We're almost done the fourth season of Billions, can you believe it?? I'm so slow, thank the gods there is Fan Fun With Damian Lewis all over this stuff much faster than I, but I'll still throw my two cents in. Who's ready to roll into S4:E11 Lamster with me? Onward!
We open with New York Attorney General Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti - I need to watch Sideways again so I can love Paul Giamatti once more) admitting his frantic dad into his brownstone; Chuck Rhoades Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn) knows he's being bugged. He was home alone (cut to sex and poppers with a probable sex worker, no shame in that game! It might also be his latest babymomma, approximately 50 years younger) when he happened to notice some recent construction under his couch.
I'm kind of impressed he was able to throw down on a hardwood floor, poppers or no.
Jr. tells his dad to head out on the lam, D.B. Cooper style! There's the matter of the written document of collusion they all signed, sitting in Sr.'s safe. After a full minute of chitchat in the open air, they realise the extremely obvious: Jr. is most likely bugged too.
He totally is.
A plan is hurriedly put together, Sr. is going on the run and will text regularly from a burner phone and Jr. will have someone retrieve the stupidest documents ever signed. Just be careful, because when he and Roxanne get down, they don't f*** around. So that's who it was!
Chuck turns on all the taps and calls his client Larry Brogan (David Aaron Baker) whom he recently bailed out for a gun and PUPPY MURDERING case. It will be Larry delivering the death blow to Chuck's current main nemesis: Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown. I LOVE Clancy Brown) as Chuck makes a run for it.
Across town, Chuck's old mentee Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore - I'd love to see him in a comedy, he's got mad chops) is playing back the recordings for Jock before complimenting Sr.'s arse (hahaha see what I mean?? "Actually, the old guy keeps it together") and vowing to find him regardless.
Other main guy Bobby "Axe" Alexrod (Damian Lewis) is lunching with fellow investor and girlfriend Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda). Rebecca just took over a huge corporation named Salers (read that as: Sears) with Bobby's assistance, a project near and dear to Rebecca's heart. It is under attack, however, as Bobby's former protege and now arch nemesis (THERE ARE SO MANY NEMESES IN THIS SHOW) Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is enacting revenge for a recent play involving their dad.
*So so complicated.
They've found another appliance supplier after Taylor stole the last one, yay!
Outside the restaurant is Taylor's head of security, Cook (Glenn Davis who I always think I recognise, but do not), he's to release the "Perlson" information or some such thing that makes him smile like a Cheshire cat.
Taylor addresses their whole team, hey Quant Kid Winston (Will Roland)! Been a minute! Also around the table are Mafee (Dan Soder) and Taylor's lover and IR Rep Lauren Turner (Jade Eshete). COO Sara Hammon (Samantha Mathis) has to be kicking around somewhere because it's Comp Time!
*This is what any other industry calls Bonus or Performance Review time, but whatever.
Or not, actually, this is when everyone gets paid!
Like. Once a year? What?
Anyway, Taylor offers everyone a deal: they get their full pay if they invest it in the fund for the next twelve months, but only get 60% of that if they want to ACTUALLY GET PAID. Cheers turn quiet; they will await everyone's decisions by end of day.
Bobby and Rebecca contemplate the nature of dealing with Taylor; how it forces them to up their games while at the same time compromise their ideals. There's an admiration there.
Bobby heads to the kitchen for a meeting with Chuck to first discuss the fact that neither of them are supporting the main woman in their life: Dr. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), at her request.
Dr. Rhodes is in a medical board review of her license due to her misconduct in using information gained in therapy sessions with Taylor to use against them in business. She's guilty as hell, Taylor has decided to let Wendy decide if she still has a soul or not. Wendy chose not to have either of her partners with her at the review, that's telling.
Back to Bobby and Chuck! Chuck asks for help getting into his dad's safe, Bobby wants to know when Chuck's going to come through with throwing Taylor in the can first.
*That was a threat, in case anyone missed that.
Lawyer Orrin Hach (Glenn Fleschler) is the only one with Wendy at her hearing, she can feel guilty later but for now: WIN.
She immediately pleads guilty to everything she's accused of.
Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) is waiting outside with a happy face, until he sees hers. A long hug later, she finally feels like herself again. Her face will catch up, it just needs to relax into itself.
Bryan has roped his brother Jackie (Michael Raymond-James) into going after Chuck Sr.'s safe, will he beat out Bobby's guy? Nevermind, he doesn't want to do it anyway, he doesn't want Bryan to go bad like him. Bryan has to invoke their blessed mother and everything! Jackie grudgingly agrees, but he's not happy to find out that Bryan plans to tag along AND that it's just for a piece of paper. He's gonna take some other stuff, you watch.
Now we understand what Cook referenced; back at Axe Capital Wags fills Bobby and Rebecca in on some more bad news. The appliance manufacturer they just partnered with is about to have a very bad day, being outed for child slave labour will do that.
Rebecca's all done with this company, how about Bobby buys her out and then she can get off this crazy rollercoaster ride.
Rebecca is doing what is known as "cutting bait." Or leaving the kitchen because the heat was too much, etc etc. You know what I mean. It's not worth it to her and I'm pretty sure Bobby and her are breaking up. Eventually.
Chuck's called together Larry Brogan, Hap Halloran (Saul Rubinek) and Freddie Eisen (Andrew Polk) for one last giant push to get rid of Jock Jeffcoat. They're skeptical, to put it mildly. He's calling in alllll his chits. They're meeting at the hospital because Chuck's bestie Ira Schirman (Ben Shenkman - all the hots) is about to become a daddeh again! His sugarbaby/wife Taiga must be so pleased.
A quick review over whether or not they should trust a female doctor, you know, like CHUCK'S WIFE was until approximately an hour ago, time to get down to business. Chuck deploys his troops, including a hilarious joke about Larry killing a horse, which doesn't even.make.him.blink.
Jock uses a bullfighting analogy to explain their position of not wanting Chuck to find his feet, because iffin he ain't talking about killing animals, he ain't happy.
Bobby talks to "Dollar" Bill Stearn (the awesomesauce Kelly AuCoin) about vacating a position on Dollar's stock, his "you don't sell your best girl until she loses her hip flexion" is kinda gross. HAHAHAHAHA Literally as I was typing that, Tuk Lal (Dhruv Maheshwari - who's becoming one of my faves on the show) and Ben Kim (Daniel K. Isaac) spin around to say just that.
Wendy and Chuck review her rogue strategy of admitting everything instead of taking a deal, he doesn't understand it at all. He heads off to see Ira while she sits with her tea. They're so separate.
It's going to be a long night for more than Ira, Bryan and his brother Jackie are breaking into Chuck Sr.'s apartment. Remember: it's still bugged!
Some Mission Impossible shite later and they're in to the safe! Outside, Bobby's Black Ops guy Hall (Terry Kinney) is making his move, but they get in and out first. Jackie steals something else from the safe because of course he does, I'm sure that will figure for Bryan later.
Wendy is all smiles at work, until she spots Ari Spyros (Stephen Kunken) about to head in to see her. He wants to start mentoring people, but really, he wants a session! HE WANTS A SESSION! It's a sham, of course, he's the worst good actor playing bad actor ever. She calls him a lying sack of shite.
There's tension at Taylor's shop, they walk in to find Lauren, Mafee and Winston arguing. It's Winston who challenges Taylor first, what they're doing is not fair. He gets raked over the coals by Mafee, who thinks loyalty is worth more than GETTING PAID FOR YOUR WORK. Winston is reluctantly cowed.
The news isn't any better at the hospital, the gang has returneth to Chuck with not much. They do know why Jock doesn't want block-chain voting brought it, he's selling rigged elections as compensation for various other things. Or someone's giving that to him, ANYWAY, the elections will be much less easy to rig if they're completed electronically (really?) so that's why he's fighting it and that's where the fraud is.
The only answer is to check the votes themselves.
Bobby and Rebecca talk one last time about him buying Salers from her at an extremely unprofitable price, they're so breaking up. Bobby arrives at work to find all the biggies from his shop in his office: they won't let him buy Salers. It's outside of risk parameters AND against the very bylaws he wrote.
Bobby is angry, giving an impassioned speech about being their sun and moon and possibly stars, now shut up and get back to work.
Spyros, Orrin and Wags aren't taking this lying down. Wags goes to Wendy, it's go time! This is not a drill, we repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
You remember that Lauren the IR rep and Taylor are dating, right? Lauren cleverly uses that as a reason to circumvent Taylor's two choices for payment. She'd like all her money right now, if she stuck around and Taylor broke up with her, she wouldn't be able to stay. Well.played. Taylor and I slow clap.
Now this is unusual, Chuck's called Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) to meet him at the hospital. She works for Bryan now, so this is treason on her part as he is trying to nail Chuck to the wall. She has access to election results in her position; he tries to talk her into investigating Chuck from the inside by appealing to her better nature.
Kate goes right to Jock, she knows which side her bread is buttered. Although this could be part of Chuck's plan, he's super good at layered long games. See also: Golden Frog Time.
Wendy counsels Bobby, she won't be consulting on the Taylor situation any more but wants to help on the rest. Bobby needs an enemy, is the problem. He thinks iron sharpens iron or something. She keeps trying but there's something wrong. She keeps trying to compare what she did to his stepping down from the fight, but he thinks they are just different people.
Erm, yeah it does.
Taiga has been in labour for 30.hours. 30! Chuck Sr. hasn't checked in recently. Jr.'s worried.
Nothing's wrong, however, he's just invited his babymomma Roxanne (Lily Gladstone) over to watch either vintage 70s pron or Broad City. I can't tell which. She suggests they smoke up as the baby cries and the FBI bust in. So, erm, there is something wrong.
Rebecca has good news/bad news for Bobby and here (for sure this time) is where they will part ways:
Rebecca has demonstrated she has no loyalty. Bobby values that beyond all else.
Chuck Sr. is brought in front of Jock, no way will he roll over on his son so that was a stupid opening. He moves into intimidation: does Chuck Sr. know what it smells like in prison?
HAHAHAHAHAHA. I seriously laughed for a full month. Happy Pride, everyone!!
Bryan's in the backroom, suggesting topics for Jock to broach with Chuck Sr., who isn't buying anything Jock's selling. Bryan and Jock retreat and regroup. Of COURSE Jock insists on tasting the fruit of those poisoned recordings (paraphrase), if he orders it, it's f***ing legal!
Taiga (Comfort Clinton) and Ira cuddle their newborn while music walks us across the rest of the show.
Victor Mateo (Louis Cancelmi) brings Bobby some good news; he has difficult information on Salers that Bobby appreciates. He's still got his sword out for Taylor.
Wags and Wendy make a pact to spend the night drinking until she remembers who she is; I'm only concerned because he was sort of sent there by Bobby. Hm.
Until next time! Cheers!