A lot of pressure rides on a show to fulfil expectations when it already has two acclaimed chapters under its belt, not to mention the added weight when there’s been such a long gap between series. But of course, Succession season 3, like a fine double-decanted spirit, has delivered and exceeded.
The last chapter of the Emmy-winning HBO drama arrived in 2019 and the hunger for more never faltered. And creator Jesse Armstrong has cooked up a delectable crescendo of drama as the Roys literally go to war with each other.
The upcoming instalment kicks off immediately after the season two finale which saw Jeremy Strong’s Kendall ambush his dad Logan (played by Brian Cox). The family and the business are instantly thrown into a perilous position, with Roman (Kieran Culkin) Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Connor (Alan Ruck) scrambling to secure alliances both political, financial, and familial. Episode one commences with several quickfire moments for applause with Greg-isms, Logan barking bullyish remarks, and a quick helicopter ride to remind us that the Roys are still filthy stinking rich – and that’s all before the audacious piano chords of the opening credits fire up. It feels like coming home, if home was living the most sickening no-expenses spared lifestyle with anything our hearts desired at our fingertips. One can only dream.
The lines between the Roys as family and colleagues have always been blurred, but this time around there is no love lost as they’re all looking out for number one. While the fall-out between Kendall and Logan takes centre stage, the increasingly ugly dynamic between the Shiv and Tom snaking each other is also not to be overlooked. All this, of course, happens as Logan desperately tries to remain their overlord. Yes, audiences always knew the Roys play dirty and abuse their power to serve their own means (remember Ken getting away with actual murder?) but the difference here is their freedom is on the line. They have no problem with trampling and pretty much all relationships are at breaking point, romantic or otherwise. As the series progresses, the family moves towards a full-blown civil war and no one is safe from being thrown to the wolves.
The new season offers up particularly noteworthy performances from Jeremy Strong, who took home the award for best actor in a drama at last year’s Emmys, as well as J. Smith Cameron, who plays Gerri. Jeremy could very well be headed for another win for his portrayal of Kendall, a man who is clearly on the edge this season. Kendall’s naïve confidence coupled with his emotional breakdown is played with such conviction, that for a second, you do truly want the underdog to come out victorious. ‘You sound deranged,’ his sister, Shiv, tells him in the trailer. And it’s true, as Kendall becomes increasingly sick, in both senses, with power as the hellish family fallout continues. Gerri, on the other hand, is really given the space to come into her own. She has just as much power as the Roy siblings and shows she is a valuable key player in the battle for succession.
Moments of light relief are aplenty and weave seamlessly throughout, what with Roman’s sharp-tongued clap backs and Conor’s big-headed ambition. Of course, loveable buffoon Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) is on fine form too; within the first few minutes, he’s already dished up a treasure-trove of gems that will no doubt keep the No Context Succession Twitter page afloat for months to come. His unintentionally hilarious one-liners and naïve nature really skyrockets from episode four as he finds himself at loggerheads with his grandad as well as Kendall and Tom. Trust us when we say Cousin Greg really outdoes himself.
The new chapter also serves up a number of chef’s kiss scenes to tick off the renowned ‘things we need to see’ list too. This includes more Roman and Gerri (J. Smith Cameron) content. In season two, their sexual powerplay bubbled to the surface, so, it’s a welcomed treat that their strange but weirdly sexy working relationship is gifted more attention this time around. Besides Roman and Gerri, there’s also more of the dynamite duo, Tom and Greg, who both bond as they channel their focus into not going to jail. ‘Logan says we have to take these, cyanide pills,’ Tom tells Greg, who is awash with panic. ‘It’s a mint, you doofus,’ he teases, completely deadpan. Inject this content into our veins.
All in all, Succession keeps getting better. The writing is utterly brilliant and doesn’t once lose momentum. Simply put, the two-year wait was worth it.
Succession season 3 arrives in the UK on Monday 18th October on Sky and NOW.
Credit: Original article published here.