Plot: Season 3 finds Logan in a dangerous position, struggling to secure family, political and financial alliances after he was ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall. After Kendall’s impulsive decision to expose the company’s expanding scandal, the family is left free to contemplate their future. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to escalate into a family civil war, with the Roy family navigating the looming question of who will take control in a post-Logan world.
Check: In 2018, Succession premiered several weeks before the Kevin Costner drama Yellowstone. Both series followed family dynasties as they struggled with the transition from one generation to the next. Yellowstone has become a pop culture hit while Succession it has garnered critical acclaim and Golden Globe and Emmy honors for drama series of the year. As the show returns for its third season, Succession it’s still a pitch-black blend of drama and humor through a satirical look at the top one percent. Refocused on the tower among the members of the Roy family, Succession it’s better than ever with a much more laser-focused narrative that allows this dysfunctional family saga to steadily earn the rank of one of the best television shows today.
Chances are, if you are reading this review, you are familiar with the first two seasons of Succession. The first found the Roy family dealing with the sudden coma of their father, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and who would take over the leadership of their multinational media conglomerate, Waystar Royco. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), a recovering addict and heir apparent, loses his CEO role just before Logan’s coma, which sends everyone into a backstabbing fury and negotiating succession. When Logan recovers, the family endures. Kendall’s demons take hold of him, leading to season two treating him like a wounded puppy. But, in the season finale, Kendall turns on her father and takes the first chance in the Roy family’s civil war.
Picking up immediately after the suspenseful finale of season 2, the third season of succession still features some of the most creative and profane insults in any series, but is also reset to be about the Roy clan imploding onto a massive public stage. With Kendall separating from the rest of the family and coming face to face with her father, her siblings must choose sides. Siobhan (Sarah Snook), who came close to replacing her father in season 2, comes up against her loyalties and the involvement of her friend, lawyer Lisa Arthur (Sanaa Lathan). Roman (Kieran Culkin) is caught between his close relationship with Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron) and where he falls in the family hierarchy, while eldest son Connor (Alan Ruck) becomes a little more involved than in the past. The dispute between these brothers and their father is much more intense than in the first two seasons, mainly because the stakes are more immediate than before.
There’s also so much more to Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfayden) and his cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun). Both Tom and Greg are more into the mix this season, but they remain the comic relief this series has enjoyed for two seasons thus far. There are also a number of new characters, including Sandi Furness (Hope Davis), the daughter of Sandy Furness (Larry Pine), as well as Adrien Brody as Josh Aaronson, a billionaire, and Alexander Skarsgard as Lukas Matsson, a CEO. Both Brody and Skarsgard can jump into the fray with this ensemble cast and spit venom with the best of them. None of these guest stars are in the mood for a stunt casting and it is organically worked into this story that feels so much faster than the season before. In many ways this season feels like a direct continuation of the season’s stories and treats the sophomore race as almost a tangent to the larger story.
Having watched seven episodes of this season (the last two episodes were not available for review), it is very evident that this season takes place in a world where COVID-19 did not happen. Written before the pandemic but filmed amid the global shutdown, Succession It doesn’t treat the virus as something the rich are immune to, it removes it entirely from the plot. I scoured the background for masks or clues about the virus, but writer Jesse Armstrong and his staff didn’t work on it. It goes without saying that the excesses of the Roy family and their inner circle are unaffected by COVID-19, which is a testament to the team that managed to make this look like it was filmed alongside season two. Everything here is consistent from the quick comebacks, the brilliant soundtrack by Nicholas Britell, and the top-notch performance by one of the best actors working today.
I am happy to say that Succession It has finally found its way into season three by taking all the best elements from the series’ first two races and doubling the intensity. Yes, it’s still painfully funny, but that dark, humorous tone has been updated to a deadly mix of satire that would be hilarious if it weren’t so eerily close to home. Succession debuted as a Trump-era indictment in America and the delight we can get from watching the filthy rich tear each other apart is still one of the most enjoyable parts of this show. Succession He began by telling a story about the Roy family’s fracture before showing that those ties are beginning to rebound. This season, the ties that bind these characters are torn to pieces and we get a front row seat to the show.
SuccessionThe third season premieres on October 14th upon HBO.