Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 8: All the Wilburys

Now that Axe and Chuck have dug themselves out of their own graves, both embrace their victories, and pick up the game where they left. We find them handling new situations they face in their own unique ways: sometimes with utmost care, and sometimes not so much.

Chuck and Wendy have a surprise waiting for them as they arrive for their special night at “Miss Dominatrix.” Black Jack Foley and Chuck Senior humiliate the couple about their “childish enthusiasm” complete with Chuck Senior calling Wendy “mistress” and asking her to take off her coat thinking she may have her BDSM outfit under her coat. And as they tell “the boy” he needs to resign his position at the SDNY right away and focus on his campaign, they do not even stop and think for a second that they are way out of line and need to handle the situation with more care.

Chuck and Wendy’s special night turns into a three hour conversation in which Wendy suggests, after all they have done to avoid jail, it may be time to take a step back instead of charging ahead with a political campaign. While Chuck believes they can compensate by doing a lot of good for a lot of people once they are in Albany, Wendy thinks this is feasible only if Chuck finds a way to reverse the power dynamics with Foley. And as Chuck works on Foley, Wendy asks Axe if she could use his man to resolve a family issue. Hall is at Wendy’s service.

As Taylor declares in the PM meeting that the main fund is up, like Wags might say “up like his morning wood” or “up like his blood pressure on Cialis” you feel the new CIO is now used to owning the room at the meetings. Yet, the applause for them is cut short with the king arriving at Axe Capital, climbing the stairs two at a time and high-fiving his employees, to claim his throne back!

Sorry, boss, Taylor does not do high-five.

It turns out Axe, who is wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt with the band’s “Never Say Die” playing in the background, has been thinking about this very day since the moment he gave up trading. He appreciates his CIO has outperformed the benchmarks by half a point in his absence, but now that he is back, the company is getting into a new era. They will unwind all positions, get rid of the quant experiment, and Axe will control all new positions going forward. It seems the only fan of this new plan in the room is Dollar Bill.

While he dons a Black Sabbath t-shirt, Axe seems to have had Beatles on his mind lately. He pontificates to his generals that Axe Capital will do like the Fab Four did after their victorious tour in America: They did not bask in their victory and released a new album every six months after their return. And now Axe Capital will  kick off a massive capital raise with a target of $20B in six months like in 2015.

While Taylor thinks the people at the other side of the table may have questions due to the legal problems Axe Capital has had, Wags knows Axe will handle the questions like Charles Van Doren. Well, Taylor has seen Quiz Show (Who else remember a very young Rob Morrow in the movie?) and knows Van Doren was fed the answers. Yet, the bottomline for Wags is Van Doren got the money and so will Axe Capital.

As the meeting is adjourned, Axe gets a text message from Muresan, the tallest player in NBA history, saying they need to meet! Huh? And we figure out the reference only when we find Axe meeting with the new Secretary of the Treasury! This is mean, Axe! 😀

Standing next to Vermeer’s The Music Lesson, Krakow complains he cannot hang his Dutch Masters at his post modern townhouse since his young wife does not think they go well with their De Sede couch. And then he spills the beans about why he sent Axe a bottle of Armand de Brignac to celebrate his freedom. Krakow has inside information that the EPA will rescind a certain regulation that will prop up Natural Gas industry. While Axe thinks Krakow may be recording their conversation, Krakow hands him the proof of his intent: A Security Bank of Grand Cayman card whose number Axe memorizes in a second. Once Axe Capital makes the money, Krakow’s piece will go to that account in crypto.

As Axe offers to buy a car for Taylor as a token of his appreciation but what Taylor has in mind is different. It is not about their ego but that they find Axe’s decisions to broom the quants project and clear all money-making positions erratic. What they want is a billion dollars, unencumbered, to manage on their own to which Axe agrees to. And, oh, yes, they will take that car, too!

Spyros, who failed to impress Axe with Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” earlier has just turned his Axe Cap-thusiasm into a 4K donation to the Axelrod Foundation. But that is not enough for Axe to keep him at Axe Capital. Axe talks to Spyros about my favorite Beatle: George Harrison. Harrison was not only a Beatle, but also a Traveling Wilbury. And it turns out Dylan and Petty sometimes threw a name out there and decide if that person was or was not a Wilbury. To be a Wilbury, according to Wags, you need to have a certain combination of wit, cool, and credibility. Jack Nicholson? A Wilbury. Richard Dreyfuss? A great actor, but not a Wilbury. Ari Spyros? Not A Wilbury. Not even close.

“You’re fired.”

As Spyros collects his coffee beans, coffee books (including Uncommon Grounds and The World Atlas of Coffee) and Porsche jacket, he still has the urge to prove he is a Wilbury and who knew his “virgin intel” could turn on Dollar Bill of all people? 😀 It turns out Spyros still has access to public companies that are under investigation by the SEC but have not disclosed the investigation to their shareholders. If Dollar Bill, with his unique research techniques, distinguishes the investigations with teeth from the bullshit, they can short and long the companies accordingly.

The duo spend a night going over SEC investigations (notice the huge dollar sign on the wall!) and Dollar Bill, who is now not uncertain that Spyros’ unique investment strategy will work should they implement it carefully, gets Spyros his job back. Well, I do not know about Spyros, but Kelly AuCoin and Stephen Kunken are Wilburies!

Chuck meets with Joe Scolari at Donohue’s Steakhouse. “The success of his campaign is of utmost importance to them” and so Chuck should organize an event at his home to announce his run and time it with his resignation from public office. As a fan of Roller Derby, Scolari admires the J-Block Chuck gave to Bill Sweeney in Season 2 Episode 8 The Kingmaker; yet, now that Chuck needs votes upstate he needs to kiss and make up with Sweeney. And, no, Foley cannot do it for Chuck, because Sweeney thinks he burnt him once Foley adopted Chuck as the favorite son.

Ha! Chuck gives Sweeney the only copy he has of his son’s confessional. He would also be happy to ensure Sweeney’s mayoral competitor will be indicted by his office if Sweeney gave Chuck information that would ensure  Foley would not boss Chuck around anymore.

While Chuck handles Foley with care, he handles Bryan quite differently. All conversations stop when Bryan arrives in the office where people, especially Kate, seem to avoid Bryan like the plague. Chuck’s assistant puts him in an office where there is no server access yet leaving Bryan with no option but playing Solitaire. And when Chuck finally stops by his office a full day after Bryan arrives, he is ready to sack Bryan. It seems to Chuck that Bryan learnt every lesson Chuck taught him except the one that matters most: He did not win. And how come he imagined there existed a universe in which he could threaten Chuck and his wife and still survive? Chuck is now Leroy Brown, the baddest man in the whole damn town. And Bryan may be many things but certainly not an Assistant US Attorney for the SDNY anymore. But does that mean he cannot investigate further?

Well, Lara should have seen it coming when she told Axe she might move to California with the kids should he take the plea and go to prison. Axe is now  charging Lara 2/20 for her money at Axe Capital and is being a true asshole as he asks if Birchie did not read their agreement. Lara, already very pissed off by Axe’s behavior, explodes as she finds Gordie in Wendy’s office talking to her about his parents’ separation. Wendy has no permission to talk to his son and Gordie should not call her Aunt Wendy. She is not family.

As I wonder whether Lara regrets the decision to leave her husband, I can feel Wendy has regrets as Mafee sheepishly waves at her from his desk. His boys give advice to Wendy for a change: Chuck tells her they should move on so their guilt cannot swallow them. Axe, whose own jolt of victory lasted less than a day, assures Wendy what she did to Mafee “barely registers bad” in his world. Yet, Wendy is not able to pick up the pieces and move on like her two boys.

While Taylor cleared ALL their positions and broomed ALL the quant projects, Axe tends to release the funds he has promised them over time. And, when he suggests they jumpstart their book on natural gas, Taylor figures out Axe has inside information and decides to skip natural gas to find their play elsewhere. While I am surprised that Taylor is surprised Axe is acting on “unsubstantiated information” to make Axe Capital what it is supposed to be, I am rooting for them to develop their own algorithm or find some play that is not based on inside information and make Axe feel like he is not a Wilbury! 😀

As Sweeney delivers for Chuck, the NYPD raids a hotel room in which Foley is paying a man to mark his low-grade steel as high-grade. We find out Foley’s empire is built on selling sub-par material to state-run projects at top dollar. And if Chuck makes his past municipal dealings public, the kind of fallout Foley would have could bankrupt an Astor. Chuck hopes Foley sees the situation clearly.

“Clear as Catskills spring water.”

I have to jump in here and add that Catskills spring water is a major reason why NYC tap water is defined as “the champagne of drinking water.”

Having ensured that Foley is not hiss boss anymore, Chuck comes home to take a Silkwood shower but he finds Judge DeGiulio waiting for him. Well, DeGiulio had told Chuck he would take his word as gospel when the latter told him there is nothing DeGiulio can ask and he refuses for the rest of their days should the judge take the Axelrod case. And here is Degiulio asking Chuck not to run for governor. For DeGiulio to have a safe journey to the Supreme Court, Chuck should give up on his journey to Albany.

Wendy’s magic touch finishes the job DeGiulio has started: Wendy knows Chuck passionately loves his job at the SDNY where he is a king: He engages the battles he chooses to fight in the way he chooses to fight them. Jeffcoat may be a more powerful king for now, but Chuck has deposed his kind before. Politics, on the other hand,  is a different animal involving a lot of hand-wringing and ass-kissing. Chuck does not want to be in politics, he wants to be beyond politics… In other words, he may want to be the one pulling the strings… Wendy is manipulating Chuck but I am giving it to her that there is a lot of truth in what she says…

And I give it to Chuck, who handles it with utmost care, and does not give the slightest hint until the very end of his speech. He talks about fighting for the less fortunate. He highlights that the next governor of New York should be someone that cannot sleep until justice is served for the people of this great state. And he finishes with a “fuck you” at Foley and his dad as he announces his support for Bob Sweeney in his run for governorship! This is not the first time, Foley says, he needs to wrestle with his shoulders close to the mat, and he is now at war with Chuck. Foley is now at war with Chuck.

As the kids are driven to a restaurant for dinner with dad, Lara stops by Axe Capital to talk about money. Axe has decided to make a special discount for her: 1. 5/ 15 along with a 7-year lock up both for her money and the kids! The moment Lara agrees to 1/10 and the rest, the agreement is in front of her to sign exactly like she presented a non-disclosure agreement to June (remember the woman who wrote a book about 9/11?) in Season 1 Episode 3 Yum Time. Well, what goes around comes around. The gap between Axe and Lara feels so deep right now that it will take a miracle to bring them back together.

Once the EPA lifts the regulations on natural gas, exactly as Krakow suggested, Axe Capital makes a lot of money. But this is everyday business at Axe Capital and the real thrill for Axe is now in the NEW competition. With Taylor. We find out there was a time Axe went to a gym where other people also worked out and he never got off the thread mill until the guy next to him did.

“It’s just the way I’m wired.”

Axe will now stay in the office until Taylor leaves which means he needs to cancel dinner with his boys. Gordie puts his fork and knife down when he hears dad is not coming. Does Axe really think buying all the desserts at the restaurant would cut it for his kids? It is obvious he does not have his priorities right about what to handle with care and I am not sure if Axe deserves to spend any time with his children. I wonder if a problem about his kids, especially Gordie, will make Axe come back to his senses and try to get back into his family.

Given her prior encounters with him, who knew Wendy would be happy to have Hall back? As Chuck Senior seems to have taken the pill, an unexpected guest arrives in his hotel room. Wendy knows about the one dream Senior has had for his son from the day he was born and she will not let him have it.

“The next time you want to ambush, threaten, humiliate, or otherwise fuck with me, you’d do well to remember who you’re fucking with.”

And that is your crack in the ass, old man! With her wit, cool and credibility, Wendy is a true Wilbury. And Senior now knows he had to handle his daughter-in-law with more care.

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!

30 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 8: All the Wilburys”

  1. How much does a Desede couch go for? $3,500 by time it gets into your house? I’m not going to say anything stupid because I like the zen simple lines on them. Of course never heard of this furniture brand until Billions.
    Good episode with good plot twists and turns.
    Lara getting jammed by Bobby…He figures he gave her *half* with zero fight at all. At the time she said she appreciated this easy separation – divorce – conscious uncoupling. The woman playing her trump card “it’s for the children” (no way is it for her satisfaction) that she will move to California if Bobby lands in prison for seven years. Reality check, it seems that ex-husbands love their children just as much. And men need their presence (jailhouse visits) just as much for self verification purposes and other reasons. Lara’s California move threat was not forgotten so Bobby played cold detached hardball with Lara when it came to sorting out management fees of her *half* and I will repeat it *half*! Bobby got his seven year lock on her taking the boys and relocating to LaLa Land.

    Wendy has been evolving into a hardball player, are they called dominatrixes these days? She was quite friendly with Mr Hall (W- “Good to have you back” H- “Nice to back”) and used his divine services to catch dear old dad flagrante delicto. I got a good laugh when Dad’s young floozy was stopped in the hotel lobby, got very angry she could not get upstairs to his room for her payday.

    Great recap as always D and thanks for your website.

  2. Thanks so much for reading!

    It seems you can get a love seat for $3K where as a sizable L-section could go as high as $30K. I didn’t have any idea about De Sede before last night’s episode, either.

    I felt Episode 8 was a very good transitional episode in which we find the two men picking up where they left and moving on with the game. Axe is going back to his old ways in trading while getting into a “pissing contest” with Taylor as he is ignoring his family gloriously. Chuck is firing Bryan and ending his political campaign. I am looking forward to having some brand new story in the last four episodes of the season. I think John Malkovich will appear soon on the show, and knowing Russia has a lot of natural gas, I wonder if he has anything to do with the Krakow’s natural gas story line.

    I am sure every father loves their kids but Axe is not a good dad this season. Axe without Lara is a different Axe and I cannot say I am a fan. I am annoyed with the way he is now holding not only Lara’s money but also his boys hostage for 7 years. And him cancelling the dinner with kids so he can stay in the office for as long as Taylor does? Can someone get any more childish than that? Does Axe really think all the desserts in the restaurant will make his kids as happy as the time they would have with him? I am not even sure if Axe deserves to spend time with his children.

    Wendy is a Wilbury! 🙂

    1. Holding the boys hostage? The message here is don’t trifle around with Bobby Axe’s access to his two boys. Don’t idly say to Bobby that you might move to California with the boys while he is in prison. Did Bobby really screw up by having his secretary take the boys out for dinner and not showing up? Yes but he still wants them around in geographical proximity.

      1. I have used “holding hostage” as an analogy. Axe has to invest in his family for them to love him. But I think if he keeps doing what he is doing, he will lose his boys without knowing.They may be in the vicinity but not want to see their father.

  3. From Variety in January 2018-
    Malkovich will play Russian billionaire Grigor Andolov. The role is certainly fitting considering that Malkovich previously played a Russian mobster named Teddy KGB in the movie “Rounders,” which was written by “Billions” co-creators David Levien and Brian Koppelman.

    “John appeared in our first two films, ‘Rounders’ and ‘Knockaround Guys,’ and we have a long creative history together. We are ecstatic to be reunited with the man who played Teddy KGB once again,” said Koppelman and Levien.

    ***** I would like a clarification on Lara’s money. By signing with Bobby her money (via divorce settlement) cannot leave Axe Capital for seven years? This means this money is still Bobby’s to using in hedging and investments. So it is and isn’t Lara’s money. She has to hope that at the end of seven years she can get her entire sum back. That Axe Capital doesn’t crater. But if AC does well then her money might triple or quadruple.

    1. Axe has had Lara sign an agreement where she agrees not to move her money from Axe Capital to some other hedge fund for seven years in return for the discount in fess: 1/10 instead of 2/20. The money belongs to Lara per their separation agreement.

  4. I hate to see Bobby losing his family. Only with them did he show another aspect to his character. It was amusing to hear Lara refer to the “results “ of Wendy’s work. Seems similar to comments on this blog. LT I believe.
    Whew I thought the sofa discussed was a DeSade as in the Marquis!
    Lots of retuning and parting in this episode.
    Thanks as always, Damianista

    1. Thank you for reading! I am completely with you. It is sad that Bobby is losing his family. He may be having a 7-year lock on those boys but he can lose their love without knowing if he keeps cancelling on them. Single Bobby is a different animal. I am certainly not a big fan!

      Hilarious about DeSade 😀

      1. I loved this episode, although I’m not sure why since in it Axe is messing up his family life so badly. Actually, in the scenes with Lara, she appears more spiteful of the two and there is a bit of look in his eyes like he wishes he could turn back the hands of time. Wendy has a couple of scenes in which she is not her usual know-it-all which I like. Loved the Dollar Bill/Spyros interaction. Those two guys are really entertaining. It seems like Axe is realizing he acted too quickly in giving Taylor the reins to his company in his “absence.” I didn’t like that at the time since Axe demands loyalty from his employees but turned his back on them in favorite of the newbie Taylor. A lot of dynamics in this episode to digest.

        1. Thank you for reading, Connie!

          The Axelrod separation feels more and more real as we go. I think it may take a miracle to bring these two back together now. And it is not just the tension between the two, Axe is being a terrible father, so unlike the Axe we have come to know. Gordie’s face after hearing dad AGAIN cancelled on them was the face of a sad child. He may have everything a child can ask for in material terms but it is not enough and Axe seems not to understand that. At least not so far… I wonder if a kid-related problem will ultimately bring Axe back to his senses and to his family.

          So true about Wendy. I think that is because she cannot accept what she has done, not just Mafee, but the whole operation she ran with the two men to get them out of the huge mess called Ice Juice. And while the two men embrace their victories and move on, Wendy cannot. I think this will keep haunting her for a while… I wonder where we will find her by the end of the season.

          This was a GREAT transitional episode to the next set of storylines. Some transitional episodes in other shows feel like fillers, no episode feels like a filler in Billions.

    1. Aunt Wendy and Uncle Wags 😀 Coolest aunt and uncle a kid could ever have! I completely agree Axe should listen! Does he really think ordering all the desserts would make his boys as happy as the time they would have with him? Can he get more childish — as he gets into sort of a pissing contest with Taylor? I really hope they develop their algorithm on their own and beat Axe!

      1. I don’t know if Uncle Wags will have the best influence on Axe’s children when they will be teenager but he sure will be the funny uncle :D.

        From the upcoming episodes’s short pitch, I’m wondering if Taylor will be leaving Axe capital to build something of their own. Maybe with Oscar ? Taking with them all the quant’s research (getting a bigger team for that because two people is not nearly enough I think), because Taylor learned from the master and now working for a guy like Axe and keeping their moral sense, and not really being able to do what they want at Axe cap, even if they have their little “sanbox” of one billion , they are not really free from Axe weird ego and decisions.

        For Chuck his new “enemy” will be his A**hole of a boss I think, forcing case on him, I’m wondering how he can get around him because the guy is impressing very intimading a very bad bad man, I can’t see Chuck playing his little dirty trick against this guy.

        I like how JaniaJania describe Axe behavior, he is really a jerk with Lara even so I don’t really like her. Mostly on the part with his children not going away for 7 years, and the whole agreement she has to sign RIGHT NOW
        As for the money she got a tremendous amount of money through her divorce (why did they divorce already ?), and yeah Axe is an ass about the management fee but she had it coming (yeah I know I’m harsh with her). Ok she “helped” him to build Axe Cap, and we always say that “Behind every great man there’s a great woman”, here it will be there is two woman Lara and mostly Wendy. When Lara gave advice (Sandicot, fuck bruno ) it went down really bad.

        The cat fight between Wendy & Lara can be fun, but I love that Wendy just avoids it, I like Wendy because she has an accomplish career and a real marriage, those moments between Chuck and her are so great and precious and they created a real home. For Lara to holding Wendy partly responsible of her marriage faillure is being blind to a greater problem : Axe , Axe and his behavior, Axe and his need to have Wendy around. Go get mad and angry at him lol

        Always great recap from you and Janiajania, and thank you for always anwering

        1. Thanks for reading!

          Haha Wags would probably be like the uncle who took Chuck to Ginger 😀 Funny as hell, but no thanks 😀

          There is certainly a competition between Taylor and Axe. I am rooting for them to develop their own algorithm on their own or with Oscar or with a team behind the scenes and beat Axe. Yes, Taylor has learnt from the best but they do not necessarily want to follow the master’s footsteps especially into the “edge.”

          Axe and Lara have always felt like a good team to me, especially in Season 1, but I have never observed the deep and true relationship with them that I have felt with Chuck and Wendy. And I cannot understand the people who cannot see why Wendy has chosen to marry Chuck. I LOVE those brief moments where you feel the connection between her and Chuck.

          I think Wendy is right about Lara. She may currently be at a place where she cannot even recognize who is trying to help. Maybe she was expecting Axe to pursue her (I certainly was!) and now she is frustrated and even regrets the fact that they are separated? I mean, Axe is ice cold with her, and is treating her exactly like just another client he knows well… It gives me the creeps.

          Based on the trailer, it seems the AG will push Chuck to prosecute the young guy who killed the guard that abused him in jail. I am more curious about how Kate will react… whether she will cooperate with Chuck and resist. Can’t believe we only have 4 more episodes to go this season!

    1. We’ve never seen her before. She apparently had an “appointment” with Senior and Hall made sure the appointment was cancelled 😀

  5. Super recap!

    Loved Taylor’s clipped answer when Bobby asks if they have any leads on government stuff: “No, because i don’t work for the government.” I think Taylor knows the nefarious sources of Axe’s success, but they are still refraining from having to go that route. Taylor is holding on to their own smarts winning the hand, not resorting to cheating to get that win. Taylor doesn’t hold this knowledge over Bobby is a “holier than thou” way, because they admittedly want that apartment in the sky and the Hummer. Yet, Taylor is still connected to their soul and wants to stay connected as long as possible.

    I think a lot of us use the word manipulation a bit inexactly. Here’s what wikipedia says: “Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics.” So was Wendy manipulating Chuck into giving up the quest to be governor as you say? If so, what does she have to gain from him staying where he is? No doubt Wendy is well versed in manipulation. A large part of her work (and the work of a lot of therapy) is to “manipulate” her clients to think a certain way, to let go of certain things that are holding them back. But, I think in the case of this three hour conversation with her husband, she spoke from her heart to what she knows of his heart. Unless I’m totally missing what she has to gain from him not being governor? I mean, didn’t she say in another episode that she could see herself accompanying him to the governor’s mansion?

    1. Thank you!

      I agree with you about Taylor. They are still keeping their soul — an advise Wendy gave them last season! I am really rooting for them to fully develop their own algorithm or do something else that is not based on insider information and get ahead of Axe without using “the black edge” and make Axe feel like maybe he is not as special as he believes he is. Maybe he is not a Wilbury 😀

      I have never said Wendy was manipulating Chuck in the three-hour conversation which is early in the episode. They honestly and very openly talk to each other regarding why they feel the way they feel and what to do to overcome their guilt and agree that Chuck needs to reverse the power dynamics with Foley. In their final conversation in the episode, after DeGiulio makes his demand which Wendy seems to listen from upstairs, Wendy clearly sees her husband is considering to withdraw from the race, and convinces him not to run. Not because she did not want to go to governor’s mansion but because she really believed Chuck would be happier at his current job but also because that would be such a blunt “fuck you” at Chuck Sr’s face – that is Wendy’s gain. Chuck Sr had a tail on her, and now he was in her most personal space – he needs to know he cannot mess with Wendy. That is the “manipulation” I am talking about but what Wendy says to Chuck is her true feelings. That is my personal take. It seems you have a different take on this, and that is why we all do our own personal recaps 🙂

      1. Did we see Wendy listening from upstairs? That sounds like such a soapy thing. I guess I missed it?

        Does she need Chuck to say Fuck You to Chuck Sr.? Seems she was able to do that all on her own. Seems sort of roundabout and more passive to use Chuck. I mean, use her husband’s very career trajectory simply to get revenge on his father? Never saw Wendy as that petty or passive-aggressive. But that’s just me.

        I love that we all have our own takes, and I love to learn from what others have seen. Sometimes we get so planted in our speculative seeing, taking it personally even, that we don’t even allow anything else into our perception. I frankly love being proven wrong. I live for it actually. There is no shame in being wrong, to me. Again, this is me taking this entire thing way more seriously than it deserves. Must be why my husband never wants to watch TV with me. Nor my daughter after a point. She’s a lot more willing to talk about plot and characters and narrative than he is, but only up to point. Just watch, they say, why do you always have to understand everything? It’s a curse. I really should’ve been an academic holed away in an office writing papers, instead of bothering folks on the internet with my so-called deep readings. 🙂

        1. Wendy came downstairs as soon as De Giulio left and immediately told Chuck: “You’re considering it.” So she knew what De Giulio asked.

          Wendy comes to the hotel on her own — Chuck does not know that she is using Hall to get to Chuck Sr — to make Chuck Senior understand it is HER that made Chuck not run. So it is not passive. That is her “fuck you” at the old man whose life-long dream was to see his son run for some high political office. That is my personal take. And I don’t think there is anything to do with proven right or wrong here. Characters act and we understand to the best of our ability and interpret. It is all normative.

          1. Ah, see I totally missed that she told Senior it was HER advice that made Chuck not run. Thank you!

  6. From the Forbes Recap

    Fans Can’t Get Enough:

    Billions is Showtime’s No. 2 drama series, averaging 4.5-to-5 million weekly viewers across platforms and its viewership has grown season-over-season. Throughout season two, the series grew on Sunday nights by more than 35% from premiere-to-finale. And, the season three premiere was the show’s highest-rated ever with the March 25 debut up 23% from last year. And, yes, a fourth season is in the works!

    Episode eight of season three entitled “All The Wilburys” was written by Randall Green and Alice O’Neill and directed by Mike Binder. ‘Billions’ airs on Showtime Sundays at its new time 9:00 PM ET/PT. Here are previous season three recaps and interviews with David Costabile (Wags), Asia Kate Dillon (Taylor), Toby Leonard Moore (Connerty), Maggie Siff (Wendy) and show creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien.

  7. Wonderful recap of a wonderful, yet surprising episode. I do love how these writers take us on what seems like a season long story only to end it mid season and move to new stories. I don’t know another show that does that, or does it so interestingly. So…… I have to say that I was totally wrong in “my” idea or hope for the Axelrod marriage. When Axe says to Lara, “this is something we don’t come back from” and knowing how egotistical Axe is, always needing to win, I truly can’t see them finding their way back. Plus the “strong businesswoman” that Lara thinks she is, may find forgiveness a difficult concept. They are both worlds apart. But it’s the kids, who like in every family breakdown, are in the middle and will get hurt far more than their parents. I just don’t understand why Axe wants his boys so badly yet never spends time with them. Are they just another material possession? It made me think back to when my own sons were around 10 and 11 years old. My husband’s father had died when my husband was 11 years old and as our boys approached that age, my husband became quite distant and angry with our kids. A counselor explained that he had lost his role model of what a father was and now was trying to figure it out on his own. I wonder if that could be part of Axe’s problem with his boys – his father leaving and Axe having to, in his words, “grow the f up”. Does he not know how to parent his sons any longer or is he trying to force them to grow up like he had to? Something will hopefully wake him up, because this Axe is like a spoiled child. He may not have been the nicest guy before but he was a committed husband and father which seemed to ground him. I look forward to where these fabulous creators will take us in the next four episodes – in all aspects of the story. As always, thanks for the hard work you all put into this blog!!!

    1. Thank you, Nancy, for reading us and for your kind words!

      You and I have been on the same page regarding Axe and Lara all along. You know, I even thought the separation could be strategic at the beginning of the season, and even though it became clear that it was real, I thought Axe and Lara would still be able to find their ways back to each other at some point… After the “7-year lock conversation” in Episode 7 followed by Axe advising Lara to think about how to spend and how to live, I think only a miracle can bring them back together now. Having seen Gordie’s young sad face, I wonder if a kid-related problem could make them, especially Axe, try to be a family again. He does not even seem to miss his family. Cancelling on his kids because he needs to compete with Taylor? It is too much! My biggest attachment to Axe, next to him being self-made, has been his commitment to his family. I am disappointed 🙂

      I have always thought there should be a person who grew up with a single mom in Billions Writers’ Room. The way they know about the psychology of a child whose parent passes away or leaves, is spot on. Losing a parent in one way or the other makes your feeling of security go away at a young age, and shapes you in several different ways. I know that a big chunk of me, from having difficulty in dealing with uncertainty to being a control freak, all come from the fact that I had a big bad surprise when I was young. So I would not be surprised if the way Axe deals with his kids at the moment has something to do with what happened when he was a kid!

      1. Just read your recap again before tonight’s episode. A couple of thoughts: why would Axe trust Krakow with insider information after the previous animosity they have had for each other? Seems like an easy set up to get Axe again. Do we now think that the look at the end of episode 7 in the hot tub was explained as the high of winning not lasting longer or was it something else? And where will Connery end up???

        1. Just because it is a very easy set up to get Axe again, I don’t think Todd is trying to trap him… unless Todd is co-operating with the new AG to get Axe (I doubt it, but who knows?) or Bryan has got some information to get Krakow and that Krakow is in a deal to get Axe. We will see if there will be a follow-up to that plot line.

          I thought Axe was at the high of winning feeling overwhelmed and not happy at the end of Episode 7. Honestly, he looked like he was having a heart attack. Damian changing the narrative in the blink of an eye was the most impressive moment in that scene for me.

          I do not know whether Chuck has the authority to fire Bryan from the SDNY. And if he does, I don’t know If Bryan is eligible for another AUSA position in another district. I hope to see a bit more of that story coming up tonight… Billion dollar question: Would Bryan visit his old mentor for a job? 😀

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