Even though Succession came to a close when Season 4 ended in May 2023, this hasn’t stopped fans from buzzing about questions left unanswered by the HBO series. One of these questions will perhaps always be who the late Logan Roy really wanted running Waystar Royco. Many believed it was Jeremy Strong's Kendall Roy, whose name was in Logan’s non-legally binding will. However, this assumption was drawn into question by an ill-placed line scribbled onto the paperwork, creating a debate, whether Logan intended to cross out Kendall’s name or underline it. The line is incredibly ambiguous, with intention being unclear. Show creator Jesse Armstrong just gave major revelation about the debate, however, it still didn't change my feelings about the ending.
Armstrong made an appearance at an event for the Financial Times in London where someone asked him if Kendall’s name was crossed out or underlined by Logan. While he admitted to hating the idea of answering such questions while Succession was still airing, he was happy to make his huge revelation now that the series has wrapped. He said:
If you were gonna cross out, you wouldn’t start underneath, would you?
The almost definitive answer to the debate surprised and delighted fans who attended the event. You can see a video from Armstrong answering the question from Twitter below:
Succession showrunner and creator Jesse Armstrong confirming if Logan had crossed out or underlined Kendall. He also physically drew the line on the paper so definitely knows the answer #Succession #FTWeekendFestival pic.twitter.com/yXLSOoirF2September 2, 2023
While this is definitely huge news for fans, it doesn’t really change how I feel about the ending of Succession. When Kendall sees the paper for himself and questions if his dad intended for him to run the company, he asks Frank what he thought Logan would’ve wanted. He confirms in the moment that sometimes Logan wanted Kendall in the CEO position, and that constantly changed over time. It is confirmed in the show that the paper was old, so even if Logan did underline Kendall’s name, we never will know what Logan would’ve wanted at the time of his death.
This confirmation also doesn’t change my own personal theory about the underlined/crossed out debate. The line in question is ambiguous, throwing Kendall into a spiral about his father’s true feelings and faith in him. I believe Logan intended on making the line purposefully vague, knowing his children would argue about it after he was gone. Throughout the show, Logan acted as a puppet master, often pitting his children against each other for his own gain. He would promise the company to someone, and then take it away just as quickly. Even after his death, his presence loomed large, affecting everything his children did. This was one last way to still have a controlling presence from beyond the grave.
Even if Logan did plan on underlining Kendall’s name as Armstrong suggests, at the end of the day, Kendall was never meant to be CEO of the company. In the end, Logan put the sale of Waystar in motion, placing Tom at the top. Kendall is left behind, hitting a new low, and leaving it to the audience to decide the tragic hero’s true fate. It’s a perfect finale for the tortured soul at the center of the series. It truly doesn’t matter what his father may have intended for him, because his ending is the same regardless. This shows the brilliance of the show Armstrong and the crew created, and how even a big reveal like this still doesn’t change the story in context.
You can revisit the underlined/crossed-out debate for yourself by streaming Succession, which is currently streaming with a Max subscription. For more information about other great shows airing on the streaming service, check out our feature on the best shows on Max right now.