Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 6: Indian Four

source: Showtime

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!

source: NBC

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.

source: Showtime

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.

source: Showtime

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.

source: Showtime

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.

source: Showtime

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.

source: Showtime

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…

source: Showtime

Lara 😀

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 😀

source: Showtime

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!

source: Showtime

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 😀

source: Showtime

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.

source: Showtime

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.”

source: Showtime

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.

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!

54 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 6: Indian Four”

  1. Great recap… so much to unpack in this episode. This season is getting stronger with every episode, as are the performances. I loved that Wendy and Chuck had dinner with the kids, only to have that glimmer of a reconciliation snuffed out at the end. Lots more meat on that bone.

    Unsurprisingly I loved the courtroom scene and Bryan’s jury selection technique. It reminds me how little we’ve actually seen anyone inside a courtroom… I hope it’s not the last.

    Generally the Bobby/Lara scenes are my least favourite but not this week. I like seeing a few cracks in their relationship and having to work at it like most everyone else. It will be interesting to see how long Bobby can keep his repurposed promise not to see Wendy himself. And what Lara will do when she finds out.

    I’m off for a rewatch!

    1. PS. How amazing are these guest stars this season? David Strathairn and Shawn Doyle the next in a long line of great cameos.

    2. Thank you – I confess it was not the easiest episode to write about for the exact reason you are citing: SO MUCH TO UNPACK. Besides, nothing is what it seems and everyone is playing a strategic game.

      Bryan really delivered in the courtroom. I LOVED how he turned his fury about injustice into a weapon for justice and connected with the potential jurors coming from his background. “Always trust a sandhog.” 😀 Haha, true, we have not really seen much in a courtroom and that is mostly because Chuck would never take a case that he would not win to a trial. Jury trial was his optimal play here for totally personal reasons, and it worked. By the way, Bryan seems to have changed, too, doesn’t he? Where is the Bryan who was pissed off when Chuck made a deal with Birchie and was happy when Chuck didn’t make a deal with Axe? The writers are doing a brilliant job in showing us how much has changed in a season.

      I agree with you that marriages are more interesting to follow when there is a crack. Lara is right that her husband does not really see her as his equal in the marriage. And I did not like Axe trying to sell his bullshit “I need your take on something” to her. Lara being Lara, I don’t think she will really try to live with the fact that Wendy is back at Axe Capital. I think she will do her best to HANDLE it and we may see more cracks in the Axelrod marriage.

      I can’t have enough of Billions! I watch Sundays mostly to put the recap together so I am very disciplined, taking notes, doing research as I watch… and then I watch during the week just for my own personal FUN. Happy re-watch! <3

  2. This is the first episode that Axe character crossed the line for me. From immediately cold calling his wife before he’s even out of the skate park to “sell” the idea of a dinner date to manipulating her into thinking she’s important to him. Full-blown, calculated strategy like it’s a business deal. Propping up what he knows are her insecurities by trying to come off as a genuine, caring husband. Gave me con artist vibes. Blah.

    I used to work for Bruce Buffer’s wife. Well, ex-wife now. T-Town is small 🙂

    You’d think this Okie girl would love country music. I don’t. I mean, the greats are the old originals in my book. But this “new country” of the past 10 years can take a hike, sans Tim McGraw and Dixie Chicks. But I have to hand it to BK and DL and their music picks. I downloaded Goddamn Lonely Love by Drive-By Truckers and love it. Listened to it on my drive into T-Town this morning and kept seeing Damian’s face as Axe closed the garage door on his Indian Four.

    Speaking of Indian Four. Many of us Okies had Indian Mini Bikes when we were kids. I remember hanging out and riding with friends back in the country parts 😉

    1. Well, there is a first time for everything, I guess! I think Axe crossed the line for me first when he stole Donnie’s Christmas. I know that pancreatic cancer would still take Donnie but it should have been his decision, not Axe’s. And as much as I loved that he schooled Lara in the previous episode – I was pissed with her for being rude to Wendy about marriage at the Alpha Cup – I am with Lara all the way about Axe not seeing her as an equal partner in their marriage. And this comes from someone who believes marriage is a strategic game, too, in ways; but it would definitely have a better outcome should both sides put equal effort into it. Lara is not stupid, Axe knows it, and he still tries to sell his bullshit to her. It is not easy to be Ms. Axelrod and I, for one, know I would not choose to marry Bobby in your “shag, marry, kill” game 😀

      You told me you loved Opera, so I did not assume anything about your music taste! I believe it is Jason Isbell, one of Koppelman’s favorite musicians that wrote “Goddamn Lonely.” Isbell’s music is country, too, I think, but not in a conventional way, and the lyrics are beautiful. I met his album Southeastern thanks to Billions but JaniaJania is the real Isbell girl on Fan Fun 🙂

      I found out about Indian Four way before the episode thanks to you! Axe loves anything with power, isn’t it? But I found it very meaningful that he was on the Indian Four that USED TO BE the epitome of power when he got the news about Sandicot. I think we will still get to hear about Sandicot and I have no idea about what Axe can do once he finds out who screwed him in this deal!

      1. hahahaha my “shag, marry, kill” game. Yes, Isbell wrote it. And double yes, soooo meaningful that Indian Four USED TO BE the epitome of power.

    2. I discovered Drive-By Truckers via discovering Jason Isbell last season. He used to sing with them! I feel the same way about most country music. Didn’t grow up in the deep south, but south enough for confederate flag license plates and shit-kicking tunes about lost loves and lost trucks. The music of Drive-By Truckers and Jason Isbell with them and on his own, is, to paraphrase Isbell: a punk version of country. Beautiful attention to lyrics, deep-felt stuff about this country we all live in, relationships, drinking, women, etc. It’s like Whitman set to music. Listening to these Alabama boys brings faith back to some of us city folk who are still reeling from the divides in this country.
      I agree, Bobby isn’t a great husband is he. And probably not a great man either. There’s only place we see who he may be underneath the braggadocio. That place starts with W and ends with Y. 🙂

    3. Oh, and I tried to find a picture of Steve McQueen on an Indian Four, but no luck. He owned and rode an Indian Chief. Not a bike girl by any stretch, but I understand the appeal, especially on the wide open roads of America. Motorcycles, in my cultural history, meant one thing: you couldn’t afford a car. My dad used to cart me around on his Honda motorcycle when I was a baby. 😀

  3. Finally, an episode I completely understood without having to watch it twice. But of course, I will anyway! This is unquestionably my favorite of this season so far. Sorry Broedy, but the Axe/Lara scenes are my favorite and the ones in this epi show Axe in a new light. (Just as in Homeland, it was the Brody/Jessica relationship that I liked the best.) In fact, I think it shows almost all sides of the Axe character with more intensity than we have seen before, excepting only last season’s “fight” with Dollar Bill. I’m giving the writers credit for twists and turns out of the clear blue that made that episode end much too soon for me. Of course the whole season will end too soon for all of us. Unless I am wrong, Damian hasn’t done any movies or anything we can look forward seeing between Billions season. What a pity. Maybe Queen of The Desert will finally come round. The Goat play doesn’t count for me, since it will be happening across the Big Pond from where I live.

    1. Of course, Connie, you will watch it twice… maybe thrice! 😀 My Sunday watch is entirely to put the recap together so I watch, take notes and do research simultaneously. Then I go back and watch during the week for my personal fun and every time I watch the show I find something new. Billions is an incredibly rich show that deserves a re-watch!

      I know we were in the same camp re Brody and Jess! I love relationship stories and give credit to Billions writers who absolutely know a thing or two about a real marriage. What I agree with Broedy though is that I find it more interesting to follow a marriage when there is a crack to it. Because THAT will show me how resilient the marriage is to a shock. What are the costs they are willing to pay to stay together? And it applies to both couples in the show. I will never get the people who want Axe and Wendy to get together. Yes, I can see their on-screen chemistry is a undeniable though I didn’t feel it at all though in this week’s episode – they seemed distant! But maybe because I have been happily married for 21 years, I just want Wendy and Chuck to make it as well and will root for them as long as I believe they care about each other (same thing I did with Brody and Jess!) Regarding the Axelrod marriage, I expect Lara to handle the liability called “Wendy” in her own way and bring more clouds over the Axelrod marriage. Plus, Axe may put a bit more effort into the relationship and make Lara feel she is an equal partner there. She deserves it. And I know you are not a big fan of Wendy so I would be curious to have your take on Wendy coming back to Axe Capital.

      Finally, yes, Axe gets more and more intense, and the more intense he gets, the more human he seems. Fascinating! It is a true delight to see Damian going to places he has never gone with this character before.

      Damian has not done any new movies and it seems he withdrew from Ocean’s 8, too. But you are absolutely right Queen of The Desert will have a limited release in the US on April 14 and it is also coming to on demand:

      The Goat previews have just started in London, and to make it count for you a little bit, here is a little curtain call video an audience member shared on Instagram. ENJOY <3

    2. Hey Connie, you’re right. Queen of the Desert is finally coming to theaters in the States. Will be posting with info tonight. 😀 Check back!

  4. Having rewatched the ep now I have to say, the scene with Lara and Bobby at the restaurant was an acting masterclass by Damian. When have we seen Bobby act in quite that way with anyone, let alone his wife? It was manipulative, but it was also Bobby ‘acting’ a part, and quite unconvincingly at that. No wonder Lara saw right through him.

    And then he kept it up when he came home and swore he’d never have a session with Wendy. Did she really buy it after seeing through him so easily earlier? I don’t know, but damn if Damian Lewis didn’t kill those scenes.

    This cast is incredible.

    1. He certainly did KILL those scenes! I think this is Damian at his BEST. The actors mentioned at a Billions event in December that because they know each other better now as actors, they can take more risks with each other and it adds to acting. The whole cast was great in the freshman season, but I think they shine even more this season. And I think the changes in Axe this season gives Damian an opportunity to go to places in his range that he has not shown us before with Axe, or maybe with any character.

      Wendy said she would not see Axe for a session, so as long as she keeps her side of the deal, he will not able to have a session with her. But he was obviously lying to Lara. I don’t think Lara will live with this – I am sure she will handle the liability called “Wendy Rhoades” and it may not end well!

    2. Agree!! Nothing beats a power house actor when his character is telling lies. You’ve got the layers of lies. Acting as a lie, and the character lying to boot. Performing such a thing is even more miraculous than writing it. A writer knows characters from a viewpoint of their creator, whereas an actor sort of embodies that character with a combination of his own viewpoint into the character motivations, research, etc. combining into LIVING that person. Watching Damian do this will never not be mind-boggling.

  5. I agree with y’all on Axe, but let me also say that I completely sympathize with Axe in the Axe/Lara scene. Not that he does not care about or respect Lara, but this is simply how he does his business at Axe Capital, by instinct. But that unilateral decision was tough. And he is afraid of Lara! In a way, isn’t this a beautiful expression of love? I feel you Axe, women can be scary 🙂

    and I agree with Connie that we have seen a broad range of acting, and with Broedy, this was a powerful act of communicating to the audience how scared he was of Lara.

    1. Ha! So given that I’ve been married to you for the last two decades am I scary or what? 😀 😀 😀 I give you credit that you have repeatedly told me you are sometimes afraid of my reaction so you sort of “act” your message. That is an entirely different perspective that I completely ignored as I was looking at Axe and Lara. Axe obviously knows Lara would not be happy about Wendy coming back to Axe Capital, and he already has done it, and so now he has to tell it to her in a way that she would feel more appreciated than bypassed 😀 And he fails! I love it that you feel him 😀

    2. Yes, I get the fear factor there, and I sense it in my own marriage, but that doesn’t mean I understand it or sympathize at all with it. (my hubbie deals with his fear by going silent.. for years) What is there to fear from a partner of so many years who is committed?
      True, i did conclude last season that Bobby knows that if he tests Lara too much, she will take his kids and whatever is owed her from their bank accounts and never look back. Is fear of desertion a hallmark of a strong marriage? I don’t know.
      How crazy that this show has us talking about the intricacies of marriage. Surely, a testament to the attention the writers have paid to these intricacies.

      1. “What is there to fear from a partner of so many years who is committed?”

        Great point, losing the kids and half of the Axe capital is a lot to fear for, may be that is it!

        If we take out the fear of the partner leaving in a relationship, I guess the most probable scenario in such cases is fear of hurting the partner. and that is love, I think.

        In that scene though, I recall TBkWrm’s Peter Pan in Axe and see a fearful kid, standing in front of his mom, knowing what he did 🙂

  6. Anyone recognize the restaurant where they served ‘the 1975 Chateau d’Yqem’ to Lara?
    Everytime watching this tv show I look the filming locations up because they mostly go to fancy places…

    1. We have been able to link to almost all restaurants this season in earlier recaps. This particular place Axe and Lara have the Chateau d’Yqem does not look like a NYC restaurant. Maybe in Westchester or Long Island. But I am on it. I will let you know if I can figure it out. And we will do a episode by episode locations and dining guide for Season 2 after the season finale.

    2. Hi Don, I have the answer to your question.
      I asked the show creator Brian Koppelman and he very kindly answered: It’s movie magic and not a real restaurant.
      You don’t know how much time I spent online looking for a fancy restaurant with a sun dial. Silly me 😀

      1. OMG i feel terrible cuz i can imagine you spending so much time looking for the info…..
        Thank You a lot btw!!! I TRULY appreciate your time and effort!!!!!!!

        p.s. I love your blog so much:) your blog is the best and amazing!

        1. Oh no, no need to feel terrible — I would research that for the dining guide I plan to do by the end of the season anyway! And it really looked like a real place, didn’t it? 😀

          Thank you so much for your kind words, you make my day! Please keep your feedback coming and feel free to ask us anything and anytime.

  7. Hi !! I agree with Lewisto. Bobby fears Lara. And in the scenes with her is when I most enjoy Damian ! Saludos.

    1. Ha! I love this. Who knows maybe he is scared of Lara like Lewisto is scared of me? 😀 And that is why he is sometimes “acting” with her? I ignored that perspective completely but it makes sense!

      1. I agree the fear factor. What I also observe is that it is so exhausting distrusting someone you love. Lara is pissed, rightly so. But to have to continually doubt in everything her husband tells her would be beyond exhausting. I think she did buy it when Axe told her he wouldn’t see Wendy as a patient. She needs to believe something he says is true, since she has caught him a string of half truths lately. She really loves the man. She never has seen herself as a trophy wife. She fights for her equality in their relationship. She had to believe SOMETHING he said to bring her to lower her defenses enough for a shag by the pool.

        1. Lewisto is over the moon that his “fear factor” argument works for several people 🙂

          Trust is what I personally treasure the most in a relationship. I completely agree with you that it should be very exhausting not to trust someone you love. And, yeah, Lara probably needed to believe something because, otherwise, it would get really complicated to live together. But Lara will keep being Lara IMO. Even though she seemed to buy Axe saying he will not see Wendy as a patient —and he cannot as long as Wendy refuses to see him as a patient — she will not leave it there. I can’t wait to see how she will HANDLE the liability called Wendy and THAT, I think, could bring about the biggest clouds ever over her marriage.

  8. How much joy it gives me to read your recaps damianista!

    “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.”
    Wow, they should call this show Erosion. I can’t see how ANY of these relationships can ever be mended.

    “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”
    And my heart breaks that Wendy & Chuck can’t be together. Their family dinner will probably be the last time those children will see a happy family with hope.

    “1975 Chateau d’Yqem”
    I guess there are some situations even heaven in a bottle can’t mend.

    “Dake is almost having an orgasm in interrogating Lonnie, who is about to serve him Chuck’s head.”

    “Bryan is at a crossroads: Do you think he may want to be a lion after all?”
    From “fluffer” to full on porn star? I’m not sure Bryan has the goods.

    “Instead, Lara will HANDLE it.”
    Amen, sister.

    I too hope Bruno & Axe’s relationship doesn’t become collateral damage from the Sandicot affair. I think not. Marco had no idea what Chuck Sr. was going to do and Axe will find out about the thread of Sr. & Black Jack through Hall’s further investigation.

    Notes on Wendy & Chuck
    I don’t think Chuck will be able to find that exact soulmate he has in Wendy unless he goes through intense, professional, psychological work. Wresting with a bodacious Swiss babe will not be enough to quell the release he needs. He can do it, but it has to be identified by him and worked on, not pushed aside. He is a sexual man too and I can understand his attraction to the artist. But he is a psychologically complex man, damaged by that ambitious, conniving, criminal-minded, and controlling father who shaped Chuck’s youth. Wendy, I think she’ll be okay. But then again, we know close to nothing about her formative years. Is she the only main character (besides Wags) that we do not know about their early life? Hall has told some things about ‘men who kill children and how can they live with that fact for the rest of their lives and what it does to them, etc.’ & I’m too afraid to know his childhood years!

    Food for thought for Chuck:
    “For the masochist, taking on a role of subjugation and helplessness can offer a release from stress or the burden of responsibility or guilt. It can also evoke infantile feelings of dependency, safety, and protection, which can serve as a proxy for intimacy. In addition, the masochist may derive pleasure from earning the approval of the sadist, commanding his full attention, and, in a sense, controlling him.Psychology Today 2014”

    Thanks again daminaista! Awesome recap.

    1. And how much joy it gives me to read your comments and kind words – THANK YOU!

      You are right. All relationships are damaged goods at this point and I am not sure either if there is a way to mend them. I am really dying to see which marriage will endure under this level of stress and mistrust and lies. And Wendy’s return to Axe Capital will damage both relationships further. Chuck already said that was a “deal breaker” and may chase Axe again after all and Lara may try, and IMO, will try, to handle Wendy in her own ways.

      We know almost nothing about Wendy’s formative years: the only thing we recently found out was when she talked to Elena at Far Point, she talked about the big and noisy family she grew up in. And, of course, we do not know much about her back story with Axe. I would also have loved to know more about how she met Chuck and fell in love! I wonder if the rest of the season will provide us bits and pieces of her back story. And I am giggling thinking about Hall’s formative years. I’m with you. I don’t want to know!!! 😀 😀 😀

      I have written in a few of other places about Bryan: I think he is finally becoming his own man. I loved his intensity in the courtroom and I hope he continues to be on fire! But he is absolutely at a crossroads… and we don’t know what Chuck will — now that he has saved his job — with the video Chuck Sr gave him of Bryan talking with Dake. I am expecting him to confront Bryan and somehow force him to go to the defense side. Or maybe not. And until we find out, speculation is everything! 😀

  9. So, from what they were saying of the reasons he put her on contract was so chuck would not go after him again?

    1. Possibly. However, as far as I can remember the Axe case was not entirely dropped, it was moved to Eastern District during S1. There has been a noticable lack of discussion of this in s2 that sometimes I feel I may be imagining it, but I am certain that is what happened. Given we are now at episode 6 and the Boyd case seems done with, it is reasonable to assume attention will now be turned back to Axe somehow.

      1. Axe told Bach that the contract was to “lock her in.” But I don’t completely understand what it is about. So she cannot leave whenever she wants? There may be a clause that makes it harder for her to leave? It seems Wendy’s lawyers green lighted the contract and she signed without reading… Hope Bach did not add a clause or two for her not to be able to leave when she feels like.

        Now that Chuck has told Wendy her going back to Axe Capital is a “deal breaker” he may well go after Axe again! Axe may regret his decision to drop all those law suits after all.

    2. I think the reason he put her on contract is to make sure it’s all out in the open, spelled out in pen and ink, leaving nothing to chance. Ironic, coming from such a great liar. See, Bobby knows that Wendy can see all. So, with her, he doesn’t want to leave any stone un-turned. A chat in a skate park may be enough for most folks he deals with, including his own wife, but, it seems, his relationship with Wendy is another breed entirely.
      At this point, I don’t think he is thinking about Chuck coming after him again (something that is bound to happen regardless) He’s just happy to have Wendy back, and wants to make sure she’s happy and stays this time.

  10. I loved this episode so much. Bobby is, as far as I can see, at the moment, a perfect example of ‘looking good on the surface rather than being good.” The way he is going about everything is that of a desperate man which he basically admits in the very first scene when he says to Boyd he needs him “to gut this f***er” Boyd failed him.

    I am possibly angrier than Wendy about the manipulation, but I personally think he is under estimating her. I think she is seeing him clearer, now more than ever and it may not be as beneficial as he thinks having her back. He clearly feels she is an indemnity of sorts against Chuck…not just Wendy he is underestimating here. I believe Chuck when he says it is a deal braker.

    Of course, I was grinning from ear to ear during Bryan’s jury selection. Bryan seems a bit calmer during the last few episodes and willing to stand up. He has a choice to make, he may or may not have already made it, but he is now making decisions which is good for him.

    1. I completely agree with you that Axe is underestimating Wendy. Exactly like he is underestimating Lara. And exactly like he is underestimating a lot of people around him. MISTAKE.

      OMG. When Chuck said “deal breaker” I thought it would be a deal breaker in THEIR relationship — but it may well be a deal breaker in his promise to Wendy that he will not go after Axe! OMG! Lara may be right and Wendy, with no intention, could be a big liability for Axe. Chuck has Boyd in his pocket now, he is pleading guilty… I wonder if Boyd knows a thing or two about Axe’s shady deals… and if Chuck can make him sing! Boyd is certainly not a risk taker he can do anything for Chuck not to get into prison. My question is: Can Boyd be a Donnie of sorts for Chuck?

      Bryan is becoming his own man! He was on fire in the courtroom and I loved it! I am really curious if he wants to be a lion 😀

      1. Wendy made a mistake signing that contract without reading it herself.

        It could be Chuck meant both though I never believed he had given up on Axe anyway. Boyd talked a big game with Axe but it seems he is more about talking so I do think he can be used to get at Axe.

        Bryan has been written so well.

        1. You are absolutely right! I always sign without reading. Lewisto is a freak, he reads everything.
          But when it’s Axe even I would READ the finalized contract. Honestly, I didn’t think about it while I was watching, but then it occurred to me she signed without reading!!!

        2. I think she did read it. The scene started as she was finishing up reading it, I think. She’d be a fool not to! And I hate to think that after last season Wendy would ever be a fool when it comes to doing business with Axe.

          1. And I really really really HOPE that you are right and she did read it. I only heard her saying her lawyer read it and he said it was fine.

      2. I feel like I’m in a minority. I dislike the character of Bryan so much! I think of him as a wannabe who resents people who have made it. I also think he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. I believe the FBI agent saw the real Bryan and cut and ran. Becoming his own man is just not, IMO, going to happen. He is easily manipulated. How many ways can we count that Chuck talked him into doing things that just had Bryan baffled. I think he picked up mean, unnecessary , tricks from Chuck like when he was so terrible to Denny when he was literally dying in their last interview. He tries so hard to prove he belongs with the big boys but it’s obvious he doesn’t have the finesse that his co-workers possess. I’m just not a fan of his ability to get the job done with dignity. But then again, who does have real dignity in this show? Maybe Besinger? (Don’t hate me for not liking Bryan please!)

        1. Why would I hate you for not liking Bryan? Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion and very rightly so 😀

          I agree with you Bryan has been manipulated multiple times but he is also seeing Chuck now for who he is. He obviously does not have the experience or maybe the IQ, either, to diagnose the situations like Chuck does (for example Chuck understands they lost Arendt in a second, and he has to tell Bryan for him to get it :D) but I see all of this as part of a long-running learning on the job experience for Bryan. What I trust in him is his dignity which I really hope he keeps. So, you don’t see him becoming a lion 😀 Then was Axe not really believing in his potential to be a lion, either, when he offered him a job? Maybe he was just playing with Bryan, telling him things to push him to go and make THAT call (probably) knowing that he would not accept the job offer anyway?

          Oh, I am sure if we dig in, we will find some dirty laundry in Besinger’s life, too 😀

          1. TV programme so obviously everything is drawn out for dramatics but I am impatient for Bryan to fully see Chuck. He is on that road now and it is a dangerous one. As you know, I can’t stand Chuck and hope Bryan has the guts to keep walking that road.

            I actually felt Bryan not getting Arendt had been flipped back was strange. Given the character’s development through last season and in s2 so far I wasn’t best pleased to see him momentarily written back to Bryan from early season 1. It should have been obvious from the fact Boyd didn’t show up and the way his legal representatives (the whole room full of them!) were behaving, what was going on.

          2. Yes, I admit I was also surprised that Bryan did not get it but Chuck needed to tell him. I think Chuck will confront Bryan about his meeting with Dake in this coming episode and then Bryan may have to take some major career decisions — especially if he sees there is no bright future for him in the US attorney’s office. I am dying to find out!

            Am I the only one that can more than stand Chuck? 😀 I, in fact, like Chuck quite a bit this season. I think he is better than Axe with handling high stress levels (risk of losing his job plus the 127 law suits against him)

          3. I am interested to find out if in fact he has already made them 😀 He seems to have a more personal relationship with Orrin Bach than with Chuck. I actually recall highlighting from the Pilot that there was no personal element between the two (Chuck and Bryan). There has been the sense from the off that Orrin sees something in Bryan, but he is clearly ready to wait until Bryan is ready. He guides to a certain extent but leaves Bryan to make his own mind up…the teacher in him I suppose. Orrin knows if he pushes too hard he will lose him. Chuck comes from a world where pushing gets you what you want. Bryan isn’t from that world and Orrin gets that.

            I am sure there are plenty of Rhoadies out there…for Junior and Senior!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

            As much as I dislike the character, I certainly can’t argue that out of him and Axe, he is the grown up!

        2. Certainly I don’t hate you for disliking Bryan. As I think I have said before, I feel that way about Wendy; don’t care for her at all! That is to say, the character Wendy, obviously Maggie S. is a good actress to be able to sway my emotion in that direction. When I see her looking at Axe, all I see is hate. No matter what is in their shared past, it’s over. Wendy comes across to me as a know-it-all of the first caliber and I cannot stand that kind of personality. (Remember, that’s Wendy, not Maggie.) But going back to Homeland, I could barely tolerate Carrie’s lip quivering cry face and was in Jessica’s corner from the get go. There are some supporting characters in Billions that I really like. Orrin Bach is so well cast, as are Wags and Hall. The fellow playing Dake did a great job I thought. In particular I liked his dialog delivery; it made his character come alive. Fear has been mentioned in some of the posts, but I don’t see it in Axe or Lara at all. Axe seems to know exactly how he is playing each situation, even if he gives the impression he is floundering. Not only is Axe a successful hedge fund manager, he is an actor! I do wonder why the writers made him “Bobby” from the beginning. It is very juvenile sounding. Most Bobbys grow up to be Bob. Certainly mine did. My Bob and I were married over 52 years before he passed, but we were high school sweethearts and I never called him Bobby, only his mother and mine did that. So, are we supposed to look at Axe as a kid who never really grew up?

          1. And you know I like Wendy very much. It is not just that I like her, she is the only character that I can identify with in Billions 🙂 Lara is not someone that I would personally engage with, but Wendy could easily be a friend or a colleague.

            I completely agree about Bach, Wags, and Hall. I will definitely add to the list Dollar Bill, Chuck Sr, Raul Gomez and the late Donnie, too. They are all accomplished stage actors and, in fact, directors (I just saw Arthur Miller’s Price directed by Terry Kinney aka Hall!) Billions has the privilege of being filmed in NY so they have this incredible access to wonderful stage actors!

            YES, I think Bobby and Chuck are deliberately chosen names to remind us men have the capacity to be kids regardless how old they are. And both Bobby and Chuck constantly remind me of boys that never grow up 😀 And, I am a believer in Tbkwrm’s argument that Bobby may be a Peter Pan – he even has his personal Wendy!

        3. Agree with Damianista, why we would we hate you for having a different opinion?

          I described him as like a child in season one and feel we are seeing the process of him growing up. It is partly why I love the character so much. He has been easily manipulated at times but that is inexperience and he doesn’t have “a seat at the table”. Major disadvantage and one I am hoping to see him overcome.

          There is a certain resentment (absolutely spot on IMO) attached to the character but I disagree it is because he is a wannabe resenting people who have made it.

          Bryan had no idea Donnie was seriously ill and he had legitimate reason to believe Donnie was screwing with them. I wanted to give Bryan a hug at the start of Quality of life. He looked very upset and shocked.

  11. Terri said it best: “You are a nice guy, Bryan, but you’ll do a hell of a lot better when you’re your own man.”

    Team Bryan!

    1. He’s becoming his own man, isn’t he? Bryan in this episode was on fire in the courtroom, I loved it!

  12. Ah, yes, the fear of causing pain. I sense such a fear acutely with my daughter…a pretty much constant underlying fear that I’ll say or do the wrong thing and harm her irreparably. And I feel it towards my parents, in bucket loads. But I can’t say I’ve ever felt such a fear with a partner. Mutual pain is a part of the contract imo.

    Anyhoo, I think it comes down to what I can sense Lara feeling. I don’t feel her love for Axe and I don’t feel her pain from his serial betrayals. All I really feel from her is a dogged sense of entitlement. A sort of generic one at that.
    While on the other side, I can sense every little thing about Bobby. Largely thanks to Damian really knowing what the heck he’s doing. 🙂 Yes, Bobby is a child in many many ways. I’d love him to be able to show that need for nurturing with Lara, but I have yet to see it….ie I haven’t seen Lara show any interest in nurturing him, not to the same degree Wendy is. Wendy’s the only one, so far, who is able to see that vulnerability in him, address it, call it out for what it is, without outright indulging it.

    1. It’s hilarious that we start talking real marriages but it makes sense since the marriages in the show feel REAL.

      I am totally with you in the comparison between Lara and Wendy. I think one of the reasons Axe may not be sharing THAT side of him — the one that needs nurturing — to Lara is that she would not get it. She is a mother and all, but I do not see her getting it from an adult man, and moreover she would probably see his vulnerability as a “weakness” — a “liability” in him. Wendy is the anti-thesis of Lara in that regard. She is also, of course, a professional in understanding human psychology but she knows Axe is human and has vulnerabilities that need to be nurtured.

      Mutual pain would be a “deal breaker” for me 😀

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