chemical castration

What Can We Glean From Succession’s Season-3 Credits Sequence?

“Human Meat.” Photo: HBO

Slam those piano keys: Succession is back in business. Last night, the Roy family returned to grace our TV screens and act as terribly as ever toward one another. In addition to all the general despair, wealth porn, and biting one-liners, HBO was kind enough to gift us an updated opening-credits sequence for the series, which you can watch below. The theme music, courtesy of Nicholas Britell, is the same as ever, but as the Waystar Royco empire remains in flux, we’re getting some slightly new footage this time around. Maybe they’re clues! Or maybe the sequence needed to be timed to a new series of names! Or maybe the writers just wanted to mix up the jokes! Either way, we are on the case.

We open with shots of the young Roy family — or at least an imagined version of them — all standing in a row in their finest grown-up clothes. (The ages don’t really seem to match up — shouldn’t Connor be further into puberty?) It’s the same intro we got in the season-two credits, though this was a change from the season-one version, which had a young Kendall standing with Logan. That also felt like an indication that season two would focus more on Shiv because her brothers disappear as the footage blinks forward. Since she’s still in the game in season three, guess we’re sticking with that sequence.

Then we continue with old footage of the Roy wealth interspersed with shots of printers at work. There’s a little more of the boys adjusting their suits, presumably to give time to add Justine Lupe, David Rasche, and Fisher Stevens to the lineup (congrats, Willa, Karl, and Hugo!), though Arian Moayed and Hiam Abbass are off the list for now (sorry, Stewy and Marcia!). Then we get our first look at the palm-tree-lined entrance gate to Waystar Studios. We’ve heard a little about the company’s output in the past, with the hit that was The Biggest Turkey in the World, but maybe we’ll get a trip to the West Coast to see it in action this season.

Photo: HBO

Then we’re on to our first glimpse of clips from ATN News. The shot itself is recycled from season one but includes new footage on the left screen and bottom ticker. In the first-season credits, the screen on the left read, “Illegal Immigrant Accused of Dressing as Neighbor and Stealing Her Job,” while the ticker said, “Massive Eggs Recall Hits Over 2 Mil Stores.” Now the screen on the left reads, “Equality Activist Caught With Child Porn ‘Bonanza,’” while the ticker reads, “Hollywood Boss Sneers: ‘If the Poor Are So Poor Why Aren’t They …” (The last word gets cut off, but it appears to be thinner, which is just a new level of ATN cruelty.)

Season one: Egg recall! Photo: HBO
Season three: Hollywood boss sneers! Photo: HBO

We return to the family footage with everyone playing tennis and someone I’ll assume is young Roman trying to smoke a cigar (maybe at Kendall’s prodding?). Since we got new footage of young Shiv in the credits last season, perhaps this means season three is Roman’s time.

Photo: HBO

Then we get another glorious ATN ticker. In season two, the blonde anchor was reading a story about how “Gender Fluid Illegals May Be Entering the Country ‘Twice.’” Below it, you can make out in smaller text, “Dem Senator Wants to Create ‘Supremer’ Court” and “Is ‘Sweetcheeks’ Hate Speech Now?” This time around, she’s reading a new exclusive story: “I Smiled at Her by the Photocopier — Now I’m Facing Chemical Castration.” Below her, the text reads, “Tech Giants Plan to Force America to Eat Lab-Grown ‘Human Meat.’” Might that be a sign that ATN is pivoting to focus some of its vitriol on Logan’s big bête noire, Silicon Valley?

Season two: gender-fluid illegals! Photo: HBO
Season three: chemical castration! Photo: HBO

Then we get the same series of glimpses of bigwigs at a meeting intercut with footage of the Roys gathering for dinner. This time around, we return after the title to the lineup of the young Roys posing for a photo followed by a quick cut to Logan walking away from them. A reminder: This may be a new season, but Daddy never changes!

What Can We Glean From Succession’s Season-3 Credits?