Billions S1:E7 The Punch Recap

 

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I was confused how we left things last time on Billions, and then we missed a week, so I'm not gonna lie, I may have done more thinking about it that I would have expected for a new show in the last week. Let's find out!

Last time, it looked as though Bobby either took a 1.9 billion dollar hit and a complete neutering, or his tearing up the cheque was him NOT accepting The Deal

Billion cheque

and then Chuck pretending to recuse himself and Bobby driving down the highway listening to Metallica and. Yeah. I meant to do my homework to see if people smarter than me knew what was up, but that didn't happen, so let's just wing it!

We open with The Smiths on the beach outside Bobby's Beach Palace (formerly the Norton Place), but he's swimming in his pool, OF COURSE, while his kiddos are at the arcade with a neighbour and his kids. Mr. Layner, the neighbour, is drinking heavily and talking shite about Bobby TO HIS KIDS, the same woman who noticed that Lara knew nothing of a fancy party last time notices his drinking. I should look her up, I bet she's filed under "Condescending / Understanding Forehead Nodder."

Drunk Bruce is skidding out of the parking lot, to her credit, CUFN did try to stop him but: Kids. Okay, I have a name! Lilly (Catherine A. Callahan) calls Lara and gives her the rundown on Drunky Layner. Lara questions the boys, and okay, they did pick up on all the money comments, because that's exactly how people should deal with frustration; by taking it out in a completely passive aggressive way on kids. Bobby overhears and reacts with his usual calmness when he understands that dude was drinking and driving with his kiddos.

He jumps right out of the pool and heads for him, wet shorts, barefeet and all. He confronts the man, who is grilling for the masses and punches him square in the sniffer. Layner says he will pay for that and how pathetic that our society has come to that? I endangered your kids' lives, but Imma sue YOU for a totally deserved poke in the nose.

Chuck is hosting an obnoxious Spyros in his office, what the feck is a Cortado anyway? Ah, The Google tells me it isn't my new OS helper, but rather espresso with milk. I already hated Spyros, but making Chuck's admin go source one of these pretentious bevvies with micro-foam, silkier is pushing me close to the edge.

Spyros is holding Chuck's feet to the fire for blowing up the settlement conference and yeah, that was ridic. I mean. No way that was believable at all, that frat boy back and forth. ANYWAY. That isn't what Spyros wants to really talk about, it's his expanded role since he knows that Chuck's recusal is just for show. There hasn't been a murder on this show yet, right? Any minute.

Spyros isn't taking Chuck's team approach reassurance, he wants to be "the fcuking commandant" and now this must play in my head every time I see Spyros and now your head as well, even if it's not exactly right. You're welcome. Happy Monday!

He leaves without even imbibing his Silkier Foam, leaving Chuck to make exasperated call to Dale while waving his little turtle legs around upside down.

We cut to a determined Donnie stomping his way into the Stewart Bachelor Party, but no! It's the FBI and they are wiring him and he's feeling bad about it. Totes adorbs Dale says he feels the same way about double cheeseburgers and you just keep at it, Dale, whatever you're doing is working for me. Mmmhmm.

Donnie shows up at Bobby's house; he looks like he wants to pee himself while asking; should he be ready to pull the trigger the following morning? On the Kemlot trade? Bobby says "Wait. I am not certain" and invites him in for a drink. They talk about Pavlov's study and review how "at base, all men are animals" and Donnie commends him on Bobby's TCB with Layner. Bobby doesn't know, though, he doesn't want his kids thinking that's the way to handle things and blah blah I totes agree in principle but in practice: Layner fcuking deserved it.

Chuck is totally eavesdropping on Bryan's GetBobby sessions, he's so thirsty you can almost smell the saffron.

Orrin is holding forth the possible reputation damage for Bobby hitting Layner and excuse me, wasn't he supposed to be completely ruined by the whole lawsuit thing? How many times can his entire reputation be proven to NOT be destroyed? Note to show: that well is not that deep.

The only path forward for the Axelrod fambly is to get their story out first; they need Lilly to confirm Layner's drinking and also to brace themselves for a possible arrest the following day. There is a video of the punch, and I don't know if I mentioned it, but Bobby also said he wanted to kill Layner. Thankfully, they have a friend in former police chief Mueller (Murphy Guyer), who is able to shut some of this down. I gotta know about this actor, dude has gravitas and I think he's the real deal.

Wendy is meeting with Chase (Steven Pasquale) to discuss future career options, but slow it down, Chase, she's just here to do recon on the DL, yo! I think he's a therapist...but maybe HR. She doesn't want to look in the same field, but that is her very specialized field, and he offers her "nothing without a compromise."

Wags is running a pep session at Axe Financial and WHY IS DAMIAN LEWIS WEARING GUYLINER THIS WHOLE EPISODE?? And waterproof no less, what with it being on since the pool. It's SO DISTRACTING.

ANYWAY, Bobby's people got him something nice, awww, it's a boxing trophy and I wait for Bobby to throw it through a window, but no, just in the garbage.

He goes where he should have gone in the first place; to see Dr. Rhoades. She says he may be self-sabotaging and they go over the deal with Chuck and he blames it not going through on Chuck's posturing and I THINK that's what he meant, anyway.

Lara is talking to her sister; she can't believe her hooligans didn't know to call her when Layner was clearly drinking; they call for everything! Like Instagraham not loading and I would so never...okay okay, she's worried her kiddos aren't street smart and of COURSE they aren't.

Chuck is reviewing another case with Bryan and T; when that charade is over he asks Bryan to just hang back for a moment "go over details" and whatever, man. Chinese Wall my arse. He wants to know about the confidential informant; Donnie. He caught their interest when he made a tonne on the Rubinex deal and they have him dead to rights.

Lara and Lilly are lunching; awww, Lilly can't help and I could have called that from a mile away. "Keith" doesn't want any press right now, so sorry. She has to go, her maid has to take her kids to the doctor, whut? It's like she thinks she's people and I'm pretty sure Lilly does not agree.

Bobby, Wags and Shari are reviewing the video of the incident, whoever took it helpfully cropped out the whole "you were drinking with my kids in the car" part, leaving just the hitting and "Imma fcuking kill you" bit. It's not looking good for our embattled hero.

This video came from Mike DiMonda, the Obstreperous Reporter from earlier this season. Bobby goes to his Mind Palace to see if he can think of anyone else who may have a full video of the tussle, and figures out it was one of the two teenaged girls standing by the pool with phones out. He sends Shari after the original video and just then receives a text from Lara with the news that Lilly isn't playing for their team. Time to go surrender via the backdoor in the Hamptons!

The current police chief is not quite so accommodating as the the former, he's worried about the public pressure once the video becomes public. There are a lot of different hands it has to go through and he can't control what happens if Layner decides to press charges, which he probably will to give his civil suit more heft.

Back at Chez Rhoades, Wendy and Chuck discuss the minutiae of married family life, playdates, etc, then she asks him about the settlement breakdown...exactly...He blames the breakdown on Bobby thrashing his last Big Fish gasp, but I'm pretty sure the flexer was he.

They have an adult playdate the following evening with the Gilbrites, Chuck doesn't wanna go, the thinks they're creepy-close and for him to be weirded out, I NEED to meet the Gilbrites!

The Axelrod kiddos are indeed spoiled up the wazoo, complaining that chef keeps making their cheese omelets "too sticky" and Lara realises the time is now if she doesn't wanna end up with a couple of TFB aholes under her own roof.

She takes them out to the beach while they whine; "we're cold, why is the water brown, what are we DOING??" and tells them they are clamming. When she was a kid she had to dig up 50 clams a night or she didn't eat. They have four hours to catch their supper; get at it boys!

The head of the Policeman's Pension Association is over tearing Bobby a new ahole about the rumblings going around about him losing it and hitting someone; if Bobby takes a conviction, even for a misdemeanor; the association is gone. And I think this guy might punch him. I like it when everyone is direct like this! None of this vague "impact, reputation, blah blah", just straight up: take any conviction and we are gone. Deal!

Shari comes in to tell Bobby and Wags that DiMonda is ready to roll the story, with or without comment, Bobby asks her to set up a meeting with the reporter first. He's sweet talked him before with his "between lads" shenanigans and a story WITH a quote is much better, so Mike'll probably go for it.

Spyros shows swaggering in Chuck's office for his point man debriefing, to see Martina Slovis being deposed. For whatever reason, that makes him swallow his tongue and Chuck jumps down his figuratively gaping mouth with a "I told you I was gonna getcha! Totally got you!!" I'm paraphrasing, but you know what's up.

A much-deflated Spyros is listening to Chuck explain in great detail (GREAT DETAIL) exactly why he doesn't like Spyros, it's not just inter-agency conflict, oh no! Oh man. Spyros raped Martina Slovis and now Chuck is using her in a chess match with Spyros, where I'm sure he sees himself as some kind of hero avenger. You know, maybe if he'd done something back when he first heard about it, in law school, or if it wasn't just to get Ari off his dick, honestly, I think he's almost as gross right now, to use that woman's rape as a lever.

Oh see, Chuck was playing both ends as well; Marina Slovis is NOT being deposed, she's being interviewed for a job, by Kate and now that her appearance has frightened Spryos sufficiently, she'll be sent back home to Philly to take care of her young kids. For the love of.

Bobby is watching Nick Apollo Forte (thank, subtitles!) sing about taking care of one's goombah, linguine factors, while Mike the reporter says he's just not that comfortable among the 1 percenters.

Bobby cuts right to the chase; he wants a day out of Mike and offers him a carefully covered trip to Aspen to meet someone to talk about him having his own show. He agrees, Bobby smirks, pours wine and hopes Shari locks down that teenager's cell phone PRONTO.

We're meeting the Gilbrites, yay! And it's NAHM!! Okay, he's John Carrol Lynch, but he'll always be Nahm from Fargo to me. Yay! Anyway, they are creepy close, Nancy, the lady Gilbrite, talks about how she hypnotises him into not smelling gross things like tripe and his own shite by staring into his eyes and willing the change. Awkward laughing all around and much wine drinking whilst trying to avoid eye contact.

Wine
reblogged from fyeahmaggiesiff.tumblr.com

The Gilbrites have a luxury bathrobe company, which is apparently a thing, and they work together all day every day, which skeeves Chuck (and I) the eff oot. He asks them how they can do that and Chuck is starting to be like certain people I know that just can't interact in society properly, they have to pick everything apart and make everyone uncomfortable while they judge everything with their little hipster agendas and I'M SORRY, OKAY??

The Gilbrites wax poetic about their life of sharing everything; they commute, work, do everything and share everything together, including the 'final frontier' they have just passed: sharing the same password. Speaking of! Do Chuck and Wendy share passwords? Um. He has hers, but he has to reset every 9 months, and that totally wasn't NOT telling her and yeah. This will be a problem for the fake recusal. She is looking into other work, though, we'll see how much of a factor. We leave the Gilbrites with one last sentence about how they share responsibilities at work: he handles the hugs and she takes care of the kisses.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA *herk* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

Chuck and Wendy can't stop laughing about it at home, right up until she slaps him, hard, across the face then pushes him on the bed. He's 'CITED!

Slap

Not having quite so much "fun" just yet are Lara and Bobby; she wants to toughen up the kids and he thinks they'll get there when they need to. She thinks that what Bobby did was elementally good, but he thinks the trouble wasn't worth it, even if he said that in the video. She's mad and presses, and he kind of helps by saying he will support whatever she comes up with, just you know, not come up with anything himself. It's like when someone you get coffee for daily thinks they're helping you by getting their own coffee. You know, not getting YOU coffee, but getting their own, which is thisclose to having someone bring you coffee. I digress

A groggy Wendy wakes up next to handcuffs, whips and floggers

Waky waky
Used with permission from wendysrhoades.tumblr.com

Chuck cleared the alarm and left her a note with his new password. How much wine did they have last night?? I mean, the glasses were massive but looked only 1/8 full. Just then she gets a text from Chase; he has an idea!

Wendy Text

Chuck is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and let's Bryan know he is fully stepping out of the Axe Financial prosecution. While probing for the name of the confidential informant. He also wants to suggest a location to "rough up" this CI, he knows just the secure place! A smug-lipped eye staredown ensues.

Dr. Rhoades has Donnie in her office; where's he been? He has been MIA for weeks and she can sense how withdrawn he is now. He tries to play it off but she's probing herself.

Chase and Wendy are meeting for drinkies; he's done deep recon on her preferences (what's a Negroni? Am I gonna want to ask for stupid drinks after I finish watching this show?) and has found her the 'Shangri-La" of jobs: they analyse each other back and forth a bit and then what's the job? And he doesn't want a commission and come ON!!

Bryan is running the rough-up prescribed by Chuck, he thinks Donnie is Bojangling him and I don't think daily downloads and conversations are exactly ducking, but Bryan has Chuck's script to follow and off we go! Donnie quotes Stephen King's "Gunslinger" and admits his reluctance to sell Bobby out and LOSES it while Chuck watches from the closet.Oh. Bryan didn't know Chuck was planning to be there, wasn't that the whole eye-cuddling bit a couple of scenes ago?

Chuck is such an ahole. He compared Bryan to a donkey and then compliments him and dis role, I swear to Bob...

Wendy and Chuck lie to each other about what they were doing that evening, marriage is tough, y'all.

Lara has come up with a plan for toughening up the boys; they're going camping with the Westport Sound Rangers, yay! They barely look up from their iPads at first, until they realise their mom is serious. They're going, Bobby's backing her up! I would like to point out that if this sort of thing is introduced as punishment, this is where disgruntled rich kids who sometimes shoot their parents sometimes come from.

At Bobby's office, Shari has got the whole video and is sending it to Mike as they speak, yay Team Axe!

The junior members of Team Axe are having slightly less fun in the hinterland, having their cellphones confiscated, oooh except for the littlest one's. Do you think they'll have a chance to view the YouTube video of Bobby knocking Layner the eff oot?

400k hits on it already! And charges are all dropped, given that the hittee gave a tactit admittance of Driving Under the Influence. Former Chief Mueller departs with a massive clear envelope full of money while Bobby crows about MADD calling him a hero.

Less excited about the video is Chuck, who is waiting in his office for Bryan to come yell at him. That's not what Bryan wants, though, he wants out of the case. He doesn't want to work like this. Chuck invokes the aggregate view of the future; it's not about WHO did the thing, it's that the thing got DONE and I would ask Chuck to look at that view his own self.

Chuck goes into this long speech about how the playing field isn't level because Bobby is stacking the deck, but I couldn't really hear all of it over my laughter at this rich kid with a sliding sense of morality who uses another person's sexual assault as a weapon holding forth on a level playing field in regard to Bobby Up From The Streets Axelrod.

He is willing to "stare into the abyss beyond conventional morality to do what needs to be done" and REALLY? YOU DON'T SAY? I know this scenes are supposed to be meaningful and moving, but what they've got Giamatti doing is not reinforcing that, no matter how tense the music gets. It's so fcuking cheesy.

Later, at home, Bobby gets a text from wee kiddo, and since Lara is asleep, he doesn't wake her, just drives off into the dark to rescue his kids from nature while Bryan meets with Donnie (I think you'll be happy) and The Pixies scream about Debaser at us to take us oot.

So. What do you think, guys? It seems to me that it's a bit of a gussied-up fairytale, with each epiosde showing us a conundrum ol' Bobby will duck and weave his way out of; triumphant each time. We get to see how Wendy rolls and I was glad we got to see her in the office more but I am seriously feeling like I have too much Chuck in my face. So not realistic for me and I'm having problems not just stepping out mentally when he is on screen. Until next week, y'all!