Who's ready for a double header of Billions season 4? WOOOO me too! Let's roll right into S4:E09 American Champion so we can be all caught up!
We open in the Rhoades living room; Dr. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) can't believe her husband New York Attorney General Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) isn't promising to protect her medical license. She's under review for some super shady behaviour, but he's done worse and she expects backup, damnit!
He asks if this means they'll be back together then? She can't understand why he isn't deploying his usual razor sharp favour getting skills in her favour, what's up, Chuck?? He gets in a couple of shots in about how she didn't like his killer persona befooooore but noooooowww that she needs it...
Chuck calls in his bestie Ira Schirman (Ben Shenkman - hey, Ira never had a last name before, mazel tov!) for help. Chuck doesn't just want to help Wendy, he wants to reset their relationship back to status quo. For that, he needs a big move, as in help from the guy he put in prison.
Hai Dr. Gilbert (Seth Barrish)! We haven't seen you since Chuck sent you to jail for Bobby "Axe" Axelrod's (Damian Lewis) Golden Frog Time scheme! I'm sure bygones are bygones, you Hannibal Lecter-looking motherhumper.
Gilbert is disinclined to help Chuck, even though he got to keep the 11 million dollars Bobby gave him to take care of his wife and kids. Since there was a divorce and and the kids aren't visiting any more, that's lost some of its luster. Chuck's got some incentives in his pocket, however, he just needs help getting Wendy's problem taken care of before she has to appear and answer to anything.
Okay, that was a very deliberate filming style, I was supposed to think of Hannibal Lecter and I'm not a genius.
Gilbert's price is a Get Out of Jail Free card; but Chuck doesn't have that in his arsenal so we're at a standoff. Although Chuck used generic terms describing the person requiring assistance, Gilbert guessed Wendy immediately. He has a contact on the outside still, Chuck comes down hard on him in case he gets any fancy ideas of making things harder still for Wendy.
Bobby and investor girlfriend Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda) survey her newest acquisition, Salers, it doesn't look like all that much but there are moves to be made. Tomorrow is the first board meeting; Bobby thinks she should fire everyone but Rebecca wants to show stability on the street.
Across town, Bobby's arch-nemesis Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is talking about the very same board meeting; they're going after Rebecca and Bobby directly this time. Taylor owns as much of the board as they can, her COO Sara Hammon (Samantha Mathis - thanks for the role clarification Brian Koppleman!) has scooped up everything available but PR rep Lauren Turner (Jade Eshete) advises that they need to keep it on the DL so as not to drive up the price.
Lauren's scraped up a meeting with the son of an important shareholder; Landry Benzinger (John Zdrojeski) will get them a meeting with his dad Sanford Bensinger (Richard Thomas).
You remember Sanford! He swore a lot, trusted Bobby for thirty seconds and swiftly knocked him back into his place after Bobby didn't actually give away all the money he had promised to. See, Bobby wanted to buy a football team, which would have made him American royalty, so he promised to okay never mind, just know that Bobby and Sanford have history, that's why Taylor is optimistic of being able to win again.
Last time, we saw Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn)'s construction site get shut down for national security reasons thanks to Chuck Jr.'s nemesis Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) messing with Sr.; Chuck's back at the site to strategize with his dad. He's distracted by the foul odour afoot, what is that? It's raw sewage! The Honey Wagon must not have come this week yet! This gives Chuck an idea, he brainstorms with Karl Allerd (Allan Harvey) about its transport path, so something gross is about to happen.
Axe Capital Compliance Officer Ari Spyros (Stephen Kunken) has brought a treat for Bonnie Barella (Sarah Stiles), she tries to dismiss him but part of the deal is that he gets to watch.
He's soooo creepy; exactly like an "over-caffeinated serial killer:, Bonnie, that's a great description! She turns her sights next to "Dollar" Bill Stearn (Kelly AuCoin) who is looking foxy AF. What's this, Dollar?? He thinks he and Bonnie are vibing after their bonding session last time when she kicked his arse.
Dollar being encumbered by two wives already isn't slowing him down, he is not uncertain of the attraction between Bonnie and him. He's also extremely sexy all of a sudden, where's THAT been hiding?
*Cuppa break to shake it off!
Bonnie talks to Wendy, she's noticed the increased attention from the dudes on the floor; ever since she talked about wanting to get railed on her birthday.
Who could have expected that?
Bonnie's interested in Dollar, what? (I would be too, he was smoking hot just then), Wendy asks for clarification.
They're interrupted by a furious Ben Kim (Daniel K. Isaac), he just found out about a secret extra fancy fund for special earners at Axe Capital, and he ain't one. Wendy says it's super old, nobody's talked about Flagship in ages. Ben asks if he should let go of his anger then?
Wendy makes me laugh for the next minute straight.She doesn't answer him OR Bonnie.
Bonnie and Dollar have their date at an axe throwing rec room because of course they do. She's just there to drink beer, throw axes and pick his brain about Flagship. Of course he's a member, I don't know if your go-to date move should be bragging about having two families with two sets of kids with straight teeth, Dollar. (Whew, sexy alert over).
Lauren set up the meet with Taylor Landry Bensinger (John Zdrojeski) - is...that a name? Landry.Bensinger. Okay, trust fund cowboy, whatcha got? What he's got is an appreciation for the venue Taylor handpicked; it's a retro Kellogs cereal bar and it's snagged his synapses. Lauren had warned Taylor not to talk about Landry's dad Sanford (I yakked about him above) until he did; Landry drops a reference in the first two minutes. They're vibing.
Landry is ready to set up the meet and Lauren is impressed with how well Taylor did. Just as I'm measuring the distance between the gorgeous Lauren and Taylor, she makes her move.
This is a very horny show tonight! Last week it was all fighting, should I be checking the lunar calendar??
Chuck's gone to see former boss and current nemesis Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) at his house; either Jock releases his grip on Chuck's dad's property or Jr. will rain down pestilence. For real, like raw sewage, which is even funnier when Jock gets biblical and calls New York a stinking cesspool, he can smell it on Chuck.
Sliiiightly too heavy handed, Billions.
Time for Rebecca's first board meeting at Salers, it's rocky to start given that two people are leaving after having sold their shares to Taylor. Rebecca and Bobby find out that Sanford Bensinger is the largest creditor for Salers and suddenly understand the tenuous nature of their position. Board meeting postponed!
Ooooooh US Attorney Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) has spotted another old pal in his spincycle torture session; hai Dr. Gus! You remember Dr. Gus (Marc Kudisch) from when he took over from Wendy when she quit for a minute early on? He wore cycle gear to work and liked to puff out his chest a LOT.
Bryan is racing said dude because everything is a competition on Billions. Everything. Dr. Gus offers up a little sorely-needed motivation for Bryan: he needs to want it, get it, not let anything else stand in his way.
Chuck Jr. gets raked over the coals by his dad and wife; he excuses himself to start his schmooze tour of the southern district, so many mayors to gladhand, so little time.
Bonnie's been busy over at Axe Cap, riling up the underlings about Flagship and attaining their due. Everready (Keith Eric Chapelle) is in, Ben Kim would like to wait and Tuk Lal (Dhruv Maheshwari) is aghast at Bonnie's reference to a caste system. They decide to use Ari Spyros as their spearhead.
Taylor and Sanford Bensinger meet, they sell themselves as the anti-Bobby so now we wait to see if he takes the bait.
Bobby and Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) watch as Ari enters the lion's den. He flexes a little.
Then is eviscerated by Bobby. The other hedgies had a chance to earn a place in Flagship, but since they pushed their luck: nobody ever will be eligible again.
Oooh, this is a turn, our intrepid financial reporter Randy Kornbluth (Brian Berrebbi) has a side hustle as Sanford Bensinger's ghostwriter. Sanford's not liking the flavour of Randy's questions; he doesn't think being asked about Nationalism is pertinent to his book "American Champion." He's killing time while waiting to buy a big American building (can't have those falling into foreign hands!), but whoops, looks like Wags got there first.
Sanford doesn't recognise Wags, who reassures him that the important thing is that its in American hands, right? Have a great day!
Randy explains who Wags is AND gives his title! Wags is a COL! Brb Googling damnit that doesn't mean anything so I must have misheard. FINE.
Operation Honeywagon has been activated! Jock and his wife hurl then he calls Bryan in New York.
You know, Toby Leonard Moore doesn't get enough credit for his light comic touch.
Bryan calls in Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) to watch him scream at people about the shittrain, she is dispatched to find more junk on Chuck.
Bobby watches as his hedgies come by for another revolt, he's had enough and starts to dig deeper. Ben leads to Tuk, who leads to an unfortunate letter written by Mick Danzig (Nathan Darrow).
Hahahaha so, like, Twitter then?
But who set Mick off? MAFEE (Dan Soder)! Everyone is back on task.
So is Bryan Connerty, now that Kate's handed him the ammunition of Chuck visiting Dr. Gilbert.
Sanford Bensinger stalks his behind over to Axe Capital to freak out at Bobby; Rebecca comes in and wows him with her vision for Salers (Americana, essentially) (my mom couldn't buy us anything from the Sears catalogues either); a quick dance with Bobby offering to step down then blocked by Rebecca has Sanford convinced. He also says something creepy about Rebecca redeeming Bobby as a "fallen man" and SPARE ME.
Bobby watches Bonnie from above; she's emerged as leader of the group. She's so entrenched in every single thing that's happened this season that she's not removable, so Bobby must figure out how to keep her out of Taylor's clutches. He offers her a spot in the new Flagship so Bonnie turns Taylor down, then Taylor gets the bad news about Bensinger from Sara and Lauren.
Bryan and Chuck meet late at night, final terms are on the table. Bryan and Jock will remove the issues with Chuck Sr.'s construction site and Wendy's problem with the medical board, Chuck will remove the shittrain and dump his mobile voting pilot project. Chuck does not accept, some things are more important than marriage.
Dollar waits creepily in the parkade to confront Bonnie, who didn't just use the date to pick his brain about Flagship...
Minivan sex is tricky, you guys. Watch your shoulder rotation!
Chuck lies to Wendy when he gets home; he just didn't have the pull to save her medical license. Dr. Gus opens his door to Bryan, who now knows he doesn't have the right stuff. "Remake me" he pleads as we're out for the second time this week. Wooo, until next time!