The Rewind

Succession Player Ratings: Roman's Epic, Epic Fail

Succession Player Ratings: Roman's Epic, Epic Fail

Every week here on Balls.ie, 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

The bleak just got bleaker, and ends on a cliffhanger, with Kendall Roy on the verge of a Brian Jones-style death. Whatever happens, he is echoing the fate of the waiter who drowned at the climax to the first season.

And if Kendall is on the verge of blowing it, then so are his siblings, with Roman’s peccadilloes landing him in the soup just as a moment of triumph had arrived. Connor’s artificial relationship with Willa has also reached a breaking point of his own making. A trip to Italy, to attend the wedding of their mother seems to bring the worst out of them all, which is really saying something.

Which leaves Shiv, who suddenly wins her father’s ear, having bared a cut-throat side to her mother, husband and her rival in being the smartest woman in the room. The final episode of the third season approaches and perhaps only Succession could have swung on a dick-pic plot line

Shiv Roy: 9/10

“I may not love you, but I do love you.

Perhaps Shiv does have the chops to be as big a bastard as her father after all. That she doesn’t care a fig for anyone but herself and her own trajectory has been clear from the start but in Italy, Shiv really gets into gear. Her relations with her mother are revealed as the source of the hardening of her heart. Even the creation of a baby with Tom is treated as a political, logistical operation. “If you can’t deal with your own sexual harassment, that’s not a good look,” she tells Gerri after the dick-pic farrago comes to light. Victory may soon be Shiv’s, though telling Tom that she’s too good for him, even in the throes of passion, could come back to haunt her.

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Logan Roy: 8/10

"And I'm a bad person? Fuck off, kiddo."

Mind you, nobody can ever do evil bastard quite like Logan. "Whenever you fucked up, I cleaned up your shit," he tells Kendall. This is said after he has got Kendall’s son to test the mozzarella for poison - “you scared I’m gonna Jim Jones you with an olive?” - and when his second son wants out, and to disappear completely, he suddenly changes the terms. “Maybe I want you close,” he tells Kendall, twisting the knife as deep as possible. “You can do the mail, we’ll keep you rattling around.” It appears he may be about to embrace modernity with a big-tech merger, only for the behaviour of his idiot children to return him to his old-school values.

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Tom Wambsgans: 7/10

“Such a shame Sontag’s not still alive. You could take her to the drive-through.”

Tom is full of good lines at the various events for the wedding of his mother-in-law, but the darkness of his marriage will always loom over him. Shiv’s version of dirty talk is to assert her social standing. “I was thinking more like, love beads, or like, being a sexy fireman,” he says. “But it kind of got more into the realms of ‘you don’t love me.’” Tom knows that’s almost certainly true, so what does he do?

Kendall Roy: 6/10

“I’m done.”

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“You’ve won because you’re corrupt and so is the world,” he tells an unimpressed Logan. “I’m better than you.” The shaven head suggests he is trying to cleanse himself, and there is no sign of Naomi after his breakdown at his 40th. “I’m stripping down,” he tells his mother, who is more interested in kowtowing to Logan than him. The rebel alliance has failed, and we are left with the prospect that there might soon be no Kendall at all.

Cousin Greg: 7/10

“Is that the time, just checking the old watch there?” 

Having won the affections of Comfry, Greg already has his eye on other talent. “The man who was dying of thirst is suddenly a mineral water critic” mocks Tom. Greg decides to play the “date ladder” game, and makes his move on an Italian countess by flashing the very expensive watch Kendall set him up with while making small talk about “fermented yogurt drink”. Largely a backseat role for the family’s pet parasite but a couple of zingers are delivered nonetheless.

Roman Roy: 6/10

“Don’t open Pandora’s box. There’s just more dicks in there”

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Oh dear. It turns out being a pervert does not mix well with sharp business practice after all. Having placated Lukas Matsson’s with some more incel banter and even convinced his father that a streaming-platform merger is the way to go, glory is his. If only he could stop being weird about Gerri, and jealous of her relationship with Laurie. Or operate sending a good old-fashioned picture message. “I’m not a radical feminist, dad,” he says when confronted by Logan, “but I think we should probably not fire her for receiving pictures of my dick”. Now his father thinks his youngest son is either gay, or at the very least, a “sicko”, and worse still, “a laughing stock”.

Connor Roy: 6/10

“Maybe the two-party system isn’t as rotten as I’d like, but I have to plan for success.” 

Connor makes his latest move towards the White House, when as advised by political guru Max, he proposes to Willa the next moment after she had suggested they have some time apart. It doesn’t get the instant answer he would like. “I’m smiling now like you said ‘yes’,” he says, grimacing, and is thus made to wait all episode. “This much thinking could feel unromantic,” he says. As so often, Connor is left feeling like the spare part.

Gerri Kellman 7/10

“I need you to stop sending the items.”

Gerri knows she is expendable, particularly when it comes to protecting the modesty of a clan member. Roman’s unwanted missives put her in a difficult position that ends up leave her at the mercy of Shiv, and an uncaring Logan. “I don’t want her hanging around like frozen piss,” he says, after describing her as “a million years old”. Gerri is the latest victim of Roy dysfunction. “I can cope,” she says but she appears almost certainly doomed. Then again, so does everyone else, aside from, of course, Logan.

John Brewin

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