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.
PRO: Appears to be the only powerful patriarch on the show who is willing to admit his declining health and make a decision that puts the well-being of his family ahead of his own interests/ego.
CON: Every news station in the world appears to be implying that his brain is goo; he let a partisan news network basically run the country; being President seems like an awful job to have, just from a work/life balance perspective.
MUST IMPROVE: Hobbies, use of newfound free time
I did not expect to hear multiple people utter the phrase “piss mad” when I started watching this week’s episode (or, like, ever, under any circumstances), but here we all are, I guess.
MUST IMPROVE: Just, like, chilling out a bit
Megathump the Rabbit
This poor rabbit, just getting a camera shoved in her face and bagels fed to her by the biggest group of incompetent bozos you’ve ever seen, then getting treated by a people doctor because Kendall is the kind of rich doof who thinks any doctor can treat anything. I need next week’s episode to open with some animal rights group breaking into the apartment — wires, lasers, full black bodysuits, the full Entrapment — and setting her free at a nice farm upstate where he has lots of room to run and play. Either that or I need Jess Jordan to adopt her. We’ll get back to that.
MUST IMPROVE: Freedom, digesting breakfasts foods
Tough week for the old grizzly bear:
- Mumbling like a lunatic as his poisoned urine ravages his brain
- His mostly incompetent children went flailing/flopping about without him like deflated balloons still tied to a fence a week after the fair left down
- Thought he had a dead cat under his chair, which has to be unsettling
That said, by the end he was stable enough to pull the old “stick around and wait for me, bail out the side door, block this number permanently” move on Kendall, which was cold enough to give the people around him the same shivers/chills he had earlier. So… he’s back?
MUST IMPROVE: Hydration
Is there anything funnier than Kendall thinking he has a situation under control — “Puppetmaster out” — only to watch it all fall to pieces in his hands as his entire face tries to droop and slide right off of his skull and onto the floor in front of him? The answer, surprisingly, is yes, as of this week, thanks to that image of him kind of slinking onto the stage in the dark with no real plan in place other than “commandeer the microphone.”
He’s such a goofball. Just incapable of doing anything correctly all the way through, like if Charlie Brown had a lot more money and a lot less self-esteem. I would pay upwards of $250 to see him try to, like, try to climb into and out of a hammock. He’d probably do a full-on cartoon spin and land on his head. I’ll go up to $300 if he’s holding an umbrella drink while he tries it.
MUST IMPROVE: Puppet mastering, rabbit care
Things are generally not working out great for you when you have to defend a plan by saying phrases like “It’s not creepy!” and “It’s not horrible, it’s nice!” Like, regardless of the situation, but especially if the situation involves trying to impregnate your wife before you get sent to one of the prisons you’ve been researching at work.
MUST IMPROVE: Being less… everything
The good news for Shiv is that she took charge and got the deal done with Logan incapacitated by a cranky bladder, and she may have angled a board seat for herself, and she just — like, on a basic level — emerged from the situation looking like a reasonably competent and capable person for the first time in, maybe, ever.
The bad news is that no deal she made would have pleased Logan because he refuses to relinquish even the tiniest bit of control, and now she’s on his bad side again in part because she did that and in part because watching anyone do anything without his input makes him feel mortal and weak and that kicks the crankiness into an even higher gear.
Cool and normal family.
MUST IMPROVE: Hovering
Held up pretty well, all things considered. Had Logan’s ear at the end when he yelled at Shiv to stop hovering, which was a nice little table-turn. Makes great little reaction faces. We like Gerri.
Must improve: I feel like Gerri should go get a massage or something, just to relax for an hour
Still unclear if she’s another incompetent lackey under the thumb of a powerful but declining patriarch or if she is a Svengali who is pulling the strings on the whole thing like the puppetmaster Kendall claims to be. My gut says it’s the former, mostly because, if this show has taught us anything, it’s that everyone is about 50-80 percent less competent than you think they are. Good lesson to learn.
MUST IMPROVE: I don’t have much to add here so let me just state for the record that I find it deeply hilarious that father and daughter are both named Sandy/Sandi
Various Karls, Franks, and Karolinas
The relationship between Frank and Karl is quickly becoming my favorite on the show. I feel there’s a bone-deep hatred in there that’s tempered a bit by a foxhole-related bond. They’re brothers, in a way, as two high-ranking executives with no blood ties to the boss, given orders like “GO VAMP” while the world spins into chaos, screwing each other and saving each other and trying to claw each other’s faces off while they’re floating in a life raft toward shore.
I want them to take a vacation together. Put them in the next season of The White Lotus. This is a good idea.
MUST IMPROVE: Vamping, etc.
Stewy didn’t have much to do this week with the various Sandy/Sandis apparently leading the negotiations. I still know I should hate him and everything he stands for. I just… I can’t do it. I need an entire episode that just follows him around on a day-to-day basis. He appears to spend something like a third of his day inside a helicopter. He fascinates me.
MUST IMPROVE: I need him to be less likable so I can hate him
- Can be used to make the kind of greasy breakfast sandwich that does more to cure a hangover than all the Tylenol and orange juice in the world
- Kills rabbits
- Go stale too fast
Solid performance overall
MUST IMPROVE: Nitpicking here but it’s always frustrating when you try to cut one and it comes out a little uneven and then when you toast it you end up with one half all chewy and the other half crispier than a potato chip
Actually, against staggering odds, a decent performance by Little Slime Puppy. He was the only one of the children who seemed legitimately concerned about Logan’s health, he had a few decent ideas for once, members of the family turned to him when an important decision required a deciding vote, and he got put on the line with President Raisin to handle that whole thing. The last part didn’t work, and he started the conversation by saying “How you doing?” like he was talking to an aunt who lives alone and he only sees at holidays, but still.
That’s a lot for him. He’s got a low bar to clear to impress me. Sometimes I’m surprised he can dress himself. So, good for him.
MUST IMPROVE: Access to PJs going forward
Colin the Body Man
So far this season he has:
- Leaned in extremely close to Kendall’s face and whispered “I know you,” which was so hilarious and stupid and theatrical that I made a GIF of it and I open it sometimes just to give myself a little chuckle
- Carried an imaginary dead cat out of a conference room
If he keeps this up, he could be approaching Jess/Greg territory. I have no higher praise to give.
MUST IMPROVE: Consistency
Connor remains stupid and useless and self-important in ways that stand out even on a show filled with stupid, useless, self-important people, but I respect his commitment to chaos and I very much want to see him run for office just to see him on a debate stage trying to formulate an answer with the six brain cells he has clanging around in his otherwise empty head.
He’s going to bankrupt the European news division. I can’t wait. I would watch an entire spinoff about it.
MUST IMPROVE: Self-awareness
- A cranky old rascal
- Cutting off Greg
- Giving all his money to Greenpeace
- “Not an uncomplicated man”
He’s a delight. I don’t think he’s ever been happy for a single day in his life. I like to picture him, like, out in the woods on a beautiful day, standing next to a picturesque waterfall, the beauty and power of nature all around him, just miserable and grumbling about greenhouse gases or something. I bet he cracks strange children on the knuckles with his cane when they throw something in a public recycling can that doesn’t go there.
MUST IMPROVE: Chilling out even a little
See, you would think Greg would rank lower on account of getting cut off and threatening to sue Greenpeace to get his inheritance and Kendall kind of telling him in a nice way that he might get served up as an appetizer to the DOJ. None of that is good. A reasonable argument can be made that I should have given him an F-, below even urinary tract infections.
The complicating factor, as always, is that he’s a sweet boy and I love him very much. Did you see the thing where they went to give him a note to pass along and he was so surprised to be given a real task that he said “Did you say Greg?” with the kind of incredulity usually reserved for sentences like “Did you say a purple alien named Igor who only eats Chex Mix?” Adorable.
MUST IMPROVE: Financial security, not getting burned
The theme music remains perfect and unskippable but I would encourage you — while you’re not skipping it — to watch the screen and read the ATN chyrons on the bottom of the screen. It’s such a beautiful little touch. Like, they don’t need to do that, but they do it anyway, for us. I appreciate it.
MUST IMPROVE: No notes, excellent work
This is the face she made when they found out the rabbit got sick from the bagels they told Kendall not to feed it, but it could have been the face she made reacting to anything he has ever said or done. And it’s a good reminder to always watch Jess when she’s on-screen because she’s always doing stuff like this, sometimes deep in the background.
It’s an extremely useful GIF. Feel free to right-click and save it. My gift to you. And Jess’s gift. Our gift.
MUST IMPROVE: Nothing, Jess rules