Due to the pandemic, the HBO drama “Succession” has been on hiatus for 2 years. Individuals who had by no means seen “Succession” when it racked up seven Emmys final 12 months had loads of time to catch up forward of Season 3, which premieres on Sunday. However followers who haven’t seen an episode for the reason that Season 2 finale aired — again in October 2019! — may perhaps use a refresher.
In that finale, the emotionally unstable company stooge Kendall Roy (Jeremy Sturdy) detonated a bomb below his household’s media empire, delivering damning proof of a legal cover-up at a information convention the place he was supposed take the blame. It was an unforgettable cliffhanger, capping an eventful Season 2.
Right here’s a fast overview of what this present’s main characters and corporations had been as much as earlier than Kendall knocked every part askew.
The present’s major setting — and its major plot driver — is the media conglomerate Waystar Royco, a strong company identified primarily for its Fox-style conservative cable information channel, ATN. (The similarities to Rupert Murdoch’s Information Company are, to place it mildly, intentional.) The corporate can also be energetic in on-line media, publishing, leisure, theme parks and cruise ships. By way of the primary two seasons, Waystar has been below assault from politicians and enterprise rivals, and has been the goal of a number of makes an attempt at each negotiated mergers and hostile takeovers.
In Season 2, information leaked that high Waystar executives had buried inner studies a few longtime affiliate within the firm cruise line: Lester McClintock, nicknamed “Uncle Moe” (as in “moe-lester”). McClintock, now lifeless, had a historical past of sexual harassment and assault — and presumably homicide. The scandal has led to embarrassing media investigations and congressional hearings. It’s what in the end prompted Kendall to betray his father, Logan.
Within the collection’s first episode, Waystar’s irascible, monolithic, octogenarian founder, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), was felled by a stroke. The timing wasn’t nice: He had simply been about to announce a plan of succession, which might have seen him stick round as his firm’s chief govt whereas his third spouse, Marcia (Hiam Abbass), would have the ability to call his eventual successor. The medical disaster set off a scramble, dividing the Roy kids and Waystar’s internal circle of advisers.
Logan recovered … kind of. (He has had a number of public moments of unprovoked fury and foggy reminiscences for the reason that stroke.) By the beginning of Season 2, he had referred to as in sufficient favors and performed sufficient on his household’s sympathies to convey most of his family members and his associates again collectively — though Kendall’s power-play within the Season 2 finale proved how tenuous that truce truly was.
A sophisticated and unstable man, Logan had a childhood in Scotland marred by need and abuse. His relationship together with his kids and his underlings has been fairly uncooked at occasions, with Logan defaulting nearly by behavior to psychological manipulation and suits of rage. His capriciousness has examined his marriage to Marcia, who towards the top of final season grew pissed off by her husband’s rumored affair with Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter), a rival media magnate he tried — and failed — to sway into operating Waystar.
Kendall and Greg
One of many few members of the Roy household who appear genuinely excited by company jargon and robber baron blindsides, the longtime Logan loyalist Kendall rebelled in Season 1 after realizing that his father had no intention of naming him as subsequent in line. He then orchestrated a plan to steal the corporate from his father earlier than a relapse into substance abuse — culminating in a tragic automotive accident at his sister’s wedding ceremony — led a newly contrite Kendall again into the fold.
In Season 2, Kendall settled into a job as Logan’s shameless hatchet-man, keen to humiliate himself and to eviscerate the undeserving to advertise Waystar’s pursuits. However his dad’s demand that Kendall take the autumn for the cruise ship scandal went a step too far, prompting him to drag the massive switcheroo within the season finale’s climactic information convention.
Kendall’s unlikely confederate in that ambush is his cousin Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), the grandson of Logan’s disapproving brother Ewan (James Cromwell). The gawky, bumbling Greg is a frequent goal of the Roy household’s jokes and bullying — a destiny that he accepts as a trade-off for entry to their cash, energy and medicines. In Season 1, he well held onto some damning paperwork about Brightstar’s troubles, anticipating the second when he may use them as leverage.
That second arrives after the household brazenly considers including some “Greg sprinkles” to whomever they serve up on a platter to take the autumn for the cruise fiasco. And after Kendall finds himself in want of a plan.
Siobhan and Tom
It’s laborious to say who within the Roy household has been most harm by Kendall and Greg’s betrayal, however the scenario is fairly dire for Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), the husband to Logan’s daughter, Siobhan (normally referred to as Shiv, performed by Sarah Snook). A former govt in Waystar’s parks and cruises division — and Greg’s speedy superior — Tom not solely knew about Uncle Moe’s crimes but additionally helped within the cover-up.
On the finish of Season 1, Tom discovered — on the day of his wedding ceremony, no much less — that his then-fiancée, Shiv, wished to have an open relationship. He suffered via that association for many of Season 2 earlier than lastly admitting his unhappiness within the finale. A significant a part of Tom’s frustration has to do together with his taking a thankless place at ATN in hopes of setting himself up for extra accountability down the road … solely to seek out that Logan had secretly named Shiv as the massive Waystar successor.
As for Shiv, she rapidly discovered final season that her dad’s promise to let her take over was a ploy to maintain his left-leaning feminist daughter below his management somewhat than permit her to cozy as much as political enemies. As quickly as Logan noticed the potential benefit in organising Rhea as the following in line, he let Shiv dangle. Ever since, his daughter has been staying publicly devoted whereas working behind the scenes to sabotage her rivals and get again onto Logan’s radar as a future Waystar boss.
Roman and Gerri
The Roy household’s sudden Season 2 all-star was Logan’s youngest son, Roman (Kieran Culkin), a infamous cynic and an unapologetic slacker, who instantly got down to show to his father that he may make sensible offers on Waystar’s behalf. Whereas Kendall has wished to guide the corporate into a brand new period and to guard his dad’s legacy, and whereas Shiv has wished to distance Waystar from its poisonous popularity, the incorrigible troll Roman relishes the thought of operating a strong group that annoys lots of people.
Roman surprises even Logan by securing sufficient overseas cash to take Waystar personal — earlier than advising his father to reject the deal and to strive working with somebody nearer to the household’s political pursuits. For his industriousness, Roman is known as Waystar’s sole chief working officer (a place he beforehand shared with Kendall) within the Season 2 finale.
All through this shift towards ambition and guile, Roman has been quietly assisted by Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron), a longtime Waystar lawyer who has fearful typically that her boss would possibly throw her to the wolves to avoid wasting himself. As she has been whispered concepts in Roman’s ear, the 2 have developed a freaky quasi-sexual relationship, wherein Gerri turns him on by enjoying the demanding mommy determine.
Connor (and firm)
Kendall, Shiv and Roman are Logan’s kids from his second spouse; however the siblings even have an older half brother, Connor (Alan Ruck). Connor has by no means been that energetic within the household enterprise, opting as a substitute to spend cash and promote himself as a libertarian firebrand.
In Season 2, these hobbies create complications for Logan. Connor broadcasts a run for president of the USA, arguing without spending a dime market reforms that wouldn’t serve Waystar’s pursuits. On the similar time, he pours a lot of his fortune into the Broadway desires of his ex-sex-worker girlfriend, Willa (Justine Lupe), who has written a flop play. Logan handles each of those issues directly, agreeing to cowl his son’s showbiz losses in return for his dropping the presidential marketing campaign.
Connor is a minor “Succession” character in comparison with some; however whereas this present’s forged is big, the creator Jesse Armstrong has had a long-term narrative use for almost everybody. A living proof is Stewy Hosseini (Arian Moayed), who was launched in Season 1 as an previous buddy of Kendall’s with sufficient cash to assist get Waystar out a monetary jam; he has since turn into a pesky enemy, decided to carry onto his stake within the firm and to outlast the Roys on the board.
Anybody may find yourself being a power-player in “Succession” Season 3. It is a present the place loyalties shift in a single day, and no grudge is forgotten.