The ending of “Succession” is upon us. So methods to finish this bitter masterpiece?

Do they shoot ahead in time, stealing a web page from the legendary finale of “Six Toes Beneath”? Possibly supply a glimpse of the long run with that good-looking sociopath and potential president they’ve put in energy? Or simply minimize to black earlier than somebody assassinates Kendall. (I’m somebody who really appreciated the ending of “The Sopranos.”)

Attainable however not possible. None of these choices fairly feels proper.

That’s the factor a couple of good ending: It needs to be each ineffable and natural. And sadly, a wrong-footed ending can just about smash an in any other case sensible piece of artwork. The greatness of the astonishing “Recreation of Thrones” was severely undercut by too many missteps in its closing episodes. Jaime goes again to Cersei and a home falls on them? The chic and beloved Daenerys goes bonkers and burns down King’s Touchdown? Bran will get the throne? What we wish from an ending is a grand “amen,” equivalent to we bought from “Breaking Dangerous.” However “Recreation of Thrones” was extra of a “huh?”

I’ve thought of endings so much as a result of I’ve to jot down them. Whereas I often have a imprecise concept of an ending after I begin writing a play, I don’t need every little thing set in stone. Should you don’t map the story out too ruthlessly, it’ll reveal itself to you within the writing — and there’s usually a secret topic, one thing each shocking and inevitable that your thoughts was holding on to, that in the end presents itself. One thing excellent, like an angel crashing by the ceiling. Or “I’ve at all times trusted the kindness of strangers.” Or the truth that there actually is a cabal of satan worshipers dwelling within the Dakota on the Higher West Facet. These are nice endings.

The ending ought to develop out of every little thing that got here earlier than, but additionally be completely different from every little thing that got here earlier than. An incredible ending will be about transformation, by which our central character escapes, or finds real love, or discovers a profound reality and achieves internal knowledge (as in “Mad Males,” besides the profound reality was about Coca-Cola). Or it may be about justice, which rains down on those that deserve it and ruins those that don’t. (See each superhero film.) Or its reverse, the concept justice has deserted everybody. (See “The Godfather.”) A superb ending can contain a delicate, mournful lack of hope. (See Chekhov.) It could possibly rejoice the restored and renewed order {that a} marriage can present to a disordered world. (See Shakespeare.) Or it could possibly resolve with the notion that marriage is definitely not going to resolve something. (Once more, see Shakespeare.)

At its greatest, a sublimely written ending will elevate every little thing that got here earlier than into the realm of timeless knowledge: “So we beat on, boats in opposition to the present, borne again ceaselessly into the previous,” because the narrator of “The Nice Gatsby” concludes.

Tv provides completely different challenges — and never simply because the viewers will sit and stew for per week (or extra) obsessing about the way it all may finish. Tv is constructed in another way from other forms of drama, so naturally it ends in another way, too.

You begin with a pilot episode, which can or could not make it to air, and then you definately inchworm your self by a primary season. At that time the ending is so far-off it’s arduous to take the concept of it severely. In spite of everything, if nobody watches, you’ll simply be canceled anyway. So that you’re not attempting to think about the ending — you’re attempting to keep away from it.

That’s why actually nice endings are particularly arduous to come back by in tv. TV reveals aren’t about the ending; they’re concerning the center. They’re about how lengthy you’ll be able to hold that present on the air. When you’ve successful, typically nobody is in a giant hurry to get to the ending, which is why phrases like “bounce the shark” have entered the lexicon. The center is the place tv thrives.

For me, the ending of Season 2 of “Succession,” when Kendall betrayed his father, Logan, to the world and threatened to convey the entire home of playing cards down on everybody’s head, was maybe the sequence’s most spectacular second. That whisper of a smile from Logan as he watched the disaster was mysterious, wonderful and human. Did he secretly need Kendall to seize the reins? Maybe so. It was undeniably nice tv. Then Logan went forward and destroyed Kendall yet again in Season 3. And the present went again to the beginning gate. There’s a type of circularity in TV that’s inherent within the type. That is why so many reveals finish in what can solely be known as “the group hug.” “Mary Tyler Moore” did it; “The Workplace” did it; “Seinfeld” did an incarcerated model of it.

I think that we aren’t getting a bunch hug out of “Succession.”

As endings go, “Succession” is a particular case, and never solely as a result of the creator Jesse Armstrong selected not solely methods to finish the present, but additionally when. (He’s stated it has “been type of current” in his thoughts from the very starting.) With “Succession,” the ending has at all times been constructed proper into the title.

My daring prediction? I can let you know what gained’t occur: Logan gained’t come again to life. The youngsters gained’t promote the corporate to somebody who reveals up abruptly from China with a greater supply. It gained’t activate a deus ex machina that reveals up as a result of no person knew methods to land the rattling aircraft so they only introduced in one thing from nowhere and that’s the tip.

As for what will occur, I really feel assured in promising this: The ending of “Succession” will fulfill the story and never betray the spirit of what has come earlier than. Its creators have proved over 4 seasons that they’re higher than that.

That’s why I’ll be tuning in. I can’t wait to see the way it ends.

Theresa Rebeck is a playwright, tv author and novelist. Her most up-to-date play on Broadway was “Bernhardt/Hamlet,” and he or she is the creator of the TV present “Smash.”