Billions on Showtime 2.12: Ball in Hand

We sit in the mud, my friend, and reach for the stars.

― Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Here we are, at the end of Season 2 of Billions, and what a ride it’s been. I know I’m not alone in wishing that these folks wrote and worked and filmed and screened all at the same time, so we wouldn’t have to suffer the excruciating dry months of waiting for the next season to start. In this season, the entire lot of them exceeded all expectations. The story was tight, the performances even tighter. It’s like they all came into their own skins this season and it was a treat to watch.

My review here won’t be a recap, because you’ve already read those. Instead I’ll focus on the father and son scenes central to Season 2, Episode 12, “Ball in Hand.” And I can’t leave the season without talking a bit about Bobby and Wendy. While most other connections between characters are clear, it seems there reigns a central mystery, still, between who Bobby and Wendy are to each other. This season, wonderfully, didn’t solve the mystery a bit, it only intensified it.

Fathers and Sons – Rhoades

Chuck puts his foot down with Wendy and is done with counseling, basically telling her if she wants to come home, she can. If she doesn’t, then all he knows is:

Life without you is a misery.

He drops the news of what he’s done to the biggest investors in his scheme, Ira and his father. Of course, they are shocked at the news and the humongous loss they’ve all suffered, all for the sake of getting Axe’s head on a platter. There have been law suits flying back and forth between Chuck and Axe all year, ever since the destruction of Axe Cap last season, so everyone knows Chuck has to stay clear of letting any of what is about to happen touch him. The long, sorted history of going after Axe as well as the conflict over Wendy, assures that Chuck cannot take any of the heat. He’s drafted the documents assuring that very thing.

Ira: You baited him.

Here’s that pesky problem of entrapment, which I alluded to in my last post. Baited, trapped…yet not entrapped, as Chuck later clarifies. Methinks we’re not done with this issue of semantics, a fine bone of contention, just yet, and, as we speak, they’re getting the brightest legal minds of NY to help them solve the issue, or at least invent the fiction around it convincingly, for Season 3. As for the money, Ira quitting his job, relying on Ice Juice to carry him through:

Chuck: You’ll get it back.

Ira: After he’s convicted, after another 4 to 7 years of dragging him thru court.

Chuck: When I’m governor…

Chuck has played a really REALLY long game, one requiring a truck load of up-front investment, with huge losses from the gate. Ira may get his money back, but Chuck Sr. certainly will not. Junior’s own trust fund is dust in the wind. He traded it all in for what he imagines and hopes will be the biggest win of his career.

Chuck Sr. is disappointed. He’s hurt and he’s sort of wondering where he went wrong. You see, Chuck Sr. doesn’t really get how his own behaviors have impacted his son.

Senior bullied Junior throughout his entire life. When he wasn’t the bully, he was making sure the kids who bullied his son, and beat him at whatever competitions prep school kids have with each other, never got past the gates of that prep school. Indeed, dear Senior may have been the very first bully in Junior’s life, leaving him susceptible to all the other bullies that came along later. Senior lived vicariously thru his son, pushing him to accomplish things that, for whatever reason, he was never able to accomplish in his own career. And Junior did as he was expected, honoring and respecting his father’s wishes, begrudgingly but mostly unconditionally. Until now.

This is what you’ve always wanted. Your son, your scion, in that office, in that chair.

Chuck is dealing a blow to his father with the fact that he asked for this. His father is not without blunt blows of his own. As a final assault on his son, blatantly meant to cause him pain, Senior pulls out pictures he’s had taken of Wendy with the Mars guy. Oh, the toxicity in this relationship runs deep. Of course, it’s not over yet, as it can never be truly over between family.

You will stand up at my funeral and say meaningful things about me, but, until then, I am done with you.

Fathers and Sons – Axelrod

Axe gets the news of his impending arrest from, who else, Lawrence Boyd. Boyd offers to return the favor of holding his watch while he’s gone.

As if we didn’t already know it, the ride-or-die wife isn’t so ride-or-die these days. Lara tells Axe in no uncertain terms that she’s not going to run away with him.

Axe meets Bach at a pool hall called the 8-Ball. Axe used to play there, and, we assume gamble and win. He waxes nostalgic about how the game used to be easier to play, which, of course, alludes to the game he’s currently played and lost.

Used to be the only way to get a ball in hand was if it fell off the table. Now, one person scratches, the other can take a ball in hand and put it anywhere on the board. The game is as good as over.

Any little foul can give full power over to the opponent, thus there are no little fouls anymore. It’s not that it used be easier to get away with stuff, it’s that, to Axe (and a lot of Americans, it seems!), there hasn’t been balance in the ways the rules have changed. Games are no longer fair when one side’s ideas of what is right and wrong get more weight than the other’s. It’s like that old Looney Toons cartoon of the sheepdog and the wolf doesn’t apply anymore. Adversaries used to be able punch a clock, pursue and attack each other as was natural for them to do, then punch that clock again, wish each other a good night, and go home. There’s ever more at stake, ever more to win, ever more to lose.

He assigns the role of his Number One to Taylor, knowing they can pull it off seamlessly.

At every turn, first with Wags, then with Bach, Axe wonders what to tell his boys.

Bobby tells his boys what’s about to happen to him and to them. He doesn’t hold back anything. They don’t need the specifics. They already know where they stand in middle school hierarchies. They know they come from money and they know their mom is a hard-ass about it, but their dad is super lenient, breaking them out of camp when they want, and straight up punching the fool who dared to drive them home drunk. Their mom made them dig for clams for dinner, while their dad offered to get his unpaid interns to come over to wrap Christmas presents for charity so they wouldn’t have to. They know the score, thanks, in large part, to their no-nonsense parents.

While they don’t get any of the details, they do get the point that their Dad’s debaser ways have caught up to him somehow. And they might lose him. Not an easy thing for tweens to wrap their heads around.

Bobby knows what to say and what not so say. He knows he needs to make sure they still feel safe and loved and cared for, even if he’s not going to be around. And he readily admits he made mistakes.

I fucked up…If that makes me a bad person, you’ll have to decide that for yourselves, not just once, but many times more, as you grow older and you learn more.

Yep, parenting and being parented is an iterative process. Never ending actually. And the idea of good or bad behavior is constantly under negotiation. We forgive a lot of our parents; it’s necessary in order to grow and move on. And they forgive a lot of us.

As for Damian in this scene: there’s acting the deep wound and heaviness, and then there’s acting like you aren’t in pain. You see how he covers up his tears so the boys don’t get too scared? So much so, that you cannot NOT feel his pain.

Meanwhile, Lara is also fulfilling her parenting duties.

Bobby and Wendy

Wendy’s doing her part to batten down the hatches at Axe Cap, comfortable in her role as foxhole buddy to Wags.

Wendy: I’m the only one around here who doesn’t do the numbers. My skill is taking people and making them more of who they are.

Wendy does the deep work at Axe Cap. In the words of Chuck’s BDSM helper woman, Wendy knows a thing or two about the intricacies of temperament, the intricacies of taste. She reaches people “close to their core”, the locus of their “true expression.”

Whatever Axe Capital is right now, I know what it’s supposed to be at its best.

We’ve seen from Day One on this show that Bobby and Wendy care deeply for each other. It is a kind of love that defies description.

When they meet at the 9/11 Memorial, a site crucial to their history, Bobby says he’s regretted everything since those fateful days, he says he wants to be fixed. Really? He’s regretted becoming a billionaire? Finding Lara and building a family with her?

Unless proven otherwise by irrefutable text evidence, I’m convinced that Bobby and Wendy knew each other well before they knew anyone else or anyone else knew them. This relationship pre-dates it all.

And Bobby regrets all of it, everything post-Wendy?

Your brain thinks what he’s saying cannot possibly be true. Yet, in this moment you believe him absolutely in your heart. You believe that in this moment, he’s utterly lost, even when you KNOW he’ll bounce right back. Even when you know that in a flick of a switch he could be kicking her out again, threatening her very existence. Even then, even if he were to make good on what he told Lara he would do:

Maybe I should just blow her the fuck out of our lives…just say the word, and I’ll erase Wendy Rhoades from our world forever.

Even if he did all of that, Wendy would still be there. Not because she has nowhere else to be or because she’s a doormat to his every whim. But because she understands him, more than anyone else. Who he is with her is uniquely different from who he is at work and in his family. She understands what he feels he needs to do is often at odds with who he really is. He’s a hypocrite, a liar, a cheat when it comes to work, when it comes to things he needs to control. But when he relinquishes control, when it’s just him alone in the world, he’s pure.

It doesn’t make sense, I know. And I feel like I’m being an Axelrod apologist. And maybe I am, but, I don’t know, Damian has this way of getting us inside the hearts of the people he plays, showing us things that even they may not be able to see in themselves.

Like Damian himself has said, it’s not about sympathy…he doesn’t want you to blindly side with his character…it’s about empathy. He wants you to see what that character sees, feel what he feels, walk in his shoes for those 12 hours of television. Hate him or love him is really beside the point. It’s about us really knowing the character. And, with Bobby Axelrod, Damian has succeeded in doing just that.

With Wendy and Bobby, it’s not just about shared history, or mutual attraction, or mutual respect, although it may be any or all of those things at some point. Actually, truth be told, if they slept together now, it would be anticlimactic to what their relationship already is. Better to just relegate that image to fan fic for now (which I did earlier, here, in anticipation of the season, and could not help but to update now that the season is over…stay tuned for that update!).

As Damianista shared, she saw the scene at the memorial being filmed on a bitterly cold day in December (a day after my birthday, no less) and, yes, my first question was “Was Wendy there?” but then I went on to squee all over the place…

Oh go ahead…I’m flying high that the scene was at the 9/11 memorial. Nothing can “spoil” that now 😀😀😀

Is he there with Wendy? That would be EPIC!


Whaat??? He’s getting arrested??? Oh NO!

WOW! That’s a great spoiler! He will KILL that event and all that comes after.


WOW. It’s going to be SO GOOD!


LOOOOOVE that Wendy is there!

This is my dream come true!!! I just thought of what I would want most….and that is exactly what you describe!         Anything else would’ve been “meh”. The power of positive thinking. 😀😀😀

Believe me, getting this spoiler and anticipating this scene did not detract ONE BIT from actually seeing it. It was somehow both exactly what I wanted to see while also surpassing expectations. I mean, it was visually beautiful, but also beautiful in that it wasn’t a mere plot point. Sure, Chuck saw them there and maybe Lara will find out that Wendy got the hug goodbye that she didn’t, and these things will, doubtlessly, have bearing on the plot. What I mean by it not being a plot point is that it didn’t have to go down like this in order for the plot to progress. Bobby could’ve been arrested at home with his wife by his side, while still estranged from her. Wendy could’ve said good bye to Bobby some other way, still managing to distance her from Chuck, in his eyes. The fact it happened at the 9/11 memorial, with these two incredible actors so fully engaged, the emotional truth of their connection fully on display for all to see…the magic of that moment didn’t have anything to do with plot. It was about these two people and what they mean to each other.

I had the chance to live tweet the episode, and my one tweet that got the most play, and, is still, in fact, pinging away with RTs and hearts as we speak is this one:

It was a scene that pulled at the heart strings alright. In hindsight, I think what she actually whispered to him may have been as banal and non-earth shattering as “You’ll be okay.” Usually I hate when shows try to manipulate an emotional response, instead of building one organically, and this little whisper may have been one of those times of writerly manipulation. (ie if it had been organic, we would have seen these two whispering to each other before and heard their whispers, rendering this one unheard whisper even more “real”) Regardless, it worked. Boy, did it work, and big time. It worked for me, and, apparently, for the folks who liked my tweet. (So much for armchair quarterbacking from this unemployed wannabe writer, heh)

It worked mostly because of the focused performances, how these two are so fully present when on screen together, that ineffable quality of “great chemistry.” Despite what’s come before or what will likely come after, you believe everything they say and do in this very moment. Really a magical thing for actors to be able to do. Everything else sheds away, and all you’re left with is where they are now, what they say and do, and that they are there together.

Stepping out of the magic of this scene…here’s to a fantastically compelling season from all angles. Even when we anticipated events, we never anticipated it all, or as deeply delivered as it all ended up being. Billions is a rich show, ya’ll. Rich in that it tackles topics and is peopled by characters that are SO timely, so crucial to our understanding of our world right now. It plays a great part in answering the why’s and where fore’s of how we ended up where we are. And, yeah, I really want next season to start, like tomorrow.

23 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime 2.12: Ball in Hand”

  1. Hallo Zusammen und hallo Ihr grandiosen Schreiberinnen!!

    Was würde ich nur ohne Euch tun ?!
    Ich würde mich für total verrückt halten und an meinem Verstand zweifeln. Durch Euch hier auf dieser Seite weiß ich allerdings, dass es nicht nur mir so geht und das ist tröstlich, sehr tröstlich. Weshalb also lässt uns dieser Mensch nicht aus seinen Fängen ?
    Wie kann man sich nur so in einer einzigen Person verlieren ? Ein Mensch, der in der Lage ist, so etwas auf die Leinwand und Bühne zu bringen, was ich vorher noch nicht erlebt habe und wahrscheinlich auch mit keinem anderen Schauspieler mehr erleben werde.
    Es ist so wirklich gut, dass man mit diesem obsessiven Verhalten nicht alleine ist.

    Die Szene mit seinen Söhnen sowie die Szene mit Wendy sind für mich das größte Geschenk. In diesen Augenblicken verkörpert er all das, was ihn ausmacht. Er zeigt dem Zuschauer nur mit seinen Augen und den Gesichtzügen, was die zu spielende Figur gerade fühlt, durchmacht und denkt. Ich bin so froh, dass Ihr das immer so toll in Worte kleiden könnt. Bei mir spielen da einfach nur die Gefühle verrückt und ich kann mich dazu nicht mehr sachlich äußern.

    Etwas Ähnliches wie hier, hat er meiner Meinung nach auch in „The Forsyte Saga“ zustande gebracht. Wenn man es genau nimmt, schafft er das immer, deshalb hat wohl auch jeder Film mit ihm so eine unvergleichliche Anziehungskraft.

    Ich kann auch nur zustimmen, dass in der Beziehung zwischen Wendy und ihm etwas ganz besonderes vorhanden sein muss. Und diese spezielle Chemie ist total spürbar und spannend.
    Ich denke auch, dass er genau wusste, dass er während der Zusammenkunft mit ihr verhaftet wird. Diese Situation konnte er nur zusammen mit „ihr“ ertragen…, nur mit ihr überstehen…!

    Das einzige, was mir jetzt über die kommende karge Zeit hinweghilft, ist Eure Fan-Seite.


    Vielen lieben Dank auch noch für Eure ausführliche Antwort auf meinen Kommentar bezüglich des Theaterbesuches in London und auch für die erneute Übersetzung meines Kommentars.
    Sorry, dass ich Euch damit auch noch so eine Mühe mache.

    Die allerherzlichsten Grüße aus Deutschland !!

    1. Translated 🙂
      Hello together and hello your grandiose writers!

      What would I do without you?
      I would think myself totally crazy and doubt my mind. Through you here on this site, I know, however, that it is not just me, and that is comforting, very comforting. Why, then, does this man not leave us from his catches?
      How can one lose oneself in a single person? A person who is able to bring something like this to the screen and the stage, which I have not experienced before and probably will not experience with any other actor.
      It is so really good that one is not alone with this obsessive behavior.

      The scene with his sons as well as the scene with Wendy are for me the greatest gift. In these moments, he embodies all that makes him. He only shows the viewer with his eyes and facial features what the figure to be played just feels, passes through and thinks. I am so happy that you can always put it in words. For me, just play the feelings crazy and I can no longer express myself objectively.

      Something similar to this one, he has in my opinion also in “The Forsyte Saga” brought about. If you take it exactly, he always does it, so every film with him has such an incomparable attraction.

      I can only agree that there must be something very special in the relationship between Wendy and him. And this special chemistry is totally tangible and exciting.
      I also think that he knew exactly that he was arrested during the meeting with her. This situation he could only endure together with “her” …, only with her überhenhen …!

      The only thing that helps me now is the next bad time is your fan page.

                                                     THANK YOU !! THANK YOU !! THANK YOU !!

      Many thanks also also for your detailed answer to my comment regarding the theater visit in London and also for the renewed translation of my comment.
      Sorry that I make you with such a bother.

      The most sincere greetings from Germany !!

    2. No bother at all! I love being able to communicate like this thanks to the wonders of technology. I simply use Google Translate, easy peasy. 🙂

      Yes, yes, and Yes to all this:
      “In these moments, he embodies all that makes him.”
      “He only shows the viewer with his eyes and facial features what the figure to be played just feels, passes through and thinks.”
      “It is so really good that one is not alone with this obsessive behavior.”

      I do think he needed to be with her at that place, but I don’t think he necessarily planned to be arrested there. After all it was public, and he had already had his lawyer assure there would be no media coverage, no “perp walk” (when a criminal is escorted out in handcuffs in front of lots of cameras). He met her simply because he thought he had the time. He wasn’t surprised when they showed up, but I don’t think he really planned it that way.

      Again, the beauty of such scenes is that they aren’t simply about plot progression. The relationships drive the plot, not the other way around. A hallmark of good drama I think.

      It’s going to be a tough few months without this show on our screens! But we have lots planned to keep busy in our little corner of the internet 😀

  2. I had really REALLY thought Chuck did it thinking when the sabotage was publicly outed they would all make money again. His dad’s money, his own trust — which is also his kids’ money — plus his friend’s company and future having been thrown under the bus to get Bobby Axelrod??? WHY? This guy certainly has some serious daddy issues. You are RIGHT. Chuck Sr was probably the first bully in his son’s life.

    I have waited for Axe to say “I fucked up” for a long time, maybe the entire season and he finally gave it to me in the final episode in a conversation with his kids. THaving Bobby say all that he had to say about himself to his kids is brilliant on the writers’ side since we know he would not admit that almost to anybody else (except for Wendy). And maybe being honest and open with the kids he will never have to do that “I am done with you” kind of thing Chuck Sr said to Chuck. I bow in front of Jeffrey DeMunn — what an incredible actor! No wonder Koppelman tweeted saying it is an honor to write lines for him.

    I have commented on Axe and Wendy as a response to your response to Krista earlier so I am not repeating it here other than yes the mystery is still there and has intensified, too 😀

    1. True, the scene with the boys was good. He did what he had to do, and proved himself a pretty decent father in that scene. Not sure if his relationship with his boys has anything to do to inform his relationship with Wendy (as you alluded to in another comment: that his interchange with the boys somehow prompted him to pick up the phone to call her) I tend to think she exists in a totally separate part of his brain. Not sure how realistic it is to think that one person could relegate another person to a separate compartment so absolutely, but I think it does happen. We already know he’s an expert at compartmentalizing. He’s had to be, like LadyTrader has said in her posts, to keep the personal out of the business. Wendy straddles both worlds and for that reason she is unique and apparently really tough to figure out for a lot of people!

      Thanks for stopping by. My comment space is not the party zone that yours is apparently. 😀 So it’s nice to have visitors. 😀

      1. Spot on. Axe compartmentalizes business and personal separately. Damian commented about that at PaleyLive, too. And I never thought of this, but you’re right, Wendy straddles both worlds, making her unique!

  3. Jania Jania, You are a thoughtful and elegant writer, your posts very much informed by your rich literary background. I always enjoy visiting when you post. Lynda

    1. Thank you so much Lynda!! Aw, such things feel so good to hear. I love doing this and I’m always glad to hear folks enjoy reading it. 🙂

  4. If Wendy and Axe hook up I’m going to be pissed. One, why not just be with her from the beginning? He met her before he met Lara. Why did they bother to a big deal of Axe’s love for Lara when he really wanted to be with Wendy all along? I would hate to think that Wendy only stuck around because of unrequited love for Axe rather than her own career goals.

    1. You’re not alone is not wanting them to get together now. Like I said, it would be a bit anticlimactic if they did. And Damianista hates the idea so much she can’t even see it happen in a fanfic. 😀
      But, for me, it’s not really about sex at all. So that part of it doesn’t really even matter.
      Let’s just say: Wendy does love him, and the love is not unrequited. We see that in scenes like this.
      It’s really funny to see how many folks see love, sex, and marriage all as the same thing. I think Wendy and Bobby are a testament to that not being true at all.

      1. JaniaJania is right. I do not like the idea of Axe and Wendy being in a romantic relationship. NOT AT ALL. Having said that, following comments on social media and elsewhere on this particular relationship, you and I should be in a tiny little minority.

        I certainly agree with JaniaJania that “Wendy loves him and the love is not unrequited.” And yes love and sex are not necessarily the same thing and that is WHY I do not want them to be a couple! One of the things I do not like about TV culture in the US is that love is usually reduced to sex. I believe they are two different things and a man and a woman can love each other without getting in bed together. And I want Axe and Wendy to be a testament to just that.

        I think, until the moment Chuck stirred the cup in Season 1, both Axe and Wendy were quite happy in their respective marriages as well as working together in the office. Wendy did not stay at Axe Capital because of unrequited love but because she built it with Axe and as she said in Season 1 she finds meaning in it! And, remember, she went back to Axe Capital this season on the condition that Axe would withdraw the civil suits against Chuck. She made that decision after she talked to Ira and finding out that Chuck needs her more than ever. She told Chuck that she missed her job, and she probably did, but her return definitely had something to do with saving Chuck’s ass and not have anything to do with unrequited love. Yes, she loves Axe, and he loves her back, and they may even had a fling at some point before Lara got into the picture but the Wendy we know would get over it in 15 years! And, no, knowing how much the Billions writers value Wendy as a character, they would never even imply that Wendy would stay at Axe Cap because of unrequited love.

        1. We are in the minority in not wanting them to be together! Almost every other blog and recap site I visit has people rooting for their inevitable hook up. If this happens I’m done with the show. I really hope their love is more of a familial type than romance. It would be really shit for Axe to be married to a woman for 15 years then go be with Wendy when he could have just been with her from the beginning. They’ve spent so much time showing what a devoted husband and family man Axe is, it would be a shame for them to abandon that now. I hope he and Lara work on their marriage like Chuck and Wendy did.

          1. IDK, I wouldn’t be so harsh nor so wounded if they did end up together. Again, i think the strength of their relationship is not sexual. But leaving a woman you’ve been married to for 15 years, and ending up with a woman you’ve know much longer…depending on the circumstances, I’m not really seeing the element of betrayal there that other viewers are seeing. What if Bobby and Lara just become more and more estranged, naturally, without any other person being the cause. And then, what if Bobby sees more in his feelings for Wendy than just a basic need for the spiritual comfort she seems to give him? Why the heck not, I say. Aren’t we all just constantly changing, needing different things at different times in our lives? Not recognizing that everything changes is the one thing that gets most couples in trouble, imo. Wendy and Chuck, to their credit, work because they understand themselves and each other in those ways. Bobby and Lara don’t quite have the same degree of insight into themselves or in each other. So who knows.

            So, nope, not quitting this show, until and unless Damian quits it, and, most likely not even then. 😀

          2. We are certainly in the minority but I think, at least for now, we have Billions writers on our side 🙂

            My take so far has been that despite the close and deep connection between them, Axe and Wendy are two VERY different people and the people they ended up getting married attest to this fact. Someone that is in love with Wendy would not go and marry Lara in my opinion. I think it’s the show’s brilliance to bring a man and a woman, rather than two men for example, very close together in the work environment and keep the audience guessing. I don’t know if you watched Mad Men, but Axe and Wendy sometimes remind me of Don and Peggy. Very different relationships, but essentials are there: a very close bond, understanding each other without words, mutual respect and no sexual relations. And it is LOVE.

            Billions is brilliant in so many different ways, but one of the things it has demonstrated is that a show can still be very INTERESTING, in contrast to many shows, with no extramarital affairs! The marriages feel real, the couples struggle, and they work on it. No one wants to give up on his or her life partner which I personally appreciate. I believe they will keep doing it in Season 3 🙂

            Having said that, it is all about the story. If they give us a compelling story for Axe and Wendy to have a romantic relationship, I will most probably buy into it.

  5. Janiajania, wow. What a great piece of writing. Your observations, your wit (meanwhile, Lara is also fulfilling her parental duties), your care of each character is so right on. I just love reading your views.

    Nothing to add other than that whisper between Axe & Wendy reminded me of the end of the film Lost in Translation when Bill Murray whispers to Scarlet Johannson goodbye. They, too, in the film had this undefinable closeness that was better off not a sexual one, but still intensely intimate. There is something highly sensual, and I believe rare, in having that kind of closeness with another. Love these characters. Love those writers.

    1. Merci Madame! 🙂

      Yes, it’s that high degree of sensuality and undeniable chemistry that can sustain for a long time, thanks in large part to the actors playing the parts. They all know what they’re doing.

      I do remember the connection between Bill Murray and Scarlet Johannson in Lost in Translation…more of a December-y feeling of catching a gust of emo youth. It was never meant to be sexual. Just sort of a longing for connection in a very isolating environment.

      I think of Bobby and Wendy more as equals, with Wendy having more insight, most likely, into the big picture of it all. And Bobby just needing her, despite anything else he ever says and does. It really is just a need, not a desire, or a longing, just plain need. It’s a fascinating relationship. Have you seen Friends and Crocodiles? I have a sense that the writers saw that film and the relationship there and sort of used it as a springboard to write Wendy and Bobby. It was a clumsy little film in many ways, but Jodhi May, in particular, did some beautiful work, and Damian too. Also, you didn’t get the full import of the film until you heard the director talk about it in the dvd extras. Worth a watch, if you like Wendy and Bobby, and love Damian. 🙂

      1. Oh my gosh, you are so right! Lizzie and Paul’s relationship in Friends and Crocodiles is very similar to Wendy and Bobby in Billions.

        1. I’ll always remember that one big speech she has towards the end, in tears, with her husband…telling him how she loves him so completely but what the hell, who the hell is this guy she can’t let go of. Loved it!!! Paul was a LOT more clueless than Bobby is, but still, the parallels can’t be denied.

          Let’s just say, if the writers totally cheated and copied Lizzie’s entire big speech for Wendy, I wouldn’t turn them in. 😀

  6. Hi Jania! Sorry I have been MIA, but I think Damianista told you I’m dealing with “stuff” so it’s been hard to put my 2 cents in!

    Thank you so much for this post on these relationships. They are all so completed and can be dissected in a million pieces! I truly believe that is why we all love this show – the writers have created such mulit-dimensional characters, we feel for them.

    The father/son(s) relationships on Billions is so complicated. You are spot on with Chuck Sr. being Chuck’s first bully, and he continues to be so.

    I wonder if Axe being so honest with his boys was due to the fact that perhaps his father never was with him. I know we don’t know much about Axe’s relationship with his father, but maybe he never had any type of honesty with him (if he left when Axe was 13), and he just wants to be a better dad than his was.

    I am with you and the few others about NOT wanting Wendy and Axe to end up in a romantic relationship. You all know how I feel about Wendy, but for some reason Axe seems to need her, but not in a romantic/sexual way. It seems they have been through battles together, and have a deep bond, a deep friendship, which I love to see. Not all male/female relationships have to end up in bed!

    1. Hiya, Lady!
      Yep, I think both Axe’s and Lara’s parenting styles are informed by the way they were raised. It always is.
      Yep, totally agree that no need at all for Bobby and Wendy to wind up in bed.
      Hope the stuff you’re dealing with resolves well! 🙂

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