Billions S1:E8 Boasts and Rails

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We’re back with Billions and our profane richies being chased by their flawed lawmen, who’ll set us a dilemma that Bobby can easily handle this week?

We last saw Donnie handing over some incriminating-sounding tapes to Bryan, let’s see if they’re able to spring the trap sooner than expected.

It would seem that Bryan was NOT happy with the tapes, given that Donnie and boyfriend are rudely awakened by the police in the middle of the night. Donnie tries to hide meds (??) and sends boytoy off to look after the kiddos.

Donnie has handed over the internal audit on Kemlot, which proves to Donnie that Bobby went against conventional wisdom AND the numbers to bet on it, but is not exactly the smoking gun that Bryan wants or needs. He does make a fun-looking bumcheck motion that would make a great gif, sigh, but it boils down to this: Donnie has one week to put Bobby trading on not-publicly available knowledge or he’s going to jail.

Aha. The janitor at the U.S. Attorney’s office is watching them walk Donnie around and that’s exactly why they usually meet confidential informants in secret places, right? To keep things confidential? I guess they were just trying to impress upon Donnie just how serious things were, but I bet they just blew their lead.

Chuck is at the circus with his kiddo, who mostly wants an autograph from Mark Teixiera, sure let’s go get one! I’m gonna assume baseball player, because he’s not tall enough to be a basketball player and he doesn’t have that lingering stink of failure from The Knicks. They roll up, but Mark’s talking to…Bobby. Bobby sizes up the situation immediately and asks his buddy Mark to talk to Chuck’s spawn: he knows his mom and dad. Chuck comes over too, to thank Bobby, who says “never women and children, right?” That’s when Wendy shows up, she picks up the weeeirrd vibe immediately. They scoot and Bobby gets a call from Hall; that was indeed his janitor, let’s see if he knew who he saw?

Back at Chez Rhoades, more negotiations. Wendy tells Chuck about seeing Chase the headhunter, but says the numbers don’t add up and they wouldn’t be able to keep living as they are living. This conversation brings up a few points for me, if I may?

  1. It sounded as though the numbers very much did add up, whut?
  2. Chuck makes $185k a YEAR as a U.S. Attorney? That seems like a lot
  3. The private school that Chuck Jr. and Sr. and now Kevin go to costs $70k a year per kiddo?? That is INSANE!

All of that tells me that Chuck is not willing to change anything; he may have his trust fund deferred, but he’s still very much a trust fund baby if he thinks at paying $70k a year for schooling is a basic necessity.

Kate is at some kind of a art fundraiser, meeting a friend who says it’s crucial that she be there: Kate has to meet her boss, who has an un-redacted chapter of June’s book. You remember June, right? The spouse of a partner who died in 9/11, she wrote a memoir wherein highly inflammatory chapter 10 was cut and she bounced on this old dewd here? Albus is his name and he’s just the kind of “erudite gentleman” Kate loves to learn from.

Bryan, Terri, Dale and Kate are all going over the manuscript when Chuck walks in; why are they texting him about Axelrod stuff that he’s pretending to not be involved with? And we find out what was in the chapter: June said that the reason Bobby didn’t die with everyone else in the towers is that he was at a lawyer’s office going over his severance package. He was being fired for being just a little too close to the line, a little teensy bit illegal. And after all the dust settled, whispers began, but Bobby all of a sudden had a LOT of money.

Chuck storms out saying he can’t be involved and don’t even THINK about asking him to leak it! Kate asks the crew if that means they’re supposed to leak it, but Dale asks how could it? Chuck was never there.

On another note, this is all speculation and hearsay; June’s signed a non-disclosure agreement, so who cares?

Bryan’s had enough of trying to figure it out on his own, he asks Chuck point blank if he wants it leaked, and to whom? Apparently, there’s just one fcuking reporter in New York, Mike DiMonda, so he it is! I mean.

Bobby gets an envelope of doom from his admin, he tucks it into his pocket while scoffing and telling Wags about the informant. Wags can’t believe Bobby sat on this for half a day and a genuinely funny exchange happens “What should I have done?” “Fire everyone, right now, including me” “Wags, if it’s you, you got me.”

He is gonna fire someone, though, who’s the lucky guy?? / Woman?? He charges out into the office, yelling at everyone to drop their phones and ends up grilling another guy who’s been calling his sweet, sweet, chesty ex-gf from high school while Donnie watches and the FBI listens. He wants to know who the fcuking quisling is and I want to know WHAT a quisling is, but I don’t guess we’re going to know today. I’m wrong, Donnie knew what it meant: turncoat.

Bryan is asking Kate out to dinner, either as a boss taking out an employee as a high five or something else…but she’s going out with her parents and invites him along, which is even WEIRDER and just then Terri pops in to tell Bryan that the Axe wire is humming and their guy is in trouble. Terri gives Kate a long look over her shoulder on leaving, so she’s very much aware of this budding romance under her nose. I gotta say, Terri seems to be one of those women who pretend that they’re just sportfcuking and instead get very attached, very quickly. I’m a big fan of both, just not at the same time: it’s disingenuous to you, the guy and whoever else they end up dating because they think you’re not into “relationships.”

Bryan and Chuck have lunch and discuss the case that Chuck is completely not involved in, Chuck tells Bryan he’s gonna have to produce a mole for Bobby, because now that Bobby knows there is one..he isn’t gonna stop until he gets his mitts on him / her. Bryan thinks that’s beyond the pale, dropping some poor schmuck into it to save their investigation, but Chuck just thinks it’s another one of those broken eggs in the Axe Financial omelet.

Over at Lara’s restaurant, they’re celebrating that Lu has a Michelin star! Wow, she’s young for that. One of the staff (who may be family, I dunno) tells Lara that he’s seen a agents hanging around in the bushes and by the farm. She asks if everyone is legal and he asks her to not make him lie to her, so Imma take that as a giant NO.

Bobby and Wags are working with their IT guy to find out who’s been acting shady since Bobby’s Captain Queeg’s impersonation, results range between emails comparing Bobby to a creepy alien Magi (“you’re reading this right now, aren’t you??”)and the erasure and overwriting of three separate hard drives. The drives belong to The Pouch, Channing Feldt (that’s a name?) and our rat: Donnie Caan. If I were Bobby, I’d fire them all. There’s no reason for that except for nefarious shenanigans. Well. Unsanctioned nefarious shenanigans.

Chuck is meeting personally with the sole reporter in New York, that Mike DiMonda must be EXHAUSTED (or Showtime’s budget must be), lots of banter back and forth but I think the point of this meeting is that Mike shows Chuck a bunch of stuff about food, in direct contrast to how condescending Chuck was to Bryan about his Korean food choices.

Ah, so Bryan did decide to meet Kate and her parents for supper and they’ve heard all about him. Some verbal fisticuffs ensue, with Kate’s dad calling Bryan a hypocrite re: his holier than thou leanings when he knows all about the manuscript about to be leaked. Bryan is not happy Kate shared that with her dad, but she tells him everything, most importantly because, with the career of public life she has planned (POTUS), she wanted to know if she should even come anywhere near it, given the ethical problems with releasing it. NO I COULDN’T GET ANY MORE WORDS IN THAT SENTENCE AND I TRIED!!

Line of the night, from Frank, Kate’s father, who is taking Bryan to task for releasing the book chapter: “Inevitability is a problematic moral justification for anything.” Let’s just bask in that for a minute.

Bryan counters that he has “responsibilities beyond niceties” and that’s okay, but Frank isn’t buying what he’s selling. There’s something so reassuring about someone who refuses to change his mind, even if I don’t agree with him. Bryan is so wishy-washy, though, so malleable to Chuck’s manipulation. That is not Frank. He refers to the creeping erosion of principle and it seems to twig something in Bryan.

Lara and Bobby are celebrating Lu’s Michelin star, but her heart isn’t in it. She had to let Marta and her family go from the restaurant, their papers were forged. That guy from earlier is Tito and he thought the agents hanging around with Immigration, ahhhh. I bet Bobby knows better. Still a good idea to get all your documentation ducks in a row, though, once the feds latch on, they’ll use anything to stay attached.

Bobby tells her it’s the FBI and that they’re here too; she’s pissed because he hasn’t shared that information before now and we get more marital fighting along the lines of “you should have told me!” “you should have known!” yaaaayyy.

Chuck is trying out a new ergonomic exercise ball as chair as Bryan comes in; he can’t do it. He can’t frame an innocent man, it’s an erosion of principle. Chuck about loses it that this salad-eating high-school-looking cheese eater won’t sacrifice a little lamb so that Chuck, I mean, the U.S. Attorney’s office, can get their man, but Bryan looks very confident leaving, what with all that high moral ground unencumbered by reality and such.

Chuck calls Adam DeGuilio from the AG’s office; he wants a breakfast meeting.

Two young traders are discussing the Panic Room Bobby is having built when Donnie walks by; Wags grabs him and tells him Bobby wants to see him in the conference room, stat.

Also in the conference room are Butch and presumably Channing Feldt. Donnie gets sick and the meeting is called for the evening. Bryan gets an emergency text and hey! Hall’s having each of these guys tailed! Let’s get this settled.

Chuck watches Bryan leave and slimes into T’s office (Tijuana Ricks) to clear her slate and go over her CV. I think he’s about to give up on Bryan.

Bryan, on the other hand, is smart enough to pick up the tail on Donnie, so we’ll be dragging this out a little bit longer yet.

Chuck is playing racquetball with Ira, who kicks his arse, due to working on his Boasts and Rails with a pro. I’m trying to imagine ever hiring a pro to teach me something so I can beat a friend at a game and…I’m drawing a blank. Would you do that?

They’re visiting in the sauna after, and the reason for the accelerated racquetball schedule comes up after a bit; Chuck wants to test the private waters. But not just ANY private firm, he wants the best Supreme Court Litigators: Horvath. I can’t read that and not think of Girls; I hope he goes in there saying “what’s up, HOR-vath” awwww.

Bryan has found a safe space and now Donnie wants to go over who the other candidates for sacrifice; Butch is called The Pouch because he has no balls, ah I see. Speaking of no balls, Donnie didn’t realise he has to testify in open court AT Bobby and I am suddenly worried about Donnie’s state of mind. He’s getting backed into a small dark corner.

Chuck and Adam are having their breakfast meeting; lots of veiled references to movement and then Chuck finally gets to the point: he’s moving Bryan Connerty off Axe Financial and clean as a baby fawn (and presumably more manipulable) T is moving on over. Adam and the Attorney General signed off on Bryan, though, and they don’t like the bait and switch on their high profile case. Chuck pushes back and Adam gets in the final shove: it moves from Bryan, it moves for good to the Eastern District. And he and his star wars water are oot.

Bobby asks Dr. Rhoades to sit in with him and Donnie, he wants her read on what’s going on. And as we figure out pretty fast, Bobby wants her to be his lie detector. Isn’t that kind of her JOB? She storms out, refusing the legitimize this BS and whatever, yo.

Bobby runs the sessions on his own, tripping up Donnie quite firmly on Rubinex, so we’ll see.

Meanwhile, Chuck is meeting with HOR-vath, who tell him that he would make $185k in a WEEK and Jeebus wept. In exchange, they want his expertise, prestige and knowledge. He could have anything he wants, all he has to do is say yes.

Hall gives Bobbie the lowdown on his mole, saying that he shouldn’t be surprised, in time, everyone he knows will turn against him. I dunno, I bet Bryan went and gave them Channing instead, wanna bet 5 bucks?

Mike DiMonda is at Bobby’s gate; he gives us the whole rundown on what happened at 9/11 and how Bobby was able to profit from all of that. When the first plane hit, he was sitting far away with his lawyer and had the presence of mind to call a broker to immediately short stocks on aviation, US hotels and other associated industries that were decimated by the attacks. As the second plane hit and Lara’s brother ran into the building, he was smiling, having amassed a fortune in a very short while. When the rubble cleared, he was the sole partner left standing and so renamed it Axe Financial and all became his. How did June know all that?

You know who else knew all that? Lara. Her sister is upset, but Lara says they didn’t even know their brother, but neither I or Lu think that’s the point. War profiteering is a long-standing tradition, but for Bobby to admit it?

He makes it into the office, everyone is at him immediately in his office; they’ll sue for defamation! They’ll write a book! There will be denials issued! But Bobby says no, it’s all true. It’s before they knew it was terrorism, he just saw a way to make 750 million dollaroonies in one day and he took it. That’s what’s going to be the problem, though, the presence of mind is making him look like a psychopath.

I was wrong, the SEC sold The Pouch out instead, I thought they’d go with Channing because we didn’t know him. He’s gone and Donnie is safe.

Bobby is working in the under-construction panic room, where Wendy finds him hiding. I have always been a big fan of Wendy on this show, but I found her distaste at being there to help him find a mole specious at best. I wouldn’t want to talk to her either.

Bryan tells Chuck at the riverside about the ritual sacrifice of Butch The Pouch, he doesn’t know how to wash the stink off. Chuck’s gonna help him with that.

Bobby is at Bruno’s getting pizza and a whole lot of attitude from other patrons, but Bruno is also solid and Bobby just needed to touch base, know that not everyone from before hates him.

Chuck and Bryan are getting drunk and talking about why Butch doesn’t matter; Chuck turned down that job because he was able to convince Bryan to screw over The Pouch for them to get Bobby. Bryan is all integrity and this move hurt him, but Chuck has three different reasons why they shouldn’t feel bad about Butch. There’s a Nazi haberdasher reference that gets a little…complicated, but their favourite is number 2 so they drink to Fcuk The Pouch!

Chuck is tipsy and explaining his turning down the HOR-vath (sorry, I’m 12) job, she knew he wasn’t going to take it. Chuck is starting to understand that the lines are all blurry and maybe he’s the Nazi haberdasher? And not Bobby? Drunken staredown with Wendy, he is super duper jealous of her realshie with Bobby and how is this going to work anyway?

Out in the woods again, Donnie is meeting…Bobby. This whole thing was a setup so Chuck would accept Donnie as legit and huh. Sure. We oot.