HBO gets credit for many things in the prestige TV era, but one the network deserves more credit for is changing how televised stories are structured. Before this decade, most shows held their most significant moments until the finale. Nowadays, prestige series tend to have them come in the penultimate episode, freeing the conclusion to cover the fallout. It’s an effective strategy, and one the Succession Season 3, Episode 9 promo is leaning into after Episode 8’s explosive hour.
Warning: Spoilers for Succession Season 3, Episode 8 follow. The penultimate episode took the Roys to Italy for Caroline’s wedding, which promises to be as dramatic as Shiv and Tom’s nuptials were in Season 1. Everyone showed up; Logan brought wife Marcia and mistress Kerry. (Caroline’s face when she saw that was delicious.) Connor proposed marriage while Willa looked ill. Kendall turned up with kids in tow, only to learn he’s not welcome at pre-wedding events due to the family rift. Shiv and Tom may even leave with plans for a baby. And Roman arrived, looking like Logan’s new No. 1 Boy, high off the potential GoJo deal.
But by the end of the hour, circumstances had changed. Kendall tried to take Logan up on his proposed $2 billion buyout, but Logan wasn’t ready to let his kid escape easily. Kendall was left floating in the pool of his villa, his mortal state unclear.
Meanwhile, Roman stepped on his own... “item,” as Gerri delicately called the extremely personal photographs he’d been texting her from down his pants. Perhaps Roman should have listened to Gerri and ceased sending them, as the latest one accidentally went to the wrong phone: his father’s.
How bad is the fallout from all this going to be? As the promo promises, all will be revealed.
The episode is titled “All the Bells Say,” taking from Dream Song 29. The synopsis is as follows: “Upon learning Matsson has his own vision for the future GoJo-Waystar relationship, Shiv and Roman team up to manage the potential fallout as Logan quietly considers his options. Later, the siblings’ ‘intervention’ prompts Connor to remind them of his position in the family, while Greg continues his attempts to climb the dating ladder with a contessa.”
Despite Shiv sliding in like, well, a shiv following Roman’s photo going awry, it seems like the two Roy siblings will spend the hour snapping at each other. The “intervention” with Connor suggests the younger crowd will try to talk him out of running for president or marrying Willa (hopefully both). But the most notable thing here is what’s not mentioned: Kendall and his uncertain fate in the pool. European weddings are bad for Kendall, especially when water is involved. How bad will this be?
The Succession Season 3 finale will air on HBO on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 9 p.m. ET and stream on HBO Max.