It’s Friday, which means Succession’s newest installment is around the corner. What can we expect from Episode 5? Read along as we examine one burning question heading into the next chapter of Succession’s final season.
The burning question heading into Episode 5: Kendall and Co. are gearing up to head to Scandinavia to negotiate with Lukas Matsson. What do you expect to happen during those talks?
Ben Lindbergh: I’m guessing GoJo’s team-building retreat in Norway will not bolster team unity or lead to lots of hygge among the Waystar Royco crew. (Side note: How much do you think the real companies named Gojo and Waystar are looking forward to the end of Succession?) Nor will Lukas Matsson be inclined to retreat as far as the Waystar acquisition is concerned: With Logan gone and the share price plummeting, the Swede will be on the offensive. As he seeks to sweeten the deal with an ATN topping, he’ll be probing the remaining Roys for weaknesses, which he’s sure to find. Roman has historically been the Swede whisperer, but with him and Kendall doing their best Logan impressions and Shiv bearing grudges against both her brothers and Tom, she may be the tech bro’s best bet for a soft touch. It won’t be long until we learn how the siblings will get Hans Christian Anderfucked—and even if everyone is a Skarsgard, it’s still a show of strength for Succession to replace its big dad with a worthy big bad.
Julianna Ress: Since Shiv is second to only Kerry in the amount of Ls taken this season, she has to be plotting something to genuinely cross out Kendall—and Roman!—from the Waystar CEO title. It’s hard to tell where everyone stands on the GoJo deal right now, but I could see Shiv tapping into her history of political negotiation to strike up some kind of deal with Matsson that screws over the brothers. Plus, Shiv has leverage over Kendall: her knowledge of his role in the waiter’s death at her wedding, which she could deploy at any time. Let’s not forget about the letter she wrote in Season 3 about Kendall’s drug addiction, misogyny, and distance from his children. Shiv is definitely not above sharing some damning info on her siblings to get a leg up on them, and right now, she’s desperate for an ounce of power.
Alan Siegel: In a clumsy attempt to charm Matsson, Roman will bro out with the Swede. Kendall will try to act like an alpha during the negotiations and fail. Shiv will beg off the international trip, very understandably, but won’t explain why. And Tom will get dumped on as always yet continue to quietly scheme while shooting off the best one-liners you’ve ever heard in your life. For Succession, it will be business as usual.
Kai Grady: Kendall is back (for now, at least). That Logan Roy–esque smirk at the end of last week’s episode was as thrilling as it was devious. However, I think Jesse Armstrong might be using that moment as a red herring of sorts. All the two Roy brothers need to do is close the deal with Matsson, which suggests to me that anything except that will actually end up happening. I don’t think it will be for a lack of trying, though. My prediction is that Shiv takes her shot and makes a move that ends up turning her brothers against one another. In the process, she’ll gain Matsson’s ear and attention. Her name may not have been the one that was underlined or crossed out, but my gut says she won’t let a piece of paper dictate her future.
Katie Baker: I am trying to figure out where I would set the over/under on “number of individuals who secretly approach Matsson with either a proposal for some side deal or with undermining information about someone else.” Kendall is a given; it’s what he thinks his dad would have done. Shiv is feeling left out by her brothers and resentful of her intended ex. I freaking hope we get a Karl-Matsson one-on-one. It’s easy to imagine Tom sucking up with increasingly flailing purpose because it’s what he did for all of Episode 4. Greg will definitely somehow wind up being granted a Stockholm penthouse … for a price. Roman might be the exception, ultimately winning Matsson’s favor because he is too exhausted and pre-grieved out to properly hustle. I don’t know. At the end of the day, adding in a buffer for surprises, I set the line at … over/under 6.5. Skal!
Jomi Adeniran: I expect what always happens to the siblings to happen during these talks: They’ll break apart. Kendall and Roman will do their best to try and bring the deal home, but with the Waystar board looking for more cash and Matsson not looking to spend a dime more than he wants to, Matsson will look to split the team. With Shiv as the odd sibling out, she’ll be the perfect target to break ranks. Shiv has been having just an awful time lately, and she needs a legitimate comeback. Between Tom selling her out in the Season 3 finale and two of her brothers becoming co-CEOs without her, Shiv needs a win—and she’ll get it, regardless of how it affects everyone else around her.
Austin Gayle: Alexander Skarsgard going toe-to-toe with Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin will be world-class television. Superstar acting performances have already taken Succession into a new stratosphere in just four episodes, and now Skarsgard will have his opportunity to punch it up even further. Every line of dialogue will be a scene-stealing uppercut. I don’t know—nor do I really care—who of the Roys will ultimately put enough names on the kill list to seduce the Swede and ink the GoJo deal or if the deal will go through at all. Just give me the screwups and dipshits masquerading as serious people having an afternoon fika with Skarsgard, and I’ll be Chuckles the clown for 60-plus minutes.