The 'Succession' series finale episode title, "With Open Eyes," comes from 'Dream Song 29.'

The Succession Finale's Episode Title Could Be A Huge Spoiler — Here's The Tea

It all goes back to one poem.

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Succession is keeping up its niche literary tradition with its episode titles, and now that the series finale is on the horizon, this habit feels more intentional than ever. In fact, the name of the show’s final episode could be a massive clue about how things will end for the Roy family. The title is pulled from the poem “Dream Song 29,” which may likely reveal Kendall, Shiv, and Roman’s endgame.

A little-known fact about Succession is that the titles of all its finale episodes are taken directly from the same poem: John Berryman’s depressing 1964 work “Dream Song 29.” Season 1’s finale began the tradition with the name “Nobody Is Ever Missing,” followed by Season 2’s “This Is Not for Tears,” and Season 3’s “All the Bells Say.” Each of these phrases from the poem echo specific events in their respective finale. The poem’s protagonist Henry thinks he murdered someone, but is reassured that “nobody is ever missing” when he looks around — much like how Logan reassured Kendall that he would cover up the death of the waiter in Season 1’s finale. In “This is Not For Tears,” Kendall squashes his emotions to embrace his inner “killer” and finally stands up to his father. The bells in “Dream Song 29” tell Henry he must move on from his grief, like how Shiv and Roman encourage Kendall to stop beating himself up about the waiter’s death in Season 3’s finale.

That all leads up to Season 4’s finale, which is titled “With Open Eyes.”

The phrase appears in the middle of “Dream Song 29,” as Henry is haunted by the face of his dead father. He sees his dad’s face as “ghastly” but nevertheless “he attends, blind.”

It’s clear Kendall is the show’s version of Henry, a depressed man ridden with guilt after his father’s death. “Dream Song 29” is about how Henry will never be able to overcome his grief: “There sat down, once, a thing on Henry's heart so heavy, if he had a hundred years & more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time Henry could not make good.” Similarly, Kendall’s depression and complex daddy issues are core to Succession, and will likely be the biggest part of the series finale.

There are a lot of ways to interpret how the poem’s use of “with open eyes” foretells Kendall’s ending. It could mean that Kendall will finally see his father for the villain he was, and no longer blindly attend to him and his toxic world. That’s the hopeful reading. On the other hand, it could also be saying that, like Henry, he will never be able to look away from the grief represented by his father’s face, his eyes remaining fixated on becoming like his father.

So, will Kendall turn into Logan, or finally fully reject the whole Waystar world? It’s all up to how you interpret “Dream Song 29.” Find out how the poem is brought to life when the Succession finale airs Sunday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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