Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part II

In case you missed Part I, you can see it here.


It starts with Bobby and Wendy being truly sincere and truly strategic with each other.


Wendy is truly sincere when she rushes to see Bobby as soon as the news story about his shady 9/11 deals breaks and tells him he does not have to be ashamed of anything, at least, in a relativistic sense. Wendy, having seen him at his most vulnerable in those days, does not want to see Bobby crumble and do something that would hurt him and the people around him. Wendy is truly sincere when she asks “Will you come and see me?” at Donnie’s funeral. She knows the answer but she still does ask.

Wendy knows something is not right. 

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

But Wendy hides from Bobby she is looking for a job elsewhere. For obvious reasons. She seems to forget he does know her as much as she knows him. He knows something is cooking. And she may know deep down that he knows.

Bobby is truly sincere when he says “You just did what you thought was right and I appreciate that” to Wendy after the deal is off. He is truly sincere when he kindly shuts Lara up with “I trust her” as she is concerned about Wendy’s “continuing value.”


But Bobby does hide Donnie’s story from Wendy. For obvious reasons. He seems to forget she knows him as much as he knows her. She knows something is cooking. And he may know deep down that she knows.

The most delicious writing reveals itself in Episode 11: Magical Thinking where we have Bobby and Wendy constantly play each other and ultimately come clean with each other.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Bobby agrees to a session; in fact, he NEEDS “an adjustment” because he messes up a big trade. He needs to find out why he did almost deliberately blow it and it is ONLY Wendy that can fix it. Bobby and Wendy sit and talk, play and talk, walk and talk and smoke and talk some more. They bond all over again in some intimate conversation: A mind game at its finest.

A few moments stand out:

Wendy is trying to come to terms with the fact that she may not have all her patients be truly open with her. She is seemingly talking about Donnie, but she is, in fact, also talking about Bobby. This is her way of letting Bobby know she knows there is something wrong. He gets THAT and his answer is PERFECT:

We learn to manage our expectations about those close to us, don’t we? So they don’t turn into mistrust or paranoia.

He is seemingly talking about Donnie, but he is, in fact, also talking about Wendy. Bobby has his expectations adjusted since Chuck became the US attorney for the Southern District of New York! And he expects Wendy to do the same now that Chuck is on his tail!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

And Bobby, in his own special way, does not lose time in letting Wendy know he knows something is going on with her, too:

Like… when someone knows they have to tell a lover good-bye but they cannot quite do it so instead they sleep with him one last time and they have their own unspoken goodbye not letting on that everything’s changed until the night is over.

To be honest, when I first heard Bobby say this, I thought he was referring to an old fling the two had, but then one of our readers, GiggirlNY, gave me my a-ha moment: HE KNOWS SHE IS LOOKING TO LEAVE. And that is his mischievous way of letting her know HE KNOWS. That is why Wendy blushes! She knows that he knows. He, seeing the blush, knows that she knows that he knows!


Playing each other ends in both coming clean with each other. Bobby spills the beans not only about how he cries at sentimental You Tube videos but also about how he stole Donnie’s Christmas. Wendy admits she is considering a job at Zenobia Capital. They share an electronic cigarette and giggle like teenagers on Axe Capital balcony as Chuck is watching from a distance. Their off the charts chemistry makes me nervous, some nail-biting, Chuck-scale nervous, that there will be a kiss. 😀  Oh no they do not kiss but they do give us words that I find much more intimate than a kiss. Bobby asks Wendy if she is disgusted with him.

No, I am not disgusted with you. For whatever reason, when it comes to you, that’s just not on the table.


Wendy gives Bobby his mojo back. She finds meaning in it. Moreover, she finds a brand new Maserati waiting for her a few days later. Life is good.

But for a very short while.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

The UGLY makes its entrance as Chuck shamelessly sneaks into Wendy’s computer and finds out about Danzig story. All goes downhill from there.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

When he finds out Danzig story he shared with Wendy in their session finds its way to the US attorney’s office, Bobby does not give Wendy the benefit of the doubt and nods to Hall who asks if he should prepare the materials for her. My heart sinks. The potential creep I see in The Deal is now surfacing. Hall has THE photos. Moreover, they track Wendy’s online traffic on their servers and find out about her unusual interests. If Axe is going down, he is taking Wendy and Chuck with him. He is the same wounded animal that he was just after Dollar Bill’s arrest. Wendy knows THAT Bobby. He is ruthless.


Bobby is a true asshole as he calls Wendy “a master of subconscious, or is it mistress?” I don’t think it is the pictures (Wendy, as Bobby points out, could think about the possibility of pictures. She takes a costly action there at the baths to prove her loyalty) or being busted about her BDSM interests that hurts Wendy. But the fact that Bobby believes she is selling him out coupled with him violating her privacy in the same way that Chuck does should HURT real bad.

What Bobby does to Wendy is disgusting. But I believe I know where he is coming from: I love the conversation between Axe and Donnie in The Punch that we are all animals in the end. When stakes are high, we, human beings, have the capacity of doing what we cannot normally imagine doing. The pictures are Axe’s last resort. He might have chosen the short cut and used them earlier to settle this once and for all… but he does not. But now that he is looking at a real jail time… he goes there. Still, he is, not giving Wendy the benefit of doubt, is being pretty petty. Loyalties are constantly tested over the first season: Wendy passes with flying colors. Axe fails miserably.

The final scene of the ballet is a solo act: Wendy with extra five million in her bank account driving away in her Maserati.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

As we give standing ovation to Damian Lewis and Maggie Siff who bring us the most intriguing relationship of the show, we cannot wait to have more Bobby and Wendy in Season 2 starting February 19, 2017! We are sort of obsessed about their backstory as well as dying to know where we will find them and where they will take us!

Bobby’s look as Wendy leaves is not much different from his look when he loses a billion dollars in the BioLance fiasco. He did not see this one coming: Mental error! He needs to figure out why he made this mistake, but hey he has no Wendy to sort it for him anymore.


Oh Bobby will want Wendy back so badly. And we know our guy is used to getting what he wants. But, after all, Wendy is not a Philly steak or a private jet. I am giggling as I think about what a DELIGHT it will be to watch Bobby moving mountains to win Wendy back which, I believe, will bring some tension to Axelrod household!

Yes! This relationship, as it continues into Season 2, may keep giving headaches to Chuck and Lara.

Chuck, despite the blue blood he has in his veins and the nation’s most prestigious law enforcement position he holds, is deep down very insecure. Now that I come to think of it, we don’t know how Chuck has come to occupy THAT seat: He is smart and hard working. No question about it. But is it really him that earned that seat or is it daddy’s connections that made it possible? Well, connections may be as critical as merit at times. And, Chuck makes me think hard about this when he goes to daddy to ask for help about “his senator.” WTF? Anyhow, if it is daddy that has always got things for Chuck then this could be THE reason why Chuck is an insecure man who sees Bobby as superior because he is coming from nothing and whatever he has made in life is really his. Having said that, I can also see that any man can be jealous of his smart and beautiful wife having such a “special” relationship with her boss! I believe Chuck’s desperation about being cut off is real. But, hey, he has crossed so many lines so many times with Wendy that he seriously needs some punishment to get his shit together. So, hell yeah, go and pack your shit, Chuck! I am curious about where we will find Chuck and Wendy in their relationship. Maggie Siff and Paul Giamatti give us a little hint in their recent interview with LA Confidential: “Season two picks up soon after we left off and you see them regrouping. Wendy’s not at Axe Capital anymore, which makes things complicated for her and Chuck personally and professionally. They’re trying to figure out what to do with themselves.”

source: Showtime

Lara, on the other hand, is not insecure. She is rational. Her top priority is to protect her family. She knows there is a conflict of interest in this whole business and so she wants Wendy out of their lives. We see her saying “I don’t want to talk about her anymore” when Bobby tells her Wendy is much more than what she thinks about her. We know Lara has her own special ways of dealing with problems and I am sure she will find a way to solve a problem like Wendy 🙂


Now… Would you want your spouse to have such a special relationship with any other man or woman? Would you want someone else to know your significant other better than you do? Would you be okay with your spouse sharing his or her feelings with him or her rather than with you? Yeah, I would not, either. That is why I cut some slack to both Chuck and Lara.

Final words: I am in that tiny little minority who does not want to see any romance between the two of them. I believe in conversation, not sex, being the most intimate human relationship. Sex is fun. Understanding each other with words is a beautiful rarity. And that is what these two have. I find Bobby and Wendy’s relationship intimate, sexy and dangerous as it is. Hey you two, please do not pass the red line but keep dancing around it 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Next: Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship, Part III

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

10 thoughts on “Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part II”

  1. It is always a special treat to read your dissection of mind games, you are always so observant, surgically precise, playful and seriously
    analytical. Please keep it up, I am learning from you.
    Somehow a misquote got into several of these essays as I noted it in my comment on July 28th. It is inly one word but it alters our plot.. In the “false” story:
    Axe: “someone needing to tell a lover good-bye but they can not do it so instead of it they sleep with HIM /not ‘them”/ one last time etc”
    He obviously talks about Wendy and himself. I believe that she was at the point in her psychiatric training when it would have become unethical for her to continue both therapy and a sexual relationship. Out of his greater need she chose to treat him during his crisis. Looking at the timeline of the story they both quickly married soon after these events which might explain these curios marriages.

    1. Thank you so much Agnes for reading us and for your very kind words – you have certainly made my day!
      And, hey, we are all learning from each other!
      Your perspective certainly makes sense and fits with the timeline of the events, doesn’t it?
      It could be that Bobby makes that reference to their old fling but at the same time pointing out he knows what she is up to.
      Two birds with one stone… Back then he took the bait, he did not understand she was with him one last time before she left the romantic relationship…
      But now he knows she is up to something — leaving the company!
      I so hope they will give us a bit more of that story in Season 2!

      By the way, it seems I missed your comment on July 28th. Did I make a mistake in quoting Bobby in that sentence? I guess I typed “them” and what Bobby says is “him.” Is that right? I have corrected it. Thank you!

      Ah we can talk about this for hours and I LOVE THIS! I have never followed any show this closely before, and it is not just having Damian in it, but because it relates so much to my real life job, and it gives me happiness to think and write about Billions. And what a treat to find out that you love my writing. Thank you!

  2. I wish that many of the psychiatric residents that I have trained would have had your insight into human relationships and behavior. Only so much of that can be education and experience, I believe that you have to be born with that gift.

    1. First things first: Thank you so much for your extremely kind words – I am very flattered!
      So you are a psychiatrist! WOW – you are coming directly from Wendy’s world! This is beyond FANTASTIC!
      Well, we would LOVE to hear more about your insights about Wendy and how the show portraits her as a psychiatrist, and…
      if you want to share your insights about her and her relationship to the other characters in the show at some point in writing, we would love to publish it!
      But it is very interesting that you say you have to be born with that gift. I don’t think I have a gift but I have heard more than a few people that I understand people well — not talking about the blog and fictional characters, but about real people in my life. Well, maybe it is a gift after all 🙂

  3. This relationship always seemed much more interesting than he has with Lara. There something much deeper and I think in the second season should have more…I want more !!! Saludos.

    1. Same here! Bobby has a good marriage. He trusts Lara and he is loyal to her, but the relationship he has with Wendy has layers and layers and is much more complicated and a DELIGHT to watch! Damian has told us that relationship will continue into S2 and I really wanna see more of them exactly like you! I would not want them to have a romantic relationship but they could dance around it as they did in S1. Fascinating stuff! Saludos a Rosario! <3

  4. I think it’s both: he knows she’s leaving (the company) because she’s left him like that before (the fling/relationship).

    1. It’s not being cheesy – it’s just a difference of preferences! And hey you may well get what you want — who knows? 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and reading us, please keep your feedback coming!

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