Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 6: The Third Ortolan

Well, I said it time and again that it is only Wendy’s short that could force Axe and Chuck to take a break from their pissing contest and get themselves and the woman they both care about deeply out of the huge mess called Ice Juice. And the first half of the season has seamlessly built to this climactic episode which I believe is the BEST hour of television in a while, at least since we had Golden Frog Time!

Well, Dollar Bill is not alone in carrying bags full of money for business. We now find Chuck, the US attorney of the SDNY, paying $50K to a man who will plant the slide in Axe’s medicine cabinet while he is away at Art Basel in a few weeks. Axe and Chuck have so much in common they seriously could have been BFFs in another life. For one, they both know how to deal with vulnerable immigrants! Like Axe ended an American dream by having Maria Gonzalez deported to Guatemala in Episode 2: Wrong Maria Gonzalez,  Chuck is now creating an American Dream by promising Mr. Adubo $50K more as well as U.S. visas for his family in Congo once he completes the job.

With the confidence he has in the slide that will put Axe in jail, Chuck goes to have some pig ears with Black Jack Foley over lunch at The Spotted Pig and talk about his political future! Foley wants to casually start Chuck’s campaign so the money people will have a feel about him as if they are at morning workouts at Churchill Downs.  Yet, he has a few reservations: Is Chuck squared away? Locked down as a Firstie at West Point. How about marriage? Solid. Foley still wants to sit with Wendy before he turns “a man of purpose” also into “a man of the people.”

If only the defense and the prosecution had the confidence Chuck had! It is so much fun to witness how they build strategy based on what we call asymmetric information in game theory.

Eastern District does not seem to officially have the slide as evidence but this does not give Axe comfort. The new Halls advise even if they recruit an assistant at the EDNY and remotely access the case file, they may still miss the evidence with a code name. Bach’s strategy is “motion to dismiss” which would force Bryan to present the evidence to prove they have a case. And while Dollar Bill has put the pink champipple on ice, they know they  will have recon day at the court.

On the prosecution side, while Bryan thinks even Evel Knievel cannot jump the gap between what he knows and what he has to prove, Dake believes dismissal would be poor optics for DeGiulio. Bryan needs to do what Knievel always did.

Rev her high

Pray for mercy

Try to put her down on the ramp

And hope you are one of the elect

Dake may be the Calvinist Chuck thought he was after all 😀

Before the opening speeches, I want to take this opportunity to thank Chuck for bringing Axe to the court, because Axe does not do suits otherwise, and in Billions costume designer Eric Daman’s words, “when Axe does wear a suit, it’s like a punch to the face.”

Bach opens the defense with a tribute to Brian Piccolo: The case is like his promising career cut short by an untimely death. The prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Axelrod is guilty of any charges; however, they have unfairly stripped him of his ability to trade and destabilized his life.

Axe constantly studies Bryan as he struggles to make his case. He has reason to believe several of their witnesses have been tampered with. They are trying to identify an operative directly linked to Bobby Axelrod who sabotaged Ice Juice. They believe there are witnesses that can ID him. While we find out Judge DeGiulio is a fan of George Clinton’s “Free your mind and your ass will follow” he still chooses to play King Solomon: He’s splitting the baby. Bryan has one week to present evidence or the judge will dismiss the case. When Bryan pays a visit to the judge later, he gets some priceless Seth Godin fix from him: The Dip is the moment you feel like the one before defeat but it is in fact the one before success. If Bryan digs in, he may put Axelrod where he needs to be.

After the recon session, Bach is sure Bryan does not have the slide only to hear Axe call him Pollyanna. Axe is not taking a plea or leaving the country but he will have the new Halls look into the security at the FBI evidence lock-up. Yikes!

I find Taylor and Oscar’s story very refreshing in the midst of the on-going court case maybe because it feels very familiar! I went to school in geeky enough settings that I can easily share a few stories close to sending someone delphiniums because their leaves are clustered according to the Fibonacci sequence!

While Mafee thinks a k.d. lang album along with tickets to UFC would cover all the bases, Taylor seems to enjoy their long-distance relationship with Oscar whose “I feel like I kicked over your Lego house” is everything! And when he finds out Taylor is trying to improve their algorithm and the young quants they have hired to test the algorithm are not much help, Oscar shows up at axe Capital the next day with his “standard coding provisions” just to keep them company. The two of them sitting on the bed with computers on their laps again feels familiar because my husband and I still work sitting across from each other in our study with computers in front of us. I cannot tell you how much I love the way Taylor and Oscar fall for each other’s brains.

Love life aside, Taylor is stressed out about the uncertainty surrounding the court case. What if Axe ends up in jail? Wendy understands Taylor may be terrified on one hand, and secretly hoping Axe leaves so they can see what they can accomplish at Axe Capital on the other. Her advice for Taylor is that they need to think of their gut as their deepest part, what Axe does at his best, or they could be doomed without knowing. If Taylor was not rattled before, they are rattled now! Given that they are used to be the boss at Axe Capital these days, the power dynamics may get interesting once Axe is back to trading.

Thanks to the new deadline, Chuck needs to have Mr. Adubo plant the slide in Axe’s apartment within one week. But even though Chuck is willing to to pay double, Adubo calls the deal off because Axe’s apartment has barbed wire. If he gets caught, even if his family makes it to America, he will be useless for them. Why not Chuck use an Axe Capital employee to put the slide in Axe’s apartment?

Chuck cannot ask Wendy, but can ask the man who brought him Axelrod in the first place two years ago: What Chuck does not know is Spyros, who Chuck catches at his lactate threshold, is not a cuckoo bird that would sneak its eggs in another mother’s nest! He is a golden eagle working for a winner for a change 😀 And, hey, he cannot care less that Chuck may use “date rape” against him.

Ah Spyros! Even though he tells Chuck he is well respected at Axe Capital, Spyros knows his colleagues are not taking him seriously. And so he feels the urge to prove everyone he has the ability to save the boss! Diving deep into Ice Juice IPO trades, Spyros identifies Wendy’s Ice Juice short along with two critical facts: Wendy has not traded at all before in her whole history at Axe Capital. And, more importantly, she shorted the stock while in Chuck’s office, which Spyros finds out thanks to a friend working at NSA!

Where Spyros sees team spirit, Axe sees someone getting disqualified for sniffing glue on the team bus! While he is ready to forget this stupid moment as well as the $2K he has paid for retaining Bach for his Head of Compliance, Spyros spills the beans: He has already gone full le Carré and Bryan has Wendy’s short in his hands.

“The only reason you’re not flying is because these windows don’t open.”

As I feel Axe’s pain as he is taking the stairs down to go tell Wendy what the fuck just happened, I am also worried he could pass out. I know, I know, I have been talking about Wendy’s short as her Achilles’ heel for months, but I did not know how this information could find its way to the prosecution because I knew Axe would not do it to her… Who knew Spyros had the balls to do it? We all know his days are numbered at Axe Capital now.

I completely agree with Axe that Wendy did what she did for whom she loves: Knowing Chuck will lose a lot of money in Ice Juice, Wendy acted on her maternal instinct – it could be emotional but I think also a rational one in this particular case – to protect her kids’ future.  Axe is ready to hire the best lawyers for her and Wendy should also tell him the words she wants him to say to feel safe.

“Are there any? Really?”

“No. Not really.”

I choose Chuck as the Pollyanna of the day since he still thinks Bryan may want to get Axe more than he wants to get him! The only courtesy Chuck receives when he tries to get cute with Bryan is a house visit where the latter tells Mr. and Mrs. Rhoades they are all but fucked. And he will wait until he has Wendy in the witness chair to inquire further about the police sketch of Hall 😀

The man who was ready to take unnecessary risks to avoid jail is now considering to take the plea with a minimum 7-year sentence. While Bach thinks surrendering his empire for one loyal soldier is not a good idea, Axe tells him even he owes Wendy for his place at Sagaponack because Axe Capital would never have been what it was without her.

“Your personal Oscar Goldman.”

“If you will.”

Bach does not stop there. What about Lara? What about kids? Does Axe know how much his jail sentence would hurt them? Well, Axe still takes the plea but needs to give a heads-up to Lara.

It turns out Lara, who seems to have shopped at Stella for new linens, may consider moving to California with the kids if Axe goes to jail so they are not surrounded by people who know their story. She is quite surprised about the plea since the man she married would never have given in if his freedom or his family had been on the line. If only Lara knew why Axe is planning to take the plea! It may be better she does not know because it could hurt her more than the fact that the man she married is going down without a fight. And their separation has never felt more real than in this scene.

Now, what does a true friend do for his best friend who is “Sinking Down“? Wags makes Axe meet the ortolan, a delicate songbird, as well as a delicacy in French cuisine, typically cooked and eaten whole.

The traditional way of eating the ortolan involves the diner covering his head with a large napkin which is, the legends says, to shield the shame of such a decadent and disgraceful act from God’s eyes, and, the French chefs say, to keep the aromas from escaping: One part pagan ritual, one part essay in gluttony, if you will.

And Axe and Wags have this experience, which feels more orgasmic than religious, with Wylie Dufresne of all people, a ridiculously talented chef whose WD-50 we LOVED. I still remember the first meal we had dinner there and Lewisto asking Wylie if he could give him a hug 😀

Wylie explains they don’t blind the birds as they did in old times anymore but they still drown them in Armagnac, and guess what, that is exactly how Wags wants to go to his eternal resting place that he secured in Episode 4 Hell of a Ride. Besides, he is still a little peckish. Is there a second?

“One is bliss. Two is gluttony.”

“How about three?”

“Let’s find out.”

While Axe feels like an ortolan just before they gouge their eyes out, and reflects on the good old days with Wags, Chuck talks about the glorious days they could have had, had this ever come to pass. It is fascinating the man still has the nerve to talk about his political aspirations! 😀

As “I’m not going anywhere” plays in the background, we sort of feel where we are heading. While Axe is getting ready to face it on his own and Chuck is considering to turn himself in, Wendy has a better idea thanks to the man with whom she has much in common: Black Jack Foley, who has found the most satisfaction and success on the sidelines, knows there is still a play when there is no play.

“If a situation is untenable, Mrs. Rhoades, you break that fucking stick.”

As he finally melts his dad’s heart knocking on his door crying, Chuck gets a message from Wendy and calls Sacker to tell her that Allerd, not Sacker, needs to secure a search warrant for Axe’s apartment at 7am next morning. And when he arrives at the meeting place with Wendy, Chuck knows exactly where they are, because it is the only way 😀

Wendy is breaking that fucking stick. They are now standing in Axe’s living room because the two men fucked it up gloriously and the situation has got so incestuous that if one of them goes to jail the other two will end up there as well. So there is no other way but putting the measuring tape aside and calmly discuss how to bounce back together. But before the two lost boys leave their weapons on the table, Chuck needs a bathroom break, not to pee but to plant the slide in Axe’s toiletry bag, yet another Godfather reference.

What the fuck?

And before we have been able to lift our jaws off the floor, he is back at the table.

Axe: “Full transparency. I give you my word.”

Chuck: “You want transparency? How fucking clear is this?”

Nah. The risk is too big to take for Chuck. He could lose Wendy forever if he trapped Axe like this. He leaves the slide on the table (and I doubt he goes around with multiple slides). How will they make Wendy’s short go away now? I do not know how but I know however they do it, it will be epic.

I have to say, while Bryan feels bad for the kids, I feel bad for Bryan. When the three musketeers get out of this, I do not see a future for him in either the EDNY or the SDNY. Time will tell if he chooses to be a lion.

Addendum 05/02: This is a first. I find myself going back to watch the last 3 minutes of the episode again and again and again. I CANNOT STOP MYSELF. That smile Chuck gives to Wendy after putting the slide on the table… I cannot get over it! It has this “see what I am capable of” and much more in it… And, hey, everyone knows I adore Damian Lewis but may I just say I adore Paul Giamatti, too? 🙂

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

78 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 6: The Third Ortolan”

    1. Damian has already done his part in the movie in the last few weeks (the entire shoot has lasted a month) and is now back in the UK. They will start shooting Billions probably in the fall. So he has a summer to play! 🙂

  1. I find it hard to believe that Taylor and Ben were the only ones who knew what the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio are.

    1. Agreed! I didn’t go to college, but being in this business as long as I have, even I know the Fibonacci sequence!

    2. True. But then again if someone had asked us to name two people that would definitely know about it, we would probably have said Taylor and Ben 😀

  2. Chuck just set up Axe, he gave him the slide in what looked like a guesture of openness, but he had already called in the raid of Axe’s penthouse for the next morning … axe will be caught with the slide

    1. Chuck told Sacker that Allerd, and not Sacker, should secure a search warrant so maybe the act would be sourced to Dake and not to Chuck? Would Wendy buy this kind of bullshit at all? Very risky move for Chuck but who knows? If he had put it in the toiletry bag, when it is found, Axe and Wendy would know it would be Chuck for sure… Giving it to Axe and then sending the FEDs could be a better strategy indeed. Hoenstly, I want to believe Axe makes the new Halls dispose of the slide within the hour but this is Billions and you may be right after all!

    2. Now that I have thought a bit more about it, didn’t Chuck hold the slide in his fingers as he was putting it on the table? Wouldn’t the slide have his fingerprints should the FEDs have their hands on it? Besides, how do we know Axe keeps the slide? Maybe it is the mediator that keeps it: Wendy. Ahhhh it will be a LONG wait until next Sunday.

      1. Chuck held the end of the slide safely by a gray cloth wrapped around it when seemingly/not seemingly planting it in the toiletry bag. However, he held the slide again, bare handed when showing it to Axe, and then pressed his finger tips into the end of the glass while placing the slide on the table in front of them. This has the Billies world across social media frantic, claiming there has to be two slides. Meh. As you indicate, Chuck also asked Sacker to have Allerd get a search warrant ready in the morning on stand-by, but didn’t tell Sacker for who. This is classic Billions being Billions, leading us one way, when clearly it’s another. But who? At who’s doorstep will the search warrant land and why? Spyros? Ira? Oh dear, Ira???? Surly not. Who else is on Chuck’s hit list besides Axe, Ira, and Spyros? God I love this show.

        1. Yes, he held it with a gray cloth in the bathroom, but as he was getting it out of his pocket to put it on the table, he was holding it with his fingers. I don’t think there are two slides. And you are absolutely right, I just re-watched the episode and Chuck does not specify whom the search warrant is for, it could be for anyone! “This is classic Billions being Billions, leading us one way, when clearly it’s another.” Very well said! Sunday cannot come fast enough!

          1. Correct, that’s what I said…that he held it with his fingers at the second point of contact.

          2. Chuck doesn’t specify who the warrant is for in the episode but in the sneak peak for next episode he says, “Physical evidence is being planted at Axelrod’s, he’ll be behind bars for the duration of his trial.” Sounds like Axe is the target of the warrant.

          3. The search warrant is for 7am in the morning. Given that Chuck gives Axe the slide in the evening did he leave Axe’s apartment and go to talk to somebody about the slide “being planted”? The doctor maybe? I have to say — maybe because I believe in Wendy and that she has Chuck well-trained (that was a killer line!) — I think Chuck will cooperate with Axe and Wendy and they will have Axe cooperate with them to make Wendy’s short go away… somehow… so I wonder if Chuck is talking to somebody, whoever that person is, to trick him or her… Hahaha I love a good challenge and this show is beyond a good challenge! As Gingersnap has said recently this is “classic Billions being Billions” showing us one thing while it is, in fact, something completely different. Ahhh Sunday cannot come faster!

          4. One thing about this show, you could read a full episode spoiler, watch the episode and still not know what’s going on.

  3. Well that was fun! I loved seeing Damian do more than 50 Shades of Calculation. The 3 relationships are so interesting. Taylor’s body language is positively girlish! The Axelrods, so cool, though it breaks their hearts. The Rhoades are opaque to me. Does anyone think there could be two slides? Too much?
    I’m so far ahead of the curve 🙂 I used to eat pigs ears at a soul restaurant called the Barn in West Oakland back in the 70s. Who knew? There was a lot of crunchy, smacking eating in this episode even Chucks sandwich crunched. Not Taylor’s Twizlers though.
    I’m interested in seeing them extricate themselves and each other from this situation. I still don’t get how Wendy became indispensable but then what did Brody do with the vest. Gotta take the story on its terms. But what happened to Dakes glasses?

    1. This was the BEST hour of Billions this season for sure. Yes, all three relationships are interesting and Taylor and Oscar may be my favorite couple in the show at the moment! I have to say, as much as I still think Axe and Lara will get back together, I now think their separation is quite real, and I find Lara considering to move to California if Axe ends up in jail quite cold. But it is a good thing that she does not know why he is planning to take the plea!

      I doubt there are multiple slides — which I also wrote into my recap. That said, another reader (you can see his/her comment below) suggests the slide will be in the apartment by 7am so the FEDs will find it in the search Chuck has arranged before he arrived at Axe’s place. When you think about it, leaving the slide in Axe’s toiletry bag would definitely implicate Chuck in the eyes of Axe and Wendy, but a random search by the FEDs finding the slide because Chuck gave it to Axe could be more obscure. That said, I think Axe would not buy that bullshit if it happened, either! And knowing Chuck can get even lower when you think he is at his lowest (not that Axe is much better than him!) we’d better not eliminate that possibility… All in all, I believe they will clear their names in one way or the other and I so look forward to seeing HOW! 🙂

      Wendy is written as “indispensable” as a character. Some buy into it (me!), and some don’t (Lady Trader!) but the character is written that way. Both men absolutely need her in their lives. As you say, I also think we gotta take the story on its terms.

      Dake has not being wearing glasses this season. His new NY image, I guess 😀

      1. I LIKED the glasses!
        Lara seems to be putting the boys first and foremost. Surrender of the slide IS planting the slide! Nice. We’ll see.
        Well Taylor and Oscar are the only ones having fun at this point!

  4. What an amazing episode it was, worth to getting up early to watch it :D.

    Damian in a suit it’s always a pleasure.

    Connerty was awesome in this episode but alas like you said, in next week episode things may not go the way he wants them to.
    Where does his future lays ? Hope it’s with TeamAxe, cause at least they are honest about what they do (being dishonest, in the grey area of what is legal or not), unlike Chuck, who this week did again another low move (and maybe another one with the slide).
    He is supposed to represent the law, come on ! How a guy like him can be governor.

    Some of the “geek” parts still makes me cringe, but hey it’s not a “geek” Tvshow.

    Can we take a moment to salute Damian’s acting from the moment he said “I have to tell her” to his whole conversation with Wendy. His eyes are conveying so much emotions.
    All the actions that Axe takes to “save” Wendy I find it huge, would it be doing this for anyone else at Axe capital ? Maybe for Wags (hope so) but I’m not so sure.

    Watching someone eating an Ortolan could be disgusting, it’s way more greasy than what they are eating in the episode, I don’t know what is it, but I don’t think it’s an Ortolan,
    the scene was ok, almost like a ritual as you nicely put it 🙂 Glad this custom is forbidden now in my country.

    The last part with Wendy and Chuck going to Axe’s place, that was so great, I had a smile on my face during the whole thing 😀

    1. Thank you for reading!

      Bryan is awesome and will keep being awesome until he gets it that there is no future for him in law. If, and I think it is more when than if, Chuck gets cleared, I don’t think he will want Bryan at SDNY. Given that Bryan will probably not be able to win the case, I don’t think he has a big chance of getting a job at the Eastern, either. As Damian has said in a recent interview, these institutions also keep score like sports! Hahaha I think Chuck is very realistic as someone with political aspirations. Unfortunately, there are a lot of politicians that constantly manipulate to get to the point they want to. And who knows he can be one hell of a governor 🙂

      Oh I salute Damian for that scene. I felt his pain as he took the stairs down and I was really worried Axe could pass out. What a heavy burden to carry on his shoulders. I loved the twist the show creators gave us with Spyros sharing Wendy’s short with Bryan. I always knew that short would eventually haunt them but I also knew Axe would not sell Wendy out. Spyros trying to save the boss while trying to win the respect of others at the workplace is amazing! Axe really REALLY values Wendy. He owes to her. I know some do not find it realistic but this is how the character is written. It is fascinating he was almost ready to take the plea even after Lara said she might move to California with the kids!

      I did not know about Ortolan eating ritual until last evening. I found out all about it as I was researching the episode title to understand if it means something particular and VOILA! I laughed hard at the opening scene because I knew what it was!!! And I don’t think they had real ortolan, it is banned everywhere. Yet, French chefs try to revive it!

      Let me finish with a little fan girling: Damian in a suit is EVERYTHING! <3

  5. Enjoyed your writeup Damianista.

    One of the biggest takeaway from Wendy-Taylor conversation was “Cultivating instincts and make the instincts free from fear and hope”. So grateful to writers for these moments.

    For your pondering “How will they make Wendy’s short go away now? “, the trailer seems to make it look like Maffee as the scapegoat. I think something similar happened in SAC capital where in they made couple of their employees as goats.

    You had read a book on the investigation of SAC right? Could you throw some light on where this might go?

      1. I am not sure if they need to make Mafee necessarily a victim, i.e. putting him in a situation where he will end up in jail. If he only needs to cooperate to make the short seem “better” than it currently does within legality, it could work in Mafee’s favor in monetary terms 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading!

      I had no idea about Mafee until I read your comment. I had not seen the previews and now I have. Ha! Well, shorting the stock is not illegal and someone could have done it for Wendy… especially someone that is in a romantic relationship with him — the previews hint to that and even Mafee could be involved in the game to protect Wendy, I am sure Azxe would pay him well for it! Wow, that is some twist and I am so looking forward to seeing what will happen!

      Regarding the book, I read the Black Edge by Sheela Kolhatkar — it is all about the SAC Capital investigation. The difference between Axe Capital and SAC Capital is that they never had any evidence on Steve Cohen at any point. He was extremely careful, and kept his tracks covered all the time. So it was a few of his minions that the FEDs could find evidence on: For example, one is a minion who had a close relationship (like a father-son relationship) with a doctor who gave him information about a medicine that was being developed so they knew whether to short or long the company developing the drug. Because of the minions’ involvement it was not Steve Cohen but it was SAC Capital that was turned into a home office. But it seems he will be back soon or he may even have been back already to trading.

  6. Quite a few interesting turns of events in this episode. The Axe/Lara conversation leads me to believe theirs is a serious break, not something staged for monetary purposes. No matter what Axe seems to think of Wendy, which appears to be much more than he thinks of his wife, going to jail for her just is not a feasible story line to me. (Lady Trader, please join me in hoping the writers do not continue to give her goddess stature when they are writing season 4.) Does it matter that Chuck left his finger prints all over the room where he hid (or intended to) the infamous slide? Only if the one he puts on the table proves to be a fake. It does sound like Wags is not exactly jumping ship, but being pushed off in a lifeboat before the vessel goes down. However, I am betting Axe will be back at the head of Axe Cap and in his glory by the time this season ends. Oh yes, the only thing that annoyed me in this epi was that bird eating bit. Even in “Your Highness” Damian did not look as goofy as he did with that napkin on his head. He also looked like he was trying not to laugh. So what did they really eat in place of those little birds? Unhappily, my first thought on that opening scene was that they looked like Klan wannabees, and that would be disgusting. But it was so lovely seeing Axe looking sharp in suit and tie. He does clean up nicely.

    1. First things first: I watched that Wags – Wendy scene tonight. You are right. Wags does not pour for himself but then his glass is full 🙂 Minor stuff but yes it is there! You have good eyes, Connie!

      I completely agree with you that Axe and Lara’s separation is quite real. I understand you do not find it plausible that Axe is willing to take the plea for Wendy but again the character is written that way. He owes her a great deal and the fact that he is still willing to take the plea when Bach talks about his FAMILY is fascinating. Can you put someone before your family? I like it how the show takes us out of our comfort zone and makes us think?

      I believe there is an on-going debate on social media about the “second slide” but I personally do not think there is a second slide. I think Chuck really has run out of options, and if they give Axe the slide, he may give something back to save Wendy from the Ice Juice short. Besides, knowing that Axe would do anything to save Wendy, I think Chuck could not risk put the slide in Axe’s bag. Regarding the Ice Juice case, I think Axe will be back at the helm of Axe Capital before we know it, and way before Season Finale. If I need to bet, I would say he would be BACK by the end of Episode 7 or 8. Then they will reset and give us a new story.

      I liked the ortolan ritual — but yes I agree they looked hilarious but I think that is the point! 🙂 It is a gift that Wags is giving Axe before the latter is going to prison. Because I researched about the title before the episode and read about the eating ritual just an hour or two before the new episode, I knew what it was as soon as i saw the opening scene.

      I cannot agree more about the suit. As I wrote in the recap, thanks go to Chuck Rhoades for bringing Axe to the court, because otherwise we would never see Axe in a suit.
      Damian in a suit is EVERYTHING 🙂

      1. I’m betting Axe will be back in episode 8. Rather than call this a spoiler, it’s a hint. I get the TV Guide magazine. There is a hint in there for the episode showing new on May 13th.

        1. So the court case will be over at the end of next episode. These are not real spoilers anyway since we all know he will make it back to Axe Capital and otherwise there could be no show really. The thrilling part is always HOW he will be able to have his name cleared. Sunday cannot come fast enough! 🙂

          1. When does Bobby Axelrod get back to trying to outdo the other predatory hedge funds etc out there? It seems this pursuit for justice is coming to an end. And really is getting fake and boring to me. One thing that got me was Taylor saying that ETFs have sucked all the dumb money out of the market that Hedgies used to prey on. So now Hedgies are staring each other down trying to win in the markets. Why Taylor was looking for quants to beat them.

          2. May I forward this question to Lady Trader who I am sure would be very happy to address it on Friday in her post? I have really enjoyed the season so far but I understand everyone’s preferences about storylines diverge.

          3. Yeah, please forward it. Thanks. As far as “Damian in a suit is EVERYTHING” goes I was not fair. Because you have considered Damian Lewis and Bobby Axelrod from many different angles. So nothing wrong with you complimenting Bobby Axelrod when he is turned out well scrubbed in a slick suit.

          4. walkingman2011 — My 14 yr old son reads Murakami frequently — PAY ATTENTION carefully & there is at least one Billions ep where Axe has a Murakami book on the nightstand in the CT home

      2. “Damian in a suit is EVERYTHING” Female thinking at its finest. most basic and most revealing! Please don’t join #metoo and sue me. This whole episode lagged compared to number five. And Taylor came across as girlish but this kind of affair is bizarre. If he,she is really non-binary then Billions producers should have made he come off manly in the sexual engagements. Then what would have happened is that Billions would have cratered as far as viewership including me. So reality is that Taylor claims non-binary but when push comes to shove “But she breaks just like a little girl” credit to Bob Dylan

        1. Don’t worry, no law suits!

          Well, everyone should be allowed to fan-girl a little and as much as I am confident I am not the typical fan girl because I am interested more in the actor’s acting and his brain than his looks, there are moments you cannot unsee what you see! I am behind my words: Damian in a suit is EVERYTHING.

          I understand non-binary is a new concept for most of us. I disrespectfully disagree with you re Bob Dylan quote. As far as I understand identifying your gender as non-binary when your assigned sex is female does not mean you cannot fall in love with a man or get romantic. As far as I know, Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as non-binary in real life, is also in a relationship with a man. I have to say I really enjoy Taylor-Oscar relationship and it feels very familiar to me probably because I grew up in geeky enough settings (exam schools, engineering school, PhD). Oscar’s coming to NY just to accompany Taylor developing an algorithm because “breaking trail is a lonely calling” resonates with me. So does the couple sitting on the bed working away on their computers. I went through similar situations with my significant other.

          1. This is why I like Billions. The show is pretty much _not_ politically correct. So I can get get some good laughs and drama from it. Taylor is OK with me as an unusual trading brainiac. She-he spices things up.

    2. I thought the very same thing when Chuck was sliding his hands on the wall and fireplace section of the bedroom, touching everything, including the bathroom drawer handle. And I agree with you, Axe taking a plea for Wendy’s sake, sacrificing his life, wife, children, family, company, is not a feasible story line. It’s jumping the shark for me in that aspect until I’m shown more of their backstory maybe??? I’m trying really hard to get behind the notion of their relationship but these oddities like the nudity scene together in the bath in season 1 and the sacrificing of everything for her in season 3 just doesn’t equate IMO, no matter how close of friends you are. Can you imagine going home in the evening to your husband or wife and divulging you just sat naked in a bath with your friend of the opposite sex? Regardless that the nudity was a show of trust and to be sure no one was wired, there are other ways (like the 2 Halls sweeping you for bugs) to accomplish a conversation in trust without getting naked. It was also a power move, on both their parts. In some ways, it is a relationship with blurred boundaries, yet in her profession, she should model those very boundaries. In last night’s episode when Wendy referred to their current predicament (Chuck, Axe, Wendy) as almost incestuous, well, I couldn’t agree more. And as Black Jack Foley likes to move the Titans around on the chessboard, so does Wendy to some degree. You are right, this episode showed Axe and Lara are not just on a “break” to save the assets. However, Lara did say something to the effect of “for now.” I perked up at that tidbit, filed it back in my mind for later.

    3. I agree with you Connie. I can understand why Chuck would do everything in his power to keep his wife out of prison, but Axe going that far? Even if he wife threatens to take his kids to another state? That’s a tough leap for me. And I totally don’t buy that Wendy is the “spirit animal” of the firm. That is Axe. However, at a talk last night, Kopppelman said Wendy was the “hero” of the show, so you and I are just going to have to continue hating on her. I know where my immense dislike of her comes from; I just don’t understand everyone else’s love for her.

      1. Maybe the writers feel they need a “hero” in order to keep both Axe and Chuck, part good, part bad, in line with the whole premise of the show. In addition to her position at Axe Cap, it is her know-it-all attitude that drives me crazy. I guess we have to take the attitude I have expressed before, as my husband used to say, “Just go along with the story”.

  7. Theory I’m floating.. nobody is going to jail. Not Axe, Chuck nor Wendy anyway. And S4 is going to be Bobby v Rhoades for Gov.

    1. I’ve been saying lately, season 1 Axe won, season 2 Chuck won, season 3 they will tie…but whether that tie is they both lose or they both win is still debatable.

      -or-

      Season 1 Axe won, season 2 Chuck won, season 3 Wendy wins. But doesn’t she always? What will season 4 bring us NOW?!?!?!?!

        1. They should know months ago, they may even know right now how many seasons they will have 🙂 I think the announcements are made in fanfare to excite the fans! When we talked about when they would start shooting Season 3 at the Goat backstage, Damian told us they would start shooting in September and then he said it may always start in September “from now on” which told us there would be more seasons.

          1. looks like most “golden age’ iconic shows run 5 to 8 seasons so that is what I would expect

          2. True. The Wire had 5, Breaking Bad had 6, Mad Men had 7 and Sopranos had 7, too? It’s been a long time, I can’t remember that now. Homeland will have 8. At least these are my “golden age” shows. I would say they should continue as long as they have a brilliant story to tell and finish while at the peak.

    2. I don’t think anybody is going to jail, either! Hahaha I don’t see Bobby run for governor 🙂 Maybe Mayor of NYC like Bloomberg? 😀 Joke aside, I’m wondering if Chuck could go ahead with his own campaign after all… but it would be fun to see his campaign!

  8. Plenty of billionaires in politics.. we’re already seeing how Axe still involved in business while suspended from trading

  9. What a perfect episode (yes there are a few).
    D. I also fell victim to “Invalid Security Token”. I tries 2x got the warning, Then just wrote “test” which went through (some of you were probably wondering what was going on). Then tried 3 more times without success. I was on my home computer, but have used it before. Now I’m trying my work computer.

    I’m going to summarize my thoughts due to technical difficulties.
    Still enjoying Taylor and Oliver. Wendy rocks. Hope Lara finds her way back to Axe. Bryan will never break (or at least not soon)
    Only one slide, more interesting to move on. I think the subpoena will be a fun surprise, or cancelled if not Axe.
    I also noticed Chuck’s fingerprints all over Axe’s apartment. That looks like a revisit down the road.
    Interesting theory that Mcfee may be the fall guy. Agree he won’t do time.
    Ecstatic that I understood this episode. Maybe just a few references got by me.
    Great, great job D. I agree with all of it.

  10. What a perfect episode (yes there are a few).
    D. I also fell victim to “Invalid Security Token”. I tries 2x got the warning, Then just wrote “test” which went through (some of you were probably wondering what was going on). Then tried 3 more times. I was on my home computer, but have used it before. Now I’m trying my work computer.

    I’m going to summarize my thoughts due to technical difficulties.
    Still enjoying Taylor and Oliver. Wendy rocks. Hope Lara finds her way back to Axe. Bryan will never break (or at least not soon)
    Only one slide, more interesting to move on. I think the subpoena will be a fun surprise, or cancelled if not Axe.
    I also noticed Chuck’s fingerprints all over Axe’s apartment. That looks like a revisit down the road.
    Interesting theory that Mcfee may be the fall guy. Agree he won’t do time.
    Ecstatic that I understood this episode. Maybe just a few references got by me.
    Great, great job D. I agree with all of your interpretations.

    1. Joyce, you have my sympathy. I get that “Invalid Security Token” more often than not. Makes me want to double my blood pressure med!

      1. I really have no idea what that “invalid security token” is about. It seems it happens with longer comment posts. If it happens, do a “test” post like Joyce does and email me your comment, I will replace the test with the real comment. I know it’s not the ideal solution but it may help with blood pressure! <3

    2. Thank you for reading, Joyce, and for your kind remarks!

      For some reason, people get “Invalid Security Token” for longer comments, I wonder if the program that oversees the security of wordpress blogs diagnose them as spam or something. I talked to JetPack the company who takes care of the security and they say since it is not happening to everyone, it may have something to do with the browser individuals use. That’s all I know about it. Sorry about that.

      I feel for Bryan. I do not know where the show will take us but my hunch is the holy triangle will get out of this with minimal damage where as Bryan will be the prosecutor that has failed to put them behind bars. I understand they keep score at the SDNY and EDNY for your promotions and that is why I am wondering if Bryan may consider switching to the other side!

      Chuck’s fingerprints are everywhere in the apartment and as we have notices it, Chuck should have noticed it, too — he’s a smart man. So I think he has really run out of options and now put the measuring tape aside, if temporarily, to save himself and more importantly his wife from this and go ahead with his campaign. Running for governor’s seat should be more important for him than putting Axe in jail, too. I think they were both blinded by rage last season which made them do the ridiculously crazy Ice Juice play that bury them under a huge pile of shit. They should just trust Wendy. I agree: Wendy rocks! 🙂

  11. Bryan has “moral compass” — Ari had no trouble switching but Bryan would need a real change in motivation to work for a Bach type firm (this is poetic license — I have many friends who are ex AUSAs and/or state prosecutors) … wonder if Lonnie will ever resurface ?

    1. I don’t think everything we plan for in life happen but I think most of us self-select ourselves into our professions depending on what kind of life we want. Money would not be a real motivation for Bryan. But he can consider switching to private sector should he see there is no real future in him in public service — which is quite possible if (and more probably when) Chuck gets out of Ice Juice undamaged.

      1. I’ve been saying this all season and thought about it when I was analyzing the Billions poster art regarding who is Judas? Lonnie can royally mess things up for Chuck! This is Lonnie’s House!

        1. Well, when we talked about Chuck’s potential Achilles’ Heels before the season started, Lonnie was on top of the list with Ira…Yet, long time no see 🙂 Would Axe want to ruin Chuck at this moment or cooperate with Chuck and Wendy until it is over and he is back at the helm of Axe Capital? I would go with the latter but who knows Lonnie can always show up at an unexpected time and place 😀

  12. This was the first post I didn’t make a copy. Lesson learned.
    I forgot to mention how did you get to sleep D. after this episode. Did you sleep?
    Very exciting. And yes, where is Lonnie.
    I’m on the side of Bryan burning Chuck. And no one can go to jail. Can’t wait for the next court scene. I love Rob Morrow in everything he does. Fitting choice to a great cast.

    1. I never sleep after watching Billions, I thought you knew that! 🙂 I sit down and write my recap and it takes a good 5-6 hours and then add pics and polish your writing, and the sun rises up! 😀
      Very exciting indeed. We have only 6 episodes left so I want to savor the rest slowly but then I cannot wait for Sunday – dilemmas, dilemmas! <3

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