Welcome to Great Expectations, a recurring series in which we break down the most essential information about an upcoming movie or show. In this edition, we look at what you can expect from — and where you can watch — Succession Season 3. Spoilers abound.
Between its byzantine family dynamics, merciless, Shakespearean betrayals, Oscar Wilde levels of farce, razor-sharp writing, and state-of-the-art production value, I strongly believe that Succession is the best thing on TV lately. And as a site, we named it one of the five best shows of 2019 and one of the ten best shows of the last decade.
Created by Jesse Armstrong (co-creator of Peep Show) and produced by Adam McKay (director of The Big Short) and Will Ferrell, the show took the world by storm in 2018 when it premiered on HBO. Since then, it has earned a hefty bundle of awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series.
Succession follows the Roy family, which owns a media conglomerate called Waystar RoyCo. The company’s CEO and patriarch, Logan Roy, is ailing. So, his four children find themselves in a fight-to-the-death for a position at the head of the table. Of course, a lot of backs are stabbed, and coats turned, in the process.
Now, Succession Season 3 is on the brink of release, and, judging by the teaser trailer — and the previous two seasons — it looks like the Roy family is still out for blood. Here is what you need to know:
Succession Season 3 Release Date (and Where to Watch)
Season 3 of Succession saw significant production delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if there’s anything we know about the Roys, it’s that they are a force that cannot be stopped. No specific date has yet been disclosed. But the new season will be arriving on HBO Max sometime in the Fall of 2021. So put on your designer cable-knit sweaters and prepare some deep-fried songbird because this is a show that takes no prisoners. Update: Succession Season 3 will release on October 17th.
Succession Season 3 Cast
Succession fans, don’t panic: all your favorite characters will be making a return this year. Brain Cox will be back as Logan Roy, with Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, and Alan Ruck returning as his four children, Shiv, Roman, Kendall, and estranged Connor, respectively.
Nicholas Braun, who plays Cousin Greg, and Matthew Mcfadyen, who plays Shiv’s husband and Waystar exec Tom Wambsgans, are back as well. Justine Lupe will also reprise her role as Willa Ferreyra, Connor’s ex-call-girl lady-friend, while David Rasche will return as Waystar CFO Karl Muller and Fisher Stevens will return as senior comms exec Hugo Baker.
Succession Season 3 is also welcoming some new faces to its cast. Adrien Brody is joining the show as billionaire investor Josh Aaronson and Alexander Skarsgård is playing a brusque tech CEO. Other additions include Sanaa Lathan (Love & Basketball) as a lawyer, Linda Emond (The Big Sick) as a White House aid, and K-pop singer Jihae as a PR person.
The Plot of Succession Season 3
The plot of Succession Season 3 has remained somewhat elusive, but based on where we left off in Season 2, this is gearing up to be the show’s most intense bunch of episodes yet. In Season 2, criminal misconduct that went down in Waystar’s cruise line division was exposed to the world. In his typical ruthless fashion, Logan picked Kendall to take the fall for the wrongdoing. But at the press conference, he threw his father under the bus.
So as Season 3 begins, Kendall has finally redeemed himself from his epic downward spiral in Season 2. He had been under Logan’s thumb, blackmailed into subservience with the knowledge he committed manslaughter. But now that Kendall has the upper hand (kind of), power dynamics have shifted. If we’ve learned anything, though, it’s that Logan isn’t going down without a fight. Now it’s a question of allegiances. Who is team Kendall? And who is team Logan? And which ship is sinking fastest?
Watch the Teaser
In the new Succession Season 3 teaser trailer, we see Shiv once again vying for a spot as CEO, (team Shiv all the way, tbh), Tom angrily banging his chest and flipping a table, Tom abusing Cousin Greg (what else is new), Logan threatening Kendall, (again, what else is new), a possible FBI bust, Shiv spitting into a notebook, and more. And that’s all in one minute and twenty-three seconds. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
Who Will Side with Whom This Season?
Let’s face it: Succession is such a crazy show that just about anything could happen in Season 3. But some experts looked at clues from the new teaser and broke down the possible allegiances that could emerge. At Esquire, Olivia Ovenden theorizes that we will see a web of new pacts, and they might not be what we’re expecting.
First, Kendall will most likely latch on to just about anyone who will go for his crazy plans. Ovenden suggests that, in the teaser, he is “trying to orchestrate a rebellion from within the family ranks.” Kendall has always been one for sacrificing just about anything for power, so this level of chaos would be pretty unsurprising.
As far as Shiv goes, she has always been a bit of a wild card. In Season 2, Logan tempted her with the position of CEO, only to snatch it away at the last minute. Now, Ovenden analyzes, there are “signs of friction between her and daddy dearest as he questions her loyalty to the enterprise, stating coolly that she’s either part of the family or not.”
It also looks like the beloved Greg and Tom alliance has finally fractured after Greg fed his once-mentor to the wolves at the end of Season 2. So, what now? Will underdog Greg finally rise to power? Will Tom be punished for hiding the cruises scandal? One thing is for sure: there is a war between the duo on the horizon.
And finally, we have Logan himself. Ovenden observes that “it’s clear from less than two minutes of drama that Logan would rather go down in flames, bullying and manipulating those nearest to him, instead of having to back down for one single second.” That’s Logan in a nutshell.
Whose side are you on? Whoever you’re rooting for, two things are for sure: no one is safe, and this fight is going to be bloody.