Previously on Billions: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Kingmaker”

Chuck Senior takes a call from Jack Foley who is not impressed that his granddaughter Emma has not gotten that Clerkship. He is upset at the “bad form” and Chuck Jnr letting him down. Snr says that Jnr does not know and cannot ever know about Sandicot. Foley is throwing in with Bob Sweeney for Governor now…but Foley and Senior are still fine.

The Remington from Sandicot has arrived at Axe Capital, but Axe is more concerned with Foley screwing him over and specifically why.  Wags has been searching for a deal they did where Foley got screwed, but Axe says he won’t find it because he could have been harbouring the grudge for a decade.  Axe is concerned about Foley being able to do him so much damage without him seeing it coming. He orders Wags to get him in a room with Foley.

source: Showtime

Chuck Snr and Jnr are having a conversation about Jnr’s “disrespecting” of Foley i.e. not getting Emma the Clerkship. Chuck declares that he doesn’t need Foley’s backing as he has his own power and when he is Governor, Foley will have to look him in the eye. 

Wags cannot get Bobby a meeting with Foley so Axe orders Wags to find out where Foley gets his scrap and they will crush his business.  Wags orders Taylor to this task. Mafee gets on Wags’ wrong side when organising a meeting with a potential new broker to take over from Spartan Ives.

Kate’s is proposing moving on Gus who has now been fired from Axe Capital and Bryan declares that he is now all about listening to what Chuck says rather than guessing what he wants.  They will stay away from Axelrod.

Lara is off to Sandicot and Axe is off to Binghamton which according to Lara takes precedence over Sandicot.

source: Showtime

Chuck goes off to have a talk with Bob Sweeney, who does not like Chuck’s suggestion that he be Chuck’s Lt Governor.

Bryan, who is not interested in Gus, bumps into Kate on her and his way in…to see Gus. Ironically, despite how the scene begins, it is probably the most comfortable they have been in each other’s presence all season.

Axe is trying to buy up scrap yards that do business with Foley, but comes to the startling realisation that the owner is more afraid of Foley than him and won’t budge even when Axe offers to double the offer.

Gus may be the first-person Kate hasn’t quite had the measure of. He says she doesn’t understand because if she did, she wouldn’t be asking him to snitch.  Bryan seems to speak his language though as he says that Axe violates the 5 virtues of Bushido.

Source: Showtime

Gus agrees but adds that it is six as Axe wasn’t even polite. However, he can’t give the vengeance sought because

“Axe was used to flirting with Wendy Rhoades, so I don’t have access to the conversations you are interested in.”

The look Kate and Bryan share as Gus says this about Wendy is lovely.  Gus does give them Stephanie Reed’s name.

Taylor and Wendy have their first session.  Taylor admits to feeling awkward about Mafee as he is struggling and they feel responsible somehow. Mafee is supposed to lead, he could have taken credit for Taylor’s work but did not. Wendy thinks Taylor is feeling guilty and asks about their relationships at Axe Capital. They discuss the two reasons everyone likes someone else, but Wendy interjects that there is a third reason

“They see something they lack and want to be near it.”

Taylor asks if that is what is between Wendy and Axe. Wendy is impressed because everything usually just assumes their relationship is physical. Taylor says they didn’t.

source: Showtime

Wendy says she and Axe met at a similar moment when they were trying to figure out who they would be. Taylor asks if they have turned out to be who they thought they would be.

“In some ways we did…and in other important ways we maybe fell a little short. You’re at a similar moment.”

Wendy says that in all her years working at Axe Capital, no one has ever walked through her door because they are worried about how another person feels and when Taylor says they don’t want to lie to Mafee, Wendy suggests they encourage him without words.

I bet those brokers haven’t ever met anyone like Wags before as he treats them to a night out. I am sure they appreciate the lap dance, but he is just using them to get a better deal with Spartan Ives.

source: Showtime

Ira and Chuck are at a bar and Chuck waffles in metaphors so much that even Ira doesn’t know what he is trying to say. Chuck is talking about Bob Sweeney and finding leverage on him. Ira will do some digging on Chuck’s behalf.

Wags arrives at Axe’s to deliver the news that he has managed to get a 20% reduction in fees from Spartan Ives for the next two years. He says Mafee helped. Axe is fine with this but declares

“It is great, but not drive over in the middle of the night great.”

He tells Wags to get to what he really came to talk about. Wags is concerned that Axe is allowing himself to be distracted by Foley and it is affecting Axe Capital. Axe says his fear is telling him that Foley is not just a political move, but a personal one.

Axe Capital is not what Stephanie thought it would be and the process of normalising that which is unacceptable is something she did not like. Bryan asks her to be more specific about the orders she did not want to follow. However, she signed a non-disclosure agreement. Kate plays on her service of her country.  Stephanie agrees to talk if they get her a subpoena.

Source: Showtime

Bryan takes it to Chuck off the record, but regardless of wanting to see Axe in the ground he says it is not the right time to try that angle. Bryan is glad he stayed, Chuck is glad he let him.

Axe agrees to join the board of the Timber Wolf Conservancy (with generous donation) if they guarantee Jack Foley will be their man of the year and Axe will present the award.

Chuck receives a package from Ira with his leverage on Bob Sweeney, which he immediately sets about using. Bob is a homophobe who sent his son off to a religious boot camp to “pray the gay away”.  Bob does not back down at Chuck’s threats.

Mafee is made up with his WWE signed poster that Taylor bought him.

Axe receives a phone call from Jack Foley, inviting him to his house. Chuck receives a handwritten invite to his party. Chuck Senior says he is either impressed by Jnr’s aggression or furious he assassinated an ally…Bob Sweeney quit. Snr is proud of Jnr.

Danny Margolis is working at Foley’s, he asks Axe if there is any opening for a job and Axe tells him

“I like you Danny, but you did the one thing no one can ever come back from”.

Jack Foley was surprised to be named the man of the year particularly as he had no idea about the organisation. Foley calls them “the wolf people” particularly as Axe is now on the Board. Chuck said that the key to catching a wolf was time.  Axe gets the clarification he needs that it was not a personal move from Foley, merely a favour he owed someone else. Foley has the measure of Axe and tells him not to come back down his path. Axe asks Foley if he likes parties, to which he replies “I f*****g love em.”

source: Showtime

Back outside, Axe decides to use Danny Margolis, telling him if he does what Axe asks, he will pay off his house for him.

Wendy discusses honesty with Chuck, who admits he doesn’t want them to see other people. He admits to kissing the woman from jujitsu. It feels like he is trying to manipulate Wendy into admitting her own tryst (which I am certain he has guessed about), but she doesn’t. So much for honesty, Dr Rhoades.

Wendy calls Taylor about their feelings for Mafee, and encourages Taylor to be what Wendy cannot be. Do not ever allow yourself not to feel.

Chuck Jnr and Snr arrive at Foley’s party. Danny Margolis is mingling, Chuck is called to Foley’s library. Foley makes a quip about photos of Chuck  as a child. Chuck says he never wore knickerbockers. Foley responds “It must have been you, he’d never carry round photos of the B*****ds”.

Foley goes on his gut.

“You pick the right man…elections aren’t about ideas, they are about candidates.”

That would be exactly how a town like Sandicot gets screwed, when the politicians pretend to care about ideas to get into office and then do as they please once there. Chuck will deliver Foley’s granddaughter that Clerkship. Foley will endorse Chuck as Governor.

Axe gets a message from Danny with pictures of who is at Foley’s party which includes Chuck.  Axe decides to head right back up that path Foley warned him not to and gate crashes in his jeans and leather jacket.  He certainly likes an entrance as he barges right through the halls, ignoring the dress code and using profanity.

Chuck really does seem like a little boy here as Axe calls him out on Sandicot. Chuck is clueless of course and Snr doesn’t quite believe it when Axe says he will take everything Sandicot has. Chuck tries to get smart with his dad’s help, he thinks being arrogant about the dress code is going to knock Axe off. Axe calls Chuck on his reliance of his father and says he should hold on to him because one day he will have to finally do something for himself.

source: Showtime

I think Axe has made a mistake here, a big one. He has just shown his hand.

Chuck plots to use Sandicot as a pawn to further his political career and with that suggestion he shows why he should not be allowed near any such position of power.

Chuck sends Bryan a  text Message “The time is now.”

7 thoughts on “Previously on Billions: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Kingmaker””

  1. Another great episode, setting up what is sure to be a sizzling end to season 2.

    Not surprisingly I loved Bryan’s scenes and it was good seeing him work with Kate again. They do make a great team, as evidenced by his edge with Dr Gus and hers with Steph Reed. I also loved her response to him asking if his lead snaking move was the reason she liked him or why she dumped him. That “both” was priceless! And that look on his face… Ha ha, poor Bryan.

  2. Not surprisingly I also love Bryan’s scenes 🙂 It was a welcome chance to finally see something with some substance between him and Kate as so far this season there was little explanation.

    Everything is shaping up nicely for the finale. So much is going on and yet it does not feel overcrowded. They are keeping us on our toes.

  3. It looks like Axe would be losing against Chuck…But I’m sure Axe will be the winner in the end.. go team Axe !!!

  4. Someone on the writing staff loves WWE. Soder does an incredible impersonation of the late Randy Savage. Moreover Jack Foley in real life is the late father of one of the wrestling superstars who signed the poster that Taylor gave Soder. MANKIND aka Cactus Jack (Foley).

    1. How fun to learn this trivia! I don’t know about my other partners but I have absolutely no idea about WWE. We figured show creators loved WWE and Brian Koppelman, in particular, tweeted about that. The information you give is priceless. I did not know there was a real Jack Foley 😀

      Thank you for reading!

  5. Mick Foley pro wrestler turned best selling author wrote fondly of his late dad. As far as Dan Soder goes, I knew this show existed especially when Paul G is an alum of the same boarding school I attended and he was just 2 yrs ahead of me. But I only decided to start Billions due to hearing Dan frequently on satellite radio. And I now think Billions is the best show I’ve seen since Sopranos.

  6. Growing up in a family of boys means I know all about the WWE and I have read Mick’s books. That man was some crazy risk taker.

    I was partial to some Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection, Dude love was OK, but undoubtedly he was at his most lethal a Cactus Jack…I think I preferred plain old Mankind though.

    Foley is God…have a nice day!

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