Due to the pandemic, the HBO drama “Succession” has been on hiatus for two years. Those who never watched “Succession” when it racked up seven Emmys last year had plenty of time to catch up before Season 3, which premieres Sunday. But fans who haven’t watched an episode since the Season 2 finale — back in October 2019! — could probably use a refresher.
In that finale, emotionally unstable corporate puppet Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) detonates a bombshell under her family’s media empire, providing damning evidence of a criminal cover-up at a news conference, where she is to take the blame. It was an unforgettable cliffhanger, capping off an eventful Season 2.
Here’s a quick overview of the show’s major characters and companies before Kendall skewered everything.
The show’s primary setting – and its main plot driver – is the media conglomerate Westar Royco, a powerful corporation known primarily for its Fox-style conservative cable news channel, ATN. (The similarities to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation are, to put it mildly, intentional.) The company is also active in online media, publishing, entertainment, theme parks, and cruise ships. During the first two seasons, Vestar has been attacked by politicians and business rivals, and has been the target of several attempts at both negotiated mergers and hostile takeovers.
In Season 2, news leaked that top Vestar executives had buried internal reports about a longtime collaborator at the company Cruise Line: Lester McClintock, nicknamed “Uncle Mo” (as in “Mo-Lester”). ). McClintock, who is now dead, has a history of sexual assault and assault – and possibly murder. The scandal has sparked shameful media scrutiny and Congressional hearings. This eventually led Kendall to betray her father, Logan.
In the first episode of the series, Westar’s irritable, monogamous, octogenarian founder, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), was struck by a stroke. The timing was not great: he was about to announce a succession plan, which would have seen him as the chief executive of his company, while giving his third wife, Marcia (Hiyam Abbas) the power to name her last name. . Successor. The medical crisis triggered a scuffle, dividing the inner circle of the Roy kids and Vestar’s mentors.
Logan recovered…sort of. (He has had several public moments of unprovoked fury and hazy memories since the stroke.) By the start of Season 2, he had done enough favors and enough of his family’s sympathy to bring most of his loved ones and their partners together. had played. — though Kendall’s power-play in the Season 2 finale proved just how tough it really was.
A complex and unstable individual, Logan’s childhood in Scotland was filled with deprivation and abuse. His relationship with his children and his subordinates has been very raw at times, with Logan almost missing the habit of psychological manipulation and fits of anger. His complacency tested his marriage to Marcia, who was disillusioned at the end of last season due to his rumored affair with Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter), a rival media magnate. He tried – and failed – to cast Westar. failed to run.
Kendall and Greg
One of the few members of the Roy family who seem genuinely enthralled by corporate jargon and outlaw Baron Blindsides, longtime Logan loyalist Kendall rebelled in Season 1 after realizing that his father had him next in line. No intention to name. He then hatches a plan to steal company from his father before substance abuse — culminating in a tragic car accident at his sister’s wedding — brought a new opposite Kendall back into the fold.
In Season 2, Kendall settled in a role as Logan’s brazen hatchet-man, ready to humiliate himself and remove the unworthy to promote Wester’s interests. But his father’s demand that Kendall fall for the cruise ship scandal went a step too far, prompting him to pull off the big switcheroo at the season finale’s climactic news conference.
Kendall’s potential ally in that ambush is her cousin Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), the grandson of Logan’s disapproving brother Evan (James Cromwell). Grumpy, bubbling Greg is a frequent target for Roy family jokes and bullying—a fortune he accepts as a trade-off for his money, power, and access to drugs. In Season 1, he cleverly grabbed onto some damning documents about Brightstar’s troubles, anticipating the moment he could use them as leverage.
The moment comes when the family openly considers adding some “Greg Sprinkles,” which they serve on a platter to take the fall for the cruise fiasco. And after Kendall finds herself in need of a plan.
Siobhan and Tom
It’s hard to say who in the Roy family has been hurt the most by Kendall and Greg’s betrayal, but Tom Wambsgans (Matthew McFadden), the husband of Logan’s daughter, Siobhan (commonly called Shiva, played by Sarah Snook). The situation is very serious for . A former executive in Westar’s Parks and Cruises division – and Greg’s immediate superior – Tom not only knew about Uncle Mo’s crimes, but also helped with the cover-up.
At the end of Season 1, Tom learned — on the day of his wedding, no less — that his then-fiancé, Shiva, wanted to have an open relationship. He faced that arrangement for most of Season 2 before finally admitting his unhappiness in the finale. A large part of Tom’s desperation has to do with taking a thankless position at ETN, hoping to set himself up for more responsibility down the line… only to find out that Logan has secretly taken Shiva. was named as the major Vestar successor.
As for Siva, she learned early in the last season that her father’s promise to her to take over was a ploy to keep her left-wing feminist daughter under her control, not to coax her into cohabitation with political enemies. to allow. As Logan saw the potential advantage in putting Rhea in the front row, he let Shiva hang. Since then, her daughter has remained publicly loyal, working behind the scenes to sabotage her rivals and get back on Logan’s radar as a future WeStar boss.
roman and garrick
The Roy Family’s Unexpected Season 2 All-Star Logan’s youngest son, Roman (Kieran Culkin), a notoriously cynical and an unattainable slacker, suddenly sets out to prove to his father that he can make smart deals on Westar’s behalf. could. While Kendall wants to take the company into a new era and protect his father’s legacy, and while Shiva wants to shun Westar from his toxic reputation, the infallible troll Roman likes the idea of running a powerful organization. Which bothers a lot of people. .
Roman also surprised Logan by securing enough foreign funding to take Vestar private – before advising his father to decline the deal and work with someone close to the family’s political interests. For his hard work, Roman is named Westar’s sole chief operating officer (a position he previously shared with Kendall) in the Season 2 finale.
Throughout this shift toward ambition and deceit, Roman is quietly assisted by Gerry Kellman (Jay Smith-Cameron), a longtime Vestar lawyer who is often concerned that his boss will save himself. Throw it to the wolves. As she whispers thoughts into Roman’s ear, the two develop a strange quasi-sexual relationship, in which Gerry turns on her by playing the figure of the demanding mother.
Connor (and Company)
He has children from Kendall, Shiva, and Roman Logan’s second wife; But the siblings also have an older half-brother, Connor (Alan Ruck). Connor has never been as active in the family business, opting instead to spend the money and promote himself as a moderate firebrand.
In Season 2, these hobbies cause a headache for Logan. Connor announced a run for President of the United States, arguing for free market reforms that would not serve the interests of Westar. At the same time, he pours most of his fortune into the Broadway dreams of his ex-sex-worker girlfriend, Willa (Justin Lupe), who has written a flop play. Logan handles these two problems together, agreeing to cover his son’s showbiz losses in exchange for leaving the presidential campaign.
Connor is a minor “succession” character compared to some; But while the show’s cast is huge, producer Jesse Armstrong has long used the narrative for almost everyone. A notable case is Stevie Hosseini (Ariane Moyd), who was introduced in Season 1 as an old friend of Kendall’s who had enough money to help WeStar get out of a financial jam; He has since become an odd foe, determined to hold on to his stake in the company and outshine Royce across the board.
Anyone can become a power-player in “Succession” Season 3. This is a show where loyalty changes overnight, and no complaints are forgotten.