The end of Succession is looming ever nearer, and we’ll soon need to say goodbye to one of the best drama series of all time. When Kendall, Shiv, and the rest disappear from our lives, we’ll be left with nothing but the memories of their eternally cutting insults and cut-throat sensibilities.
Well, actually, we’ll have been left with a little something else because, true to form, the series has been sneakily hiding a major Easter egg under our noses this whole time in the form of the Succession episode titles.
Amazingly, the title of each Succession season finale episode is a line pulled from a poem: Dream Song 29 by John Berryman.
Respectively, the titles of the season finales for seasons 1, 2, and 3 have been ‘Nobody Is Ever Missing’, ‘This Is Not For Tears’, and ‘All the Bells Say’. Each is a line taken from the poem, in backwards order. This hidden detail continues and concludes with the season 4 finale, which is titled, ‘With Open Eyes’.
There are probably many links between the poem and the overarching themes of Succession, though we have a few favourite theories after examining the poem itself. Dream Song 29 is about a man who awakens to the fear that he’s killed someone. When he goes to evaluate the damage, he finds that he’s done nothing at all.
Could this perhaps be a reference to the underlying guilt that Kendall carries from having been involved with the death of the young waiter in season 1? Or could the relief that the man in the poem feels upon realising that he’s not done anything wrong reflect the larger message of the series, which leaves us in the understanding that because of their power and wealth, the Roys will always be able to walk away from a situation unscathed?
Well, this isn’t an English Literature class, but it’s certainly an intriguing detail. (We wouldn’t have expected anything less from one of the best TV series of all time.)
The end of Succession is nearly here, so why not remind yourself of the Succession cast list, and all the best Succession characters? Don’t forget to check out our Succession season 4 episode 7 recap, as well as our analysis of how Succession holds a mirror to sexist family dynamics, too.