Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

This article contains spoilers for HBO Max’s Succession. Reader discretion is advised.

In 2018, Succession released the sixth episode of its first season titled “Which Side Are You On?”. The episode features Kendall Roy, as he attempts to stage a no-confidence vote against his father as his one of many attempts to run his father out of the company and step in as CEO.

It fails, of course. While Kendall is ambitious to the point of being ludicrous and has been involved with the company longer than his other siblings, it’s three years later and Succession continues to set Kendall up for failure with every nail-biting episode that leaves him scrambling in ruins.

Now, everyone knows that the Roy family belongs locked away in a jail cell far, far away from the media world and the influence they hold. 

And yet…

There’s something really special that comes out as we watch these horrible people become horribly devastating individuals. In particular, Kendall Roy and his ambitious failures. 

I think what makes Kendall the character that people feel the most sympathy for — other than being the main character — is that Kendall isn’t afraid of showing his emotions. The other siblings have closed off any sort of physical reaction that can slight them to their enemies; but, for whatever reason, Kendall is able to express himself at a greater capacity than his siblings. 

We see peaks of Shiv’s emotions when she snaps to her dad to tell their competitors that she’s the CEO or that second of hesitation she has to get her emotions in control. But she doesn’t let anyone see any closer than that. Roman is a bit better as someone who easily hides his pain behind jokes and insults; but to the Roy family, they’re just jokes and insults. They built these walls as children, and it takes immense betrayal to break them down.

But Kendall Roy cries! He breaks down, throws tantrums, wrecks a bathroom. He gets angry and raises his voice, he snaps and says something mean. Kendall Roy, despite being in his 40s, becomes the poster child of a toddler with a bad tantrum. 

He tries so hard to prove himself to his father and then to his siblings. He tries to fit in in a world he very much doesn’t belong to. And when he’s broken down, exhausted from fighting, losing everyone he loved because he was too in his own head, that’s when he finally wants to back out from the company and give up. 

Tantrums, bitter conversations and rap music played at the highest volume; all the things make Kendall Roy seem less like the perfect Roy implant like his sister Shiv. Yet, stubbornness, pride and absolution separate him from his brother Roman. All these things are what make Kendall appear more, well, human. 

So why won’t Kendall ever be CEO? Well, he’s not a killer — figuratively, that is.

Part-time pop music enthusiast and full-time bookworm, Kiara is a senior hoping to graduate with a bachelor's in ad/pr and sociology. Her passion for the arts, both written and unwritten, has led her to frequent concerts, museums, and even gardens. Kiara hopes that her dedication to both writing and music will begin her media career in the music industry.