Why Did Kendall Break Roman’s Stitches In The ‘Succession’ Finale?

The Succession finale came to a brutal end as the Roy siblings proved their late father right by detonating their chance to take control of the Waystar Royco empire. For a brief moment, it seemed like all three had coalesced around Kendall (Jeremy Strong) to take over the company, but the dysfunction from growing up under the thumb of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) couldn’t be contained.

During a pivotal scene before the board vote that could stop Lukas Matsson’s acquisition and anoint Kendall as the new CEO of Waystar Royco, Roman (Kieran Culkin) starts to have a breakdown over the fact it could’ve never been him in the top spot. However, when Kendall goes to comfort his brother, the hug turns disturbingly violent as Kendall seemingly jams Roman’s wounded face into his shoulder, reopening the stitches from his assault in the penultimate episode.

“Part of the tragedy of the show, part of what Jesse is writing about, is this co-mingling of holding and hurting–of love and violence,” Strong explained to Vanity Fair about the brotherly moment:

When I hold Roman, that embrace is also–what’s the opposite of an embrace?

You’re crushing him.

Yeah, I’m embracing him and I’m crushing him at the same time. Which you could say is part of the love language that they learned in this family. Shiv and Roman can’t express love without also expressing a kind of cruelty, and we–all of us–betray our own capacity to love.

Unfortunately, the “embrace” wouldn’t be Kendall’s only act of violence. After Shiv (Sarah Snook) torpedoes Kendall’s chances of being CEO, the three siblings get into a tense, and highly visible, screaming match that ultimately ends after Kendall attacks both Roman and his pregnant sister before returning to the conference room to learn that his entire world just ended. An “extinction level” event, as Strong calls it.

(Via Vanity Fair)