Billions on Showtime, 3.06: The Third Ortolan

Like three delicately delicious birds, Wendy, Bobby, and Chuck are poised above the deep fryer in Billions Season 3, Episode 6, ‘The Third Ortolan.”

If Wendy had only waited to make the call to short Ice Juice once she was at a safe distance away from pinging the same cell tower pinged by Chuck’s office. Like maybe wait till you’ll on the sidewalk trying to get a cab, or, better yet, hop on the wifi at a Starbucks across town, and then make the call. One barely needs a friend at the NSA to trace such things.

Back when we were talking about which character will prove to be the flaw in the Death Star, who could’ve imagined it’d be Spyros? Not due to any sinister motive, mind you, but simply a misguided attempt to win one for the boss. And, lest there be doubt, Spyros did bring a win for Axe. All evidence points to Wendy having her cake (grabbing a seat for herself on the Axe Cap short) and eating it too (shorting a stock that her husband manipulated Axe into shorting, thereby leaving their joint marital account none the worse for wear). Forgetting that Wendy did it all blindly in a bold move of self and family preservation, the story could easily be framed as her working the play to the Rhoades’ advantage.

The proverbial doo-doo hits the proverbial turbines in this episode. We find that Axe Cap will still be liable for spiking the punch leading to the fall of the stock. And Chuck will still be liable for provocation. But since Wendy has one foot in both of those worlds, she’s screwed either way. We haven’t had enough of a trial to determine if Chuck’s provocation was indeed a crime. Now, we may not ever get there given where the one piece of physical evidence turns up at the end of this episode.

When Spyros brings the news of Wendy’s connection, you see perhaps a fleeting spark of the calculus within Spyros’ discovery crossing Bobby’s mind, maybe even a bit of pride that Spyros dug it all out. Or maybe only I saw that flicker? The point is moot though, because if that thought of pinning it all on Wendy ever existed in Bobby’s mind, it goes away as soon as it came. Axe will not only pitch Spyros out the window but take a leap himself rather than give up Wendy.

Recall him telling Lara last season “except for you and the kids, they’re all cannon fodder”? Also recall, if you will, he said that seconds before opening his eyes mid-kiss to pick up a text from Wendy. Wendy is decidedly not cannon fodder, then or now. We know it’s not conventional love between Wendy and Bobby. We know it’s clearly something more.

The focus he has, the instinct he needs to do what he does, come from his proximity to her. He needs Wendy to clear up the space within his head for him to be that person. When his own ego and narcissism is tripping him up, leaving him paralyzed at whatever intractable impasse, he needs her to clear the path. It’s a mystery, really, what this is. Because I don’t think we’ve ever seen it on TV before. Makes you wish Henry James would rise from the grave and pen a novel of what Bobby and Wendy are to each other. At least then we’d have it explored at the most granular level and explicated out with the fullness it deserves. But, alas, what we have is an entertaining mystery that some find pleasant (he’s a different person around her!) and some find frustrating (what the hell does she have on him?) I imagine the pleasantness and frustration exist in equal measure within us all!

All the quivering in their boots over delivering the bad news to her, I don’t know, seemed sort of overwrought though, no? I mean, if, say, Dollar Bill had been similarly implicated, would Wags have wished Bobby “Godspeed” and would Bobby have been so fearfully driven to slow-motion to give him the news.

Or Taylor? Would the boys have been as afraid of hurting Taylor as they are of hurting Wendy? True that the pain to be delivered is worse because everyone knows the fact of Wendy’s husband puts her in a no-win situation. Still, I couldn’t help but think the show was devolving, just for a bit, into the madonna/whore thing so much of media does to women. Either she’s a saint worthy of constant deference, someone to be worshipped and tiptoed around, or she’s the polar opposite, a gold digger available to be played like a fiddle and used on a whim. Hate to think such a thing of this show and such a character as Wendy, so best reserve judgment till we see the thing play out. Just in case it needs to be said, Wendy is neither madonna nor whore.

Bobby gives her the news and we get a beautiful moment of choked up horror when Wendy wonders if he was the one who sold her out. Then, his gentle earnest denial. She waits a beat, scanning for truth, finds it in his face and voice, and breathes. Then goes home.

Meanwhile, Jack Foley has been prepping Chuck for the contest for governor, doing some fluffing for the horse races ahead over pig ears at The Spotted Pig. (leaving me to wonder if goat ears are as good?) Foley needs to speak to the wife too, because such things always count in public perception, even more so given who she works for. Fortuitously, when they have that meeting, Wendy gets some good advice in the form of a Zen koan. She concludes the only way to manage an unmanageable situation is to bring it all to the table. Break that pesky stick keeping Chuck and Axe at opposite sides.

Must touch a bit on the court room drama, if for nothing else than to remark on how perfect a fit the likes of Rob Morrow are for this show. His signature delivery fits the words impeccably. That the actual court session seems to be a work of fiction is besides the point. I mean, are prosecutor’s obligated to reveal their evidence before trial even starts? It’s up to the prosecutor to know if they have enough to go to trial, no? Not the judge, right? Or maybe all my Law and Order watching never dealt with motions to dismiss. Which is what this is. Bobby, via Bach, is pleading that he’s been wrongfully prevented from doing his life’s work. (It’s a witch hunt!) And for what, where’s the evidence? Judge DeGiulio wonders the same.

Do you have any evidence to back up that claim for why you don’t have any evidence?

Then, we learn that Connerty likes the folk harmonies of the Clancy Brothers while Judge DeGiulio prefers the funk. He gives Connerty a week to come up with some real juice on Ice Juice.

You can’t fake the funk.

Before getting the big reveal that she’s been revealed, Wendy touches base with Taylor to suss out how they are dealing with the possibility that Axe might go to jail. She warns:

It’ll be about mutation. The capital will need to be managed. The people here are the right ones to do it, but can it thrive, grow…if Axe goes to jail?

Then she gives Taylor a treatise on intuition, the purity of acting totally on your gut with full confidence. Wendy warns Taylor the leverage afforded by Axe’s killer instincts will be gone from the company if Taylor doesn’t take up the slack.

Think of your gut as the deepest part of you… [Axe does] If you want to be at his level, in the purest way, the most profound, then, you must too.

Identify it, separate it from your fears, hopes, the other voices in your head…if you don’t cultivate instinct and listen to it, you’re fucking doomed.

Not a surprise that hearing such a thing makes Taylor more nervous than they started. Glorious intuitive focus can be a great thing, when you’re right and it works. What does it become when you’re not right and it doesn’t work? Bull-headed impulsiveness. Taking flying leaps on gut alone has gotten many a person in trouble. Heck, such a skill hasn’t always worked in Axe’s favor either. And that’s not Taylor. Something tells us that Taylor knows that “cultivating instinct” comes from doing the work, collecting the data, hearing all sides of the information, absorbing it all with an open mind and heart. Only then, once the work is done, is a gut worth a darn.

This speech of Wendy’s wasn’t really about Taylor though. It was about showing us what Wendy sees in Axe. What draws her to him and keeps her there. She sees a purity of will unlike any other. Like he’s a sainted monk, and his people, including Taylor, are his adoring acolytes. Does Wendy include herself in the congregation? Possibly not, but, hard to tell when she says things like she did in this scene.

An aside to insert an insightful quote from Margaret Atwood, which applies, in a roundabout way, to this situation:

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

Yes, generally speaking, if you aren’t a vampire slayer or Carrie Mathison, most men can physically overpower most women. This show has nothing to do with that though. Instead, it’s dealing with the power one woman has over the men in her life. The power of emotional wisdom. Billions may very well be the first to show men recognizing the fact that emotional labor is indeed labor. They need it and respect it and acknowledge the need and the respect.

Finally, the three are in a room together. Wendy turns in surprise when Chuck devolves into petty taunts the minute he sets eyes on Axe in his posh penthouse fortress. She’s not used to seeing Chuck like this, all petulant and testosterone-y. A fiercely feminist friend once shared with me her surprise at such a display from her son. Her sweet thoughtful loving boy, an unassuming bibliophile at home, degenerated before her eyes into an imaginary sword wielding, grunting and flexing mini-monster when he was around other boys or focused on some video game that feeds that thing in boys. Clearly, Chuck and Axe feed that thing in each other. And Wendy sees the peacocks do what peacocks do, perhaps for the first time ever. Aware that such flexing is not going to be useful under the circumstances, she tamps it down quick. The show draws the conclusion that men can’t help themselves. And maybe they can’t? Like the Warner Bros rooster Foghorn Leghorn: I say now, I’ll kick his ass right here and now. To which the hen says: No, you won’t, now sit your ass down. Quite cartoonish and silly if it weren’t so real.

She’s effective.

Now, at the end of this episode are we meant to believe that The Trinity will unite to fight The Man. The long arm of the law has reached too far for any of their liking. Truth and justice don’t have such a beautiful ring when you’re sitting in violation. And now they’re in cahoots to do all they can collectively to put this pesky Ice Juice thing behind them? Which will leave fighter-for-all-that-is-right Connerty hoisted on his own petard? Likely, my guesses are all wrong, as they have been all season, and it will be something else entirely.

Also, it seems something has been missing in this entire formula, something I’m thinking they may address eventually: The Consequences. Sure, the show has implied that lots of people lost money on the wunder-IPO when it was knocked south due to forces no one anticipated. Not to mention what Axe did to Maria Gonzalez (cleverly mirrored by Chuck’s using his own friendly immigrant to do some dirty work). And maybe that’s enough. No one needs to be knocked over the head with the obvious. That is, the effect of the powerful playing with billions trickling down to the powerless playing with nothing. Like a butterfly causing a hurricane. Alas,this show is about the butterfly, not the hurricane.

The episode started and finished on Son Volt, but I must confess, a different tune came to this viewer’s mind. Billy Joel’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Light as the Breeze. What did Bobby and Chuck both do but:

Knelt there at the delta, the alpha, the omega.

43 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, 3.06: The Third Ortolan”

  1. I think I just had an ‘ah-ha’ moment about Axe and Wendy’s relationship after reading this recap. For three seasons I have been trying to define what Axe is to Wendy and Wendy is to Axe. Sure, I’ve read many of your and Damianista’s posts about the relationship, but I still needed something more to ‘click’ in my brain. It finally did.

    You spelled out half of it for me: “The focus he has, the instinct he needs to do what he does, come from his proximity to her.” Orbits.

    The other half, the ‘ah-ha’ moment came when reading your synopsis of the Wendy-Taylor dialogue. Wendy BUILT Axe. In the past I know Damianista has said Wendy “put Axe back together,” but that didn’t resonate as much. Replace with the word BUILT, and I now understand. Wendy BUILT a Titan and set it out in the world with the pure Will you speak of. Dr. Frankenstein is watching her creature navigate the world and now she’s starting to BUILD Taylor.

    Sure, I had gone back and forth in my mind between psychoanalysis vs. performance coaching modalities to understand her methodology mixture. But today, well into the third year, I may have had a break through.

    This doesn’t mean I’ve gone full force camp Wendy, but with this understanding I now have one foot in camp Damianista/JaniaJania and the other foot in camp Lady Trader.

    p.s. Loved this –> “Knelt there at the delta, the alpha, the omega.” (clapping loudly for this statement!)

    1. I will write my own thoughts on this fantastic post, but just to make it clear, Wendy “put him back together” was not my words. It was the writers’ words. Both Wendy and Axe talked about how Axe was shattered after 9/11 and that Wendy put him back together. And you are right “BUILT him” adds A LOT: Wendy BUILT him as he put him back together and she made him better than he always was. This, Axe sort of told Bach in this episode: He said his people come unglued and Wendy puts them back together and they turn out to be better than they were. Wow. Now that you have mentioned Dr. Frankenstein, I don’t know what camp I am in 😀

      1. Ahhh, okay. Must have been one of your older posts I read that mentioned the writer’s words and I’m only remembering you. Slept since then 🙂 For the record, Dr. Frankenstein was a statement of admiration, but you are right, Axe told Bach the same thing.

        1. I used the words so you remember right it’s just that I got them from Axe and Wendy’s mouths 😀

    2. Please don’t go to the dark side!! Wendy may have guided him, or helped him focus, but Axe built himself. The instincts he had a Yonkers Raceway, what got him able to buy a seat on the ComEx, that was all him, before he met her. Hence, the shirt “self made”. I think he believes he needs her more than he really does. But since perception is reality, here we are!

      A tiger may need a trainer, but the tiger is a tiger because of his DNA; the trainer didn’t make the tiger!

      1. That is all true. I also agree with you his core is in his DNA and it was Axe who started at Yonkers Raceway as a teenager. That said, I think Wendy gets into the picture to help him deal with emotion. That’s how she may have built the man who can overcome emotion and focus and steer from his very strong instincts. And Gingersnap is right, she is now building Taylor! Axe has emotional spikes and when Wendy does not help him, he can lose control and get blinded with rage like he really did in Season 2. Maybe if he had had Wendy on his side (she was at the company but was committed not to have a session with him) he would not have slipped. After all, can we know more than Axe how much he needs her? 😀

        1. I know it’s just me, but I’m getting caught up on the word “built”. Guiding and helping focus I agree with, built I just can’t for some reason!
          And I get ” After all, can we know more than Axe how much he needs her?” but a drug addict believes they “need” the drug, but they really don’t. Wendy is a drug Axe is addicted to. And, as with any detox, it’s painful, and you make stupid choices (S2), but once the drug is out of your system, you can be your best self.

          1. Drug addict analogy is interesting too! Oy vey! I’m going to ride the fence for now because I see it both ways! This show makes you think, does it not?

          2. I don’t know, I may think more highly of Axe than you do. 😀 He wouldn’t give in to an addiction like that. The only monkey on his back is gambling and winning. Any other potential weakness gets ground up into cannon fodder. If he was indeed weakened by Wendy, somehow compromised by her, independent of her obvious connection to his arch enemy, we would have seen it by now. Only thing we’ve seen on screen is the exact opposite. She empowers him to be his best self.

          3. Seeing a flaw in a character doesn’t mean I don’t think highly of him. He is like the kid who thinks he can’t ride this bike without his parent holding him up. Doesn’t make him an addict, just feels he needs the safety net. But the ability to pedal that bike is all his! Axe thinks he needs Wendy holding the back of the bike, but he doesn’t.

            He is weakened by Wendy – he was willing to give up his sons for her? Would a rational father do that? Abandoning his family for her is not his best self.

          4. I hear you regarding giving up his sons and abandoning his family for her. That’s why I still have one foot in Camp Lady Trader. It’s a paradox, for sure!

          5. I know my issue is because I make this whole show (and the Axe character) personal, which is good, since it means the writers have made us as viewers become invested, and care, but bad because I project what I would do in a situation or how I would deal with people. So, since I know I would never need Wendy, and don’t like her personality, I don’t know why Axe would either. But, that is what we do here – debate, discuss, and enjoy the ride.

        1. Exactly! Mutations don’t know they’re mutations. It’s about survival. DNA will do what it has to do to survive. 😀

        2. I’ll bite: how did she motive the DNA? A trainer can make a tiger jump through a hoop, but the tiger is STILL a tiger!

          1. If that tiger doesn’t jump through the hoop, he doesn’t get paid with a thick slab of steak. He’s remains a tiger casually strolling the jungle.

          2. Enjoying his hunt, and not being tamed, poked and prodded to do something not in his nature. He’d continue being wild, the way a tiger SHOULD be!

          3. DNA affects how we look and behave. It’s the old argument of nature vs. nurture. BOBBY does have that instinct, but Wendy is a nurture catalyst in AXE. Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) explored this very question of nature vs. nurture. Are we born or made, or do both play a role? This is why I’m on the fence, I think it’s both his instinct that drives him and her mojo that focuses him. DNA mutations can be essential to evolution. Is Axe a genetic variation of Bobby? 🙂

          4. I will concede that Wendy guides Axe. She’s more the maintenance guy than the architect!

      2. Ha! A debate on nature vs. nurture. Love it!!

        I think Axe, the headstrong and very smart boy, did start on the racetrack, but that boy wouldn’t have gotten to the billions without Wendy. You see kids at the races all the time becoming men, still at the races. At it day in and day out, waiting for the big score. Never realizing that the score is not even the point, it’s the game. Axe realizes this, thanks in large part to Wendy. And he made it out of Yonkers thanks in large part to Wendy. So while she didn’t build the observant winner, she did nurture him to his full potential. They are spiritual partners.

        You don’t have to love Wendy to see how important she is to him. Whether he’s making up that need (alluding to a delusional weakness on his part!) or he really has the need is besides the point, the need is absolute.

        1. Axe became Axe on 9/11 – deciding to make those trades while the world was on fire. He did that, without Wendy. That was his gut telling him to take advantage of the opportunity. He may have needed her to help him not feel guilty, but the instinct to trade was/is all his. She’s there to maybe tell him it’s OK to trust his gut, but what his gut tells him is all him. He was at a big firm (getting fired, but still) so he has the skill and ability to be hired and not still at the track. I don’t think she nurtures his full potential, in fact I think that she sometimes tries to squash his potential. (Telling him not to fight, but to withdraw).

          Yes, I do not love Wendy. I don’t believe in what she does, and I have no respect for it. And if he is making up his need for her, that is exactly my point: I don’t see a strong person like Axe needing her, which, as much as I love the show, makes it the biggest flaw.

    3. Love those a-ha moments! I had one myself in watching this episode. eg Wendy’s speech to Taylor. She loves Axe’s headstrong will. She’s like a moth to that flame. She knows its power and its winning potential. I wouldn’t go so far as to analogize Axe with a hunk of meat on a table, animated only by Wendy sticking the electrodes to his head. He’s always been plenty alive. But he hasn’t always been disciplined, he hasn’t always been self-aware (still requires work on that score….say, a few more seasons worth :)). He could always see, Wendy simply nurtured his ability to focus. And what a beautiful thing it is!

      I don’t see this as pro-Wendy and anti-Wendy teams. Nor as TeamAxe vs. TeamChuck even. I like to think in terms of the big picture, above the game on the ground. As for the game, I’d frankly love to see a full 60 minutes devoted to The Three at a table together. Pages and pages of meaty dialogue. Good grief, that would be some episode.

      That Cohen song is very sexual and this episode wasn’t that. Just that one refrain played in my head as soon as the episode finished. I couldn’t not call it out. 🙂

      1. Definitely not a hunk of meat on a table, but it brought me back to Magical Thinking, remembering Wendy saying his wires were exposed and could be re-wired. It was full circle for me.

        1. Ah, yes, thus the image of electrodes. Got it! His wires were exposed with Donny’s death and his confusion over how he dealt with it. She tucked them back in nice and neat. And then they smoked marijuana together. Good times! 🙂

          1. Best pair of jeans I’ve EVER seen that boy wear was in Magical Thinking. YES PLEASE!

  2. FANTASTIC! I am in love with your way of telling the Axe and Wendy story. And you nail it with the conversation between Wendy and Taylor. Wendy is talking about Axe and what keeps her around! And I also agree with Gingersnap that Wendy is now building Taylor, too. And, so, that conversation between Wendy and Taylor now almost feels like a flashback to me, maybe not the exact same words, but Wendy telling Axe about how to do whatever he will do. Again your choice of word “build” adds a lot to the relationship – spot on!

    I think Axe now knows more than ever what can happen to him if he loses Wendy! I agree with Lady Trader that Axe’s core is in his DNA but I think Wendy gets into the picture to help him deal with emotion, and get him focus on what he needs to. She keeps him grounded and when he does not have her help, he can slip and fall — and that is exactly what happened when rage blinded him and had him do that outrageous and equally hilarious Ice Juice play against Chuck! Axe cannot let Wendy go away ever again. I completely agree with you that there is more to their relationship than the eye sees and it has so much to do with what Wendy gave him, and that said, I also think it is not pure altruism on Axe’s side but he wants to have Wendy there also for his own interests, to keep his focus and steer from instinct once again as soon as he clears his name and is back at the helm at Axe Capital. He wants to be the king of the street again and he wants Wendy to be there. And he, in fact, told Bach what he thought about Wendy: that his people come unglued, and Wendy puts them back together, and they turn out to be better than they ever were… This episode then has both Wendy and Axe talk about their relationship in their conversations with each other. I did not think about this much before reading this – bravo!

    One thing I am wondering, and I put that question in my own recap, is that whether power dynamics would be an issue when Axe comes back to the company. Taylor has been their own boss now for a while and I don’t know how they will feel once they have a boss again. Ahhhh Sunday cannot come faster!

    1. Did I use the word “build”? That was Krista, not me. 🙂

      YES! Their conversations with other people served to show us what Axe and Wendy mean to each other. Better than a flashback could have. Brilliant writing choice!

      No one on this show is altruistic. Even Connerty. Everyone has something they want, including Taylor, of course. I think they will be fine handing the reins back to Axe. Taylor sees something else they want…in the guise of Oscar. Taylor wants to run a tight ship and wants to come home to someone just as driven, to be a companion in the drive ahead. (something I don’t think Axe ever needed nor ever got from Lara) If that means giving up the ship when Axe comes back, so be it. Taylor can man their own ship! That could be the set-up for a competitive situation. On the other hand, Taylor’s success can happen symbiotically with Axe’s (just got a flashback to Carrie: “it COULD happen”..gah)

      What a meaty episode this was. Have a feeling this was the one everyone (ie Damian) was waiting for us to see….something the fans would love. And we did, we LOVED it!

      1. You didn’t! But I think I had Gingersnap’s comment in my head and I was nodding all the way as I read the post and interpreted the situation as “build.”

        You are right no one in the show is altruistic. I think I was trying to understand the “more” in the relationship. It is a very interesting and different attraction than any kind of attraction we’ve seen on screen – big or small. And yes I also applaud the writing choice for placing the flashbacks in conversations. Brilliant and I believe more functional than a visual flashback which I am a bit torn about… thanks again for a wonderful post!

  3. You know what we should really be doing: all of us discussing all of this over a bottle of wine, where we have hours, and hours to go on and on!

  4. Re: Jeans. He could wear a potato sack, really. Word. Was going to insert a bit about the set folks seeming to get accessories dyed to match the color of his eyes. And his suit too: bespoke to match eye color. But didn’t want to descend into fangrl-i-ness. 😀

    Re: Reisling. It’s on! I’ll bring the dirt road Malbec. 😀

    1. It’s on. My contribution would be Red Burgundy. 😀 And even though I agree about the potato sack I hope he never gets to wear one 😀 😀 😀 I could not help myself and fangirled a little in my own recap.

      1. I’m not a wine drinker per say, but I had a PROSECCO ROSÉ BRUT that I really liked. I’ll bring that.
        We should airbnb a swanky apartment for a weekend in NYC and have a hen-weekend

  5. Fascinating banter you guys; “building” Axe, Taylor’s “instinct”, just terrific. Who needs social media.
    Great, great post JaniaJania.

    1. Thank you!! 😀 Social media’s gotta a lot of noise. We stay on point around here and make sure no one goes home crying. 😀

  6. Well, Jania, you’ve done it again! Wendy “clears the space” for Axe. That is indisputable regardless of my opinions about that fact. You’ve helped a lot in my ability to appreciate this show. This was my favorite episode in a show I’ve been lukewarm about. One of my reservations has been the relative lack of emotional range in Bobby. I thoroughly enjoyed his reaction to Spyros’ news and the walk to break the news to Wendy. I didn’t see quivering, i saw caring.
    What do you make of the Big Goodby to Wags?
    All analysis and no gut v. All gut and no analysis. Equally unworkable for Bobby. These women are now the core of Team Ax. They, however, must be aware that, as Lara found out, Axe has no partners. They are more than the “adoring acolytes” but not equals.
    Having a background in these matters, I found the discussion of need rather interesting. Is a physical manifestation and a mental obsession a choice? What do we really need anyway? Does simple need explain life as we live it?
    Re: Carrie Mathison. Ive always loved how she uses her wits (and she can run really fast!) to overcome. I’m put off by stories that include a 100 lb woman taking down a BIG man. Even with wrestling and martial arts – it ain’t happenin’. Thanks again, JJ!

    1. Yes! Re the lack of emotional range written for Bobby. I think Damian is playing a bit of the comedic goofy angle this season (which I LOVE, of course) frankly because that is the access point he sees. Like I’ve said before, Bobby is painted to be perfect. He knows everything and everyone. Which is hella unrealistic. And provides little to access for Damian’s talents. What is his weakness, What are his flaws. We know them, but they seem situational not integral to the character. He comes up against an obstacle and almost immediately defeats it or finds a way around it.
      The big goodbye to Wags also threw me. (so glad you brought it up!) “Thank you for your friendship?” Really?? We want more emotion b/c we know Damian can do more emotion. But, and I say this hoping the writers don’t read down this far :), the writing just isn’t providing opportunities for full-on emotion, which requires really clever subtext and obstacles that last more than an hour. You can’t just have a character say “thanks for your support” without showing a character flailing in the absence of that support or somehow undermining that support at some point in the trajectory of both characters. We heard Wags talk about what Bobby means to him…how he bailed him out of who was it, Bear Stearns? or some other big firm that went under? We heard that, but we didn’t feel it. (I didn’t fully anyway) The show is very entertaining, but it’s not going deep. Deep like we know Damian can. And the other actors would love too as well probably, given the opportunity.
      In this episode I got a sense that Bobby sees Wendy as an equal. Yet, that could change next week (and probably will!). I don’t trust it at all.
      Need, re Bobby’s for Wendy? Yeah, like I said, what a thing it would be to have a writer like Henry James put this on an examination table and autopsy it for us. That is exactly what he did in his writing….take a scalpel to emotional truths between and within his characters. Bobby and Wendy are rife for such an examination b/c their relationship really is unique in modern drama. “Does simple need explain life as we live it?” THIS is the kind of question Henry James loved to try to answer.
      Thank you as ever for reading and provoking more thought! Boy, are we lucky to have the readers we do! Boy, is Damian lucky to have the fans he does! 🙂

    1. Yep. Sad and true. The maze of references alone…punny insider stuff. Which works for folks in on the joke. (which sometimes I am thanks to being in the same generation and growing up in the same part of the country as the showrunners) Not just Damian is feeding off the humor. eg. Stephen Krunken is killing it as Spyros. Because, comedy. And Damian too, of course, can do comedy very well. Thus, like the actors, maybe it’s better to just have fun with it rather than think about it too much. hehe.

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.