- The decision to end Succession was made by series creator Jesse Armstrong, despite HBO’s reluctance.
- It was a challenging and thought-out decision that took a lot of time.
- Armstrong felt that the show had reached a natural end and it was a hard feeling to go against.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong addresses whether a fifth season of the beloved HBO show was ever in the cards. The Emmy-winning dramedy accomplished a relatively rare accomplishment, bowing out at a time when both audiences and critics would have likely embraced another round of Roy family squabbles. The decision to end Succession came from Armstrong himself, despite reluctance from HBO, as the creator felt like the show arrived at a natural end.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Armstrong reflected on the possibility of Succession season 5 and beyond. Armstrong confessed that it wasn’t a decision he took lightly. In the quote below, he talks about how he needed time to decide how the story should go and restates his feeling that the series had arrived at the “natural end.” Read Armstrong’s quote below:
It was challenging. It was a big decision. I didn’t take it lightly. I’d been thinking about it when we were doing season three. And then it was absolutely a big preoccupation, all the time between season three and season four. I was chewing on it and I’d meet up with some other of my writer friends just to think it through. It was a very slow gestation, by no means made on the hoof. It took a lot of the time before I got to the view of thinking this is what we should do. I told everyone: “This was how the story should go, I feel this in my bones, but please try to argue me out of it.” There were all sorts of reasons we’d have liked to carry on. But once you’ve felt that this is the natural end, it’s a very hard gut feeling to roll back on.
Succession Ended At The Right Time
The brilliance of the Succession ending is that the show doesn’t break its formula to deliver something grandiose. Waystar Royco isn’t demolished. No one is killed and no one goes to prison. In some ways, it’s a very typical big episode of Succession. Alliances are made, and others are broken. In the episode’s closing scene, Kendall looks lost and without purpose. It makes the finality all the more stark, suggesting that the Roy siblings are caught in a cycle that they can’t break free of.
Succession could have continued after season 4. One avenue could have been to zero in on Shiv with her estranged husband, Tom, in a tenuous position of power. Kendall, meanwhile, tries to regroup while Roman attempts to stay out of the fray. However, those battles and their variations had begun to wear thin. The series largely avoided any backlash and decline due to the strength of its writing, performances, and directing, and it will be remembered most fondly for knowing when to end. That’s a particular virtue at a time when anything remotely successful faces pressure to become a franchise.
It’s even more impressive because Succession has potential spinoff avenues, whether a separate show that centers around Kendall’s assistant Jess, played by Juliana Canfield, or a prequel. Armstrong, however, has remained consistent about the fact that it was better to leave the Roy family behind than to turn their story into something that is not for the sake of prolonging its popularity.
All of Succession is currently available to stream on Max.
- Release Date:
- Hiam Abbass, Alan Ruck, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Natalie Gold, Nicholas Braun, J. Smith-Cameron, Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Friedman, Brian Cox, Arian Moayed, Jeremy Strong, Rob Yang, Dagmara Dominczyk
- Drama, Comedy
- Succession tracks the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father (Brian Cox) begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate they control.
- Story By:
- jesse armstrong
- Jesse Armstrong
- HBO Max
- Streaming Service(s):
- HBO Max
- Mark Mylod
- Jesse Armstrong