Previously on Billions Season 2, Episode 4 “The Oath”

Wendy is being shown around a space station. She is to do a psychological evaluation of an astronaut, Elena.

Axe is meeting with Mark Cuban who gives Axe some advice drop the vendetta against the US Attorney and focus on winning hearts and minds today because Axe is otherwise too loud for the NFL.

source: Showtime

The AG’s new assistant is in NY to check on progress of the Spartan Ives case and let Chuck know how precarious his situation is.

Axe calls Sanford Besinger who interestingly calls Axe, Robert. Wendy might say it just means that he knows his given name, but I say it means a very comfortable familiarity.

McKinnon reports that since news got out that the USA’s office are looking at Spartan Ives, they have ceased rigging treasury bids. McKinnon is faltering because of the emotional strain knowing what he knows is taking on him, but Bryan attempts to tell him to “man up” before Chuck interrupts, showing some patience and encouragement for McKinnon. He tells him to hang in there.

Credit to everyone on Team Rhoades – even just in this scene, there is a palpable tension that separates Bryan from the others. Bryan suggests finding a missing link to the top and Chuck quips that the problem is the top.

Axe is meeting Hall who is finding Lawrence Boyd not really wanting to do as he says. Hall wants to know whether he should proceed as he deems necessary or toe Boyd’s line and Axe says he should do the latter.

Bryan needs to work on his poker face for lying to a smug Lonnie, who has just closed another case and evidently thinks he has Head of Crim locked up.

Orrin Bach has borrowed Wag’s razor from last week and is clean shaven. Very different look for him! Rhoades motion to dismiss has been denied. Axe is very happy about this. Deposition is proposed for Thursday. Axes attitude is “take no out of the vocabulary” Explains a lot that does. Axe is certain no lawyer is going to rattle him. Orrin then decides a mock deposition is in order. However, Axe took the “mocking” too seriously. Orrin tells him not to be cute and keep the digs off record as otherwise it won’t help PR wise. Orrin then asks about Danzig and bribing the Police. Axe begins to answer “He would never” and stops realising the issue. Orrin suggests that they not give them a perjury charge for nothing. If Axe gets rattled he should not say anything and ask for a break.

We see Wendy being shown around the space station by Elena. She asks Helena why she wants to go up in to space. Elena wants to do something impossible.

Source: Showtime

Chuck Senior is trying to figure out if Axe can be followed and is told it will be impossible because Axe has protection and one man, ex Bureau (possibly referring to Hall) protecting him. Senior tells the operative to drop down a rung to Axe’s senior employees and Chuck cannot know what he is doing. The operative then hands over surveillance on a federal employee to Chuck Senior, who then sends it to Chuck’s office.

Dake is trying to shake down Bryan again by telling him Chuck is going down and the Spartan Ives case is going nowhere.

Axe is meeting Besinger about investing with him and tells him why Axe does what he does. He tells Axe that giving money away feels better than making it as it puts you back in control.

source: Showtime


Chuck is back at defence lessons getting his ass whooped. He is clearly distracted and is told to learn the difference between naive aggression and effective aggression.

Bryan spots something on his computer screen as he appears to be looking at records of some kind. We then see him at Kate’s because it seems that what he has found is something to do with her father moving money. Kate argues it is not illegal, just bad PR. Kate cuts Bryan right down asking him if what really bothers him is them having that much money in the first place. That is her in my bad books.

source: Showtime

Lara’s new business is being undercut by Dan Wolfe and she isn’t happy about it.

The tension remains and the isolation of Bryan continues. He cannot hide his conflict or how unsettled he is. He is indignant because Chuck is using an idea of his from a year ago that he ridiculed Bryan for. He tells Bryan he is “the first wave at Normandy”.

Axe offers to help deal with Dan Wolfe and Lara tells him to back off as she will handle it herself.

Axe arranged for photos of himself to be taken with Besinger to help PR. Lara seems worried by how hard Wags is hitting it.

Wendy asks if Elena is worried about leaving earth. She didn’t want a relationship holding her back from doing what she loved most.

Chuck is watching the surveillance that Senior has given him which is of Bryan and Dake. It is going to be interesting to see what Chuck chooses to do and believe here. Bryan still hasn’t admitted it was him that made that call, we only have Dake’s insistence that he did.

Bryan enters Chuck’s office and Chuck who still has the flash drive in his hand fixes him with such as stare, as though trying to read he man in front of him, possibly wondering if he knows him at all and possibly letting Bryan know something is up. Bryan does not miss the look.

Chuck tells Bryan to reach out to Boyd and arrange a meeting. Chuck will go to him. They meet at a literary club and discuss the state of war they are in. Chuck manages to get Boyd to put his foot in it

“I don’t turn a man’s house upside down just so people will look a me.”

He also plays the defeated role well here when asking Boyd for a favour. Boyd starts an internal investigation and weeds out the rogues. Win-win. Boyd agrees to give Chuck a few mid-level guys at Spartan Ives that his compliance team have flagged.

Boyd lets Axe know what he has done and Axe see the issue with the suggestion “not everyone is a savage” when relating to Chuck Rhoades.

Ira advises Chuck not to come to the deposition and asks him to let him bore Axe into making a mistake.

Kate tells Chuck about her dad and Chuck advises her that she can depend on her dad. This is very much as about him and Senior as Kate and her dad. It is noticeable the two of them, who Bryan is having issues with, both have their fathers looking out for them while Bryan is lacking that.

Wendy is discussing ELena’s evaluation with her boss. She tells him she likes working with people not judging them.

source: Showtime

Axe has just found out about what Lara did to Dan Wolfe and seems proud.

Axe meets with Marco, Bruno’s nephew to discuss investing in a development casino.

Boyd has taken Chuck’s bait and is back to business as normal i.e. rigging treasury bids. Discussing the Boyd case, Bryan remarks to Chuck “every time I think I have caught up”. Chuck “I am a long time in this racket.”

People at Axe capital are noticing Taylor is Axe’s new favourite and are not happy about it. Axe says anyone who makes him money is his favourite.

Wags was supposed to be at the meeting with Marco but did not make it. Wags has somehow acquired himself an “ass tattoo”. Axe says he needs to see it and then tells Wags he is sending him to Wendy.

Wendy is suspicious of Wags being a ploy by Bobby, but he shows her his tattoo. He doesn’t remember how he got it. Wendy decides to seem him, but has to call and arrange an appointment. Wags thinks he can manage that.

Dake and Bryan are meeting. Bryan tells him to “prove it” and refuses to rat out Chuck.

source: Showtime

Chuck and Axe are both getting ready for the Deposition which is taking place a Axe’s office. Axe finally decides on a Megadeth T-shirt.

Chuck takes a dig at Axe about having rebuilt Axe Capital and Axe cannot help but respond…off record of course. Back on record, Ira is very good at what he does and does corner Bobby into a mistake regarding his emotional feelings and not wanting people to know Chuck hurt his feelings. Axe asks for a break.

Besinger is on to tell Axe he is not getting his NFL team and gives him hell for the photo op. Besinger appears to be someone Axe underestimated. Axe is very angry at first, but as he always does, see an opportunity and heads right back to the deposition, turning it to his advantage by saying Chuck cost him an NFL team. I bow to Paul and Damian here as they were fantastic together and individually in this last scene.

Source: Showtime

6 thoughts on “Previously on Billions Season 2, Episode 4 “The Oath””

  1. So much Bryan in this episode – and recap – I love it! The simmering tensions in team Chuck are much more interesting to me than what’s going on in the Axe camp.

    The sudden shift in Kate and Bryan’s interactions is still jarring to me, and I wish we’d gotten more than a single line of exposition about why they broke up. It would have been just as compelling to see them navigate a relationship while dealing with their own ambitions within the US Attorneys office, and the conflict stemming from Bryan’s job offer from Axe and his knowing that Chuck stole Wendy’s case notes.

    I really dislike how Kate brings up money, insinuating he has a chip on his shoulder. Even if he does, it is a particularly unsympathetic thing to do to someone she knows has come from a modest background, when she herself has a trust fund. Especially the way she does it.

    So, team Bryan all the way! I can’t wait to see how Chuck deals with him, and what happens when the head of crim is decided.

    1. I also thought Kate was rude to Bryan when he came to her apartment. We don’t know why they did not carry on with their relationship, do we?
      Maybe he hurt Kate’s feelings somehow which I doubt about…

      Everything about the inner workings of the US Attorney’s office is quite interesting this season. I love the intra-office competition and everyone taking different strategies to hit the target: Head of Crim! 😀 As I said in the other thread, I think Bryan is certainly the character to watch this season!

  2. Thanks Broedy and Damianista. I am loving what I see as Axe slowly having a melt down. I think it is being played out very well, but so far is being understated.

    The tensions over at USAO are very clear. I said to Damianista that I think team Rhoades are simultaneously stronger than previously but also closer to the edge than they realise. The little misunderstandings they are having are all piling up and threatening to rip them apart.

    I understand your feeling about the lack of information we have regarding Kate and Bryan. I don’t think they are completely over yet and sense this is their struggle to save their relationship…or to steal a line from a certain NY TV programme they are “on a break”.

    Kate’s attitude is just very much that of someone who has never had the struggle with money.

    As for head of crim, I actually think that Lonnie or Kate are being portrayed as the two best for the role, but that Bryan will end up with it. Ironically, despite how it looks to Chuck just now, out of the three, I’d say Bryan is the most loyal to him.

    1. As much as I see Kate also as a strong contender for the Head of Crim position just because she is the one that can get as Chuck as it gets (I am not sure though if her work experience qualifies her yet for the position or not) I am completely with you on Bryan being the most loyal and that is why he is the one struggling the most. That is what I tried to say when I said he is the most sincere player in that office. I am curious to find out what kind of player Chuck wants in Head of Crim office if he stays on.

      But I am confused about Bryan and Kate. Last time we checked, they were in Coney Island playing with fire crackers. Then what happened in the last month or so?

      1. It does seem a bit strange. There is a definite tension between the two of them and the money is probably part of the issue between them. I thought part of the reason Kate lashed out in the Oath is because she saw Bryan as being ‘righteous’ while being the one to shatter (unintentionally) the illusion she had of her father. I don’t think that either of those things is what Bryan intended, but that is how it appeared to her.

    2. I hope it is Bryan who gets the job which sets off a whole round of possibilities – is Chuck keeping a suspected enemy closer, or rewarding a loyal staff member of many years? What would Lonnie do – last time he was pissed with Chuck he spoke to Dimonda, but if he’s denied head of crim… what else would he do to take Chuch and/or Bryan down?

      As for Kate… if her next play is to be chief assistant (if she can’t have head of crim) does she become Chuck’s next 2IC or Bryan’s? I’m hoping for the former because it would set up a possible storyline of Kate getting sucked into Chuck’s vortex of unscrupulous behaviour while trying to remain “clean” for her political aspirations. If Bryan is who she turns to to eventually help take Chuck down (the ultimate feather in her political cap), what happens when she finds out that Bryan forged the paperwork that got The Pouch fired? If indeed she doesn’t care about Bryan anymore (which I doubt)… If they were back together at that point how does she choose between Bryan and vanquishing Chuck?

      So many possibilities! I need a USAO spin off.

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