‘Succession’ – Father vs. son in Season 3

Control of Waystar RoyCo is at stake in HBO drama

Brian Cox stars in “Succession,” which opens its third season Sunday on HBO.

Battle lines are drawn in and around the dysfunctional Roy family in the wake of a bombshell press conference as HBO’s “Succession” returns for its third season.

Premiering Sunday, Oct. 17, the nine-episode round opens with family patriarch and Waystar RoyCo chief Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the target of rebellious son Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) press conference ambush at the end of Season 2, scrambling to secure familial, political and financial alliances as a bitter corporate battle threatens to spill over into all-out family civil war.

Which forces virtually all to choose sides, among them daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook), her husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), sons Connor and Roman (Alan Ruck, Kieran Culkin), great-nephew Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Waystar general counsel Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron).

And at the center of it is Kendall, who at the opening of Sunday’s premiere appears to be trying to come to grips with what he has wrought.

“I felt that after the press conference it was as if I’d sat under the Bodhi tree and achieved a moment of clarity and what feels for Kendall like enlightenment and liberation,” Strong explains. “And so I think we see a sort of airborne Kendall at the beginning of the season, someone who feels like he’s finally wrested himself free from the chains that have been binding him. And, yeah, there’s an airborne quality to it.

“And Jesse (Armstrong, the series’ creator, writer and showrunner) did say to me it was as if Napoleon is sacking Moscow and everyone has left the city so it’s sort of a pyrrhic victory, which I think is part of what we explore in Season 3. I’ve done the thing, but if I don’t have support in a coalition, what is the value of it?”

On the other side is the formidable Logan, who moves to secure support against his son, painfully aware his advanced age makes his time atop the media conglomerate severely limited. That’s not unlike another character the veteran stage actor Cox has played in past, Shakespeare’s King Lear.

“He pretends he’s able to let go of his kingdom … ,” Cox says. “He’s looking for a successor but, at the same time, he can’t let go. And it’s very hard to let go of something that you’ve created.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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