A warning for those just starting to watch Billions in the UK, this blog will contain spoilers for all of season 1.
To know who Bobby Axelrod is means having an understanding of where he has been and how he has gotten to here. At the moment we just have ‘the here’ with a couple of anecdotes thrown in. Granted the 9/11 reveal was fairly big, but in the end just added more questions.
The simple view of Bobby Axelrod is a husband, a father and the owner of Axe Capital. Digging under the surface the clear picture starts to blur.
His wife loves him and is loyal to him yet it is clear there are things she does not know about him or about how he will react in certain circumstances. In Magical thinking Lara tells her sister Lu that she needs Bobby “to give her something” i.e. she needs him to share with her. It probably hurt her knowing he was off sharing his feelings with Wendy. In ‘the Conversation’ we see the first slither of doubts cross her mind even as the words she speaks say the opposite. I found it interesting that Bobby decided to leave all that money in the house rather than return it to the bank. Is this a test for his wife? At this stage I wouldn’t put it past him. Lara did not appreciate the inference of having to up and run soon by keeping the money in the house. Nor did she appreciate the affection with which Bobby spoke of Wendy in the same scene. It seems to me Mr & Mrs Axelrod may be about to hit choppy waters. I hope that boat came with life jackets.
His boys look up to him but then they are children who still think that dad knows best and are still at the stage where they prefer ‘cool’ dad far better than ‘realistic and responsible’ mum. The reality is that cool dad is not doing himself or his boys any favours. They are childish enough that they thank him for his undermining of whatever their mother says and does. They will grow out of that eventually. Continue reading “Value of Loyalty and Bobby Axelrod’s varying degrees”
We open with the US Attorney’s office. Bryan is looking like crap, still covered in Donnie’s blood. Everyone is gathered there. Chuck starts talking about becoming a chess master. He talks of his flaw about feeling his opponent is unworthy of him simply because of the way his opponent played the game. Rage would take over and he would think about total destruction. It is clear where Chuck is going with this. “While I was trying to destroy him, I’d forget to win”.
He would use tactics designed to intimidate, leave voids in his defence. He knew better, but could not do better.
“At the end of the game my opponent’s arm would be raised in victory while I sat humiliated and alone, bathed in anger and defeat. Here I am again…beaten”
There is a saying that an angry man is a blind man.
Chuck then tells everyone that Donnie is going to die soon and that they have to assume that everything Donnie gave them was false. He wishes the loss were his alone, but it isn’t. He expects that, within the hour, Adam DeGiulio from the AG’s office will walk in and take them off the Axelrod case.
Chuck calls Axe bloodless for using Donnie in the manner that he did. That he was not as bloodless as Axe. Bryan tries to shoulder some of the blame, but Chuck won’t let him.
“They’ll call me sloppy, driven, and unhinged and for once they will be correct.”
Kate asks what they can do.
Chuck answers “we can remember how the game is supposed to be played. We will retreat so we can attack when it is to our advantage.” His stirring speech is fittingly interrupted by the arrival of Adam DeGiulio, who seems to bring tension right into the office with him.
The Axelrods are out for dinner. Baseball is yet again a topic of discussion. Last episode we had Mike Tiexiera guesting and now Bobby wants Dean to justify why he thinks the ’27 Yankees baseball team is the best of all time. Bobby suddenly decides the kids can have ice cream which Lara isn’t so sure about until she realises why Bobby distracted them.
Their car has been graphited with less than flattering words one of which is ‘pigs’. Lara says it is getting worse and Bobby says “it is only just starting.”
Bobby is playing pool and narrates to Lara what he is doing. There is then a discussion with revelations about Bobby’s state of mind. “It only counts if it goes where I want it to”. Lara is concerned because “you don’t usually think about missing.”
Bobby talks about them protecting the kids. Lara wants to go away for a while, but Bobby is adamant that no one is chasing them from their home or him from his work. Bobby might want to start listening to Lara. When he traded on 9/11 the only person he had to even consider taking the brunt of the consequences was himself. Now, he has a wife and two kids.
We open with the FBI raiding Donnie’s house. Donnie tells his partner to go be with the kids and hides an awful lot of pills just as the FBI come charging through the door. Donnie has a lot of pills and we were discussing the possibility that Donnie is very ill and possibly dying.
Bryan instigated this raid as he isn’t happy and wanted Donnie to know how it would feel when they come to take him to prison because he thinks Donnie is stringing them along. Donnie explains about how he is giving them Axe using the data on Kemlot. Bryan shouts him down and tells him he has a week, by the end of which, either Axe is in Federal custody or Donnie is.
Chuck and Kevin arrive at the Big Apple Circus. Kevin spots his favourite baseball player and wants to go over and get an autograph. Chuck isn’t so keen when he sees Bobby talking to him and tries to steer Kevin away, but Bobby spots them and shouts Kevin over. Chuck is less than impressed but Bobby says “never women and the children”. Bobby can’t resist a dig though after Chuck says that Mark is Kevin’s favourite player “he obviously has his mother’s instinct for people”. Ouch! That is how you punch without getting a misdemeanor!
Wendy arrives clearly stunned to find her husband and Bobby standing next to one another. There is a quick exchange of words between them before Chuck ushers the family away.
Hold on to your hats, Billions fans, because this week’s episode airing on SkyAtlantic is the one where the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan. In this episode, ostensibly named for squash plays, we get the nitty gritty of where Bobby Axelrod was on 9/11 and what he was doing. And we see, here, how Bobby “boasts” of his actions that day and “rails” against the flack generated by them, now, 15 years later.