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Succession Player Ratings: The Penultimate Episode - 'Church and State'

Succession Player Ratings: The Penultimate Episode - 'Church and State'
By John Brewin Updated
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Over the next number of weeks here on Balls.ie, football scribe John Brewin will review and rate the main characters in the latest episode of the final series of Succession. As ever, please note this article does contain spoilers.

The final, belated farewell to Logan Roy is suitably gothic and miserable; black comedy at its bleakest. His funeral is also the moment when any semblance of an alliance between his children is shattered into smithereens. Rather than unity in mourning, they are cat-fighting like pre-teens over a last box of Celebrations at Christmas.

Logan’s legacy to them is to leave his empire on the brink of being sold to Matsson, and as the pet patrons of Jeryd Mencken, a president elect who makes Ron DeSantis look like a social liberal. His rise to power has the streets of New York boiling with insurrection. Meanwhile, both of those operators have chops that Logan’s spoiled spawn have little capability to deal with.

Beyond that, there’s the life Logan lived, from the collected ex-wives and mistresses sat in the front row. Ewan, the brother whose fire and brimstone eulogy reveals the tortured monster he was. Little wonder that Roman, the closest to his father, can’t keep himself together.

“He has wrought the most terrible things,” says Ewan, and Logan’s kids lead the list of those terrible things as he pitches up for eternal life in his grim mausoleum.  “I’m intrigued to see how he gets out of this one,” as Shiv says.

READ ALSO: Succession Player Ratings: Season 4, Episode 8 - 'America Decides'

Kendall Roy 9/10

“That magnificent, awful force of him.”

For all his foibles, including ex-wife Rava’s disgust at the Roy family’s role in fiddling the election, Kendall remains the most capable son of his father. Where Roman collapses, Kendall’s showmanship rescues the funeral, and this time he pays tribute to Logan’s money-making genius without breaking out into a rap. “If we can’t match his vim, then God knows the future will be sluggish and gray,” he says, all macho-man LinkedIn in waving off his usually-estranged father as “a brute”.

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On realising the depth of the Mattson/Shiv alliance, Hugo, the show’s most oily Grima Wormtongue, is enlisted to do the dirty on family and associates. Security man Colin is recruited, too, someone who knows Kendall’s darkest, depths-of-a-Scottish-river secret. It’s possible that the young man who was heir apparent at the start of the first series can end up in control. That, though, relies on Kendall not falling prey to his twinned demons of doubt and conscience. Oh, and the drugs. He’s now got Shiv to get past.

The final reckoning: King Kendall?

Connor Roy 7/10

“Pan-Hapsburg, American-led EU alternative?”

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The pathos of Connor’s role as the eldest son who has achieved precisely nothing in life continues. And ideas above that station continue to make him the funniest character, including his fleeting set piece with the incoming president, a putative political ally. Those grand plans for central Europe sound wild. It’s reflective of Connor’s relationship with Logan that he alone was across the mausoleum plans for the great man’s afterlife despite being “crazy for cryogenics”. A shame we never get to hear his “formally inventive” eulogy.

The final reckoning: Slow boat to Slovenia.

Roman Roy 5/10

“Is he in there? Get him out.”

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All bravado and full of himself, Roman declares he will “roll deep” at the funeral, only to become a vale of tears. A perfectly natural reaction but not that of a self-styled emotionless misanthrope. The “grim weeper” as the truly disgusting Mencken calls his supposed friend.

And as Shiv and Kendall start jockeying for position, little Roman is gone at the game. His episode-ending gatecrashing of the riot taking place against the election, asking for a beating, is a typically brattish Roman Roy manoeuvre. But perhaps that’s the best that can be be expected of a young man whose leading contribution to society are dick pics and masturbating on office windows.  "You thought you were dad, and you fucked it," Kendall tells his brother.  Harsh but fair.

The final reckoning: Donald Trump Jnr

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Shiv Roy 9/10

“Cat-food Ozymandias.”

Her funeral  memories of Logan make him sound ghastly. But impending motherhood and grief won’t stop Shiv going for what she wants. Maternal instinct becomes a low priority as she riffs on luxury caesarians. In Matsson and Mencken’s chat she pulls together two powers at the wake, reasserting her politico techniques. That may mean she also has Tom where she wants him once more. “She’s one of those hard bitches, not widely liked” appears her mission statement.

The final reckoning: Queen Shiv?

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Tom Wambsgans 7/10

“A bit Tiananmen-y.”

Not attending the funeral of a man he was once willing to go to prison for, who he considered his “protector” is the latest move to remind why Tom is the dirtiest, coldest of all. “Whole new Tom,” Shiv hisses. “You would never have dared not to come to his funeral when he was alive.” Tom’s tears of tiredness later win Shiv over but his next move is awaited.

The final reckoning: Which way does he jump?

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Cousin Greg 8/10

“Logan is boxed and ready to be delivered.”

“That was a good hard take that you gave,” Greg tells Ewan, the grandfather he was supposed to have stopped making a speech. No matter, Greg wants to meet the new president, who he also fails to impress. But perhaps Matsson has something in mind for him.

The final reckoning: Proud boy

The Suits 6/10

"Woof, woof.”

While Hugo is at Kendall’s beck and call, the rest of the suits act as sounding boards/whipping boys for the grief-ridden siblings. Roman is especially nasty to Frank. Gerri meanwhile is sympathetic for her former protege/sexual harasser after his lectern collapse. Now for a waiting game to see which of Shiv or Kendall guarantees their futures - and silences - of the old guard.

The final reckoning: On golden pond.

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