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Succession Season 3: What’s Kendall’s Next Move? (Every Theory Explained)

Warning: SPOILERS for Succession season 3, episode 2

After an explosive start to Succession season 3, Kendall Roy is facing some serious decisions about his plot to take over Waystar RoyCo. Despite publically turning against his father during the dramatic end of Succession season 2, his future is looking far from certain. With alliances forming across the Roy family and fractures appearing on both sides of the divide, it is genuinely uncertain who will hold the balance of power come the end of the season.

In many ways, Kendall Roy has enjoyed the most extreme character arc to date. Having started the show as the natural successor to his father's multimedia empire, he has instigated a failed coup, committed manslaughter whilst driving under the influence, been set up by Logan to take the fall for his company's failings, before coming full circle and declaring war on his family's interests. Despite making an offer to his siblings during season 3, episode 2, it seems increasingly likely that he will be forced to go it alone, away from the central family unit. Under the circumstances, it perhaps isn't surprising that he has some big decisions to make about his next course of action.

Related: Why Succession Season 3 Has To Be Roman's Year (& What That Means)

Thanks to his bold decision-making, catching Logan and the rest of the Roy family largely unawares, Kendall has in many ways earned himself a strategic advantage. After all, such is Logan's sphere of power and influence that anything short of swift, decisive action – as highlighted by season 1's failed takeover bid – is likely to end in failure. However, although he has a headstart in the race to run Waystar RoyCo, Kendall's position is also delicately balanced. One slight misstep could bring his ambitions crashing down, meaning that he must choose his next move carefully. Here are all the possible avenues open for Kendall as the situation currently stands.

Overshadowing everything in Succession season 3 is the unnerving presence of the FBI's burgeoning investigation into the illegal activity rampant throughout Waystar. After a series of hearings throughout the latter half of season 2, it's become increasingly apparent that the US government is not only taking a keen interest in Logan's affairs but that he might not enjoy the same level of insulation that has been afforded throughout much of Waystar's existence – exacerbated by his failure to secure the services of lawyer Lisa Arthur (played by Sanaa Lathan). After his dramatic about-turn and refusal to be a cooperative "blood sacrifice" at the end of season 2, this situation presents Kendall with a potential advantage.

By cooperating with the government and handing over the compromising material provided by Cousin Greg, he could potentially secure his own position, while dealing his father a fatal blow. This is very much the approach advocated by his new high-powered legal counsel. The very fact that this seems like the most rational approach, given Succession's history of drama, means that this strategy may actually be fraught with hidden risk. However, for now at least, it seems like taking the path of least resistance may be Kendall's best option.

Away from the attentions of the government, Kendall has to give due consideration (after the inevitable Roy family bloodbath) to how he will actually emerge in control of the company. To this end, the figure of fellow media mogul Sandy Furness (Larry Pine) could be central to his scheme. The billionaire's proposed hostile takeover of the company and ongoing feud with Logan is a central factor behind Logan's erratic and increasingly desperate decision-making throughout Succession season 2, especially his failed alliance with Pierce News. Already in season 3, Kendall has been seen in discussions with Sandy and his subordinate Stewy Hosseini, discussing a potential alliance and Logan's removal. By working with Sandy, Kendall could engineer a situation where he is able to oust his father and maintain control of the family business. Although early discussions with Sandy suggest that Kendall is not his first pick for CEO, it's hard to see how Kendall can come out on top unless he can successfully persuade the businessman to come on board.

Related: What To Expect From Succession Season 3

Although she eventually sided with her father, it was clear from Shiv's actions throughout episode 2 that she was seriously tempted by the prospect of an alliance with Kendall. While, for now, she's chosen to stick by Logan, one thing that Succession has made abundantly clear is that loyalties can shift in an instant. From their conspiratorial conversations throughout episode 2, Kendall left no doubt that he was eager to bring his sister's expertise on board and create something genuinely new and innovative at the heart of Waystar. From her perspective, Shiv has been willing to bet that standing by Logan is the best way to secure herself the position of CEO – something which Kendall, at this stage at least, felt that he couldn't offer. However, should circumstances change, Shiv's initial sympathy to the plot suggests that, further down the line, a team-up between the Roy children is not beyond the realms of possibility.

As it stands, Kendall is in the complicated position of being relatively isolated, yet wielding incredible power thanks to his possession of Greg's papers. As a result, his primary concern is building alliances within the existing Waystar Royco framework. This could mean that older, more experienced hands such as Frank Vernon and Karl Muller could be crucial assets in establishing the new order at the company. Not only do they have an expert working knowledge of the company, but it's increasingly clear that the pair of them are increasingly doubtful of Logan's capacity for leadership. This could entice them into joining Kendall and abandoning the head of the family. With their insight into Logan's own strategy, bringing Frank and Karl on board could be a shrewd move on Kendall's part, one that could even make him a more viable CEO choice in the eyes of Sandy Furness and other third parties.

Despite being named the new CEO, it's clear that Gerri is on thin ice at Waystar RoyCo. Not only did Logan Roy snub her at the airport in favor of his daughter, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the position is a poisoned chalice for anyone in charge during the immediate future. Therefore, given Logan's obvious propensity for throwing previously loyal colleagues and family members into the line of fire, Gerri may well calculate that she would be best served cooperating with Kendall in a new-look Waystar organization. From Kendall's perspective, working with someone as influential as Gerri would be hugely beneficial – especially considering his access to the company has been officially revoked following his tumultuous press conference. While neither party has made direct overtures as yet, if Logan continues to sideline Gerri in favor of Shiv, Kendall's breakaway project may become increasingly tempting to the longtime servant of Waystar.

The wildcard in all of Kendall's calculations is undoubtedly the enigmatic Cousin Greg. Despite providing Kendall with the ammunition to take down his father, Greg is an unreliable and often actively unhelpful ally. However, for all his faults, Greg does provide Kendall with a clear connection to Ewan Roy – Logan's semi-estranged brother. Not only is Ewan a board member, but he also shares Kendall's stated ambitions to reform the organization and make Waystar a force for good in the world. While an alliance would certainly be a left-field choice, given his often erratic and cantankerous behavior, worth of some of the most dramatic moments from Game of Thrones, Ewan has shown himself to be a more wily operator than seems initially apparent.

Related: You're Going To Love Game Of Thrones Again

One thing that Kendall has consistently prioritized throughout the first two episodes of the season is an emphasis on public image. He has already hired a team of PR experts to help shape the narrative and focus on his stated ambition of reform and progress. Given this, it seems increasingly likely that his strategy will revolve around an outwardly facing campaign while his rivals continue to work behind the scenes to secure their own positions. Thanks to Waystar's history of coverups and illicit activity, this tactic could be a double-edged sword – even more so, considering Kendall's personal history of wrong-doing. However, as Succession has consistently demonstrated, making a good impression goes a long way to getting ahead in business.

More: Succession Season 3 Makes Kendall’s Darkest Moment Much Worse

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