Charles Rhoades Sr., often referred to as Chuck Senior, is played by the extraordinary actor Jeffrey DeMunn. Some of you may remember him from the Walking Dead, Law and Order and The Green Mile. He plays Chuck Senior on Billions with a noble, high-born conviction with not so subtle hints of a slime ball undercurrent magnified by that Bob Barker mischievous grin.
Here comes the birthday boy! Like every other middle-aged mortal, Axe reflects on what he wants from life on his birthday in Sic Transit Imperium which I would prefer to title Dollar Bill’s Words of Wisdom 😀
While Wags’ birthday gift for Axe is a $360K downpayment for a spot in a “luxury survival bunker” called The Ark for the end times — believe it or not these luxury bunkers exist — Dollar Bill prefers to give him a business deal 😀 No, his gift is not Aparicio Rodriguez, a young baseball player, the next Sal Bando, whom Bill has been sponsoring since age 13 in return for a big chunk of his signing bonus: a 2000% return on his investment (ROI)! Instead, Bill gives Axe a Belgian Car Company: Klaxon. The company will have a recall, and even though timing is not certain, Bill is not uncertain they have to lay in their position now. In a flashback, we find out paper shredding is not as safe as we think it is and that it is Victor who let Bill know about Klaxon. When questioned about the risk of the deal, Bill provides food for thought:
“If we can’t live how we want, terrorists have already won.”
Let’s try something new. Let’s talk about Billions Season 2 Episode 8, “The Kingmaker”, as if it were a soap, a tabloid, heck, a professional wrestling match. The soapiness of this episode cannot be denied. Soaps get a bum rap. When they are good, there is great drama there, folks. Great storytelling. And the hardest working people in the business. And true to the genres of tabloid, soap, and wrestling match, “The Kingmaker” hit all the marks for great drama.
Black Jack Foley. Old steel and railroad money. One of the first businessmen that went to Russia after the wall fell. It seems he has taken after his great-great-great uncle Boss Tweed that he is pulling the strings in Albany. He is THE Kingmaker who takes your measure and bless you. And that is why both Axe and Chuck need a moment with this man as soon as possible.
Chuck Sr gets a lukewarm call from Foley. His granddaughter has not got the clerkship. Chuck may have no idea Foley moved the casino away from Sandicot, but he should have some idea Foley will help him in Albany. Now that he feels disrespected, Foley will back Bob Sweeney’s campaign in gubernatorial elections.