Succession, the HBO drama that has captivated audiences across the globe, is known for its intricate storytelling, exceptional performances, and biting wit, as it delves into the treacherous world of the Roy family.
As the powerful media dynasty struggles for control, each episode keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the next twist in the tale.
But among the many episodes that make up this remarkable series, there are those that stand out as truly exceptional, earning a spot in the Succession Hall of Fame.
In this article, we will take you through the most unforgettable and acclaimed episodes of Succession, highlighting the moments that have left an indelible mark on the show's fanbase.
Season 1 Episode 6 - Which Side Are You On
HBO's Succession Season 1 Episode 6, "Which Side Are You On?" is the first real taste of real Roy family drama with that familiar splash of comedy that leaves you on the edge of your seat and clutching your popcorn.
Kendall Roy, the ambitious son of media mogul Logan Roy, is on a mission to take down his own father, but things quickly go awry when the vote of no confidence doesn't quite go as planned.
Meanwhile, Roman, the sarcastic little brother with a huge ego, is caught in the middle of a family feud and watching him squirm is like watching a YouTube video of cats trying to walk in shoes.
As if that weren't enough, Tom takes Greg out for dinner, which includes devouring a small songbird with napkins over their heads. With Greg feeding Tom intel that his grandfather Ewan is in town for the vote.
But let's not forget about the cunning Gerri, the power-suit-wearing general counsel of Waystar Royco who is the modern-day Machiavelli of corporate warfare. She's always a force to be reckoned with, and in this episode, she proves that she's always a few steps ahead of the game.
Overall, "Which Side Are You On?" is a rollercoaster of emotions, combining humour, tension, and a healthy dose of awkward family moments that we can all relate to. It's like watching a reality show about a wealthy family, but instead of fighting over petty drama, they're fighting for power and control.
This is an episode that's guaranteed to leave you with a case of the "what just happened" shakes. Trust us, "Which Side Are You On?" is an absolute must-see episode of Succession that you won't want to miss.
Season 1 Episode 10 - Nobody Is Ever Missing
As much as we love to see the Roy family come together to celebrate a joyous occasion, nothing beats the drama that ensues when the claws come out. In the Season 1 finale of HBO's Succession, the Roys gather for Shiv and Tom's wedding, but the real fireworks begin when Kendall and Stewy finalize their takeover bid for Waystar RoyCo.
As always, Logan Roy is not one to take such news lightly, and he kicks Kendall out of his room in a fit of rage. However, Logan quickly regains his composure and begins scrambling to get ahead of the situation with his legal team.
Meanwhile, Roman has a rocket explosion on his hands, and Connor announces his presidential ambitions to his siblings. All the while, Kendall is off searching for drugs and causing chaos, ultimately ending up in a car crash that leaves him in shock.
As the police investigate the incident, Logan concocts a cover story to protect his son, promising to make the case go away if Kendall calls off the takeover and attends rehab. And of course, Kendall obliges and breaks down in his father's arms.
All in all, this episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, with the Roys at their best (or worst, depending on how you look at it). But amidst all the chaos, we can't help but be entertained by the sheer audacity and cutthroat tactics of this wealthy and dysfunctional family.
This is the episode that many highlight as the point that they went ‘all in’ with Succession.
Season 2 Episode 3 - Hunting
“Boar on the floor. It’s a game - it’s fun.”
“Oink for your sausages piggies”
Season 2 Episode 3 of Succession is so good it has become its own cultural phenomenon, as ‘Boar on the Floor’ became a saying across the globe.
Succession Season 2 Episode 3, "Hunting," takes us on a wild ride through the Hungarian countryside with the Roy family.
The episode starts off with Greg meeting with an author who is writing an unauthorized biography on Logan. But when Greg realizes he's being recorded, he makes a quick exit. Meanwhile, Logan announces that Waystar will be taking over Pierce Global Media, much to the chagrin of Shiv who opposes the acquisition.
The family sets off on a hunting trip in Hungary, but tensions run high when Logan discovers that someone in the inner circle leaked information about the acquisition plans to the Pierce family.
In an effort to find the mole, Logan subjects Tom, Greg, and Karl to a humiliating game of "Boar on the Floor," where they fight over a piece of sausage like pigs. It's a cringe-worthy moment that has us all wondering just how far Logan will go to assert his power.
Meanwhile, Shiv tries to convince Connor not to run for president due to his anti-tax platform, and Roman reaches out to his former fling and PGM board member Naomi Pierce to broach the idea of an acquisition. It's all a game of cat and mouse that leaves us on the edge of our seats.
As the episode comes to a close, Logan learns that Mo, a deceased board member, was the one who leaked the information, and Shiv gets the call to finally join the family business. It's a cliffhanger that leaves us begging for more.
Overall, "Hunting" is a thrilling and suspenseful episode that has us all wondering just who will come out on top in this ruthless game of corporate politics. It's a reminder that when it comes to the Roy family, nothing is off-limits, and we're all just along for the ride.
Season 2 Episode 5- Tern Haven
As the purchase of Piece News begins to gather steam, The Roys are summoned to meet with the equally strange Pierce family.
The Pierces are positioned as the opposite of the Roys. They are politically left-leaning, have a news organization that values truth over profit and spend their time in pursuit of academic or cultural pursuits.
One would assume that the bizarro Roys would be more likeable, but this is Succession. There are no heroes in this world of the one per cent. Everyone exists on a spectrum of deplorable, yet you love them anyway.
Logan wants his family to be on their best behaviour. Everybody is given an assignment to charm their corresponding Pierce family member, and it becomes apparent that their hosts have been told something similar.
The contrasts between these two families are as entertaining as their similarities. Roman squirms at dinner while pretending to have read books, Connor finds an antagonist and drinking buddy, and Kendall bonds with Naomi Peirce over drugs and shared family pressures.
Shiv and Logan let the tension get to them throughout the weekend. Logan realises that Shiv may not be the best person to take over as CEO, and when Nan Pierce describes her as similar to their family it seems to support his doubts.
This episode is fantastic because it shows the Roys outside of their bubble and how they behave when they need to impress people. Even at their most focussed, they are unconvincing to put it kindly.
What is fun about this episode is that the Pierce family is equally unbearable. They engage in activities like star-gazing and quote Shakespeare before eating. Nan Pierce has her servants prepare a huge meal, which she brings out as if she has prepared it herself.
They profess to be left-leaning but believe in legacy wealth and their own status in the world, deserved or not. They are every bit as strange to the viewers as the Roys are. The juxtaposition between the two groups is brilliant fun.
The whole weekend appears to be Pierce’s final flex of their remaining power. Nan summons Logan to her office to list demands should they sell to Waystar Royco. Logan listens, then rejects their terms. He is making the offer and knows that they need to accept it financially.
Nan Pierce is addicted to influence, more than money and she is trying to exert it while she still has it.
The cherry on top of this brilliant episode is Holly Hunter guest starring as Rhea, the Pierce CEO who is in support of Logan’s purchase but wants the best deal for her employers.
Large parts of this episode feel improvised in the best way, Roman’s description of a book that he clearly just made up is one of the highlights, but this is an episode packed with brilliant moments and is one of the most rewatchable of the series.
Season 2 Episode 9 -DC
Few things in Succession are funnier than Tom Wamsgans squirming. He is a man who wields his wealth and influence, at times for his own amusement. So when the Waystar Royco inner circle is called to testify before congress about the Cruises scandal, it makes for painfully perfect viewing.
Tom is flustered, clumsy and untruthful before a congressman that knows the answers before he asks the questions.
Logan tries to remain insulated from the scandal, while others slowly begin to panic. Shiv tries to use her political connections to find out what may be headed their way, Kendall goes on the offensive, while Geri and Tom feel the walls closing in.
Meanwhile, Shiv attempts to manipulate one of the victims into withdrawing from testimony and Roman is caught up in what may or may not be a hostage situation while seeking funds to take Waystar Royco private.
This episode is at times hilarious, but also a reminder of how despicable these people are. When Reah resigns from Logan's employment it is a bad sign for Logan. The ship may actually be sinking this time, and he needs to figure out his next move.
Season 2 Episode 10- This Is Not For Tears
It is just the hint of a smile. Logan Roy is not a man easily impressed, nor is he one to show what he is thinking. But in the final moments of season two, Kendall is finally seen as somewhat worthy.
Lets rewind. This Is Not For Tears begins in the immediate aftermath of the congressional hearings into the Cruises scandal.
Logan has invited everybody onto his yacht for what they all understand to be the search for a sacrificial lamb. Tensions rise as they all discuss who should be fired and perhaps prosecuted.
The way that they all try and objectively present their arguments is hilarious. Frank admits that he looks good on paper as a senior executive but points out that because he had betrayed the family before, it would look like retribution or at least an easy decision.
Tom is brought up and shows more emotion than the others. The tension gets to him more obviously as he confronts Shiv about the state of their marriage and bizarrely steals Logan's chicken.
Connor offers himself up as tribute. It is slightly touching how stupid his plan is but is motivated by a need for money urgently. He earlier asks his father for a small loan of $100 million dollars as if it is change for parking.
Connor has invested heavily into Willa’s play, and the cost of $500,000 per week combined with the bad reviews is taking its toll on him. The complete disaster and her shock at the reception of her play is another reminder that none of these people deserves to be in the position they are in.
Only Logan feels that he has earned his station in life, and it explains his general disdain for the others.
Only Roman seems safe. His recent success in securing finance, and then subsequent rejection of that deal has improved his standing. He takes the situation seriously but also enjoys taunting the others as anxiety levels rise.
Kendall is eventually selected and accepts his fate. He seems to think it is penance for the death of the waiter in Season One, but that is waved away by his father.
When he asks Logan if he ever thought he could do the top job, Logan replies that no he did not. “You have to be a killer,” he states, Kendall looks devasted and defeated.
Those words would come to haunt Logan. At the press conference where Kendall is supposed to offer his resignation and confession, he instead throws the entire family under the bus. He tells the world that Logan had full knowledge and control over everything.
The final shots of are Logan looking slightly impressed and hiding a smile, while everybody else is in shock. It looks like Kendall has set the stage to take over in season three. But nothing is certain in Succession except everybody is ultimately trying to fly too high.
Season 3 Episode 2 - Mass in a Time of War
Following the first episode of the third season of Succession, Logan has pushed the remaining loyal children into testing out to see if the grass could be greener on Team Kendall with one by one Shiv, Roman and Connor all showing up at Kendall’s ex-wife Rava’s apartment to hash out their differences and figure out what intel Kendall has.
As always all of the Roy siblings are out for themselves and no one actually wants to work with Kendall with his rambling buzzword-filled sentences come across even worse with all four siblings locked down in his daughter’s, who he struggles to remember the name of, bedroom.
Connor comes across as the measured older brother, calling out Shiv on her ignorance and checking in on Roman after Kendall and Shiv take a few insults too far.
Meanwhile in Sarajevo Logan is not handling his loss of control all that well, constantly badgering Tom to find out where Shiv is and making sure he’s in all of his kid’s heads.
This culminates in a box of doughnuts arriving at Rava’s apartment. After Greg delivers the intel to Tom that Shiv is there, and intimidates all three into publicly aligning with Logan rather than opting to play both sides.
Speaking of playing both sides, the second episode of season three has some classic Greg moments, as he assesses his options, asking for his Grandfather’s assistance for a lawyer, Roger Pugh, who he can only get access to at night, with the two older men intending to use Greg for their own motivations to take down Waystar Royco and the American Capitalist structures.
It’s an episode with plenty of Succession’s classic visual gags, relying on both the framing of shots and historical references, with Stewy sending Kendall a literal trojan horse, which is not appreciated and the introduction of Sandy Furness’ daughter Sandi who is just out of shot until Kendall addresses both family members.
Season 3 Episode 6 - What it Takes
With the shareholder meeting done and dusted, the Roys have to fix the mess Logan created by aggravating the Donald Trump stand-in, exclusively referred to as “The Rasin” so much so he refuses to run again, and the only way to do that is for the Republican Party and the elites gather together and pick the next president.
It’s an episode that perfectly sets up the second half of the season with Shiv continuing to lose her father’s favour and Roman showing signs that he knows which buttons to push to win Logan over.
Not to mention it shows just how easy it is to win Logan over with each of the three presidential hopefuls pitching to Logan about how they can give him what he wants but only right-wing Congressman Jeryd Mencken giving the old man what he really wants, a can of coke.
Kendall’s plans continue to crumble with his lawyer Lisa Arthur letting him know the documents Greg gave Kendall proving to be not as substantive as they would have hoped and Tom landing the final blow that begins Kendall’s spiral.
“I’ve seen you get fucked a lot, and I’ve never seen Logan get fucked once.” Hinting where Tom’s alliances really lie.
Tom continues to prepare for prison, taking Greg out to a diner to eat waffles and explains that he’s eating the blandest food possible so that he can get his taste buds to adjust, highlighting that even Tom and Greg who weren’t born into the Roy’s lifestyle are just as elitist and out of touch.
Greg double downs on this idea by coming to the conclusion that he’s going to sue Greenpeace for his inheritance, much to the delight of a group of young republicans, and gets a jab in at Connor’s expense letting Logan and the inner circle know that Connor’s presidential ambitions shouldn’t even be entertained.
Throughout the episode the chess pieces for the final episodes come into play with Shiv and Roman finding out their mother is engaged and let to marry Peter Munion, a man Logan dubs as “The seat sniffer”, with the Roys set to head to Italy to see their mother remarry and crush her children’s psyche a little more.
Season 3 Episode 9 - All the Bells Say
Everyone loves a wedding, well except Greg’s girlfriend Comfry, and the Roy family certainly knows how to ruin one with their business schemes.
The episode opens with disaster, Kendall returning to an Italian villa following an overnight stay at the hospital after falling into the pull, only to deliver some of the lowest energy threats about how he’s going to leak internal communications on his Instagram.
Meanwhile, Logan is furious because the Department of Justice is set to hit Waystar Royco with a historic fine which has moved the markets enough that GoJo’s, the company they’ve been looking to purchase, market cap has now exceeded the company's.
The chess pieces quickly start to move with Logan and Roman paying a visit to Lukas Matsson where an alternative deal is proposed after Roman is sent away by his father.
The Roy siblings come together to discuss Kendall and check in on him, which ultimately is the four of them throwing barbs at one another, and for the first time in his life, Connor gets the final word in, reminding his siblings that he is the firstborn son and getting a second win in the episode when Willa agrees to marry him, setting season four up for its very own wedding.
As the pieces move Greg finds out through the incredibly named “Lackey Slack” that top executives have flown into Italy to help Logan piece together a deal and with his notable absence from the wedding, Shiv is quick to start blasting the alarm bells.
This of course includes looping in Kendall who after emotionally admitting that he killed the waiter in season one lets his siblings in on how they can kill Logan and stop the company from being sold to GoJo. Only Roman is conflicted and Shiv lets Tom in on the details of the plan.
Once they finally come face to face with Logan the trio discover that every person in their lives that are supposed to love them has turned against them, including their mother who nukes any chance Logan losing. Including Greg who boos his soul when Tom offers him the prospect of having a thousand of his own Gregs.
The season ends on Shiv’s face both hurt and angry at the realisation that this whole time she’s been played by her father, her mother and her husband.
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