Billions S1:E5 The Good Life Recap


We're back with our fave billionaire and his chubby, hirsute nemesis! Rolling into episode 5 of Billions now:

Bobby's out for a nice, relaxing bike ride (with no helmet); he's checking eggs on the Axe Hill Farm with a worker, like you do. He selects a few double-yolkers and puts them all in one basket. Which he then puts inside one other basket; do you think they're trying to tell us something? The other basket is on a different bike; he trades his slick red road bike for a beach cruiser classic, I approve, but it's gonna take him ages to get home.

Off he rides and Wags calls, he's ready any time for Bobby to just be kidding. Any.time. just say the word and he will call off this selling everything off business. SAY THE WORD, BOBBY!! Bobby hasn't changed his mind, though, he's done and he wants Wags to call everyone and give them the heads up about what's going on so they can make arrangements elsewhere. Wags is still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wags is a scumbag, have we covered that? Totes is. If I were Bobby and no longer any use to Wag's scumbag arse, I'd be worried.

Chuck and gang are rubbing each other's fuzzies over their potential leverage of "Dollar" Bill Stearn, and I'm telling you, this guy isn't flipping on ANYONE. Of that I am not uncertain. They're reviewing his life for weaknesses, and they think they have a connection with some cow-pooping? Chuck is not impressed, and stomps away, allowing Kate to utter a solid contender for best line with "you still keep  emergency deodorant in your office" and then a beautiful eye-neck-neck-chin-swivel in return to his "for you?" query. Bravo, lady. Slow clap

Bobby is making grandma's special recipe pancakes, in walks Ryan the chef who is wondering if he's out of a job. Not yet!! Bobby tells the family their new boat is coming early, yay! It'll be here Friday, and they're headed to the Galapagos Islands, Bobby wants to go next week. Lara is pissed, this is a busy time of year for her restaurant and I'm guessing Bobby didn't have the "I'm selling everything so my life means something and I don't bang Metallica's opening act" talk with her yet.

Typical affluent couple married fight; Dad wants to go on vacation right now, his schedule is open and everyone should just flow around him and bring him his three Philly cheesesteaks from Philadelphia because he once whispered he was thinking about one. Mom doesn't like what she does being considered frivolous and while Dad thinks he's being generous and helpful with all his suggestions, really, she thinks he's being controlling and not acknowledging the importance of her work. Happens all the time, I personally know one such couple IRL going through this right now. And plus Wendy and Chuck on Billions, of course.

My new favourite staffer in the U.S. Attorney's office is Dale Cristo (Frank Harts)

Plus look how cute he is!
Plus look how cute he is!

who called the U.S. Attorney "dude" and won my heart forever. Terri sets him straight and we switch to Bryan, who is arguing with his bank: he needs a guarantor for the new apartment he fell in love with. Kate overhears and offers to be that for him, he brushes it aside by saying he doesn't want her parents money and is EVERYONE in this office from serious wealth? Man. Gimme one bootstrapper! One!

Lara is bouncing on Bobby in the pool; guess they smoothed things over! I did not need to see Malin Ackerman's teeny bewbies, but I guess I saw Damian Lewis's wee python, so all's fair. She's squeaking so much that I expect her to start flailing around Showgirls-style, but they move it to a picnic blanket instead for a cuddle and chat. I said it on Vinyl and it bears repeating; acting while nekkid (or mostly nekkid) and simulating sex with a virtual stranger and trying to keep the wobbly bits covered while STILL remembering lines and emoting and trying to make other actual strangers (us) care about what they're saying and not just fixating on they teensy bewbies: it's gotta be hard, yo. Actors are artists.

Bobby wants to be Icarus, rising to the sun and Lara reminds him; that's a cautionary tale, not an inspirational anthem. She has to make arrangements for leaving the restaurant, so Bobby is planning to amuse himself by watching Citizen Kane, projected on the big screen, as God and Orson Welles intended. As also as insisted upon by young Elise of the ubiquitous Ratt cover last episode: she's in his head and I don't like that Lara leaves to make arrangements for that.

Back at the U.S. Attorney's office, they're brainstorming and Bryan and Terri are flirting subtly (they think) again. Absolutely nothing gets by Kate, if she wasn't a Trust Fund Baby, I'd love her even more.

Wags is just now breaking the news to everyone at Axe; looooots of back and forth, but he smiles a bunch while bantering thusly: Dollar: "I'm not feeling this strategy" Wags: *big smile* "Then it's a good thing your fcuking feelings aren't a priority".

Chuck asks Dale to find a woman named Martina Slovns; this is only for HIM. Cherche la femme, there's a good new staffer!

Bryan's found a way to place Dollar in Des Moines when the cow-pooping conversations were going down; those reward points: they'll getcha every time. The contact there is Clayton Grunwold and Bryan is off to find him and get that affidavit! Go Bryan, fetch!

Mike the reporter shows up, he has some hard-hitting questions about Axe Financial and its' rumoured shuttering, which is news to Chuck. He covers pretty well with the reporter, but immediately breaks loose and calls Wendy. He's the WORST liar and prober, how is this man in the position of authority that he is? She knows he's sniffing around about her work and only Wags walking into her office saves that conversation. It's worth noting that she lied to end the conversation, covering for both sides. She tells Chuck she has a session but doesn't say she loves him, so Wags doesn't know who she's talking to. Very interesting.

Wags and Wendy are worried, Bobby's bailed like this before, but never to the extent where he wants to tell their major investors to get ready to go as he is now. The traders (are they traders? I may be using the wrong terminology) can all sense that something is wrong, so Wendy suggests that Wags tell Bobby to address the workers personally; make it real for him

Kate has managed to confirm everything we know about Axe Financial. Bryan and Chuck are starting to become quite enamoured with her, but they're confused by Bobby's move. Is he really giving up? Bryan thinks maybe, but Chuck says "This is America, not France. People think Noblesse Oblige is a new entree at Olive Garden." and that, right there, is why rich people shouldn't be prosecutors. Snobby bastages

Chuck asks how solid the Iowa linkage is; Bryan thinks that's a lot of firepower for one farmer research scientist. Bryan finally brings up what we've all been thinking: maybe ol' Chuck should recuse himself from the case. Not try to strong-arm his wife out of her job, but take himself out of the case that has so many conflicts of interest for him: his dad, his wife, alla dat. Chuck will take it under advisement, which is essentially a giant FU, BRYAN.

Wags is at Bobby's house, asking him to make those chest-thumpy speeches himself to those big investors, including the New York Police Officer's Fund, which is a choker-upper.

Instead of making those calls, Bobby is taking his kiddos to the county fair, where Dale ineffectively lurks. Hall is there, pointing out Dale as a Fibbie, I thought he was supposed to be looking for that woman for Chuck? I'm confused.

Off to Iowa! Everyone came, apparently: Chuck, Bryan, Kate and Terri. Clayton (Hamilton Clancy, but we know him as CO Kowalski from OITNB!) and his wife Kelly (Eva Kaminski) admit right away that he gave Dollar the inside scoop. He had medical bills to pay for his daughter, and Chuck is pushing HARD to get the info about Dollar. Clayton signs the papers saying he gave Dollar the confidential results of the cow-pooping test a full 24 hours before anyone else; that's the big lever they hope to use on DollaDollaBill.

Chuck wasn't exactly clear with the Grunwalds as to the details of the deal he was Clayton WILL go to jail, just not for as long as he would have. That's what they got for first falling for Dollar and his "my dad was a farmer too" (really a shoe salesman in Philly) and then secondly for Chuck's "oh I love dogs and I'm a good person and you don't need a lawyer" bs.

Mike the Angry Reporter is lurking outside the U.S. Attorney's office, he scoops up Don King, who got traded when his case was needed by Chuck for leverage with the West Side office. Don King is really Lonnie (Malachi Weir) and he can sometimes tame that hurr: sorta


Mike knows that Lonnie has been looking for work elsewhere, as anyone would if they got a case they worked on for two years yanked for no good reason, and as such is a potential source for his attack column on the U.S. Attorney's office....Lonnie says he'll maybe talk a minute

Bryan and Kate are flirting at the bar ("Snapchat me"? this is a thing?), she asks where Terri is lurking. His hotel room? Or where? There's a bit of a buzz there between those two though...Terri shows up to herd Bryan to her room while Chuck looks up the sex club scene in Des Moines. Is it weird that I assumed he was having an extra-marital stress relief in the first sex scene of the show (first scene too, whew), and it didn't bother me, but now that I know Wendy, it totes does bother me that he's checking out the local Very Strange in Iowa? Ah who knows, maybe they have an open relashie, like Mo'Nique and her piece.

Bryan comes back to the car, confusing Kate, who was picturing him and Terri bouncing for longer than that. "Guess neither of you are cuddlers, huh?" and I was right, there is a strange undercurrent there. He's been thinking about her offer to co-sign on his lease, but he's concerned that she will be defecting to the other side soon, and that would make him beholden to the enemy. She says that's not her plan, she's aiming for POTUS, gonna model herself after Roosevelt (Teddy, not FDR) and back to the offer: it's not normal to offer that to a co-worker, especially one that you wanna bang.

Odd moment where she pretends to be flustered by his presence and eye cuddling, off she goes.

Kate flustered

Chuck calls Wendy, he tells her he's outside a club "again"; she asks if he wants to go inside, and then asks him to take her with him. Into his pocket goes the phone and into the club goes Chuck. All you can hear is bad EDM music and the rhythmic slapping of leather on flesh. Chuck finds a quiet corner to plug in his earpiece and they have  session where she dominates him over the phone while she plays with herself and now I need a shower. That should have been erotic.

The traders are joking around in the office; Dr. Wendy Rhoades BuzzKill comes in to talk them down. They have a food eating contest and really, these guys are so competitive that they just need some kind of outlet. Wags figures it'll be all Lord of the Flies up in there in a couple of days, so he's taking everyone to the strip club for body sushi, yay! Please tell me this is a really fancy strip club? With real sushi and sanitary practices? Let's just say I've been in a LOT of strip clubs and I wouldn't eat sushi at any of them, let alone off any of those ladies.

Dr. Rhoades finally decides it's time for a house call, and guess who's lurking outside to capture it all on film? My new fave Fibbie, Dale! He calls Chuck, who asks if maybe Lara is there too? Hoping that there is some kind of cover for his wife? And out Lara walks "not anymore." Wendy and Bobby are watching Citizen Kane, he can't finish the movie, although he's tried. Hmm. She asks him how long it will take to get back to work this time, last burnout was days and ended when the street got wise. He says it isn't like that this time; it's different.

Chuck is sweating bullets in his office on the line with Dale, his wife is allll part of the official record now. Chuck wants a wire and video on Bobby and I don't really get that: he's leaving. Bobby's stopping, so why can't Judgement let him go? Doesn't he have a metric tonne of guys to prosecute that are STILL very much in the game? Bryan again brings up recusal, and Chuck throws back a "and I think YOU should stop fcuking the help" and BAM, that's a Worry About Yourself for the adult set.

Bobby is waxing lyric about his new boat, they designed every inch of it blah blah Estonian ship yards blah but the crux is that he glimpsed a different life at the Metallica concert, and that is the problem I have with all of that... is the look(glimpse) had very much to do with Elise. Wendy tells him that we all have second selves. She would be a professional soccer player in an alternate universe, and somewhere a Maggie Siff FanNation lead's head just exploded. Bobby has been relying on Wags to do all his dirty work, but she presses him to do the changes himself, he owes it to himself and the people that trust him.

Chuck is having a very bad afternoon. A staffer comes in to tell him that Mike's story about him has dropped: it's not flattering, but also not unexpected. Mike's article is saying that Chuck is investigating Axe Financial but "hesitating on pulling the trigger because of family conflict" and it quotes a senior official as a source. Off goes staffer (I promise, I will figure out her name if we have more than one scene with her!). Chuck tries to call Wendy, she's still busy.

Bobby is doing the hard bits now, meeting with the head of the Police Pension Fund, who is NOT happy, but he tries to calm with stats about other companies. It's a test, though. Dude just wanted to see if Bobby still had that fire and interest in the market. That drive. That lighting up from within when he talks about it. Bobby lit up like a Christmas tree, yo, so buddy doesn't believe him for a second.

Chuck finally reaches Wendy. She's about to sneak into a Broadway show at intermission. She's all relaxed but, Chuck is NOT! He knows she isn't heading back to the office, and there is a very small window of opportunity, given the imminent departure of Bobby. Lookit how gorgeous this is??


Speaking of... Bobby is out on the water with an older gentleman, discussing being out of the game, and just as news of a massive market failure comes on the news; we cut to Axe Financial where everyone is staring at the news in disbelief. Good thing they were out of the market just then...

Around the corner comes Bobby (and I legit got shivers). That was the play all along. He smugs in his office while Wags genuflects in awe (and the rest of the employees barf up strip club body sushi - I TOLD YOUS!). Bobby was on the fence, though. He was thinking it was real for a minute...but he couldn't leave the game. He's 40s, honestly, though, what else is he gonna do? Shuffleboard?

Bobby Loves

Just then, there come the men (and women) in windbreakers, led by Terri, Bobby's nightmare, but they are just here for Dollar; who only says "lawyer. LAWYER.Lawyer" and I'm telling you, this guy ain't cracking, he ain't a lever, he's practically Mafioso level of hardcore.

And we oot! What did you think? Did you buy Bobby bailing out of the industry like that? I was wondering, you know, mid-life hits us all differently, and maybe the billionaire version looks like a new boat in the Galapagos instead of ill-advised postings on reddit, or a 20 year-old blonde named Angel. Somewhere around the middle of the episode I started wondering exactly how boring it was gonna be with Bobby off sipping pina coladas in the fun parts of the Pacific while Chuck and Wendy tried even harder to gross us out, so there's that. Let's just chalk this up to the man... the myth... the legend... of Bobby's financial acumen and street knowledge, and see what they can eke out of Dollar next week. Until then! Keep your spouse in your pocket and your hand in your pants.