Directed by Mark Mylod and written by Jesse Armstrong, Succession comes to an end. The pieces are in place for a few last big moves, but leave it to Armstrong to pull off some last-minute changes. The Succession finale, titled “With Open Eyes,” completes the two-week window from the start of the season. Emotions run high, and the characters make their last moves. It will be remembered as one of the more fulfilling finales in recent history.

Succession Strong With Open Eyes

The recap – Succession – “With Open Eyes”

Kendall rides into Waystar as the radio announces the GoJo deal seems done. Kendall gets ready to run the board presentation. Stewie tells Tellis he’s out. Kendall does not believe it. He asks Kendall to lay out the road map, but Ken can only guarantee four seats. When Tillis asks about Roman’s status, Kendall says he’s got it.

Shiv tells Matsson they’ve got Stewie. She lays out who has jumped to their team, including Frank, herself, and Sandy. Shiv asks Matsson about his plans for the meeting and which direction he wants to pitch. She also asks about Tom’s future. Matsson does not know and asks for Shiv’s opinion. She says he’s an interchangeable part, but he’s well-liked.

Succession Skarsgård

Shiv gets a call from Caroline, who asks her to visit. Caroline is with Roman but promised she would not tell his siblings. Shiv agrees she can try to make it over and sees a Matsson looking at a political cartoon. In it, Shiv is sitting on top of Matsson. He seems disinterested in the image but assures her nothing is wrong.

Tom calls Shiv and asks if she’s found Roman or talked to Matsson. She tells him she’s working on Matsson and she will do what she can. She boards a private jet to see her mother and Roman. Greg wakes up from the couch next to Tom and walks away.

Shiv tells Tom she wants to get some things straight. She asks if there’s anything left in their relationship. Tom jokes that because it would be easier for her, she’s fallen in love with the scheduling. Shiv tells him that she knows how awful the things are they’ve said. She asks if he’s interested in a real relationship. Tom does not know.

Kendall calls Stewie to get him on the same page. It goes to voicemail. Kendall calls Toman based on info from Greg and Tom, but Caroline answers. He asks if Shiv is there, and when Caroline tries to deflect, Kendall gets on a plane.

Shiv arrives, and Roman walks out of his villa. He’s got a bandage on his head. When Shiv asks what happened, he tells her about getting hit after the funeral. Caroline joins them and invites Shiv into the house. Kendall keeps calling Stewy and finally gets a call through. Stewy seems to pass on information about Vaulter Lawrence Yee just as Kendall arrives.

He walks into the house and finds Roman and Shiv together. He begins pushing on Rome, and when he reacts passively, Kendall gets aggressive. Caroline intercepts, and when it seems like Kendall’s calmed, he starts criticizing Roman again. Roman tells Kendall he doesn’t have the votes, so why would he care? Kendall starts telling Roman to man up, and Roman leaves.

Caroline asks if they want to stay for dinner. When Kendall mentions the board meeting Caroline mocks him about his important meeting. Shiv agrees to stay, prompting Kendall to do the same.


Tom spends time with Matsson at an art exhibit. Matsson gets pulled away, and Tom talks to Greg. Tom tells Greg he needs all the intel possible. He believes Greg becomes expendable when Matsson sees his salary.

Kendall joins Shiv at a bar at Caroline’s. He tells her Matsson is talking with Lawrence about a job. She does not believe him. Roman joins them, and Shiv tells him she’ll want out of The Hundreds. Both Ken and Rome laugh at her for pitching it. She asks them to be happy for her, and Kendall tells her to stop gloating. Shiv reminds him that they grabbed the crown and pushed her out first.

Matsson and Tom eat dinner together, and Matsson asks Tom to pitch for his job. Tom breaks down ATN and cruises for Matsson. He also tells Matsson that he has trouble sleeping, grinds hard, and worries about his life.

Succession Skarsgård Braun With Open Eyes

Matsson tells Tom the relationship with Shiv is not quite working out. She’s been a little too pushy, and he does not need the continuity or political connection she offers. He also admits that there’s some attraction to Shiv. Tom grows uncomfortable until Matsson offers the possibility of Tom leading. He does not want a partner, he wants a frontman. Tom says he can do it. Greg asks how it went, and Tom tells him they need to keep it close. Greg joins Matsson and his team at the bar, using a translator app to understand their conversation. He becomes aware that Shiv is out.

Caroline and the kids eat dinner. Kendall and Shiv continue to snipe at each other. Caroline says this is a perfect opportunity to get out of the company. Kendall begins accusing Shiv of changing everyone’s minds. Caroline calls in Peter, who steps into the room to make a pitch.

Succession WIth Open Eyes

Kendall steps outside to take a call from Greg. The cousin tells Kendall that he’s got info, but only if Kendall can win. He spills, and Kendall pulls his siblings out of the room.

Kendall tells Shiv that Matsson is looking for alternate US CEOs. Shiv steps out to try to call Matsson, but she cannot contact him. Carolina sends her the press release, which has inserted an “XXXXXX” where Shiv’s name used to sit. She returns to the brothers, and they begin planning.

They speak to Tellis, who tells them they’ve got the votes. However, they need to drop a single name. It does not work as a combination. Kendall pitches himself as the CEO. Roman tells them he was close with their father at the end. Logan promised Waystar to him. Shiv says that Logan promised it to her as well.

Kendall tells Roman that he’s not made for the CEO job. The fact that he showed emotion makes him better adjusted for life, while Kendall is a shark. He’s just trying to guide them. Kendall tells Shiv they cannot walk into the meeting with her as the pick, partly because she was with him yesterday. Kendall makes his pitch, but the other two are struggling with it.

Succession Finale "With Open Eyes"

They walk out to the ocean, and Kendall keeps pitching. While Shiv and Roman talk, Kendall jumps out to swim. Roman tells Shiv that Matsson played her. Shiv tells Roman that he’s being difficult about the takeover. They joke about killing Kendall but agree he’s also the best choice. They swim out to him and tell him. He smiles.

They head back to Caroline’s house and do the “meal fit for a king.” Caroline asks them to quiet down, and they tell her the news. She seems less than excited about it but is happy they’re getting along. They finish making the meal, throwing random food into a blender. Shiv spits in it after handing it over to Kendall. He then drinks a swig. Roman pours it onto Kendall’s head, and they fly to the board meeting the next day.

When they arrive, they head to the “great reallocation” at Logan’s apartment. Connor and Willa run the “reallocation” while everyone picks items. Mencken may lose the election, but Connor and Willa work out a plan for either outcome. The group enters the other room and sees a video of Logan hosting a party. He names all the people who lost the presidency, makes Gerri tell a dirty limerick, and Connor does an impression of Logan. They watch the video as a family. Kendall, Roman, and Shiv hold hands as they watch.

In the other room, Greg and Tom mark items. Shiv puts things into a box, and Tom approaches her. She tells him she’s out with Matsson, and Tom admits he was offered the job. She gets angry at him and storms in to tell her brothers.

Tom pulls Greg into a bathroom, and they angrily push each other. He “punches” Greg for leaking the info to the siblings. He then steps out and calls Matsson. The tech billionaire rallies his troops.

The Roys walk into Waystar and begin rallying their troops. Frank runs out of the office. Karolina asks Shiv to dump Hugo if things work out. She nods and joins Kendall in Logan’s old office. Roman and Stewy join too. Kendall and Stewy engage in some locker room talk, and Kendall notes that Stewy should anticipate a chair position. Stewy then drops that Sandi could get pulled to their side. They leave together to convince Sandi.

Roman sees Gerri and begins freaking out. He’s nervous about the vote and wonders why it’s not him as CEO. Kendall hugs him but pulls him so tight that he opens the stitches. Kendall tells Roman it could have been him as Roman leaves.

Succession With Open Eyes

The board convenes downstairs. Kendall tells everyone on the board they think the deal is bad and they should move straight to a vote. While Frank tries to object, Kendall forces it. The vote comes down to Shiv, who balks for a minute and walks outside. She leaves the room at 6 to 6.

Kendall and Roman follow her out. She asks for a minute, and they ask why. She’s changed her mind. Kendall pushes her, and she tells him that he’ll be bad at being CEO. Kendall tells her he might die if she says no.

Shiv tells him she cannot hand over power to him because he killed the waiter. He asks which, and his siblings become concerned. He then says it was not real and that he made it up. They ask him more questions, and he begins to spiral. They both tell him there’s no way they can vote for him.

He begins shouting about how he’s the eldest boy. Roman tells Kendall that their dad did not view his children as legitimate heirs because they were adopted. Kendall grabs Roman and throws him against a wall. He starts choking him until Shiv pulls him off. Kendall swings at Shiv, and Roman tackles him. Shiv rushes down the hallway, and Kendall follows. Roman steps in between them, and Shiv walks down the hall.

Succession With Open Eyes

Kendall tries to make another play with Roman. Rome does not want it anymore, he thinks none of this matters anymore, and he’s ready to let it go. Kendall tries to get him to go, and Roman refuses. Kendall walks down the hall, and tries to adjourn the meeting. Frank tells him it’s 7-6, and the vote is over. Kendall leaves and walks to the elevator.

Tom walks into the office and receives congratulations from everyone. Greg asks if they’re okay. Tom tells him he’ll use Gerri and Karolina. Frank and Karl will be booted from the company, even if they want to stay. He also says that he’ll cover for Greg. Roman signs the paperwork for Matsson before he leaves as Shiv watches. Shiv meets Tom down in the car. In the car, they extend their hands to each other.

Succession With Open Eyes

Kendall walks through Battery Park, followed by Colin. The sun sets in the distance, and Kendall sits on a bench. We cut to black.

Episode Breakdown – Succession “With Open Eyes”

There are no longer top Roys at Waystar Royco. The children of Logan Roy have left. Yet the influence of Logan can be felt in every second of this episode. While “With Open Eyes” features plenty of intrigues, it is in the quiet moments that everything changes.

As we’ve seen all season, the Roy children could conquer any demon or enemy if they worked together. In the final moments of the episode, they still have the ability to change everything about their futures. Yet it came down to a deal Shiv made in Season 3, which ultimately guided the company’s future.

She could have swung the deal in this final minute, but the gnawing feeling that she could not trust Kendall remained. Early in “With Open Eyes,” Shiv tells Tom that they can only begin their real relationship once the worst things have been said to each other. While the two of them end the show with each other, the Roys break out the big guns in the final minutes. Whatever Logan left the kids, his paranoia remained in all of them. In their corner of the office, they attack each other in ways that forever fracture their bonds.

Shiv finally pulls the “dead waiter card” that’s been hanging over Kendall all season. The side attack from Roman, whose rightwing ideologies seem to manifest for one shining moment, hit Kendall in his most sensitive area. For all that he’s done and thought he achieved, his children and marriage seemed like an inconvenience to look like the ideal company man. That did not come to pass, and instead, it took a jab at his manhood for Kendall to get worked up over Roman’s ideology. At that moment, it was the question of his masculinity and ability to father children that forced action. It’s the explosion we expected on election night when his own daughter was being harassed. Instead, we can see just how power-hungry Kendall has become.

Shiv may not trust Kendall, but the confrontation seals the deal. The he condescends to her becomes a laughing moment for her. For all his gusto and macho energy, she holds all the power at this moment. Yet when Kendall says he made up the waiter, a trigger gets flipped in both Roman and Shiv. Their brother will not listen to reason and will truly do anything to take over this company. The only way to end it will be to remove him from it. Her concern to sell comes from a feeling of self-preservation. She also knows that Kendall’s life is not the one she wants, and stepping out of the company means reconciliation for her and Tom. She maintains some semblance of control in the family business while exiling Kendall.

It also appears that she talked her way out of the job herself. Matsson agreed in theory but always seemed hesitant. Yet her pitch at the beginning of the meeting hit every note that Matsson wanted in his partners. He did not want someone who contributed, just someone who could watch the ship and keep the relationships. Tom, the ultimate kiss-ass, certainly maintained every aspect of his life other than his relationship with Shiv. This makes him an ideal tool for Matsson, and after pushing Tom’s buttons about cucking him, Matsson knew that he found the person who would not push back. For Matsson, it’s a win-win.

Succession With Open Eyes

At the end of “With Open Eyes,” Kendall is broken, Shiv maintains control while her brothers do not, and Roman is finally rid of the monster. They each have a life to live, completely separate from one another. Kendall will never be whole. Shiv finally gets a seat, even if through a proxy, that her father never gave her. Roman no longer has to live in the shadow of his father or his brother. Tom finally achieves what he’s always wanted. It was an odd, sometimes strange journey to this moment, but Succession ends on a high note that few shows can match. Armstrong made us feel every moment of love and hatred between these kids. There are few shows that can capture that authenticity to perfection. Succession just did.

Alan’s Rating: 10/10

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2 thoughts on “‘Succession’ – Series Finale – Season 4, Episode 10 – “With Open Eyes” Recap

  1. Tom didn’t say that he would use Frank and Karl! He said he would get rid of them because they were too old.

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