Fuck off! Which is to say: Hello, and welcome to my completely demented, entirely deranged weekly Succession power rankings.
My favorite genre of entertainment is “dramatic family weekends” — like The Family Stone or Rachel Getting Married or The Godfather, let’s say — stories where everyone kind of, sort of loves each other but also screams put downs and tantrums, and maybe there’s a scene where someone longingly stares out of a window, wondering how her life would’ve been had she only married her high-school sweetheart. Anyway: Succession is a show about rich, dramatic people, not dissimilar to Billions, also a show about rich, dramatic people (although they may or may not be slightly less rich). I don’t know a lot about being rich — though I am very willing to learn — but I do know a lot about families and drama and family drama. After the events of Succession’s season premiere, “The Summer Palace,” let’s see where America’s first family has landed. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s forced to ride on the back of a motorcycle everywhere he goes?
1. The guy who sold Park Coke™ to Cousin Greg
Excuse me, but attention must be paid to Succession’s newest power player. And by “Succession’s newest power player,” I mean whichever teenage boy sold Cousin Greg bad coke (almost definitely at an inflated price) and promised him it’s “good shit.” Imagine the conversation: Cousin Greg walks up to a random guy — for no reason in particular, I get the feeling he’s a teen who owns a cassette player ironically and whose Twitter handle is @paulsthomasanderson — and says something like, “Uh … coke? Cocaine?” And this teenager looks Cousin Greg up and down, sees whatever goofy expression is plastered on his face, and sighs. “Sure, dude.”
2. Shiv Roy
Shiv is Logan’s favorite daughter and also my own favorite daughter, although she did not call me after she saw Lady Bird, which I do consider a personal offense. But Shiv is getting the company — or so it seems. Being named Logan’s successor to run Waystar Royco isn’t enough to earn her a spot at the top of this list because, reader, I am a discerning list-maker. To her credit, though, it does take Shiv many minutes to even consider trusting Logan’s offer and to think her own father isn’t just saying something to fuck with her. She knows better than to think anything in the Roy family can be settled this simply, but at least for the time being she’s in a prime position.
3. Logan Roy
For too long have we been deprived of Logan Roy storming and stomping around, making declarations and demands. Has any other character ever seemed so perpetually irritated, frustrated, and impatient all the time? Has any image ever set my brain on fire as it did when Logan pulled out his phone and threatened to tweet? In business and in his personal life, this was a great Logan episode: He’s fussing with Danny Huston and barks an order at his housekeepers to throw out full, decadent plates of shrimp and lobster in favor of pizza. Representation matters! Logan also wins the inaugural Fuck Off of the Week, when he dismisses his entire brain trust just to yell at Kendall.
4. Sandy Furness
Big, bad Kendall (Jeremy Strong looking very Jeremy Weak) delivers a message to his father’s biggest adversary: “He will go bankrupt or go to jail before he lets you beat him. He will send people around, he will send men to kill your pets and fuck your wives, and it will never be over, so … that’s the message.” Sandy takes a breath and nods. “Good, well, let’s move along with that process, shall we?”
I mean that very sincerely: FJDKAL;FJDKLA;FJDKLA;JF!!!!
Logan Roy is threatening to kill this man’s dog, and his reply is “I would like to see it,” in the key of Mo’Nique.
5. That random attorney who asked Kendall to get dressed & that random guy who drove Kendall on the motorcycle (tie)
The tragedy and triumph of Succession, for me, is how specifically and brutally this show loves to own Kendall. In the episode’s first moments, he emerges from his Nordic infinity-pool retreat to meet with a lawyer sent by his father. He’s dripping water as he’s pitched the idea to go live on television and offer a public show of support for his dad. But Kendall doesn’t want to do this, of course, and the only excuse he can make up is that he has a treatment scheduled and could this big TV interview wait until later? Absolute mania that I cannot get enough of.
Because that’s not enough, he then emerges from a private jet only to have to ride piggyback on his own motorcycle. Completely humiliating and delicious. Adam McKay — I don’t know a better person.
6. Marcia Roy
Everyone else in this show talks in circles and jabs, except for Marcia, who very plainly asks Logan if he’s willing to sell the company, and when he responds vaguely, she replies, “Do you want me to dance for the daddy too?” A chef’s kiss of a line if I’ve ever heard one.
7. Tom Wambsgans
Tom’s cable-knit sweater, the one he wears to the family meeting, is a complete abomination, yet I cannot stop thinking about it. It plays on a loop in my brain because if I know anything for certain in this life, it is these two facts: (1) Annette Bening is owed two Oscars, and (2) Shiv absolutely picked out her gray turtleneck first, then Tom did exactly one nervous pace around their bedroom before he decided, Hey, a turtleneck is a good move. I should go with a turtleneck too. Shiv rolled her eyes but smiled because imagine being married to a man who wants to be in the inner circle so bad he dresses like you.
8. His Imperial Majesty Napoleon Bonaparte
Imagine you are Napoleon and your dried, shriveled-up penis ends up in the possession of Connor Roy. Not the son who has a drug problem, or the son who has weird sits, or the daughter with the new haircut. Connor.