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.
Jonah the Footstool — Jonah is like a Greg who isn’t at least family, which means things are about to get very bad for him. Worse than being used as human furniture. He probably graduated from J school. Things could be better for Jonah.
Connor — Connor Roy was interested in politics from a young age.
Michele Pantsil — On one hand, very little screentime and very little headway made on the book. On the other hand, one could argue that true power is making people deuce in the dress pants just by showing up somewhere. Worth keeping an eye on.
Mark Ravenhead — The Walmart Mussolini almost survived — Hitler dog and all — until he became a casualty of the proposed merger. If we never see him again, please note that he looks almost exactly like a face smash of Mark Ruffalo and Max Greenfield from New Girl. Go look at him again. It’s right there. Very eerie.
Tom — Tom is a beautiful man. He’s horrible, too, of course, but kind of hopelessly horrible to a degree it’s almost redeemable. It hurts to bump him out of the rankings. There was just no way to justify keeping him in there, not in an episode that saw him banished to the civilian panic room and have a bottle-heaving meltdown triggered by Greg asking for an “open business relationship” a week after Shiv boinked Dumb Chris in their real open relationship. And he got outflanked by Greg. By Greg! Tom has had better weeks.
7B. Rhea Jarrell (Last week: Unranked)
- Is played by Holly Hunter
- Tossed a “fuck off” back at Logan
She did not have much more than that going on this week. It was still enough to vault her into the rankings proper. Big fan of Rhea Jarrell.
7A. Roman aka Ron Rockstone aka Dirk Turkey aka Slime Puppy (Last week: 7B)
Roman was banished to management training. He had to wear a Dirk Turkey costume. He was almost entirely cut from the Waystar corporate video. He couldn’t make himself have phone sex with his girlfriend. He referred to Gerri as “Mommy” early in the episode and then, by the end, was blasting his rocket to a soundtrack of her calling him names. Roman has enough issues to keep a bus full of mental health professionals busy for a decade or two. He’s awful and mean and broken and sad and he’s basically the best character on the show.
It’s strange. Explaining it further than that is hard and should not be attempted in a short blurb. He would probably love it if Gerri called him a short blurb. Sorry, sorry. We’re all still figuring this out.
6. Shiv (Last week: 2)
– Brought into the fold, even temporarily, even if it was a secret
– Was nice to Kendall at the end
– Realized her path to the throne is not realistically blocked by Kendall (doesn’t know exactly why, but knows) or Roman (lol)
– Really did not stand out in the negotiations with Rhea
– Got a “Siobhan. Please!” from Logan, which seems bad because a) being told to shut up in front of an outsider like that is a bad sign, and b) it’s also a bad sign any time a parent uses a child’s full name in a sharp tone
– Might actually still have to worry about Kendall, despite his assurances, based in part on the negotiations and in part on Kendall being the first and only child Logan inquired about on his way into the panic room
Not a great first day!
5. Logan (Last week: 4)
I wonder what Logan Roy is going to say next.
It could be anything.
“…get me a copy of Jane Eyre.”
That’s one option.
Or maybe “… grab a couple paperbacks, a dozen donuts, and some coffees. We’re relaxing today.”
“… pick up a book about lasagna.”
“… get Extortion for Dummies for Greg.”
“… see if they have that new Jia Tolentino book.”
The possibilities are endless.
4. Kendall (Last week: 3)
Kendall should probably be ranked much lower. He should probably be unranked, to be honest. Kendall is an empty shell right now, sulking around the office, pitied more than feared, standing near the edge of the roof so often that someone thought it would be a good idea to add an extra few feet of glass to the edge to make leaping to the sidewalk a greater challenge. He told Shiv that if Logan hadn’t given him a purpose — handle meds, work on the takeover team, generally just be trusted and around — he wouldn’t know what’s “for,” which is as close to saying you’re suicidal as you can get without coming right out and saying “I am suicidal.”
Here’s the question, and there may not be a correct answer yet: Is Logan keeping him around and giving him responsibility out of pity and a concern for his safety (Logan is a monster but he is an excellent reader of people, so it wouldn’t be out of character for him to realize this is what Kendall needs), or is Logan doing it all because Kendall is still the Number One Boy and no amount of treason and homicidal negligence can change that? Or is it some combination of the two?
Kendall was good in that panic room negotiation. He realized right away that the money was the primary thing. Despite Shiv’s concerns about him “just saying numbers,” he was the child who had the better read. A good read is important to Logan. The man loves a good gut decision. He also loves to toy with his children and pit them against each other, building one up as he tears another down and then flipping back the other way for even the mildest of transgressions. There is a non-zero chance after this week that Logan is reconsidering things. Kendall might be back in the game. It would be an almost perfectly in-character Logan move.
3. Brian (Last week: Unranked)
Love this guy. Really, truly, deeply love him. Loved him from the first moment he popped up on the screen. Loved him more after the scene in the locker room. Roman loves him, too, so much so that it looks like he might catapult from management training to the executive suite. This is terrific. It means we now — right now, in this moment — cannot rule out any of the following things:
- He gets his own television show on one of the many media outlets the Roys own or will own
- He leapfrogs Tom and becomes the head of ATN
- He and Greg become friends and go on a road trip to Daytona
Anything is possible. That’s why he comes in this high. The fact that he shares a name with the writer of these rankings could have something to do with it, too. Perhaps.
2. Gerri (Last week: 7A)
The quickness that Gerri displayed in realizing what Roman was doing and rolling with it leads to the belief that Gerri has done this before. Or that she is a prodigy at it. It was the “slime puppy” that tipped it off. One does not jump to “slime puppy” in the first moments of dirty talk if one is not practiced in the art or just a naturally gifted phenom.
There’s an elephant in the room, though. Where do we go from here? The “we” is referring to all of us, for the record: You, me, Gerri, Roman. We all saw this and know it happened. Roman and Gerri will presumably bump into each other in person again, soon. Are we all prepared for that? Again, all of us. Because it’s going to be awkward for Roman and Gerri but it is really going to be awkward for you and me. We can’t un-know what we know. It’s always going to be there. It’s like when we saw Chuck with the safety pin through his nipple on Billions. This is the world we live in now and we just have to deal with it.
Just now realizing “there’s a slime puppy in the room” would have worked as well as elephant. No exactly what one is or looks like, but come on, you’d at least notice one if it was in a room.
1. My Sweet Boy Cousin Greg (Last week: 1)
He’s so pure, even when he’s trying to be devious. He should have his own panic room. Cousin Greg must be protected at all costs.