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The ‘Succession’ Seven: A ‘Blood Sacrifice’ Is Coming

The Succession Seven is a weekly power ranking of people and things on television’s most power-obsessed show. The rankings are not scientific, not even a little, and could fluctuate wildly from week to week. It’s all very subjective. And it’s my list. So, there.

UNRANKED

Tom — Tom was compared to a block of feta cheese after his bumbling fiasco of a Senate hearing but I think the better food analogy is a pork chop that has been burned to an inedible crisp on the outside while remaining completely uncooked and bacteria-ridden in the center. That just feels closer, spiritually, to a senator blowing up screenshots of your emails and displaying them to America while you’re under oath. You can’t make a Tomlette without breaking a few Gregs, sure, but maybe you should just get pancakes instead. Words to live by.

Various fictional senators — Senator Gil got most of the glamour and screentime but please do not overlook Senator Lapdog Roberts, who appeared to be one or two sentences away from going full Champ Kind and suggesting he and the Roys get an apartment together when the testimony is over.

Dave the Security Guy — Taken away by an “anti-corruption” unit and never seen again. Not a great week for Dave!

Gerri — Gerri is still the best. Everyone loves Gerri. She got the M the hostage-time game of MFK, which is nice, I guess? I don’t know. She didn’t get killed in the testimony either. Sometimes sliding under the radar is the best-case scenario.

7. My Sweet Spiraling Boy Cousin Greg (Last week: 1)

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It hurts me in ways you cannot imagine to bump my sweet boy from the top spot in these rankings. I’m gutted. But the facts are the facts:

  • He blew off his grandpa’s fortune to stay with Logan and then immediately had his name dragged through the mud in Congress
  • He got lippy with Logan and got thrown out of the war room
  • His future at the company is in question now that a paper trail leads to him
  • He’s apparently gotten way into cocaine
  • I didn’t mention it at the time because I was too excited about his haircut but what was up with that weird cult-y meeting at his apartment a few weeks ago?
  • Is… is Greg in a cult?

I can’t deal with this. It’s killing me. I’m done writing this section.

6. Karolina (Last week: Unranked)

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Karolina cracks the list this week for two reasons, mainly:

ONE: She has the worst job of anyone at Waystar, by far. As far as I can tell, her duties consist of giving Logan bad news and/or getting dispatched to handle bad news. It seems awful and thankless and yet, there she is, every week, dealing with problems and looking just enough like Linda Cardellini that I have to Google it again to be sure she’s not.

TWO: I’ve been meaning to get her ranked and I’m running out of weeks.

Welcome to the rankings proper, Karolina.

5. Carl (Last week: Unranked)

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I like Carl.

4. Logan (Last week: 6)

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The question here, the big one heading into the second season finale, is what exactly Logan meant by “blood sacrifice”? That can go one of a few ways. Does he mean “blood” as in, like, family? Because that would mean one of his kids. Or Tom. Or Greg. He better not mean Greg. Ooooo buddy, will I ever be angry if he means Greg. And is Tom really “blood” in Logan’s mind? If so, it’s almost too easy to see him get cooked again. Tom has been the fall guy all season (this hearing, the Pierce dinner, etc.), so there’s a foundation there. Serving up your son-in-law is cold as hell but I just don’t see Logan cutting one of his kids loose.

Or does he mean it just as a shorthand for something painful. Not necessarily “blood” like relation. Because if he means that, then I worry about Gerri. Gerri is the next most powerful non-Roy and, as general counsel, knows enough about enough to make it plausible. Leave Gerri alone!

Or does he mean, like, himself? Did he see his kids step-up this week — more on this in a moment — and realize that the time has come for him to step aside to save the company. It would be a very un-Logan thing to do, on one hand. On the other hand, Rhea is toast and Logan has been slipping and the show is called Succession, after all.

So, who knows? Not me! Something is going down in the finale, though. I swear to God, if they damage my sweet boy Greg…

3. Bill (Last week: Unranked)

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See, I spent the first 45 minutes of the episode assuming Bill was just being a sweet but naive man for showing up in Washington for the hearings. I thought “Oh, Bill, no, you are about to witness your own public execution. There are cameras there. Bill. Run, Bill. Run far away,” and I kept thinking that all the way up until the brief conversation screencapped above, in which Bill dropped what appeared to be a velvet-lined threat for the ages. Maybe he should write a book. He has the diaries. If only he had the time. Say, the kind of time one has when one is left for dead by a massive corporation and therefore shunned by society at large. Hmm.

Suddenly it all makes sense. He wasn’t there to support anyone. He was there to make them do it to his face, to remind them that Ol’ Bill wasn’t anyone’s patsy. You can’t heave Bill overboard like some sort of… hmm. Actually, let’s avoid this analogy. And let’s remember that everyone on this show is still pretty terrible.

2. Rhea (Last week: 7)

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Rhea saw it too late. If she had seen it a week or two earlier, well, she wouldn’t have all this on her plate. It’s not going to look good on the resume to be pushed out of one news organization and then quit another after a cup of coffee. She’s dirtied-up a bit by all of it. But she did get out. That’s the important thing. She’s out of the piranha tank. No one survives the Roy family intact. Part of me hopes she takes like a six-week ski vacation and then writes a memoir. Rhea seems all right.

1.The Roy Children (Last week: Connor – Unranked, Roman – 7, Kendall – 4, Shiv – 2)

HBO

There’s a degree to which this is cheating, lumping all four children together like this in the top spot. There’s also a degree to which it’s unfair. The Roy children have spent most of this season flailing about hopelessly, making moves that backfire, acting out disquieting mommy-son humiliation roleplay, rapping, etc. This was the rare week they all shined and instead of recognizing each individually I’m just slapping them in here as a dysfunctional glob. I’m sorry. Kind of. I’m kind of sorry.

The key takeaway is unavoidable, though: Logan threw Shiv, Kendall, and Roman into three separate fires and they all handled themselves surprisingly well. Shiv spoke to the victim and got her point across without being entirely sleazy (still pretty sleazy, though, especially if her “help me destroy these men” speech ends up being lip service); Kendall got served up at the Senate and held his own nicely; Connor did a sweet fist pump; Roman got sent on a money hunting mission in Central Asia that went about as sideways as any mission has ever gone and he does not appear to be dead yet. Roman even came off… brave? Maybe that’s too far. Brave for Roman. I’m proud of him.

It was a big week for the kids. Everything was going to hell around them and they didn’t crumple up. I imagine Logan is a little proud, too, or will be once he gets far enough outside the storm to see it clearly. The question is how that pride manifests itself next week. Blood sacrifice.

Blood sacrifice!

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