TV

The ‘Succession’ Seven: A Redheaded Phoenix Rises From The Ashes

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 — I love Tom very much and sometimes I wish we’d get an entire Tom Prequel Episode but I cannot in good faith place him in the listings proper after a week in which his most notable action was failing to get Rhea to stick her hand down his pants.

Squiggle — I have this image in my head of a very coked-up Kendall calling his boy Squiggle at the 4:15 AM with an urgent request for a beat and Squiggle, without a moment’s hesitation, saying “I got you, son.”

Ewan — I like that Ewan just showed up at his brother’s fancy gala so he could talk shit in person repeatedly. The Roy brothers hate each other as much as the Gallagher brothers. I would pay good money to hear them perform “Wonderwall.”

Connor — Connor is the least self-aware of the Roy children and buddyyyyyyyyy that is saying something.

Sam the Ratfucker — I kind of wish we had never seen Sam’s face on the plane in that one episode because it would be more fun if he were just this mysterious never-seen assassin who was dispatched to solve problems.

7B. Rhea Jarrell (Last week: 2)

HBO

Is it time to question how crafty Rhea Jarrell really is? She seemed mighty crafty last week and was — successfully, for the most part — buttering up the male Roy children for the first part of this episode, but let’s look at the facts:

  • Pushed out of Pierce for botching the thing with Logan
  • Threw Logan a huge surprise party despite that being the sort of thing any very casual observer would probably advise against
  • Outmaneuvered by Shiv, who is the smartest and most capable of the Roy children but has not really outmaneuvered anybody in a while

Also, doesn’t drink. Big red flag for Logan. Somehow the biggest, actually. What a weird family.

7A. Roman (Last week: 3)

HBO

You ever do that thing where you’re sure someone loves the lasagna from a restaurant called Luigi’s so you drive 20 minutes out of the way to get it for them and you’re all proud about it but they look kind of dispassionate as they poke at it and you ask what’s wrong and they inform you that they actually like the lasagna from a place called Mario’s and your Mario Kart-ravaged brain just flipped it somehow?

Well, good old Dr. Moron did that with an entire professional sports franchise. Tough week.

6. Logan (Last week: 5)

HBO

The tricky thing about Logan is that he’s this loud and peppery — to use Tom’s description — alpha who barrels into rooms and steamrolls everyone but he also does this weird mumbly avoidance thing in moments of high stress. Especially with Shiv. He’ll blast his sons to their face (occasionally in their face) but when he has bad news for her he gets all quiet and ghosty about it. He really seems to respect her, I think because she seemed to want it all less, or at least wanted it less transparently than her doofus brothers. Now he’s been nudged into naming Rhea with a massive scandal about to drop and his brother is calling him Hitler and one son is hitting him up for money for a bad-buzz play and another son is rapping and he’s waxing philosophical about the past and the future like a man who thinks about his mortality a lot in the middle of the night.

Poor guy just wanted a steak and a chat, not, you know, all of that.

5. The Weasel Man (Last week: Unranked)

HBO

The funny thing about this whole Weasel Man cruises fiasco is that, while the show is conditioning us to view him suspiciously and possibly as the enemy, he’s actually… a hero? Kind of? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s more at play here because this is Succession and no one’s motives are ever entirely pure but, on paper, so far, we have a guy who is prepared to blow up a massive corporate scandal involving widespread sexual assault and he refuses to be bought off, not even for $20 million in cash. That’s… that’s a good guy! That’s a really good guy!

But again, I’m sure next week we’ll find out that he’s being bankrolled by Sandy and Stewy and is doing it because of some petty grudge instead of a need to right a historical wrong. Everyone on Succession is terrible. It’s the best thing about the show.

4. Kendall (Last week: 7)

HBO

I’m very torn here. On one hand, I absolutely do not believe he would have performed that painful rap song at that event. Not now, at least. Not after all he’s been through. He’s been half a robot, just repeating “Dad’s plan is better” over and over like his motherboard is fried, with not an ounce of charisma flowing through his body for the entire season. I’m sorry, but there’s no way that guy thinks performing an “L to the OG” hip-hop track in a baseball jersey at a formal event for a crusty old dinosaur is anything resembling a smart move. It was 100 percent fan service and it almost took me out of the entire episode.

On the other hand, I laughed and laughed because I am a simple man and it does not take much more than this to please me. I have chosen to file this whole situation under “cocaine” and accept that it happened. Which is funny, because that last sentence is probably also what Jennifer the Actress should take away from the weekend. What a whirlwind. One minute you’re the Lewis and Clark of fucking, the next minute you say “awesome” twice and end up on a plane home. Who among us hasn’t made the same mistake.

3. Marcia (Last week: Unranked)

HBO

Telling your husband’s business partner and suspected mistress to go get an STD test is such a pure and French power move. I love it. I love Marcia. Lady does not play around for a single second and appears to be the only one who will roast Logan to his face for the things he does all the time. She picks her spots, too. An argument could be made that she’s the most capable person on the entire show. Give me a Marcia prequel episode, too. Show me her terrorizing the other students at some all-girl prep school.

2. Shiv (Last week: Unranked)

HBO

Well well well, look who figured out the damn game for once. Shiv saw the opportunity with the cruise shoe about to drop and the need for a sacrificial lamb to be the face of it and did the old matador cape swoop to let Rhea go charging by into that mess. And she got to look like the bigger person in all of it, in a way that could make Logan think it was his mistake to pass her over, as opposed to her stomping her feet about it all day in numerous scenic estates in numerous countries. Not bad.

Could this backfire? Well, yeah. Logan ain’t stupid. There’s a scenario where the cruise thing blows up and Gerri tells him it was Shiv’s call to keep the information from him at the party and Logan puts two and two together and realizes that Shiv had a head filled with useful information and treachery when she was gassing him up with that sweet face. There’s also a scenario where Logan actually respects this and holds her in even higher regard for her willingness to drive a sword into her adversary’s back. Again, really weird family.

1. My Sweet Mite-Infested Boy Cousin Greg (Last week: 1)

HBO

Greg tried to resign in a bathroom while wearing a tuxedo that may or may not have been crawling with sand mites that he transported across the Atlantic, which is just a perfect Cousin Greg thing. He called Logan “Uncle Loges” and, instead of getting murdered on the spot, received an almost sweet speech in return about being your own man. He called his attempted resignation “Grexit.”

GREXIT.

He will end up running the company. Mark my words.

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