Adam McKay needed time to 'emotionally recover' after watching the Succession series finale

After shocking fans with a major character's sudden death in episode 3, how much more emotional devastation can Succession fit into its final season? According to Adam McKay, the answer is plenty.

The director, who is an executive producer for the critically acclaimed HBO series, has revealed that even he was unprepared for the wallop of its ending. The night before his recent Variety interview, McKay watched the finale to offer notes to Succession creator Jesse Armstrong. Though he didn't let any details about the episode slip, McKay was vocal about his reaction.

"Oh, my God. Wow!" McKay told Variety. "I knew what was coming. And still! I had to, like, emotionally recover after watching it!"

McKay's response isn't that surprising given the Roy family's journey thus far. In a staggering twist that upended the characters' lives and stunned audiences, the series killed off Brian Cox's brash patriarch Logan Roy with several episodes left in its last season. The ensuing episodes have included more unexpected swerves, a savage breakup, and a frantic presidential election. With only two episodes remaining, there's no telling what lies ahead — especially when it comes to the May 28 supersized finale, which clocks in at around 90 minutes.

A photo from the production of episode 407 of “Succession”. Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.
A photo from the production of episode 407 of “Succession”. Photo: David M. Russell/HBO ©2022 HBO. All Rights Reserved.

David M. Russell/HBO Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook on 'Succession'

Sarah Snook, who plays conniving corporate powerhouse Shiv Roy, has hinted that fans shouldn't expect all their questions to be answered when the final credits role. "We knew it would be the final series [while filming]," Snook recently told Marie Claire Australia. "However, the way the series ends, a number of the cast felt it was left somewhat ambiguous."

Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy, previously talked to EW about shooting the series finale. "Certainly, there's an awareness on the periphery that this is it, but in a way there's no room for that," he said. "You can't both be saying goodbye to a television show and be doing what you need to do at the same time –  or I can't. I will say that the final episode, the culmination of everything, where Jesse really brings everything to its crisis, was like a double black diamond to go down. That's what you want as an actor, and so that was incredibly fulfilling."

Succession airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

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