Well, if Episode 4 The Oath brought Axe together with his old buddy Freddie in the director chair, Episode 6 Indian Four is bringing Charlie Crews with his best buddy Ted Earley in the director chair!
Boyd, having paid a 5 million dollar bail, leaves Bronx County Courthouse to find Axe waiting in his car. Boyd knows Chuck has already flipped Michael Arendt and Axe knows Hall will find a way to flip him back. He recommends Boyd to take a sauna on his country estate tonight.
Hall catches up with Boyd on his way to the sauna. Flipping back Arendt will cost Boyd 2.5 million dollar a quarter. As an island expert, Hall recommends Boyd to form a holding company on the Isle of Man for the wire transfers. And in case money is not enough, Arendt will know that Hall knows where his family is while he is in jail. Creepy. As much as Boyd is in, the hesitant way he talks to Hall and that he cannot imagine even a night stay in jail speak volumes for the man. He is not one to tolerate a lot of risk.
The man who has put the cuffs on Boyd is suffering from the law suits looming over him. Ira is worried the law suits will be very costly for Chuck and inquires if he would consider selling the house. Chuck does not only want to risk his already fragile relationship with Wendy but also he does not want her to know about the severity of the situation. When Ira advises…
“it’s not the worst thing to let certain things change or die off… when it is time”
…I am not sure if he is talking about Chuck’s job, his marriage, or worse, both.
Before they meet Boyd and his legal team, Chuck is entertaining the idea of asking for 5 years in jail for Boyd. Bryan knows Boyd would never negotiate if they talked about jail time. Which jury is sophisticated enough to understand about rigging Treasury bids anyway? Bryan is not comfortable about a possible jury trial.
Well, regardless it makes or breaks Bryan’s career, Boyd does not leave much room for negotiation. His cocky lawyer conveys the offer from his client who believes his presence is not required: Boyd is willing to pay a small fine but there will be no admission of guilt and no termination. It is obvious Boyd has flipped Arendt back: Jury trial it is.
In his “dry-age meat room” (I put the blame on Billions for giving my husband ideas! :D) full of grass-fed Wagyus, Tomahawk Ribeye, Fullblood Tenderloin and A5 Kobe Strip, Thayer spills the beans to Axe and Wags: They have a property owner, Hank Flagg, who is holding out his 200 acres for a better deal than the 1.5M Thayer has offered him. Thayer offers to bring in a government agency to force Flagg from the land while Axe does not want a litigation that could last for a few years and cost him his kidneys. He will see what he can do with Flagg.
He may have lost his witness but Chuck gains points with Wendy! She is touched by Chuck telling the kids he was responsible for their separation. Moreover, she seems to be impressed by him making kids eat kale and intrigued by his cooking skills: it’s salmon with sage and ginger for dinner! Chuck is opening the last bottle of the Wölffer Rose and is sure Eva would be thrilled to have a smaller piece of salmon should Wendy join them 😀 They have a fun family dinner while Wendy is worried by the two phone calls Chuck gets from Ira.
How worried should she be about Chuck? Wendy stops by Ira’s mid-life crisis apartment to find out the Axelrod law suits are crushing Chuck and both his reputation and their bank account are at risk.
“The irony is he’s probably never needed you as much as he does right now.”
Now… I saw this coming but thought Axe would make an offer to Wendy that he would drop the law suits should she come back to Axe Capital. But it is Wendy who has her terms lined up in a meeting at Pier 62 Skatepark: She will never share any information with Axe about any of her patients. She is keeping all her files on a air-gapped computer for obvious reasons. She wants 20% increase in her salary and 2% in stakes.
Axe agrees to all but the stakes. No one but him can own any of the company. Still, he will give Wendy a profit share and a payout of 1% in the case of a sale. And he seems to struggle with the final term “you will drop the law suits against my husband” only for a second or two: “Ok. I’ll drop the law suits.”
Mother fucker, indeed. So this was part of the scenario all along to bring Wendy back to Axe Capital and makes Wendy add a new condition to the deal: Axe needs to go somewhere else should he need a session himself. I wonder if they will ever be able to mend their relationship. They do not look or sound like two people who have been in the trenches together for 15 years. You feel the distance between them.
Wendy is now becoming the first Axe Capital employee with a contract. Axe is dropping the law suits, quietly and over time, so there will be no juicy news story. And even though Bach says it would be a good idea to keep Dake’s offer in their back pocket for now, Axe is not interested in sending Wendy to jail. The only testimony he needs to provide is before…
Well, neither the 1975 Chateau d’Yqem that the Chef sends nor Axe’s sweet bullshit such as “I trust no one more than you” (probably true) and “I need your take on something” (absolutely not true) convince Lara about the Wendy deal. Besides, she believes her husband is not interested in her take but is just informing her of what he has done (absolutely true). While Axe takes the call from Hall, Lara takes the check and the chopper, too!
Update 03/31/2017: We got asked by a few readers about the restaurant in this scene and many thanks go to Brian Koppelman for giving us the answer: “The Lara scene is movie magic and not a real restaurant.” And you don’t know how much time I spent online to find it. Silly me 😀
As much as Axe wants to make peace with Lara, urgent business intervenes: He has to convince Hank Flagg to sell his 200 acres before the word spreads out to let other property owners join the hold out.
Well, Flagg has done his homework. His girlfriend, who is in real estate, has noticed a spike in interest in Sandicot, and a friend of his has seen some guys with expensive haircuts and fancy sneakers having burgers at Murdock’s. A visit to the Town Hall gives Flagg all he needs to know: Axe has bought the town’s debt so he will win BIG if the casino comes to town and lose BIG otherwise. Axe pays 5 million for the land and adds an Indian Four to his collection. He loves anything with power, doesn’t he? And Wags plays Doc Holliday to Axe’s Wyatt Earp: “Wyatt, we are rolling.”
Not so fast, boys!
I was feeling uneasy about the casino deal but I admit I did not see this coming… not at all! Chuck Sr is pulling yet another trick after Season 1’s Short Squeeze: He finds out from his guy tailing Axe’s people that they are making trips to Sandicot and we find out Chuck Sr was a Whiffenpoof at Yale! His fellow capella friend Hal, whose ear is always to the rail, tells him about Sandicot receiving its gambling license soon. Chuck Sr calls one “Black Jack Foley” (Hello, David Strathairn!) who seems to have a say in the location of the casino and asks one question: “Does it have to go there?” I cannot help say good night and good luck, Axe 😀
Bryan, while pissed off with Chuck who has thrown him under the bus with a quite complicated jury selection, takes the boss’ advice to turn his fury into a weapon in the courthouse and connects with the potential jurors most of whom are coming from his background. One guy is a “sandhog” that built the Second Avenue Subway like Bryan’s grandfather did the Lincoln Tunnel in 1930s. Neither saw any bonus in their lives while the average bonus at Spartan-Ives is 366K and Boyd’s personal bonus is at least 50 times THAT. Bryan is a “fluffer” and I admit I did not know such a job existed until tonight 😀
Boyd knows he may well share the fate of Louis XVI when he hears a potential juror saying “I assume everyone hates this man at first sight. It’s not gonna color my opinion” and throws in the towel.
It turns out Boyd is a self-made man like Axe and this could be the very reason Axe respects him. He used to work at Gimbels when he was 18. On his last day at work, he stole three suits – wearing them on top of each other under his own suit -and sold them to help pay for college. The risk was worth the reward at the time because he had nothing to lose. But he is now facing 10 years in federal prison. Thus, he is now willing to admit guilt, 5 years of probation and pay 60 million in fees.
I give it to Chuck that he pulls this off seamlessly and brilliantly. He gives NO DEAL to Boyd, well, yes, for a personal reason! Chuck wants to keep his job and NO DEAL leaves no other option for Boyd other than pleading guilty and no other option for the Attorney General other than dropping the investigation against Chuck’s office and giving him his “open field.”
Dake is almost having an orgasm in interrogating Lonnie, who is about to serve him Chuck’s head. However, as the great Bruce Buffer says…
…for Dake to stop 😀 He stops by Chuck’s office on his way out to let him know that he may be Elvis today but he would better not get comfortable because Dake is watching him.
Bryan gets a congratulatory call from Bach. Exactly like Bach, I had no idea about the words Bryan used but now I know they are Go terms: Goban and Kiai 😀 According to Bach, Bryan is closer than ever to his goal: “Which one?” he asks. THAT he needs to figure it out in the next couple of weeks. Bryan is at a crossroads: Do you think he may want to be a lion after all? 😀
I admit I enjoyed Axe schooling Lara in Episode 5 Currency because she was openly sarcastic with Wendy earlier about marriage. Now I am with her that Axe just pretends they are equal partners in their marriage, and oh I yes I totally remember about Galapagos because that was the first time Axe rubbed me the wrong way! 😀 Lara knows one needs to cut loose anything that becomes a liability for the greater good and she did it with her restaurant. While Axe promises he will never have a personal session with Wendy — a condition Wendy had him accept to come back so this is bullshit! — I do not think Lara will leave it there. Instead, Lara will HANDLE it.
Is it Gracie Mansion or Governor’s Mansion? THAT is the only question for Chuck Sr! Besides, he is sure the vir triumphalis aka his son scared Axelrod when Ira shares the news that Axe is dropping all law suits against Chuck. But Chuck knows Axe better. Discomfort is written all over his face.
As much as I don’t like the idea of Wendy going back to Axe Capital so soon, I know she had to leave the job that turned her on mainly because Chuck violated her privacy! How come he dares to come and tell her this is a deal breaker for them? And now that I am thinking, Chuck may have chosen not to share the severity of the law suits with Wendy particularly because he knew the suits could turn into a bargaining chip between Axe and Wendy. All cards seem to be stacked against their marriage at the moment, and I am pissed with Chuck, but I will keep rooting for this couple to make it as long as I believe they care about each other.
Axe gets word Sandicot is not receving the gambling license. He is now left with the debt of a “shit hole” and an Indian Four to constantly remind him of this very shitty deal:
“Back in the day this machine was the epitome of power.”
Axe is really talking about a motorcycle or himself?
I wonder if Axe will hold Marc responsible for dragging him into Sandicot mess and if this will affect his relationship with Bruno. Besides, I do not even want to think about the lengths he can go once he finds out it is Chuck Sr who screwed him in Sandicot! In fact, I am dying to know but I am equally worried he could hurt himself in the process. It gives me the creeps to think Flagg was repairing Indian Four’s “suicide clutch.”
As much as he claims he is a machine, a fucking terminator, Axe feels much more human than he has ever been since we met him. And it is a true delight to see Damian going to places in his incredible range as an actor that he has not gone before with this character, or maybe with any character.