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Succession Player Ratings: Season 4, Episode 5 - 'Kill List'

Succession Player Ratings: Season 4, Episode 5 - 'Kill List'
By John Brewin Updated
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Success has many fathers now that Logan Roy’s no longer around. Nobody wants to be responsible for failure.

Not that Logan being dead has slowed down the pace of commerce. The old man is not yet in the ground and his family and imperial guard have jetted over to Norway to try and squeeze a deal out of Lukas Matsson, Succession’s amalgam of Spotify whizkid Daniel Ek and wannabe rocket man Elon Musk.

Or not, depending on which mood co-CEOs Kendall and Roman Roy are in. Both learn harsh lessons when forced to take on the type of negotiation their father always fronted. There’s no hiding places or niceties, especially where the deeply insensitive and almost certainly bonkers Matsson is concerned.

All while the “greys” as Kendall calls the Waystar Royco execs, “the village elders” as Matsson calls them, are playing their own game. Not only that, there’s a highly expensive CGI turkey coming out of the movie studio and a damage limitation job to be carried out

Kendall Roy 7/10

“Let’s go beat the Swede.”

Initially back in a suit, looking uncomfortable, not entirely convincing when taking on the role of boardroom ringmaster, Matsson soon proves Kendall’s toughest adversary. “Yeah, well, I don’t care what you think,” he jibes. “You’re a tribute band.” Not quite as baited as Roman, Kendall goes into attack mode, especially when Matsson’s clan appear to laugh between them about “incest” in the Roy family. Kendall wants to tank the deal. He likes being in charge, yet Matsson is wise to him. The final offer represents both glowing success and embarrassing failure for him and Roman.

The final reckoning: Disowning his legacy


Roman Roy 7/10

“If a deal collapses in the woods and no one hears it, is it an SEC violation?”

Like Kendall, Roman shows greenness in the art of the deal. Both are open-mouthed after Matsson’s offer in his mountain-top eagle’s nest. When his late father is called “a prick” in the heat of negotiation, Roman cannot let it go, especially as Connor just sent him a picture of Logan’s corpse. Launching into a urinating Matsson, “you inhuman dog man”, Roman pulls the deal, or so he thinks. The loss of temper is familiar and decisive, just not nearly as effective as Logan.

The final reckoning: Silicon Valley beckons


Connor Roy 6/10

“Like a fucking Bay City Roller.”

Working the unusual dual role of presidential candidate and funeral organiser, Connor, only briefly on screen, is getting hyped about “going into the embalming room and throwing my weight around”. He doesn’t want to be left holding the dead body. Good luck.


The final reckoning: The funeral crusher


Shiv Roy - 9/10

“Let’s keep one of his old sweaters, less racist.”

She’s never to be underestimated. Shiv has every right to feel patronised by her brothers as they assume the posture of tech-bro, high-brow mini-Logans. “We’re shit-wrestling with ogres,” Kendall tells her, only for Shiv to point out they’re reading documents. Rather more worldly wise than her brothers, she’s declaring ATN as a “toxic asset”. Tom just happens to work there. It’s Shiv, 20-weeks pregnant, swigging whisky and hoofing high-grade cocaine who gets to Matsson’s weirdness, his confession to sending his ex-girlfriend/head of comms litres of his own blood. And Shiv’s the one left with the hotline to the madman who holds the family fortune in his sweaty palms.

The final reckoning: She’s the boss?


Tom Wambsgans - 6/10

“Norway, Sweden, what’s the difference? They’ve all descended from the same rapists.”

“I’m the guy,” he tells Matsson’s No 2, seeking a way out of personal isolation. “I need profile,” he tells Greg. Chumming up to the Scandis doesn’t go at all well. “We don’t know because we really don’t want to know,” he says of France, to an icy Nordic response. Still, Tom knows with whom his destiny lies. “I’m worried about being whacked by the cast of Bugsy Malone,” he nods towards his estranged wife’s family. Shiv toys with him on the plane home.

The final reckoning: Shackled to Shiv


Cousin Greg

“The baguette might be mightier than the bagel.”

As ever, Greg’s on the pull, chasing down some “Norwegian wood”, and becomes a subject of amusement for Matsson and his acolytes when trying to play geopolitical backup to Tom. He’s also shunted aside by Shiv when trying to pull rank with the family “quad squad”. But woe betide anyone who tries to outflank Greg, he’s soon enough called up by Kendall to stitch up Matsson.

The final reckoning: Quad squad skipper


The Suits - 8/10

“We’re snakes on the plane."

“Anything we can do to be helpful,” declares Karl. Gerri reveals her Republican credentials with a vinegary rant about European social security. “We’ve been raised by wolves, exposed to a pathogen that goes by the name of Logan Roy,” she says as Hugo obsesses over his opposite number PR’s near-bronze medal for ski jumping at the Sochi Olympics. Hugo has become one of the show’s stars. Each of them has their own thoughts and fears on the “kill list” that gives this episode its name, but Hugo’s attempts to save himself are bound to be top-drawer. Blown out by the brothers, Matsson eventually goes to the greys. “We raided the Vikings,” celebrates Karl running the big numbers for a happy retirement.

The final reckoning: Let the good times roll

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