Billions is first and foremost a New York show. And there is nothing more natural than the darkest day of the city, September 11, still shadowing the lives and relationships of our characters. Besides, we all know 9/11 was particularly a very dark day for financial services firms many of which had offices in the World Trade Center. Cantor Fitzgerald lost two thirds of its workforce on 9/11.
One of the first things we learn about Axe in The Pilot that he is a 9/11 survivor. He is, in fact, the only partner that survived the terrorist attacks because he was out of office in meetings while most of his colleagues and friends died. And seeing that Axe Capital is located in Westport, Connecticut, we also find out Axe Capital is among the financial houses that chose to move from Wall Street to neighboring Connecticut or New Jersey after the destruction of downtown NYC on 9/11.
We then find Axe in a conference room at Axe Capital with the widows and children of his friends that died on 9/11. Axe has been giving college scholarships to these kids for years. He has been keeping it private that there has never been a press release or an interview with him about it.
Billions has never shied away from shocking us over its first two seasons; say it is when Bobby threatens Wendy with the pictures Hall had taken of the two of them naked at the spa, or when Chuck sells out both his dad and his best friend to get Bobby, or when Bobby steals Donnie’s Christmas because he cannot risk him living longer. And now it is time for Wendy to shock us all with her cold-blooded calculations as she makes her decisive move to save her two boys and herself from going to prison.
It is fascinating how Bobby and Chuck immediately recognize the need to dump Ice Juice scheme on someone else when Wendy leaves the table for a few minutes. They have to make Wendy’s short go away but in such a way that the case does not go to trial. They divide the work: Firstly, Bobby will have the new Halls to “massage” the phone records so they do not locate Wendy in Chuck’s office when she calls Mafee to short Ice Juice. Bobby will also make it look like Dr. Gilbert has made profits in Ice Juice. And he will need to make sure Mafee does not share with the Feds what they want to hear about Wendy’s short. Chuck, on the other hand, will ensure that the good doctor will take the plea and go to prison without a trial. Yet, both men hesitate to mention sending someone innocent to prison in front of Wendy thinking that she may not take it. Continue reading “Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part VI”
“Damian tickles you and delights you with his charm and his wit.” — Maggie Siff
Well, while we already know how charming and witty Damian could be, it is still a treat to hear these lovely words from Maggie Siff, who along with Damian brings to life one of the most intriguing and complex relationships we have ever seen on TV. It is sincere and it is strategic. It is friendly and it is flirty. It is personal and it is professional. It is delicate. It is difficult. It is delicious. And while I believe Season 3 has revealed there is no romance in it, it has also revealed there is real partnership. Bobby and Wendy find meaning in what they have built together and can draw the best out of each other. In case you have missed my earlier posts on these two, you can find them here, here, here, and here. Continue reading “Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part V”
I personally promised several of you to write about my conversation with Damian when I caught up with him on Billions set back in December as soon as I come back from vacation. I have been buried under teaching and committee work and meetings since I came back that I have just been able to find some time to sit and write. And while it may be a while ago and that I do sometimes not remember what I had for dinner last night, I vividly remember my conversation with Damian 😀
This blog has had an interesting relationship with Billions. I launched the blog only two weeks before they started shooting the pilot in New York and I have been very lucky to catch up with Damian on the set once every season since. I do not know how many times you need to do a thing for it to become a tradition, but catching up with Damian on Billions set once a year certainly feels like a tradition now.
And when I saw Billions signs on Park Avenue on a Saturday evening in December, I thought I could continue the tradition. The signs hint that they might shoot at an ultra fancy restaurant where I could easily imagine Axe eat with other billionaires, and was happy that I could continue the tradition. Continue reading “Catching Up With Damian Lewis on Billions Season 4 Set”