Every week here on, football scribe John Brewin provides player ratings for the latest episode of the third series of Succession. As ever, please note this article does contain spoilers
“What It Takes” is an episode to remind that beyond the family feuds, the Roy family, Logan in particular, hold significant sway.
Having unseated the incumbent president by spreading rumours of ill health, Logan’s ATN network takes on the role of Republican kingmakers, and the family fly by private jet, against recently decided company policy, to Virginia to meet the party’s movers, shakers and financiers.
There they meet some of the world’s worst people, all competing for their man to be the world’s most powerful man. And Logan is able to feel more powerful than all of them, as a queue of candidates and influencers wait to press his flesh. Aside from chief weasel-greaser Hugo Baker, the rest of the lackeys, bar the fragrant Kerry, stay behind, making this trip a family political affair.
SUCCESSION PLAYER RATINGS
Logan Roy: 9/10
“The climate said that I should step aside. I guess I’m a climate denier.”
Now that last week’s “piss madness” has cleared, his mastery of the presidential hopefuls show that, outside the family, he has lost little sway. A not-so clandestine affair with personal assistant Kerry has put a spring in his step. Perhaps the decision-making could be clearer-headed. At one point, he appears to toy with putting Connor forward as his preferred candidate before settling on the crypto-fascist, red-pilled Jeryd Mencken. The old bugger in his element. There is devilment in that eventual choice after flirting and cucking the vice-president. Logan will always embrace chaos. It often comes back to bite him but he remains the smartest guy in the room.
Roman Roy: 8/10
“Fascists are kind of cool, but not really.”
Staying close to his dad is paying off for Roman, who is the driver of the family’s backing of Mencken, an admirer of “H”, AKA history’s best-known fascist. The quips are landing with Shiv rising to some of his wind-ups. “He’s maturing,” says an approving Logan. Roman’s mummy and daddy issues blare back into the limelight when an English “Brexit pervert” tells him his mother is to remarry in Tuscany, setting up one of those set-piece occasions Succession does so well for later in the series. “New dad just dropped,” he tells Kendall, transferring the psychological pain with relish. And his old dad seems to approve of such manoeuvres.
Let’s see if this horse can run. pic.twitter.com/buFOmOcdi2
— Succession (@succession) November 22, 2021
Connor Roy: 8/10
“Ideas - literary, global, micro, macro, cosmo.”
This could have been Connor’s big moment. Shiv recognises this, asking: “In a room full of Timothy McVeighs, does Connor now look more like a Roosevelt?” He meets the only member of his fan club, Panhandle Pete, and takes the credit for Willa’s playwriting when showing off at the politico conflab. “Just showing a bit of leg,” he tells his unimpressed girlfriend. And when his father shows a passing interest in his presidential candidacy, dreams of being the next Jack Kennedy fly. “The sword has been unsheathed from the stone, my liege,” says his adviser, only for the big chance to expire during the family conference in his dad’s bedroom. Logan is initially warm, but then Cousin Greg ends up dismissing Connor’s run on the White House. Ouch.
Kendall Roy: 7/10
“It’s all good.”
Things fall apart for Kendall. Matters are reaching desperation stakes. Lisa, proclaimed as “the best quote, unquote best lawyer in town” not long ago, is given the flick, having criticised his approach to speaking to government officials. Or did she walk? Whichever, his case against his dad weakens by the day, and his support staff are increasingly rolling their eyes as he swigs at scotch. He turns to Tom as a panic button but fails to land that one, too. “I’ve seen you get fucked a lot,” says Tom. “And I’ve never seen Logan get fucked once.” It’s a palpable hit. Still, his 40th birthday party sounds an absolute cracker: “End Times: Weimar meets Carthage meets Dante meets AI and antibiotic-resistant superbugs?” Bring it on.
— We Bought A Zuul (@CrypticPinecone) November 22, 2021
Tom Wambsgans 8/10
“It’s not very nice, the wine, is it, Shiv?”
The distasteful screw-topped wine produced by his own vineyard serves as a clunking metaphor for someone staring down the barrel of everything coming crashing down. Tom is still hammering the prison blogs and has developed some kind of binge-eating disorder ahead of having to stomach the fare on offer in an upstate penitentiary. Not that he is getting much sympathy from his wife. A way out is offered by a clandestine meeting with Kendall in the diner Tom has found to be a home from home. But even hearing of how a prison toilet will become the centre of his life but can be a “terrible bastard” is not enough to convince him to take the bait.
— Emily (@JambalayaQ) November 22, 2021
Shiv Roy: 6/10
"Nothing's more dangerous than a second-rate individual who sees his chance.”
“I’m just glad we have a company to speak of, thanks to me,” she tells her dismissive father, who is more interested in giggling with new belle Kerry. Shiv’s attempts to show off her grasp of her old trade, politics, fall flat among the Republicans. Her favoured presidential candidate, the centrist Salgado, gets nowhere with her old man. She is mocked as a “libtard” by Roman, and looks as far away from gaining power as she has been since the first season. And as usual, her problems are taken out on Tom, whose imminent incarceration now appears more like an opportunity for Shiv than an ordeal. He’s not interested in putting out, either.
Cousin Greg: 7/10
“Because of my length I could be a target for all kinds of misadventure.”
Greg is getting nervous about being burned by Kendall, and is given a preview of what may await him in the slammer when being japed by the youth wing yahoos at the Conservative movement in Virginia. “It’s just constant,” he tells Tom of his fears and does not find himself reassured. “They wipe their ass on your pillow,” he continues and then asks Tom to take on his burden. “Load me up, you piece of shit,” says Tom, sympathetic that Greenpeace stole Greg’s inheritance. If Greg possesses one quality, it is the ability to squeeze his way out of trouble. He also cuts Connor dead as a presidential candidate.