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Succession Season 4 Premiere Recap: Roy Family Power Rankings

Contains spoilers for "Succession" Season 4 Episode 1 — "The Munsters"

"Succession" is back for its fourth and final season, bringing the cutthroat Roy family back for yet another vicious struggle for power. A modern take on "King Lear," the series constantly pits powerful patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) against his children — Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin), as well as the hapless Connor (Alan Ruck) — to see who will take charge of the family's massive media company.

As the head of the family, Logan is indisputably a powerful man; the "L" to the "OG," as Kendall once poorly rapped in an incredible and utterly embarrassing scene in Season 2. But will someone overtake him as the show sets up its endgame? Will one of the Roy children reign supreme in their father's stead, or will it be someone else entirely? To answer these questions — or at least try — in the aftermath of the Season 4 premiere, "The Munsters," we've got a good old-fashioned power ranking. Starting with the least powerful party and working our way up to most powerful, here's where everyone stands on "Succession" right now.

Connor Roy

Oh, Connor. The eldest son of the Roy family — though, as we're constantly reminded, he doesn't share the same mother as the rest of his siblings — is still waging a campaign for President of the United States, and he's still, incredibly, polling at one percent. Speaking of embarrassing numbers, he's willing to spend $100 million to remain "a part of the conversation," whatever that actually means.

As usual, Connor is relegated to the sidelines, and it feels pretty likely that he'll remain there forever. At least he still has Willa (Justine Lupe), his unwilling fiancée who famously accepted his proposal not by saying "yes" but by saying "f*** it," but she still makes her priorities pretty clear by making sure that he'll still be rich even if he blows $100 million to maintain his bleak polling numbers. He's also wildly fretting over his upcoming wedding, worried that having it on a boat isn't "big" enough and conceptualizing it as a huge event focused more on publicity than, you know, marriage.

Connor definitely won't be President. It feels impossible that he'd ever run Waystar Royco. His future wife definitely low-key hates him. Really, there's almost nothing going for this guy aside from the fact that his family money means he'll be able to keep running sad campaigns for political office for years to come.

Cousin Greg

From the very beginning of the series, Nicholas Braun's Cousin Greg has hovered somewhere near the bottom when it comes to power, and things haven't changed much for him in the Season 4 premiere. At his uncle Logan's birthday party, he brings Bridget (Francesca Root-Dodson) who, according to Greg's closest ally Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), is carrying a "ludicrously capacious bag" that's big enough to contain her "lunch pail" and is immediately suspected of being a "corporate asset." Then she tries to take a selfie with Logan, which goes about as well as you'd expect. For the cherry on top, Greg gleefully hooks up with her during the party... only for Tom to tell Greg that Logan has cameras everywhere and watches the footage at the end of every single day. (Whether or not Tom is telling the truth is questionable, though.)

We don't watch Greg confess his dirty deeds to Logan, but we do learn from Greg that Logan, as usual, thinks his nephew is a gross dweeb. Ultimately, Greg is such a loser that he tells Logan that Bridget is a drug addict, blames everything on her, and doesn't even interact with her when she's expelled from the party for posting about it on social media, making a lackey do it instead. Greg's pretty excited about being one half of "the Disgusting Brothers" with Tom, but he might want to dial things back a bit.

Kendall Roy

Kendall doesn't really... do a lot in the Season 4 premiere, ceding the spotlight to his siblings' interpersonal drama and his consistently absent father. Struggling with his ongoing addiction issues and still reeling from the Season 3 finale — where he, Roman, and Shiv are screwed out of their inheritance by Logan and Tom — Kendall needs something to fixate on, and right now, it's the siblings' newest business venture. Working with the name "The Hundred" and described by Roman as "Masterclass meets Substack meets The New Yorker meets The Economist," the venture is completely freaking ridiculous, but right now, it's all Kendall has.

To make matters more embarrassing, Kendall has to come face to face with his ex Naomi Pierce (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) when he and his siblings attempt to buy Pierce Global Media, or PGM, from her cousin Nan (Cherry Jones). He at least reveals to Nan that Logan "hates her" and would buy her company only to dismantle it, and ultimately, he's part of the episode's winning team when he, Roman, and Shiv steal PGM out from under their father. Kendall's doing fine, but it definitely seems like the best is yet to come for him. Or not. Kendall doesn't exactly make the best decisions most of the time.

Logan Roy

It might seem shocking that Logan, the most powerful person in any given room, falls squarely in the middle of this ranking, but he's definitely not on top of the world in this episode. Dissatisfied with his lavish birthday party — he asks his "friend, assistant, and advisor" Kerry, who he's obviously sleeping with, why everyone there is so "happy" — Logan sulks through most of the episode. He leaves his own party to wander Central Park in solitude, tells his security detail Colin (Scott Nicholson) that he's his "best pal," and seems to be ceding power to Kerry, who's calling the shots at his party and, apparently, in most aspects of his life. The moment where he yells at everyone in his circle to "roast him" is especially bleak; his total lack of authentic human connection drives him to the point where all he wants is to be viciously insulted, and his underlings can't even figure out how to do that.

Things only get worse for Logan when his estranged kids beat him out for the PGM purchase by wildly outbidding him, leaving the patriarch to sulk in his study alone and bemoan the fact that the anchors on his news channel are ugly. Logan's not thriving right now, but the revenge he takes on his own children will probably be swift and vicious.

Roman Roy

It's bizarre to think that Roman Roy — a man who once engineered a failed rocket launch, who sexually harassed an older female employee and sent a picture of his own junk to his dad, and who's generally just a chaos goblin — is the voice of reason in this episode, but here we are. Flanked by Kendall and Shiv as they outbid their own dad to buy PGM, Roman is the only person to express even a second of hesitation when his siblings want to keep raising their financial ceiling just to tick off Logan.

As Roman points out when Kendall and Shiv want to bid $10 billion dollars to buy PGM instead of a mere $9.5 billion, half a billion dollars is five hundred million dollars that they could be spending on "snowmobiles or sushi." He's eventually swayed by their arguments, but his reticence feels important here; the fact that he's more cautious than his reckless siblings could mean big things for him down the line. For now, though, he's at least part of the winning faction.

Tom Wambsgans

Tom ended Season 3 of "Succession" near the top of the power ranking, and thanks to his proximity to Logan, he'll stay there... for now. Serving as Logan's right-hand man — due mostly to the fact that he was willing to betray his wife Shiv last season — Tom's the one brokering the ultimately failed deal with the Pierce family, and even when it doesn't pan out, Logan doesn't seem to have lost faith in him just yet.

Tom is also pulling one over on Shiv yet again, blindsiding her with the news that he went out on a date with Kendall's ex Naomi Pierce (though he insists it was just business) during their separation. Now that he and Shiv are definitely getting divorced, Tom will be free to fully battle against her, but he's also a tragic figure in this episode, particularly when he's not the one to ask for the divorce in the first place. Tom is so close to the top of the ranking, but he's still a sad, beaten man, especially when it comes to Shiv and their dysfunctional marriage.

Shiv Roy

Upcoming divorce notwithstanding, Shiv still has the edge over basically everybody in the episode. Though she has Kendall and Roman by her side, Shiv is the one who makes the Pierce deal happen when all is said and done — she figures out that Logan and Tom are the other bidders, pursues Nan, and eventually talks the matriarch into the deal. Putting her personal problems, of which she's got plenty, in the rearview, she handles her business deal in pretty much the same way she handles asking Tom for a divorce: coldly, efficiently, and bluntly.

Whether or not Shiv will be able to maintain the power she currently has is, obviously, a big question; she's flown close to the sun before only for her wax wings to melt into a sticky puddle. Right now, though, she's pulling the strings and taking charge, proving to be a pretty formidable opponent to both her father and soon-to-be ex-husband.

"Succession" airs on Sunday nights at 9 P.M. EST on HBO and HBO Max.