Hi everyone; Billions double header this week since it's Spring Break and also because I took a couple of weeks off when my brains liquefied and started to trickle out my ears. Rolling S2:E6 Indian Four after the break.
Hey, has anyone else noticed that they've essentially cut ALL the sex out of this show? It's not that I need a golden shower as burn relief scene as in the very first episode, but we haven't seen Bobby's junk in quite some time and I want to know what's up! I can tell Damian Lewis and Maggie Siff have been working out, surely someone could flash a collarbone or something?
Let's see something nasty! Ish. I'm still super duper lame.
We open with Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis) watching Lawrence Boyd (Eric Bogosian - I believe I've made myself clear) fend off reporters on the way out of court; the silence before the storm is telling. Then LB's in the car, grateful for Bobby's presence and to get his watch back (Bobby held it for him coz it's probably hella expensive).
The U.S. Attorney's office of the Southern District has flipped one of the Big Cheeses already; Bobby suggests LB flip him back by FOLLOWING HALL'S ADVICE, LAWRENCE!! Bobby is giving you another chance, Larry
He's not gonna, he'll do everything Hall (Terry Kinney) suggests from now on and forever! Bobby wants to take down Chuck (Paul Giamatti) using Lawrence as a straw man, protecting his own righteous flanks. Lawrence was stupid enough to open himself up to Chuck's attack, so Bobby's using his carcass as a shield for battle. He's also checking Chuck's defenses. He orders LB to go take a sauna and leaves; Lawrence staring out in the ether trying to figure out when he started having to take orders from Bobby Fecking Axelrod.
I would like Bobby to go apologize to Lara right away, fanks. He was kind of an ahole last episode and you don't want to let that sort of thing fester.
Chuck's meeting with his friend and lawyer Ira (Ben Shenkman who has the most interesting nose) who is doing his best not to kill Chuck with legal fees, but...Yeah, Chuck could sell the house but he's trying to stay away from permanent decisions right now. Especially ones that his estranged wife Wendy (Maggie Siff) might not care enough about to argue. Ira gently reminds him that sometimes, things have finite timelines. Like marriages. Like owning that house. But never children, those don't come with an expiry, thank the wee small fishes.
Bobby sent Hall to freak Lawrence out at his sauna, that was the point of that order, which is what I suspected. Hall isn't happy having to explain things to LB twice; he better get on board fast. Hall's first direction is for Lawrence to set up a fund to pay off Michael Arendt (Jake Robards) so he'll stop cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office and start buttering his bread again and oh, remind Michael that Hall knows where his children are. Lawrence and I:
Hall says that anyone who could hurt a child would be dealing with a psychic load of hurt that nobody could ever get rid of. That's not an answer, Hall!!
Chuck wants jail time for Lawrence; he's going to court so everyone can know he can be a "stubborn motherf*cker." Chuck. Everyone who has watched a single minute of this show knows you are a stubborn motherhumper, there's really no need to illustrate further. Bryan (Toby Leonard Moore) is aghast; trying to sell this case to a jury who's for sure going to fall asleep halfway through an explanation of Treasury-bid rigging (I just nodded out there myself!) is career suicide. For him, that is, but there is a slim chance he could make it interesting and perhaps make his career instead. Good luck, Bryan! Chuck'll be rooting for you!
Watching the U.S. Attorney's staff going into negotiations is just like watching a fighter the ring, with a tetch less gangster rap. Kate (Condola Rashad) and Bryan lead while Chuck stays loose in the back and mentally prepares himself; he can't WAIT to see LB's face!
Well he's gonna have to; there are six expensive attorneys in the room, each one with better hair that the last, but alas: no Boyd. Chuck is flabbergasted, but recovers enough to walk out.
Bryan's confused but Chuck knows exactly what that phalanx of high priced help meant: they've lost Arendt. That abbreviated meeting did one thing for Team U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District: it got Bryan fired up about a jury trial. Go gettim, Tiger!
Bobby and Wags (David Costabile) are meeting with the guy Bobby greased to get the casino information; there's a slight timing problem.
Side note: riddle me this, Billions Intern Placement Department; why is there an IMDb listing for a "Server", but not a recurrent character with a story arc, lines and a dry aging closet full of Kobe beef?? HMMMM?
We're gonna call the casino fixer Joey The Nose for no other reason than he looks like one. Joey the Nose is concerned because one of the properties marked for death by the casino isn't owned yet. Someone doesn't want to sell. It's either two years or Bobby has a talk with the guy; at least Bobby remembers what it's like to be the little guy, maybe he won't closeline the dude.
Wendy's stopped by the brownstone to thank Chuck for sticking up for her and taking responsibility for the separation; that meant a lot to her. The fact that they aren't actively at war makes a big difference in how the kids are settling. This leads into a bottle of wine (the Wolfer! Sounds fancy) and a shared supper with the kids. These guys are so not getting divorced.
There's a SUPER unrealistic moment during cleanup
While I think about the eight thousand and one different things I would rather do than share a bottle of wine with an ex while perching right next to the sink so they can accidentally almost kiss me. Maybe eight thousand and two, I just remembered lye.
Wendy leaves as Chuck takes another call from Ira. She actually goes to see Ira, who has moved Taiga (Comfort Clinton) into his pad, whut? What can Wendy want from Ira? And you don't move the Sugar Baby in, Ira, you get them an apartment so you don't have to listen to them talk.
Wendy's sussed that things aren't as okay as Chuck's been saying; she wants the truth from Ira. He gives it to her straight; Chuck's getting crushed and he needs her now more than ever. Yeah, odd how an impending divorce combined with problems at work so frequently metastasize together. Almost as though there was an underlying issue or person making unfortunate choices involved. But no, that's just a reason for Wendy to get in there and help Chuck again, right? I'll be so mad if she ignores the huge breach of legal and person trust he committed by accessing her client files for information about Bobby. He should be in jail.
Wendy and Bobby are meeting again; this time at a skate park and before we know it, we're into the showdown we've been waiting for since Wendy hauled out her boxes lo those many months ago. She'll come back to Axe Capital for a variety of reasons but we all know it is this: to rid Chuck of those lawsuits that are vexing him so sorely. Bobby agrees too quickly and things take a turn for the worse: Wendy realises that Bobby filed those lawsuits exactly so that she would come to him with just such a deal. She's furious, but still willing to indenture herself for her poor widdle put-upon ex-hubs, I mean. She'll still come play, but she will not be doing any sessions for Bobby, her office is off limits to him.
I seriously held my breath during their showdown at the end, these two are just so GOOD together! The screen crackled and everything! It elevates what would otherwise be a boring two-step maneuver of a plot device.
Bobby feels so good about having Dr. Wendy back on staff that he even calls Lara (Malin Ackerman) to apologize profusely for treating her like an annoying ill-prepared minor underling. Just kidding, he tells her to make arrangements for the chopper, he's taking her out for supper.
Hmmmm, Chuck Sr.'s (Jeffery DeMunn) spy has paid off in spades; his investigator has found out about Bobby's interest in Sandicott, which means the casino deal is about to get a whole lot more complicated and expensive for FunBobs.
Lara (who looks fanTASTIC by the way) can't believe Bobby's flown her out somewhere fancy to talk about Wendy Rhoades; we thought he was going to apologize!
So he lies to her and tells her he's only thinking about bringing Wendy back; she smells that immediately. He caps the night off with taking a call from Iceland right after, I do not like how this is playing out Chez Axelrod and neither does Lara.
Iceland really means Hall, who's up checking on the casino sitch in Sandicott. He thinks there might be hope, but Bobby's distracted by the sound of his helicopter flying away without him. Lara MAD. And still angry the next morning; Bobby's forgotten who he's dealing with because he's always taken her compliance for granted. #TeamFunBobs, right?
Now we see Old Money at play, with Chuck Sr. making his move against the Sandicott casino. One ask confirms what he's looking at, another leads us to a possible change in venue for the gaming license.
We have a signing party in the boardroom and that's it, Wendy's back on payroll! She looks great in black, all bejeweled again and the air is sizzling between them.
You know there is that person you shouldn't talk to because it's like throwing gasoline on a fire but you can't help yourself sometimes because it's like touching a live wire? And then you regret it because it's like touching a live wire? Their scenes are those!
We watched Lara pour herself a very expensive cup of coffee earlier with a fancy drip machine and fluted cream whatsits and the like; now we get to watch Lonnie Watkins (Malachi Weir) slop some government drip in his mug while the furies descend in the form of Oliver Dake (Christopher Denham). Their meeting will be TODAY!! Bring extra doughnuts!
Bryan is mad at Chuck for making him try this impossible, boring lawsuit against Lawrence Boyd and Spartan Ives, so Chuck tries to make amends with the tale of Why I Hired You Before You Disappointed Me.
I can't be the only one who inwardly groaned when Chuck moved to close the office door; knowing it meant another long-winded sermon from the mount from our resident blowhard, right?
Chuck hired Bryan because his outsider status made him a Fury that served him and Chuck well until it turned around and pointed itself at Chuck. Blah blah something don't do that Bryan blah.
Lonnie's waiting when Chuck gets back to his office; his number is up. Sorry, Chuck, it's been sweet. There's a nice moment between them and Chuck's face after reminded me that it's a tough life looking like Homer Simpson. I bet an over-long speech or two a day helps.
Bobby's meeting with Hank Flagg who looks and sounds a lot like...Bobby. He likes classic rock, grey t-shirts and fixing his own motorcycles, including an Indian 4, which makes Bobby run and drool in short order. Hank's also super private, let's go in the house to negotiate over definitely-not-a-craft-brew. .
Hank's not stupid; he put two and two together and came up with 7 million, that's what would make him happy. Bobby won't have happiness on the table, he offers 5 million PLUS the Indian 4.
Jury trial time! It's really that fast? Really? Bryan and Kate wait while Lawrence's chorus line of lawyers files in. Bryan looks at the jury up for selection; we don't see any city slickers up in that box. But he isn't from the city OR wealth, so he's got a couple of ideas up his sleeve.
Wags watches as Bryan gets one juror he knows will tip on his side, the other side uses TWO challenges getting rid of the anti-wealth-er, whom Lawrence's attorney calls his "paradigm juror." Ouch
Bryan's exaggerating his blue collar accent (not bad for an Aussie!) for the benefit of the other potential jurors; he's clearly trying to frame this trial as one against Wealth. Bryan knows what he's doing; he's forcing the Defense to use all their challenges up early and looks like they have.
Lawrence knows this jury wants to use his wobblies for target practice; he panics and scrambles for a deal. Getta deal, expensive lawyer who's name we apparently will never know!
Lawrence explains: he used to be a stone-cold thief back in the day when Gimbels and slack loss-prevention techniques existed, now he's facing federal prison and he doesn't have the stomach for the game any more.
Lawrence: you've had exactly five minutes of trial time, suck it up and let your lawyer do his job! HOW did this guy get to where he is if he's that squeamish??
Bryan is very happy with the offer Lawrence's mouthpiece offers: 60 million dollar fine, 5 years probation and an admission of guilt. Guess who isn't going to accept any offer at all? No, GUESS??!! First we getta ChuckSpeech about the sanctity of the Treasury office and then that's it: no deal. Chuck walks out while Handsome Attorney Number One screams profanities.
Lonnie and Oliver have been going over Lonnie's testimony, Oliver is not happy. He will have Lonnie disbarred for lying, don't think he won't!
The Attorney General is on the phone; guess what she thinks of Chuck's trial plan? We get a lovely verbal dance with dips and swirls and roundabouts (sorry, I haven't danced in awhile) and we're to it: Chuck will not take a deal unless the AG agrees to never again threaten his job or stick her nose into the Southern District.
He gets BOTH of his deals.
Somebody should tell Oliver because he's practically foaming at the mouth.
And someone does exactly that, just as Oliver has Lonnie on the ropes, about to go down for the count and it's all over! Chuck Rhoades Jr. does it again, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Much like Bobby earlier trumped up his lawsuits against Chuck to "encourage" Wendy back into the fold, Chuck was able to find just the right lawsuit to ensure his own position. Yay frivolous lawsuits as leverage for the win!
Bobby gets the bad news while driving back from Sandicott as Oliver says goodbye to Chuck and the investigation. Oliver takes a minute to remind Chuck: he had him. He took the same oath that Chuck; he just doesn't use his position to benefit himself over others and that's the difference between the two. Oliver also likes to monologue in strange fashion, but he doesn't think first of himself, so today he will not be stringing up Chuck, who took down Lawrence Boyd and is now Elvis in the eyes of many. (Maybe many who don't actually know who Elvis was, maybe those many). Just "don't get fcking comfortable."
Wags and Bobby celebrate back at the office, which means that they haven't gotten the whiff of Chuck Sr. yet.
Orrin (Glenn Fleschler) calls Bryan to congratulate him; that brings him closer to his goal, doesn't it? Bryan is confused; which goal does Orrin mean? Maybe think about that for the next couple of weeks, Bryan. Orrin oot.
Bobby gets home to FINALLY apologize to Lara, who is adamant that she will not accept any kind of future that includes Wendy, he makes me awwww man when he lies to her again and suggests that he will compromise and not see Wendy personally. Because of course Wendy has already forced him to agree to that. That hurts my heart; those tiny fucking stupid lies are exactly what kill trust and a relationship. He's been lying to her since Wendy texted and he didn't tell her, what can that mean for them? Nothing good. The room there is all tinged blue and they are too.
Some poolside sex later, the kids send them scrambling for clothes as they find the motorcycle in the garage.
Chuck Jr. is having drinks at the club with Ira and his dad; poor Chuckles, perpetually surrounded by betrayal. He's confused when he hears that Bobby is dropping the lawsuit, he knows something is up.
Bobby is enjoying his new 5 million dollar motorcycle when Hall calls; the deal for Sandicott is over. Axe can't even bring himself to use words.
Chuck went right over to see Wendy; he's furious with her about using his situation to bring herself back to Axe Capital where she so obviously longed to be. He even calls it a deal breaker and walks off into the night. Huh. Holy shite. We're out.
Billions likes to run Chuck and Bobby in parallel and here we see that both got exactly what they wanted and in the end: it meant nothing. Yes, Chuck nailed Lawrence and saved his job, but he also betrayed the sanctity of his position to do so. Bobby talked his way into the plot of land he wanted, now he has a really expensive motorcycle and some useless land upstate. He made up with his spouse, but he's building their relationship on a false foundation, so it doesn't matter either. It will come down.
Speaking of false foundation; lookit Wendy over in the corner, yearning so much for Axe Capital that she's almost blue. The lawsuits gave her a way back to getting in where she fit in; who do you think was happier about that? Her or Bobby? She's still got her sanctimony to keep her warm, let's see how long that lasts. I wonder what's going to happen back at the office; gasoline plus fire is hard to keep contained.
ALSO: I think bullshit moves like going behind someone's back to "help" them is manipulative at best and straight up controlling at base. Wendy lightening Chuck's load and Bobby softening the blow for Lara: come on. Lie to yourself, but don't expect anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex to buy that shite. I think there is far too much talking and not nearly enough doing in this world.
Until next time, you guys! Cheers