Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 3: A Generation Too Late

Talk about twists and turns — Billions is on fire!

As Ira and his girlfriend are having dinner at Craft, the new Halls are sitting at the next table recording their conversation. We do not know if it is her ordering $14 a gram white truffles, 20 grams of them, on her Tagliatelle with Guffanti Butter from Emilia Romagna (the region of Italy which I believe has made the most sacred contributions to human kind: prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano, and balsamic vinegar)  but Ira hesitates to propose.  Since he has lost all his savings in Ice Juice, they cannot have the wedding she deserves, cannot go to the honeymoon they discussed and cannot even afford the engagement ring he has picked for her. He can barely give her truffles! Ira is in love and probably expecting his girlfriend to say she would marry him no matter what, but guess what, she wants to wait! Is anyone marrying for love anymore? 

While one couple cannot get married because of financial problems, another couple is talking about financial problems as they are ending their marriage. Bach says it will take up to four months for the agreement to get finalized and I am still behind my words that these two will get back together before then! 😀 As Lara thanks Axe for honoring what they always said they would do in case of a separation, splitting the assets 50-50, Axe is genuine when he says they built it together.

Yet, he is concerned the government may find a way to stain all his money that has been through the banking system and the amount he is sure that they cannot touch is about $320 million. The two of them putting aside the separation immediately and focusing on the money is beyond me. Axe should have more the government cannot see and has an idea about how.

He finds Raul Gomez, the head of the police pension fund, at the shooting range where Raul practices to keep his certificate even though he is retired. Someone who still practices in retirement should understand how Axe cannot give up trading, right? But Gomez resists when he realizes Axe is there to ask him to move the pension fund’s $2.2 billion to one of his satellites.  The police cannot risk “a whiff of impropriety” at the moment even Axe makes sure there is no connection between him and the fund who will invest the pension fund’s money.

A man needs to provide for his family and Axe sees an opportunity where every one else sees a disaster: Michael Panay’s fund is going down.

Axe meets Panay at the new Whitney Museum. Panay is selling everything and will walk away with $40 million which he believes he can live on. Axe does a quick calculation for him: Only his debts and his properties require $10 million a year. Add to that his new home office with a lease and an analyst or two, the private school for his kids, his daughter’s horse, and by the way, will he start flying commercial with the mortals or what? Yikes! Or will he give up on his personal driver? God forbid! Panay is ready to give an inch off his dick to get his life back and Axe may have an orphaned $2 billion looking for a safe home.

Who knew Chef Ryan would be critical in luring Raul Gomez into business? Ryan is tasked with replicating the burger Axe, Wags, and Raul had at Ann’s Snack Bar, a small restaurant in Atlanta famous for their burgers, when they were down there to see Killer Mike‘s R.A.P Music release party. Raul moved an extra half billion from his fund to Axe Capital right after that night and so who knows the burger may do the trick again! Chef Ryan follows the original recipe, and tries his version on Axe and Wags. While Axe thinks it is very close to the original, Wags does not find it good enough and goes ballistic on Ryan that they may need to fly Chef Ann’s sister (the chef died in 2015 and his sister and brothers are running the restaurant) with her vat of original cooking oil to make the burger for them. When Axe WTFs him, he spills the beans: Taylor is looking for “quants” aka the rocket scientists of Wall Street, who use mathematical models, rather than traditional research and intuition, to trade securities. Wags believes, since the Dutch East India Company first offered shares to the public in 1602, no mathematician has been able to figure out the markets. Besides, Billy Beane never won a World Series. Moneyball, anyone?

While Wags does not believe in quants, the PMs at Axe Capital seem to be intimidated by them. Mafee is talking about the computers taking over the world like in The Tommyknockers which Rudy is quick to point out is about aliens, not computers 😀 Mafee feels he got into the sector a generation too late like Tony Soprano did into his sector, and Ben Kim regrets he did not listen to his mother and did applied mathematics rather than coding at Stanford. The only PM who seems to have no fear is Dollar Bill! The man is not uncertain that computers cannot do the research he does and, well, he certainly has a point 😀

Taylor sets up a two-step quant interview that starts with the interviewee being given a cardboard they need to make a box out of, followed by a verbal part where they need to convince Taylor of their approach to the markets. The first guy cannot turn the cardboard into a box and fails the verbal part, too, because all he wants to do is to model Taylor’s thinking process while Taylor wants an algorithm that works better than their own brain. The second guy gives in to his emotions and ruins the cardboard when he cannot turn it into a box.

The third guy, who worked at NASA for 20 years, is the only one that sees there is no way to make a box out of that cardboard, and his algorithm seems to work, but Taylor tells him it will not work. Wags’ body language and soft ball questions have made Taylor understand this candidate is all Wags’ doing but they cannot figure out why. We now learn what Wags was REALLY thinking about when he overreacted to Ryan’s burger: Wags was at Lehmans when some smart guys thought they figured out the market, and it was Axe, on a chance meeting at a golf outing, who told him to get out of it before it was too late. This traumatic experience set Wags’ loyalty to Axe as well as his prejudice against quants. Taylor, knowing  Theo Epstein did win a World Series adoting the same strategies Billy Beane used, will now build their own quant team.

As she prepares breakfast, Wendy tells Chuck to come home late tomorrow night, because his dad will visit the kids. Chuck makes it clear he does not want his dad home and he does not want his dad to see Wendy, either. What does Chuck think Chuck Senior may want to talk to Wendy about? Her one night stand? They finally agree Wendy will take the kids to Senior and then pick them up.

Yet, his dad seems to be the least of Chuck’s headaches this morning. The Attorney General, who believes life was better when people shit outdoors, wants Chuck to prosecute an inmate called Jose Lugo who killed a federal guard in prison. While Jeffcoat may not be a fan of John Rawls whose theory of justice is based on equal basic rights, equality of opportunity, and promoting the interests of the least advantaged members of society, I certainly am.

It turns out Bryan had the Lugo case, went full Gil Grissom there (CSI, anyone?). Lugo who had a pending drug use case was held in MCC because he could not make bail and the guard whom he ended up killing hurt him multiple times to the point of splintered wood in the rectum. I find Billions talking about young people who cannot make bail on drug use charges and billionaires making bail immediately and then complaining about 320 million not being enough to live on in parallel brilliant.

Bryan’s words leave no other option for Chuck other than meeting the MCC warden: His office has always protected her in the cases from inmates about the beds being hard and the food being bad, but he may now choose to slow down on the 400 cases against her unless she kindly cooperates. The only thing the warden needs to do is to tell the true story about Lugo to Randy Kornbluth from the Journal.

While Chuck offered Ira a nice little sinecure, Axe is ready to offer him his life back! He starts the seduction in the line for “recession special” at Gray’s Papaya. All recessions come to an end and Ira’s can, too. Today. (side note: I was lucky to watch them shoot this scene. Go behind the scenes with me here.)

While Ira sees his civil suit against Axe like Dream Team against Cuba in 1992 (136-57) and that Axe can get the hots dogs and shove them up his ass, the billion dollar question Axe asks probably gets him thinking:

“Can you afford to wait that long?”

Axe has found Ira’s weakness: He is in love. A text message “Reconsider, for her sake” brings Ira to the negotiating table.

Axe offers Ira some “recession special”: he is willing to buy Ira’s worthless Ice Juice shares for $30 million through Ionosphere and, hey, the offer comes with a bonus where Ira can choose an engagement ring from Buccellati’s exclusive collection for his fiancee, there and then, on Axe’s tab. The only thing Ira needs to do is withdraw his civil suit, refuse to testify against Axe, and give Axe’s legal team a statement about how Chuck did what he did.

Axe seems to have worked out his deal with the Burke Brothers as well. In their interview with the Eastern District boys, the Burkes claim they do not take orders but only give them and are more than happy to be filed under “masterminds” in Ice Juice sabotage. Eastern District Boys need to swallow it now with this: Ira, who was ready to cooperate at Viand Cafe in the morning has now changed 180 degrees in the afternoon.

In his interview at the Eastern, Ira does not want to talk about Bobby Axelrod because he does not know about his involvement in Ice Juice. Yet, he is more than happy to talk about what he knows: Chuck and Chuck Senior’s involvement in Ice Juice. While Bryan is all ears, Dake cuts the meeting and gets straight with Bryan. Their job is to convict Axelrod. If they let Ira talk, there may be a Brady disclosure where they may have to share their findings favorable to a defendant with the defense. Dake does not stop there and blames Bryan for being disloyal to a man who has been a mentor to him! Bryan is at the end of his rope.

As she goes to pick up the kids, Wendy makes an effort to convince Chuck Senior to reach out to his son but Senior is not giving in. He is the aggrieved party and his son should reach out to him first.

“Your son is the man you made him.”

Too bad she is driving the Maserati tonight because the box full of Chuck’s 3rd place trophies from school Senior is trying to get rid of would not fit in there! As Wendy tells Chuck the conflict between them may be taking its toll on his father, Chuck responds these things happen in Somerset Maugham‘s stories but his father is an ox. He will only speak to him if he comes brokering peace. I trust Wendy’s “black magic” to bring father and son together soon!

Raul, who seems to have done some thinking himself, realizes this evening of billiards coupled with the delicious burger reminding him of that night in Atlanta is to seduce him. And guess what? He does not resist like he did at the shooting range anymore. That said, what is in there for him?

The look on Axe’s face tells me Raul is asking for some personal perks for the first time. Is it Axe’s vulnerability that makes it easier for him to ask? Once Panay convinces the board of trustees at the police pension fund, the new Halls pay a visit to his office to prep the place before Axe shows up to set up the new terms.

Bottomline: There is no such thing as a free lunch for anyone. Panay will trade how Axe asks him to. His 2/20 will now be 1/10 meaning the rest will go to Axe who will need to share it equally with Raul. The payment will be made in cryptocurrency so it cannot be tracked down by the government. Panay will also sign a document indicating his full and willing participation in the deal. Given that the alternative is to say goodbye to his properties, his private plane, and his driver, Panay is in.

While Axe is on a roll convincing people left and right, Chuck is not able to convince Jeffcoat even when the Lugo case makes headlines. Where New York Times sees a victim in Lugo, Jeffcoat and Breitbart news see a murderer. The AG has already fired the warden at the MCC and is advising Chuck not to muzzle but shock collar the dogs that do not stop yapping. Even though I think, after all he has done to his dad and his best friend, Chuck is a piece of shit, I still find it exciting that he and Kate are joining forces to be the Maquisuards!

Bryan abuses his power by having the police look the other way when the Fordham boy in him comes out to punch the Inwood boy, but come on, this guy needs to vent, too! The Burkes are now under arrest for parole violations, and we find out Bryan is a “Carrie Mathison” at home with suspect photos pinned on his personal white board with the two Chucks at the center! I have said it before, I will say it again: Bryan Connerty is the conscience of the show. I really hope he is strong enough not to give in to either Axe or Chuck, and stays the way he is. The world needs more people like him.

As Ira is stealing his now fiancee’s heart all over again with the gorgeous engagement ring, courtesy of Mr. Robert Axelrod, Billions steals my heart all over again with this genius episode ending with a song by a true genius. Leonard Cohen’s “swan song” You Want it Darker sums it all up and gives you chills.

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!

46 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 3: A Generation Too Late”

  1. I will forever remember this episode as “When Axe became Wendy” because his anchoring technique with Raul was, well, genius, and no doubt Axe learned that from the best. She certainly builds killers.

    I LOVED the comic injection at Gray’s Papaya when Axe asked if Ira wanted a juice, “Oh, too soon?” Ouch LOL

    This episode we were informed Axe is a Surgeon, resuscitator, and Tarot card reader 🙂

    How zany was it that Axe proposed (an idea) to Ira with a gift of a ring so that Ira could propose his own?

    And the Bonanno mob reference? Love you Billions! #SonnyBlack

    1. This was one crazy episode – too many moving parts! I think BK has set the expectations by saying this is in his all-time 5 Billions episodes and I am sure it worked for many, but not for me. It was a good episode, all Billions episodes are good, I have never seen any bad one, but this one does not make it to my all-time five 🙂

      As much as I applaud Axe for doing what he has done in such a short time, as I mentioned in my recap, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Even for Axe. Now that he is vulnerable even more so. I do think it is more money than the training he got from Wendy that people could not say no to when Axe asks them to do things he wants them to do. He gave 30 million dollars plus a thousands of dollars worth ring to Ira. He brought a 2.2 billion fund to Panay. He gave half of Panay’s earnings (half of his 1 and 10) to Raul so he agrees to have Panay pitch at the board meeting. Raul explicitly asking Axe what was in there for him in this Panay deal in fact tells me everyone, even those people who you see as friends for years, has the capacity to turn into a vulture when you get vulnerable. Raul knows Axe needs this and he wants his share in the deal. I believe the only person unconditionally loyal to Axe could be Wags.

      I have to say, even though I have no problem with it, and he really did not have a reason to say no, I am still surprised Ira went with Axe’s offer so quickly. Axe has found his weak side: he really wants to marry that woman. And he must be in very much love, so much so that he does not see he wants to marry someone who postpones the marriage because he does not have the money to give her the wedding, the honeymoon, and the ring she wants. Is anyone marrying for love anymore? 🙂 I sometimes think I may be a generation too late into this life 😀

      Finally, I am sorry I missed the “oh, too soon?” at Gray’s Papaya. Hilarious! But it is inevitable you miss a thing or two when you have 25 pages of notes you try to squeeze into 2000 words in the middle of the night. I cannot believe I am up only three hours after I went to bed, but I am 🙂

      1. I’m sorry to being late to the game, but I try not to read your recap until I’ve watch the episode, which was delayed for me (doctor’s appt early Monday).

        You voiced the same feelings I had: does anyone marry for love? Not on this show! And yes, I was expecting an amazing episode, and although it was very good, wasn’t in my top 5 either.

        I did like that it was very fast paced, and a lot of story lines being told at the same time. Oh, and when hot dogs and hamburgers are two stars of the show, I’m all in.

        BTW, I don’t get Bryan being a tough guy at all. Sucker punching someone who’s drunk, when you know that your back-up (the cops) are coming, is what we would call in Brooklyn, a bitch move. But he’s from Fordham, which isn’t that tough to begin with (and I can say that because I’m from Brooklyn!!)

        1. I sometimes feel like Mafee that I am a generation too late into this life in which money gets to define love and happiness more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I love money, too, and but come on, it seems people get married for truffles these days! My husband and I were like Bobby and Lara in a way: we married when we were in our early 20s with no money in our pockets and built our life together. But Bobby and Lara terrify me when they put aside their convo about their sad separation to talk assets! Who knows maybe the relationships change when there is so much money around… I am glad I have the life I do. That said, I still think there may be more than meets the eye there with Bobby and Lara. We will wait and see!

          I don’t think that Bryan would never do it in normal circumstances. He was drunk and he told McKayla why he did what he did: He just wanted to feel like he did something: Punched a jerk. He feels so trapped in this case! But I think he will go ahead examining Chuck’s involvement more closely. Who knows maybe he will be the savior we have been waiting for to save Axe? 😀 My only worry is whether it is somehow possible for Chuck to use Bryan abusing his power with punching Burke brothers against him to stain his record. Because Chuck will find out that Bryan is chasing him soon and he needs to take precautions.

          Can’t wait for more!

  2. I am totally convinced that the Axelrod marriage is not breaking up. It is all for show and a way to transfer money that the government can’t get. Maybe this is what I hope for but I don’t think the writer’s do anything without a reason. I like to think that at the end of last season when Axe made bail and arrived at his darkened home that Lara was still awake. How could she go to sleep – her whole world was falling apart. I would think in Lara’s mind this is so much bigger than a lie or Wendy being able to give Axe something that he couldn’t get from Lara. Of course those things bother her and need to be worked on but it’s clear that Lara has become very used to the lifestyle provided by Axe – her speech to Lily made that pretty clear. So I think after lots of discussions that night Axe was able to propose the idea of a separation that we now see. As I said, maybe I’m way off base but I just don’t buy it.

    One more thought – after last week’s episode about favors and debts being paid, do you think that Chuck now feels that Bryan is in his debt? He gave him the Axelrod case as a favor and when Bryan comes after Chuck it will be debt paying time. It may be a bit of a stretch because Bryan hasn’t broken any laws to receive his favor but that wouldn’t stop Chuck!

    1. I am completely with you, Nancy, about the Axelrod marriage! I cannot say Lara is certainly involved in it, but I do not find it believable that the man who worked so hard to get Wendy back is doing nothing to pursue his wife but going ahead with finalizing the separation. It is quite possible the couple promised each other that night Axe made bail that they would act like they were separating even when they are alone in a room or in an apartment to play it extremely safe so everybody around them would believe the separation is real. And now that you are saying it, I am dying to hear the conversations both couples had that night Axe made bail. We sort of know Chuck and Wendy talked about her short, but we have not heard a word about the conversation Axe and Lara had. There may be a reason for that 😀

      I think Chuck is constantly thinking Bryan is in his debt but I think he also knows he cannot completely own him. Especially Chuck sending him to the Eastern District to become the prosecutor of the Axelrod case should be written in Chuck’s book as a HUGE favor to Connerty 🙂 I think though Chuck does not think of the Lugo case as a favor. Chuck has his own political prospects and he probably does not want to prosecute a case where he is trying to punish someone who, as Bryan points out, is a member of the society they are supposed to protect.

      If he needs to, could Chuck find out that Bryan punched one of the Burke brothers and use it against him – it probably counts towards abuse of power on Bryan’s side. I mean, this show does not use any scene for nothing, and of course the punch was all about the frustration Bryan has been going through, but…who knows?

    1. Hi Connie, sorry about this. I talked to the company managing the comments on wordpress and they checked it, and concluded the problem is not on our side. If the problem persists, please send me your comment in an email and I will post it on the blog.

      1. Finally! A Season 3 episode I love! Sorry Damianista, I know our tastes are different. My favorite so this season because there was more Axe and less Wendy. I didn’t hear the word “divorce” in the office scene with Lara signing but I could have easily missed it. I do agree that there is more going on there that we do not yet know.

        I usually watch for glimpses of other roles Damian has played in what he is currently portraying. When Axe closes the door and is behind Ira in the jewelry store scene, I see “Dick Winters” with an expression Damian used with Nixon in one of the BOB episodes. Have forgotten the episode number but it was when Nixon returns to their quarters from his 3rd jump. Just for an instant it was a younger DL. BTW I have long thought they have aged him in Billions compared to photos we see of him about either in London or the States.

        1. It is great you find something to love about the episode, Connie! Neither Lara nor Wendy had presence in this particular episode while I felt like Billions has become more of an ensemble act than ever. I see both Taylor and Bryan moving to center stage in the last two episodes.

          You are right, they did not mention “divorce” in the meeting but Lara said the documents were saying their marriage was broken irretrievably so I do not know if a separation agreement is equivalent to a divorce. I still think there is more going on there than meets the eye.

          Ha! Now that I am thinking BoB was 18 years ago. OMG! I agree with you that Damian looks older than his years in Billions at times. I do not know if they deliberately do it, or the make-up is not flattering for some reason. I think they are still putting a bit too much make-up on him. Yes, he is quite pale, but he is not that pale. That said, I of course have no idea what kind of make-up is required to film in certain lighting, etc. Otherwise, I think the ginger prince is aging well 😀

          1. “I see both Taylor and Bryan moving to center stage in the last two episodes.” <--this gave me an aha moment. There's only so much Axe vs. Chuck head-to-head cat and mouse that can go on, back and forth. Now, it's their avatars. Bryan for Chuck's camp and Taylor for Axe's camp. A way to keep the battle going in different uniforms.

          2. Ha! That is a brilliant point! Now that Taylor has become a true doppelganger, should we expect Bryan to get more Chuck-like, too? I hope not!

        2. Just watched Malin Akerman on Build NY not 10 minutes ago. Something interesting she said about Lara and Axe’s marriage: The writers didn’t know which way they were going with it either, whether stay together or divorce, so the scenes are shot with purposeful ambiguity until they decided.

          1. Ha! This means whatever direction they choose to go eventually, we are right getting quite ambiguous signals about the Axelrods!

  3. I’m glad to see Ira getting more screen time. We see less of Wags this year though and I wish that was not the case. Also, I’m wondering if the Sandicot issue is over or will that be revisited at some point? Episode 3 seemed like Axe was much too busy to bother with any chicks visiting his apartment!

      1. We saw Black Jack Foley in the season premiere saying he is still backing Chuck for the gubernatorial elections. And one of the pictures from upcoming episodes that Gingersnap posted on had him sit with Wendy. I think the campaign is on!

  4. Whew this show is a lot of work! Question – what was the deal with the Taylor/Magee retainer scene. I didn’t catch that at all.
    My prediction is: the Axelrods will reunite & this is not a ploy.
    I don’t think Raul is a vulture. He must be compensated; what Bobby’s asking him to do is Highly Illegal. Life ruining.
    Gingersnap, I’m not sure that either “avatar “ can really be said to be in their player’s camp.

    1. Where Mafee says effort is not his problem and Taylor tells him they are keeping him? I think Taylor was being a friend and telling him that he does not need to be concerned about being fired/replaced. I don’t know if Mafee will be in the team but it seems Taylor will build their own “quant” team now.

      Gingersnap just commented on this thread that Malin Akerman said in a recent interview that the writers did not know which direction they would go at the beginning of the season so they shot some scenes leaving a lot of ambiguity. So it seems where they will end up is still up in the air. But I also think they will reunite.

      I don’t think anyone could ask the king Bobby Axelrod for a share of the perks. The real prize is Axe makes a lot of money for them who give their money to him to invest and, in Raul’s case, he is compensated better by the board of trustees when better returns come in for the fund. In this particular case, I think he took advantage of Axe’s vulnerability. At least, the way Axe looks at Raul when he asks about his share in this shows me Raul never asked for something like that before.

      1. Re Mafee: yes I get that but the dialogue that puzzles me is
        T – Are you trying to show me something by working this late?
        M – No, by this. (He pushes a large red dental retainer out of his mouth) Efforts never been my problem.
        I don’t get the bit with the retainer.

        1. I took it to mean this: a reference to Taylor asking if he’s ready, suited up, like in football. Got his chin strap? check. Got his mouth guard in? check. The football team that always punted….they were strategic and in it to win it. He’s proving just that. He’s bringing his A-game.

          1. Thank you! There is no way I would be able to put those two together. It is referring to their earlier conversation about football.

  5. Yes, I’m watching Homeland. Did you catch that nanosecond of Brody? Carrie should get an award for being one of TV’s worse mothers.

    1. Ha! THAT should be the reason for NotLinda’s “Oh my god!” I know JaniaJania and Lady Trader are watching the show and they told me about Carrie when we had a little Fan Fun summit last Saturday in New York City. I don’t do weekly viewing except for Billions. I’ll watch Homeland when the season ends.

    2. It was heart stopping! I just watched it. Quinn got more screen time but he died a year ago. Carrie is a consistent character. She doesn’t do people well. Hope I can get to sleep. Crazy

    3. ” Carrie should get an award for being one of TV’s worse mothers.” Ah ah yes, I didn’t catch up last night ep, but last week episode, omg poor Frannie.

      Does it get worst in the last episode ? How can things could get worse !?

      1. Yes it gets worse but what an exciting hour of television! As Carrie ran down the hospital corridor I recognized the sound of the crowd chanting as Brody died in Tehran. Then to see him, then Ayan and Quinn. Best Homeland in a long time.
        However this is a DL blog so enough of that. Do you think Damian collects a residual for that nanosecond? 🙂

  6. Great recap as always!

    I understand what you’re saying about Bryan being the conscience of the show, but I think what he really embodies is the “liberal” viewpoint as its been historically defined. And that doesn’t necessarily always jive up to being the most conscientious. Let’s not forget that Bryan has been the guy to sleep with three of his co-workers. The FBI gal, then Kate, and now the flight attendant turned law student. Sure, he was a perfect gentleman with them all, but still, at least the FBI woman (sorry I never remember her name) and, especially Kate are close co-workers. So it’s a touchy thing. And when he punches out the Inwood cousin, he does so as a ploy to get him and his brother arrested, to give him more leverage over getting them to talk. Of course, the guys are douchebags, but still, what Bryan did was use his power and police contact to get at them. Something that we’d call anyone else a jerk for doing.

    The brilliant thing about this show (and most projects Damian chooses) is that not one character is fully good nor fully bad, even in a world that is increasingly split that way.

    1. Thank you <3

      I don’t think Bryan would ever do what he did to "Inwood cousin" under normal circumstances. He was drunk and he told McKayla why he did what he did: He just wanted to feel like he did something. He is the prosecutor in the Axelrod case and he is extremely trapped. Damian has said in a recent interview Bryan Connerty is such a lonely voice on Billions, he is desperately trying to do the right thing and no one seems to care. I completely agree but I think some will pay attention when he starts pursuing Chuck 🙂

      Bryan is the conscience of the show in my personal opinion so it is certainly subjective. I love it when Bryan says we need to protect people like Jose Lugo. Yes we should protect them not the ones like Bobby Axelrod who commit white collar crime or government employees like Chuck Rhoades that abuse their position and get away with it. I know. Now I get political but yes this show makes you get the worldview out. It is inevitable. I will not reveal it here but I already told you about what my dream ending to the show would be... and I also know it will never happen since it never happens in real life. Bryan looks like a real decent guy in a world that is getting more and more black and white every single day.

      Honestly, I never thought about Bryan sleeping with close co-workers. It does not bother me since he did not have power over any of them or force them into anything. FBI woman's name is Terri. I understand it may be frowned upon when you are colleagues (they sometimes have you transfer to a different office so you are not in the same office with your significant other because of conflict of interest) but it is not a crime.

      1. What Bryan did was premeditated. He got the police to come at just the right time. So the alcohol was just to steel himself up to do what he was planning to do. He didn’t do what he did because he was drunk. Anyway, it’s not murder, but still not a “hero” move. Yes, he’s trapped. They all are!

        Of course Bryan would want to protect Jose Lugo, that goes without saying, and he wants to get Axe, and now he wants to get Chuck. No one is questioning his motives. Just his methods. In this episode he’s adjusting his methods to what will work. He’s giving up being a nice guy all the time. And he had to take that stiff drink to get the liquid courage to do it. He is a good guy having to do bad things. Thus, not the idealized version of the heroic fighter for all that’s right and good ultimately saving the day. And maybe he has more in common with Chuck than he would ever admit.

        1. Then we disagree about him. And I cannot believe for a minute Axe or Chuck are trapped in any way. They asked for everything that happened to them. I am not saying Bryan may not have more in common with Chuck, maybe he does, maybe he will even get to the dark side at some point, I do not know. But at the moment he is my ONLY hope in Billions. Getting those brothers into jail may be the only way to make them talk. It may not be the right thing to do, you are right, but then again it may be the only way to get them talking because everybody knows they are guilty, and everybody knows Axe is paying for their lawyer. That said, I think they will probably not talk even if they get life in prison! I don’t think Bryan has a lot of options given that Dake and Chuck do everything to get in his way to find the truth. And he has to do something to get to the truth. He is trying his best to do that and I am rooting for him this season. I really REALLY hope he does not give in to the system which may well happen…

        2. Agree about Bryan. You know, both Chuck and Axe started out adjusting their methods to get what they want, to will a way to make something work in their favor, no matter what it took. They got good at it. Repeatedly. Are the writers showing us through Bryan’s character how a cub is nurtured/bred into a full blown Lion? Showing us that it’s not so black and white how one becomes…tainted and tarnished? Is this the beginning of a slippery slope for Bryan? Bryan wants to be good, to do the right thing. Are the writers showing us how a conscientious Bryan (superego) slips into the id? Again, I’m back at the Freudian model.

          1. Since the writers can do anything with Bryan, I do not know where they will take him next. And because I know THAT, I am hoping he will not change. If he does, there is no hope! But maybe that is what the writers want to show this season: That we are on a ride to the apocalypse at 150 mph.

            Since Chuck will find out Bryan is pursuing him, I am pretty sure he will try to find something to make him stop — and maybe he will be able to stop him. One possibility for Bryan is to work with Bobby to get Chuck and turn into a lion! Or not. Anything is possible.

            You probably need to be in that gray area if you want to get what you want no matter what. Loopholes. Violations. More. I find it sick. You simply can’t get everything you want. And I think everyone is able to use restraint to live within the law. Nobody is above the law and those who see themselves above it have to face the consequences.

          2. Exactly. He’s getting sucked into everything. It’s not always a choice to be “bad”. Sometimes it’s an inevitability, given the environment.

  7. Hi everyone. I’m coming late to the game. I struggled with this episode. Great post D. and great follow up insights. It helped me a lot.

    I loved the “too soon” comment. I took the mouth guard to say MaFee is just so stressed. Didn’t link it to sports at the time. I also don’t think Axe and Lara are over.

    Looking forward to catching up with Billions this weekend and FanFun. What would we all do without it? I’ll write something of substance when my brain stops spinning.

    1. Thank you, Joyce! We missed you! <3 I didn't get it that Mafee's mouthguard was about sports, either... Gingersnap linked it to the former sports reference! Yes, yes, please catch up over the weekend and let's watch it together!

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