By Andrew R. Chow
August 19, 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 2, “The Vaulter”

9. Lawrence Yee (Rob Yang) (last week: N/A)

Rob Yang as Lawrence Yee (left) in 'Succession.'
Peter Kramer/HBO

Tough break, buddy. The founder of Vaulter thought he was the fox in the chicken coop, but he was actually the lamb in the slaughterhouse. After Roman infiltrates his ranks, Kendall dismantles his company with the efficiency of a trained assassin. For someone who was made out to be a main antagonist in the show’s pilot, Lawrence was dispatched with shocking ease.

Then again, maybe a company that writes articles like “Why drinking milk on the toilet is kind of a game changer” shouldn’t exist regardless.

8. Tom Wamsgams (Matthew Macfayden): ⬇️ (last week: 5)

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

Tom probably isn’t fit to be a newsman, and he definitely isn’t fit to be an actor. His feigned look of joy following his wife’s big announcement is Razzie-worthy; his teeth were gritted so tight they could make diamonds.

7. Connor Roy (Alan Ruck): ⬆️ (last week: 8)

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

His hotel lodgings (a.k.a. campaign headquarters) look beautiful; his party went off without a disaster; he even snuck in a great Brusilov Offensive-related burn of his siblings. All in all, a pretty good week for the next president of the United States.

6. Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun): ⬆️(last week: 9)

Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun.
Graeme Hunter/HBO

Big week for Cousin Greg. He stood up for his principles (kind of)! He moved, not to Staten Island, but to a massive and completely subsidized apartment! He competently surveyed ATN and made a suggestion — to digitize the company — that will likely be implemented!

On the flip side, his new apartment is really just Kendall’s coke den, his bed has been soiled by “lovemaking,” and he’s the reason why up to 50 journalists are about to get fired.

5. Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin): ⬆️ (last week: 7)

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy.
Peter Kramer/HBO

Roman and Kendall’s opposite approaches to the Vaulter Problem played out like one of Aesop’s fables — but in this version, the hare got drunk and won the race.

Roman’s victory was short-lived, however; he inadvertently gave his brother an opening to prove his worth and get back in his father’s good graces. Roman was also mercilessly dunked on by an eye-rolling Tabitha (Caitlin FitzGerald), who is this week’s real MVP: “You did a thing. Mazel tov.”

4. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong): ⬆️ (last week: 6)

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy
Peter Kramer/HBO

It’s difficult for someone as despicable and craven as Kendall to make a heel turn, but that’s exactly what’s happened. He’s giving off strong Da Vinci Code Killer Monk vibes — pledging complete fealty to his father (“He sees everything, Shiv,” he tells his bewildered sister), failing to hug his daughter, ruthlessly gutting Vaulter, stealing batteries from a bodega just for the sake of it. He also calls himself a “techno Gatsby,” which is not nearly as badass as he thinks, but extremely fitting. Just two episodes after hitting rock bottom, he has suddenly emerged as a threat to Shiv’s coronation — and he’s even more dangerous given that he’s acting like a man with nothing to lose.

3. Marcia Roy (Hiam Abbass): ↔️ (last week: 3)

Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy
Peter Kramer/HBO

For the first time perhaps ever on this show, Marcia is on the outside looking in. When Logan sends her on a wild goose chase for an Amazon Echo in order to get her out of the room, she responds with a withering look akin to that of a creature who knows her territory is being encroached on. But while Logan might be keeping secrets from her, she’s still more resourceful and conniving than the many sad sacks beneath her on this list. A deathmatch with Shiv seems imminent.

2. Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook): ⬇️ (last week: 1)

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy
Colin Hutton/HBO

The pipe dream is inching toward reality, and now comes the hard part. Tom was perhaps right in that holding onto both Gil’s and Logan’s offers might have been the smartest route. But Shiv has a quick trigger: She threw away one of her pocket aces and now is back in the Waystar cage. Her resignation to Gil was needless and arrogant; she’s now gained an enemy that happens to be one of the most powerful men in the country. She’s unnerved Geri and incensed Marcia; one brother, Kendall, looms menacingly, while the other, Roman, will surely turn on her once he realizes his already-slim chances of taking over the company are now close to zero. Chief of Staff to the President is sounding pretty damn good right about now.

1. Logan Roy (Brian Cox): ⬆️ (last week: 2)

Brian Cox as Logan Roy.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

The patriarch is still the puppeteer. Logan has lured Shiv back into the nest; he also has both a Ramsay Bolton (Roman) and a Reek (Kendall) at his disposal, and knows how to play them off each other expertly. It’s unclear what his plan is at this point — but it’s clear that he delights in the sick process.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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