- 10 He makes bad deals
- 9 He mostly ignores his family
- 8 His addictions keep resurfacing
- 7 He cannot decide whether he loves or hates his father
- 6 He treats his assistant as a thing
- 5 He doesn’t have any comprehensible skills
- 4 His volatile relationship with his brothers
- 3 Manipulate and blackmail people
- 2 His latest show was based on lies
- 1 He didn’t really know what he wanted
Succession This HBO series was great and fans are sad that it’s over. It’s been a few weeks since the series finale and viewers have had time to digest the show’s abrupt ending. Some may have thought it could have been one of Roy’s children – Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) or Chef (Sarah Snook) – to take over the family business. Instead, it was Schiff’s dimwitted and insecure husband Tom Wambsgans (Matthew McFayden) who ended up as CEO of Waystar Royco after the GoJo deal went through.
Kendall’s path through the series is particularly tragic. Early on, he is introduced to the audience as the confident, high-powered CEO who takes over as CEO of Waystar once Logan Roy (Brian Cox) retires. Surprisingly, Logan chose not to retire, which set off a chain of events that led to Kendall’s downfall. Looking back, many red flags predicted Kendall’s eventual breakup. Here are some signs that Kendall was always going to fail in the end.
10 He makes bad deals
While Kendall isn’t the worst member of Roy’s family, we see early on that he’s unable to make good decisions and deals on his own. Logan has a stroke in the first episode and suddenly the kids are in a hot seat. Kendall learns in Episode 3, “Lifeboats”, that Logan owes $3 billion in debt that must be paid if Waystar stock falls below a certain price point. Kendall’s reaction is to seek outside help, which leads him to make a terrible deal with fellow college student/business executive Stewie (Ariane Moayed).
The series comes to a close when Kendall makes another bad deal at the end of Season 4. He works hard with Roman to get GoJo an amazing deal, then convinces himself (and others) that it’s a bad deal because of all the power Roy’s family has. In the end, Kendall is left out because when it comes to having a hard time, he’s just terrible at making good deals.
9 He mostly ignores his family
Kendall is the epitome of a bad husband and father. not even Try To maintain a relationship with his kids, not to mention schedule time away from work to attend to their school jobs or activities. He treats his soon-to-be ex-wife Rafa (Natalie Gold) horribly and demands that she raise the children at all times. When Kendall and Rava try to reignite their passion in Season 1, she tells him that she already has a divorce lawyer and doesn’t see a way forward.
Later, Kendall uses and abuses Rafa even though she is still the mother of his children. He uses her apartment without her permission as a base for his PR operations against Logan. Instead of trying to make things amiable with Rafa and his kids, Kendall begins a relationship with Naomi Pierce (Annabel Dexter-John. He has sex with her and does drugs with her, showing he has no control over his addiction. Finally, in Season 4, Rafa tells Kendall that she’s leaving town with the kids Due to the upcoming political turmoil and potential violence towards Roy’s family in the city, everything is failing at work and home.
8 His addictions keep resurfacing
Like a small minority of high-functioning workers, Kendall is secretly a drug addict. The audience learns this early in the series, as Kendall buys drugs from a fired catering worker at a party and then gets in the car with his new friend while high. When the car crashes, Kendall flees the scene and pretends the whole thing didn’t happen.
Even when Logan saves him from the accident and with so much on the line, Kendall is unable to stay clean. As mentioned, Kendall relapses by doing drugs with Naomi Pierce, undoing all the hard work he’s done to get to sobriety. In the season three episode “Chiantishire”, Kendall nearly drowns in a pond while drunk. He simply does not understand that successful people get away with living a life of excess.
7 He cannot decide whether he loves or hates his father
Logan and Kendall’s relationship is turbulent. The series begins with Kendall as the prodigal son, who is being groomed to take over the family business as CEO. However, on his 80th birthday, Logan decides he’s not going to retire, and Kendall doesn’t take the news well. He mounts a rebellion against Logan but ends with Kendall being shot by the elder Roy for trying to vote him out.
Kendall gets deeper into drugs and walks away from the scene. Logan saves him, but it’s not enough. Instead of going back to his father and thanking him for the gesture, he once again attempts to rebuild himself on his own and initiate a coup d’état. At Logan’s funeral, Kendall does not break down like Roman does, but still draws his father positively during his eulogy. Kendall can’t decide whose side he’s on or where his loyalties lie, which are sure signs that he’s not cut out to be a leader.
6 He treats his assistant as a thing
It’s not uncommon for CEOs to be less kind to their assistants in the real world, but Kendall shows no appreciation for all that his assistant Jess (Juliana Canfield) does for him. She sticks by him through all of his stupid rebellious schemes and doesn’t even ask for a raise despite Kendall’s failure to be a good boss time and time again.
In Season 4, Jess informs Kendall that she is leaving. His reaction to the news says it all – he never cared about it or considered it an asset to his team. Kendall assumes it’s all about the money, and makes a shallow gesture to give her more money to stay. Jess insists she is ready for a new opportunity and Kendall snaps at her. Successful people are often judged by how they treat those in their immediate circle, and Kendall’s inability to help those who help him shows that he has no team management skills.
5 He doesn’t have any comprehensible skills
Speaking of skills, aside from putting up and talking about a great game, Kendall Roy isn’t particularly good at anything. It doesn’t possess anything a recruiter might think of as “hard” skills – computer coding, financial analysis, graphic design, etc. His soft skills are nothing to be proud of either. He’s not a person, he’s bad at working with a team, he can’t focus on several tasks at once, and he’s not particularly good at time management.
Kendall’s only skill seems to be teasing people, and the results are often very varied. He manages to broker a deal to buy Vaulter, but then leaves all of the staff (who already have skills) to cut costs. Kendall has no idea how to run a business himself, and things in life are often handed down by his father. Kendall has benefited from nepotism throughout his life and, as a result, has nothing to offer the world. He’s the ultimate loser in the end, which leaves fans wondering what will happen to him next.
4 His volatile relationship with his brothers
Despite his brother’s attempts to help Kendall with his addiction, he is horrible to all of his brothers and sister. In the first season, Kendall learns that he will not be the CEO of Waystar and leads a coup against the family. He tries to turn his brothers against their father, which he ultimately fails to do. When the group goes to New Mexico for family therapy, Kendall berates his brother’s wife Connor (Alan Ruck) Willa (Justine Loeb), causing them to leave.
It doesn’t end there. In Season 4, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv decide that Kendall should be the next CEO once they vote against the GoJo deal. They even celebrated by making Kendall drink a disgusting smoothie in the final episode. However, he did not get Schiff’s vote, because she changed her mind when she learned that her husband Tom would be CEO over Kendall. Kendall goes ballistic and nearly chokes Roman in the final vote. The series is full of instances of Kendall betraying his siblings, which was a clear sign that at least one of them wouldn’t be on his side in the end.
3 Manipulate and blackmail people
Kendall will do anything to gain power, and that includes manipulating and blackmailing those close to him. A notable example of this is in season 4 when public relations executive Hugo (Fisher Stevens) tells him that his daughter may be involved in some insider trading. Instead of trying to make sense of the situation, Kendall immediately blackmails Hugo into doing as he says and supporting his attempt to kill GoJo’s deal.
Speaking of the GoJo deal, Kendall and Roman manipulated Lucas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård) into overpaying the family business. They blackmail him by calling fake GoJo subscriber numbers and using reverse psychology on him on a mountaintop in Norway. Kendall is all set to use people, which is a sure sign that his plan is going to backfire and someone might eventually use him, too.
2 His latest show was based on lies
Kendall was a good public speaker, but he often lied and manipulated the truth. His recent show on Living+ was a good example of this. Even though he knew the potential earnings numbers he was sharing with investors were exaggerated, he went ahead with the presentation anyway. The company’s trusted CFO Carl (David Raschi) – one of the most underrated characters Succession — until I advised against it, but Kendall didn’t care.
Furthermore, Mattson did not like the idea of Living+, and wanted to kill it as part of the sale of Waystar to GoJo. The fact that Kendall was willing to flaunt a bogus idea with shaky financial statements for shareholders is not only problematic, but possibly illegal. Kendall’s carelessness would never fly to a CEO in the real world.
1 He didn’t really know what he wanted
The most obvious sign that Kendall would always fail was that from the start, he didn’t know what it was he actually wanted in life. He wanted to be the CEO of Waystar, but he crushed his potential by rebelling against his father. He also wanted to be a good husband and father, but did nothing to strengthen or protect the relationship with his family.
Kendall has also done bad things, including using drugs and alcohol, even though it hurts others. His family tried to save him, but he ended up relapsing. He didn’t know whether he wanted to be addicted or sober. He’s turned around so many times in the series that it’s hard to keep track of him, sometimes supporting his father and brothers, and other times leading revolts against them. Kendall is left to contemplate his future at the end Successiona fitting finale for a guy who didn’t know which direction he was going in the first place.