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.
Welcome to “From the Trader’s Desk” double shot! We’ll be looking at both “Indian Four” and “Victory Lap” since the “fin speak” was a minimum in both episodes.
Thoughts & Observations on “Indian Four”
I’d like to start off by saying that I hope one day to be in the position of having my own meat aging room, and a room to store motorcycles that I will never ride. If I ever were in that position, I’d also have my own TARDIS, but that’s another blog….
One thing that struck me during Axe and Wendy’s meeting at the skate park was his response to Wendy’s asking for a stake in Axe Capital – “No one owns any of it but me”. That response does not surprise me, and I was shocked Wendy would even ask for it. He built it, and he will keep it! I think we know why someone like Axe would never take the Giving Oath. Continue reading “Double Shot From the Trader’s Desk: “Indian Four” & “Victory Lap””
As much as last week’s episode of Billions was softer around the edges and showed some heart, this week’s episode, “Victory Lap”, displays the exact opposite. One hallmark of this complex show is that, since directing and writing hands are traded weekly, there’s a different feel, a sort of different emotional center, to every episode. The beauty is that, despite changing hands, the story maintains continuity and characters stay consistently true to form. In fact, there is more revealed every time we see these people, as well as more left unknown.
As we start the second half of Season 2, Axe and Chuck are at opposite ends in their personal and professional lives. Axe seems to have made up with Lara but is suffering from the Sandicot deal. Chuck, on the other hand, is doing his professional victory lap for taking down Boyd but has a fragile relationship with Wendy. And, in an interesting turn of events, Episode 7 Victory Lap makes both men converge to exactly the same point: Black Jack Foley. Man of the Hour. It seems we will get to see more of David Straithorn in the coming weeks.