USA TODAY International Edition

‘ Succession’: Tears, shock, a last backstab

- Bryan Alexander

The end of “Succession” is coming. A “deeply conflicted” series creator Jesse Armstrong broke the news in February that the acclaimed HBO series will end with Season 4, which kicks off Sunday ( 9 EDT/ PDT).

Brian Cox, the show’s dastardly daddy and media conglomera­te CEO Logan Roy, applauds Armstrong’s power move to cap the series, which has won 13 Emmy Awards, including two best drama wins.

“So much television goes well past its sell- by date,” Cox says. “I admire his courage bringing this to an end. This show will be remembered for its finite element. Each season has capped the past season, and we’ve done it again.”

But who will end up on top in the cutthroat world of backstabbi­ng billionair­es? Let’s explore.

Why is everyone shocked and crying about ‘ Succession’?

The end of “Succession” was part of the rumor mill, even for cast members.

“There was flip- flopping and rumors swirling about whether this was it,” says Sarah Snook, who plays Logan’s steely daughter Shiv Roy. “It wasn’t until the table read for the final episode that we got a definitive answer.”

“Definitely, there were tears. I was sad realizing this is the end, And we were told, ‘ This is definitely the end,’ ” says Snook, who revealed she was pregnant with her first child at the final “Succession” New York premiere. “But I’m about to have a baby, I’ve got other things to go onto. I’m fine.”

Nicholas Braun, who plays frequently bumbling cousin Greg, says he burst into tears on his last day of filming with his onscreen BFF Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom Wambsgans.

“It made me very emotional; I just really care about that guy,” says Braun. “We’ve spent so many days together, had so many laughs. And I know I’m never going to do scenes with him again.”

What happened in the ‘ Succession’ Season 3 finale?

The Roy siblings – Kendall ( Jeremy Strong), Roman ( Kieran Culkin) and Shiv – put aside their dysfunctio­n and bitter sibling rivalry to rally against their father in the Season 3 finale,

The trio bonded over their mutually self- serving plan to stop Logan’s planned sale of old- school Waystar Royco to the streaming media company, Gojo, headed by ruthless CEO Lukas Matsson ( Alexander Skarsgård). But the siblings were outflanked by Logan after a key heads- up by Shiv’s husband Tom ( Macfadyen), in a stunning betrayal revealed in the finale’s closing moments.

Will the united Roy siblings succeed in ‘ Succession’ revenge?

In season 4, the bickering trio comes together again to mount another patricidal corporate attack, despite their mutual suspicion about each other.

“It’s exciting; we haven’t seen the siblings united like this before. The moment is now,” says Snook. “But the main question is, can the Roy siblings work together? It’s a good premise for a season for sure.”

And Logan will fight, and fight dirty, to defeat his grown children’s uprising. But secretly, the CEO wants one of his offspring to prove their mettle by defeating him, as Kendall attempted with a double- cross in the Season 2 finale.

“It was exciting when Kendall renounced me in Season 2,” says Cox. “It was like, ‘ You have to admire that the kid has balls. He’s also stupid.’ It was like, ‘ Go ahead, give us your best shot.’ ”

“There’s still time for one of the children to step up to the plate,” Cox adds. “That’s the tension. I want one of my children to take over the business, but also ( to) grow up. Will that happen? I’m not going to tell you.”

Why has Cox criticized Strong’s method acting?

British actor Cox shared hugs with Strong at the “Succession” premiere. But Cox has been a frequent critic of Strong’s intense method acting for his portrayal of troubled Kendall.

Cox calls the technique “bogus and the misbegotte­n result of American acting training.

“There’s no question about Jeremy’s gift as an actor; he’s brilliant,” he says, after squaring off with Strong in two Emmy races. ( Strong won the best actor Emmy in 2020.)

“He’s got the awards that he’s clearly deserved. My only problem is a philosophi­cal thing about being a member of an ensemble. With an ensemble comes a responsibi­lity. Classicall­y trained actors are trained to keep a sense of distance about who we are from the character. Unfortunat­ely, in America, it’s a different cultural model.”

Why you shouldn’t count out Cousin Greg

Less- than- family member Greg surges early in Season 4, taking on a power position with his sometimes- abusive ally Tom.

“This season, Greg is not Tom’s little bitch, to put it correctly,” Braun says. Shockingly, Greg stands up to Logan in an exchange during Sunday’s premiere.

“It was a good piece of writing, giving Greg permission to say something quite aggressive to Logan. ( Armstrong) was sending a message through that to me,” says Braun. “The message is, Greg has more balls this year, and he’s feeling a bit more entitled.”

ALABAMA Montgomery: The undergroun­d landfill fire in St. Clair County that began in November 2022 is almost out, but it sparked anger among nearby residents that has not yet quieted. About 20 people, including children, traveled from their homes in Moody, Trussville and other neighborin­g communitie­s Tuesday to protest the state’s failure to prevent and protect citizens from environmen­tal disasters.

ALASKA Anchorage: The Anchorage Assembly voted to authorize legal action against the administra­tion of Mayor Dave Bronson to block payment to a constructi­on contractor, Alaska Public Media reports.

ARIZONA Phoenix: The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that state law doesn’t require Gov. Katie Hobbs to carry out the April 6 execution of a prisoner who was convicted of murder. The decision marks a legal victory for the newly elected Democratic governor whose office said the state isn’t currently prepared to carry out the death penalty.

ARKANSAS Benton County: A search for a missing man and his son at Beaver Lake has turned to a recovery operation, members of the man’s band Lotus reported. The band tweeted that recovery efforts are under way with the Benton County Sheriff ’ s office.

CALIFORNIA Oakland: The former warden of an abuse- plagued federal women’s prison in the San Francisco Bay Area was sentenced Wednesday to nearly six years in prison for sexually abusing incarcerat­ed women.

COLORADO Fort Collins: Colorado State University’s budget plan for the 2023- 24 school year increases tuition to fund pay raises for faculty and staff, continuing a dichotomy that those on both sides of the student- tostaff compensati­on funnel insist is unnecessar­y. To raise the $ 25.8 million to fund a 5% pay increase for its employees, CSU plans to increase tuition 4% for undergradu­ate students and 3% for graduate students.

CONNECTICU­T New Haven: The wife of a now- former Connecticu­t state lawmaker was sentenced Thursday to six months in federal prison in connection with her role in the alleged theft of federal coronaviru­s relief funds from the city of West Haven. Lauren DiMassa, one of several people arrested with former state Rep. Michael DiMassa in the investigat­ion, had pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

DELAWARE Wilmington: A Delaware Superior Court judge will decide in the coming weeks if the blockbuste­r $ 1.6 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems has lodged against Fox News and Fox Corp. will head to trial. Judge Eric Davis heard oral arguments for summary judgment, which turned into a two- day hearing this week on whether the lawsuit should go to trial April 17.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington: Mayor Muriel Bowser announced plans to have crews install 342 cameras around the area this summer, WUSA- TV reports.

GEORGIA Atlanta: Unemployme­nt stayed low in February, as the state’s labor market was strong but stable. The jobless rate stayed at 3.1% for the seventh month in a row, although it was up slightly from 3% in February 2022. The number of people seeking jobs and reporting they were employed both grew slightly, while the number of Georgians reporting they were unemployed was basically flat at 164,000. The number of workers on employer payrolls rose slightly to 4.88 million. That’s 135,000 above payroll levels last January.

HAWAII Honolulu: An investigat­ion has found that an ambulance fire that killed a patient and critically injured a paramedic last year originated in a portable oxygen cylinder’s regulatory assembly, Honolulu officials said.

IDAHO Boise: A woman charged with conspiracy and murder in connection with the deaths of her two children and her new husband’s late wife will no longer face the death penalty, a judge ruled Tuesday.

ILLINOIS Springfield: The last of three ex- correction­al officers convicted in the beating death of a prison inmate was sentenced Wednesday to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to civil rights violations and obstructio­n and testifying against his codefendan­ts.

INDIANA Indianapol­is: A housing advocacy group announced a settlement on Wednesday in a classactio­n federal lawsuit it filed six years ago alleging a local real estate brokerage firm was operating a predatory and discrimina­tory rentto- own housing program.

IOWA Des Moines: The state has launched Safe+ Sound, a new app that students and parents can use to report anonymous tips related to school safety.

KANSAS Topeka: More Seaman High School students are self- reporting drug and nicotine use when confronted with either voluntary admission or mandatory hair sample testing, administra­tors told the Seaman Board of Education.

KENTUCKY Frankfort: A state audit of Kentucky State University’s finances revealed a “chaotic accounting environmen­t” leading to undocument­ed credit card transactio­ns, extravagan­t bonuses and a lack of controls that put millions in federal grant funding at risk, Auditor Mike Harmon said. The auditor’s report contained 20 findings identified as “significant issues,” and Harmon’s office referred its findings to federal and state prosecutor­s.

LOUISIANA New Orleans: Efforts to recall embattled Democratic New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell have failed, leaving her to navigate the remaining two years of her administra­tion in uncertain waters.

MAINE Portland: After years of planning, Maine’s largest city on Wednesday opened its new homeless shelter, shifting some homeless services away from downtown.

MARYLAND Annapolis: The state Senate debated a major funding shift in the budget that would set money aside for K- 12 education reforms, rejecting an amendment supported by the GOP that would have steered $ 300 million to help pay for tax relief for senior citizens.

MASSACHUSE­TTS Boston: The governor reminded pharmacies that they are required to stock a key abortion pill, despite a nationwide effort by anti- abortion activists to ban the medication.

MICHIGAN Lansing: The Michigan Republican Party has received backlash from political leaders on both sides of the aisle for posts on social media Wednesday that compared the Holocaust to gun safety measures being considered in the state.

MINNESOTA St. Paul: Democratic legislativ­e leaders and Gov. Tim Walz agreed on broad budget targets that add up to nearly $ 17.9 billion in new spending, including $ 3 billion for tax cuts, but the details of where the money will go remain to be negotiated.

MISSISSIPP­I Biloxi: The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi named Jennifer Broadus as the next superinten­dent of Catholic schools in southern Mississipp­i. Her position will oversee all Catholic schools in 17 counties, a spokesman for the diocese said.

MISSOURI St. Louis: An escapearti­st bear from Missouri is headed to a Texas zoo with a moat in hopes that it will put an end to his wandering.

MONTANA Bozeman: The Gallatin County attorney is creating a task force to look at more than 100 cases – the majority alleging sexual violence – that her predecesso­r’s office apparently did not review to see if charges could still be brought.

NEBRASKA Chapman: Whooping cranes are beginning to join around 450,000 migrating sandhill cranes that have flocked to central Nebraska.

NEVADA Las Vegas: Utility regulators in Nevada gave the state’s largest power provider clearance to start work on a $ 333 million project to build a natural gas plant in the state for the first time in nearly 15 years, signaling yet another consequenc­e of the extreme drought conditions in the southweste­rn U. S.

NEW HAMPSHIRE Concord: The state’s fallen Old Man of the Mountain would be honored annually under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday. The bipartisan bill, which now goes to the Senate, would designate “Old Man of the Mountain Day” on May 3 – the date the formation collapsed.

NEW JERSEY Sea Isle City: Eight dolphins have died after they became stranded on a beach, marine animal welfare officials said.

NEW MEXICO Santa Fe: No one is objecting to a settlement agreement to resolve allegation­s of workplace safety violations in the 2021 shooting death of a cinematogr­apher by Alec Baldwin on the set of a Western movie. After a 20- day vetting period with no objections, the agreement between New Mexico workplace safety regulators and Rust Movie Production­s has been finalized along with a $ 100,000 fine against the company that originally bankrolled the movie “Rust.”

NEW YORK New York: A police officer rappelled down a Manhattan skyscraper to stop a man who was facing financial fraud charges from jumping out of a 31st- floor window.

NORTH CAROLINA Raleigh: A Medicaid expansion deal in North Carolina received final legislativ­e approval on Thursday, capping a decade of debate over whether the closely politicall­y divided state should accept the federal government’s coverage for hundreds of thousands of low- income adults.

NORTH DAKOTA Bismarck: Public schools and state agencies would be prohibited from referring to students and employees by any pronouns that don’t reflect the sex assigned to them at birth, under a bill approved by the legislatur­e.

OHIO Columbus: A recent report from a Swiss air technology company identified Columbus as having the most polluted air of any major city in the United States, a claim that has its skeptics.

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City: After more than a decade, outside monitoring of Oklahoma’s troubled child welfare system may soon end. A new report from the three- person monitoring team said the Oklahoma Department of Human Services had achieved “substantia­l and sustained” progress on 23 of the 30 performanc­e measures establishe­d as part of the “Pinnacle Plan” in 2012. Monitoring of these areas will no longer be necessary, the team said. But progress in seven areas where monitoring was temporaril­y suspended during the height of the COVID- 19 pandemic will need to continue.

OREGON Salem: Oregon has issued its first license under its new system that offers controlled use of psilocybin to the public.

PENNSYLVAN­IA Pittsburgh: A former truck driver about to face trial for a shooting massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue more than four years ago has schizophre­nia and structural and functional brain impairment­s, his lawyers argued in a public court filing.

RHODE ISLAND Providence: A proposal to create special driver’s licenses and car decals bearing the word “autism” is generating backlash.

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia: A barbecue chain known for its pro- segregatio­n stance in a landmark 1960s case and its embrace of the Confederat­e flag in 2000 is facing allegation­s of racism and sexual harassment by the fired general manager of one of its restaurant­s.

SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls: A new report about mental health services in Sioux Falls found the city has a lack of providers to deal with the community’s needs, even as the stigma of seeking help decreases.

TENNESSEE Memphis: Two employees of a rural town that resisted a takeover attempt by the state after Ford Motor Co. announced plans to build an electric truck plant nearby have been charged with the theft of town funds and official misconduct, officials said Wednesday.

TEXAS Austin: Weeks after winning more Grammys, Willie Nelson is getting a new kind of honor: a university endowment in Texas. The country music icon, who in the 1980s helped launch the Farm Aid benefit concerts, is the namesake of the new Willie Nelson Endowment for Uplifting Rural Communitie­s at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, the school announced Wednesday.

UTAH Salt Lake City: After one of the snowiest Februarys in memory, Utah’s snowpack levels are near record highs, officials said, signaling good prospects for the state’s water supplies but also raising concerns about flooding.

VERMONT Burlington: A major road project in Burlington’s South End will become even more visible to residents in the coming year.

VIRGINIA Fairfax: The lawyer for the family of a man fatally shot by police after he allegedly stole a pair of sunglasses from a shopping mall called the death “an execution” after seeing video of the shooting for the first time Wednesday.

WASHINGTON Seattle: An overnight fire at a marina burned 30 boats on a dry- rack storage facility, and a man found hiding in one vessel was arrested for investigat­ion of arson, authoritie­s said.

WEST VIRGINIA Charleston: A federal drug trafficking investigat­ion in West Virginia has resulted in charges against 54 people and the seizure of more than 200 pounds of methamphet­amine, authoritie­s said. U. S. Attorney Will Thompson said law enforcemen­t also seized lesser amounts of cocaine and fentanyl along with 18 firearms and $ 747,000 in cash.

WISCONSIN Kenosha: A jury convicted a man of homicide, hiding a corpse and stalking in the death of a romantic rival whose body has never been found.

WYOMING Cheyenne: A woman accused of setting fire last year to a Wyoming abortion clinic that was under constructi­on told investigat­ors that she opposes abortion and was experienci­ng anxiety and nightmares over the facility opening, authoritie­s say in court documents.

From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

 ?? PHOTOS PROVIDED BY HBO ?? Cousin Greg ( Nicholas Braun) stands up to the family and his BFF Tom ( Matthew Macfadyen) in Season 4 of “Succession.”
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY HBO Cousin Greg ( Nicholas Braun) stands up to the family and his BFF Tom ( Matthew Macfadyen) in Season 4 of “Succession.”
 ?? ?? Logan Roy ( Brian Cox) is still in charge and scheming in Season 4.
Logan Roy ( Brian Cox) is still in charge and scheming in Season 4.

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