In February, Jesse Armstrong left millions of fans disheartened by revealing that the upcoming season of “Succession” would be its last. As the creator and showrunner of the HBO corporate drama, Armstrong stated that the conclusion of Season 4 felt “natural.” However, he confesses to secretly harboring the hope that someone would persuade him against concluding the series, especially given its apparent peak.
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“The word that comes to mind for me is ‘natural.’ I hope people, when they see this season, will feel that it has a natural shape to it,” Armstrong shared with Variety on the red carpet at the Season 4 premiere on March 20 at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. “That’s how I pitched it to my writers’ room, kind of hoping I’d get argued out of it so we’d see a way to do more seasons because I love working with these people. I think there’s a feeling of completeness and rightness to the shape of the show.”
When questioned about whether he crafted multiple endings for the 10-episode final season, Armstrong replied, “I had the last scene pretty early. We talked about how the show would end a lot, and I never wavered from that. I wavered on what were the best lines, the best way to express it — but that ending from the first draft is the one you’ll see when the episode comes out.”
Discussing his favorite series finales, Armstrong expressed admiration for the endings of “Six Feet Under” and the “controversial” farewell of “The Sopranos.” However, he clarified that while he appreciates these shows, he wasn’t directly influenced by the final episodes of his HBO predecessors.
“Each show is different. ‘Six Feet Under,’ ‘Sopranos,’ some of the shows I most admire have radically different ways of concluding,” he added. “It’s got to feel right for that story. I’m inspired by those shows, but the ending of ‘Succession’ had to be bespoke, obviously.”
At the conclusion of Season 3, Logan (Brian Cox) disrupted his children’s plan to thwart Waystar Royco’s merger with GoJo. This upheaval involved collaboration with his ex-wife Caroline (Harriet Walter) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), who, in a shocking turn, betrayed his wife Shiv (Sarah Snook) to secure his position in a new administration.
Providing a glimpse into Tom and Shiv’s state in Season 4, Macfadyen hinted, “They’re in a dark place. They haven’t spoken about what happened in Season 3, the betrayal in Italy. They’re sort of having a trial separation.”
While Tom executed a surprising power move in the Season 3 finale, capitalizing on years of emotional and professional torment, Macfadyen sees Tom’s motives as predominantly well-intentioned: “I think he just likes to be liked. He wants to be happy in his marriage. He wants his father-in-law to approve of him. He wants Greg [Nicholas Braun] close so he can bully him.”
During their fourth and ultimate “Succession” premiere celebration, the cast and crew reminisced about the final days of filming, with J. Smith Cameron sharing, “It was terrible. It was a lot of people bawling our eyes out. I might start crying tonight.
“It’s very, very hard to say goodbye to ‘Succession.'”