Catching up with Bobby Axelrod on
Billions Season 2 Finale Set

Advance Warning: This post has SPOILERS about Billions Season 2 Finale.

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 below 😀

December 9, 2016 starts as an extraordinary day. I wake up to news any academic would kill to get! My co-author and I get a revision for a paper we wrote on civil wars from one of the top journals in the profession, and believe me, given that top journal acceptance rates wander around 10%, this kind of thing RARELY happens. So, I am over the moon and decide to reward myself by taking the day off for some shopping! And, while thinking the day could not get any better, I check my Instagram on the subway and THIS happens:

Well, I already knew they would film Billions in the area because I saw a tweet earlier; however, I, the “know-it-all” Damianista did not even think for a second it could be an “Axe scene” since Southern Tip of Manhattan is mainly Chuck-land.

But, now, this Instagram post made from 1 World Trade Center is the ultimate wake up call! NYPD. FBI. Prop Guns. Arrest.

My hearts SINKS and not for the reason you may be thinking. I am not feeling bad Axe may be getting arrested for whatever he has done. It may be best to summarize in one of my favorite Turkish sayings: “The grasshopper jumps once, jumps twice, gets caught in the third.” He cannot go on like this forever.

source: Showtime

The location makes perfect sense. It is, in fact, GENIUS. We know the entire Axe Capital 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 of the company thanks to the shady deals he has been involved in. As soon as he hears about the towers, Bobby shorts airline companies, makes A LOT of money, Axe Capital takes off and the rest is history. It is 9/11 that makes Bobby Axelrod the hedge-fund king that he is today. And the king will now have to face what he fears the most, windbreakers, at the exact location where his rise to power begins. DELICIOUS writing.

source: Showtime

OK then. Change of plans. I am now going to the North Pool to see if I can get a glimpse of the shoot.

Oh and I said my heart sank the moment I found out about the shoot but I still have not shared why. It is because I am worried about the crowds. 9/11 Memorial, any given day, is PACKED. People come to pay their respects at this beautiful memorial that moves you beyond words with its feeling of eternity.

A summer day at 9/11 Memorial, source: Damianista

And given that Billions is a popular show, I am freaking out someone will take pictures, share it on social media and spoil the whole thing for many fans. The only factor that may thin out the crowds today is the weather. Thanks to gusty winds, it feels in the 20s.

I know Billions is, at least in my case, not the kind of show you watch to find out what happens in the end but to see how the story folds out over the season. It is THE story that counts so maybe it is not the end of the world even if people talk openly on social media or post photos. Yet, as someone, who thinks of unsolicited spoilers as a violation of other people’s right to enjoy a film or a book or a TV show, I just hope NOT. And I know I will not talk about it to any living soul except for my husband and my partners.

It is a mug’s game!

Oh yeah my partners! In fact, before getting to the set part, it makes sense I share with you the first reactions I get from my partners when I share my story with them. I write to each partner, in separate messages, that I happened to see a Billions scene filmed at an interesting location in NYC, and that I am happy to share it which we will keep as a secret until the end of the season. And it is totally up to them to know or not know. JaniaJania, Tbkwrm and Holliedazzle want to know and here are their reactions as they find out about what I have seen.

Holliedazzle: “Oh wow, possibly a BIG finish for the season. How exciting to be there! Here you are again, among the excitement, just like when you were there for the “fuck you money” scene, even inside his pockets.”

JaniaJania: “Was Wendy there?” (WOW! How does she know? She says she just wanted her to be there, and yes, she was!)

Tbkwrm: “I had expected it at the end of Season 1! He can’t keep getting away after all.”

Lady Trader is my only partner that prefers not to know thinking it may affect her writing. And she adds:

“Please don’t tell me he gets arrested.” (Yes, partner, you called it, too!)


Yes, Lady Trader, so we knew, didn’t we? We did not really know, but we knew! The two of us attended Billions Season 2 PaleyLIVE New York together in December and the following back and forth between Damian and Brian Koppelman hinted a bit about where the show would be heading to.

source: Damianista

At Paley LIVE New York, Brian Koppelman and David Levien revealed they knew what would happen at the end of Season 2 before they even filmed the pilot and it turns out Damian recently told them “you said you were going to do this.” And then Damian talked about the fantastic world we are living in “where despicable people are marvelous and marvelous people are despicable” which is no more true than in Billions and so the show has to have a world view, a judgment, at some point. He said some themes such as the seducing and corrupting nature of political and financial power come to fruition in Season 2 in ways that they did not in Season 1. Brian Koppelman added: “You pick a billionaire, idolize him, there are consequences.” And I cannot agree more with him. Yes, there are consequences. There should be consequences. And, as Damian points out “there should be a worldview.”

Let’s admit it: We saw Axe playing dirty more than once: Pepsum Pharmaceuticals. Mundia Tel. Klaxon. Why? Not just for the fuck of it, or for money, but probably to feel the sweet adrenaline pumping in his veins. What drives him does not understand enough. Axe is addicted to the game. Every win feeds the addiction. He wants to win more. Bigger wins mean bigger risks. And while bigger risks have made him more focused and careful than ever in Season 1, we have seen a different Axe this season. Having lost his sense of security by the end of Season 1 and obsessed about getting rid of Chuck, Axe has not been able to see the entire board as clearly as he used to. He slipped a few times and trusted a couple of people he should definitely not have trusted. If only he had read our recaps 😀

source: Showtime

Back to the memorial: As soon as I arrive at the south end of the North pool where the North Tower used to stand, believe it or not, the first person I could distinguish on the other side of the pool, with my very near-sighted eyes, is Damian. First, he has red hair and is a head taller than most people around him. Second, I said it before and will say it again: THAT WALK. I recognize that walk from any distance. This is what I am looking at.

source: Damianista

While I am pretty far away from the scene, I could see Axe being taken away with his hands at his back. OMG it is happening! And I am still worried people may take photos and post them on social media. Then I am laughing at myself: if the show creators were so worried about that they would take extra precautions. The main precaution seems to be the set people kindly shoving people away. And, honestly, most people in the area seem to be tourists that don’t really know what is going on. I think I am overreacting just because I know SO MUCH about the show. But I get concerned when my favorite TV critic tweets spoilers!

source: Emily Nussbaum Twitter


I walk clockwise around the north pool and come closer to the set. The set people try to keep you a bit far away from the filming area and they obviously do not allow photos – not that I would take photos but there is a couple next to me that know some filming is going on and want to take photos, but good news is they do not know what show it is. And I have no intention to let them know 😀

They take a short break from filming and I see Damian walking around talking on the phone. Exactly like this. Well, I did not take any pictures and found this photo on Instagram. And that big coat he is wearing? It is to keep him warm during breaks. I am telling you — it is VERY COLD.

Me and Damo on set earlier #damianlewis #Billions #nyc

A post shared by @insta___grant_ on

Oh then Wendy appears in a beautiful winter coat! I see Axe and Wendy hugging followed by the FBI and the NYPD arriving to take Axe away.

source: Showtime

WOW. What a treat to see this happening in front of my very eyes!

And, I am happy to report all pics posted on social media were harmless in the end. Either people did not see what happened or they are just decent people who did not want to spoil it for others. Thank you!

When they say “Cut!” the set people are extremely happy. They have been there since 6 am. And while I think I cannot be happier because I am the first person who says hi to Axe seconds after his arrest, Damian tops it by saying Billions Paley LIVE post that I had written earlier that week was “excellent.” I probably have a surprised look on my face that he gives me the eyebrow and says:

“But I read your blog.”

I know, I know, I just still find it quite unbelievable. Thank you! And I remember to tell him his secret is safe with us!

source: Damianista

Now… what a difference two years make, huh? Not for me, look at me, I am still looking like a 6 year old in the same down jacket I had on during Billions Pilot shoot in February 2015.

source: Damianista

But how about Axe? He has come from “what’s the point of having Fuck You money if you never say fuck you?” to a point where he, in his own words, “fucked up.” And it will be a long wait until we find out how he digs himself out of this shit. But I believe, as I mentioned in my season finale recap, Wendy’s short on Ice Juice can really be the exit for Axe. 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!

Finally, you may ask if knowing what will happen in the last episode ever changed the way I looked at the season. NO. First, I saw it coming. Second, Billions, as I highlighted earlier in this post, is not the kind of show I watch to find out what happens in the end. The show feels like a crazy page turner but the thing is you want to read and absorb every page because it all matters! Billions takes its audience very seriously and does not give you one scene or one word just for the fun of it. You need to pay attention and take it one episode at a time. And that is exactly what I have done.

Later that evening Lewisto asks: “So you have got a revision from the top journal in the morning and you have got to see probably the most important scene of Billions filmed in front of your very eyes in the afternoon. Which one made you happier?”

I know he knew the answer when he asked. And, yeah, you know the answer, too.

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!

20 thoughts on “Catching up with Bobby Axelrod on
Billions Season 2 Finale Set”

  1. Aw ^^ Congratulations on the paper ^^ and on Damian sighting ^^ Super cool! Well the season 2 finale is now gone and I’m still kind of raw from it

    1. Thank you! I am still waiting for a final decision on the paper – these things go very slow, fingers crossed!

      The sighting was total coincidence — but when I saw the Instagram hint, I knew what was going to happen and I needed to see that 😀

      Yeah the finale was SOMETHING. I am still grading exams (end of semester here) but then I want to sit down and watch Eps 11/12 together just for fun!
      I usually watch with a notepad in hand so then I just watch for myself 😀

  2. This has nothing to do with our series, but I want to tell you my joy, to have a new president, who beat the extreme right in france!
    I wanted to tell you!

    1. Vive la France! We have been looking at France closely the last couple of months – congratulations!

  3. Bravo! But, Do you think axe will use Wendy to get out of trouble? That would make that beautiful scene at 911 memorial pointless and he has not changed at all lol

    1. Thank you <3

      It seems you and I agree about the 9/11 scene. Even though Axe tried to revive the immunity deal earlier in the day 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.

      With respect to him using Wendy to get out of trouble? I think Axe does not need to do much. The timing of Wendy's short on Ice Juice is problematic on its own. Chuck has no idea about it but it will surface probably early next season and will be Axe's savior. If Wendy looks like an accomplice in Ice Juice, it may come back and haunt Chuck --- big damage for his reputation --- that Chuck may in fact find himself trying to dig Axe out of this shit!!! It would be delightful to watch Chuck frantically trying to stop Dake and now also Bryan and save Wendy and, in turn, Axe 😀

  4. This is a really fun post! Going with you to the shoot was sweeeet. I’m so glad you mentioned Damian’s gait. I can’t figure out what makes it so distinctive. What do you think?
    Also in full length shots his feet are planted almost as wide as his shoulders. Perhaps his long legs were installed after market 😉

    1. Thank you! I had so much FUN putting it together!

      Bobby Axelrod has a certain swagger that I think we can also distinguish it from afar but Damian’s gait is SO particular. It is a very good question: what makes it so distinctive? What do I see in it? Hmm… His straight posture with a lot of confidence added 😀

  5. The man has beautiful posture. Sometimes I think his is a runway walk; each foot placed directly in front of the other. Other times it seems his feet are much forward of his body. I’d like to have the opportunity for thorough analysis. 😉

  6. D. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you need to find a hobby that brings you joy. You look so miserable in the pics.
    The next time you’re forced to see Damian, give me a call and I’ll go with you to ease the pain….

    Congrats on the paper. Very impressive.

    1. 😀 😀 😀 I LOVE you for this!

      Thank you for the congrats on the paper but you know these things go very slow. We submitted the revision and are still waiting to hear about the final decision —all fingers and toes crossed 😀

  7. I love this post and have been waiting for it since December! I remember this whole conversation! I hate that I was right about him getting arrested! I’m still glad I didn’t know. I don’t like spoilers!

    Thank you as always for sharing your experiences and encounters with Mr. Lewis. We here at FanFun will always live vicariously through you! As I said on Twitter: THIS is why I’m going to super glue myself to you!!


    1. Thank you! You were my only partner that did not want to know and you were the only one that called it right away 😀

      I feel VERY LUCKY to have been able to see the scene at the memorial during filming. SO super glue it is! 😀 Fingers crossed for a Billions event late 2017 or early 2018 and even MORE crossed for Damian to bring The Goat or some other show to Broadway sooner than later!

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