Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 12: Ball in Hand

source: Showtime

May I just say I will miss Sunday nights? My typical Sunday evening runs like this: I watch the show at 10pm and take notes. Then I watch for a second time and take more notes. Then I sit down and write. I typically go to bed as the sun rises. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Writing for hours as if the world is waiting for my recap… But it is not about that… It is about the show and the thrill it gives me: WORTH IT! 😀  Besides, Billions is the ONLY show, other than Mad Men, to date, where I care about every single character. It does not mean I love them all, but I care about them all, which I think is the biggest achievement a show can ever have. I give standing ovation for all brilliant minds behind and in front of the camera and give special thanks to my husband for bearing with me for the last couple of months and letting me sleep until noon on Mondays.

The season may be coming to an end, but we still have so much to say about it. For starters, we are currently working on a FUN Best of Billions we will publish next week followed by a locations guide, a dining guide, a music guide and more. We hope you stay with us!

source: Showtime

We find Bobby “Fucking” Axelrod, who believes he kicked some major Rhoades ass, meditating for the first time this season. His peace is cut short by a knock on the door: Boyd has come to tell him windbreakers are coming for him today and he would be happy to hold his watch. Axe is determined to stay and fight this but it seems Hall is the first one to jump ship. Axe takes the E-ZPass off his car and takes off.

source: Showtime

Chuck meets Dake in THE church. Dake is confident his office is capable of taking Axe at the closing bell today. Chuck asks if Dake could make sure there is no leak about his family’s involvement in Ice Juice IPO. Yes, some unimaginative types may call this a cover-up, but not Chuck! Dake is not giving this to Chuck and he also seems to ignore Chuck’s word of caution that if he goes after Axe on his own, he would better carry a good supply of body bags with him!

source: Showtime

Minchak is not giving an easy time to Chuck, either. And I think she takes off those shoes to keep Chuck under her spell! She is not happy about finding Chuck’s DNA all over an operation Eastern is running. And she does not buy Chuck saying he is in the process of getting an assurance from Dake that Chuck Sr’s involvement in Ice Juice will never see the daylight, and his father is ready to take the hit if this fails. Minchak does not need Chuck to charm her, she just needs all guarantees in writing. There is no room for “might” in Foley’s world.

Axe arrives at Axe Capital like a man on the run. He does not need coffee only burn bins! He takes his passport and his phones from the safe and Deb will make sure the rest gets to be torched. They need shredders for paper files (we know from Klaxon how unsafe shredders may be!) and plasma torches for hard drives! All outside money will exit within 24 hours of an arrest so there should be a new CIO in place to manage the rest. Even though Axe is not ready for someone else to be the CIO, he knows Wags is right that what they do or do not do seconds after his arrest will make a difference of millions of dollars. Axe gives Wags a phone for the day’s communication and Taylor a homework with three questions one of which is the REAL question: Find the best way to liquidate all their positions quickly with minimum loss. Taylor is on it.

Axe has another question in mind: What will he say to his boys? Easy one for Wags:

“Tell them the truth. The government is a bunch of fucking liars.”

source: Showtime

The USA office is receiving shocking news: Lonnie hears from a friend at Bureau of Prisons that Boyd will not be mopping the floors anymore while Bryan hears from Bach that Axe may be mopping the floors soon. The three amigos have questions for Chuck but Chuck is over at his dad’s explaining to Ira and Chuck Sr about Ice Juice. They are shocked not because Axe has sabotaged the deal, but because Chuck has thrown them under the bus!

It turns out Ira can sue Axe and get his money back but only AFTER (and if) Axe is convicted which may take years. Moreover, Ira should protect Chuck here because it will benefit him when Chuck becomes governor. SHAME on you, Chuck. And, by the way, Chuck Sr cannot sue Axe even in his dreams because he cannot reveal his involvement with Ice Juice. Besides, he needs to sign an affidavit saying he acted on his own accessing Chuck’s trust. While Chuck Sr SIGNS the affidavit, he is DONE with his son. Oh, and he pulls a good one by giving Chuck the pictures of Wendy and Craig as they leave the hotel after their one-night stand. What Chuck Sr does not know is that Chuck may even be relieved that the man in the picture is not the one he was expecting to see.

source: Showtime

When Bryan finally gets hold of Chuck, Chuck has no time for explanations because he has Kate waiting in his office. Kate, who had come to work at the USA office to learn from the best prosecutor the office has ever seen and put bad guys behind bars, is ready to move on and will be accepting an offer from Sullivan & Cromwell where she will oversee big criminal defense cases. But the young woman whose aspiration is the highest office in the nation is willing to wait for one more day and see what kind of a compelling offer Chuck will make her.

source: Showtime

Wags needs Wendy even though he does not know whether he should trust her given the circumstances. As she finds out what is going on, Wendy diagnoses Wags’ erratic heartbeat and other symptoms as panic. It is healthy that he is not responding to the news like it is just another day and Wendy will be there for him TODAY.

source: Showtime

It seems sponsoring young baseball players is not the only “other” business Dollar Bill is involved. Axe finds him at his dry cleaners’ to pick his brain about prison. Bill lists the essentials: Have a bite before you get in there because they will starve you. Take a shit because you would not want that pending in there. Figure out the one guard who wants to get paid.

If Hall is the first to jump ship, Lara may be the second. She starts playing with her wedding ring as soon as she hears the news!

source: Showtime

Lara wants to protect her kids so the fact that she does not want to run away and the speed with which she empties the safe make sense. However, her visit to Bach, whom I applaud for his professionalism, to understand her “options” blows my mind. WOW. We find out, since there is no prenup, Lara owns half of whatever they own but she needs to go find counsel somewhere else. Where is that ride-or-die wife we have come to know? Remember “in good times and in bad” at all?

Bach visits Dake to tell him Axe is happy to revive “the immunity deal” which we all know can put Wendy in jail! As soon as Dake advises that offer has expired and that he will not negotiate any terms about Axe’s arrest, Axe’s voice comes out of Bach’s phone!

“Then good luck fucking finding me.”

Dake will now report Bach to the bar association.

source: Showtime

Taylor figures out the optimal “fire sale” and is ready to take over as CIO if the arrest happens. They have so much to learn from Axe to lose him now so Axe should spend every bit of energy in him to get himself out of this situation. Wags assumes the Troika is complete, Taylor bets 7-to-3 Wendy will not stick around and Wendy believes Taylor will get Axe Capital to its best — with or without her.

Axe meets Bach at a pool bar to give him his passport — it will assure the authorities he is not fleeing and should facilitate bail. While Axe uses “ball in hand” as a metaphor to imply he does not have much play left, Bach seems optimistic. And he gives better advise than Wags regarding what to tell the boys.

“Remind them that they know why you really are no matter what anyone says.”

This is certainly not an easy conversation to have with kids who most often see dad as a superhero. I applaud Axe for being honest with his boys. He does not want to fail them like his father failed him. Axe admitting what he would not admit to many to his kids may be the BEST moment in Billions.

source: Showtime

“The government is a bunch of fucking liars, guys… Listen. Look, that’s not true. Sometimes they lie. Sometimes they tell the truth, just like everyone… Like me. Most folks, they find this out about their dad much later, but everyone finds it out. I’m a flawed man. I’m not perfect. I’m not always right. I don’t always win. I fucked up. I did do something wrong.”

source: Showtime

Axe’s tricks — from calling Lara to say he is coming home but sending Ben Kim to drop off his car to giving away his credit cards to random guys who make random expenses at random places — confuse Dake, but they also motivate him to give in to Chuck: Nobody will know about Senior’s involvement in Ice Juice but also Chuck will now name one personnel in Axelrod case. But how will Dake find Axe?

“Get a cell site order for the wife’s phone.”

“I thought I told you. I already…”

“Not his wife. Mine.”

source: Showtime

As the windbreakers tear apart Axe Capital, Axelrods’ main residence, their city apartment and their Hamptons home (I was expecting Chef Ryan to tell them they should have called :D), Chuck and Bryan go on a field trip to 9/11 Memorial to find Wendy waiting for Axe. It turns out Bryan does not just get the girl (remember the flight attendant in Optimal Play?) but also the Axelrod prosecution. And, by the way, he can let Kate know she IS the new Head of Crim! Well, whose house is it now, Lonnie?

Well, Axe and Wendy meeting at 9/11 memorial is no less than GENIUS. We know the entire Bobby Axelrod story kicks off at the World Trade Center, on September 11, when the planes hit the towers. Bobby is not in the office that day because he is in meetings with lawyers to deal with his partners who are about to kick him out thanks to his shady deals. As soon as he hears about the attacks, Bobby shorts airline companies, makes A LOT of money and the rest is history. And he will now face what he has feared the most at the exact location his rise to power began. DELICIOUS writing.

source: Showtime

Axe and Wendy find meaning in what they built together and draw the best out of each other. I cannot ignore the fact  that Axe offered to revive the immunity deal earlier in the episode. However, it is his talk to his children, finally admitting to himself that he fucked up, what makes him see more clearly how badly he treated Wendy. Their reconciliation scene is up there with my all-time favorite Don and Peggy reconciliation in Mad Men and the words they exchange are sincere.

“Would you help me find my way back?”

“Yes. I’d like that very much. That is exactly what we’ll do together.”

Why does Wendy have tears in her eyes as the windbreakers are taking Axe away? Touched by the apology? Or because she knows she will not keep her word? Regardless she is not the only one in tears!

source: Showtime

While Axe may be right that the worst part about being locked up is the company, I have no complaints since any showdown between Axe and Chuck is a delightful duel of words.

source: Showtime

Axe cannot believe Chuck has given up all his money and broken his best friend and his dad in the process just to CATCH him. And he knows there is a thread, however small, that Chuck left behind, and he will find it. Well, he does not need to look far beyond Wendy’s short on Ice Juice.

“I might go down behind all of this, but one thing is for sure, you are gonna be right there next to me.”

“Wow. Like I said before, Bob… Worth it.”

Is it, Chuck?

This is not over yet. Chuck may, in fact, find himself trying to dig Axe out of this shit to be able to keep his wife, his job, his reputation and his prospects to be the next governor of New York! And I cannot stop giggling as I imagine Chuck frantically trying to stop not just Dake, but also Bryan!

Josh Ritter’s “Homecoming” is the perfect tune to the perfect closing sequence in a perfect season. As his guys soldier on, the boss makes the bail and goes out on a dark cold night. Alone. Axe is going to a broken marriage and to his kids who now know dad is not a superhero.

As Chuck Senior is in deep thoughts in his living room, his son may not be as on his own as he thinks he is. Wendy and Chuck take the stairs to their home hand in hand. Chuck has no idea about Wendy’s short on Ice Juice. And we do not have any idea about what Wendy whispered into Axe’s ear as the windbreakers put the cuffs on him.

source: Showtime

Billions Season 2 leaves us with more questions than answers, exactly in the way that it should, and I want to add to the already long list of questions: Who do you think is the first person Axe talks to after his arrest? No, not Chuck. Be open minded. Be creative. Make a guess. Find the answer here 😀

source: Showtime

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!

86 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 2 Episode 12: Ball in Hand”

  1. My list of quickie takes-
    Bryan should have gotten Crim. I have never seen Kate do anything
    Did not like- The close with Chuck vs Bobby lame verbal one upsmanship. Seen it all before.

    Lara is a money master! cleaning out the house’s walk in safe/vault so the FBI came up w nada nothing
    Hall (Iceland) evaporated … a bad omen for Bobby
    Lara has to chill on Bobby not coming home before his arrest. Be happy you got the vault all cleaned out and got that suitcase of cash to your sister to expand her business.
    I liked how the Wag’s Troika picked up the ball for Bobby

    I liked Taylor’s stock dumping scheme / done with only a 5% hit / so that AxeCap investor’s can be paid off in a non-chaotic way. She cooked up this strategy in no time flat. Dollar Bill is at her command and turns out to have diversified into owning a dry cleaning plant (lulz) in addition to his young baseball phenom. A regular “cash flow quadrant” Robert Kiyosaki.

    1. I believe Kate is sharper than Bryan — remember it was always SHE who found critical things on several cases – from Pete Decker (his parents) to Lawrence Boyd (the flight attendant). Besides, she has VERY high aspirations like Chuck. They can work very well together. Bryan has a big prize, too; he will lead the prosecution against Axe which Chuck thinks (and he is wrong) that will be a win. If it went well, it could be THE case for Bryan to go higher up in legal system.

      I am sure there has been a contract with Hall which he may not have violated. He does everything to keep the windbreakers away from Hall, and when they come, he leaves.

      Bobby Axelrod’s homecoming is not a happy one. And I am not sure if the Troika was complete before Axe’s arrest, but it may now be complete — I think Wendy will stay to make things work along Wags and Taylor. Taylor is super smart and that is why they are the ICO and everyone approves. Dollar Bill is a true soldier. Our Bill knows how to diversify business! 😀

      Oh, and, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy Axe and Chuck together on screen. It is one upsmanship, and a pissing contest, but they elevate every word and make you crave for more. At least in my case. It is acting heaven.

  2. Plasma cutter vs hard drive

    This must one of the ultimate ways to destroy a sensitive hard drive. I never heard of this before. As far as doc shredding, they should be burned after shredding. Or have a 55 gallon drum of hydrochloric acid at the ready in the AxeCap basement because smoke is too noticeable to the FBI windbreakers…

    1. Hahaha I am sure they did take care of burning after shredding. Axe himself saw Klaxon shredded paper put together in Klaxon files Victor gave him!

    2. Okay, how scary is it that you, WalkingMan2011, know all of that? You scare sometimes. LOL just kidding. (line was from Bobby and Hall meeting at the ‘shoot the star’ gun game).

  3. Oh I cannot wait to see this. I am counting the hours.

    So Axe has lost Hall and possibly Lara? While Chuck has lost Snr and possibly Wendy? Lose lose.

    Kate getting Head of Crim is more than fair. She is sharp as a tack and has shown her creativity often enough…and hopefully this means more of her next season.

    Bryan, this is going to be his ‘one’ case, the one that drives you cpmpletely potty and pushes you to consider crossing/cross that line that Chuck crossed. His starting point has to be that he knows how smart Taylor is.

    Lonnie, I can think of somewhere he may end up next season.

    Chuck, oh dear!

    I absolutely need that TARDIS now.

    1. You will LOVE the episode. They again threw us a curve ball!

      It seems Hall disappears as soon as the FBI is in. So he protects you from the windbreakers as long as he can, and when they come in, he leaves. Maybe it was part of their contract. Wonder if he will be back. I cannot say Axe has lost Lara, but her visit to Bach to discuss “her options” was a bit too much for me. Bobby Axelrod makes bail but is going back to a somewhat broken marriages. Chuck Sr is obviously disappointed with the kind of risk Chuck took — screwing both his dad and his best friend, I had thought Ice Juice would bounce back but it seems it would not as you rightly pointed out earlier — to get Axe, and he is thinking he has failed in raising a son… funny it is exactly like father, like son! Chuck and Wendy is as complicated as it gets. They seem to have a reconciliation, but do they really? Chuck now knows Wendy had a one night thing with Craig – which is fine after all, they were on a break, and they had agreed to see others — and he saw Wendy giving a BIG hug to Axe which could still be problematic 😀 And Wendy will find out about the details of the arrest. And her short will surface. Season 3 will be a party!

      I am glad where Bryan and Kate ended up. Lonnie seems to be cleaning his desk, yes he may end up on the other side. And he knows a thing or two about inner working of the USA office.

      We all need that TARDIS, sister! <3

  4. Oh dear, what will I do on Sunday evenings now? A few random thoughts here. Seeing Axe taken into custody wasn’t so bad as I am remembering not only Homeland and Life, but also The Escapist and Colditz. Hated having Hall gone; I liked that character, but also enjoy Dake, so glad he is back. Will miss Lonnie if he truly vacated his office. But the big one is the scene with Axe and Wendy as he is arrested. HATED IT! In one episode Axe is ready to get rid of her forever, in this one he seems more devoted to her than to Lara. One attitude is phony, which is it? Granted the ruse of going home to Lara before the arrest worked as far as putting the Feds off track, but he could have met her elsewhere. After all, he managed to see the boys in the course of the day. (As an aside, did Axe have to use that language around his kids? I don’t think I’m too much of a prude, despite my age, after all, I watch Showtime regularly, but come on! Do the writers talk that way around their own kids?) Back to Lara, Axe didn’t seem too surprised when she said she wasn’t running with him. Putting her kids first in this situation is understandable. After all, there seems nothing she can do to help Axe legally at this point, but surely it would be nice to have one’s wife in your corner after all. Well, we have a long way to go till next season, but at least it was better than Brody dangling from a rope. I just wish Damian had something going we could look forward to that would tide us over till 2018!

    1. Well, Axe cannot escape the law forever, they needed to get him at some point. But he has a few cards to play, and Wendy’s short about which Chuck still has no idea is sure to come back and bite Chuck. I cannot stop giggling thinking about Chuck running around like a headless chicken once he finds out. Season 3 will be a party!

      Did we ever see Axe using the f-word with his kids? I have to say I do not remember. My take is the following: He talked to them as if he was talking to adults. And he talked to them in a way that he would not talk to another adult. He wants his kids to be good people. He was at his most vulnerable, it should be very hard for any parent to do that talk (I am not a parent but I felt his pain, this is Damian after all, he always makes you feel!) and he admitted what he would not admit to many to his boys. He did want to fail them like his father failed him. I LOVED THAT. Probably my most favorite moment of the episode.

      I love the Axe – Wendy scene and again my take is slightly different — and as I put into the post, I am also not ignoring the fact that Axe tried to revive the immunity deal earlier in the day. But I think his talk to his kids was his redemption. His admittance to himself about the wrong decisions he made, wrong things he did. He may have felt it for a brief period, since I do not see Axe become a completely different man in Season 3, but I think he felt it and regretted what he did to Wendy! So I believe the words exchanged at the WTC were all sincere.

      Lara’s protection of the boys is certainly understandable. Trying to understand her “options” with Bach and moreover trying to bribe him was my a-ha moment. She has no emotions whatsoever when it comes to MONEY. I think Bobby Axelrod’s homecoming is not a happy one. He is going to a somewhat broken marriage.

      Damian will be on stage until June 24 and then they start shooting Billions probably summer/fall 2017. We will follow closely to see if he has any other project in the pipeline.

    2. So agree Connie, one attitude is phony. Axe could have been arrested privately in his home with his wife by his side. He chose publicly with Wendy. I wonder if he used Wendy in that moment, building his army against Chuck from the inside. That’s why I feel he pleaded to Wendy’s vulnerability when it comes to Axe…the opportunity to fix him.

      1. Axe has offered to revive the immunity deal early in the episode! My take on his meeting with Wendy is slightly different. I believe his talk to his children MADE him think about the bad decisions he made first time in a long while. And what he did to Wendy was WRONG. So, I believe his apology as well as their reconciliation were REAL.

        Having said that, knowing that Chuck was involved in Ice Juice, Axe has probably already figured out Wendy’s short could be his way out of this mess. He can talk to Dake about it, or he can have a talk with Chuck about the little trace he left on the way… while Chuck is thinking his plan was flawless. Seriously, I cannot stop giggling. Season 3 will be a party!

        1. I fear it made him think of his bad decisions only for his children sake, in that moment, in that relationship. We are all different people with different relationships. He’s gearing up his next play, to get in with Wendy because of the IceJuice play, my guess.

          1. So true about we are different in different relationships. Business is business and human is human. I still think THAT Axe with Wendy was human. Not the terminator. He does not even need to get in with Wendy. Wendy’s short is in the report. It is documented. Its timing is everything. I wanna say I so much love that we all have different guesses about what is to come. The show will certainly keep us talking for months!

      2. Do you think he chose to be arrested publically, even after telling Bach to make sure he doesn’t have to do a perp walk? I don’t think so. He thought he had time, and he needed to see her, particularly at that place, where he knew she’d come because of their history together.
        Like I said in my post, it was hard to believe he regretted every single thing since then. But, then again, it was very compelling to see how desperate he was for Wendy’s help. My take is that there is a part of him that only Wendy can touch. He knows that. Despite grouping her in with the rest of the cannon fodder in moments when he wants to exert control, he knows that the part of him only Wendy can touch is out of his control, may, in fact, be immune from any control. She fixes him in ways no one else can. Will she be able to fix him, and is he really even broken? Questions for next season to tackle! <3

        1. I agree. I don’t think he particularly wanted to be arrested there. He definitely thought he had time since he confused Dake with credit cards and his call to Lara and he did not know that Chuck made Dake get on Wendy’s phone. But he was not surprised, either; because he knew it would happen sometime that day. He was ready.

          I also agree it is hard to believe he regretted every decision he made for a long time. And he tried to revive the $5 million bribe earlier in the episode! I think, he was overwhelmed after his talk to his kids, and he understood how badly he treated Wendy. And, probably, very briefly, he really wanted that hope of finding his way back with Wendy’s help. Of course, come Season 3, he will return to his ways. Otherwise, we would have a boring show 😀

          I am so curious if Wendy is staying at Axe Capital. Why did she say she was there TODAY to help Wags as well as something like “you will do fine with or without me” to Taylor?

        2. JaniaJania – I can’t tell if your question is to me or the group when there are this many comments, but here’s my answer: No, I don’t think he chose to be arrested publicly. I do think he needed to see Wendy, that the meeting wasn’t calculated after all. The MEETING at least.

          I do waiver back and forth about how sincere he was with what he SAID to Wendy. 1) On the one side he actually said the words “I’m sorry” to Wendy. Lara only got the words “formal apology.” So 1 point to Axe’s sincerity. 2) On the other side he said “what IF” and he said it twice. Was that word play? A back door to walk out of the apology later in season 3 when he surely gets back to his old self again, or else, as Damianista said, and I’ve commented about too, there wouldn’t be a GOOD show without the cat and mouse or Axe’s antics. Is Lara really cannon fodder in this statement: “What IF I told you every decision I’ve made since 9/11 was the wrong one?” Because she was in Axe’s life shortly after 9/11. Was he referring to business decisions only? Or both personal and business? After all, Lara did not have his back this time. She was not going to go on the run with him like in season 1. Axe got insight into Lara not having his back. Was she included in his ‘wrong decisions?”

          Now, let’s turn this whole thing upside down for a second. I had an interesting discussion with someone about this 9/11 meeting. Their take is that Axe was sincere about the meeting and what he said, but that Wendy possibly was not. WHA??????

          Here’s the points they made to me about Wendy possibly working both angles/not sincere:
          1. the whisper leaves it open-ended
          2. Chuck said to ping Wendy’s phone. Was that because he knew his shark well enough now or did he know the location from Wendy? Or maybe it didn’t matter the location, only that he knew Axe and Wendy were meeting somewhere because perhaps there was a scene we didn’t see (yet?) where Chuck and Wendy spoke after Axe texted her? So Chuck had Dake ping the phone so there would be evidence of how they found him to protect Wendy from being the leak?
          3. Red Flag – The meaningful way Wendy & Chuck looked at each other and hugged, going hand in hand up the stairs. Team Rhoades?
          4. Wendy telling Wags she’ll be there…TODAY
          5. Wendy telling Taylor “Whether I’m here or not”
          6. At some point Wendy has got to be hearing/seeing the news like everyone else in New York about IceJuice illness. Has Wendy put two-and-two together that Axe caused it, combined with what Mafee said, “Axe doesn’t get it wrong with a bet this big” (paraphrasing, can’t remember exactly what Mafee said)
          7. Wendy speaking with Taylor on the phone in previous episodes alluding that it’s too late for her, but not for Taylor (to be a good person, making good decisions)
          8. Wendy speaking to Chuck on date night in the restaurant about what she did to Lara. At first the zinger made her feel good, but then it didn’t.

          Did Wendy win, again, in the last episode like in season 1? Got her marriage back. Had her man’s back, chose Chuck over Axe this time. And saved unbeknownst (or maybe not?) save Chuck’s Trust Fund when she, too bet the short? #TeamWendy?

          I don’t know if I agree, but she sure had me thinking when she unloaded 1-8 on me. So many possibilities. And the very reason we all love this fantastic show! #Billions

          My Brain Hurts

          1. OK let’s turn it upside down then 😀

            Wendy is as strategic as Axe in their relationship. I certainly accept that. But IMO the words exchanged in THAT meeting are sincere.

            I am sure Wendy read about Ice Juice but I don’t think she knows about either Axe’s or Chuck’s degree of involvement. Her short is a direct response to Chuck’s foolishness “not to get out of the stock.” Wendy really thinks — says it on the phone early in season finale, too — that Chuck is long on Ice Juice because he told her he was “in it, too; because it is a winner.” 😀 She wants to talk about it in therapy later that day and Chuck refuses to do so. It seems to me they have not had a conversation about Ice Juice yet. And Chuck still does not know about Wendy’s short. I don’t know where Season 3 will pick up, but maybe it starts the moment Wendy and Chuck get into the house and start talking about Ice Juice with no impartial referee 🙂 And the house turns into a war zone! 😀

            I think Dake and Chuck found out about the meeting place after Dake accessed Wendy’s phone.

            I have already asked some of the questions your friend has asked: Why does Wendy give the impression to the other members of the Troika that she may be leaving? Telling Wags that she is there to help TODAY and telling Taylor that they will get Axe Capital to a good place WITH OR WITHOUT HER. Finally, are the tears in her eyes there only because they are taking Axe away in cuffs, or because she knows she will not be able to keep her word to him? This was a question I already had in my recap. I don’t know the answer. But I would be very surprised if the whole thing turned out to be a Team Rhoades effort. Having said all this, it is brilliant on the writers’ side to leave a few open questions to keep us talking (exactly like we are doing right now) and then give it all a meaning in Season 3. I am sure they will answer all these questions and will come up with new ones for us to ponder!

            I don’t see any big winner this season — except for Taylor going from intern to CIO in 12 weeks and Bryan and Kate getting their well-deserved prizes.

          2. Wow, that’s a lot of thinking I never thunk. 🙂
            True, the “what if” word play was a brilliant protective layer over what he was saying. “I’m not saying this, but what if I did…not that I’m saying it.” I think it was there for the poetry of it, not the literal meaning. I don’t know, I guess I don’t take any of it as literally as a lot of folks watching do. It’s not as fun that way. Of course, many times it IS literal in all the lawyerly talk, the trapped vs. entrapped legal distinction, etc.
            Anyway, my brain can’t handle answering all of your what-ifs. Suffice it to say, this show drives us all a bit batty sometimes, and we love that!

          3. JaniaJania-No need answering all of the what-ifs. More of a commentary to share what others are thinking that don’t read the blog. I referred her to the blog though 🙂

    3. So interesting your feelings about the memorial scene. I know Axe’s opinion of Wendy seems a bit schizophrenic at times. But, like I said in my post, there is an Axe at work and with his family and there is another Axe with Wendy. She knows him in ways no one else does. And he needs her for that very reason. He’ll threaten anyone, everyone is cannon fodder, if it means him staying in control. Wendy is the only one who’s seen him, who’s helped him, when he’s had no control, when he’s been powerless. The folks who see you at your most powerless and help you thru it are the ones that you keep for life. Wendy is that to Axe.
      I don’t think he planned to be arrested at the memorial. He just thought he had more time. He needed to see her at that place. He wasn’t surprised when the feds found him there, but I don’t think he planned it. Afterall, he had made Bach assure there’d be no “perp walk”, ie media coverage. He didn’t want any of it to get out to the public.

      Hehe on the cursing in front of the kids. I don’t talk that way in front of my daughter but she knows I do talk that way sometimes and she knows what the words mean etc. I think the new parenting stance (it seems to change constantly!) is to not make any of those things too precious and special and attach more meaning to them than they deserve. If my kid winds up talking like a sailor to me, then I have a problem. But, if she knows such words have their place, then no biggie, right? Like I wrote in my post, the Axelrod children know the score, thanks to parents who tell them like it is and don’t mince words. 🙂

  5. HAHA re: Chef Ryan comment! Love it!
    Apparently there was a First Blood movie reference that I didn’t catch, so if anyone can shed some light into that, please share!
    Observation #1: So Axe says the actual words “I’m sorry” to Wendy but uses the phrase “formal apology” to Lara in previous episode? Observation #2: Axe goes to Wendy, hugs Wendy, but doesn’t make it home to hug Lara as promised?
    Was Axe’s apology to Wendy a “play” to plead to the plight of her because he knows her ultimate goal for him is to make him a better person (re-wire him while the wires are exposed), and using 9/11 site to make it even more genuine? And with Wendy and Chuck back together, is it implied that perhaps Wendy will have a way to protect Axe from the inside? Afterall, Axe called Wendy after the immunity deal was laid to rest in as pinebox corpse. So many possibilities!
    #TeamChuck is down by three, losing Ira, Chuck Sr. and Lonnie. Lonnie knows a lot about Chuck’s dealings and #OperationDake. This is Lonnie’s House and nobody messes with it! At least, I hope to see Lonnie burn the mother**** house down and sing like a canary.
    Good catch on the wedding ring. I didn’t catch that and watched the ep twice.

    Forever #AxeCapulets

    1. Haha thank you! I was laughing out loud while typing about Chef Ryan!

      I talked about my take on Axe meeting Wendy in a reply to your and Connie’s conversation. So I am not repeating it here. But I think the reconciliation scene was real and sincere. He may have chosen the meeting place strategically to make her come meet him because it was the place where it all started. I find this writing delicious and brilliant. And Damian and Maggie deliver it seamlessly. With their magic touch, the bond between Axe and Wendy is so tangible.

      USA office has SO MUCH potential in terms of future story lines: Lonnie can go to the “dark side” and he knows a thing or two about Chuck. And, hey, I cannot wait to see Chuck going against Dake and Bryan. IT WILL HAPPEN. It is the only way he can save his ass! There was no mention of Wendy’s short in the season finale, which is understandable, but I am sure it will surface BIG TIME in the next season.

      Thank you re the ring. My husband said multiple times this morning that he thinks I am not paying as much attention to anything as I pay to Billions. He may be right.

      Confession: There is no way I can figure out a First Blood reference but I will look it up for you. In real life, I am a 3-hour, nothing happening, French movie type of girl 😀

      The woman who LOVES Axe again now that he has said the only thing she wanted to hear from him: “I fucked up.”

      1. Wendy’s short will re-surface, I have no doubt. Not saying Axe wasn’t slightly sorry, but don’t think Axe was 100% sincere about his motives with Wendy. Axe is always one step ahead. IMO, he had ulterior motive…get in with Wendy, get her attached to fixing him, (an appeal for her), which, in turn, helps him not go down or he’ll play the IceJuice card.

        Otherwise, what’s the story line for Axe in the future seasons after Wendy “helps” him? Retire? Be the person before 9/11 (he had risky dealings with his former employer back then too) and run a clean shop… be UNCERTAIN now? That didn’t work with Steph around for too long. The crux of Billions is built on the two opposing forces, the law and bending it. Eventually, Axe will need to be bend it like Beckham in some way, shape or form, or the screen time of our favorite actor would be limited and given way to juicier plot lines/characters. And I fear Wendy will continue to be that ever-present shuttlecock. I can’t see the formula changing much, which means Axe will need to double-cross Wendy at some point.

        1. I never thought, even for a second, Axe will retire or will be a 100% law-abiding citizen. There are two Axes: One is business. The terminator. The other one is human whom we see once in a while and he made an appearance with the kids as well as, IMO, with Wendy last night. I did not intend to mean he will always be right with Wendy going forward. But I believe his words were real there as long as human Axe was out. But he will of course do what he has always been doing. And there will be new stories where he bends the law. Axe is solving a maximization problem (profit) subject to constraint (law). And he is always pushing to relax the constraint. One possible “unusual” story line for next season is Axe and Chuck as reluctant allies to make the investigation go away! That would be fantastic to watch.

          He needs to play Ice Juice card no matter what. Or he will be convicted of sabotage. They have concrete evidence against him. And that will cause tension with Wendy.

          1. Axe and Chuck as reluctant allies to make the investigation go away? HOW FANTASTIC THAT WOULD BE!

            The fact that human Axe was out with Wendy instead of with Lara made me feel he went out of his way to meet up with Wendy for other purposes. He found time to meet the children. He MADE time for Wendy. If he’s loyal and loves his wife so much, fitting Wendy in during his chaotic day seemed calculated.

          2. Yeah we totally agree he MADE time for Wendy and not for the family. I just think it was sincere and you think it was strategic. Either, or even better, both could be right! 😀 How amazing this show keeps us talking so much about ONE scene!!!! 😀

          3. Okay, I’m coming around to your take that the 9/11 scene between Wendy and Axe was sincere and not strategic only because he texted Wendy AFTER he visited his children. And I do think you’ve hit the nail on the head that Chuck and Axe will be saving Wendy together in Season 3.

          4. I may be wrong. But yeah my take was exactly what you are saying here. He texted Wendy AFTER his visit with the kids.

            It would be such a delight to see Axe and Chuck working together even for a few minutes in this life 😀

            I will hopefully watch Ep 11/12 tonight just for FUN! It was such a STRONG finish to a perfect season!

          5. I’m still only at view #2. Will have viewed it 4x’s by weekend, like the other episodes. Come this Sunday at 9:00, I’m going to be wandering around the house aimlessly not knowing what to do with myself. My family/friends will think I’ve lost it. Wait, they already think I’ve lost it over this show 😉

      2. Wow. Chuck is even worse than I expected in this episode and I don’t know who he is trying to convince when he is saying it won’t come out even though leaks are already occurring.

        He is right though that it isn’t entrapment, but that won’t be what screws him anyway.

        I think Chuck is seriously going to regret sending Bryan to Eastern with Dake. Two people who have similar views on things. The AG is lurking in background via Dake as well and if she is paying attention she will want rid of Chuck’s corrupt fingerprints ASAP.

        1. YES! I could not believe him! Throwing his dad and his best friend both of whom have backed him 100% in hard times under the bus just to get Bobby Axelrod!
          Is it the Churchill Books? Hehe.

          It will be DELIGHTFUL to see Chuck in panic mode trying to stop Dake and Bryan. He will regret his decision to send Bryan to Eastern for sure! Season 3 will be a PARTY! 😀

  6. Kept falling asleep, rewinding, falling asleep. Finally gave up. I scrolled to the bottom so I don’t see or read anything.
    This is killing me. Torture. See you tomorrow.

    1. Yes, please PLEASE come back tomorrow having watched the show and with your feedback! Haha the professor in me is speaking I guess, but I know you are used to professorial types. We are not all that bad, are we? 😀 And look out for a little surprise tomorrow, too! HUGS <3

      I will be in NY starting mid-May to late June. Maybe we meet for coffee or do some Times Talks if we find something interesting?

  7. I’m certainly used to faculty. You’re a piece of cake. The little bit I saw made me laugh because my predictions was so off the mark. I actually love that.
    It would be lovely to meet when your in NY. I’ve got some events scheduled. I’ll assume you wouldn’t be interested in “Queen”.
    I look forward to tomorrow, and my surprise.

    1. Don’t hold your expectations high for the surprise, it is just a little story! 😀 And your fan story will be coming the following week! I’ll bug you about meeting in NY!

  8. What an episode! And what a recap! You know I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch live. Thank you for staying up way past anyone’s bedtime to get us these amazing recaps all season long!

    Hats off to Krista who called the 9/11 / WTC scene. I will admit I still tear up just seeing the site.

    I love how you spotted the playing of the wedding ring on Lara!

    I think we all agree we loved this episode? The pace was intense! It was almost like an episode of 24! Am I the only one who was paralleling Brody/Bobby on the run?

    I’ll go more into the show From the Trader’s Desk (most likely for next week, as Damianista knows I have “stuff” to deal with this week). But 2 observations:

    1.Lara: that bitch was going to throw Axe under the bus! Divorce/separation? She was loyal when she thought everything was “us” but when it was Axe on the line, boom, she’s out the door! I felt the same way about her last season when she was trying to convince Axe to settle with Chuck. A real “ride and die chick” doesn’t say settle; when their man goes to war, you ask “Am I carrying a Glock or a Mossberg?” And yes I know, she needs to protect the kids. But what message is she sending them if she abandons Axe when he is down?

    2: Taylor: I am so, so happy Taylor stayed loyal. I know (at least in the Twitter-sphere) there were thoughts they might be a mole, and would be the one to bring Axe down. But Taylor stayed true, and I love them for it! The way they just took command so naturally was amazing. The character development of Taylor this season was something to watch.

    I guess who stayed loyal and who didn’t surprised me in this episode. Although, I never doubted Wags for a second. He’s crude, he’s rude, I wouldn’t bring him home to meet my mother, but in a foxhole, THAT is who you want by your side.

    1. Thank you! I am so glad I have been able to keep my word and do this for 10 weeks straight (thanks to Billions giving us the first two episodes early on). But you need to get up really early, right? Would you still go to bed early should you not need to go to work? I have always been a night owl and can easily stay up to 4am. I guess I have chosen the right job to go with it 😀

      Absolutely! Hats off to Krista. But can you guess why I never called that? 😀

      It was an amazing episode, I LOVED IT. I think Episode 11 had a crazier pace but this one was about a man not on the run but sort of on the run, trying to save time, and making sure that his surrender would go without problems, and he had it. Giving his passport to Bach early on was a key action to signal that he is not fleeing.

      Lara: She surprised me. She may still have issues from Axe lying to her about Wendy, but hey this is the man you have been living with for 15 years. You know me, Lady Trader, I really think Axe is guilty, he did bad stuff, but if I were his wife, I would never go to the lawyer to see my “options” first thing in the morning. Lara is RATIONAL and she has no emotions whatsoever when it comes to her well-being. But I thought Axelrods lived on an honor code… look at Dollar Bill or Wags, they would never waver. I think Lara has wavered a bit. I am surprised and can’t wait to see where the Axelrod marriage is going!

      I never thought Taylor would turn out to be a mole, but I found out about rumors thanks to you and Krista. I think there is also discussion on Reddit or elsewhere that Taylor’s dad was fired from his job because of Axe’s shorting of airline companies in 2001 and they are there for revenge. A bit of a stretch if you ask me. But when Billions is concerned, I would say never say never. Taylor is similar to Lara in a sense that they are 100% rational. They pulled themselves from being an intern to CIO in 12 weeks. Would it be even possible in real life to do this in 5 years? Probably not. Because I think experience should probably count as much as IQ/ But this is fiction so I LOVE it as is.

      I would probably take Wags to meet my mom, too; I am sure he would find a way to charm her. He is charming, you know <3

      Finally, Axe made me go back to Team Axe with one move. His conversation with his kids. He was candid. That was the only thing I was expecting from him.
      #TeamAxe 🙂

      1. OMG! I remember now! I wanted to be surprised, so you told me nothing! Love it!!

        I hate getting up early. I would stay up all night if I could. Work sure does seem to get in the way of my life sometimes!! 🙂

        I agree with you on Lara. I was shocked. One issue in 15 years, and she’s ready to leave him? Even if he is guilty, that is when you stand by your man. I once said Lara was like a mob boss, but how wrong I was. Mob bosses (and their women) don’t do things like that! I was hoping Bach would tell Axe Lara came to see him when they met in the pool hall. It would have paralleled Chuck Sr. telling Chuck his wife betrayed him (in a way) as well. I don’t think either marriage is in good shape. I know Wendy and Chuck walked in the house together, but there is so much unsaid between them. Those type of cracks in a marriage are hard to fix.

        There is no place I know you can become CIO from an intern in 12 weeks except Axe Capital! I need to put my resume in at that place now!

        Wags is charming. He is exactly the type of guy my Dad would like me to bring home!

        You were always #TeamAxe, you were just a bit more willing to call him out on his crap than some of us. You know I feel Axe is my spirit brother – his life and mine are parallel in so many ways. I get him like I have never gotten a character before. Only Eliza Dolittle comes close!

        1. YES! And now that the cat is out of the bag, that story is coming tomorrow 🙂

          I love your observation – again a symmetry – about the two marriages and completely agree neither is in great shape. I just think Wendy and Chuck seem to be able to talk a bit more than the Axelrods. And as Lara ran to Bach’s office to see her options — again I understand it is rational what she does but still…. – Wendy went to her husband to tell him to get out of Ice Juice violating her work contract. It seems Wendy is supporting her man a bit more than Lara does hers these days 😀 You are right that there is so much unsaid b/w Wendy and Chuck and Wendy’s short is one of them 😀 😀 By the way, I really think Chuck was relieved to see Craig next to Wendy leaving the hotel. He knows it is a one-night stand and “they were on a break” (I always remember Ross saying that!!! :D) and he may be relieved the man in the picture is not the one he expects!!!

          Your Bobby = My Brody. I completely understand. And Eliza Dolittle!!! One of my dream projects for Damian is him playing Prof. Higgins on stage. Maybe in 10 years. Given he loves singing and dancing and is willing to do a musical, he would be fantastic!

          1. If Damian ever did play Prof. Higgins, I would get tickets for EVERY show. There I said it!

            You really think Chuck was relieved it wasn’t Bobby in those pics? I didn’t think of that. I just figured, with his insecurities (that whole why he wears the suit) would have gone off the radar seeing Wendy with a young, good looking guy. Total opposite from himself. Also, he didn’t take the chance with that sculptor, because he felt it was wrong, I can’t believe he’s not upset about Wendy and the one night stand.

            I wonder if Wendy will ever know that it was Chuck who used her cell phone to get Axe, and was a voyeur at the WTC during the arrest. I can’t think she’d think kindly of that.

          2. Bankruptcy is in the cards then. For both of us 😀 Damian should not do Prof. Higgins on stage. But, hey, wouldn’t it be loverly? 😀

            Chuck’s relief is just a speculation. I just thought he had to be okay with that since “they were on a break” and he could have done it with the sculptor, too, even though it did not feel right with him in the end. I just think Chuck always thinks there is so much MORE between Wendy and Axe so that he might be relieved the man in the picture was Craig. So, it was more of a joke on my part than really seeing relief on his face. I did not. Finally, even if he was not upset about the pictures, he was so alone at the end —having lost both dad and best friend — I think he would not be able to afford being alone. Chuck may not have the best looks in the world (even though I believe, not Chuck, but Paul G is adorable) but, in the end, Wendy chose to marry him and nobody else. But yeah he has insecurities for sure. This may come up again in the next season.

            Wendy would not think highly of Chuck that he made Dake use her cellphone. Having said that Axe would get arrested that day no matter what. BUT Wendy does not have the slightest idea about what happened at Ice Juice! That blind trust was not just for Chuck, also for their kids. You know I was thinking the stock would bounce back but it seems (and you explained it, too) it won’t. So Chuck lost all that money their kids were entitled to. I am sure Wendy will be very pissed with him! And, of course, there is Wendy’s short. There is SO MUCH to happen in that townhouse in Brooklyn! Can’t wait!

        2. And let me apologize in my most sincerest Forrest Gump impersonation: “I’m sorry I ruined your Black Panther party!” When I tweeted you re: what I thought might happened (I was still wrong in some aspects), it was BEFORE Damianista and I spoke in private conversation that you don’t like spoilers. *face palm*

          I think Damianista was figuring out I was bloodhounding out some BTS action and intervened ASAP in private messaging before I went too far LOL

          I had seen a two behind the scene photos of the 9/11 filming on Instagram, and combined with what Damian said at PaleyLive to BK in December, 2016, “You actually did do what you said you were going to do,” made me think Axe was at 9/11 scene to reminisce about starting back over at ground zero, that he loses everything (money). Didn’t know about Wendy or Windbreakers in the scene, nor arrest. So my bloodhound nose was off a bit.

          And during my private conversations with Damianista, she didn’t reveal the arrest to me either. So hats off to her!

          1. Oops, the post above was to LadyTrader, in case you couldn’t figure that out 😉

          2. No worries Krista! We were all speculating on what was going to happen. And I knew Damianista saw something, but she never told me it was down at the WTC so I never put two and two together! I still think it’s funny that all I cared about was Axe not getting arrested!

          3. Yeah I told you I saw a scene at a certain location and you were firm that you did not want to know about either one! 😀

          4. But, of course! I am telling you I was freaking out that day that someone would take pictures and post them on the internet and spoil the whole party! I don’t know how concerned the show producers were, but I was particularly concerned when I saw Emily Nussbaum, my favorite TV critic, tweeting “delicious Billions spoilers” 😀 OMG! And you are a VERY SMART WOMAN! Even though I do not exactly remember our conversation, that should be why I switched to private messaging 😀

            Oh, Lady Trader was firm in saying she did not want to know because (i) she did not like spoilers and (ii) it could affect her writing. Having said that she called it right there! I think, as you also rightly point out, the location spoiler and PaleyLIVE together were enough for viewers LIKE US to figure out where the show was going!

            BTW, I did not see Giamatti or Moore there. I guess they filmed their scenes separately in the morning since they did not share a scene with Damian and Maggie.

          5. DAMIANISTA: I know you were freaking out because I could feel it in your messages LOL Do you know I never saw the Emily Nussbaum’s tweet? I think I posted on Instagram two photos: one of Damian in his jacket talking on the phone and one of tourists snapping a selfie of themselves with Damian and the 9/11 Memorial in the background. That’s when you messaged me, asking where/how I saw the filming. I think you were concerned I and everyone else was going to see Emily’s tweet, which was WAY more spoiler alert because it talks of fake winderbreakers.

          6. I am not surprised I gave myself away in my messages! WOW so you never saw Nussbaum’s tweet! Exactly. Not just that she was talking about fake windbreakers but also she has 150K followers!!!!

          7. Yes, I think you were afraid it was already spreading like wildfire from her tweet, when in fact I was seeing info on IG. You were also being a friend trying to douse me with water to put the fire out before I took it too far and spoiled it for myself LOL

    1. Well, to be honest, I have not noticed it. But Minchak’s choice of dress and her understanding of human psychology look VERY WENDY 🙂 I am not surprised!

      1. We need a youtube video, the greatest hits of Minchak taking off her high heels and putting them back on. Chuck goes nuts when she ever so casually slips them off. He has took down at the action. Sending Chuck the conflicting messages of being a hard, intrusive professional, and at the same time overly casual in Chuck’s domain. Whoever wrote this in is a genius purveyor of Billions style black humor. Along with her name George.

        1. Absolutely! George is Wendy-grade, too, in understanding humans, so she knows she will have him under her spell when she does that. Brilliant writing!

          1. back at cha! — Yes Wendy grade! As this season subsides thanks for all your hosting and writing and congrats on your “reveal” of two wintery photos with Damian L. You look so happy….you have a very healthy and positive escapism. We all need vacations from real life. Can I call it this in addition to your fandom? I got a chuckle from Damian wearing earmuffs in one photo and not the other. Best to you and thanks again for being the hostess with the mostest. Look it up. Pearl Mesta had this nickname.

            During the LBJ era in Washingtoon DC

          2. Thank you so much — I love “the hostess with the mostest” 😀 😀 😀

            “You look so happy… you have a very healthy and positive escapism.” I cannot thank you enough for this. Thank you for understanding. It is a vacation from real life. Exactly. And I am grateful Billions producers and Damian also understand and appreciate what we do on the blog.

            The weather was freezing cold both days. But in Feb 2015, Damian was filming inside and came out just to have a bite since catering was arranged outside the NY Times Building. So he does not have earmuffs there even though it was VERY cold. That was where he found out about the blog. This time they were filming outside and it was very cold and even felt colder in WTC area since it is a very open area and very close to the water, too. Yeah he wore that big coat and the earmuffs!

            BTW, the season could be over but we will have a Best of Billions, Locations Guide, Dining Guide, Music Guide and much more here in the coming weeks. Please keep your feedback coming!

  9. Just watched it for the 3rd. time. For the third time I am asking myself, “Why did they need so many armed Feds to arrest one white collar law breaker?” Of course many were needed to search that mansion, but come on, that jazz was overkill. Yes, Bobby did seem a bit like Brody, or so it looked as he came out of the woods and called to his security man. Reminded me of Brody disappearing after punching out the guy on his lawn in the first Homeland season. I know most of you favor Wendy over Lara, but I harken again back to Homeland when I wanted Brody to wind up with Jess, not cry face, quiver lip Carrie who drove me nuts!

    1. I would say it is for SHOW! These prosecutors, at the end of the day, aspire for higher office and try to score all points they can as well! 🙂

      You know I rooted for Brody and Jess for a long time — until I saw it that it would not be possible. I love Carrie. Not because I see everything eye to eye with the character but she is one of the few strong and independent female protagonists on small screen.

      I would take Wendy over Lara any day, and in any context, that is true, but I am never rooting for her to be Axe’s love interest. They have a very complex relationship. I always love such complex relationships between men and women in fiction that do not end up in bed. My all-time favorite, and Axe and Wendy could take the throne any day now, is Don Draper and Peggy Olson in Mad Men.

    2. “Just watched it for the 3rd. time. For the third time I am asking myself, “Why did they need so many armed Feds to arrest one white collar law breaker?” Of course many were needed to search that mansion, but come on, that jazz was overkill.”

      Done to score publicity to get more funding for your gov’t agency and bureaucratic domain.. Kinda “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Also done to enhance “fame” and reputations which happens with news coverage. Only seven agents were needed but done with a platoon of agents making a very public arrest, you get in the news. Especially since you tipped off reporters before hand.

  10. In case nobody’s said so, the First Blood line was the body bags quote. This show inspired me so much that a week ago I went to the Axe Cap site & tweeted the producer (and this site) photos from Orangeburg NY starring as Westport CT. . . . And as a former Jiu-Jitsu student I loved watching Giamatti training, especially when he was a couple of years ahead of me in school way back in the day. . . But it was Dan Soder of all people who got me to check out Billions. . . And I love everything about the show. The story arcs. The casting. The action. The scripts. The characters. Rooting for Axe like a modern day Don Corleone. . .can’t wait for Season 3.

    1. Thank you! This is what we love the most on this blog. There is always someone that knows the reference and explains! I figured Giamatti was channelling Richard Crenna, but again I watched First Blood when it came out when I was a kid and never again. There is no way I could remember the body bags! I’d better add this little clip to my recap:

      How fun that you were in school with Giamatti – at Yale?

      I have said it many times before but let me reiterate. This is my dream show. It has my favorite actor, Damian Lewis, it is filmed in my favorite city in the world, New York, and it has a lot of game theory, what I do for a living 😀 Billions is a dream coming true for me and I really hope they keep this very high standards in the upcoming season(s)!

    2. Did you tweet to me from Axe Cap site? Hope I did RT your tweets. I was traveling abroad last week so I am so sorry if I skipped that. Please refer me to the tweets and I would be so happy to RT. It is the old Olympos Camera building, isn’t it, in Orangeburg? And tell me about it. I am so inspired by the show, all different facades of it, and I cannot wait to work on locations and dining guide for Season 2 in the following weeks!

    3. Thank you HY! I saw Brian Koppelman’s tweets about it this morning, too. And I saw the photos you took when FanFunWithDamian retweeted it 🙂

  11. Paul was 2 yrs ahead of me at Choate. I didn’t know him but he did our school newspaper cartoon and it was damn good.

    My favorite characters prolly go in this order:
    Axe, Wags, Taylor, Bill, Connerty. Hope Hall returns too.

    Love Wendy but she’s always seemed like a free agent to me. I can’t reconcile where her allegiances lie. Not that it really matters.

    Dake appeared to be the USA version of Taylor — almost superhuman — but he showed his weaknesses.

    Btw How F’n crazy are these two?
    Chuck can’t truly believe that it was all
    “Worth It” and Axe definitely regrets this
    Juice thing. Shakespearean insanity.

    1. Those two always ALWAYS remind me of Shakespeare!!! Paul Giamatti is a ridiculously talented man, I am not surprised he has talents we don’t know about!

      Very interesting observation about Dake being similar to Taylor. Almost superhuman. Well said!

      And I am keeping my fingers crossed for Hall’s return! He may do a grand entrance the day Axe is completely FREE 😀

  12. “And I am keeping my fingers crossed for Hall’s return! He may do a grand entrance the day Axe is completely FREE ”

    Hall must return! Say about episode four of next season with a good explanation of why he bugged out. How about Booby finds out where Hall is relaxing and enjoying his millions. How about The Cayman Islands or somewhere in Africa or Asia? So Bobby dispatches a dark operative similar to Hall, to convince Hall that it is in his best Interests to return and help out Bobby and Axe Capital. That the compensation will be huge.

    @Damianista You must have an in with the writers. Tell them you have an idea man who is raring to go….to….contribute. I am counting on you Mrs. Ista!

    1. Hahaha! LOVE the script! By the way, we do not even know if Hall has violated their contract. Maybe he just did what his contract dictated. He is there to protect Axe from windbreakers but when the windbreakers are in, Hall is out 😀

  13. Two more thoughts…… how did Larry Boyd get past the Axe’s security at home without Bobby knowing who was coming to the door? That’s just a little glitch I know. Also, when talking to his sons, how did Bobby get them off to the side of what we assume is the school playground? This was also the case in the first season when he “rescued” them from camp. The children of billionaires surely have security that he apparently breached. Even the father usually has to be identified, etc. etc. I know, I should be “going along with the story” but I tend to pick up stuff like that, rather than the references made to movies, sports, music and such about which I know nothing. I’m wondering where Lara stashed the contents of the family vault. There was some heavy duty stuff in there.

    1. I think Boyd showing up at the door is for higher drama value. Or maybe they have been good friends, socializing in the past that Boyd said at the gate that he will make a surprise and the security guy complied. Hahaha the ways i try to justify… at the end of the day, I think it is for higher drama value.

      School is easy. We know both kids have cell phones so Axe probably did call the school to tell he would see his kids but he called them directly during recess and told them to come to the woods.

      I am sure Lara has not one but multiple places to stash the cash! 😀

      1. Having done my share of recess duty, I can state no responsible school personnel would allow those two kids to go off to the woods, cell phone, father or not. But I will cease and desist here, since obviously the writers knew they had to contrive a private place for that very excellent conversation with Axe and his sons. I’m glad someone saw the wedding ring thingy with Lara early on; I didn’t catch it till the second time around. It reminded me of some interview or another Damian gave years ago with him sliding his wedding ring up and down to the knuckle, somewhat nervously. It may have been not long after he and Helen were married. I’ve always been amused by some husbands who don’t seem to know how to wear a ring on that finger. We ladies seldom seem to have that difficulty with jewelry!

        1. Oh, of course, you are a teacher! Well, that is my two cents 🙂 Axe had to have that conversation with his kids, didn’t he? Those were the words I was expecting to hear from him for a long, long time and him admitting he did wrong things to his kids redeemed him a bit for me! I have a feeling Lara might not like that conversation. A woman that is so comfortable saying “F*** Bruno” would not like that.

          Haha, yes, I saw the wedding ring thing with Lara immediately — maybe because I was so curious about her response to the news. I remember that interview with Damian and I agree with you that men and women have different comfort levels with rings. My husband never wears it (but I give him credit he always had it on when we visited my grandmother when she was alive) and I am okay with that since… my ring fell in the Meditarrennean years ago and I did not even bother to replace it. So we just don’t wear wedding rings after all 😀 I give credit to Damian that he always has his ring on, it seems he has adjusted well to it, and I hope he wears THAT ring for a long, long, long time <3

  14. We have seen a different side of Lara in the last couple of episodes. Whether it is self preservation or she was sick and tired of the Axe and Wendy thing, whatever it is, who knows. Maybe the writers haven’t decided. Funny thing about wedding rings. They are symbolic of course, it is the commitment that counts, but I cannot be without mine, despite the fact my husband is deceased over 3 years now. He managed to lose his years ago, but replaced it. I didn’t bury him with it, but wear it on my right index finger. Back to Lara. I couldn’t tell what the figure was she placed in the empty vault. Was it a clown? Certainly that would seem appropriate….loved it no matter what it was!

    1. That was one good scene in the vault: “Sentimental value.” 😀 😀 😀 Yeah I think it was a clown playing a musical instrument.

      We know Lara is very rational and it seems that her rationality extends to any context including the possibility that her marriage going wrong thanks to many possible reasons.

    2. I can still see Lara’s facial expression from the vault scene in season 1 when she indicates she’ll return everything to the bank, relieved they don’t have to run. But when Bobby replies no, to keep the goods in the vault, it appeared Lara (and I am interjecting what I would think as a wife in that moment) thought to herself ‘oh my, he’s willing to risk us, the family, me the kids for anything and everything.’ You could almost see her file that thought away in head. Hats off to Malin Akerman for that. So in season 2 when she thinks they might have to run again, she’s not having it…angry with her husband for risking their children’s livelihood. Although, as I write that, Lara knows he’s a risk taker so she shouldn’t be too surprised. However, I remember other, small scenes from season 1 (and season 2 cannon fodder conversation) were Lara tried to question his moves, or bring him to a different way of thinking.

  15. I guess come Sunday night we will all be considered Billions widows, with a few widowers thrown in perhaps. The old DVD player is going to get a good workout over the rest of 2017!

  16. I was able to watch the finale last night and just finished the blog. (Don’t tell my boss.)
    I’m not finding much at fault in the finale. Loved it.

    My reaction to all of the feds busting into Axe’s house is that it was just plain fun. They kept the momentum going strong.

    Bravo to Lara for cleaning house. She may be angry, but she covered both their butts. Seeking legal advice is a smart thing to do. Being prepared and educated on the situation isn’t a bad idea.

    The scene with the boys was very touching. I think it’s safe to assume Axe got permission since he is well aware of security protocol. That conversation could stay on the editing floor.

    Wendy and Axe together never disappoints. I think Axe truly believed he wants to find his way back with Wendy’s help. This with the caveat of “at that moment”. Probably next season he’s back in kill mode.

    I thought I wouldn’t want to see Axe behind bars, but that scene with Chuck was perfect.

    It made sense to me that coming home to Lara would be the most difficult. I enjoyed Axe just looking at the door – end scene.

    1. Haha, I love you for it!

      All of the FEDs in Axe’s house, from the camera from above, really looked like cockroaches! It was plain fun, I agree.

      I also think, especially after the moving conversation with the kids, Axe’s conversation with Wendy, and his aspiration to find his way back, was all sincere. But I am also with you that he will forget about it soon and return to his ways!

      Damian and Paul together on screen is what I would call ACTING HEAVEN.

  17. I seem to have a different take on Lara. Axe’s lie was,to her, an infidelity. As real and meaningful as a sexual infidelity. That wound is still new. She may forgive but not yet. In those situations we are rarely rational.
    George’s shoes are definitely a thing! Metal spikes – gimme a break! I love how she keeps plying Chuck for his dirt, he gives her this bullying bullshit and she clearly knows the truth IMO.
    Did you notice Axe’s smile when Taylor told him he had too much to teach her for her to lose him now? Tender but a bit rueful.
    I’m puzzled as to what it is that Axe is trying in the the last few episodes to return to (sorry Connie). I never watch more than once, I have you all to do that for me 🙂 and I’m not as big a fan of the show, so I may have missed something. Was it not always a hedge fund? Did Axe used to be scrupulous?
    Also as regards the massive police presence at the arrest, Axe at the playground etc. I think its merely dramatic liscence. It plays well.

    1. A lie is a lie no matter what. I agree with you. I have been married for 21 years. We have never lied to each other. About anything. Or he is a Damian-grade actor 😀 But it is not just that. We have never lied to anybody else, either. It is a principle. You just don’t lie to anyone. My surprise about Lara is how come she thinks Axe would never lie to her. It seems Lara finds it problematic only when he lies to her, but not to others.

      Yes, I noticed the smile. I think he is content that he has been able to lure them into the world of Axe Capital 😀 Taylor does not find the air “thin” anymore!

      We need to find out more about the early days at Axe Capital. Maybe they were not as greedy and not as risk-taking as they are right now. They may have got greedier over the years as the wins got bigger and as they started taking greater risks, etc. I think Axe wants to start again, for a brief period, but he will, most probably, for the sake of another thrilling story line, go back to his usual ways in Season 3.

      I certainly agree about drama re police presence and Axe visiting school.

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