Succession Series Finale: Tension, Drama and the Fractured Roy Family

The series finale of the hit HBO show, Succession, aired on May 28th, 2023, and left fans both satisfied and uneasy.[0] The episode was filled with tension and drama, as the Roys fought for control of their family business, Waystar Royco. The board vote, which was the main focus of the episode, had been building up throughout the season, and the tension was palpable as the Roys battled it out for the top spot.

At the heart of the vote was Kendall Roy, who had been gunning for the CEO position since the beginning of the series. However, his chances were called into question when his sister, Shiv, refused to vote for him.[1] The reason she gave was that he had killed someone, referring to his season one Chappaquiddick moment. This revelation shook the family to its core and caused a rift between the siblings that was only exacerbated by the intense pressure of the board vote.

The tension between the Roys was a recurring theme throughout the episode. The siblings bickered and fought, with Shiv reminding Kendall of his past misdeeds and Roman questioning his ability to lead the company. There were moments of tenderness, such as when Kendall hugged Roman in a moment of vulnerability, but they were quickly overshadowed by the intense drama that unfolded in the boardroom.[2]

Ultimately, the board vote ended in a tie, with Shiv casting the deciding vote against Kendall. This decision was a devastating blow to Kendall, who had been working towards this moment for years. The Roys' relationship was left fractured and uncertain, with the future of the company and their family hanging in the balance.

One of the most significant subplots of the episode was the relationship between Tom and Shiv. Tom had been desperate to please Matsson, the potential buyer of Waystar Royco, and had even offered himself up as a “front man” for the company.[3] Shiv had initially supported him, believing that it would keep her close to power.[4] However, as the board vote drew near, Shiv had second thoughts and ultimately walked out, leaving Tom to take the position.

The tension between Shiv and Tom was a microcosm of the larger issues facing the Roys. The family had always been dysfunctional, but their differences had been papered over by their shared interest in the company. As that interest began to wane, their relationships were exposed for what they truly were: fraught, complicated, and ultimately unsustainable.

Despite the tension and drama, the episode ended on a somewhat positive note. The Roys were shown together in their mother’s kitchen, joking and laughing like a normal family. However, this moment of levity was short-lived, and the final shot of the episode showed the family members physically reaching for each other but ultimately falling short. It was a poignant and fitting end to a show that had always been about the struggle for power and the toll it takes on those who seek it.

In the end, Succession was a masterful exploration of the complexities of family dynamics and the high stakes world of corporate power struggles.

0. “‘Succession': Kendall's daughter just posted the perfect tweet about Logan's funeral” Mashable, 23 May. 2023,

1. “How Shiv’s Decision Defines ‘Succession’ and Fulfills the Roys’ Destiny” The Ringer, 29 May. 2023,

2. “‘Succession' Ends How It Began” The Atlantic, 29 May. 2023,

3. “‘Succession' Series Finale: Matthew Macfadyen on Learning Who'd “Win”” Collider, 29 May. 2023,

4. “‘Succession' Finale Recap: Did Tom Really Win Over Shiv?” The Daily Beast, 29 May. 2023,

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