Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 9: Icebreaker

The Bottle Rockets’ “Wave that Flag” opens this week’s episode in which both Axe and Chuck figure out how they would feel if somebody owned their asses.

As Chuck is spending some time with Jeffcoat in West Texas, he happens to go on a hunting trip with him and ends up shooting the coyote that has been picking off Jeffcoat’s calves for a while. It turns out Chuck learnt from the best:

“My father taught me. Once you have the animal in your sights, breathe easy and let fly.”

That kind of training, Jeffcoat believes, is what they need for the upcoming Jose Lugo trial. Remember Lugo, the young man who could not make bail and ended up killing the guard who abused him?  The AG wants Chuck to make sure Lugo gets the same treatment the coyote gets in the court.

Back in New York, Chuck finds Kate preparing for the case while hoping for the first time in her career that the defense will do a better job in the courtroom and she will lose. Jose Lugo killed the guard in self-defense and all Kate will say in court will be lies. Chuck advises her to try and extract a 20 year plea from Lugo.

While Chuck is after a 20 year plea, Axe is after a $20 billion icebreaker to  kick off his wild capital raise campaign. A potential investor is Grigor Andolov, a Russian oligarch who just got out of jail (I wonder why he was in jail!) and Axe is now collecting information about Andolov from a man who used to work for him.

The man used to live in a palace in  Khamovniki, the most expensive living area in Moscow. He shipped oil for Andolov, and no one, he claims, shipped faster or skimmed less than him. Yet, once out of jail, Andolov wanted to buy his business for nothing. Knowing “no” might not be a wise option, the guy chose to say “yes” but rather slowly that cost him not only his business but also his arm. He now runs a coffee cart in a shit corner and his dream is to run a hot dog cart. As Axe’s payment for the information he provides makes the man’s dream come true, Hall talks about Andolov like we have never heard him talk about anyone before.

“If you take his money, I may not be able to cover you.”

Axe is willing to try Spartan-Ives before taking the Andolov route to a successful capital raise, but he still lies to Wags about what Hall thinks of Andolov.

And as much as the Spartan-Ives guy is willing to shine “like a pasty on the nipple of Lili St. Cry in the bright lights of the Florentine Gardens” per Wags’ request, $20 billion is an unprecedented amount of money to raise in a few months. When the best ideas he presents are either “do a full rehab tour” or “sell piece of the fund” Axe knows he needs Andolov.

Axe Capital invested only Axe’s money during the indictment because it was a necessity. But now that the government is off his tail, the fact that Axe Capital still investing only Axe’s money is unacceptable. Wags is scared Andolov is a Siberian brown bear who would rip their faces off as he gives them his money and warns Axe not to go full Grizzly Man. But Axe knows, unlike Treadwell, that he is facing a wild animal.

Axe finds Andolov (Hello, John Malkovich!) at Nassau Coliseum playing hockey with the NY Islanders, a team he is considering to buy!

It is obvious Andolov will not be an easy catch and the way Axe takes so much arrogance from him and still speaks softly tells me he is desperate to have his money. Axe may be back to life, but how will he handle investors’ questions? When Axe responds with “victim of class warfare. I win too much so the game must be rigged” he gets a story from Andolov: Every life is a body of water with the equal amount of salt added. To endure, you need to expand your body to an extent that you do not notice the salt to endure it. Andolov, on the other hand, has decided to like the salt. It is all about survival.

“However, you get there, right?”

While Axe wants Andolov to meet only with Axe Capital, Andolov advises he may not be convinced Axe got his edge back or even if he is, he may want Axe to work a bit harder to get his business. Still, he agrees that their lieutenants should meet to talk about how they can make themselves richer, stronger and thicker like the 80-time world record breaker Vasily Alekseyev.

The lieutenants meeting turns out to be a fiasco and who can blame Taylor for believing “international criminals are unstable bedrock for a capital raise” and giving an oil man an environmentally friendly “fuck you” at the face in the form of impact investing ?

Well, Axe can.

When Axe confronts Taylor that he knows they do not want Andolov’s money, Taylor does not deny that and moreover asks him whether taking Andolov’s money would not have merit a discussion first. Well, there was a discussion. Ouch.

While he is busy playing ball with Andolov, Axe finds time to check in with Wendy who has just sold the Maserati Axe gave to her in Season 1 Finale followed by a $250K donation to the Axelrod Foundation. I wonder if this is just the way Wendy copes with guilt or she is slowly parting ways with Axe while he keeps giving her advice in back-to-back episodes!

One should not let the guilt win, Axe suggests. There was a time he thought he had to be understated for the sake of his investors and flew First Class commercial. But when a blizzard cancelled his flight and he found himself booking hotels for the night with all the mortals, he went ahead and bought his FIRST Gulfstream.

Now that Taylor knows their position is completely advisory, they knock on Wags’ door to discuss what to do when Axe is wrong, a discussion Wags needs to take off-campus, to a monument called Axe is Never Wrong: His stately house where his ex-wife is now living. It turns out when Wags fell in love with his ex-wife, Axe openly told him she sucked. As Wags loved the way she danced, Axe knew that the dance would end. Wags believes Taylor does not understand Axe’s current moves because they are emotional. And they are emotional because he is fighting for his life. Taylor cannot understand because they have not gone beyond their own limits yet. I wonder if Wags would make a case for Axe if he knew what Hall thinks of doing business with Andolov!

When Taylor comes back to tell Axe they are still not seeing what he is seeing, because they believe in data and not in blind faith, Axe gives them food for thought with Dylan’s “He not busy being born is busy dying” and reminds Taylor once again he is paying them to see. Taylor should give Andolov’s man a convincing presentation while keeping their eyes open.

Well, boss, you may not be the only one busy being born. Taylor keeps their eyes open but also keeps their quants close, adds a new member (the second guy from the quant interviews in Episode 3 A Generation Too Late, who had given to his emotions and ruined the cardboard when he was not able to turn it into a box) and moves ahead with developing the quant algo that can crush the market. I bet they may give Axe a good run for his money… or could help him in a dire situation.  This will be FUN!

While Kate is rehearsing her argument in the courthouse, she gets the news Lugo has died on his way to the court. The guards, who obviously executed him, are claiming Lugo made an attempt to run and they had to subdue him, well, to the point of severing his spinal cord. Kate assesses the situation right.

“Charges are dropped, and Lugo received the death penalty.”

While Chuck asks Kate not to read the report when it arrives and that he will take that weight and will ensure they will get those guards for what they did, Kate is keen to be on it because she wants to know if someone is ready to do the right thing… Well, that someone is certainly not Jeffcoat, who enlightens Chuck and Kate about the Code of Hammurabi that had different penalties for killing a property owner, a freeman or a slave.

Why? The reason is simple. All lives are not equal. Some do more for the society and Lugo is not one of them. Jeffcoat believes when Chuck takes his time to investigate, he will find out the guards are telling the truth about what happened in the transfer van.

Kate goes and finds the only person who can understand what she is going through in a bar, but, no, Bryan may buy her a drink but will not buy her bullshit. Besides, he has a job interview in the morning.

The person with a security clearance that still answers Bryan’s calls turns out to be Terri who has arranged a job interview for him at the FBI New York office. Thanks to her preparing him well coupled with Bryan’s ability to breakdown a complex movie,  Pi, as a bonus, he is hired as a special counsel. I bet he will make FBI not his peaceful park bench but his playground to continue his investigation. I am rooting for him!

While Chuck and Wendy are having dinner with Lonnie and his wife Sandra at Kefi, Chuck throws his anger for Jeffcoat at Lonnie, who seems to make good money in private sector and afford Brioni suits. Chuck is torn between his options. If he does not bring charges against the guards, they will go free; and if he does, he will be fired, and they will go free. Since Chuck cannot let Jeffcoat own his ass, Wendy offers a third option.

Axe is working to get Andolov’s business over a conversation about who is soaking his pants. Andolov believes Axe is either fucking with him by having his CIO pitch “potato-powered cars” to his man or scared of doing business with him. Since Axe does not want to personally insult him he is now inviting him to his house, where his children sleep, expecting Andolov himself to end the conversation. When Andolov brings up his kids, Axe is ready to be as friendly as Andolov who claims to be a sweetheart like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

“Me, too. And if you mention my kids like that again you’ll find out how fucking friendly.”

Now that Axe has started speaking Andolov’s language, he goes on to share a story he has heard about a Russian oligarch who only loved the killing part of hunting and so had his men bring the game for him to a well-lit area and he only delivered the kill shot. Axe knows some may not call this a sport while some may just say:

“However you get there, right?”

Andolov’s position is clear.

“If you want to kill the meat, kill the meat. If you only want to eat the meat, get someone else to do the killing.”

Axe, who is not afraid of Wetwork, offers to become Andolov’s craft butcher, but Andolov has not survived jail to take a hunter’s bullet meant for Axe. Ha! Is it Andolov who is pissing his pants now? Axe may be able to show him he has “trust” at high levels of government but Andolov is not interested in that. He wants Axe to deliver influence.

The “influence” costs Axe $50K to Kevin Durant Charity Foundation so KD makes a “Happy Bar Mitzvah” video for Muresan’s, ahem, Krakow’s son Stevie! And raise your hand if you have noticed Axe’s nickname on Krakow’s phone? Bullitt! Spot on, Todd! No wonder we have been arguing Damian Lewis should play Steve McQueen for a few years now!

As Andolov arranges for vodka and caviar at The Russian Tea Room, Axe has his own exotic delicacy delivered in a back room.

Krakow reminds Andolov he was at a party on his boat, the boat that follows the first boat, in St Barth’s. And Gingersnap reminds me, in one of the creepy voice messages Axe leaves on Lara’s phone in Season 2 Episode 10 With or Without You, he mentions the opportunities he missed, citing the “prostitute yacht” the Russians had five hundred yards behind the “family yacht”… Oh well.

As Andolov wants Krakow’s phone number, Axe points out it would not be a good idea for any government official to talk to the Russians right now! When Andolov finds out the only way he can reach Krakow is through “his brother” Axe, he says “fuck you” and we find out Andolov takes you seriously when you speak to him in the way he speaks to you. He tells Axe to draw the papers for business only after the latter tells him “fuck you.”

While Axe is after Andolov’s money, someone at Axe Capital is after Dollar Bill’s lucky dollar that he won in a poker game against Carl Icahn.  Bill finds his first suspect in Bonnie, the new analyst and a tough cookie who does not let Bill look into her purse, so Bill looks into Rudy’s only to find out gag gifts for the bachelor party he is going that evening… I do not even want to know how come Preparation H qualifies as a gag gift! As Bill loses his cool and turns to his new suspect Ben Kim, completely stereotyping him as well as testing his patience, Wags uses the data at hand to find the thief.

Rudy, who has consistently been the weakest link at Axe Capital, was desperate to steal Bill’s lucky dollar to knock Bill off his game so his quarter would not look as bad. Survival, in this world, is all indeed. Rudy now has $10 million to work with whereas his other $10 million is going to Dollar Bill.

Andolov shows up to sign the papers. Being Casper the Friendly Ghost, he has only one rule in business.

“You can’t lose my money.”

He illustrates his rule with a “funny story” that is not funny at all. Once at Moscow Christmas Market, Andolov is in line for mulled wine and there is this little boy who wants his wine so he gives him a sip. But when he notices the boy’s mother has plump breasts, he realizes the boy is not hungry but only greedy. So he takes his mother away, rapes her, and leaves her for the soldiers.

Does Axe know what happened to that boy?


“I always ask. No one ever knows.”

What Axe knows is Andolov owns his ass. And I wonder if doing business with Andolov is as desperate an act on Axe’s part as his fellow Hofstra alum stealing Bill’s lucky dollar to disguise his abysmal performance. We can only hope everything will be alright.

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!

55 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 9: Icebreaker”

  1. I do know which is worse Malkovich’s accent, the predictable plotlines or the idea that Dylan was the first to express the born/dying concept. Ugg

    1. Hi thank you for the recap. I’m having trouble understanding Jeffcoat’s remark to Chuck at the Yale Club that Kate reminds him of a childhood friend with whom he played a game. Do you know the name of the game. It sounds like he is saying “javelina” but I don’t think that is right . Thank you

        1. Hi Damianista, thank you very much for the quick reply. Sometimes even the best actors mumble (I missed “bagged”) and of course, sometimes, my hearing ain’t what it used to be.

          1. You are very welcome! I make sure to watch with Closed Caption so I hear it all! 🙂

  2. Good episode but John Malkovich was embarrassing. Another actor should have had this role. Plus Malkovich chewed up about 7 minutes of precious screen time that could have gone to Dollar Bill, Mafee, They, Lonnie, Lara, Hall! Lonnie was nice to sere again but his Afro was absurdly puffed up. Who directed this mess! But still liked the episode.

    1. Wow, I am quite surprised about your take on Malkovich. Why do you think someone else should have done it?

    1. Hahaha exactly my sentiments! Axe and Wendy seem to have reversed the relationship in the last two episodes and we find out Axe is full of wisdom when it comes to how to deal with guilt!

  3. Damianista, Thank you so much for this recap. You literally made the episode tolerable for me!

    I have to agree with some of the other commentators here: this was bad. For many reasons, but the last time I heard such a bad Russian accent, was Boris and Natasha from Bullwinkle. I’ve never seen anything that Malkovich has been in, but it seemed he was playing a caricature, not a character. Also, all his scenes were with DL, who can ACT the shit out a scene. There was no comparison, and I think that is why I though the whole Grigor character was just poorly done. The Rudy side story was irrelevant, and why introduce an annoying character like Bonnie?

    I also thought it was too “ripped from the headlines”. If I want to watch Law and Order, I’d do so.

    32 out of 33 episodes have been great or amazing – I guess one dud is allowed!! 🙂

    PS: I also hate Bob Dylan!

    1. Thank you! If you check out the comments, there is a consensus this is the least favorite episode of the season. And I concur but I also wonder whether this is because this one came just after three really strong episodes. I would go ahead and say the writers might deliberately create a caricature out of this character, exactly like they did with Jeffcoat. He is a caricature of the current administration while Andolov is probably a caricature of the Russian oligarchs with all cliches in place.

      I thought this episode had a lot of desperation in it and Rudy was a part of it. Wendy was desperate to deal with her guilt and sold the Msaserati and donated $250K. Chuck and Kate were desperate to deal with Lugo case, Bryan was desperate to find a new job, and above all, Axe was desperate to get the ball rolling on his capital raise. When I think of a theme, I find Rudy’s side story relevant. But yeah those side plots are not necessarily part of the big picture all the time.

      Re Malkovich. I cannot say I saw everything he’s been in, but Being John Malkovich is an excellent movie. Highly recommended!

      1. I agree – we had a string of amazing episodes, so this one was flat. I also wonder if taking away the whole cat and mouse situation between Chuck and Axe, and having them have to find new adversaries is what caused the disappointment. For the last 2 seasons, we waited for that final scene bwt Axe and Chuck which we knew would be electric. I don’t know if we’ll see that this year. I think Chuck and Axe have a detente is taking a bit of the edge off the story.

        I don’t mind a caricature of a Russian Mobster (although, I would have rather they went with say a Colombia drug lord, or why not just do the OG Mob and have a John Gotti like character. Using a “Russian” just seems lazy in today’s environment). But, two shows I have watched recently (McMafia and this seasons Homeland) had real Russian actors playing oligarchs and they didn’t have to use such a bad accent. I just think the role was mis-cast. I’m not doubting JM’s acting (although like I said, I have never seen him in anything) I just know there are good Russian actors out there who would have made the part more believable.

        One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, and I’m hoping this was a “transition” episode, and the next 3 are a super crazy ride!

        1. John Malkovich played a Russian in Koppelman and Levien’s Rounders so I think that is the reason (next to being a fantastic actor) he is playing the Russian in Billions.

          Is Costa Ronin Russian? He played Oleg in The Americans and Yevgeny in Homeland this season. He is very good.

          Honestly, I am not expecting an Axe – Chuck ending this season like the ones in the first two seasons. Depending on how they have rebooted the show in the last two episodes, it seems both men will deal with other enemies in the rest of the season… That said, knowing how they always throw a curved ball our way, they may always twist the storyline in way that that can bring Axe and Chuck together… but will they necessarily be foes again? Only time will tell 🙂

          1. Yes, Costa Ronin is Russian, and he is fabulous! Great in Homeland this year. I was thinking of another actor, Merab Ninidze. He was also in Homeland this season (Mirov), but played the exact type of character Grigor is supposed to be on “McMafia”.

            I’ve never seen (or heard) of Rounders. And now that I have watched that clip, I know why: I do not like Matt Damon! He’s like the acting plague for me! 🙂

            I do hope they throw us a curve ball! It’s what I love about the show!

          2. Ok got it Matt Damon is to you what Tom Cruise is to me. I completely understand. Rounders is a poker movie and is a good indie movie IMO.

            Yep the actor who played Mirov would be a better fit for the type of character JM plays in Billions than Ronin.

        2. For good Euro and Russian gangsters must see is Season Five of Homeland which takes place in exotic (for me) Berlin Germany. All the exteriors are Berlin. That season was peak Homeland with Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn who is really the star not that ridiculous hyperventilating Carrie- Clair-whatever…………have not watched it since.

          To our lovely exquisite running half marathons D hostess — that anonymous comment up above was me on an unfamiliar computer

          1. I saw Season 5. It was a strong season. Season 7 is even better. Carrie is one of the few strong female characters on TV. She is THE SHOW in my opinion.

            Hahaha now that you reveal your identity, why did you not like Malkovich? It seems there is a consensus this is the least favorite episode of this season.

      2. I felt the desperation, but I also saw the chess pieces being aligned for future moves. I also enjoyed the chance to breathe that this episode offered – phew – on the heels of the last three. The subtleties abound, and the texture of this amazing fabric is almost tangible. I disagree with other poster’s opinions of the Oligarch played by Malkovich; I LOVED his ruthlessness. He learned to love the salt… how frikken deep is THAT aphorism! Wow! Axe has truly made a deal with the devil; I suspect it’ll cost Wags down the road. (I think Wags understands explicitly just how dangerous the waters are now.) Happy that the quant project is now skunkworks… can’t wait for that to blow up! This is – by far – some of the best written, and produced episodic TV I’ve seen.

        1. Thank you for reading!

          Good to know there are fans who loved the episode! I suspect many did not enjoy it for the exact same reason that you liked it. I think I also enjoyed the pace after several extremely fast-paced “bam bam bam” episodes. But it was still very very dense.

          Andolov did not learn, but even better decided, to like the salt! You are absolutely right Axe is getting into bed with the devil now, his face at the end of the episode says it all. He’s the greedy little boy in the story, isn’t he? We will see if he can live up to the one rule Casper the Friendly Ghost has in business! Malkovich rocked that last scene IMO. Many did not like his accent, it did not bother me, but I don’t know much about Russian accent anyway.

          I wonder if Taylor’s quant project will come to save Axe Capital in the end. Only 3 more episodes to go!

        2. I read the Lockheed skunk works book years ago. Thanks for the cite. My prediction is Taylor’s sub sub subterranean quant project will make zillions and put her in contention w Bobby Axe. This might take next season to materialize. I like how she brought back the arrogant quant that Wags told to to get the F out of here

          1. Yes, it is quite possible Taylor could turn out to be the REAL competitor. Taylor has seen value in the arrogant quant, it seems he will deliver!

      3. The song should have been The Eagles remake of “Desperado” instead of Dylan’s “It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”…

  4. Super recap!
    What a piece of work Jock Jeffcoat is. I wish someone had reminded him that the Code of Hammurabi was superseded by the Constitution of the United States which states “all men are created equal” last time i checked. A truly disgusting thing to say with Kate sitting right there (reminding him of a childhood friend, no less). All I wish for this character is a well-timed hunting accident.

    This episode was fun for the Damian and JM scenes, as over the top as they were. Couldn’t help thinking that the season may be heading for a simplistic ending of Andolov and Jeffcoat intersecting somehow. Russian dirt on the Attorney General, etc. etc. not far beyond the realm of possibility. That intersection will kill the two vultures with one stone, leaving both Bobby and Chuck free and clear sliding into next season. Way too easy, so I hope I’m wrong!

    The Dylan song at the end gave more food for thought than the episode did. Not the kind of thing that can just play in the background without demanding that you really listen, like a lot of his stuff. (and unlike this episode), Feel it’s more worthy of a post than the episode. 🙂

    “Although the masters make the rules,
    For the wise men and the fools,
    I got nothing more to live up to.”

    “While one who sings with his tongue on fire,
    Gargles in the rat race choir,
    Bent out of shape from society’s pliers,
    Cares not to come up any higher,
    Rather gets you down in the hole that he’s in.

    It’s alright Ma if I can’t please him.”

    “He not busy being born, is busy dying.”

    1. Thank you!

      Jeffcoat telling Kate and Chuck to brush up their Babylonian was surreal! And when you think about it even though it was written in the Constitution that all men were created equal it was not the case for a long, long time in this country. I am so pumped about it since my recent visit to the new African American Museum in Washington DC. I bet Jeffcoat would be the equivalent of Scalia on the SCOTUS and interpret the constitution like we are in 1787 🙂

      Wow, that is a good link — Jeffcoat and Andolov. Not far from the world we are living in. Ha ha killing two vultures with one stone would be fun. It looks and sounds easy but they always find a way to do it in a surprising way. Only 3 more episodes to go!

      Dylan is one of the best modern poets of the last century. Even though I thought the Nobel Committee was stretching it when they gave him the Nobel, when you read his lyrics, you see how deep he is. From your comment, I also think you concur with most of the people that commented here today that this was not one of your favorite episodes this season. The consensus seems to be it is the weakest episode. And I am wondering if it is because it came just after three very strong episodes or because I set my expectations very high for Malkovich and did not get what I thought I would.

      1. For some dumb reason, the powers that be in Washington BEFORE the current administration saw fit to consider Hillary Clinton well ABOVE the law and not subject to the same Constitution that the rest of us are required to adhere to…her crimes were obvious to children…

        1. I personally disagree. That said, We do not to get into politics on the blog since we have readers from all across the spectrum and we hope to keep it that way with no heated political debates. Thank you.

    2. Jania….. Dylan sings it so raw with his fingers scraping the stings and wood. Might be live version. Can you believe he was 24 when he said this. Half the lyrics I can dismiss but the other half are brilliant. I liked the Dylan closing (It’s All Right Ma) to this episode. Plus he was a Wilbury whether he traveled or not

  5. You are indeed amazing, Damianista. Your work is so consistent and timely it’s easy to forget how hard it is. Thank you!
    I love Bob Dylan, he just wasn’t the first to say that.

    1. Thank you for reading! I love Dylan, too; the lyrics make him easily one of the best poets of the late 20th / early 21st century.

  6. No, didn’t like this one at all. Had to force myself to watch a second time in the hopes of trying to understand the first 15 or 20 minutes of financial lingo. Second time wasn’t any better. As much as I like Giamatti, I am weary of Chucks’ preaching. Glad to see Hall back and the bit with Dollar Bill was fun, but not much else. Of course I am always happy to just sit and watch Damian do his bit with facial expressions only, but the writers have toned him down too much this season. He has no where near touched his range. (That was always my complain about “Brides”.) Come on guys, let Damian open up and do his stuff. He is the reason I’m tuning in weekly.

    1. Thank you for reading, Connie! It seems there is a consensus that Episode 9 is the least favorite episode this season. I concur but I also think maybe this is because this episode came after a couple of really strong episodes. The show is more of an ensemble piece this season, but I agree they could stretch Damian so much more than they have so far.

  7. His character is spiraling downward. He’s turning evil; barely walking the edge anymore. Of course that is the artistic intention but imo it’s less nuanced and can our guy do nuance! The caricaturish aspects are likely intended to redeem Chuck with the audience. We shall see.
    He advised Wendy but it wasn’t good advice!

  8. In actuality I’m a fan of Malkovich. His acting was good imo but I had a problem with his accent. And in honesty Russians Again (sigh).
    Costa is indeed Russian though his name doesn’t sound so to my uninformed ears. I admire how his two spies are such different people. Their voices differ as well.

    1. Lewisto likes Costa Ronin so much that at some point he was joking he would make a blog for him 🙂

  9. Love the recap as always. The only thing that I disagree with is I don’t think Axe lied to Wags. The way I read it was his reply was sarcastic and Wags understood it to be as evidenced by his reaction.

    1. Thank you for reading! My read was Wags said “Oh Boy” because Hall was his hope to make Axe give up on Andolov but now that he is giving the green light to the boss Axe will move ahead. Your read may well be the case, too.

  10. Great recap as always. I think I was as anxious as you were D. to see Malkovich, and he didn’t disappoint. I had the honor of seeing Malkovich on stage in “Burn This” many many years ago (I’m aging myself). In my opinion he can do no wrong.

    I also hate Dylan. Beautiful poet, shouldn’t sing.

    May I go back to ep. 7. Always catching up. I’m enjoying the party scene. Then when Axe gets into the hot tub I notice a haze, probably from the steam. Now my mind goes to “is this a dream?” will Lara make her way through the crowd, then we see Axe wake up, close-up on his face, end scene. Did anyone else fantasize that this was a dream? Anyone?

    1. Thank you! I’m a JM fan, too, Being John Malkovich is an all-time favorite!

      I never thought hot tub scene could be a dream because Wags was there! 🙂 I mean, what else could he give to his friend that has just been reborn from his ashes, right?

  11. Yes, hot tub scene was fun and befitting Wags. My mind did wonder. I guess this was my denial to your yoga girl.

  12. I can’t believe Axe is this desperate. This guy all but told Axe he would kill him and his family if he loses even $1 of his money. Time to go listen to Taylor now, Axe! Axe is such an egomaniac and is so pigheaded, he can’t accept his new reality. He’s so used to being right and winning, he can’t accept what he’s lost. Everyone around him except Taylor, feeds into his egomania. I think he has really messed with the wrong one this time. I know the writers will have him and Chuck teaming up to take down the Russian but that’s super unrealistic. As Hall said, this guy is a nation-state all by himself. He walked right out of jail and back to being an oligarch. Guys like this are above the law and not in the way Axe though he was.

    Chuck is just as bad as Axe. He’s won so much he thinks he can’t lose or be fired. I’m sticking to my theory that Wendy is just as much the cause of these guy’s problems as she is the solution. Her telling Chuck to assassinate his boss, the sitting AG was like sending him on a suicide mission. In real life, as we’ve seen, Chuck would have been fired already. I guess this is there way of getting him there.

    1. Well, Axe is ready to take whatever risk he faces just to prove he is back and Axe Capital is still the best shop on the street. You are absolutely right, even a man like Axe who thinks of himself above the law is not as above the law as a Russian oligarch. This man is a nation-state where capital punishment still exists. I wonder whether Taylor will help Axe with their algo at some point this season, when Axe gets into trouble with Andolov’s money… or whether they would develop the algo, leave Axe Capital and have their own company by the end of the season?

      You think Axe and Chuck will team up again this season? That would be interesting… I agree that a US attorney cannot assassinate an AG in real life but why not in fiction? This is the thrill about Billions and I would not mind if they went a bit over the top with it.

      Wendy cannot deal with her guilt like Axe and Chuck do. She sells the Maserati, gives $250K to Axelrod Foundation. What’s next for her?

  13. Seems unfathomable and too far fetched that you could ever have someone as right-wing, bigoted, racist and corrupt as Jock Jeffcoat reach such high office in American government or a Russian with such vast ill-gotten gains wielding such influence in America as Andolov… hang on!

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