Succession Season 4 Ending Explained

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for the Succession series finale!

Succession is officially over, wrapping up all of its major characters and storylines, and here is the Succession season 4 ending explained. The finale of Succession has been the subject of much speculation, with fans arguing over the power rankings at Waystar Royco as well as which Roy sibling will end up succeeding Logan Roy as the CEO of the company. Luckily, all of these questions and more have been answered, with the Succession season 4 finale finally revealing the true meaning of the beloved HBO show.


Succession season 4 closed out Succession‘s rollercoaster of a run, with season 4 being the wildest ride yet. Succession season 4’s main storyline centered around GoJo CEO Lukas Matsson’s attempts to buy out Waystar Royco and the subsequent attempts by the Roy siblings to stop it. However, Succession season 4 also explored the fallout of Shiv and Tom’s relationship, the tense presidential election, and even the death of Logan Roy. Heading into the Succession season 4 finale, anything could have happened, and the show found a way to pay off every possibility in the perfect way. So, here is the ending of Succession season 4 explained.

Related: Why Succession Season 5 Isn’t Happening

Why Lukas Chose Tom As Waystar’s New CEO

In a surprise twist, Tom ended up being chosen by Lukas Matsson to be the new CEO of Waystar Royco’s American division. Matsson was originally set to choose Shiv, but he decided to toss her out after her usefulness ran out due to Matsson’s newfound political connections. Matsson’s biggest motivator, however, was a political cartoon he saw that portrayed Shiv controlling Matsson on puppet strings. This made Matsson realize he wanted someone meek and malleable: Tom Wambsgans. Matsson’s final test for Tom was saying to Tom’s face that he wanted to have sex with his wife. When Tom acted fine with it, Matsson knew that he was the perfect underling.

Why Shiv Really Voted For The Deal (& Against Kendall)

After finding out that she was being replaced, Shiv almost turned on Matsson and voted against the deal. However, she voted for the deal in the end, meaning that she also voted against Kendall controlling the company. Shiv knew that Kendall couldn’t handle Waystar Royco, with him clearly not being suited for the job. Shiv also knew that, due to their past conflicts, Kendall probably would have pushed her out of the company at their first impasse. Shiv also selfishly knew that, since Tom was set to be the CEO, she would still have a major hand in Waystar Royco if the deal went through, leading to her vote.

Roman Agrees With Shiv: Why He Gives Up On Kendall & Waystar

Roman has always been easily pushed around, but from the beginning, it was clear that he wasn’t confident in Kendall’s leadership of Waystar Royco. Roman hesitated before voting against the deal, only for him to rescind his support of Kendall after Shiv stated her case against their older brother. Roman is the first one to accept that their plan is a lost cause, with him only agreeing with Shiv to prevent future pain in Kendall’s life. Roman is clearly upset by the outcome of the vote, as it seemingly ruins his standing at Waystar Royco. However, he knows that giving up is better than attempting to save it in vain.

Who Is Still With Waystar Royco After Succession’s Ending

With Tom and Lukas Matsson in control of Waystar Royco, some serious shakeups are expected after Succession‘s ending. Tom tells Greg that Frank and Karl are out, meaning that their time at Waystar Royco is short. Tom is also incredibly dismissive of Hugo, potentially firing him due to his collusion with Kendall.

Tom clearly states that Greg is safe at the company, as well as Shiv Roy. On top of that, Tom says that he wants to talk with Gerri and Karolina, meaning that they have a good chance of sticking around. Kendall and Roman will probably have the chance to stay at Waystar in smaller roles, but it isn’t known if they will accept. Much like Lukas Matsson planned at the beginning of Succession season 4, it seems that most of Waystar’s legacy staff is out while the younger staff will remain in.

What Kendall’s Walk To The River Really Means

After losing the company, Kendall quietly walks to a river, and this subtle moment says a lot about the character. Firstly, Kendall Roy doesn’t die, as was highly speculated in the lead-up to Succession‘s ending. However, Kendall’s loss of the company is clearly the defining moment in his life, as showrunner Jesse Armstrong explains in the post-episode wrap-up. Kendall is also being followed by Colin Stiles, meaning that he still has support if he needs it. Kendall is probably going to spiral once again after the Succession series finale, and the river scene shows just how distant and lost he will be without Waystar Royco.Related: 10 Great Movies & Shows From The People Behind Succession

Shiv & Tom’s Marriage Explained: Are They Still Getting Divorced?

Shiv and Tom’s marriage has been a focal point of Succession season 4, with it seeming as if everything was over leading up to the series finale. The Succession series finale points to Shiv and Tom not getting divorced – but they won’t have a happy marriage either. Shiv’s decision to stay with Tom seems more like a business arrangement, with her only doing it to secure a place at Waystar Royco. Although Shiv and Tom hold hands as they’re driving away, there is clearly no happiness in their eyes.

Shiv Still Won Succession (Despite Not Being CEO)

Even though Shiv isn’t the CEO, she still won Succession. As Tom’s wife, Shiv will still be a huge player in Waystar Royco’s future. Considering how manipulative Shiv is and how much of a pushover Tom is, Shiv could end up having even more influence than her husband. On top of that, Shiv is pregnant with Tom’s child. This means that the CEO position at Waystar will still have the Roy bloodline in it, fulfilling Logan’s wishes. On top of that, Tom being CEO fulfills Lukas and President Mencken’s wishes of having a male CEO, even if Shiv is truly running things.

Related: 10 Succession Characters At Logan’s Funeral In Season 4 Episode 9

The Real Meaning Of Succession’s Ending

Succession is a truly tragic show, with it exploring themes of greed, pride, and generational trauma. The Roy family is constantly ripped apart by their various interests at Waystar Royco, with the three Roy siblings always turning on each other at the drop of a hat. This is something that Connor Roy and Uncle Ewan point out constantly throughout the show. However, they are unable to save the Roy siblings. By the end of Succession season 4, Roman is weak and broken, Shiv is in an unhappy relationship, and Kendall has lost everything, with them all becoming like Logan Roy in their pursuit of power.

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