The beginning of the end for Succession is here. The acclaimed HBO series returns Sunday night for its final season, and in recent weeks, the creator and cast have been preparing to say goodbye. Here's everything they've said about the show's imminent end, how they knew things were wrapping up, and what we can expect from the finale:
Creator Jesse Armstrong explained the decision to end the show
The news that Succession will end with its fourth season was only confirmed about a month before the premiere when creator Jesse Armstrong revealed it to The New Yorker.
"You know, there's a promise in the title of Succession," he said. "I've never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind."
Armstrong explained he came into the writers' room for the fourth season feeling it would be the show's last but kept his options open and held off on making a final call as long as possible. "Even when we started filming: I said to the cast, 'I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I think this is it,'" he said.
According to Armstrong, the writers considered several scenarios, including one where they'd "do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons." But instead, they decided to "go out sort of strong" with a "more muscular and complete" final season. Armstrong also revealed he has known his ideal ending since around season 2. For his part, HBO executive Casey Bloys said he "would have taken more" seasons if Armstrong wanted to continue, confirming there was no pressure from the network to wrap up.
Sarah Snook didn't know the show was ending until the last table read
Fans were taken aback by the news that the show was ending, and it sounds like the cast didn't necessarily know much sooner than the public did. Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv Roy, revealed to the Los Angeles Times that she wasn't officially informed of the show's end until the final table read in January.
"I was very upset," she told the Times. "I felt a huge sense of loss, disappointment, and sadness. It would have been nice to know at the beginning of the season, but I also understand not being told until the end because there was still a potential that maybe this wasn't going to be the end."
Snook's co-stars have noted the cast had an idea the show might be ending during production, though, so it sounds like it's just that the final, official confirmation didn't come until January.
Alan Ruck said 'not everything is resolved' by the end
Alan Ruck, who plays Connor Roy, told Empire that he feels this was the "right time to end" the show "in terms of the struggle to see who's going to take command of this empire," as a fifth season "would have been drawn out." But "not everything is resolved" by the end of the season, much "like life itself," he warned. Indeed, Ruck told The Hollywood Reporter that although it's a "really satisfying" ending, "nothing is tied up with a bow for anybody," and "you don't know exactly what's going to happen to some people." Despite what Snook said, Ruck also claimed while speaking to Empire that "we've all known" the show was ending "since June."
Kieran Culkin said the show could continue after the finale
Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman Roy, teased to Extra that the way the finale plays out leaves room for more seasons. "I like where it ends, but what's interesting about it is I feel like it could go more," he teased. "It felt like it could end right there, or continue. Both felt good to me."
In fact, Culkin noted that before filming started, Armstrong told him the plot of the whole season, and though it sounded like an ending, the creator "threw out like three different ideas of where the show could go" after that before deciding to wrap it up there.
The cast disagreed about whether there could be another season
Fitting with the idea that fans should expect a somewhat open ending, Sarah Snook told the Sydney Morning Herald that "there were members of the cast who read" the script for the finale "and went, oh well, we're getting a fifth season," while others "read it and went, oh, well, this is obviously the end. You can't go beyond this."
She counts herself as part of the latter group, noting on The Tonight Show that the last few pages of the finale's script confirmed to her, "This is the end." But her co-star Matthew Macfadyen apparently disagreed, telling Snook, "Oh, I don't think so. No, I think that's very hopeful."
Snook also told Sydney Morning Herald that the "central question" of the series has always been, "Where do these characters go? What are they going to do? How do they deal with each other in the future from here?" So she teased, "Does [the final season] answer the central question? Both yes and no."
Nicholas Braun said the ending is 'fire'
Nicholas Braun, who plays Greg, teased to Entertainment Tonight that the show's ending "is fire." But the cast is "pretty bummed" that this is the final season, he said, adding that he was "sad as hell" on his last day. Braun also clarified that the cast "had an idea" the show was ending during production, but "you don't believe it until Jesse says it."
Matthew Macfadyen feels 'slight relief' about the show ending
Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom, told The New York Times he has a "complicated mélange of feelings" about saying goodbye to Succession. "It's a weird thing, the grief when you finish a job,' he said. "It's sort of awful and heartbreaking, but at the same time, there's a slight relief."
Jeremy Strong feels the show's arc has 'run its course'
Jeremy Strong, who has famously gone to great lengths to immerse himself in his character of Kendall Roy, told GQ that saying goodbye to the character "will feel like a death, in a way." That being said, Strong "had a hope" that the show might end this season, he told TV Line.
"I feel, in the best possible sense, a feeling of completion, and a feeling of the arc having run its course," he said. "I was ready for it to be over, which doesn't mean that I don't experience it as a huge loss."
Strong also teased to Entertainment Weekly that performing in the final episode, "the culmination of everything, where Jesse really brings everything to its crisis," was "like a double black diamond to go down," which was "incredibly fulfilling."
Brian Cox teased Logan 'gets what he needs'
In true Logan Roy style, Brian Cox hasn't sounded as wistful about the show's end as his co-stars. He even told Variety he "felt nothing" filming his final scene.
"Nothing! It was the last scene, finito," Cox said. "Logan absolutely gets what he needs. That's the great thing about the show. He gets peace, which is good."
The actor also told Entertainment Tonight he's "happy it's over" and was "delighted" by the way the series concludes. "I think we've got to the point where the show has reached its natural closure," he said. "A lot of shows outstay their welcome, and I think our show is perfect, and neat, in the way it is."