Sorry I'm late with Billions, a new show called Dietland just started Monday and I got a little...distracted when they dropped two episodes at once. And hey, guess what? Our Bonnie Candela (Sarah Stiles) is on that show too! So we've waited long enough, let's get to our Richie Riches and Self Made Men without further ado!
We open with Wicked Game playing and a completely enthralled Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) watching an attractive dude cut up steak in a hilariously beefy way.
She's meeting Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) and Karl Allerd (Allen Harvey - it says Allard in IMDb but I saw his ID last episode and it was Allerd, so Imma assume the writers know best) to brainstorm about their planned takedown of their boss Waylon "Jock" Jeffcoat (the delicious Clancy Brown).
Karl didn't get a lot of good news down in Texas, where Jock lives and harms animals, it's a whole nother land. Chuck doesn't want any bad news, and he doesn't want a "sorry", in his family you make the OTHER guy sorry first.
Oooh, speaking of other guys, across the room is Chuck's former bestie Ira (Ben Shenkman), who hung with him through thick and thin until Chuck hung him out to dry and Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis) helped him bribe his sugarbaby into marriage.
It's complicated. Read or watch Golden Frog Time.
Ira got married to Taiga (Comfort Clinton) since we last saw him, mazel tov! And since he blacked Chuck's eye back, could they now be...even? Friends again? Speaking of Taiga, she's spending all the money Ira got from Bobby, nobody even does yoga any more, Ira. Better check she's not socking that money away.
Axe Capital CIO Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) has been working their own book on the side building a quant algorithm (don't ask me to explain that), but now two of her quant-cookers have quit and all she has left is dickish Quant Kid 2 (Will Roland) who just can't help himself from being a tool. Taylor is now okay with that.
Bobby is waiting outside his apartment? Ex-wife Lara's (Malin Akerman) apartment? Either way, she sees him sitting curbside in his fancy car and heads the other way, so he swears and heads off to the Regency.
Guess who's at the Regency? NO, GUESS??!!! CORBIN BERNSEN!!
Bobby has a history with Bill McGann (CORBIN BERNSEN!!! Man, he looks great, Daddy issues I didn't even know I still had just threw up all over my keyboard), Bobby used to work for Bill until Bill shorted him 50k on his bonus. That led to Bobby leaving, starting his own shop and becoming the billionaire he is today so he stops by once a year to buy Bill breakfast as a thank-you.
Some fighty switchblady words later, Bobby's out with the cheque as Bill hollers after him that he's a Soc now, not a greaser.
Read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton! Or watch the movie and weep for all the lost beauty.
Chuck's after one of his earliest takedowns on the show: Pete Decker (Scott Cohen) who has rebuilt his life after he hid a bunch of money with his parents and isn't particularly happy to see Chuckles. Our US Attorney of the Southern District (how is New York south?) has a deal to offer, however, Pete's scrubbed record for information. That's thinking outside the box!
Oooh Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) freaks everyone out on his way to Bobby's office, it's bonus time and nobody knows what they're getting. He teases Eveready (Keith Eric Chapelle) but even Dollar Bill looks scurred. Taylor promised everyone that their bonuses wouldn't go down while Bobby was away, that's why they stayed. Wags brings up Ben Kim (Daniel K. Isaac), whose "Hot In Hurr" elevator striptease has apparently earned him a promotion but not a raise.
Suddenly, it's time to talk about TAYLOR'S bonus! All the air goes out of the room and everyone else leaves as they sit across from each other at the desk.
Bobby offers 15 million, Taylor counters with 50. They have good backup for that amount, but Bobby's never given anyone more than 20 million, they'll have to learn to be rich on that.
*says the guy who was practically crying with his ex-wife over only having maaaybe 320 million dollars to live on*
Taylor does not accept that. They leave the room and we know we are watching a re-enactment of Bobby's old boss Bill McCann underestimating the firecracker in front of him.
Dr. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) watches Taylor and checks her watch, it's very unusual for Taylor to leave before ANYONE else, including Bobby.
I thought it looked as though Taylor was saying goodbye to Axe Capital.
Hedgie bonus interviews! Bonnie Candela (Sarah Stiles, she's in Dietland!) is up first, she'd like half a million, Axe! You don't get what you don't ask for, so she's "f*cking asking!"
I like her!
Mafee (Dan Soder) is up next, we know he's golden because he saved Dr. Wendy's adorable behind from going to court, but I loved his invocation of King Kong Bundy. He gets 1.3 million,
I LOVED King Kong Bundy and if you want a good time, go check out his YouTube interviews where he calls everyone he worked with a c-word that doesn't moo.
Ben Kim! He gets no more money, but rather a rise in position to Portfolio Manager.
Oh wow, Jock is visiting the FBI, seeing Director Frances Lynch (Melanie Nicholls-King) and Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) about his concern that the FBI is undermining his sacred duty. He wants an electronic mole hunt, Bryan leaps at the chance to lead such an investigation into the murky grey waters. Director Lynch is not happy.
Oooh, Chuck sicced Pete Decker on Ira's wife Taiga! I done TOLD you she was shady with her stupid yoga studio! She socked all that money away all right, into the bank account of Anthony Ridelli (Alex Moffat) and honestly, I could be writing this (were I just a tiny itty bit more...what's the word...TALENTED). Call me!
Taiga is about to close on a very expensive apartment, but Ira backs Chuck up. He can't do anything because he doesn't have a pre-nup and New York is a no-fault state, meaning there is no discount for spousal misconduct. You could ask me how I know what that means.
Ira thinks this is a youthful last hurrah and Taiga will be home soon, Chuck and I think he's deluuuuuuusional.
Wendy and Taylor meet off campus at an art installation about mermaids (I think...) Taylor cannot stagnate for Axe or anyone else. They will leave if they don't see any movement, that's more important to them than money. Wendy asks for a day to talk to Bobby.
I loved how Taylor said "I have to watch what I say to you, it's like you're listening to every.word." Hahahaha that's Dr. Wendy's job, yo!
Ari Spyros (Stephen Kunken) would like to know about his comp meeting, when is that happening, Wags? Wags is practicing his Esperanto, in which Kompenso means "atonement" or probably "comp meeting" in this context.
There is no bonus for Compliance. PLUS, Ari was just fired and almost got Wendy dragged through court and he needs to give BOBBY 1.95 million.
Bobby's having a harder time than usual with the comp meetings, partially because he had a shite year but mostly because he's paying everyone with his own money and he doesn't like it. Boooo. He wants to punch them instead of feed them.
*totally got chills during that scene, Damian Lewis was on FIRE!*
Bobby heads to his meditation room where Dr. Wendy finds him sitting. He's going to lose Taylor if he doesn't make them a full partner. This has been a year of not-awesome change for Bobby, though, he doesn't know how to deal with yet another blow in his running Death By 1000 Cuts. Wendy counsels taking the leap: taking Taylor to the next level just might save Bobby.
Wendy makes her next move, talking to Axe Capital's single biggest investor who just happens to be Bobby's ex-wife Lara. Lara is no friend of Wendy's (Bobby lying about Wendy is actually why Bobby and Lara are divorcing, but not for adultery or anything), but she recognises the wisdom in what Wendy is saying about Taylor and also that her kiddo needs to talk to someone. Wendy had an informal sesh with the wee Axelrod and Lara lost her shite, but she's seeing that her hooligan needs therapy to deal with his parents' divorce.
Lara goes straight to Bobby, and somehow they end up in clinch that makes them both sad. You can never go back.
I absolutely adored that they had a whole conversation about Taylor without using the wrong pronoun once!
Bobby calls Taylor into his office, he's only offering 25 million (I threw up in my mouth with that "only") but after quoting their own words back to them (via Wendy), he offers Taylor a spot on the raise team. Taylor is sufficiently motivated.
Bobby comes to Wendy for her comp meeting, she's got double the worth of her Ice Juice earnings, wooo! I don't know how much that is, but she looks happy!
Karl's brought Chuck a prezzie: a white cowboy hat he can wear when he takes Jock down! But even better, he's got Taiga's sidepiece in the conference room waiting for his patented Chuck Rhoades takedown.
Chuck starts out fast (fighty words, go away, more fighty words) then settles in to make his "federal case." More fighty words
Which means Chuck's probably never been to federal prison after lights out, given what Lockdown has 'splained to me. (I'M TALKING CONSENSUAL). He presses on Anthony over and over but we're both worried after that he's not scared. I think Ira needs to cut his losses.
Side note: wasn't Piper Kerman in a federal prison too? Yes! That's why she had to do a full year and her (one time) offense had a mandatory minimum.
Director Lynch has called Bryan in for an update on how his data scrape is going, did he jump all over that so the AG will help rehabilitate his career? He suggests he might be shielding her but we all know it's so he can go after Chuck again. He knows Chuck has been working side ops with various Fibbies. Director Lynch warns him away from finding too much dirt.
Chuck Jr. heads over to see his dad Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn), who I am unable to look at the same way since I saw his junk. It's not that I don't appreciate the quid pro quo, I just have to point out that we saw the genitalia of an 80 year old man, as compared to say: several pairs of breasts of 25 year old models.
I've lost all integrity in that argument after my drooling all over Corbin Bernsen above.
ANYWAY Jr.'s come to see Sr. to ask to use his apartment to meet with a young woman. Sr. appreciates that Chuck isn't risking a hotel and then spouts a bunch of shite about monogamy being socialist death. Screeeew that, single is so much less painful.
It's not for a fling (AS IF ANYONE IS CHEATING ON WENDY), it's so Chuck can scare Taiga now.
She says Anthony has left already, but Chuck's not done. He's created a post-nuptial agreement which he tells her to sign, then take to Ira and then leave. She signs, but then Sr. pops out with his proselytizing about marriage.
For a guy who has cheated on his wife since day one, he's got balls, I'll give him that. Literally has balls, we've all seen them.
I am so grossed out by Sr, so very grossed out by his suggestions about what Taiga should do in her marriage to be happy but mostly the part about the "Lime Test."
Although that is just common courtesy. Chuck is aghast, he wanted Taiga to leave Ira! Sr. wants Ira to be happy, and Taiga focused on staying is what will accomplish that.
I can't believe Chuck forgives and welcomes his dad after that shit two episodes ago where he and Black Jack Foley (David Strathairn) compromised and shamed him and Wendy for their BDSM lifestyle.
Orrin Bach (Glenn Fleschler)'s comp meeting sounds like an argument but leaves with handshaking so we get it: Bobby wants to fight and can only dominate, can't just take a win.
WE GET IT.
Chuck and Ira have a lovely dinner, Ira's so relieved that Taiga is back home. This whole time he thought the worse thing would be her finding another guy (for the record, she had this guy through ALL her other sugardaddies) but Chuck is inspired when he says "sometimes the worst thing happening isn't so bad."
I also had that experience recently! I thought certain things coming to light would be the end of me but what it really did was allow me to deal with all the anger and pain that preceded some less-than-awesome decisions and then finally really start to move forward. I never would have thought that!
Chuck walks away and asks Kate to arrange a meeting with Alvin Epstein, who sounds suuuuper important.
Wags comes to Bobby's office for a post comp day drinkie; one last meeting to go! Bobby tells him to reach behind the couch where a stack of Oui magazines waits. His bonus is the same age he was when he first saw the mags, 9 million sounds great to him but. 9!!! Herk
Where did FunBobs get the old skin mags? Remember last time when he headed off to see his mom, Patti D'Arbanville? She'd kept everything his father left, including the stack of magazines.
Bobby's dad was his first enemy, the one who taught him to fight to the death over every single thing. She wishes she was able to put an opposing voice asking if that's really necessary in his head, but that opportunity is over.
Heeey, Oliver Dake (Christopher Denham) is a teacher now! He's grown a beard and is wearing an itchy sweater and everything! Bryan wants Oliver to convince him to go after Chuck: why did goody two-shoes Oliver let himself be swayed? He didn't believe in himself, but he knows that Chuck must be stopped.
Omigod omigod omigod, Alvin Epstein is Brian Stokes Mitchell from Mr. Robot when it was good!! I literally jumped when I saw him, his role and that season was just so good.
Sorry, sorry, Chuck wants Alvin Epstein (Brian Stokes Mitchell) to open an investigation into the cable TV stations and faith ministries, but he has no deployable information. But that's not how Chuck plans to get Jock, he wants to catch Jock trying to obstruct the investigation.
I love his face! Sorry, season one and half of season two of Mr. Robot were excellent.
This is the same sting Chuck ran on Bobby and Ice Juice, for the record. He's kind of a one-trick pony.
Kate tells Alvin if he plays this right, he could be the Attorney General in charge, "if you want to be the man, you've got to beat the man" because this episode (as is every episode) is about winning by using and/or abusing people.
Alvin wants to know this will come off, because if you come for the king, you best not miss. Chuck's been so worried about Jock finding out about his investigation, now he wants to use Jock's moves against him. Will Alvin bite?
Taylor's quant algorithm is ready, they go live in a week! Ohh and look who's here to see Taylor? Michael (Michael Aronov), Grigor Andolov's (John Malkovich) lieutenant. And look at what he's standing in front of?
I TOTALLY CALLED THAT. We're oot.
We've known this showdown was coming this whole season and I'm sure this whole fighty episode was meant to get us in the mood, but I still have to put my money on Bobby at this point. What say you?
What kind of world do we live in that I didn't getta see Dollar Bill's (Kelly AuCoin) comp meeting? Why am I getting more Mafee than Dollar?! I am not uncertain that is not okay! In a perfect world we'd get both, but you can't hold out on our Dollar Dollar Bill, y'all.
I know Ira didn't want to leave another marriage, but staying in the next one because you feel bad about ditching the first one makes about as much sense as hanging onto the car AFTER the mint Mustang you sold as a stupid teenager looking for beer money. That Pontiac Sunfire isn't exactly appreciating in value.
I wish Bobby and Lara would get back together: there, I said it. Now that Bobby and Wendy are going nowhere since she's on #TeamEnablingChuckToBeAnArsehole, I have to take my happiness where I can. Until next time!