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Does Succession Really Do It With Kendall Roy?

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Sunday night episode of Heir leaving the viewer with a disturbing final sight: Strong JeremyKendall Roy was face down and motionless on a float in the pool. At first, it seemed like the tragic hero – who spent the whole season losing battles left and right – was merely asleep. But as the haunting score increases and the camera continues to hit Kendall (first overhead, then underwater, staring at him), it becomes clear that what’s happening may not be simple. as simple as that. The actor has since sparked a debate: Is Kendall Roy dead? Or is that just what the creators of the program do Jesse Armstrong Want us to think?

Below, Vanity Fair staff writer Chris Murphy and Yohana Desta argue the question, making a case for both possibilities.

Chris Murphy: All right, Yohana. I have some bad news for you and all the Ken-doll Roy fans out there: Beloved Billionaire Heir Bad Boy, love hip-hop, smoke together, obsess over our birthdays still with us. I am very clear that in the last moments of Heir the absolute 8th episode of season three – the penultimate part of season three – where Kendall is about to reach the end of his story.

The episode ends with Kendall dozing off on a swimming buoy, apparently drunk, leaning over the edge of his first face-down fall. At this point in his journey, Kendall is at the bottom of the cliff – he’s lost his real battle with Logan’s dad (Brian Cox) and told him that he wanted to leave the company, only to get a quick and drastic “fuck you” response. In those final 30 seconds, it looks like he’s lost his will to fight — and when we see Kendall exhale for the first time in that water, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t completely given up. . I am so sorry for everyone’s loss.

Yohana Desta: Hold on to your apologies, because Kendall Roy isn’t dead yet. He literally breathes at the end of the episode!

Look: I concur that Kendall dying at this point in the show would be a poetic farewell (especially considering the timing of a New Yorkers records showed us how, um…Colorful A colleague Jeremy Strong can be). The final moments of this episode will make for a beautiful death – elegant scores, incredible cinematography, the sunset over the doomed man for the last time. The short haircut and the sunglasses on the back are also a beautiful, iconic feature of them.

In the end, it makes perfect sense to get Kendall and his awakened circus (all clowns, no magic) out of his misery…but it’s also all too easy easy! Not the thrill of Heir in the tight action of the show? See how far these ridiculously chaotic, rich people can go as they approach the brink of doom? That’s what creator Jesse Armstrong and his team of writers do best: steer these characters into impossible hidden corners, then give them stealthy, gold-decorated side doors to escape. go out.

Murphy: But the point is, we’re not on ABC or NBC here. This is HBO — the network that gave the green light to the Red Wedding. On its prestigious shows, no one is so integral that an early ending can’t be reached, if that’s for the best for the story. And having Kendall die in the same way that his victim died at the end of season one would make for a devastating but equally dark ending for the perished prince of the Waystar Royco family.

As Adam Mckay say in that it’s amazing New Yorkers For the record, Strong — and, in other words, Kendall — doesn’t play the game like it’s a comedy: “He’s playing it like it’s Hamlet.” And what happens to Hamlet at the end of the play? True Shakespeare nerds also know that Heir was inspired by King Delete, and you would be hard pressed to argue that Kendall didn’t start the series as the family’s (read: favorite) Cordelia. We all know what will happen to her.

This is not only a Shakespearean ending for Kendall but it’s also biblical. Kendall is Judas to Logan’s God-like central character. In the Gospel of Matthew, after betraying Jesus, Judas Iscariot tried to return the money he had been paid for his betrayal to the high priests and ended up committing suicide by hanging himself. . The similarities are too strong to ignore!

Desta: Let me follow Logan Roy for a bit and say, how dare you demote him to God when he’s clearly God? (The Old Testament God was more indignant than the New Testament God, my now-so-so-now son.) The longtime prodigal son, abruptly left the fold. and scavenged his money just to return to his father. That’s the Kendall story, over and over again.

But sure, I agree that if he’s still alive, the end of the episode makes it impossible for Kendall to stay in the Roy family as he is now. He has to go away, at least a little. Possibly for detoxification; can go to the top of some mountain in search of true enlightenment, far from the toxic mire is the Roy clan. That way, he can stay in the show’s universe as a secret weapon, returning in a future season to debut his newest persona. (I would love to see Enlightened Monk Kendall, or all-powerful Dionysus Kendall, make his billions and play a scene.) It wouldn’t be an exciting, futuristic twist. right?

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