We're back with Billions in New York with all the pomposity and bombast we can take! And sometimes a little more. Rolling S3:E03 A Generation Too Late after the break.
You remember Ira (Ben Shenkman), right? Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti)'s best friend until Chuck destroyed his entire life financially by tanking the product Ira had sunk all his money into. Chuck used Ira's IPO as bait for his arch-nemesis Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis), who bit HARD. Bobby bit so hard he's still picking his teeth up off the floor, under indictment and not legally allowed to trade in his own firm.
Did I mention that Ira was representing Chuck in his divorce almost for free at that time? And Chuck's supposed to be The Good Guy.
So we open with Ira and his very young girlfriend Taiga (Comfort Clinton) in a swank restaurant, he knows he can't afford a sugarbaby any more, right? She might not know how dire his financial straits are, ordering $14/gram truffles on her pasta like it's no biggie.
Really? They're not weighing it as they grate the truffle over her plate, they really charge by the gram? And you're gonna sweat some truffles when your sugarbaby thinks she's getting the golden ticket, Ira?
SHE GOT 20 GRAMS OF THOSE STUPID TRUFFLES.
I didn't know who was more anxious, Ira or me. Oh and we're not done. Ira stumbles through the most painful marriage proposal ever, detailing his reduced circumstances and ending with a almost-plea...does she still want to go through with it?
Because what he's asking is if she loves him. Then she settles back into her $400 plate of pasta, listening to the tick-tock of Ira's time running out. I can't believe how mad I got when I realised she knew he was broke and STILL got $300 USD worth while he had none coz he's flat busted.
At another table, Preppy Security (Brian Wiles) and Young Josh Brolin Security (Tom Lipinski) listen carefully to Ira's humiliation.
Bobby and estranged wife Lara (Malin Akerman) have filed divorce papers, it could be only four months until everything goes through. Or 17 months and counting, one of those. Lara never thought she'd be signing those papers, Bobby reminds her that nobody does.
A quick chat about assets: Bobby warns her that there might only be a paltry 300 million leftover if the government wins.
ONLY 300 MILLION.
SOMEBODY GET GOOP ON THE PHONE SO SHE CAN HELICOPTER A PACKAGE OF SWAN-FEATHER TISSUES FOR LARA TO CRY ON.
Lara says it's not enough, okay, it's enough but really, not enough. Bobby agrees. You see how it's just impossible to really pick a team here on Billions?
Bobby's gonna shore up their tiny nest egg with some new maneuvers, he's got some ideas!
Bobby's new plan is gambling on horse races! No, really! But he'd like to manage the police retirement fund first, which brings us to Raul Gomez (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) who can't give Axe his 2.2 billion. He just can't.
Awkward morning Chez Rhoades, Wendy (Maggie Siff) has arranged for Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey Demunn) to come see his grandkids, but Jr. puts the kibosh on. It's coz he doesn't want Wendy knowing that he knows she banged pseudo-Elon-Musk while they were separated and since it was Sr. who told him, he doesn't want Sr. anywhere near Wendy.
I hate them as a couple. HATE. They're so ill-matched.
The Hedgies at AXE Cap nervously watch Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) talk to some bro they all think is a computer expert, this is how it ends! Quanting! The computers win! It's Terminator 1 all over again! *that was me* Mafee (Dan Soder) and Everett (Keith Eric Chapelle) are particularly concerned, "Dollar" Bill Stearn (Kelly AuCoin) re-motivates.
Taylor's making an analyst assemble a cardboard box, sure! That's part of the interview.
Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) and his giant hamburger are making me hungry, but Wags thinks Chef Ryan (Timothy Davis) needs to keep working on it. He says that in a much more Wags-way, swearing and chest bumping, you know what I mean, so Bobby's all "whatup, bruh? Lay off my cook, chiweenie!" Wags is worried about losing everything too and in particular, the Quants are on his mind.
I guess using Quants is like using statistics, hence the reference to computer analysis above. Bobby boxes Wags' ears and sends him to apologize to the chef and support Taylor however they need.
Oooh Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) is on Ira now! And Ira is cooperating because he wants to file a civil suit? Go Ira! Where does Bobby come in? Oh my bad, Ira is filing a civil suit against BOBBY, not Chuck.
Chuck gets to work to find his boss Texan Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) waiting for him, already ready with a story about hurting animals. It's as though Chuck can see himself 20 years in the future with an anti-SPCA bent, yodeling out hyperbole by the steaming basket to people who can't not listen.
Oh sorry, this time he's talking about killing people, not animals, whew. He thinks Chuck should be murdering people instead of bringing them in? He also thinks outhouses help people grow character so he's clearly never seen Sleepaway Camp.
Jock summoned Chuck to his office to kiss his ring and to also tell him which cases he'll be prosecuting, including one of a guy who shanked a guard.
Can Chuck look forward to seeing Jock again soon?
You can't not love Clancy Brown.
Wags is making his move with Taylor, can't they drop Quant already? It's just another word for "wild f*cking guess. With math." Taylor disagrees.
Dude putting together the box can't put together the box, time to move to the verbal round! Quant 1 (Adam Green) gives his blah blah about modeling on Taylor, Wags sums it up.
Bobby makes his move on Ira, sure civil suit blah blah, but what about the sugarbaby, Ira? What about Taiga? Ira is not interested, and nobody can put hot dogs up their bums lengthwise, come on! Wait. Maybe?
Mafee's in therapy with Wendy and it's going really well, except for the part where he talks about her bum for a solid minute. Ben Kim (Daniel K. Issac) bursts in, he should have listened to his mom and learned to code! Everyone at AXE Cap is on edge.
So the person Jock wants Chuck to come down hard on is a kid named Jose Lugo. Bryan gives Chuck and Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) the 411. Yes, Jose shanked a guard, but that guard put him in Medical a dozen times with some serious injuries and the kid wasn't even convicted yet. Bryan considers Mr. Lugo exactly the type of kid they're there to protect. Bryan begs Chuck not to prosecute, but we all know Chuck's ambition is bigger than his sense of self-righteousness.
What the HELL is up with Kate Sacker not even getting one bloody line? She was a major player last season, now she might as well be an especially attractive piece of office furniture.
Fibbie SugarPop Terri McCue (Susan Misener) and Bryan are onto a couple of Bobby's OGs from the neighbourhood, they set up one of the Ice Juice pukers. The Burke brothers Terry (Michael Stoyanov) and Johnny (Kevin Breznahan) aren't giving Bobby up, the Fibbies and Bryan are wasting their time. They take umbrage at Bryan's characterization of their bar as a "pisshole."
I don't know why, that was just hilarious to me. I love his face. Anyway, yadda yadda yadda penis-measuring fighty words then they're out.
Bobby's meeting with Michael Pane (Hari Dhillon) again, who thinks he can maaaayyybe live on $40 million dollars.
I'm moving to a caravan in Wales in a town called PaddingtonBear to find Brendan Coyle. You'll see what I mean.
Michael will do anything for another chance:
Mafee works up his nerve to approach Taylor, what's the deal with the Quants? Are they and Mafee good?
ARE YOU?? Let's not forget that Taylor was Mafee's intern approximately 6 weeks ago!
Quant 2 (Will Roland) is a petulant, spoiled shite with emotional issues, he's gone too. We all gasped when he called Taylor "she", didn't we? That's the thing: you can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can't control yourself, you've got nothing to offer.
That was way harsh, Tai. My bad.
Chuck's doing something about the Lugo case, visiting Warden Glynnis Robinson (Jade Wu) to twist her arm to...help the kid! Yay! He's got a plan involving Randy Kornbluth (Brian Berrebbi), the only reporter in New York, which seems...rushy. Warden Robinson calls Randy and gives him the inside skinny, getting that side out there but she doesn't have to testify.
Bobby and Raul are playing pool in Bobby's sweet bachelor pad, Chef Ryan brings out his latest attempt at the special Killer Mike Burger, which brings Raul right back to that time when he gave Bobby half a billion dollars...ah sweet coincidence.
Raul knows all about Michael Pane and his slick hairdo, he doesn't want to give him his money, even with Bobby's "great anchoring technique." Bobby assures Raul that there is no linkage between him and Michael (was that really the word he wanted there?), but that Michael will (telepathically?) follow his every direction.
Oh hey, here's Michael to discuss! Jaysus.
Guess who else has bowed to Bobby's dirty devious dealings? Hey Ira! What's the proposal? Bobby offers 30 million if Ira sells Chuck out and doesn't testify against Bobby.
Seriously, Ira, Taiga is pretty and probably an amazing conversationalist but she refused to marry you and ordered $300 worth of truffles when she knew you were broke as a joke. You can't think 30 million would be enough for her, listen to Lara and Michael Pane, they're practically begging on street corners with their 300 and 40 million dollars!!
To sweeten the deal, Bobby brings in a tray of super fancy rings, so Ira can think about it.
Ooh last interview for Taylor and I like this guy already! I love a man who can rock a sweatervest. Wags likes Quant 3 (Rasik Ohal) as much as I do, which makes Taylor's face go funny.
Yay, Kate got a line! She tells Chuck that the story has been released, meaning they probably won't be forced to prosecute. Would Kate have been able to prosecute it if they had? She doesn't know if she has that in her. Kate's always been very ambitious, I'm excited everyone seems to have caught a case of Ethics.
Except Ira, who's now telling Bryan and Oliver Dake (Christopher Denham) that he can't testify against Bobby, he knows nothing! Well, he knows all about Chuck Sr. and Chuck Jr., he'll testify about that. Dake pulls the plug on the meeting, confusing Bryan.
Bryan doesn't understand, shouldn't they be looking into whether Chuck committed prosecutorial misconduct? Dake stares at his desk muttering "ixnay on the onductcay" but Bryan will not be dissuaded.
Bryan can hardly believe what's going on with straight arrow Dake, what happened to you, man? Dake is now all about loyalty, he's here to take down Bobby Axelrod and so is Bryan and if he doesn't wanna do that, he'll find someone who can.
Bryan takes his drunk arse over to the Burkes bar where he punches Johnny then watches them get picked up on parole violations by cops who didn't see Bryan assault anyone. What was that Right and Wrong Game bit, Bryan?
Wendy wasn't able to leave when dropping the kids off for Chuck Sr., he drags her into a room to complain. Wendy's not taking that.
Taylor doesn't hire the guy! Wags and I are upset, his algo was terrific! Ah but it also put in a backdoor and Taylor knows it was Wags who set that up.
Wags explains his loyalty to Bobby, he almost lost everything to quants before and Bobby helped him stave off the bleeding. Wags really really does not want quants, which Taylor now accepts will not be happening. They want to build their own quant at Axe, they'll oversee it.
Michael Pane did a great job at the police pension fund meet and greet, Bobby is back in business.
Wendy braces Chuck about making up with dad when a call comes from Jock. Chuck WILL be going ahead with the prosecution, this case now has national attention. The Briebart gang will be taking on Chuck's New York Times crew.
Remember when there was such a thing as right and wrong and all opinions weren't considered equal? Let's look back to the halcyon days when various demagogues were considered monsters for their civil rights violations. I wonder how Pol Pot would be seen these days, as a vicious mass murderer or would people measure their words based on what websites they frequented? Would his economic policies excuse his reign of terror? And I do mean actual murder, not just of the English language or syntax or Twitter policies.
Jock fired the Warden, she's no longer there for Chuck to bend to his will with threats. And then we have another metaphor about harming animals and please, somebody check this guy's house and backyard.
Wendy props Chuck up, because that's all she does in their relationship, unless they're in the bedroom and she's bringing the pain.
Bryan gets home to McKayla (Gia Crovatin) who wants to know about the blood on his shirt? Never mind, Bryan's decided to go after Chuck after all, he can't look away from it any more.
Mafee's working late, awwww, Taylor knows he's the effort guy so he's not going anywhere.
Chuck breaks the bad news to Kate, who brainstorms reluctantly as to how she'll tie Lugo up racially.
Chuck has a different idea, he sets up an ad-hoc warroom for them to fight the good fight, regardless of what some animal murderer from Texas wants.
Bobby and his team show up to set the terms with Michael Pane, sure glad they're keeping this on the downlow in front of all those plate glass windows and well-lit offices. It's like they learned nothing from Ice Juice!
Of course Bobby wants all the control, will Michael take the redheaded devil’s deal?
Course! Bobby goes outside to congratulate Raul on now owning his half of Pane’s fund, paid in cryptocurrency, natch.
Ira signs away his soul, too, is it worth it, fella?
It doesn't LOOK worth it. And we’re out.
So, huh. Looks like Chuck's taken a break from his ambition to pretend to fight the good fight again and Bobby's reverted to straight up gangster, it's season one all over again! Until next time!