The Roy kids brought sausages to a gun fight on 'Succession'

The Waystar patriarch spawned pieces of himself that never amounted to a full heir.

Photograph by Graeme Hunter/HBO

The following contains spoilers from the Season 3 finale of Succession.

After nine weeks, Succession’s third season ended with one of the most harrowing episodes of the series, and one of the clearest examples as to why none of the Roy children were ever enough like their father to succeed him.

Succession’s finale to an inconsistent yet irresistible third season concluded with a web of duplicity and subterfuge that’s ensnared all of Logan’s offspring. After Shiv, Roman and Kendall receive word their father is in the process of selling Waystar to tech company Gojo, they form like Voltron to thwart his plan. The trio’s idea was to prevent their father from getting the supermajority votes necessary to transfer power by withholding votes they were under the impression their mother gave them in the divorce settlement. In a heated confrontation, Logan reveals he and their mother surreptitiously altered the divorce settlement shortly before the children arrived, effectively ending the hope any of them had at ever running the company they competed over for the last three seasons. But, the Roy children were never capable to outsmart their father because they each only possess a fraction of the qualities that have made him the untouchable media emperor.

The Roy children have each grown into manifestations of their father’s individual traits. Roman is as unfiltered as his father and operates almost solely off impulse, allowing him to negotiate with fascists and power-hungry tech bros without morality stunting his business instincts. Unfortunately, he’s never achieved anything independent of his father, which explains why he was hesitant to overthrow Logan in the finale and why his only counteroffer to his dad selling the company was love.

Kendall has Logan’s cutthroat independence that allowed him to take the best, and truly only viable shot at dethroning his father. What he doesn’t have is any semblance of control over his emotions or addictions enough to enact a cogent plan without crumbling into a shell of himself after a smear campaign by his family. Meanwhile, Shiv is almost every bit the methodical manipulator as her father, gaslighting a sexual abuse victim into not incriminating her family company and orchestrating backdoor deals in an effort to consolidate her power. But she doesn’t have a fraction of the business acumen her father possesses, lacking his ability to think three moves ahead. It’s why she threatened to block her father’s sale of the company with Kendall’s plan to use supermajority power, without doing her due diligence to make sure she and her siblings still possessed that power. Her ambition handicapped her business pursuits in the past, like when she allowed businesswoman Rhea Jarrell to duplicitously advise her to entertain the CEO job at rival network PMG; Shiv was attempting to leverage Logan into giving her the Waystar CEO position, but Rhea knew it would anger Logan and ensure her own security of the job instead.

As for Connor, his demand for respect as the oldest son of the Roy family draws from the same twisted, entitled familial logic Logan exhibited in the penultimate episode when he was visibly hurt by Kendall rightly calling him a bad person. But, Connor is also completely useless in business, evidenced by how easily he’s been shut out of every major Waystar decision for the past three seasons.

Logan himself is partly to blame for none of his offspring growing into a deserving successor to the Waystar kingdom. Shiv was able to work outside of the family company, even with a political nemesis of her father’s in Gil Eavis for most of the first two seasons. Roman’s childish behavior not only went unreformed, but was rewarded with a chief operating officer position at one of the biggest media companies in the world. While Logan cleaned up Kendall’s messes like the wedding staff’s death, he often disregarded his son’s mental state by using that tragedy to leverage an end to any hostile takeover of Waystar and pull him out of a much-needed rehabilitation stint in Iceland to give a public statement. With Connor, he allowed his eldest son to live a charmed life with no real responsibilities, deluded by enough unfettered access to his wealth to believe in self-funding his girlfriend’s terrible play and making an idiotic run for President of the United States.

Now that the Roy children will have to fend for themselves, let’s see if they’re able to “make (their) own fucking pile,” as Logan told them in yesterday’s season finale. Can any of them can pick themselves by their Gucci bootstraps to find a way to the top of a company they all feel entitled to but not ready for?