Do you remember what happened in the Succession season two finale? I don’t, outside of some vague recollections of a depressed Kendall listening to LCD Soundsystem (been there, buddy), Tom and Shiv’s beachside chat, and the final shot of Logan reacting to his Number One Boy’s betrayal. My hazy memory has nothing to do with the quality of the episode, though — it’s one of the best episodes of one of the best shows on TV. It’s because the episode aired two years ago this week. That’s a long time ago.
Let’s go through all the things that have happened since the finale.
[Remembers the last two years]
I take it back. That was a terrible idea. Let’s instead look forward to Sunday when Succession finally returns to HBO. If you haven’t watched the season two finale recently, you really should. There’s still time before the premiere. In fact, this should be a requirement from now on: watch last season’s finale before the new season’s premiere.
There are a lot of TV shows. Too many, some would argue. For that reason, and because we’re bombarded with information and bad tweets every second of our lives, it’s perfectly understandable to forget what happened on a show. Even if it’s one of your favorites. Take Better Call Saul, for instance. I love Better Call Saul, maybe even more than Breaking Bad. But the season five finale was in April 2020, and the final season isn’t expected to premiere until late 2022 (the delay is due to a world-altering pandemic and the star of the show having a heart attack on set, but that’s no excuse for making us wait for more black-and-white adventures of Cinnabon Gene). That makes the Succession break seem manageable. In the days before Saul is back, I plan on re-watching the season five finale, to remind myself of everything that I’ve forgotten.
Otherwise, this will be me watching the premiere:
I will do the same thing for The Witcher (last episode: December 2019), The Boys (October 2020), Russian Doll (February 2019), and Stranger Things (July 2019). I can barely remember where I parked my car — how am I expected to remember if Steve and Robin still work at the ice cream place in the mall? If I don’t rewatch, I will spend the first 15 minutes of the premiere wondering what the heck is going on. This isn’t fun for anyone, especially the person you’re watching it with. “Who is that?” is the last thing anyone wants to hear while watching a show or movie (dads love asking this after passing out on the recliner). Equally annoying is pausing an episode to Google “succession recap help,” although if you’re looking for one, we’ve got you covered.
This proposed rule does not apply to every show. I did not rewatch the What We Do in the Shadows season two finale before season three, or Ted Lasso or Tuca and Bertie (although I should have, because the more Tuca and Bertie in my life, the better). Comedies are mostly exempt, although there are exceptions to the rule: Barry is more serialized than your average comedy, and it’s been off the air since May 2019 (!). You might need a refresher. I plan on rewatching the Barry season two finale… and maybe the rest of season two… and season one too. What I’m saying is, Barry is a good show.
Another good show: Succession. Throw yourself a watch party catered by California Pizza Kitchen. Listen to the theme song during your Saturday long run. Check Etsy to see if anyone is selling “f*ck off” masks yet. Do what you gotta do to get hyped. But remember: rewatch the season two finale. You’ll enjoy the (excellent) season three premiere that much more. If it is to be said, so it be, so it is.