The ‘Succession’ Seven: Season Two Opens With A Broken Kendall And A Sack Of Raccoons

Editor-at-Large
08.12.19

HBO

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 — See, it looked like a good week for Tom. He got a big promotion and everything. But there’s a catch: If Shiv does end up taking over for Logan one day (more on this later), Tom will never be CEO. He’ll top out as her number two. Can Tom handle that? Kind of a two steps forward, one step back situation. We will continue to monitor.

Gerri — The “it could be Gerri… it won’t be Gerri” thing at the end during the successor discussion was tough. Gerri is cool. Don’t be a jerk to Gerri, Logan.

CarlSuccession can be a very fun show as is, at face value, but it can be even more fun if you start picturing Carl as the Mr. Smithers to Logan’s Mr. Burns.

Napoleon’s dried-up old beef jerky dinger — Tough couple hundred years for Napoleon’s penis. Once attached to the most powerful man in this world, it’s now a shriveled-up piece of beef jerky that a billionaire failson is buying as a curio on the antiquities market and will probably end up on a shelf in a mansion that doesn’t even get used. Life comes at you fast. Or kinda slow, depending on whether you look at a few hundred years as multiple human generations or the cosmic blink of an eye. Either way, not ideal.

Willa — I don’t know. Selling would be pretty cool. Let’s hear her out.

Stewey and Sandy — Rug just yoinked right out from under these two and they have no clue why. Probably going to take a lot of guesses to get to “because Kendall left an employee at his sister’s wedding to die in an English pond and now his father has broken him and demanded fealty in exchange for covering it up.” Not the first thing I would jump to.

7. Kendall

HBO

Kendall was pulled out of his relaxing retreat after less than 48 hours and shoved in front of television camera unshaven and looking like “Elvis on the toilet,” per Roman, so he could attempt to mitigate the harm his aborted takeover bid caused by repeatedly muttering “I saw their plan, my dad’s plan was better” over and over like he was a brainwashed hostage, which he kind of is, and then when he was done he spent the remaining 50 minutes of the episode getting absolutely roasted to a crisp by everyone he saw. I really hope someone makes a supercut of every insult leveled at him in this episode. There were so many. Roman called him a sex doll for Logan to ravage. Shiv called him an old beaten dog and “a pathetic little fucking narcissist.” Stewy called him “a pusillanimous piece of fucking fool’s gold.” All of these were said right to his poor waxy defeated face. Not a great week for Kendall.

Still, he cracks the top seven because he ended the episode on equal footing with Roman at the company, to the confusion of everyone there. He’s battered and bruised and fragile but still in the game. Has to count for something.

6. Roman

HBO

Three terrific Roman moments this week, presented in no particular order:

– The one depicted above, in which Roman attempted to cut the tension at the press conference about the rocket that exploded on his watch by joking, “I’m not a rocket scientist” as an image of the explosion played over his shoulder. Classic Roman.

– The one where Shiv was saying how Kendall’s fall from grace could be big for him but Roman is so used to the family mind games and manipulation that he immediately became suspicious of her motivations, culminating with her saying he’s a superstar and that she loves him and him replying with frustrated profanity.

– The one at the big family meeting near the end where he said “I do fucking love money but I’m scared of you” regarding the potential sale of Waystar Royco. That’s a good sentence and it sums up Roman’s entire life in under 10 words but it’s not why this moment made the list. The reason this moment made the list is because of the tiny high-pitched giggle/sigh he did at the end of that perfect little sentence. Go back and watch it again. Listen for the giggle/sigh, specifically. I ran it back three or four times. It’s like his body released it involuntarily as a potential defense in case he got yelled at.

I’m sorry. I love this awful broken little boy.

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