Billions S3:E05 Flaw in the Death Star Recap

Hi guys, who wants to watch rich guys complain that several hundred million dollars isn't enough to live on while measuring each other's hedgefunds with a ruler? Me too! Let's roll S3:E05 of Billions after the break!

Ah, thanks to Previously On, it looks like we'll be retreading some ground with Lawrence Boyd (Eric Bogosian) who helped Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) set Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis) up for the massive Ice Juice fall that landed Bobby in jail. Briefly. Very briefly.

We open in a lab with some bunnies and "Dollar" Bill Stearn (Kelly AuCoin) who is assuring the lab tech that the tumour-laden bunnies will be very much helped by his whistleblowing. And he'll be resting comfortably on a huge cash of cash.

Great credits!

Bobby pulls up outside his corporate jet, his security team Cheekbones (Brian Wiles - I don't care that his character now has a name in IMDb, he'll always be Cheekbones or Preppie to me) and Young Josh Brolin (Tom Lipinski) appears and now Bobby doesn't getta go to the city by the bay. Booooooo. It seems the feds have found the doctor Bobby used to make everyone sick on Ice Juice, Dr. Gilbert (Seth Barrish) even has a baggie of the slide toxin with Bobby's fingerprints all over it as well as a fat cheque.

Oscar Langstraat (Mike Birbiglia) and Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) are gonna work together!

U.S. Attorney Oliver Dake (Christopher Denham) is tired of underling Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) complaining about the case and not helping his prosecution Holy Grail Bobby Axelrod, is he on the ball or on the bus?? Spit it out, Connerty!

Dake calls Chuck, who wakes up Dr. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), his wife,  to talk about his feels. Or rather to talk about when he broke into Wendy's session notes with Bobby, but not to apologize, oh noooo, but to discuss how he can use that information to screw Bobby over again.

If Wendy agrees I am throwing something (carefully) at my screen...

Well, she helps, because the what she put in the session notes is that Bobby allowed Donnie, one of his employees, to die instead of giving him access to an experimental cancer treatment that might have extended his life. The reason Bobby did that is so he could use Donnie in a complicated maneuver to screw over Chuck. I am not an expert in US law, but I bet the doctor is actually the one in trouble there, as Bobby can be a shit human being and make that request, but the doctor is bound to the standard of care for his patient, right?

You can see how it is hard to pick sides here on Billions?

Wendy has to bless Chuck approaching Donnie's widower to get the name of the doctor or he won't do it. I *love* how he makes her complicit, the wee sack of shite, using the argument that he already paid the price...(Wendy banging the Elon Musk clone) he may as well use it...


Dollar Bill is following Ari Spyros (Stephen Kunken), AXE Capital's latest compliance officer, that's a little odd? I do love how Dollar is in a minivan and Ari is in a Porsche (with riding suit, natch) for contrast because I'm preeeety sure Dollar is rolling a lot deeper than PorscheSuit.

Bryan and his girlfriend McKayla (Gia Crovatin) have a hilarious exchange (he's been thinking about guilty verdicts during their sweaty moments)

But he's inspired by something she says about Lawrence Boyd's initials being taken off the corporate jet.

Dollar and Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) call Taylor for approval on a shady play, Taylor's really taken over the reigns with confidence! Now they're in with Oscar *not* pitching to Steve Wozniak.

Bobby makes a careful approach on Dr. Gilbert, security in tow and monitoring for bugs while Bobby uses his lie-detector-baby-blues re: whether the toxin slide was actually disposed of. We're guessing NOT. Bobby dangles a carrot and whacks the good doctor with the stick immediately after, we'll see how that shakes out. Bobby's not quite to the murdery stage yet.

Well, except for when he suggested Donnie die without treatment so he couldn't testify against Bobby.

Chuck doesn't get what he wants directly from Donnie's widower, but he does get the information that Donnie's oncologist was a donor in the school being built in Donnie's honour.

Chuck calls up Tonelle "T" Burton (Tijuana Ricks - I LIKE her!) to get the deets on donors off the books, always working angles.

Bryan's decided to take a run at Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad), who took over his old position as Chuck's right-hand person. They also used to date, which is maybe she she's slightly cool at first.

He'll work on it, and his lever is the question: why is Lawrence Boyd not in prison? Meanwhile, Taylor is not impressed with what Oscar has to show them, they're out. Somehow I just never pictured Taylor talking like this.

Buuut the real pitch is the second talk! Stick around!

Ari and Dollar Bill are only butting heads in the office, never mind what would happen in prison.

Dr. Wendy has to go full Mom on these bastages.

Some couples therapy later

And Wendy tells them to get the eff along NOW.

I love Wendy.

She goes to Wags after, she has an idea! She wants to bring Chuck and Bobby together the same way! Wags: ehhhhh. But I didn't know Bobby knew Wendy first, or that Chuck and Bobby got along really well in the beginning. Interesting.

Kate braces Chuck about Lawrence Boyd deal, but hands over Bryan's name immediately. By the by, Chuck has to prosecute Lawrence again right away, and he wants Kate's help. She protests, but then she gave up Bryan in a blink so he knows she's on board Rhoades Airlines. (It was cuter when he said it)

She finds Bryan requesting that the court order be unsealed and slams it back down. Bryan is confused.

Oh hey. Here's Lawrence Boyd (Eric Bogosian) to f*ck up every single scene he's in. Chuck's side deal will take both of them down, so Chuck needs him to give up a few names he can prosecute but Lawrence is holding out for his boat being cleared. Or something. I canea stand his scenes.

Orrin Bach (Glenn Fleschler) doesn't have a lot of good news for Bobby yet, but Bobby's distracted by Dollar continually calling him anyway. He goes outside, where Dollar is waiting in the street.

Dollar is running the old Mom Said No So I'm Going To Ask Dad / DADDY GUESS WHAT HE DID ploy and I do not predict it will end well for him.

Then Dollar takes his clothes off to show he's not wearing a wire. That was uncomfortable.

The second pitch is better for sure, Taylor stays all the way through to nerd out with Oscar after about the Death Star. Then he invites them to dinner that night and then in the future...Do we know if Taylor dates? And dates men? Or women? Or non-binary? Maybe just Star Wars fans that will geek out over the Flaw in the Death Star.

Bobby has set up a second creepy meeting with Dr. Gilbert, if he did keep that slide, Bobby, he's about to ram it up your arse for playing such the heavy.

Bobby makes the doctor walk through every single step of destroying the slide, then Dr. Gilbert swears on his Hippocratic Oath and we know the game is afoot.

BECAUSE he did not put his patient first, who was Donnie, he put benefactor Bobby's need to not have Donnie alive to testify ahead of telling his PATIENT about a new cancer trial drug.

Dollar makes Mafee (Dan Soder) do his shady trade in his place and Chuck hooks Lawrence up with his boat so he can throw some of his guys to the sharks. Kate and Karl Allard (Allan Harvey) are there to take statements.

Ari runs clapping with glee into Wags' office, he's got Dollar Bill in a vise! Except we know he didn't do it, right?

Oh heeey, looks like Taylor and Oscar will be nerding out some more this evening after all! I love Taylor's face here.

Ooooooooh, Chef Daniel Boulud is serving up delightful food to Bobby at his important meeting, I love your work, Chef!


Oh but it's with Bobby, Ari and Wags so I'm confused. Ari makes an arse of himself over the wine, but that's kind of what he does. Bobby lays down the rules for Ari: he's one of them now, doesn't he want to protect the family and keep enjoying his piles of money? Then he becomes the kind of compliance officer who shows them how to skirt the fine edges, to appear to bridge the ethical crevasse, to do everything but threaten the f*cking company because that would be like threatening himself, capiche? Ari is all in at the thought of being a baby Axelrod.

Wags throws up in his mouth.

I stare at the food! Gorgeous!!

Chuck and Dr. Gilbert are finally meeting, but the good doctor is still on TeamAxe.

Oscar and Taylor play NetRunner which looks like Dungeons and Dragons but with more cards. Oscar is no pushover, though, they mesh well.

Bobby gets the bad news about Dr. Gilbert from his security team, they know about his meeting with Chuck (although not that it was with Chuck) and they don't see a financial lever on him as he didn't personally keep any of the last cheque Bobby gave him.

Kate is reluctant to sign the statement that Lawrence makes, but Karl talks her into it as it was before his time. They're not manufacturing evidence, they're just 'massaging dates'. Uh huh. I hope she doesn't go down for this, Chuck would toss her aside in a heartbeat.

Oh ho, Taylor goes back to Oscar's house for some vinyl and they immediately take their clothes off. What? WHAT?

I just saw Taylor half-naked and I need to process.

They're so slender next to Oscar's dadbod.

For the record, I dig dadbods.

Bobby canea get out of his head, Wendy tries to help but he can't get a read on Dr. Gilbert.

Taylor leaves Oscar's place the next morning with a smile on their face, I am so worried Oscar is gonna hurt them


Bobby gives Dollar the good and bad news, he gets to do shady trades but through Victor's funds BUT he has to apologize to Ari. Publicly.

Bryan gets his motion, but it's after the data has been put back so no worries. Chuck stops by the room for a second to smugsmirk at Bryan, who understands at once that he has been played. He and Kate's friendship is DONE.

The entire company watches as Dollar awkwardly apologizes to Ari, then shake hands. ARI DOESN'T EVEN SHAKE HANDS PROPERLY.

Bryan takes his case to Lawrence Boyd (yaaaayyy another scene with Eric Bogosian), wouldn't he like to "f*ck Chuck up?" Lawrence wants Bryan to lay it out as he sees it, then says he's not going to help anyway. He's running away in his boat forever.

Dollar Bill has finally made his peace with Ari, truly.

Dr. Gilbert has asked Bobby for a clandestine meeting of their own, he wants 200 million cash for himself. Now Bobby knows he's in trouble for reals, as he knows Gilbert doesn't care about money at all, especially for himself.

Indeed, we watch Dr. Gilbert hand over that slide to the Fibbies as Bobby contemplates the end. Now, inexplicably, Chuck has the slide and he's hiding it in his freezer as we're out.

Well. Hm. Does Chuck not understand chain of evidence? And what is he keeping that for exactly? Christmas? Unsatisfying. But very much par for the course, and I'd better get this sucker out before it's TWO full episodes behind. Cheers!