It has been two years since HBO's Succession last graced us with the hilariously toxic psychodrama of the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of fictional media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo.
After a whopping seven Emmy awards last year and some COVID-related production delays, the Roys are back in town for a third season, as their eternally disgruntled patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) desperately holds onto the reins of his volatile but lucrative empire.
Series creator Jesse Armstrong has previously admitted the show is partly inspired by Rupert Murdoch's media dynasty, but the British producer has cranked the backstabbing up to 11, and things are unlikely to settle down in season 3.
Here's what you need to know before the new season begins.
How can I watch Succession season 3 in Australia?
Succession's long-awaited third season begins on Monday, October 18 in Australia.
New episodes will be on the Binge streaming service and shown on Foxtel (both pay-to-watch services) from 12:00pm AEST on Mondays, at the same time as US viewers (who get it on their Sunday night).
The show's previous two seasons both had 10 episodes each, but season 3 will have nine.
This will take us into mid-December by the time the season wraps up, perhaps just in time for a special holiday episode as one big happy Roy family — right, Logan?
What happened last season?
Succession's second season saw Logan Roy's four children play ever-deepening mind games in attempts to gain their father's attention — and his company.
Season 2 added more complexities to the relationships between the members of the Roy family business, and further complicated the inevitable handover of their corporate dynasty.
(Warning: spoilers ahead)
At the end of the season, Kendall Roy chose to betray his father, who had set up his once-number one boy to take the fall for Waystar RoyCo's wrongdoings.
Disobeying his father's orders to take the fall for corruption and alleged sexual abuses in the company's cruises division, Kendall held an abrupt press conference.
"The truth is that my father is a malignant presence, a bully and a liar, and he was fully personally aware of these events for many years and made efforts to hide and cover up," he said.
"This is the day his reign ends."
What can we expect in season 3?
Season 3 is expected to pick up right after Kendall Roy's vitriolic press conference, amid a shareholder revolt.
"There's blood in the water. Sharks are coming," Logan Roy says in the season's official trailer.
There's also footage of protesters holding signs exclaiming "RAPEstar ROYCO" and "LOGAN ROY MUST GO", and we see members of the FBI entering a Waystar RoyCo building.
Here's how things are summed up in Season 3's official synopsis:
"Ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan Roy begins Season 3 in a perilous position. Scrambling to secure familial, political and financial alliances, tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war."
Judging by the teaser trailer and full trailer released this year, we can also expect a few other things for certain:
- Logan Roy is STILL ALWAYS WATCHING EVERYONE
- Cousin Greg "The Egg" Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) continues to be a lovable, bumbling goof
- Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) continues to sadistically mess with Greg
Keep an eye out for some new characters
More famous faces are joining the cast in season 3.
Big Little Lies star Alexander Skarsgård appears as tech company founder and CEO Lukas Matsson.
Adrien Brody (known for his lead role in 2002 film The Pianist and the works of director Wes Anderson) plays Josh Aaronson, a billionaire activist investor who reportedly becomes involved in the ownership of Waystar RoyCo.
Sanaa Lathan also appears as Lisa Arthur, a well-connected New York lawyer who appears to be working with Kendall Roy, while Korean pop star Jihae Kim features as public relations consultant Berry Schneider.
Where are the face masks?
Don't be concerned if you notice no-one is wearing a face mask in season 3. The COVID-19 pandemic intentionally wasn't written into the script.
Australian Sarah Snook (who plays Siobhan "Shiv" Roy) told Vulture earlier this year: "These are really wealthy people. And unfortunately, none of the world's really wealthy people were going to be affected by the pandemic."
Sadly, actor Mark Blum, who played cruise division executive Bill Lockhart in the first two seasons of Succession, died of complications from COVID-19 in March 2020.
Will there be a season 4?
A fourth season of Succession has yet to be confirmed, but earlier this year writer and executive producer Georgia Pritchett told the UK's The Times: "I think the maximum would be five seasons, but possibly more like four."
Pritchett also teased that showrunner Jesse Armstrong and his team had "a good end in sight" for the series.
But do we really want the Machiavellian magic to end?