Billions on Showtime 2.05: Currency

Billions season 2 episode 5 is titled “Currency”, after the main play of the episode which happens to be a highly delicate currency play. Currency, the word, when spoken by Damian Lewis manifest as Bobby Axelrod, is also one among the many rhythmic words you’ll hear from him this episode, pronounced in impeccable New York-ese. We probably shouldn’t keep harping on his believability in this role. After all, that’s why they call it acting, right? Where most acting is a well-developed form of impersonation and most non-native accents are a form of ventriloquism, what Damian does with Bobby, in terms of body and language, is something else entirely. Something that is neither simply impersonation nor just ventriloquism.

The episode opens with a time jump. Wags is in Bobby’s office and before he has a chance to explain where he’s been, Bobby shuts him down with a rapid fire suite of references to Native American shamans and athletes, plus battles between Greeks and Persians. Seems Robert Axelrod may have sat in on some anthropology and military science courses at Hofstra.

The first scene of the battle begins somewhere way east of the East River, where some suit from Sansomic is congratulating a fellow on his innovative cell phone thin screen. Said fellow absorbs the applause, then proceeds to go back to his high rise and jump out the window.

Back in New York, Bobby is at the stables introducing Axe Junior to his horse guy, Nicky. Bobby helped Nicky keep his horses fed and now he’s there to ask for a favor in return.

Before we get to that, we learn a lesson Bobby has engrained into Junior’s wee freckled head.

Who makes a bet if they don’t know how it’s gonna turn out?


Junior has learned that his Pops only picks winners and he makes sure they’re winners before he even picks them. Axe’s victories at the game of chance that is his life’s work happen by him never leaving things just to chance.

So, the favor: Nicky, the horse guy, has his ear to the ground for rumblings about casino construction in upstate NY. He drops the name Donald Thayer as the rumored developer in Sandicot and the name rings a bell with Bobby.

Bobby’s phone is blowing up with pings about Sansomic. Phone call from Boyd confirms, Sansomic is stiffing delivery on phones due to failing thin screens, a failure for which a guy in Korea has “taken a mickey”. Defenestration equated to playground humiliation? I guess it’s all relative. Axe Capital has a chunk of a share in this stiff of a cell phone manufacturer and is primed to take a big hit. Boyd says Sam Brandt, a financial journalist, wants to do a piece about the loss for her weekly show. The three days before that interview leaves Bobby three days to bounce back from the hit.

Wendy and Chuck at therapy, still on opposite ends of the couch, the divider between the cushions sometimes narrowing but mostly still a chasm. When Wendy expresses her frustration at Chuck’s refusal to ever dress down, Chuck reveals his insecurity over their mismatch in the looks department. He hears the proverbial “them” saying the proverbial “what is SHE doing with HIM?” Chuck’s revelation comes as a surprise to her.

Axe has called all troops to the floor for a brainstorming session. He needs ideas on how to swing the pendulum back from the Sansomic hit. He doesn’t want Taylor there though, because they’ve been assigned the Sandicot task.

The greats never sacrifice the important for the urgent.

Taylor slips away, Axe hears everyone else’s suggestions and shuts them down one by one. Then he loses himself a bit in the urgency of the matter.

You are all selfish mother fuckers.

Not to be indelicate but the delivery of this speech and that line in this speech doesn’t really come from the lungs. Nor does it really come from the diaphragm. It emanates from below even that, maybe somewhere above the knees. You get my point, I hope. Suffice it to say, the voice that comes out of Damian Lewis in this scene is something that can make a guy pop a vein and render those on the other side of it shell-shocked. Within that speech, is the aforementioned word, “currency.” Say it in a regular middle America dialect, the tongue is soft on the r’s and somewhat loose. Now say it in New York, the tongue goes harder and moves back a bit. Damian does such a thing with that word and you’re like Damian? Damian who? This guy is Bobby Axelrod from Yonkers taking the mickey out of the poor rich saps that work for him. Never heard of anyone named Damian. With that word, currency, and the rest too, of course.

Once his people are good and sunk low, Bobby marches back to his office. Dollar Bill decides he’s had enough and marches in after him. He doesn’t want Stephanie in the office. She’s always there. He’s got an idea that cannot be shared in her presence as the head of compliance. And she’s always there. Dollar Bill leaves, his billion dollar non-compliant idea unspoken.

I responded to a comment on another post about Stephanie’s real purpose at Axe. She’s a great idea on paper for Axe to show that he’s on the up and up. But, in reality, her only job so far has been to be a warm body symbolizing compliance to everyone else in the room and nothing more. Not really an idea person, or one to execute missions, mediate connections, things you would expect from a right-hand to the boss. In this episode, she goes a step further than compliance and tells Bobby it may be okay to lose. She tells him he’s human and that everyone hurts sometimes, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Bobby looks at her as if she’s speaking a foreign language then dismisses her to resume the hunt for missing Wags.

At the DA’s office, Dake is sniffing around Lonnie. Now that Bryan has closed the door somewhat, Dake needs a fresh doorstop. He seems to think Lonnie is his guy and later shares this news with a mysterious new face we hear worked for Mondale. More than the AG driving Dake’s work in Chuck’s office, it seems.

Bobby’s taking in some sun on the balcony when he’s approached by Deb, MaFee’s “don’t call me babe” babe. She shares with Axe some of MaFee’s nocturnal emissions, his fears, his desperation. Bobby finds MaFee hiding in the loo, smoking a cigarette, badly. Bobby waits for telepathic transmission of MaFee’s thoughts until MaFee gathers the guts to spill. His old college buddy, a fellow lacrosse player, one they call Eveready, a hot shot who’s been making it big in the currency racket since they graduated has contacted MaFee with a sweetheart currency play.

Chez Axelrod, Chef Ryan has prepared a perfect lobster lunch for Bobby and his new friend Eveready. The big currency play is that Nigeria is about to devalue their currency. Eveready’s current employer is shy about stepping in to short, it being a play against the economy of a sovereign nation and all. But such hesitation doesn’t sit well with Eveready’s philosophies. Axe can relate. He punctuates his readiness to go where most men fear to tread by cracking the perfectly plump red lobster claw in half with his hands and letting the juice run down his fingers. Like a boss.


In his pitch to Bobby, Eveready mentions the five families. Currency plays aren’t one man jobs, he says, they’re bigger. What with an entire nation’s economy at stake, there are folks watching such plays, so they have to be handled more delicately than most. But, are there really five families of hedge fund managers? Like the five families of the mob? Tell me please is there a global cabal anywhere that isn’t run by The Five Families? In fact, maybe we’re all just the neglected step-children of The Five Families? With our bowls out, perpetually pouting a Dickensian “Yes, please, I want some more?”

While Bobby is hearing about the vagaries of trading in currencies, he also gets an ask from Lara. She wants him to get Boyd to set up a meeting for her and Mo to raise some capital for their business. She seems to think she and Mo are ready for a Shark Tank style pitch to the folks with money.

Later, at the meeting, Lara uses the right lingo, but not much else and gets a pleasant “Anything for your husband” on the way out.

Over a custom tailoring session, Bobby confers with Boyd about the currency play. Boyd suggests getting together with the rest of the crew “playing the margins”. You know, Axe, all the folks you’ve competed and conspired against, get together with those guys, because now’s the time to play nice.

At the DA’s office, Bryan is hosting Go club. Chuck tells Bryan to give surveillance a heads up into a couples night happening with the Boyds and McKinnons. The wire they have on McKinnon is set to yield results soon.

The Five Families, or at least four of them, meet in a diner. The place looks like one of those 24 hour joints along Queens Blvd that’re great for benders when you have enough change in your pocket to afford something other than the White Castle across the street.

In this meeting, we learn that the currency trade is only winnable if you go in big and heavy enough to manipulate it yourself. The threshold is 5 billion, Axe is putting in 2 and needs the 3 others, Malverne, Krakow, and Birch, to each put in 1 apiece. Okay, so maybe Bobby is two of the five families here. Or maybe I misheard the entire line and I’m running with something I made up. Let’s move on. Since these are all faces we’ve seen before as oppositional to Axe, he’s on the defensive a bit. Damian does the look of someone who’s asking for help, while never wanting to be in a position to ask for help.

Also, “yous three”, you all heard that right? Damian joked somewhere that when he started work on Billions he presented the powers that be with his Joe Pesci accent. They told him to stop. Adorbs self-deprecation notwithstanding, it’s clear that Damian has been honing the craft of the Pesci, tempering it just right, releasing it in increments, only in moments that require it, often only when Bobby’s guard is down, such that no one can stop him now. He’s not impersonating a New Yorker, he’s become one.

As for answering the question of why these three would help him now:

Which is the more powerful driver, boning me or your own self-interest?

Once the three say they’re in, Axe leaves them in the hands of Eveready to go over the deets. This and the three lumberjacks he ordered for them are his treat.

Chez Rhoades, Dad is packing lunches for the kids and taking a hit for the family’s upheaval, the estranged marriage, the general domestic disruptions.

Not too much of a stretch that Bobby is indeed betrayed by one of his three diner buddies. The betrayer happens to be Birch, who you may recall was Bobby’s first onscreen kill last season. Revenge served a full season cold still smelling pungent and sweet. Birch does the exact opposite of what Axe asked them all to do. He propped up the currency and let his buddies know too about what was going down so they could do the same. As a result, to stave off the vultures, Nigeria hiked up its interest rate.

New Axe employee Eveready says his data was on point and that a “global cockfight” is still a possibility. Axe must go higher up the chain, out of the margins. Eveready says he needs to tap someone

Vaunted, an economist, objective, trusted.

The goal is to get the expert to publicly assert that Nigeria should devalue its currency. Nigeria, it’s your only hope, that person should say out loud. That person is Boyd.

Chuck has a new sparring partner for ju-jitsu. A Swiss lady sculptor. He casually drops that a semester spent in Zurich is what allowed him to guess her accent accurately. She offers to show him her work. He’s intrigued.

Krakow and Malverne saunter knowingly into Bobby’s office to silently ask “What now?” Bobby says he’s already bought up Birch’s deserted position and offers to buy theirs as well. This is quite possibly a very big bluff, but no matter, the players all admire the balls on display, and when one’s balls are to be so admired, even a bad bluff is bound to turn out alright. Word play aside, it’s interesting to note here that for none of these guys is it really about the money. It’s about the game. The winner is the one who preens the most beautifully. The most beautiful preening is more valuable than the $5 billion at play, maybe? I don’t know. Axe’s reasoning:

I am dug the fuck in, no third world nation hinged on a dying industry and a propped up currency is going to ride me out of my position. I will drive them into the goddamn ground.

Taylor offers nothing more than a confirmation that Sandicot is indeed a shithole town in upstate NY.

Bobby dines with Donald Thayer, the casino guy, and trades his ’69 Dodge Challenger for information. He outbid Thayer on this same car at auction a few years ago and had the keys ready in case he still wanted it. Casino guy happily takes the keys and wants more: a part in the municipal bond play. He finally gives up Sandicot as indeed the site for impending development of a casino. Also, when Axe says “Casino guys are all old-line crooks”, casino guy Thayer readily agrees. Despite the discussion over what I’m sure is excellent smelling food at Momofuku, the Sandicot deal is still smelling like Atlantic City.

Chuck and Bryan are setting up surveillance. Is that a Philly cheese steak on bread with the perfect combination of crunch and chew that Chuck spies on the surveillance guy’s desk? Lovely poetry capturing the essential deep anguish of the carb wary.

One bite would be like drowning in a puddle.

At dinner, McKinnon has too much to drink and spills wine all over his cheating wife’s cleavage. The ladies go to the ladies, leaving him to either let loose on his boss or keep the play in motion. As the suspenseful music rises up to feed our doubts, McKinnon sobers up enough to get Boyd to spill his manipulations of 10 year treasury bonds. Chuck’s practiced Franklin effect worked. Believing he was no longer under scrutiny, Boyd told his people to “put the band back together.”

Tail the auction…Feds can spare the 15 bips…then we move on to the 26 weeks.

No need to dissect these words to know they mean trouble when spoken into a wire heard by a district attorney. Chuck now has enough for an arrest and a case against “vaunted, trusted economist” Boyd.

Time jump over, we’re back to where the episode started. Wags continues to tell Bobby what Wendy did for him that succeeded in piecing him back together. He takes us on a flashback where we see in ways that perhaps may be more pleasant to un-see, that she hunted him down to his hotel room after he missed their first appointment. Wendy shoos away the IV nurse and takes still hung over Wags for some fresh air in the park.

They determine that Wags idea of infinite zen garden — drinking, women, drugs — doesn’t quite jive with the actual definition of an infinite zen garden — simplicity, harmony, purity. In recalling where it all began, Wags takes a flashback within the flashback to a drink with a guy he hates:

I drink with pricks I hate all the time, it’s the job. It’s the ones who aren’t that stand out like giants.

This elicits the memory of running into a guy he used to work with, his mentor at Lehmann, who he greatly admired. Upon running into him on a sunny east side street, he finds that the genius has lost the spark, has early onset Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize him at all.

Wendy says, sure, you saw “mortality…diminished utility” in your hero. She asks him why it cut so deep. Wags answer is simple, so simple actually, that it boggles the mind why neither he nor his co-workers saw it before. Wags problem is that Axe hired Steph. Wendy translates:

You feel unneeded? Nothing left but death?

Time to pivot…to evolve into what it is you’ll become next.

Okay, never mind that sometimes folks can spend decades walking around while dying, and sometimes it’s not really a conscious decision to just “snap out of it”. Alas, those aren’t possibilities in Wendy’s realm of expertise.

Back from the flashback to Axe’s office, despite the insta-detox and renewal, Wags offers himself to be let out to pasture. Axe says no way. Steph called him human, she had to go.

Chez Axelrod, Bobby’s jangling keys wake up Lara. He’s just stopping by to change on this way to the TV interview. She asks him to tell Boyd he fucked up her Shark Tank aspirations.

…treated me like I was just the wife.

Bobby calmly proceeds to hold back nothing as he schools her on the syllabus to Business 101. It’s all about voice control that this speech doesn’t transmit as condescending and mean.

Nothing about what you do is patentable or a unique user experience. You haven’t identified an isolated market segment, haven’t truly branded your concept. You. Weren’t. Ready.

On set, Bobby gets news of Boyd’s impending arrest. He leans in and you think he’s going to whisper a May 1 to his friend. (My turn for a reference, let’s see how many playing at home catch that one.) But he doesn’t.

In his interview, Bobby sports a bracelet woven by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The visual cue is the jumping off point he needs to diss the poor state of Nigeria and its currency. Boyd re-states the thesis that the Nigerian currency must needs be devalued and they’re done. Malachie Crunch successful.

You find as you get older that parts of your mind become increasingly inaccessible. If you don’t catch something and wait too long to seal it up, you find later that the more you try to retrieve it, the further back it seems to retreat. There’s frustratingly high turnover in the parts of our brains devoted to shopping lists and our kids’ activity schedules, then there are some parts of the brain so deep and so seemingly permanent that you don’t even know they exist until some crazy Showtime series comes  knocking on your cerebral cortex. And, what happens to be etched so persistently on those parts of the brain? Oh, just crucial info like crossword answers, visions of the tiny beginnings of crinkles in the corners of an ex-lover’s eyes which you haven’t seen in 25 years, and names like Pinky Tuscadero. Leave it to Billions to give one a Proustian moment.

Instead of cold and calculating, Axe’s betrayal of not warning Boyd of the arrest until the interviews were done is warm and regretful. It’s not me screwed you over, it’s the crazy business we’re all in, he says. Capitalism as scapegoat, a great move for any born player.

The windbreakers move in to arrest Boyd. Interestingly the cameras already there don’t turn to capture the surely news-making event of Boyd’s arrest. Wouldn’t any news show lap up the ratings of a live arrest? Maybe the fact the cameras stayed put speak to the insularity in the world of finance for both those who make the news and those who tell it. Maybe there’s an unspoken honor code. Rather, an unspoken code of covering each other’s asses.

All’s we know is that memories burn long and deep in this business.

Finally, after his win, Chuck celebrates alone at the Mile End deli in a scene that, again, deliciously evoked Proust. And maybe there’s a third play on the episode title. Currency is also the “now.” To the joy of the now.

I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . . a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place – Remembrance of Things Past

16 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime 2.05: Currency”

  1. Und wieder mußte er einen Freund für seine Interessen verraten. Ich bin mal gespannt, wie und wann und ob es passieren wird, dass er die menschliche Seite siegen läßt. Geht das in diesem Geschäft überhaupt. Wäre doch schön für diese Welt, wenn man es wenigstens im Film geschehen läßt.
    Damian ist einfach grandios. Er wächst und wächst mit seinen Rollen. Fantastisch. Fesselnd und unschlagbar.

    1. Vielen Dank!! 🙂

      Translation of your comment for our English speakers:
      “And again he had to betray a friend for his interests. I am curious how and when and whether it will happen that he will win the human side. Is this in the business at all. Would be nice for this world, if at least in the film.
      Damian is just terrific. He grows and grows with his roles. Fantastic. Captivating and unbeatable. ”

      So agree!! Damian has truly embodied the mind and body of this character.
      I agree, it would certainly be nice for the world if we all saw and experienced redemption and humanity. But, sadly, I do think business works exactly the way Bobby is working the game. The beauty is that he seems to be another beast entirely from the other sociopaths we’ve all seen on screen before. (Tony Soprano and Don Draper come to mind) Just how novel this character is is in large part Damian’s doing.

      Thank you again for reading and for commenting. 🙂

  2. Ok, any recap that mentions White Castle and Pinky Tuscadero is a winner in my book!! Great recap. I love how you pointed out just how NY Damian has made Axe. Coming from someone born and raised in NYC, you can tell a real accent from someone trying, and DL is not trying. He is Axe! Love it!

    1. I have a longer story of how Pinky Tuscadero popped into my head watching this episode without really even thinking about it. A story I guess I’ll share at some future point.
      I lived in New York for many years and could always spot the real deal. Bobby Axelrod is the real deal, thanks to Damian.:)

  3. “It emanates from below even that, maybe somewhere above the knees.” LOL!! I’ve never heard THAT Damian before in any character. Wow.

    Something that hasn’t been brought up in either recap of this episode thus far is the very telling comment Axe made to Dr. Gus: “Three, when the guys look in here and see you training for the Tour de France in your underwear, in Wendy Rhoades’ office, they’re not inspired. They’re just wondering why the hell she isn’t here anymore.” I’m not so sure he wasn’t speaking about his own thoughts. That is nobody’s office but hers! When Dr. Gus first arrived and started unpacking I thought, oh boy, (or should I say boyo?) I knew it wouldn’t be long before Axe tore him a new asshole.

    Dake finding a new doorstop in Lonnie smells bad for Lonnie. Should Dake learn it was Lonnie who went sniffing for Chuck about the Danzig firearm issue, it’s all downhill from there. I really want to know who this Mr. Mysterious Mondale Minion is! But for now, I’ll sing my way back to work to Motley Crue’s version of “Smokin’ in the boys room…” #mafee #bathroomplays

    1. There’s a first time for everything. Never say never. 😉

      I skipped over Gus purposely b/c I ran out of words and energy and b/c, frankly, I don’t see him long for this world. You’re absolutely correct I think: Bobby went to Gus to ask about Wags but who he really missed once he stepped into that office was Wendy. Ultimately, the scene was all about Bobby feeling Wendy’s absence acutely, and confirming that the whole house feels her absence. Here are my un-transcribed scribbles on that scene, now transcribed. 🙂
      Axe walks in on Gus training for the Tour de France in full gear. Gus tries to shrink him from the get-go, but Axe puts a stop to it and asks after Wags. We now hear what Bobby really feels about the new guy:
      “He hired you, I sort of rubber-stamped it.”
      As they talk about Wags, Gus shares his philosophy of allowing crashes to happen:
      “Only way to get to the other side” To which Axe growl-sneers back “If you survive…” Gus continues to try to shrink Bobby, telling him what his motivations are, calling him Boy-o. Bobby’s all: Mother fucker, please.
      “When the guys see you…in Wendy Rhoades office, they’re not inspired, they’re just wondering why the hell she isn’t here any more.”

      The tiny chuckle Bobby released at being called Boyo was so good, but I couldn’t quite capture it in a gif. In fact, a lot of him was uncapturable in gifs this episode. His movements and expressions are so much more pronounced in this episode that splitting it all up into stills and sewing it back together again doesn’t always lead to a pretty picture. He’s on fire and flying around at the freedom of it. Like an Aston Martin weaving in and out of rush hour traffic on the I95 thru the tri-state corridor like he owns the joint, I think I said in a tweet.

      Hm, interesting point that the Lonnie weakness may be knowing too much about that Danzig thing! Mr. Mondale Guy has a bit of a Nixonian Deep Throat vibe to him, I thought. So curious to see how close this show gets to current politics, if at all. Homeland already did, without even trying to, with it’s brilliant picture of domestic propaganda at work. Half expecting Billions to pull it out too, even if most of it was written and in the can pre-November 2016.

      Was it Motley Crue playing in the background in the Momofuko scene? I thought it might be Metallica with the way the bass sounded, but I wasn’t able to identify it and left it for later when I can shazam the entire season for another Music of Billions compilation. 🙂

      1. Oh, another thing about Gus. He seems to get the cheap end of all the references in the script. Skin bracer across the chops? Yes, alcohol on freshly shaven skin stings, duh. Dale Ernhardt hitting the wall at the Daytona 500? Right, aka a car crash. I like to think the writers do that purposely. They save the good stuff like Battle of Thermopylae for the boss, and give Gus the frat boy lines.:)

      2. Wonderful post and I love the exchange so I am jumping right in! 🙂

        I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you talk about “you are all selfish motherfuckers” scene. You are absolutely right we are seeing this Bobby for the first time. I know we talked about this earlier but this Bobby is even more delicious than Bobby of Season 1 — and it gives Damian to show us his range as an actor, and give us some moments like this one that we have never seen before.

        I will not spoil the game but yeah I got the reference and LOVE you for it <3 But, you have to tell me who Pinky Tuscadero is 🙂 I guess it's a character from Happy Days - as much as we were exposed to so much American TV in Turkey when I was growing up, I totally missed that one. And, by the way, "five families" apparently was a reference to The Godfather. I saw it on Twitter earlier this week. I saw The Godfather but probably only two times and I don't remember much but "Go to the mattresses" 😀

        It is interesting both of us did sort of skip Dr. Gus, in particular his references. I wrote about Axe missing his team - both Wags and Wendy - but did not get into the convo between Axe and Gus. I so agree about the cheap references and I bet they are really deliberate on writers' part. I don't see Gus lasting a long time, either. The guy is the anti-thesis of Wendy: If you go like a car with no brakes, he wants you to go and hit the tree. Not a very useful approach to solving problems, huh? 😀

        Yeah, I also think Lonnie's Achilles Heel is his involvement with the Danzig case and so he has been trying to avoid Dake at all costs. Who knows maybe he and Chuck had THAT conversation and he knows that he has to keep away from Dake as much as possible. Danzig case can still come back and haunt them, I guess. That Mr. Ellard seems to be connected to the administration but has his own personal agenda, too, huh? Maybe a personal grudge against the Rhoades family or something? That scene reminded me of Homeland --- Carrie used to meet people in churches... we'll see when we meet Mr. Ellard next!

        I will be looking forward to your Billions Music post at the end of the season! Like Krakow does not know Pintar from Pantera, I don't know Metallica from Motley Crue. I have always been a pop girl as a teenager and I know my jazz well, but I am totally ignorant when it comes to metal. But the show creators have good taste in variety of music --- they made me a fan of both Jason Isbell (I know you like him, too!) and Titus Andronicus (I have been to two of their concerts already!)

        1. Yes, Carrie did meet people in churches, and still does, I believe. Few chances the place is bugged. Then again, something fishy happened during a church meeting in The Godfather, don’t remember the details but do know it didn’t end well, as many things in The Godfather tended to not end well.

          True “the five families” is in the Godfather, but it’s really used any place there is mention of the Italian mafia…the Sopranos, various other mob shows. My question was why does the term apply to hedge fund managers. I have to listen again to when Eveready mentions it. He may have just said something like “you gotta meet them five families style” instead of “you gotta meet the five families” (re: Axe meeting with the other hedgies) and I totally missed it. Eveready was a bright kid, but the actor seemed a bit nervous out of the gate in this role, thus my not registering what exactly he said. Scenes with Damian spraying lobster juice all over the place, who wouldn’t be a little nervous, right?

          Oh, forgot to mention: did anyone get the reference with Wags’ car? It was something else I cut from my post due to length. The car he was driving, a vintage Mercedes convertible, happened to be the same make of car used in The Hangover movie. That movie, in case you haven’t seen it (I haven’t but I sort of know the jist), is a car trip film with a crew of goofballs trying to remember what happened to them during some really raucous benders in Las Vegas. How a propos for Wags to be driving such a car, right? Nothing is for nothing on this show!

          1. Wow re: Wags car. Did not catch that at all! If BK does a Q&A before next Sunday’s episode, you should ask him to verify that 🙂 I think many of his followers and #billions fans would like that!

        2. The Five Families reference is from the Godfather (which since I’m half Italian is mandatory to watch at least 25 times, which I have). But also, there are 5 real crime families in NY. Please don’t ask how I know this. Let’s just say that people attending my wedding were filmed by the FBI, since they were “known”.

          Yes, Pinky was on Happy Days. She was Fonzi’s chick, and was caught in the Malachi Crunch by the Malachi Brothers during a demolition derby. For a time, Happy Days was the biggest TV show here in the US. Did you know that the phrase “jump the shark” comes from Happy Days?

      3. “Mother fucker, please.” <— hahahaha

        Yes! I totally caught that tiny chuckle when he was called boyo.

        And yep, I saw your Aston Martin tweet. I have an I-95 story. Sadly, not about driving an Aston Martin. My I-95 story is about a fly. Yep, a fly. I had driven my daughter from Oklahoma to New York for college. I was on the Jersey turnpike leaving Carlo's Bakery in Hobkken (#cakeboss) and picked up I-95, and a fly. That pesky fly hitch-hiked inside my SUV all the way back to Oklahoma. I was bawling the entire ride home and too upset to try and get the fly out so he stayed. There's an East Coast fly living it up in Oklahoma somewhere…

        Nixonian Deep Throat vibe? Nailed it!

        I don't think it was Motley playing in the background in the Momofuko scene. Just seeing Mafee vaping in a bathroom stall made me start signing "Smokin in the boys room."

  4. Your commentary on his physicality is spot-on. It’s so…natural. It’s organic. It’s REAL. It’s not imitation. It’s beyond acting. LOVE.

    This episode had me so amped, I had a hard time falling asleep last night! Can’t wait to re-watch tonight!!

    Great recap, as always!

    1. Thank you as always Hollie!
      Bobby was on fire, and it was a fire that came from somewhere deeper than the surface of just some random english bloke cast for the part. 🙂

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