'Succession' Cast Reacts to That 'Satisfying' Yet Open-Ended Series Finale (Exclusive)

J. Smith-Cameron, Kieran Culkin and more from the cast talk to ET about the series finale.

Spoiler warning: Here is a recap of the Succession season 4 AND series finale, "With Open Eyes," directed by Mark Mylod and written by creator Jesse Armstrong.

Succession, the Emmy-winning HBO family saga, about the Roys and their in-fighting for control of the media conglomerate, Waystar Royco, came to an end after four seasons -- and in the process, finally revealed who would have a seat at the table as the company determined who would become CEO once and for all. 

This comes after season 4 of Succession kicked off the Roy siblings -- Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and the secretly pregnant Shiv (Sarah Snook) -- determined to start their own media company following their failed coup to take out their father, Logan (Brian Cox), in the season 3 finale, when they were betrayed by Shiv's husband, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), and their cousin, Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun). 

Since then, the series took an unexpected turn by killing off Logan during eldest son (and flailing presidential candidate) Connor's (Alan Ruck) wedding to Willa (Justine Lupe) just three episodes into the final season. This, in turn, sent the future of the entire family and Waystar Royco into a spiral as the remaining executives -- including legal counsel Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron) -- attempted to save the uncertain deal and sale to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), the increasingly problematic founder of GoJo, and keep their competitors at bay.

In the episodes since, Kendall, who was still trying to get the approval of his estranged wife Rava (Natalie Gold), and Roman were named co-interim CEO while Shiv secretly started negotiating with Lukas for her own place within the company should the sale to GoJo go through. All the while, her husband was forced to call the election for Roman's chosen alt-right candidate, Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk), and Greg found himself navigating newfound responsibilities of hiring and firing most of the ATN staff. 


In the end, Kendall is "anointed" successor of Logan as Shiv and Roman cede control of the company to their brother. This comes after an extended episode of negotiating and backstabbing and last-minute negotiations that led to the family coming together to unite against Lukas and other outside proposals, from people like Lady Caroline (Harriet Walter). 

After finally coming together – which involved many angry phone calls and drunken nights along the beach – the family reconvened back in the U.S., where Connor was hosting a family auction over Logan's belongings. And as it turns out, Connor and Willa are planning a long term relationship while Gerri is forced to deal with President-elect Mencken's electoral fights in the courts. 

Before Connor sells all their belongings, the family gathers to watch some home videos of them with Logan during one of their many family and corporate dinners, uniting the surviving children in a moment of remembrance that didn't quite happen during the funeral. 

Meanwhile, Tom reveals that he's supposed to be the new CEO to Shiv, who found out from Greg that it was going against her. This leads to a physical confrontation between Greg and his mentor, Tom, and last-minute dealings with Stewy Hosseini (Arian Moayed) and Sandi Furness (Hope Davis) before the family heads into its final showdown with the board meeting.

Elsewhere, Gerri is seen negotiating her exit package after being sorta fired by Roman during Connor's wedding and then later confronting him about her departure from the company despite her years of loyal surface and history of secrets. 


When it comes to the final vote, Shiv turns on Kendall and accuses him of killing someone -- this referring to the events that happened at the end of season 1 -- and their whole deal falling apart as Kendall cracks in real time and tries to attack his siblings. "It's fucking nothing," Roman tells Kendall as it all falls apart for the siblings. 

And so, despite Kendall thinking he's the new CEO, the rest of the company sells to GoJo, with Lukas the actual new CEO and leader of Waystar Royco, with Stewy and others following suit. Tom, meanwhile, retains top spot at ATN, while Greg gives his final congrats before his boss says he wants to talk to Gerri, seemingly keeping her on, and tells the "piece of shit" cousin that he's been kept within the fold.

Although Shiv sold Kendall out in the final board meeting, she congratulates Tom as the two ride off in an SVU together, hand-in-hand. Kendall, of course, is left pondering final thoughts as he stares out into the basin of lower Manhattan. 


While speaking to ET, members of the cast shared their reaction to how creator Jesse Armstrong wrapped up the series and how they feel about Succession ending, even with the show being as big as it has ever been. 

"We read the table draft for the last episode and then Jesse told us that it's the end of the show. And it's one of those where if he said there's gonna be a [season] five right after that, it made sense too," Culkin said, adding, "It feels like an end, but it feels like it could carry on." 

"And for Roman, it feels very much the same," he continued, explaining, "Nothing's wrapped up in a pretty little bow. There's more life that carries on after the episode ends." 

"I knew a bit of the story and where it would go, mostly the Greg stuff. I knew some of the elements and how things would finish up," Braun said of having some idea about where things were headed in the end. "But you never know until you read it and what actually stays in it. Jesse's always tweaking and changing the storylines and stuff. So, when I read it, I just thought, it's just, like, a perfect [ending]."

"I mean, [Jesse]'s an incredible writer. It's like reading a novel that you actually get to make real, you know, that you actually get to be a part of and bring to life," he continued, noting, "I think all of us were very moved by and excited to give it to [the fans]." 

"It's pretty cool," Smith-Cameron said of the finale, adding that the last episode had "a good surprise, you know, twist." 

When it specifically comes to Gerri, who is seemingly saved in the end, "I feel like things don't really wrap up for my character," she said, noting that "in the world of Succession, where Gerri sort of fits in and so many other characters fit in, it could be ongoing. Like, almost more than ever because of what's going on in the world today. I think it would still be extremely relevant and I still think it's very pertinent." 

That said, "the family story is really coming to a conclusion, a really satisfying conclusion," Smith-Cameron offered. 

"I won't say I'm happy, but I'm really glad that I was a part of it," Ruck says of the series ending.

All four seasons of Succession are now streaming on Max.