Succession Season 4 Will Be Just As Hard For Kendall As The Last 3

Succession executive producer Adam McKay hints that things won’t be getting any easier for Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy in Season 4. When his father (Brian Cox) announces that he will be staying on as CEO of the family’s multibillion-dollar media empire in Season 1, Kendall falls into a spiral as he schemes to oust his father and become the heir to Waystar Royco. As the series progresses, Kendall relapses on cocaine, fails to reconcile with his ex-wife, gets a waiter killed at his sister’s wedding, and is excommunicated by his family more than once.


Despite his more positive start to Season 3, Kendall ends the season at his lowest rock bottom yet after his siblings find him facedown in a pool and stage his intervention. Strong, who took home Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 2020 Emmys for Succession season 1, is nominated again this year for his increasingly bleak performance. One of Season 3’s standout episodes takes place almost entirely at Kendall’s 40th birthday party, which he goes above and beyond to ensure is “the best birthday ever.” Instead, the disastrous evening ends with Kendall returning home in tear-soaked shambles and his relationships with his siblings at a breaking point.

Related: Succession Season 3 Ending & Season 4 Set-Up Explained

In a recent conversation with Variety, Strong and McKay discuss the infamous birthday party and what it means for Kendall going forward. Strong calls the party “the nadir of [Kendall’s] life” and goes on to say that filming it was when he realized Kendall was so reckless and “empty” that the character was also suicidal. McKay responds with heaps of praise for Strong’s performance, and he also hints that Season 4 will not necessarily mark the end of Kendall’s troubles. Read McKay’s comment below:

“Obviously, reading the scripts for this season, they’re wonderful as always, and I’m not going to say anything, but there are scenes that I’ve seen that [Jeremy Strong] is doing that I can imagine must be very difficult and challenging. And yeah, it’s another phenomenal season. I’m so excited about it.”

Part of what makes Succession so riveting is what it has to say about the pitfalls of excessive wealth, and Kendall is largely a victim of this concept. Even though almost all of Succession’s main characters are absurdly wealthy – and the show takes every opportunity to remind viewers how shallow they are as a result – Kendall’s story arc is the most unflinching look at the consequences of that lifestyle. It wouldn’t make much sense for his struggles to end now because too much redemption would undermine one of the show’s central themes.

This is not to say that there hasn’t been redemption for Kendall along the way, but each of his wins is soon followed by an equal or greater loss. Even after he seems to have his father finally booted out of Waystar going into Season 3, the result is such intense personal chaos that he nearly dies. This is where Successions formula is most successful, and it doesn’t seem that the stakes will stop rising anytime soon. Filming for Season 4 is already well underway in New York City, so hopefully, fans will know before too long how low the Roys will continue to go.

Source: Variety