As it turns out, I’m not the only person in the gambling space with thoughts on the fate of Kendall Roy.
In fact, recent Sports Betting Hall of Fame inductee Joe Brennan Jr. took to Twitter to post odds on whether Kendall makes it out of the Tuscan swimming pool alive, and he’s basically calling it a pick ‘em.
Kendall Roy odds
Dead -105 pic.twitter.com/HiQ3AtReY5
— Joe Brennan Jr (@joebrennanjr) December 7, 2021
Listen: Succession is not a show about gambling, but Waystar Royco is in talks to buy — or merge — with GoJo, and GoJo is about to enter the sports betting space, and I don’t care that this is all fiction, it’s not going to stop me — or, apparently, Joe Brennan Jr. — from handicapping the action for Sunday night’s season finale.
And of course, it all starts with Kendall, whom we last saw face down on a pool floatie, bubbles of breath leaving his body. Right now, we’re in a Schrodinger’s Kendall situation, and until those piano keys tinkle, Kendall is both alive and dead.
So which is it? Well …
Kendall is dead because …
- His arc is complete. He tried to take down his dad, he failed, his dad saved him after the waiter drowned (hold that thought), he tried to take down his dad again, he failed. It would seem “trying to take down his dad again” would be … repetitive, to say the least.
- The New Yorker profile of Jeremy Strong — which is one of the most batshizz crazy celebrity profiles you’ll ever read — really gave off a whiff of Strong being done with the show. This is real life interfering with fake life, but still.
- As an article on The Ringer pointed out, the creators and writers of this show are neck deep into classic literature — going back to the Bible — and Kendall’s closest comps are Hamlet, Macbeth, and Jesus. And as the author pointed out, none of those folks made it out of their books alive.
- It resets the show. Brian Cox, who plays Logan Roy, said in an interview earlier this year there are, at most, two seasons left of Succession. The death of Kendall would certainly hit the refresh button as the show comes in for a landing.
- There was an orange beach ball in the pool next to Kendall. Is this a possible homage to The Godfather? Because if it is, Kendall is d-e-a-d dead. Why? Because anytime an orange showed up in The Godfather, it meant death was near. Is this me reading too much into this? Absolutely. But just in case …
Note the color of the ball in the pool. Now go google "godfather orange." #SuccessionHBO pic.twitter.com/sqxfbMyc83
— Jeff Edelstein (@jeffedelstein) December 6, 2021
Kendall is alive because …
- Succession is, at its heart, a comedy — note the news scroll in the beginning of the credits each year. It’s always ridiculous — like this year’s “I smiled at her at the photocopier, now I face chemical castration” — and killing off Kendall is not, in any way imaginable, funny.
- It would be an unsatisfying end to Kendall’s story arc. Granted, there may not be much runway left for him — or is there (cue tinkling piano keys)? Passing out from a few too many beers in a swimming pool and accidentally drowning would be an awfully anticlimactic way for Kendall to die.
- Other deaths on the show have been played for laughs (see: “Mo” Lester McClintock).
At this point, after laying it all out, I tend to agree with Brennan Jr. — it’s a toss-up. It can go either way.
There’s one more avenue to explore: The death of the waiter in season 1, which has been a bit of a Chekhov’s gun this season, came up twice in the last episode alone. What if Kendall almost drowns in the pool and has an epiphany and decides to come clean about his role in the waiter’s death — and the role his father played in covering it up? It’s the one card Kendall has left to play, and it serves two purposes for the show: One, it puts Logan back in hot water, and two, it gives Kendall a path to redemption.
Yep. I like that. It fits.
So in the end …
Is Kendall alive? Yes -200, No +165
But of course, there’s more going on than just Kendall’s potential death. Like …
Love, sex, and d**k pics
- Will Willa say “yes” to Connor? Yes -250, No +200
- Is Greg about to screw up this Comfry thing? Yes -1000, No +600
- Will Roman survive the d**k pic scandal? Yes -infinity, No (off the board)
- Will Gerri survive the d**k pic scandal? Yes -110, No -110
- Will Shiv and Tom make “baby popsicles”? Yes +300, No -240
This episode of succession was a LOT. Pizzas, Pastas, Popes, (purportedly poisoned) Mozzarella, and Popsicles du Baby for dessert. Gonna need a gut cleansing treat after this! pic.twitter.com/3eB0pufGmO
— Rev. Paritosh Joshi 🌈 (@ParitoshJoshi) December 6, 2021
- Will Tom leave Shiv? Yes +1500, No -1000
- Will Logan and Kerry go public with their relationship? Yes +5000, No -3333
Over, under, and around
- Over/under on number of times “F**k off” is said in the season finale: 2.5
watched two episodes of succession and now i can’t stop telling people to fuck off
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) July 5, 2021
- Over/under on helicopter landings: 0.5
- Over/under on number of people arrested: 0.5
- Over/under on number of deaths: 0.5
- Over/under on Connor’s polling percentage number: 1.5
- The GoJo merger/acquisition will happen: Yes -140, No +115
- Gerri will remain CEO by episode’s end: Yes +120, No -150
- Roman will be CEO by episode’s end: Yes +200, No -250
- Shiv will be CEO by episode’s end: Yes +300, No -400
- Lukas Mattson will be CEO by episode’s end: Yes +500, No -700
- Logan will be CEO by episode’s end: Yes -150, No +120
- Would I watch a Frank and Karl spin off? Yes -10000000000, No (off the board)
succession clip frank vernon introduces karl muller at the annual shareholder’s meeting, karl tells him “I’m needed elsewhere. so, vamp! bonne chance franco.”, so frank tells the shareholders “we will be hearing from our CFO a little later and before that a little further ado..” pic.twitter.com/5AS31XhjnY
— succession clips and reaction videos (@successionreact) November 15, 2021
These are all courtesy of my co-worker Mike Seely, and it’s either odds or asides from me, because … well, wowza.
- Tom and Greg share a passionate kiss on the lips, or more: Sheesh, Seely.
- Roman and Gerri share a passionate kiss on the lips, or more: +100000
- Comfry and Greg elope to Atlantic City and tie the knot: Awwwwww ….
- Josh Aaronson reemerges to join Stewie and Kendall in a three-bro(dy) takeover of Waystar Royco: +50000
- Logan’s estranged wife and ex-wife join forces in a hostile takeover of Waystar Royco: +9999999999
- Karl fulfils his life’s destiny of fronting a Peter Cetera (his doppelganger) cover band: I mean, I’d watch that, right?
Photo: Graeme Hunter/HBO