It’s cap raise time for Axe Cap and everyone gets more than they bargained for in Billions Season 3, Episode 12, “Elmsley Count”. The season finale promises to be a doozy with so many threads to tie up.
Taylor is arriving late to the event. Before the uber gets there, they have a sit-down with Andolov, who in all his gross creepy generosity concedes that he would (do “her”). He then gets Taylor to foretell what newly minted Taylor Mason Cap can do for him.
At the cap raise, Axe fluffs up the allocators, then has Taylor deliver the money shot. They promise to take care of the money transparently.
All the mysteries revealed.
Axe takes his people to see The Hold Steady at the Hammerstein Ballroom and delivers chaste kisses of celebration to Wags and Wendy.
The day after the big party, Axe notices the empty desks. He flashes back to Shakepearean-ly seeing Taylor Shakespearean-ly pulling Mafee out of the crowd at the concert. This being the business it is, everyone arrives at the absolute worst conclusion succintly: Taylor has jumped ship and taken Mafee with them.
Orrin is called for advice on what can be done legally. Not much, is the determination. Axe interviews Ben Kim too to see whether he was approached to bail too. He was, and he refused. Taylor puts the “he doesn’t really love you” crush on him, but Ben Kim doesn’t waver. Methinks Ben Kim’s show of loyalty may be a candidate for reversal next season, as pretty much everything is in this show.
Andolov offers Axe his plumbing services to dispose of Taylor. Axe’s own black ops guy Hall gets a terse slap when he steps in. Clearly Andolov’s guys never step in.
We get the big confrontation between Taylor and Axe. Recalled ever so briefly the “I liked you, Carrie”/ “I LOVED you” exchange in Homeland when Carrie brought in the terrorist.
You betrayed me.
Axe spits out something about Everest killing so many of the climbers who venture to tame it. Taylor doesn’t flinch.
Young lungs, so yeah.
A great line, but do young people ever see the advantages of their youth? Youth doesn’t have such allowances for self-reflection, does it? I know I never did. And I never did not feel old. Apparently Taylor knows they have all the time in the world, all the energy and drive they need to kick ass forevermore, which certainly is a genuine portrayal of youthful ambition.
Bobby and Wendy cozy up on the penthouse rooftop. This may be the closest we ever get to seeing these two in bed together, ya’ll. This season put the nail into the coffin of the chemistry. They’ve got something together, but it’s decidedly not that.
Taylor has the balls to get Wendy to bail.
It’s a place where we can be our best.
Taylor really seems to believe this.
I’m offering you….a reset from your slew of fuck-ups.
Wendy counters with righteousness over Taylor not knowing the first thing about loyalty.
Lasting relationships, true loyalty, real trust.
Oh, Wendy, now who sounds chockful of youthful idealism? The idealist in us commiserates with Wendy, the realist in us commiserates with Taylor. It’s a wonderfully total split of sympathies. Wendy will not betray Axe, as one human to another. Taylor will not betray the idea of Axe and what he has instilled in all his people, as one predator to another. Both Taylor and Wendy are idealists actually, but in totally opposite ways. Good stuff.
No, I’m pretty sure there’s only money.
Bobby discusses with Hall that his black ops training, though useful in the past, is no match for Andolov. Andolov requires hearing a different sort of no to his kind offer to off Taylor. Bobby brilliantly concedes that though Andolov’s offer is tempting, he doesn’t want a quick fix. He wants to make Taylor suffer slowly, like a Showtime twelve episode season’s arc worth of suffering, or at least like a couple episodes, before tides turn once again. What better fodder for what promises to be a rich Season 4, yo?
Bryan sidles up on Kate and tells her Chuck is getting close to his due desserts. She convinces him that in getting Jeffcoat, Chuck is doing the right thing. They upgrade from beer to boilermakers.
The guy Chuck has put on Jeffcoat is getting his chakras realigned via his feet. The charges are filed with a quick “send” of an email. They envision possible outcomes to Jeffcoat learning of the charges. Chuck wants to trust that it’s his phone that will ring with Jeffcoat asking for help.
Chuck Junior consults with Senior on more strategy vis a vis Jeffcoat. To hurry things along Junior calls to pull the trigger on the grand jury.
Just when he thinks they’re all closing in on deposing sitting Attorney General Jeffcoat, Chuck walks in on an ambush. His people know what side their bread is buttered: with the AG. They’ve got issues with Jeffcoat, sure, but they don’t want to side with rebel Chuck only to have him shut them out again (as he did with Dake and Bryan, and most likely would do to Kate, given the opportunity). They choose the devil they know. Thus, Dake and Bryan get “revenge” on Chuck. As for Kate, not sure what she gets siding with a man who believes some folks have a genetic predisposition to being enslaved, but she’ll figure it out I’m sure. Opportunism is a special skill that should be included in all resumes.
Now, for the sweetest bow ever to be tied on a season finale. The A-team, first string, endgame at table together. Adorably self-conscious, “well, look at us and where we are.” So, all it took was Chuck getting fired for him to see Axe as a human again? We’ll take it. They toast, and drink and strategize. In the course of a season, fortunes have been reversed, and the lines of battle have been redrawn.
Axe sympathizes with Chuck’s battle with Jeffcoat and shares his own problems with Taylor. Under the closing music, they huddle and share plans. Or maybe they break character for the final seconds and Damian tells Paul and Maggie a fun quip, because they both smile bigly, and so do we. There is much to celebrate.