“Succession” was able to catch lightning in a bottle and become one of the most acclaimed television series of all time through its unique blend of high stakes financial drama and dry humor. Like “Veep” before it, much of the show’s appeal stemmed from its portrayal of some of the world’s most powerful people as bumbling fools whose actions were driven by incompetence as much as malice.
A classic example in the show’s critically acclaimed fourth season came shortly after the death of media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox). As his family and closest professional confidantes sifted through his personal documents while searching for a successor, they found a document with his son Kendall’s (Jeremy Strong) name underlined. Kendall took it as a sign that his late father wanted him to take over the family business — but others were quick to point out that unevenly drawn line could have just as easily been an attempt to cross out the name. The subsequent dispute over whether Logan hoped to elevate or omit his son from contention was evidence that his entourage’s struggles to predict his opinions did not end when he died.
Even though “Succession” has ended and we now know who ended up at the helm of Waystar Royco, fans have enjoyed speculating about whether the infamous line was meant to be an underline or a cross out. But the show’s creator Jesse Armstrong put an end to the debates over the weekend when he offered his definitive answer about Logan’s intentions.
Appearing at a Financial Times event in London on Saturday (recorded by journalist Cassam Looch) Armstrong was asked to weigh in on whether the name was underlined or crossed out. While he avoid answering such questions while the show was airing, Armstrong explained he felt more free to comment on the meaning of certain scenes now that there are no more secrets to keep from the audience.
“If you were gonna cross out, you wouldn’t start underneath, would you?” Armstrong asked the crowd, eliciting cheers as audience members realized that he meant Logan had underlined the name.