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Succession Player Ratings: Season 4, Episode 1: 'The Munsters'

Succession Player Ratings: Season 4, Episode 1: 'The Munsters'
By John Brewin Updated
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Every week here on Balls.ie, football scribe John Brewin reviews and rate the main characters in the latest episode of the final series of Succession. As ever, please note this article does contain spoilers

And they’re back, for just 10 more episodes of probably much the same as before. A leading complaint about Succession is that the plot rarely varies from Logan Roy looking for the next dollar as his children compete for grace and favour while wanting to take his crown. Such criticism ignores the clue being in the name and that the best, most well-remembered programmes keep within narrow boundaries.

Every episode of Fawlty Towers is a angry hotelier with ideas above his station, no episode of the Sopranos ever let slip the winning combination of family values and brutal criminality.  And the first episode of Succession's final series showed little sign of any sharks being jumped. No Wire-style inventing of a serial killer just yet.

Instead, the game remains familiarly afoot. Logan is cashing out Waystar but retaining his ATN channels in an echo of Rupert Murdoch stripping down his US empire while holding on to Fox News. Just like Uncle Rupert, the patriarch’s got a new woman in tow in the fearsome Kerry. He’s also in acquisitive mood, and wants to buy Pierce Global Media to complete a lifetime's ambition of parking his ship on his liberal-left enemies’ lawn.

What’s stopping him? “The rats”, three of his children, Kendall accompanied by Shiv and Roman in trying to take their daddy down. Who’s in line to claim the spoils? And at the final reckoning, who will end up where?

Logan Roy 7/10

“Why is everyone so fucking happy?” 

It’s Logan’s birthday, and he’ll swear loudly if he wants to. Something’s missing, too, most of his kids, and he actually seems to be missing them. Not even Kerry, his “friend, assistant, advisor” can keep up his pecker. It falls to Colin, his security guard, to be the shoulder to cry on. “You’re a good guy, you’re my pal, you’re my best pal,” Logan says, involving a shrugging Colin in deep existential discussions. “Nobody tells jokes anymore,” he later complains before demanding “a roast” from his chorus line of acolytes: Gerri, Karl and Frank. He ends the opener in disappointment at both his kids - “fucking geniuses” - and the late-night presenter on the remains of his empire: “he looks like a ballsack in a toupée.”


The final reckoning: Death or glory.

Shiv Roy 6/10

“It’s 1933 and I wanna have a say”

After the double-cross crescendo of the third season, her marriage with Tom is over. Probably. Shiv’s back in the political sphere but retains a taste for revenge on both her father and soon-to-be-ex-husband. Though declaring to Nan Pierce she is getting divorce comes as a surprise, perhaps even to herself. The meeting with Tom at their home is terse. “I needed wardrobe access,” she says, mocking his promiscuity. “Did you get buff for the models?” she hisses, brushing off his advances. Perhaps though, as they close out in awkward intimacy, all is not lost between them.


The final reckoning: Back with Tom.

Kendall Roy 7/10

“I’ve smoked horse and it’s really fucking nice”

In searching for meaning in his life, “The Hundred” is the name of the high-spec media empire Kendall is forging with his siblings, echoing an unloved English cricket franchise format.”It’s Substack meets Masterclass meets the Economist meets the New Yorker,” he says, rather unpromisingly. Realising he can outdo his dad on buying Pierce soon adds him meaning and enthusiasm, though overpaying at £10bn looks a classic Kendall misfire.


The final reckoning: Almost certainly doomed.

Roman Roy 6/10

“Tell them they can shove their petrodollars up their human rights record.”

The reluctant rebel is now in league with Shiv and Roman. “You want to fuck Dad, you want to fuck Tom. I’m the only one who wants to set up a business and not fuck anyone,” he says. A nod to his sexual problems? They usually are. He’s at his unpleasant best/worst in talking to down to Kerry “You can pop it back in your mouth now,” he says to his father’s confidante. Roman’s instinct for a deal looks firmer than his excitable siblings as they pay over the odds.


The final reckoning: Logan’s prodigal rat.

Connor Roy 6/10

“Both sides are trying to squeeze my percent.”

The presidential ambitions continue for the oldest son, as does his hopeless wooing of fiancee Willa. She’s unconvinced. “You sound unhinged,” she says after his idea of getting married under the Statue of Liberty with “hoopla and razzmatazz.” His greatest fear is of falling below “one percent” in the imminent election. No patricidal rebellion or high-end business activity from Connor; Logan is funding his ego trip.


The final reckoning: Nascent YouTube sensation.

Tom Wambsgans 8/10

“What’s your ceiling?”

Having nailed his role as Logan’s right-hand man and head of ATN, Tom slips up by telling Shiv of his “not sexual but social” meeting with Naomi Pierce, bringing on the latest family turf war. Tom isn’t naive enough to think he’s got it fully made with Logan. He still calls his father-in-law "sir" and he seeks reassurance over getting divorced. “If we’re good, we’re good” may not be the answer he’s looking for. Meeting Shiv reveals a vulnerability away from Tom’s hard-nosed corporate face.


The final reckoning: Still the heir apparent.

Cousin Greg 9/10

“Bingo bango, hit that bongo.”

Joining Tom within Logan’s inner circle, Greg is having the time of his life. “The Disgusting Brothers” is the label and jingle he has invented for his wing-man partnership with his mentor. Allowing himself to be caught on camera in flagrante at Logan’s birthday - “having a bit of a rummage” - is a classic pratfall but actually lightens Logan’s mood when the chips are down in the battle for Pierce. “I don’t want to see what happens in Guantanamo,” Greg shrugs as his paramour is launched from Logan’s party for social media violations. He also performs well during Logan’s “roast”. “Anyone want to smell Greg’s fingers?” laughs the old man.

The final reckoning: Beware the calculating clown.


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