This is it. After five years, 13 Emmys, and a shed-load of cursing, Succession is about to leave the building. Like Elvis and Boris Johnson’s political career, it is not coming back.

Jesse Armstrong, the show’s creator, announced in February that this fourth series would be the last.

“There’s a promise in the title of Succession. I’ve never thought this could go on forever,” he told the New Yorker.

Who will be left wearing the crown at the end of the feature-length finale? We have whittled it down to seven possible scenarios. Warning: contains spoilers.


Winner Kendall takes it all

Kendall’s best laid plans have backfired before, leaving him a broken man at times, but he always rallies. The force is strong in this one. At the moment his plan is to side with Roman against Shiv and scupper the sale to Matsson. In this last series Kendall (played by Jeremy Strong) has pulled some dirty moves worthy of his father Logan (Brian Cox), including casting shade on the old man’s legacy before he was even in the ground. As Logan told his children, “I love you but you are not serious people.” Has Kendall proved himself serious enough?

Roman retires from the fray

Kendall’s would-be wingman did not have a good funeral. His plan was to wow a cathedral full of heads of states and captains of industry, just like dad would have done. Instead, Roman (Kieran Culkin) came apart like a tear-soaked paper hankie. While initially sympathetic, big brother later told little bro he had “f***** it”. An already vulnerable Roman was last seen hurling himself into a mob of protesters, cruising for a cathartic bruising. Where is he now? Though Roman may not get the top job, Culkin is a solid bet for the best actor Emmy.

The hand that rocks the cradle is Shiv’s

She vowed to destroy Ken and Roman after they stole the presidential election and handed it to the Trump-like Jeryd Mencken. In return, Mencken said he would block the sale to Matsson. Shiv had an idea: appoint an American CEO (a certain red-head sister, say), allowing Mencken to green-light the deal and putting Matsson in his debt. All this and a baby on the way. Shiv (Sarah Snook) has thrived under the pressure of her pregnancy and on-off relationship with Tom. Could be her time at last.

Hail Tom, the compromise candidate

The father of Shiv’s baby and as slippery a corporate customer as they come. Tom’s siding with Logan and against his wife, Roman and Kendall was one of the great small screen betrayals. But that’s Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), a survivor with an unerring instinct to side with winners. Tom and Shiv could make up, with him coming forward as the compromise candidate - he’s tried it before. A new dynasty is born.

Ah, Cousin Greg, we’ve been expecting you

From the moment he first appeared, Greg has been the idiot in the village of the 1% that is Succession. Dopey, awkward, a hick from the sticks, he learned the art of sucking up from Tom. Greg (Nicholas Braun) has a genius for failing upwards. Could he turn out to be the show’s Chauncey Gardiner, its Forrest Gump, the chump who wins the CEO job in the end?

Sisters do it for themselves

Now this, admittedly, is a moonshot. Gerri has not survived this long in the corporate jungle without knowing how to look after herself. Remember her pep talk as the team went to Matsson’s Scandi retreat expecting to be fired? “They may think they’re Vikings, but we’ve been raised by wolves, exposed to a pathogen that goes by the name of Logan Roy.” What is to stop Gerri (J Smith-Cameron) from mounting a takeover by the many women Logan Roy did wrong? The wives and mistresses alone, as we saw at the funeral, are a formidable bunch.

All’s well that ends well

Unrest continues on the streets over the disputed election result. Several parties agree that they can live without Logan’s pesky kids and proceed to bring them down. It could be Matsson who wields the dagger, or the unholy trinity of Gerri, Frank and Karl. Whatever, it’s all too much for the Roy siblings, who resolve to turn away from greed and use their corporate skills for good. Roman hears the land his father set sail from all those years ago is having terrible bother with its ferry services. Roys assemble!

Succession, 2am/9pm Monday, May 29, on Sky Atlantic/Now