want to be this miserable, do you?
Back to the show, with the exception of wanting to get in bed with her brothers to buy that clanking tankard of a media company — and that was in the…