Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 5: Flaw in the Death Star

I may find the way they operate appalling, but it is impossible not to applaud Axe and Chuck for eliminating a lot of risk in the first four episodes. Chuck has been able to convince Dake to cover up Wendy’s Ice Juice short,  change the judge in the Axelrod case and keep his father quiet about his involvement in Ice Juice. Axe has given an even better performance by keeping Danny Margolis and the Burke Brothers quiet on his side, having Maria Gonzalez deported, and giving Ira his life back along with an engagement ring from Buccellati’s exclusive collection. We now find the two men going after the loyalty of the same man simultaneously.

Dr. Gilbert is the man of the hour.

While Axe is ready for his trip to Silicon Valley, the new Halls deliver news big enough to keep him in New York. The Eastern District has grilled every doctor Axe has been or donated to including Dr. Gilbert. This reminds Axe that the good doctor may still have the slide he told him to get rid of once he verified with him that the bacteria they put in Ice Juice would not be fatally hurting anyone. Given Axe is saying his line of business is about eliminating risk, I highly recommend him to hire our own Gingersnap as a personal consultant 😀 Gingersnap said the day after Season 2 Episode 11 Golden Frog Time that Axe should not have left that slide with Dr. Gilbert and it would come back and bite him in the ass. Kudos!

Axe now has no other option but cancelling his trip and sending his CIO in his stead to meet Langstraat in the Bay Area. It is hilarious that Axe tells Langstraat that Taylor is a huge fan of his work while Taylor tells Axe Venture Capitalists are nothing but hedge-funders that can quote the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

While Bryan seems to have seen dozens of doctors with ties to Axe, he still has not been able to pinpoint the one that may have helped develop the bacteria. Dake is frustrated failure has now become a familiar refrain with Bryan and hopes it does not become his anthem.

Chuck wakes Wendy up in the middle of the night as he gets a call from Dake about the doctor situation: Chuck cannot unsee what he saw when he had sneaked into Wendy’s laptop in Season 1 Episode 11 Magical Thinking: He knows Axe convinced a doctor not to tell Donnie about the experimental drug trials that could have given him another few months and one last Christmas with his family. Chances are, this could be the doctor that has helped Axe with the toxin in Ice Juice. Chuck makes it clear that he is determined, regardless what Wendy tells him to do, visit Walter, Donnie’s husband.

It is obvious that, according to Walter, Chuck is the man who made his husband’s last months a living hell. He does not shake hands with Chuck, and when the latter tells him about how Axe, in cooperation with Donnie’s oncologist, stole Donnie’s Christmas, Walter responds the doctor was as compassionate as he could be. He did not only attend Donnie’s funeral but also he was one of the first 15 people that contributed to the Donnie Caan Success Academy, a charter school Walter is now establishing in Donnie’s memory. Chuck expresses his sincerest apologies and leaves with all the information he needs: It takes one of his minions to look at the charter school’s list of investors to identify the doctor!

Axe and his “ninjas” find Dr. Gilbert in Fort Tryon Park as he is enjoying his favorite pastime: bird photography. The doctor says he has got rid of the slide per Axe’s instructions, but Axe does not believe that anyone would have a free get-out-of-jail card and throw it away. The slide has Axe’s fingerprints and even if the toxin goes away, the fingerprints may stay for years, if refrigerated. And even though Orrin Bach advises they may go for a chain of custody argument claiming Axe’s fingerprints could have been taken off a glass of Pappy and transferred, the likelihood of such an event is not more than that of “lightning striking powerball winner.” Axe needs to buy the doctor right away.

Axe needs to buy the doctor right away but guess what Dr. Gilbert is not interested. It turns out he has not used any of the donations from Axe for personal expenses and he and his family are living a frugal life with little debt. A man that cannot be bought is a new concept for Axe and while he finds it unsettling I find Axe hilarious! And I love how the show contrasts Ira and Dr. Gilbert: While Ira was not able to keep his life in track with the “sinecure” Chuck offered him, all Dr. Gilbert wants to do is to do his research and take bird photos. A good old academic, I have lots of them around me 🙂

So the new Halls apply pressure elsewhere trying to have a read of the doctor: His grant being reviewed and the lease on his lab being questioned out of blue forces Dr. Gilbert to meet with Axe and give him his side of the story: And while his story of burning the slide in a kiln, exactly like the Russians got rid of thousands of doping samples, sounds plausible, neither Axe nor I believe him when he swears on his Hippocratic oath!

Well, would you?

By the way, it is hilarious that Hall was “Iceland” on Axe’s phone, and the New Halls are “Greenland.” 😀

While Axe gets to meet with Dr. Gilbert in Fort Tyron Park, Chuck chooses to meet him in Central Park at the beautiful Bethesda Fountain. Chuck understands the doctor may not want to get on the stand, and guess what, if there is physical evidence that can speak for him, then he does not need to.

The moment Dr. Gilbert comes back to ask for $200M to have a better life for himself and his family, Axe knows he is now fucked. What he does not know is that the slide is now in Wendy’s refrigerator!

Bryan, who has been dreaming even during sex about the jury giving a guilty verdict for Axe in the courtroom, is now thinking that vision is slipping away from him exactly like his case. McKayla, who is about to board on Spartan-Ives private jet with the new CEO, gives him an idea as Bryan talks about how the mighty tumble:

“One day your initials are on the private jet, next you’re in jail.”

“And the next day you’re out.”

How come Lawrence Boyd is not in jail?

Bryan warns Kate about how Chuck’s fucked-up business may take the SDNY down if she does not do anything about it. What Bryan does not see is Kate is to Chuck what Taylor is to Axe: A true protégé. Chuck is right that Kate has made up her mind about what side she is on when she goes to see Chuck about Bryan asking about how come Boyd, given he is not Papillon, is out of jail. And, lucky her, Rhoades Airlines appreciates and rewards their loyal customers 😀

Chuck tells Boyd he needs to give him a few “misbehaving moneylenders” so his release looks like a case of “active cooperation” only to receive a list of conditions from him: Boyd needs his passport, unrestricted travel rights and more importantly his boat, deemed legally forfeit by the government, so he can travel to Antibe this summer! While Kate, as the Chief of Crim, gets a judge to keep Boyd’s release papers under seal, Karl Allard, who knows his Sonny Crockett (I had a huge crush on Don Johnson in Miami Vice) well, recommends “old empty auction play” in which a straw buyer can get the boat very cheaply . Boyd gets his boat back and might as well jump where as Allard and Kate put the final touches on their joint project by “massaging” the dates on the papers.

Poor Bryan. He is always a step behind.

When Bryan is finally able to have the appeal court grant his motion to see Boyd’s release papers, it is already too late. As he looks at the documents, Bryan realizes they are all cooked. And when he meets Boyd at The Lotos Club he understands the SDNY visited Boyd way before he did.

I am rooting for Bryan not only because I believe in justice as much as he does, but also because he is very lonely in his search for it. I genuinely think Bryan may lose his belief in the justice system by the end of the season, go to the other side and become a lion! 😀

And speaking of lion, here is a recent Twitter exchange I have had with THE lion about a week ago.

Well, even though they do not start off on the right foot, Taylor and Oscar bond over some Star Wars love: Taylor points out the Flaw in the Death Star to a young start-up guy pitching  traceable user identity using the human voice and Oscar gets the reference as soon as Taylor mentions “the thermal exhaust port.” While Taylor regretfully misses the opportunity to have dinner at State Bird Provisions because they had other plans for the night, I was lucky to have dinner there with a wonderful friend of mine after the two of us made a tribute video to Brody and Carrie after Homeland Season 3. As Charlie Crews would agree, everything is connected!

Well, you never know what turns people on, do you? One thing leads to another when Taylor and Oscar bump into each other at a round of Netrunner, a card game depicting cyberspace between a global mega-corporation (the Corp) and a hacker (the Runner) 😀 I loved it that they loved each other’s brains before they loved each other’s bodies. And I want that VPI Prime Signature turntable!

Billions has been using hilarious subplots this season and the actors are killing it. We now find Dollar Bill using his special methods that computers cannot use for research: a bag of money along with a whistleblower protection for the scientist at Mendham Pharmeceuticals! The company is pure evil like Dr. Mengele creating tumors in rabbits and such even though they know the drug they have developed is not working. Dollar Bill is not uncertain it is time to short the company and blow the whistle. Taylor, having studied Agrippa, knows why Bill is doing what he is doing, and will only approve if the compliance gives the green light.

But Spyros, who describes himself  as “grinder, tamper, knock box, quality, and integrity” in terms of his Rocket Giotto espresso machine, tells Bill he will not let this caca de vaca happen! Not even Bill repackaging the trade by longing the company like a Hail Mary Pass, and hedging it against credit default swaps, a type of insurance for non-payment convinces the compliance, works. As Spyros believes he is there to keep everyone out of prison, Bill is ready to rent him out for a scoop of potatoes should they be in prison.

Wendy diagnoses that Spyros and Bill have irreconcilable differences: For one, Spyros has never married but did couples therapy with three separated women while Bill is married to two women and never did couples therapy! Dr. Mojo would recommend break up should they be a couple but given that they are like in No Exit, Sartre’s existentialist play about three people being locked into a room together for eternity, they have to suck it up and focus on goals.

Neither Dollar Bill pulling his pants off for a “Strip or Retire” nor Spyros threatening to turn Bill’s trades in do the trick. Axe tells Bill to pull his pants up and get his shit together, while he dines and wines Spyros at Daniel of all places with Daniel Boulud, the owner and the executive chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant, making a cameo! As Axe calls him the favorite son, Spyros agrees to use his distinguished career to protect his new family as well as to keep his Porsche 😀 Yet, we do not get to hear the one thing Spyros says he needs…

Bill, who proves once again he is the cheapest man in America by not paying for his newspaper, will now take his creative trading to Victor Mateo’s Fund and will take a page from Otis Redding songbook to publicly apologize to Spyros… followed by some sweet revenge! Dollar Bill will be Dollar Bill no matter what and it is hilarious to notice he is doing street parking while Spyros does valet! The look on Spyros face as Bill hits his Porsche again and again and again is priceless and I wonder whether he will tell “dad” 😀

While we witness water and oil clashing in this episode, I believe we will get to see nitrogen and glycerol come together and, thanks to Wendy’s black magic, not make a fire. I believe The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen may be a messenger of what is coming our way…

Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him”

If Wendy coming to Wags to ask for the “bottle” is not the depiction of her deep frustration, what is? And her frustration is less about the two “idiots” she just had in her office but about her two favorite lost boys: Axe and Chuck.

We find out Chuck was in private practice when Wendy started dating him, and Axe and Chuck liked each other plenty. She misses those days, and Chuck is right that her giving all of herself to both of them is not sustainable. That is why I think Wendy, as she hinted in this episode, will bring her two boys together for a a kiss and make up session. It may be a stretch but I am giggling as I imagine Axe and Chuck sitting on a couch, couple therapy style 😀

Now that Axe has Ira and Chuck has Dr. Gilbert in their pockets, isn’t it time to put aside the measuring tape and cooperate? I imagine Wendy can orchestrate the perfect operation in which she makes the boys believe they are doing this in the name of saving the woman to whom both owe a great deal. This is pure speculation and I may be way off but, hey, this is my dream storyline! And hats off, one more time, to the brilliant writers for creating and the wonderful cast for bringing this awesomeness to life for us.

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!

56 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 5: Flaw in the Death Star”

  1. That was one of the most fun hours of television I have enjoyed in a long time. I can’t wait to watch it again. And I love how they are introducing these backstories – I only wish they go to a visual flashback rather than just having them tell about it.

    1. Action-packed, fast-paced, and very dense episode with a lot of moving parts! I love the back stories, too, but I would personally avoid from visual back stories where actors need to look 15-20 years younger.

  2. Thank you for such detailed recap. I actually read it twice. I’m going to re-watch the episode again, and I’ve read almost every recap as well.

    I must be missing something, but I was underwhelmed with this episode. Aside from Fudgey the Whale and Van Halen, I did not get most of the references, so I felt kind of lost.

    I think I know this show pretty well, and this was the first time I had trouble trying to understand why things were happening.

    And, for as glad I am that the episode showed Taylor’s “human” side, I just did not feel any chemistry between them and Oscar. There is more chemistry between Taylor and Mafee.

    I hate feeling this way about Billions, since I truly love the show. Help me out! What am I missing?

    PS: I had a Don Johnson Poster on my wall, so yes, I do love me some Sonny Crockett!

    1. Thank you – if my recap helps a bit to clarify what is going on, I would just say mission accomplished 😀

      I thought this was an action-packed, fast-paced, dense episode with a lot of moving parts! Is it possible that you were underwhelmed because there was not much fin talk in the episode? Dollar Bill was trying to pull the pharmaceutical trade but it was more about a hilarious side plot than all else. I was looking forward to the doctor story since the manager at Ice Juice told Bryan and Dake that he was told a doctor was consulted about the bacteria so I really enjoyed the fact that both Axe and Chuck were going after him and guess what this man cannot be bought with money. A new concept for Axe! I have found it hilarious! I also enjoyed, as much as I am rooting for Bryan, how the brains at the SDNY office came together to beat Bryan to Boyd and Spartan-Ives. Finally, I loved the chemistry between Taylor and Oscar and the way they were turned on by a Star Wars conversation and a round of Netrunner! I think they understand each other better than anyone would understand them. Besides, Taylor may have felt better to feel more human than ever after last episode’s events. I wonder if they would give Oscar a call 🙂 By the way, the show feels more and more like an ensemble one this season with the leads not having necessarily more screen time than the so-called supporting characters.

      We talked about the cultural references many times here before. Some episodes have them more than the others and it eventually comes to where your interests lie determining if the references resonate with you or not 🙂 Haha who did not have a Don Johnson poster on her wall in the late 1980s? Him and his Miami Vice suits with rolled up sleeves!

      ps. I deliberately don’t read any recaps so I have no idea if they converge or diverge in their take on the episode.

      1. I think you are exactly right about the fin-speak. There wasn’t much for me to chew on. I’m not really into anything that goes on at either the SDNY or EDNY and so I lost interest in that story line.

        I had no idea what Taylor and Oscar were talking about most of the time, so I was lost there. I don’t like Star Wars, and I have never heard of Netrunner.

        And I know Dr. Gilbert is important, but it wasn’t a surprise he kept the slide, or sided with Chuck. I just didn’t feel any intensity or “edge of your seat” story telling this week.
        It felt like celery in your tuna salad – just filler.

        1. I find Dr. Gilbert’s storyline quite interesting because he is not a man who is out there to make millions of dollars. He just wants to do his research and take pictures of birds. A regular academic, they self-select themselves into that kind of life, I have lots of them around me 😀 And this is a NEW concept for Axe. He finds this unsettling and I find Axe hilarious! I really love how the show contrasts Ira and Dr. Gilbert in terms of their life styles and preferences. While Ira needed millions to keep his life style, all Dr. Gilbert needs is his grant and his camera.

          I didn’t know what Netrunner was, either; but it was obvious it was a game for geeks. Who knew people could get turned on playing a round of Netrunner? 😀

      2. My overwhelming concern, is that I’m not hearing any Emmy buzz. Billions is the best show on television, and yet it’s not coming up on “predictor blogs.” This show should get nominations in every category!!

        1. Cathy – I totally agree with you. I can see how the first season flew under the radar but the second season should have received at least a couple nominations. With this third season, we should be seeing writing noms for Koppleman and Levien, best actor noms for Giamatti and Lewis, Supp Actor Nom for Dillon – all of those at the very least. Some of the nominations the Emmys have are so so tired – this show is a breath of fresh air I don’t see how the Emmy people can ignore it.

          1. Hopefully with no GoT in the mix this season, Billions will get the recognition it truly deserves.

        2. I totally agree the show deserves much more appreciation! That said, for example, The Wire, one of the best things that happened to TV, and certainly a critics’ pick like Billions is, has not received any awards, either. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this season and beyond 🙂

  3. Ah Lady Trader, again we agree on at least a minor issue. I will watch it again but cannot off hand think of any reference I got right away. In fact I am quite weary of so many of them during an episode and cannot help but wonder if people who are really in the high finance world actually converse like that. Alas, as I have said before, I am afraid much of my problem is generational. While i certainly know who Don Johnson is, in the late 1980’s I was much more concerned about how hubby and I could afford to get the third daughter through college! At least in this episode there was a little less of Wendy and I was happy to see a bit of emotion play across Taylor’s face, a rarity indeed. Now, where is Lara? I also want more Wags; I never get enough of the interactions with him and Axe. No matter how obnoxious, Spyros is fun and that actor, I never remember his name, gives us some comic relief in a different way than say Mafee.

    1. Connie, you have asked the billion dollar question: Where is Lara? It seems her storyline did not fit with the rest of it that we have not seen her in the last two episodes!

      I don’t think either the people in high finance or law speak like that at all. The show creators have said several times that this is the way they love writing dialogue. They love referring to pop culture from movies to sports to politics to literature as well as writing song lyrics or movie quotes into dialogue.

      I never thought I would ever say that but I am a bit in love with Spyros – Stephen Kunken is a BRILLIANT actor and this season lets him take it all out for us.

    2. Hi Connie,
      No, no one in high finance speaks that way. At least not anyone I’ve been around.
      And we also agree on another point – more Wags!

    3. Oops! Sorry!. That should have been the late 1980’s Even I wasn’t around in the 1880’s! Oh and a bit OT on this episode, but did anyone listen to the whole podcast from Damian’s interview with Willie Geist? I loved the bit about him having a spirit animal. Never have heard him mention that in all these years of interviews but could easily have missed it. Of course I am now dying to find out what those animals were for his other roles.

    4. I completely agree, just too many references, the writers are walking on the edge of being a nerd and being completely pretentious. think of it as salt, salt is necessary, too much if it kills the dish. I think that is exactly what they are doing with their refs.

  4. I agree with Lady Trader and Connie we need more Wags here! More Axe and Wags together <3.
    Lara is nowhere I don't really mind cause I don't find her backstory that interesting, we will see her soon but I'm not in a hurry :D.

    About Taylor and Solar farm Guy / StartUp nation guy , ok those two are fans of Star Wars, of board games etc, they are g33ks but putting them to bed together so quickly that was very unexecpected. Must be the Star wars magic ?(no.)
    I'm considering myself a geek, but I will be in Sf for a few days I'll probably won't go to a board game gathering. It so cliché sorry. The writers must have some sub plot for later about this unexecpected connexion between those two.

    I liked it when Chuck asked to Wendy how this situation between Axe and Chuck can sustained, she answered truthfully it can't. Wendy seems very tired, honestly I don't know how she does it :D.

    Dollar "cheap" Bill and Spyros quarrel for daddy's approval that was very funny, I think it's the highlight of this episode.

    Brian I'm with you, I hope at some point you'll manage to get to some evidences before anyone else, finger crossed, but as you said Damianista he may go to the dark side (which one that's the question ?)

    Thank you for you review, it always helps me to clarify some points.
    And finaly , thank you very much just for mentionning Charlie Crews, cause Charlie Crews is the best ahah 😀

    1. Thank you so much for reading! If I’m able to clarify a few points here and there then my day is made! <3

      I have never been to a geek game party and I guess these events could even be by invitation only, etc --- for some high level players where they can also hook up. Maybe a geek's tinder kind of thing 🙂 I loved it that they were turned on by their bonding over Star Wars conversation and a round of Netrunner! Oscar seems to bring some mellowness to Billions and their evening together has made Taylor feel more human than ever. I wonder if this new relationship will make Taylor have a dilemma with their brain and heart being at different places at some point in the season.

      I feel the same about Lara. I am pretty sure the writers can come up with an interesting new story line about her but honestly I cannot see anything past the Axelrod separation at the moment: whether it is real or not.

      Wendy seems to be inspired by the couples therapy she has given to Bill and Spyros, and I would not be surprised at all if she wanted to have Axe and Chuck sit on a couch, too! 😀 The only way Wendy supporting them both is sustainable is if the two of them cooperate a bit to get themselves out of the big pile of shit they are in. I am rooting for an Axe - Chuck scene soon --- we haven't seen them together this season at all.

      I'd say if Bryan gets to the dark side he will probably be a lawyer for those he is prosecuting today. I don't think he will be serving Chuck. But again who knows?

  5. You do an amazing job of not only recapping the episode but covering all the nuance references that I either I miss or do not get until read on the blog.

    There is much in my head as I try and go through this episode. Axe represents to me the fantasy projection of my alter ego. He is a man who believes going through life with a conscience is like driving a car with your foot on the brake-It just slows you down. Chuck represents the part of the human psyche that can rationalize whatever bad/immoral thing he does because he is doing it for a “greater good.” Bryan, poor Bryan is the good. The person who truly wants to do what is right but keeps getting is teeth kicked in from Axe and Chuck. We have the classic Clint Eastwood’s the Good (Bryan), the Bad (Axe) and the Ugly (Chuck).

    Bryan confrontation with Boyd was a wonderful standoff scene. Boyd’s comment about “The Night Owl Case” and asking if he wanted to wanted to tear it all down reference that wonderful noir movie L..A. Confidential. I enjoyed that scene.

    I never believed the episode where Axe left the slide (evidence) behind. No street smart guy like Axe would allow that to happen. I felt that there was a future story in that move.

    I wondered when Walter gave Chuck that information inadvertently (?) or did he really had mean to give him the name? I felt he couldn’t be so naïve. However, looking at Walter’s face his look showed he didn’t know what he just handed Chuck. I have a tendency to read too much into characters and events. 😉

    I like Kate’s loyalty to Chuck and that Chuck is a man who rewards takes care of his people.

    I understood the attraction that developed with Taylor over a movie reference and playing Netrunner (which I had no idea what is was until reading it here, so thank you). There are moments with someone that something is shared that the chemistry clicks and both of you are off and running. I felt their passion building when they got home and began taking their clothes off but lost it for them when they made love. I felt their love making lack passion and came off as too controlled and clinical. But was happy to see Taylor hug him, because that handshake thing after sharing intimate moments was too much to watch.

    I did miss not seeing much of Wags. As for The “good” Doctor, who had thoughts of double dealing Axe from the beginning, I am hoping he gets his….

    Finally, I come to that weasel Spyros. I was SO happy to see Dollar Bill ram his car again and again and the look on Spyros was like MasterCard-Priceless. I only wish Dollar Bill would have pinned him against the wall (not kill him) as a metaphor to show that he is powerless to stop the gladiator Dollar Bill.

    Bravo on an amazing job!

    1. Your comment has certainly made my day along with a few others. If I am doing a decent job covering the episode then it’s all worth it! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and please keep your feedback coming. The more the merrier!

      Haha I love the way you describe Axe and Chuck, and in particular how conscience in life may be the brake in the car. WOW. Great analogy! Ahhhh poor Bryan indeed. I am rooting for him this season. I know he will do whatever it takes to bring justice but you are right that they will eat him alive and I think he may be looking for a job at some point this season. Assuming that both Axe and Chuck will save their asses, I don’t see Chuck can have him back at the SDNY after this. I wonder if Bryan may end up being on Team Axe. Orrin Bach has been inviting him to his team for a while now.

      Our own Gingersnap said that “slide” would come back and bite Axe in the ass, too! Kudos to you both! That is why it was hilarious when Axe told the doctor his line of business is all about eliminating risk. Why didn’t you eliminate it when you had the chance, man? 😀 I still think the scene where he tells the doctor to get rid of the slide is plausible though, because Axe was sloppy last season. His anger half-blinded him that he made quite a few mistakes on the way.

      I think Walter did not even think that Chuck would go and look into the charter school’s paperwork!

      Even though Kate has always been loyal this is the first time she fabricated evidence! So she now joins the ranks of Taylor who has agreed to give Axe his own playground, and Dake who has agreed to cooperate with Chuck and hide Wendy’s short from public eye. Now that I am seeing what Karl Allard is ready to do in the case, it seems Dake has never been the Calvinist we all believed he was! I am not sure if Dake will be able to stay at EDNY after Axe is cleared, but I believe Kate has a bright future at the SDNY and beyond — we know she is even more ambitious than Chuck regarding her political aspiratons! 🙂

      I am so with you about chemistry developing between Taylor and Oscar. And Taylor’s smile when they spotted Oscar at the card game was everything — vulnerable and so human for the first time. We have seen a bit of their heart in Episode 4 but now it is even more of that out there. I wonder if their brain/heart conflict will make another appearance with regards to Oscar. Ahhh there is so much to look forward to in this show!

      Haha we had a FUN exchange with Stephen Kunken and Damian Lewis last night about Spyros!
      I think Stephen Kunken is totally killing it as Spyros this season. Billions has the most brilliant cast on TV. Maybe ever. At least on par with Mad Men (which I believe is the best thing that ever happened to TV 🙂

        1. Good, I’ll be waiting for your explanation as well. Right now I’m craving three explanations from Billions this season:

          1. Explain the new secretary and/or where Mafee’s crush girlfriend went.
          2. Explain why Axe Capital was moved to Manhattan. I don’t think it’s travel restrictions now, like I thought prior to the premiere.
          3. Explain how they came about hiring Spyros. I think I know why, but how it all came about would be nice to know.

          It only took two seasons for me to get a Ionosphere answer 🙂

          1. My two cents:

            1. Well, as far as I know Ilfenesh Hadera, the woman who played Axe’s secretary now has a bigger role in a show. And so Deb and Mafee probably broke up.

            2. As far as I know anyone that is indicted has travel restrictions out of state, e.g. Axe needs to get permission from the court to travel to California. That said, I don’t know about Eastern’s jurisdiction and CT may be in there – it should be easy to check. If it is not travel restriction, It may be that Axe, since he is a bachelor now, wanted to move back to the city and brought the company with him. Why would he commute every day for an hour, right? 😀 All said, this is fiction after all and everything does not need to be like it should in real life. Filming in the city is probably more convenient, too 🙂

            3. Spyros may have a good record at SEC and it is a priority for Axe Capital to hire someone that would know how SEC works like the back of his hand and as Axe suggested last week at Daniel help them to use the edge without having any problems with the government especially because Axe is indicted. Hiring Spyros in particular adds to the drama. Or do you want to know how the actual hiring happened? Well, we know Axe Capital hired Dr. Gus as well. Their hiring decisions are not always spot on :))) After what he has done, I don’t think Spyros will last long at Axe Capital especially after Axe is back. I am very much looking forward to Lady Trader’s take on this.

          2. 1. Yes, she’s on Deception. I wish Billions would explain her disappearance in terms of the story line.
            2. I’m aware of all of those possibilities, but wish Billions would explain it in the story line.
            3. Definitely SEC background is the reasoning, just wish the viewer would know how that came about.

          3. Oh okay. It’s not like you have not come up with explanations, you want the show to provide an explanation. Fair enough. They love doing it bit by bit so I don’t know about 1 but I think we may have a bit more on 2 and 3.

  6. I always get a few laughs when the boys and girls hit a hyper expensive Manhattan restaurant that serves little pieces of fish and tofu on large plates that might be square and made by an au courant potter in Putnam County. This sent Spyros heavenward. How much does his Porche windbreaker go for. On him it looks like a members only edition, that Telly Savalas used to pitch on TV.

      1. A quickie eBay search for his (Spyros) Porsche jacket going for $269 and 33 have been sold. Its eBay description is >>>> Porsche MOTORSPORT Men’s Windbreaker Jacket w/ Hood White Black Red —Says last one available. Maybe there was a rush on them after Billions last Sunday. 🙂

    1. The Porsche windbreaker was one of the most obnoxious outfits I have ever seen 😀 I have no idea how much it costs. Axe knows how to lure people very well given that they love money and luxury. The challenge is what to do with the ones that are not interested. I thought Dr. Gilbert’s was a great storyline in that regard.

      1. Thank you for your comment. I agree with your obnoxious comment and would add only a MOOK buys a Porsche windbreaker to show off when not in the car. Spyros is the kind of guy who buys the Porsche car key chain and leaves it on the bar in an attempt to impress women. He probably has the Telly Sevalas’ “players club card” or is that the playboy club card….
        RAM him again, Dollar Bill. 😉
        I do not know if Dr Gilbert is so interesting or should I say such a unique character. He engages in a morally reprehensible behavior with Axe while taking his cash. When confronted by Chuck, he folds like a cheap card table and tries to set Axe up. Dr. Gilbert is a whore for his research (with no backbone), like Chuck is to his ambition and hate. At least Axe is upfront with who he is and what he is about—“Always Looking & Taking the Edge! I love that no one is “pure” well maybe Byran is, we still have to see…

        1. Agreed about Dr. Gilbert. That’s why I said in my recap that his swearing on his Hippocratic Oath was valueless. He cooperated with Axe on stealing Donnie’s last Christmas. That said, the man only cares about his research and the birds. So he cannot be bought in the usual way Axe buys people off. He has been a challenge for Axe in that regard – that is what I loved about the storyline.

          Bryan is the man to watch! 🙂

      2. “Axe knows how to lure people very well given that they love money and luxury.”

        Axe said are you in or are you out to two people on last Sunday’s episode. He gave both of them a chance to leave completely or to go all in on the Axe side. One was Spyros and the other was the nearly broke hedge fund guy who was vaguely Indian. Sorry not to remember his name but the NYT makes zero reference to him too

          1. Thanks! Panay would mean he is Filipino not Indian. Or perhaps only his father was Filipino. But then the actors name is Hari Dhillon whose ancestry is from Punjab India.

  7. Yep, I have to agree, Axe is confused with a man that cant be bought with momentary means.”There’s nothing more reliable than a man whose loyalty can be bought for hard cash”. (Frank Langella, The Night Gate). Chuck bought him off with the law.

  8. Nice!

    I had a major crush on Sonny Crockett too! He did this thing where he would lick his cigarette before putting it in his mouth, drove me bonkers. And the way he growled “Drop it scum bag.” 😀

    Glad you linked Pappy’s, as names of fine bourbon are not a part of my normal vocabulary. 🙂

    Loved the comic elements of Spyros v. Dollar Bill. What a battle, but then it got serious very quickly. Methinks Spyros is not going to forgive his destroyed Porsche so quickly. The magical software he uses to collect violations and near violations may come in handy soon. He may be as much an Achilles Heel as the slide was to Axe. Which makes you wonder, whose idea was it to hire an ex-government man to be a compliance officer? Axe seems to have developed multiple Achilles Heels!

    1. Thank you!

      You know, they dubbed all American TV shows when I was growing up so I never heard Crockett speak English 😀

      I had no idea whatsoever about Pappy — I had to look it up. I am totally ignorant about hard liquor.

      Kelly AuCoin and Stephen Kunken (he is on fire this season!) stormed the episode. And you are right it may get serious quickly. That said, Axe dining and wining Spyros at Daniel of places and welcoming him to the family hints that he may want to keep him at Axe Capital. “Why?” is a legitimate question and my hunch is we may find out in the upcoming episode.

  9. After Taylor and Oscar made love and she was leaving in the morning, Oscar said something to Taylor that I did not quite hear. It was something like: “You were probably disappointed” or “I hope you weren’t disappointed.” Can anyone tell me what was said and what it might mean?

  10. This question came to mind after I watched this epi a couple of time. Axe was about to fly out to California right? But I thought since his arrest he couldn’t leave the state (of New York obviously). Do we have a lawyer in the crowd here? Also, an item not having to do with plot but with film editing. Wags poured some booze into a glass for Wendy, but not in his glass, then in one smooth motion sat and drank. But I watched the bottle and he was not seen to pour his own.

    1. I did research about travel before the season started since I thought they might be moving the business to New York due to travel restrictions. It turns out one can travel with permission from court, so it is not unrealistic Axe was traveling to California. I think, since he voluntarily submitted his passport to them before his arrest, he was able to make bail quickly and also get permission from the authorities for domestic travel.

      It may be that Wags had a glass already full for himself 🙂

      1. Wags’ glass was empty when he hand Wendy hers. Maybe I enjoy finding these little editing glitches because so much of the dialog with the unending references sails clear over my head and I can’t be bothered trying to retrieve it. Reading characters’ faces is much more fun.

  11. Only one question this week! I looked up Nicki Minaj but I still didn’t get the reference. Perhaps it was just arbitrary “hard as ______ “ fill in the blank.
    Gotta say I long to see Damian in another role. Guess I’ll have to rewatch an oldie.

    1. “Thick as Nicki Minaj” no? I believe she is over 800 pounds. I think Taylor was referring to the size of the position Langstraat might have in that dinner app startup.
      And I am so looking forward to tonight’s episode of Billions!

      1. I got the Nicki Manaj reference. Since you posted a photo of Spyro’s $2500 espresso machine, let me tell you those machines used to be 4-5 times larger. My friend’s father had one in the 1970s. And was made in Italy. His espresso machine had lots more flow pipes and knobs sticking out of the front. He was a serious mathematician who needed the caffeine boost to write books.

        So it seems that the espresso machine engineers have been had at work making them smaller. But still made in Italy which is v cool.

        1. My husband is into espresso and, in fact, it was him who found all the information about Spyros’ espresso machine. I think they still carry big machines, or the people I know that have fancy big machines bought them decades ago… which is a possibility, too… it is mostly older colleagues that have them!

          It was a walk in the memory lane for me to take a look at your friend’s dad’s books: I took all those classes — probability theory, complex analysis and all in college. Good old days 🙂

          1. I was an electronics engineering major in college – a true math girl! Then I switched to social sciences but am still on the math side of things – teaching game theory!

            We have a Nespresso machine which Spyros would find quite inferior 🙂 But my husband loves to try different roasts so he often makes coffee exactly like you do.

    1. Thank you, you are very kind. I also think Hall will be back once Axe is cleared in the court. Given he is seeing the judge tonight, I’d say we may get our Hall back in a couple of weeks.

  12. Great as usual D. Thank you for Echo and the Bunnymen. I wanted to search the song and here you go giving it right to me.
    I enjoyed sexy Taylor. We didn’t get much beyond a twinkle in the eye, but I thought they had chemistry.
    I kind of wish the Halls were twins (like in the Matrix), more sinister.
    Looking forward to ep6 tonight.

    1. Thank you so much! I LOVED Taylor and Oscar! 🙂 Oh you are in for a real treat. Episode 6 could be the best so far in the season. Happy Watching! I will do a re-watch myself tonight.

  13. Gingersnap, I love “the Golden Age” but these kinds of inconsistencies belie the often-heard statement that shows are the new novels. A single author laboring on a discrete story could not create in this manner. Couldn’t get away with it. Visual media, particularly series tv, can manage it but we can’t help noticing. And good for us!

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