What happened in the 'Succession' season 2 finale?

Let's recap all the drama from the 'Succession' season 2 finale before you start those new episodes

Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong in Succession season 2 episode 9, Succession season 2 finale
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Our favorite dysfunctional billionaires are back! Succession season 3 kicked off on October 17, but before you click play on those fresh-from-the-oven episodes, let's catch up with the Roys and everything that happened in that drama-filled Succession season 2 finale, which aired a whopping two years ago due to COVID-related delays. 

Could you believe what Kendall did during that press conference? Or how bumbling Cousin Greg has turned into a veritable power player? What do you think is going to happen with Tom and Shiv's marriage? 

From the core Roys to the schemers that encircle them, here's a complete refresher on how did season 2 of Succession end, just in time for new episodes to hit HBO Max.

*Warning: It goes without saying but there are major spoilers ahead, people!*

'Succession' season 2 finale: What went down?

Season two of Succession simultaneously dealt both with the rise of Logan Roy's successor—would it be Kendall, Siobhan, Roman or, LOL, Connor?—and with the potential downfall of the media empire that he ruthlessly built over the years, as rumor has it that the company's cruise ship division has been acting as a major cover-up for serious crimes, including murder and sexual assault. 

The Succession season 2 finale, entitled "This is Not for Tears," finds the Roy family and its Waystar Royco cohorts on a—what else?—luxury yacht strategizing which member of the clan would be offered up as a "blood sacrifice" to take the fall for the cruise scandal ahead of the shareholders' meeting. 

Would it be Logan himself, like the investors suggest? Unlikely. How about Tom, Shiv's husband and the head of Waystar Royco’s amusement park and cruise division, with "some Greg sprinkles"? Maybe Roman, who's "widely known as a terrible person"?

In the end, they decide on middle son Kendall Roy, who had already spent the better part of season two acting as his dad's punching bag. According to the plan, Kendall would take the blame for the cruise division crisis and announce his resignation from Waystar Royco during a news conference.

Instead, Kendall pulls a total 180 and publicly betrays his father, revealing to the press that he has hard evidence—remember those damning documents that Cousin Greg filched before Tom could destroy them?—that Logan not only knew about the criminal cruise cover-ups, but he personally signed off on them. 

"The truth is that my father is a malignant presence, a bully and a liar...this is the day his reign ends," Kendall tells the press, ripping up the pre-approved statement Logan wanted him to read, as the rest of the Roy dynasty watches the televised report in shock. The final shot of Succession season 2? A close-up of Logan Roy with a hint of a Mona Lisa smile on his face, whether out of being stunned or impressed, we don't know.

Backstabbing, boardroom drama, big-ass boats—what more could you want from a Succession finale? You'll have to watch season three to find out how that epic cliffhanger plays out.

Succession airs Sunday nights at 9pm ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max in the US, and on Monday nights at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.