Succession Season 4 Episode 10 Recap and Ending Explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 29, 2023 (Last updated: July 4, 2023)
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Succession Season 4 Episode 10 Recap and Ending Explained


A perfect finale caps off one of the finest TV shows of all time.

This article contains spoilers for the ending of Succession Season 4 Episode 10, “With Open Eyes”. 

The main question with any great show is whether it can stick the landing. And while Succession is inarguably great, so too were Lost and Game of Thrones and countless others. Not every show can be Justified, rounding out its story and character arcs perfectly, ending on a satisfying final note.

Of course, Succession ended perfectly.

It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise, since Jesse Armstrong and co. have scarcely produced a mediocre episode in four seasons, and several qualify as some of the finest ever made. But it’s nonetheless impressive for a show with so many interlocking arcs and moving parts to come together so neatly, so powerfully, and so tragically – and not to mention in a way that is both totally surprising and kick-yourself obvious.

Succession Season 4 Ending Explained

“With Open Eyes” begins shortly after the penultimate episode, with the battlelines drawn.

Kendall is trying to finesse the board into killing the GoJo acquisition so that he can become the sole CEO of Waystar, and possibly even “reverse Viking” Matsson.

Shiv, meanwhile, has fully sided with Matsson in exchange for being made the American CEO of the new Waystar under GoJo, and Roman, having picked and lost a fight with a liberal mob, is recuperating at their mother’s tropical home.

Since both Kendall and Shiv need Roman’s vote to sway the outcome of the deal, they both head to their mother’s place to persuade him, leading to some of the warmest sibling scenes of the entire season.

Admittedly, this comes after a lot of catty infighting, because they don’t yet know that the battlelines have quietly been redrawn by a scheming Matsson.

Who does Matsson choose as his American CEO?

Matsson, it turns out, doesn’t want Shiv as the American CEO. He has ideas of his own, isn’t keen on her offering hers, and he wants to sleep with her. He considers this to be both a nuisance and a potential conflict of interest. That’s what he tells her husband, anyway.

Tom bristles at the idea of his wife having sex with another man, since it isn’t the first time he’s had to consider such a thing, but his ears perk up when Matsson suggests making him the new CEO. Tom goes from begging for his current job to weighing up the pros and cons of ousting his own wife to become the new king.

He barely has to think about it before he accepts.

Why do Shiv and Roman side with Kendall?

This is privileged information, but Cousin Greg uses his phone to translate a conversation between Matsson and his lackeys which gives the plot away, and he shares the “incredible” information with Kendall in exchange for an “amazing” reward, which – spoiler alert, I suppose – he doesn’t end up getting.

Kendall immediately seizes the opportunity to unite Shiv and Roman and anoint himself as the head of Waystar. Together, they have enough votes to tank the deal. After some persuasion, they all agree, and celebrate by making the most disgusting smoothie in the history of the universe and tipping it over Kendall’s head. (Prepare for social media to be awash with gifs of Shiv spitting in that concoction.)

In New York, the siblings bond a little more during Connor’s hysterically complicated efforts to auction off Logan’s remaining possessions, and while watching a final home video of Logan. When Tom tells Shiv that he’s going to be the new CEO, it seems, finally, that the Roy clan are all on the same page.

Does the GoJo deal go through?

However, the Roy clan is never on the same page. With the board vote about the acquisition at a six-six tie, Shiv must cast the deciding vote. And she recuses herself.

This is immediately alarming for Kendall, who follows her into an adjacent room. Roman quickly follows. Despite her own betrayal, she can’t in good conscience play kingmaker for her brother. She cannot create another, arguably worse version of their father.

As desperate as they’ve ever been, the siblings get as nasty as they’ve ever been. Roman makes snide remarks about the parentage of Kendall’s children. Kendall gets physical with Roman, and then Shiv, whom Roman has to remind him is pregnant. While the boys tussle on the floor like children, echoing their late father’s sentiments that none of them are remotely serious people, Shiv returns to the boardroom and casts the deciding vote.

GoJo, thanks to Shiv, buys Waystar and installs Tom as the American CEO.

How does Succession end?

Succession ends with Tom taking his seat at the head of the table. He now, for the first time ever, has control of not only Waystar-Royco but his life and his marriage. When he and Shiv drive away in the backseat of a private car, he coolly offers his upturned hand, knowing she has no choice but to take it. To spare the world another Logan Roy, Shiv has consigned herself to her own mother’s life.

Roman ends the series smiling. He’s rich. And, finally, he’s free. Like Kendall said, he never really wanted to be CEO anyway, and he’s quite secure in the knowledge that Logan never fancied any of them for the job in the first place.

But that’s small comfort for Kendall, who walks through a park with his bodyguard Colin close by, trying to discover who he can be now that he knows he’ll never be the man his father promised him he would all those decades ago. It was the cruellest trick of all, to tell a seven-year-old boy his destiny, only to keep him from it for his entire life.

Kendall might have more money than he’ll ever need, but he has nothing else at all – not even an identity of his own.

You can stream Succession Season 4 Episode 10, “With Open Eyes” exclusively on HBO. Do you have any thoughts on the Succession Season 4 ending? Let us know in the comments.

Additional reading:

Endings Explained, HBO, Premium Channels, TV, TV - Ending Explained, Weekly TV
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