The final scene of ‘Succession’s season 3 penultimate episode had the internet obsessing over whether or not Kendall Roy will die. While his death would be shocking, there’s no way they’re killing off our #1 boy.
Succession’s December 5 episode “Chiantishire” ended with its biggest cliffhanger yet. Twitter erupted after watching the last few minutes as Kendall laid face down in the pool after a gut-wrenching conversation with his father.
“How long was that kid alive before he started sucking water?” Logan asked Kendall during Kendall’s attempted detente the night before. The way the final scene was filmed from underneath, you see Kendall move his face partially into the water. As he breathes, you see the water rippling. After receiving blow after emotional blow over the course of season 3, many fans interpreted that final scene as Kendall hitting his lowest point and the moment Kendall may have decided to take his own life by trying to suffer as the waiter did.
Now, Kendall could be dead or die in the season 3 finale. There are many factors at play here that have fans leaning in that direction. Jeremy Strong’s New Yorker profile could be interpreted as a farewell piece. Kendall’s depression has reached new depths since his birthday party, and Kendall’s suicidal ideation has been shown a number of times throughout the series. Many fans believe Kendall’s story has reached its end and his death would push the story forward.
But here’s why I don’t think that’s the case whatsoever. Kendall’s death would rock the show to its core, but the show wouldn’t fundamentally change. From what we’ve seen from the majority of these characters, especially Roman and Shiv, would they even mourn Kendall for that long before vying for their father’s attention again? We have yet to see much of an emotional response from any of the Roy kids, even when they thought their dad was dying. These people are not the kinds of people who hang on to grief.
The show would ultimately revert back to its original form if Kendall died. Roman, Shiv, and Connor would still be fighting for their place within the family company while showing their desperation for their father’s love and respect. There would just be less competition. Logan would definitely mourn the loss of Kendall in the biggest way, but he’s such a husk of a person I don’t see this changing the core of the character.
What if this is only the beginning of a new chapter for Kendall? What would change the show and push the narrative forward in a game-changing way is if Logan died. The death of the Roy patriarch would force the Roy kids to find out their true identities. Who are they when they step out from behind their father’s shadow? None of them know, and they’re all petrified to find out, save for Kendall. What will they do when they don’t have their father’s protection? They perceive his protection as love but it’s actually manipulation and control. As Caroline said, “He [Logan] never saw anything he loved that he didn’t want to kick it, just to see if it would still come back.” Who actually rises to the top? What would they do to get there?
Logan’s death was meant to happen in the first season, but Brian Cox was so good the writers decided to keep him alive. There have been just as many hints about Logan’s demise as there have been for Kendall. Logan’s brain hemorrhage was what kickstarted the series, with the kids scrambling to figure out who would take over if their father died. In season 3 alone, there was the whole UTI situation the day of the shareholder’s meeting. Logan also vomited and nearly passed out from exhaustion during a walk with Kendall and Josh Aaronson.
Logan has spent the majority of his life being the puppet master for everything and everyone around him. He singlehandedly controls the fates of his kids and his employees. But there is one thing Logan has absolutely no control over, and that’s Death. Death doesn’t care about power, how much money you have, or how “revolutionary” you are.
Death is sudden and swift. Death comes whenever it wants. Death has been creeping closer to Logan since the series began, almost taunting him, and you can see his subtle desperation as he clings to his power. He knows his time is running out. The clock is ticking closer to his inevitable demise.
Logan had the opportunity to free Kendall from his purgatory. It would be the best thing for Kendall. He cruelly twisted the knife in Kendall’s chest by bringing up the waiter’s death and having Kendall’s son Iverson taste his food to make sure Kendall didn’t poison it. It would be poetic if Logan just dropped dead in the midst of trying to regain his Waystar Royco supremacy. In a way, Kendall would be freed because his father would no longer be able to torture him with his secret. Karma always works in mysterious ways, and Logan’s had way too many wins lately.
There’s also the podcast Comfrey brought up earlier in the penultimate episode. She mentioned the podcast was looking into the waiter’s death at Shiv’s wedding, and Kendall told her to keep an eye on it. Kendall could decide to free himself from his father’s grasp by spilling all on the podcast. Logan could no longer hold the secret over Kendall’s head. The final string that Logan uses to control Kendall would be severed.
There’s been so much Jesus imagery when it comes to Kendall — the crucixificon pose in the pool during the season 2 finale and Kendall’s crucifixion-esque plan at his 40th birthday party — that this could be Kendall’s resurrection moment. But wouldn’t it be something is if, in true Succession twist fashion, just before Kendall was going to share his truth, he learned that his father was dead.
Now that would be a hell of a way to end season 3. Kendall finally gets a “win,” but it’s not exactly the mic drop moment of the season 2 finale. Logan’s death would reset the show and push it full throttle in a new direction. The Succession season 3 finale will air December 12 on HBO.