Billions: To B or not to B

I have taken quite the liking to Bryan Connerty and during season one of Billions I began following Toby Moore on twitter. I was interested to note that Toby had actually studied law himself. Someone tweeted Toby saying they loved Billions and that some of their friends were having similar struggles to Bryan. Toby tweeted back that “they should question everything.”

Apart from being great advice in general for anyone studying law, it made me wonder more about where Bryan will be in season two.

Throughout season one it seemed that Bryan was being set up for a switch to team Axe and I had much fun sounding off about it on here and to Damianista and JaniaJania. However, Holliedazzle has offered another perspective on it that, in fact, Bryan will find a way to get his feet out from under Chuck while still trying to put Bobby or men like Bobby behind bars. This is very possible – either choice poses great problems for the character.

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

Bobby tells us himself ‘getting even’ was important to the younger Bobby. Bryan found a way to unleash the information about 9/11 and while it could not put Bobby behind bars it did more than enough damage. Perhaps experience has taught Bobby not to look a gift horse in the mouth and this is why the offer to Bryan Connerty of a ‘seven figure starting’ salary is put on the table regardless of the damage done to Bobby’s reputation. Simply because Bryan is worth it.

By the time they sit face-to-face in ‘the Conversation’ Bobby has clearly done his homework on Bryan’s home life and background.

Bryan’s background seems similar to Bobby’s and that more than any other reason may be why Bobby wants Bryan on his team. Bryan’s dad did not live with him and his mother and it seems his relationship with his son was one of convenience as Bryan tells us in ‘Naming Rights’ that his dad showed up some Saturdays i.e. whenever suited him. Bryan also speaks about this in the past tense suggesting any appearance of a relationship with his father is long gone.

The difference between Bryan Connery of earlier episodes and ‘the Conversation’ is startling. The scene with Orrin/Bobby and Bryan in ‘the Conversation’ is my second favourite scene of the season…I’m sure you can guess which scene just beats it.

Bryan reaches out to Orrin Bach for a little professional courtesy as he has smelled a rat in how Chuck came about the bribery evidence and he knows Orrin is likely to know where it came from given it is about his client.

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

Bryan is also accepting that he has to indulge in some quid pro quo and divulges that Chuck has dropped the bribery case. As Bobby’s lawyer, Orrin would have found that out very soon anyway but he asked and what he found out is Bryan Connerty can play ball.

Bryan is not amused when Orrin declares he is leaving and Bobby is ‘tagged in’ so to speak. Bobby appears from behind Orrin, Bryan is a tad indignant and makes to stand up, but doesn’t really protest as strongly as we may have expected him to. Orrin puts a hand on his shoulder telling him to listen to what Bobby has to say and he does.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Bobby makes a few observations (in bold).

1 .  If Bryan takes his job offer his mother will never have to work again if she does not want to.

As Damianista so accurately put it Bobby knows what buttons to push. Bryan’s money struggles were emphasised throughout season 1. Bryan like any child who grew up watching their single parent work so hard would wish as soon as possible to take some of that burden from them. So it must be frustrating for him that he cannot do so and that his mother is working as hard as ever.

  1. The Bryan Connerty of episode 6 ‘the Deal’ would not even have sat and listened to Bobby.

Thinking back to ‘the Deal’ Bryan openly admitted not understanding Bobby and his people. He cannot hide his disgust for them. He speaks when he should keep his mouth shut, revealing (in his anger) too much of himself too Orrin Bach, who at that point, has a better idea of Bryan than Bryan has.

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

Also in ‘the Deal’ we see a really frustrated and angry Bryan commenting “I did not turn down big money so these guys could write their own get out of free jail cards”. I think it is safe to assume that Bryan was offered a job with the defence before he took the job with the USA.

In the scene in Bruno’s (in ‘the Conversation’) Bryan is calm even if a little contemptuous and more importantly he listens. I would guess that part of the reason Bryan decides to stay and listen is the doubts that have been gradually creeping in to his mind about Chuck.

  1. Bryan does not say no to Bobby.

Bryan keeps his own Counsel, he takes information in and then he gets up and leaves not giving Bobby an answer.

When Bobby points out to Bryan’s retreating back “I didn’t hear no” Bryan pauses for a fraction of a second (although not turning around) before continuing on his way.

Source: Showtime
Source: Showtime

Terri commented to Bryan (as they broke up in an earlier episode) that “You’re a nice guy, Bryan, but you’ll do better when you are your own man.”

The question is what is he thinking as he leaves Bruno’s. Bryan finds himself standing on dangerous ground between Bobby and Chuck, but the choice of being his own man is there for him to make.

His next move is going to have to be very carefully thought out. Does he wish to let go of the beliefs he tries desperately to hold onto in season one and take the money, or does he truly find a way to do it his way in amongst people like Chuck? He has a move to make and he needs to make it before the two lions devour him.

I suggest a trip to mom’s for some advice.

Source: Showtime

One thought on “Billions: To B or not to B”

  1. This is simply… wunderbar! I know you are LOL LOL right now! 😀 Haha and so apt for Labor Day, too!

    Well, I have said it before, I will say it again. You are such a careful observer! Bryan Connerty who sits with Chuck Rhoades in the pilot and is too impatient to wait for the perfect time to go after Axe is certainly quite different than Bryan Connerty who sits at Capparello’s with Axe and he even hears what he has to say. And this evolution, as you point out, is mostly thanks to what Chuck has done over the season, not Axe — amazing! I don’t know if your or Holliedazzle’s prediction about how Bryan will turn out to be – I think even Bryan does not know how he will turn out to be – but he is worth all our attention either way! I am dying to see that now that he is more experienced than ever and now that he knows his “hero” is not what he expected to be, how Bryan’s relationship with Chuck will evolve over the new season. Toby Moore gives a wonderful portrayal of this young, idealistic US Assistant Attorney who could well be at the end of his rope at some point! You know what? I REALLY want Toby to read this! “I suggest a visit to mom’s for some advice.” Spot on, partner — I am still giggling!

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