By Andrew R. Chow
August 26, 2019

Welcome back, to fans and sad sack wasp traps alike, to the craven death pit of greed and egomania that is Succession. Join us as we keep track of the swift rise and fall of each character in these power rankings, which will be updated every week. These rankings are painfully subjective and based on a mix of corporate leverage, deftness of negotiation, personal turmoil and insults thrown and received. Here’s where everyone stands after episode 3, “Hunting”

9. Ray (Patch Darragh): (last week: N/A)

Every once in awhile we see how the dysfunction and malice of the Roy family can become contagious and consume those around them. Such is the case with Ray, a bland suit on the corporate retreat who is cowed into nearly pissing into a bucket. After he barely survives Logan’s interrogations, he gleefully turns on his colleagues, sadistically taunting them while they’re oinking on the floor. He’s proof that the environment at Waystar is toxic to its core.

8. Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin): ⬇️ (last week: 5)

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy
Ursula Coyote/HBO

Roman can’t get out of his own way. His filming of the Boar on the Floor fight leads directly to Kendall discovering his secret; his ill-conceived solo attempt to secure the Pierce deal means that the last scrap of respect his father might have had for him has completely evaporated. He still doesn’t have sex with his girlfriend Tabitha, and she’s still dunking on him mercilessly. Help him, Gerri — you’re his only hope.

7. Tom Wamsgams (Matthew Macfayden): ⬆️ (last week: 8)

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wamsgans and Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy.
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wamsgans and Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy.

Tom is a broken man at the moment. When he tells Greg to “trust no one, ever,” it’s less a cunning maxim than a reflection of his own crisis of confidence. Shiv calls him her “meat puppet” and cheats on him (or exercises her right to the open marriage she demanded, depending on how you look at it) without blinking; Logan makes him grovel for sausages on the ground and tells him to “pipe down until you tell me you’ve got a grandson coming,” taunting him about “shooting blanks.” It seems like all he and Greg have, at this point, is each other.

6. Connor Roy (Alan Ruck): ⬆️ (last week: 7)

Alan Ruck as Connor Roy and Brian Cox as Logan Roy.
Ursula Coyote/HBO

As always, Connor delivers some of the best lines of the week, educating Shiv on the wonders of “hyperdecanting” and dopily equating himself to the level of “Bezos and the Clintons.” Plus, he’s got at least one vote: Willa says he looks cute in his campaign video. A “Connor goes to jail” subplot seems like just the right combination of absurdism and nihilism that this show thrives on.

5. Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun): ⬆️ (last week: 6)

Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch in 'Succession'
Peter Kramer/HBO

Very few actors have a better signature facial expression than Nicholas Braun’s doe-eyed look of terror. He spends the episode stuck inside that panicky gaze, as Greg bumbles into a meeting with Logan’s unauthorized biographer — and then is absolutely dismantled by her tea-stirring, sickly-sweet professorial act, and gives her a golden quote to use on the record. (As a journalist, let me say that the biographer is arguably in the right here — but also being a snake about it.) His quiet thanks to Tom at the end of the episode is one of the more genuinely sweet moments in the show’s recent memory.

4. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong): ↔️ (last week: 4)

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy.
Graeme Hunter/HBO

The episode’s final shot, of Kendall standing impassively behind a closed door while Logan calls Shiv, says it all: Kendall is back in the inner circle. He has dialed up his ruthlessness to the maximum, selling out his brother, Gerri and Karl to his father in one fell swoop. It feels like Kendall is about to do something else truly despicable, and I can’t wait to see what it is.

3. Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron): (last week: N/A)

J. Smith Cameron (right) as Gerri in 'Succession'
Peter Kramer/HBO

Let’s take a moment to salute Gerri, who, it seems increasingly clear, is the only redeemable character on this derelict-filled show. She’s compassionate, honest, hard-working, and cuttingly hilarious: When Roman sluggishly comes on to her, she says, “I actually hear that a lot, but usually from men in their 90s.” She won’t be occupying the top seat for any extended amount of time — but she will play a key role in the regime of whoever ends up there.

2. Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook): ↔️ (last week: 2)

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy
Colin Hutton/HBO

Shiv had a couple low-stakes goals this week, and she failed to deliver on either. Connor went ahead and released his tax video, while she got sidetracked into a sexcapade with a resin-smoking caricature of a Broadway actor. Her attempt to derail the Pierce deal via Tom was similarly disastrous; in fact, her blatant exploitation of her husband might have finally made him realize he needs to start plotting his own trajectory. She still has the inside track but needs to be more forceful and calculating going forward.

1. Logan Roy (Brian Cox): ↔️ (last week: 1)

Brian Cox as Logan Roy.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

If this isn’t Emmy-nomination material, I don’t know what is. Cox seethed, barked and glowered his way through 60 powerhouse minutes as an alpha male under siege; his dinner table hulking and expletive-laden attacks played out like a top-rate Tennessee Williams character.

Logan emerged unequivocally victorious, getting Frank to bring him the head of Pierce’s CEO (albeit not on a platter). But getting what he wants might be the worst thing that could happen to him in the long run. All of his advisors agree that buying Pierce is a shamelessly personal play that could bring the entire company down. He’s pretty clearly addled by his medication, which has turned him into a deranged, paranoid dictator. This felt like Logan’s Last Stand — the beginning of the end.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

Read More From TIME

EDIT POST