Previously on Billions: Where the **** is Donnie?

Previously on Billions…

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.”

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

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.

The protesters are outside Axe capital making their voices heard.

Sean, a fundraiser and custodian of the previously named Ellis Eads Hall has arrived to have a discussion about the name on the building. He feels threatened by the negative publicity that having the Axelrod name on the front will now bring.

He tries to talk about St Nicholas (4th century Bishiop) who was famed for anonymous donations to the poor. Axe quite rightly asks “if he was anonymous, how do you know he did it?”

Sean feels the hall needs renamed. Axe is fine with that as long as he gets his £100 million back with interest. Sean advises they are not in a position to pay the money back, but tries to push Axe on a name change anyway. Axe is not having it and advises it is either “Axelrod Hall” or “Go fuck yourself Hall”. He threatens legal action. Axe is clearly wearing his need to exert some control hat in this scene. Sean just gets up and leaves without another word. However, Axe does not look particularly pleased with himself as Sean leaves. Sean of course doesn’t see it as his back is to Axe.

Chuck and Adam are talking about schooling and how it is so competitive now that “all our kids” will end up going to second tier schools.

Adam is happy that Chuck has an informant inside Axe Capital. Chuck is clearly surprised that Adam knows this. Adam thinks that “God smiled on Chuck” because Axe profited from 9/11. Adam should look the word up in the dictionary. It doesn’t just relate to money.

Adam feels they really now need to bag Axe since they never really got anyone for the crash of 08. Chuck points out he can’t think about it as he has recused himself.

Mafee decides to get smart mouthed with the protesters. Donnie tells him “I wouldn’t pour petrol on it.” Mafee says “I would.”

Source: Showtime

Donnie is then told that Axe wants to see him in four minutes…very specific that.

Terri alerts Bryan to the fact that Donnie and Axe are having a meeting.

Axe can be heard telling Donnie to go long on kemlot with 200 million. Donnie asks if Bobby is sure and he replies “I am not uncertain”. Donnie wants to know why he is so certain and Axe decides they should go for a walk to the panic room which happens to be nicely insulated and prevents the FBI hearing what is being said in there.

The audio only comes back on when Axe and Donnie leave the room with Axe saying “you gotta learn to Trust me Donnie. Let’s get it done!”

Donnie then appears to be about to by 1.8 million in kemlot, but we don’t seem him going through with it.

Donnie and Wendy talk about the level that Donnie is at. Donnie talks about it being so much money. Because I am giving Axe the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Donnie, what I read in to this is that Axe is changing the game for Donnie’s family.

Donnie, however, is stressed and emotional and sums it up for Wendy “this business makes liars out of us all eventually.”

I find the facial expressions of Donnie very interesting here as he says one thing which seems clear cut, but his expressions tell a story to me. The hesitation before he says that they both know who she answers to and the “I can’t” before he leaves the room tell a different story to me than the words themselves do.

Source: Showtime

The FBI are worrying that Donnie will not pull through for them.

Donnie, however, back at his desk hits the order button for 1.8 million kemlot shares.

Bryan is very happy that Donnie has gone through with it, but tells the FBI tech guy they need the part which they couldn’t hear earlier. They need to source the information.

FBI tech guy is quite impressed at how smart Axe was to block them. Neither Terri nor Bryan want to hear about that. They just want the audio. By the facial expression he pulls, it seems to have dawned on Bryan that Axe may know they are listening. However, he does not voice this opinion and there is no comment on it from him later.

Donnie proves he can be a tricky customer on his own when he wants to be. Having left his shirt on his chair, presumably so people (especially the FBI) will think he has just gone to the toilet, he leaves the building.

Chuck is surprised to find out that Bryan is the one who leaked the fact they had an informant to Adam. Bryan tells him that Adam was still considering pulling the case so he let him know how close they were. Chuck is pleased to hear that Donnie has placed the order for 1.8 kemlot shares with insider information that has direct ties to Axelrod. Bryan is simply waiting on the information being sourced.

Kate comes with news that it will be Judge Wilcox who will be sitting on the Dollar Bill case. This does not please Bryan. Bryan is even less impressed when Terri and Dale arrive to tell him that Donnie has gone missing.

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

Lara finds her family rounding on her with one of her brother’s suggesting she divorces Bobby for the boys’ sake.

Wendy is looking for Donnie. MaFee suggests he tries phoning him which she does only for Ben Kim to answer. Wendy doesn’t recognise Ben’s voice…maybe he hasn’t needed to visit her often.

Raul Gomez is on the phone because he needs to take the Police pension fund out of Axe Capital. Axe understands and leaves the door open for a return. I am betting not everyone will get such niceties from Axe.

Bobby sends some doughnuts and coffee outside for the protesters. He must have known how this would be received so it begs the question of why he bothered. Mr Axelrod does everything for a reason.

Wendy has arrived to tell him about Donnie having gone missing and their odd conversation earlier. She suggests Axe finds Donnie soon.

Lara’s restaurant gets a ‘fire inspection’ and it doesn’t end well.

The protesters have turned down Bobby’s ‘poison’ and Wags says “as predictable as they are annoying’. Predictable, my point exactly. Wags then asks Axe to call in the strike breakers, but Axe is happy to let them do their thing.

Bryan comes to find out if Terri has found Donnie yet. Terri, who said she would call him when she had then proceeds to call Bryan on Chuck’s body language not matching what he says. She points out “that is the kind of thing that can come back and bite you on the ass.” Shame for Terri that Bryan actually thinks he is a grown up now and doesn’t listen to her. She then breaks up their “thing” and gives him one more bit of advice “you are a nice guy Bryan, but you will do a hell of a lot better when you are your own man.”

Source: Showtime

Some rats are seen deserting the sinking ship of Axe Capital.

I love Wags taking the piss out of Axe. “If you want time, I can just shove you in my freezer” and “yeah, I’ve never seen a 65 year old look so refreshed.”

He is here to tell Axe that Carly, Channing and Lassa have deserted them and have taken some information with them.

Source: Showtime

Axe admits he brought this on 15 years ago and he may as well have “spoken an incantation”. However, he is clearly still not willing to let deserting rats off the ship scot free. He will hobble them first chance he gets. Now, Mafee, that doesn’t sound good. Luckily for Mafee he appears to be sticking it out. Wags is ordered to listen and report.

Chuck meets with Judge Wilcox to get a feel for the environment his office can expect on the Dollar Bill trial. Wilcox sees this for what it is even before Chuck brings up the possibility of bugging the Axelrod house. Wilcox points out that if they were to bug the other employee’s house based on Chuck’s theory of “the centre of criminal conspiracy” that would include Chuck’s home too.

Kate is reading up on kemlot and works out that Axe would make close to $100 million on this dirty trade. I have a feeling this trade is not as dirty as they seem to believe it is. Bryan and Kate have a moment where they decide to go to dinner and no Kate’s dad does not need to come for this. Terri still can’t find Donnie.

Lara is meeting Mikey, an ex-boyfriend and fire fighter. She attempts to ask him to take a message to the rest of the house, but he isn’t having it. Lara tells him “you’re a fucking simpleton and that is why it didn’t work between us.”

Bryan phones Chuck with the news that Donnie is still missing and this means he has been missing overnight. Chuck is not happy at all.

Lara comes by the office to make Bobby aware that this is bigger than he thinks and that the NY fire houses are calling the shots. He says he will fix this. He also seems to be grateful Lara attempts to spare his feelings about her family.

Chase shows up in Wendy’s office. He says he is not here to head hunt her. He is here pitching his best clients to Wags.

Chase is here to question why Wendy turned down the job offer he got her and she says she cannot bail on the Axe Capital staff just now as this is when they actually need her.

Chase then suggests drinks, but Wendy suggests he leaves before “this looks weird.” Delightfully, Lara walks in before he can leave and she now has his name.

Lara is here for Wendy’s advice on what she would do if she was in Lara’s shoes. There is a definite undertone of threat from Lara, one Wendy doesn’t miss. It is a great moment when Lara scoffs in Wendy’s face about any suggestion that Chuck is recused.

Source: Showtime

Wendy writes down the name of a therapist for Lara if she really needs to talk to someone. Lara does not take it and Wendy looks a little rattled.

Wags and Bobby are having a chat in the panic room because Wags “figured this would be a good place to talk.”

Bobby asks Wags “when do you come in here?” and Wags says “it is a good place to jerk off when you are not around.” The very definition of a question you didn’t want to know the answer to.

Wags tells him about kemlot popping, but Bobby knows that is not why he dragged him in to the panic room. Wags wants to know where Donnie is.

Wags appears to know a bit of what is going on and so is surprised to find out that Axe doesn’t actually know where Donnie is. “Even Hall hasn’t been able to find him.” It seems Donnie is very capable.

Bryan calls Chuck to tell him they have a hit on where Donnie is. Chuck is sitting eating dinner with Wendy at the time.

The FBI round on who they think is Donnie, but it isn’t Donnie. We see a flashback of him swapping his easy pass with the guy who the FBI just stopped. Donnie is sneaky.

Bryan is having a meltdown about this. Chuck describes Axe Capital people as “scheming” and you have to applaud them. He wants his office to start to mirror how a hedge fund works in how it longs and shorts at the same time.

Chuck meets with Lonnie about Judge Wilcox. He wants Lonnie to look into Judge Wilcox off book and tells him he will have all the help he needs.

Wags, Hall and Axe are having a meeting. Donnie still cannot be found. Hall confirms that he does know that Donnie is not in federal custody. Axe asks “did you get that from your janitor?” As a boy from the streets, Axe should know not to dismiss the janitor. Hall says that yes he did get that from his janitor, but also from Washington.

Source: Showtime

Axe is at Lara’s brother’s (who died on 9/11) fire house. He is public enemy number 1 in there. We find out how he met Lara – she was working in an aid tent.

Axe seems to appreciate people being entitled to their feelings and their anger. They won’t reciprocate that though. Some of them call bullshit and say he sounds like a politician.

Source: Showtime

Axe tells them that if they think what was reported in the media was bad, then what wasn’t is worse. He tells them that he kept trading after the South Tower was hit. In fact “he stepped on the gas.” They are clearly stunned that he just threw that at them. They cannot believe he has the nerve to stand there and admit that to them. To say it so matter of fact. I do not think Axe is boasting here. I don’t think he is proud of it. I think he is telling it how it was and I also think there is a tiny slither of fear and regret. He throws it at them so hard to shock them. Let’s face it, he is completely outnumbered.

Axe then says “Am I a politician now? I am not running and hiding. I am standing here telling you that I didn’t do it for me.” I believe him on that, but public perception and anger won’t allow for that to be true.

He says “Was it cold hearted? Yes, but I thought I had to be. Maybe I was wrong.”

Axe, in my opinion, has been acting like a man who doesn’t feel he needs defended. It may be that a part of him feels he deserves their anger. I, however think that bigger part of the equation is that Axe has accepted that he was who he was on that day and any attempts to justify it are pointless because when people are angry they don’t want to hear what the subject of their anger has to say and nor do they want to hear about that person’s feelings. Axe was not a hero who was going to run into a burning building. He turned from those beyond his help to those he could help…the families of his fallen colleagues. He put on his mask of cold and did what he knew how to do and could function with. It may not be pretty and people can decide for themselves what they believe it to be, but on that day this is who Bobby Axelrod was.

Donnie is going to see a seer. The rule is “he can touch you, but you can’t touch him.” Well, there is a fantastic line. Donnie looks ill in this scene. He says he is lost and the seer says “now you are found.”

Bryan phones Chuck to tell him they have found Donnie. Wendy overhears Chuck’s part of the conversation and he lies to her about what is going on being generic about it being some suspect. She sees him googling “Guru Ash”. Wendy then calls him on whether or not he is on the case. He tries to bluff her, but she doesn’t seem to buy it.

Donnie is being sick in a bin.

Lara’s farm has been trashed and 30 pieces of silver left behind. She spots the Firemen who have clearly had a part in it, watching her.

Donnie calls Wendy to let her know he is ok and “somewhere flat”. I love David Cromer’s delivery again. Donnie also tells Wendy her talk helped him figure out what is important to him. Donnie mentions Guru Ash and the cat is out of the bag that Donnie is who Chuck was happy about finding earlier.

Source: Showtime

Chuck arrives home to find Wendy is still at work. He tells the nanny to go, but before she can he gets a call from Bryan saying that he has Donnie and so he tells the nanny to stay and he goes.

Axe Capital security informs Bobby that one of the buses for the protestors has broken down and they will be stuck outside for a while. Wags is not sympathetic to the protestors at all and thinks it is a shame it is just about to rain (heavy dose of sarcasm). Axe does not want to leave them out there.

Wendy is coming in as Chuck is going out. Their short meeting is tense. She wants to talk and he can’t. She asks where he is going and he says “where do you think?”

Wags is surprised to learn that the protestors accepted limo rides home and their bus being towed by Axe. Bobby, on the other hand, was able to predict their behaviour because people will do what they have to, to get where they need to be and he understands that.

Lara has decided to shut the restaurant and sell the farm. Bobby is visibly upset about this. He thinks they should have held on and fought harder. Lara says this is her fighting. “I come from a long line of scrappers. We learn to let go of our weaknesses so we can fight back better.”

Bobby says that “when things get really bad, I shut down. I go on auto pilot. I did it on 9/11, I did it here. That is the only way I know.” I have this feeling that Axe may have lost a parent young. I would like to know more about his family background. I get the sense that there lies the answer as to why he shuts down and goes on auto pilot.

Source: Showtime

Lara tells him “You gotta to find another way.”

Donnie is in interrogation. Bryan is not happy with him. Donnie tells them that the insider information on kemlot came from Glen Gilmartin, a high ranking FDA official. They seem to be taking Donnie at his word this is insider information. I am not sure about that at all. Anyway, Axe apparently paid Glen off, but didn’t say how much. Donnie coughs and clearly becomes agitated. He asks to leave and finish up tomorrow. Bryan attempts to perfect being tough at precisely the wrong moment.

Source: Showtime

Donnie says he has decided to testify against Axe, but right now he needs to…

That is all we get as Donnie coughs blood up all over Bryan and collapses. Now is Chuck (who was watching) thinking about poor Donnie, or is he thinking about the case?

6 thoughts on “Previously on Billions: Where the **** is Donnie?”

  1. as always, it is a delight to read, I can not make a comment now because I need time to read and translate!
    But thank you to be there, because since March 8, there is nothing on the website,!! I do not understand why, but you’re here!

  2. Wonderful recap!

    I am telling you — you never cease to amaze me! I did not even think about it, and yes, Lara NOW has Chase’s name. Her timing is just so perfect for her, not so much for Wendy & Chase. Let’s see THIS and Chuck’s password will play a bit of role in the weeks to come. Now that Wendy knows Chuck is not recused, I wonder if she will go and check his emails!!!!

    Adam DeGiulio complaining about Chinese kids getting into Ivy schools: Well, he forgets about Indian kids, and in fact, Turkish kids, too — some immigrant parents are incredibly ambitious, thank god I don’t have kids, I would be the same, I know THAT! So these kids are also Americans, it’s just their parents are from the countries I mention and academic excellence is everything in these families (I grew up exactly like that). OMG and this Ivy League guy, I mean, Adam, is anxious his kid would not be able to go to Harvard and Chuck is so sure that Eva is going to Yale!!! OMG that is also something I have lived and constantly live because of the Ivy League people I meet. You know it when you meet an Ivy League guy since he lets you (and women do that, too, but it’s mostly men) know that he went to Harvard or Yale within 5 minutes of your first meeting. I made a note about this in case I do a “bits and pieces from life” post for Billions. I really like the way they observe life and share with us little bits and pieces some of which I have, in fact, lived!

    Finally… I have that same feeling that Axe grew up with, at least, a single mom and no siblings. I just can’t put my finger on it, but I just feel it, maybe it is the auto pilot thing that he mentions. I grew up with my mom only since my dad passed away when I was 8 and yeah sometimes you just put yourself on autopilot even at a pretty young age, because you don’t know how to deal with grief, but you know you would make your mom upset when you get that grief out of your chest, and you don’t want to do that since you know she has so much responsibility on her shoulders so, in a sense, you raise yourself at some level, and autopilot helps. I would say Damian’s boarding school years could be similar in a way, of course, I have no idea but again it should be a setting where you just on your own learn how to deal with, well, life.

    1. Yep, great recap Bookworm!
      Just a note on Adam’s remark about Chinese getting their kids into the Ivies. I don’t think he was talking about the general propensity of immigrants to push their kids into elite schools, that’s been going on for decades…since my parents emigrated here, if not before. He was talking about recent stories of Chinese from China actually grooming their kids to get into Ivies in the US. ( These kids come in as international students, they aren’t raised in America. Harvard doesn’t have a limit on how many international students it can take, unlike a lot of other schools. Harvard is very expensive, of course, and very limiting to even the brightest American students (even those Americans of Asian decent :)) But apparently, some children of Chinese industrialists have no problem with the money. Adam was specificially talking about Harvard. So, what he was saying wasn’t necessarily a remark on race or ethnicity, it was a remark about realities of the economy. Yes, this show is great about getting the details right!!!

      Getting into good schools should be about ability, but, for Ivy leagues it’s mostly, increasingly as the world keeps increasing in population, about legacy and money. (BTW, speaking of legacy, Chuck’s kids already have spots waiting for them at Yale. Unless they totally screw up their high school years, they’re already in. For Bobby’s kids, it’s another story. They’ll have to work twice as hard to get into anything beyond Hofstra)

      1. Then this may be the reason why schools like Yale, Duke and NYU are having these new campuses in China? Keep the students there? 🙂 Oh, don’t even get me started on the ivies, I can write a novella 😀 Over the years, in academia, what I have learnt is that THIS IS a business. Like every other business.

        But Bobby can make a HUGE donation to get both boys in, I think, unless they screw it up in HS.

  3. Hola. Puedo hacerte una sugerencia?Me encanta el blog, es completo y actualizado.. Podrías hacer una sección sólo de fotos? Se podrían catalogar por año o por programa o película… No sé… es solo una idea. Besos

    1. Muchas gracias! Thank you so much for reading and enjoying us! We have deliberately avoided from that mostly because the blog is all about our own creative content. We write every single piece and never post a magazine or newspaper article here. Having said that we always share — Damian’s latest photos at events on our Facebook page and Twitter page and may think about a gallery a bit later. Please keep your feedback coming! <3

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