The Succession Report Card is a weekly recap feature where we attempt to assign grades to the important people, things, and themes from each episode of Succession. The grades are entirely subjective and the criteria for scoring will change from week to week and occasionally mid-week. Someone might get detention. It’ll probably be Roman.
Let’s check in with Tom Wambsgans
- Is researching prisons he might end up in
- Has seen his status level with Greg flip-flop and is handling it by making convoluted analogies to Nero and castration and what have you
- Is falling apart everywhere and flailing and is just kinda sweaty and jittery a lot, mumbling about toilet wine
It’s not great.
MUST IMPROVE: Most things, honestly
Man is a pompous haircut who got steamrolled. I hate him already. I hope someone whips a pie at him.
MUST IMPROVE: Integrity, face, etc.
Hikes are now and have always been overrated. You’re just kind of milling about outside through some hills or some woods, exposing yourself to the elements and various poisonous leaves and maybe coyotes or snakes, all for the purpose of… what, exactly? At least with golf or something there’s a purpose and a whacking of things and maybe beers to drink. It’s all completely foreign to me. You can do anything with that time. You could watch television or sit in a park with a book or go find some dogs to pet on a flat surface that is not infested with ticks. You have options.
Here’s what I’m saying: If someone came up to me and was like, “Hey, wanna go on a hike?” the fact that I am in a wheelchair and do not do bumpy wilderness terrain well would be about fourth on the list of reasons I would decline.
Hikes. Get outta here.
MUST IMPROVE: Bugs, bumps, lack of electrical outlets
Weird week for Roman, which is somehow both true and a massive understatement if only for the thing where he was just, like, barefoot in Gerri’s office for a while, jealous but not jealous over the date she very much enjoyed telling him about, like it’s a new twist on their always-evolving mommy/slime-puppy relationship. And then there was the saga of Tattoo Man…
Good: They found him
Bad: He’d had the tattoo removed
Good: He accepted $1 million for a picture of the tattoo
Bad: Roman didn’t even think to realize it would tank his own reputation, too
Once again: Roman is a little boy. He does little boy things. I half expect him to be playing in a sandbox next week
MUST IMPROVE: Wear shoes in the office, guy
Look at Connor with his stupid little American flag pin, acting like he is or might be someone important, making threats and demanding things like anyone has ever cared about a single word that has ever come out of his mouth. Adorable.
MUST IMPROVE: Setting realistic goals
You know, outside of uttering multiple slurs and getting dragged out to the beach by an investor he resents and continuing his petty feud with his son to the degree that they took separate helicopters to separate airplanes to get there and the thing where he’s starting a war with the President and the thing where he almost died from walking and the thing where his almost dying might put him in a tough spot with the investor he resented anyway, I mean… pretty solid week.
MUST IMPROVE: Stamina, general bigotry, etc.
On one hand, it’s pretty clear that no one in the office respects her or wants to listen to her and most of them seem to look at her as a kind of combination mascot/showcase person that Logan put in there for optics and the little girl they’ve known since she was a baby who is in way over her head.
On the other hand, she did handle the editorial crap Tom couldn’t, which was the kind of results-getting Logan values and also just a revolting state of affairs, ethically. Which is also something Logan values. Mixed bag here.
MUST IMPROVE: Being a little nicer to her loser prison-bound husband
Various Karls, Franks, and Karolinas
I like Karl. And I like knowing that Karl likes being liked because it means me liking him will make him happy. I suspect he — unlike Frank, who is a lifer here — is counting down the days to retirement and planning to move to Florida and play tennis and/or golf every day. Karl is cool.
MUST IMPROVE: Talking with his mouth full
- Went on a date and rubbed Roman’s face in it a little, which probably satisfied their various kinks in separate and disturbing ways
- Shot down the Tattoo Man thing to protect Roman, which you know Logan would not have done
- Kept her head down and away from most of the chaos for a week
About as good as can be expected under the circumstances.
MUST IMPROVE: People wearing shoes around her
So, here’s the thing: We all, just generally, agree that Josh set up this long weird hike as a kind of sick test of Logan’s health, right? Like, he made them come to him because his daughter was “sick,” but then we saw her diving in the pool. They went to the beach for a seafood boil but barely ate any of it. They took the “quick” way back but “sometimes it takes longer.” And then there’s his whole vibe, the business with the “I’m a chill billionaire in a hoodie who likes walks but also I will grill the hell out of you and I’m going to use this to get concessions or make more money and I don’t really care about your family hooey one bit even though I’ll smile and pretend we’re friends” routine.
He’s a vulture and a putz and he’d be an even better character on Billions than he is on this show. I think I love him.
MUST IMPROVE: Cleaning his plate
Tattoo Man made out pretty well, all things considered. He’s trying to get his life together. He’s got the tattoo of Kendall’s initials mostly removed and hidden behind some floppy emo bangs. And now he’s got $1 million cash, which he acquired for an embarrassing picture that doesn’t look like it’ll even be used after all. This is, kind of, in a way, the best thing that has ever happened to him.
Good for the Tattoo Man.
MUST IMPROVE: My guy definitely needs a better haircut once he gets that tattoo scrubbed clean for good
Lot going on here. Pretty much everyone regards him as an idiot. His dad is calling him Judas and a fraud and saying stuff like “he’s a good kid and I love him” right in front of his face to an investor as part of a ruse they both see right through, which is cruel on about six levels considering they have never once had a sincere conversation like that in their entire lives, I suspect. Greg might have flipped on him to go live in a magical castle. His leverage bobs up and down like a buoy in the ocean every time the tide changes. He thinks he’s smarter than he is and it’s going to be a problem.
But still. Stood up for himself a bit at the meeting. Didn’t, like, let his father die in the weeds. Has a rabbit now. Not all bad.
MUST IMPROVE: Planning, carrying water in case the people around him become ill on long surprise walks
Please take 30 seconds today and picture Logan Roy listening to the Beatles.
MUST IMPROVE: Longevity
We saw Stewy for about three seconds while he was giving Josh a little high-five and bro hug and it made me so happy for reasons I do not fully understand and am a little uncomfortable with seeing as Stewy represents everything I hate in the world.
A conundrum for me. One I will not be addressing until next week at the earliest. I love him.
MUST IMPROVE: I have too much to consider here to make an objective evaluation
MUST IMPROVE: RABBIT CAM
There are two things of equal importance happening here.
The first is that I love my sweet awkward boy, in every way, starting with him worrying about “goons, stooges, and roughjacks” coming after him and moving to him chugging a rum and Coke while meeting with Logan because he has no clue how to handle himself in a business setting and is just flailing around like an empty straw wrapper in a stiff breeze.
The second is that he saw his leverage and appears to have used it to score a promotion and raise and the admiration of Logan, who had a tiny twinkle of pride in his eye when Greg tip-toed into making his play. And then there was the casual way he said he was going to come in, “kill Ray,” and continue moving up. Kill Ray!
Greg is slicker and more ruthless than people give him credit for. It is now my position that he ends up running all of Waystar. It will be hilarious. I need it.
MUST IMPROVE: Pacing himself with drinks