End of HBO's 'Succession' has already brought shock and tears, but which Roy is triumphant?

The end of "Succession" is coming.

A "deeply conflicted" 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 finite 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.

Brian Cox's Logan Roy schemes in "Succession" season 4.
Brian Cox's Logan Roy schemes in "Succession" season 4.

Why is everyone shocked and crying about 'Succession'?

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

"There was flip-flopping 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 final episode that we got a definitive answer."

"Definitely, there were tears. I was sad realizing this is the end, And we were told, 'This is definitely the end,' " says Snook, who revealed she was pregnant with her first child at the final "Succession" New York premiere. "But I'm about to have a baby, I've got other things to go onto. I'm fine."

Nicholas Braun, who plays frequently bumbling cousin Greg, admits to bursting into tears on his last day of filming 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."

The Roy siblings are back scheming against their father. Left to right, Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong).
The Roy siblings are back scheming against their father. Left to right, Shiv (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Kendall (Jeremy Strong).

What happened in the 'Succession' Season 3 finale?

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 finale,

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 outflanked by Logan after a key heads-up by Shiv's husband Tom (Macfadyen), in a stunning betrayal revealed in the finale'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 fight, and fight dirty, to defeat his grown children's uprising. But secretly, the CEO wants one of his offspring to prove their mettle by defeating him, as Kendall attempted with a double-cross in the Season 2 finale.

"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."

Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong at the "Succession" season 4 premiere.
Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong at the "Succession" season 4 premiere.

Why has Brian Cox criticized Jeremy 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 different cultural model."

Nicholas Braun (cousin Greg) and BFF Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) in season 4 of "Succession."
Nicholas Braun (cousin Greg) and BFF Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) in season 4 of "Succession."

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 even 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."

Don't move on from 'Succession'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Succession' Season 4: tears, shock, what to know before the premiere