Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 10: With or Without You

source: Showtime

The overslept birthday boy, who was totally oblivious to his wife’s pain at Yonkers Racetrack, wakes up in an empty house. Lara has taken off with the boys leaving a note that reads “you lied to me.” Well, he did. Her phone is off and his first voice message is kind:

“Will you just call me? Please?”

source: Showtime

Cameras show Lara taking four 10K bricks out of the vault and leaving with light luggage. She has not used the jets or the chopper. We find out Axelrods have a NYC apartment, homes in Aspen and Miami as well as a vineyard in addition to their two properties we have known of and Lara is not at any of them. Hall disabled the GPS in her car at Axe’s request months ago and she has not used EZ-pass or any credit cards yet. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 10: With or Without You”

Previously on Billions: Season 2 Episode 9 “Sic Transit Imperium”

We open with a ‘hedge against humanity’ called the Arc, which Wags has bought Axe a place in for the end of times. Axe’s birthday preparations are underway.

Chuck is rallying the troops over Axe ‘looting’ Sandicot. Bryan delivers the news that the bond deal itself is legal, but the timing is suspect. Chuck adds that Axe acted when he did because he knew something.  They need to consider how he came by the information and who might be involved.

source: Showtime

The subpoena for Steph Reed is in and Kate will be taking care of this.  Chuck tells Kate he has complete confidence in her and she asks “I thought Connerty did?” Chuck responds “I have enough confidence to go around.”

Bill is about to recoup on a major investment in a teenage baseball player who he has been paying private lessons for since he was 13. Bill has a birthday present for Axe…Klaxon, a Belgian car company. They are headed for a recall, fines, sanctions etc. Bill says they need to move on their position fast as the news won’t be held for long.  Axe asks Bill his level of certainty and we are treated to a flashback of Victor obtaining information and passing it to Bill. Bill tells Axe he is not uncertain. Continue reading “Previously on Billions: Season 2 Episode 9 “Sic Transit Imperium””

“From the Trader’s Desk” What does Axe have in common with Kings, Caesars and Mob Dons?

“So passes the Empire”

Source: Showtime

Kings, Caesars, Mob Dons. When we think of these titles we may think of power, wealth, and loyalty. To a certain extent that is true. However, what they also have in common is the struggle to keep their place at the top, how they get there and how they fall. Kings, Caesars and Mob Dons all get to the top through violence, and usually end their reigns that way as well. Through the course of their reign, they often become distrustful of even their most loyal subjects and become deceitful in order to keep everyone off balance. In the end, they are paranoid, isolated, and alone.

What does that have to do with Billions? The titles and events of the previous two episodes “The Kingmaker” and “Sic Transit Imperium”, made me think of Axe in that light. He got to the top through violence; as we learn in “Boasts and Rails” his actions during the murder and devastation of 9/11 made Axe a lot of money, and the destruction of his former company lead to the opening of Axe Capital (I write about that here). He also has wealth, power, and from many of his employees, loyalty. However, he too is constantly fighting to stay at the top. He sees the Visigoths coming, whether in the form of the government (and Chuck in particular) or other fund managers, and he will fight them all. The Axe we see in “Sic Transit Imperium” is a tired, isolated, and reflective King, wondering if it is all worth it. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk” What does Axe have in common with Kings, Caesars and Mob Dons?”

Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 9: Sic Transit Imperium

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 😀

source: Showtime

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.”

Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 9: Sic Transit Imperium”

Previously on Billions: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Kingmaker”

Chuck Senior takes a call from Jack Foley who is not impressed that his granddaughter Emma has not gotten that Clerkship. He is upset at the “bad form” and Chuck Jnr letting him down. Snr says that Jnr does not know and cannot ever know about Sandicot. Foley is throwing in with Bob Sweeney for Governor now…but Foley and Senior are still fine.

The Remington from Sandicot has arrived at Axe Capital, but Axe is more concerned with Foley screwing him over and specifically why.  Wags has been searching for a deal they did where Foley got screwed, but Axe says he won’t find it because he could have been harbouring the grudge for a decade.  Axe is concerned about Foley being able to do him so much damage without him seeing it coming. He orders Wags to get him in a room with Foley.

source: Showtime

Chuck Snr and Jnr are having a conversation about Jnr’s “disrespecting” of Foley i.e. not getting Emma the Clerkship. Chuck declares that he doesn’t need Foley’s backing as he has his own power and when he is Governor, Foley will have to look him in the eye.  Continue reading “Previously on Billions: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Kingmaker””

Billions on Showtime 2.08: The Kingmaker

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.

Continue reading “Billions on Showtime 2.08: The Kingmaker”