A phone conversation between Chuck and Krakow lets us and the US Attorney’s office know that Qatar State Bank is going back to the restricted list 😀 This means Chuck Senior may lose his sweet deal with the bank and so Chuck and Krakow agree to meet on New Year’s Day.
And as the U2’s “New Year’s Day” plays in the background, the opening sequence of iconic New York landmarks reminds me that of Manhattan, one of my favorite New York movies.
New Year’s Day at Axe Capital
Helena and Peach had to cut their vacations on St. Barths and Turks and Caicos, respectively, short to be at the office on New Year’s Day. But they are still smiling since should they have not had these jobs, they would have seen those beautiful islands only on TV – if they could have afforded cable!
Axe Capital is running a mock hearing today with Wendy whose medical board hearing is fast approaching. As they wait for the rest of the team, While the only thing Wendy wants to hear about is whether she can win this, Bach warns Wendy that the stakes are high and the medical board hearing will be brutal so they need to make it hard for her today. He further explains that their strategy is to convince the board that Wendy’s sessions with Taylor were only performing enhancement sessions and not a part of her medical practice. Taylor was not a patient but a client. So there is no doctor – patient confidentiality to talk about. The billion dollar question is whether the board will buy this argument. It seems to depend on Wendy’s as well as Taylor’s performance at the hearing.
Next to arrive are Chuck, Ira and Spyros – a great scene for people who have thought Ari and Ira were the same person 🙂
LOL we can’t tell either so we made a cheat sheet after the table 302 readthrough. Ari (Kunken)left/ Ira (Shenkman) right. pic.twitter.com/rKnsZHtNtY
— Stephen Kunken (@stephenkunken) April 25, 2018
Chuck needs to start the mock hearing right away since he has another meeting (Krakow!) in the afternoon. And while Wendy is openly sour with Chuck, she has the biggest smile we have ever seen on her when Axe surprises her with an early return from his vacation with the boys in Fiji.
Wendy’s schoolgirlish smile speaks volumes. It is obviously Axe whom she trusts 100% in this. And while Axe talks about Gordie scraping his leg at a coral and Dean breaking his surfboard to explain their early return Wendy knows HE IS BACK FOR HER.
The mock inquisition starts with Bach asking Wendy the details of her sessions with Taylor. And as Wendy uses the forbidden word “patient” in her answer Axe comes up with an offer: How about them trying to stop Taylor from attending the hearing? What if he offered them something they needed and created leverage? Basically what he always does in business. All lawyers in the room agree it is not a good idea but this does not stop Axe from saying none of this would have happened should Chuck have done what was asked of him: he should be talking about Taylor Mason in a fucking cell. Crazy! And Chuck reciprocates that this is more about Axe’s gang war. These two are ready to resume the pissing contest anytime!
Helena interrupts the meeting with some unexpected news: They are delivering Picasso’s Boy with Pipe (last sold for $104M in real life!) and 17 other paintings Axe bought at Art Basel last year. It turns out while he is happy to pay over $100M for a single painting, Axe is not happy to pay Uncle Sam his share and so he does not want to accept the delivery. He pays the delivery guys $1000 each to sit around and watch the Rose Bowl as he looks for a solution and goes back to the mock hearing.
And while Spyros, fully in character as Dr. Rodizio wearing a doctor’s coat and carrying a stethoscope, provides comic relief, the hearing goes downhill when it is Chuck’s turn to address his wife. Wendy loses her cool and when Ira suggests she should not let the board see her sweat, she refers to The Usual Suspects:
“Only the guilty one can sleep through the night.”
Axe calls a timely time out!
Wendy is still pissed with Chuck, but she spills the beans: She is not comfortable that the case is based on Axe Capital employees being clients, not patients. If it is the case with Taylor, it is also the case with Dollar Bill or Danzig whose session notes are certainly not kosher! She is concerned that they can subpoena her at a later point. Ha! Wendy is putting Axe Capital over her own interests. Now we know why Axe calls Wendy Axe Capital’s spirit animal, don’t we?
Yet another surprise interrupts the mock hearing: Wags is back from his vacation in Miami early with good news and bad news: Good news is he has brought Joe’s Stone Crabs which we learn is one of three reasons he would be willing to wait in line for. The other two? To have the first batch of his favorite drug off the assembly line and meet Ellen DeGeneres 🙂
Wags breaks the bad news when Chuck leaves the room to have a word with Wendy during lunch break. The CEO of Kling, a house appliance manufacturing company, whom Wags has bumped into at LIV, has told him that Taylor has bought a ton of company stock the last day of the year. Taylor probably traded last minute on the last day of the year so it would go under the radar. And it seems it did because Dollar Bill who covers the sector for Axe Capital is clueless about the trade!
Kling is the major supplier at Saler’s, the department store Rebecca has just taken over. Besides, it is the only cash-flow for the company at the moment — Kling sales account for 63% of the revenues. If Taylor cuts their supply, Axe and Rebecca may find themselves in a reverse takeover where Taylor controls Saler’s. Rebecca will now check if any of the major household appliance brands is on sale or ripe for a hostile takeover so they can have their independence from Saler’s. And when Dollar Bill feels the urge to tell the boss that any of those appliance companies will cost billions of dollars, the boss only tasks him with finding a cheaper alternative!
Is Saler’s becoming a professional suicide for Axe? He has got into it only to make Rebecca’s dreams come true. And having diagnosed his structural weakness, his commitment to Rebecca, Taylor has been pushing harder and harder.
As Axe is dealing with Kling, Chuck is dealing with Wendy who, I am 100% with Chuck on this, is expecting a miracle from this hearing! I find it very ungrateful of Wendy that she does not even appreciate Chuck pulled a few strings behind the scenes to get a deal for her. If she takes the deal, Wendy needs to give up on her medical license, say for 6 months to a year, and in two years it will be removed from her records. Chuck thinks it is the smart way while Wendy thinks it is the easy one. I am with Chuck on this. In fact, I am with Chuck on many things this season.
Is this the Wendy who advised Axe about giving up on his trade license in Season 3 Episode 1 Tie Goes to the Runner and even told him giving up his license could be another kind of freedom in Season 3 Episode 2 The Wrong Maria Gonzalez ?!?!Axe fucked up in Ice Juice and had to give up his trade license temporarily . Wendy fucked up with doctor – patient confidentiality and has to give up her medical license temporarily. What is the difference?!?! Axe did it. So can Wendy.
I think Chuck may be bringing the deal up to make Wendy know how it feels to lose her career. Because Wendy has, it is very hard to say this for my favorite character, hurt him badly: She told him to kill his career for her and then asked him to kill for her career. This is some serious double standard in my book. But I think, if shit hits the fan, Chuck would still use the “mobile voting” card to get Wendy out of this mess with her reputation intact.
We find out about the details of Axe’s “shitty new year’s present” as Ayles and Victor arrive at Axe Capital. It turns out that a Swiss banker, a friend of Ayles, was keeping Axe’s paintings because the Swiss Banks did not need to report art… well, until now. Now that they need to, the banker has done the courtesy of shipping the paintings to Axe.
The arrival of the delivery guy’s boss with news that his brother-in-law is a US Customs and Borders Protection officer further complicates the day. Ayles is now tasked with making the delivery guy’s boss happy so he keeps quiet and Victor brings in Danny Margolis who introduces us to a new concept: Freeport! Or just another way for individuals and corporations to game the system!
A freeport is a storage area at a private airport where one can store their art works that are permanently “in transit” so the owner does not have to pay customs duties and sales tax. Filed under things I never knew existed before Billions, this kind of outrageous stuff people do for tax evasion never ceases to amaze me! Margolis owns a freeport in Newburgh, and he is happy to store replicas while Axe can enjoy the originals at home. Margolis will get his medium fee and Victor will get his own shop if he keeps delivering like this for Axe! You can read about the role of freeports in global art markets here.
Wendy knows Wags is not back early from vacation because he already drank a lot and had a tan. And why doesn’t he have his precious Phillippe Patek on? Wags confesses: he went to a hotel with a 22 year old in Miami and when he woke up, not only the girl but also his Patek Philippe, which his dad had given to him, were gone. Wags seems to be in such a weak emotional state that the only solution Wendy could think of is not a session with her but a session with a professional cuddler! A WHAT?!?!
Yes, there exist professionals who provide people a safe space to feel accepted, respected and worthy for exactly who they are! 😀 And it seems this is exactly what Wags needs! FYI: Anyone can book a therapeutic cuddling session at cuddlist.com!
And Wags is not the only one having a cuddling session today 🙂 Wendy points out it is wrong to make people work on a holiday. Axe capital employees kill it every day for Axe and they deserve to relax a bit. What is the point of being very rich if you are not able to enjoy life? While it is never easy for him to admit a mistake, Axe tells Wendy this is exactly WHY he cannot let her lose the hearing. He needs her more than anyone at the company.
And, FINALLY, we find out about their backstory that we have been dying to know for years: It turns out they met when Wendy came to the company after 9/11, on loan from the Sports Psych Place she was employed at, to help with the survivors as well as the families of the employees who died on 9/11. Axe, the only surviving partner in the company, was determined to do the impossible: pay for all the funerals, the school for kids of the colleagues who died in the attacks and the bonuses for the next three years. The company did not have a book. It did not have personnel. Every advisor Axe talked to told him to shut it down but he did not. And it was too much for him to take when, at one of the funerals, some families questioned his integrity as well as called him a thief. And when he was not able to handle the situation, someone else put herself between him and the families.
“Shut the fuck up. You lost family. So did everyone else here. And this man is the only hope you or any of you have of paying for the rest of your lives. And I’ll tell you another story. I have begged him not to. Because I think it’ll destroy him next. He doesn’t need it. He can move on clean and in a couple of years he’ll have enough wealth for 20 lifetimes. But if he’s really too slow for you, if you really think that he’s stealing from you, say another word, and I’ll make him shut it down. Otherwise, shake his fucking hand, say thank you, and we can all mourn together.”
But the moment Axe knew she would be his partner in this for life came later when Wendy came to his car and told him:
“Bobby, you better fucking deliver for those people. Or I won’t just make you quit. I’ll kill you myself.”
Wendy being loyal to him in public and her holding him accountable in private and her dedication to the greater cause sealed the deal for Axe. Now we know why Axe calls Wendy the company’s spirit animal and why he was willing to go to jail for her.
And while I think everything Axe says is sincere, but I also think it is strategic of him to talk to Wendy about her loyalty to the greater cause. And I believe it is Wags that gives him the idea when he points out earlier that Wendy feeling guilty means she cares while most people do not.
Axe knows that, when he suggests Wendy should go to Taylor and say she is sorry Wendy will do it only if she feels this is for the greater cause. These two have built Axe Capital together and they will protect it valuing the cause more than their own personal interests.
So Axe lets his employees go home and send everyone a case of champagne with a tin of caviar. And Wendy is on her way to Taylor. Perfect Team.
New Year’s Day at Taylor Mason Capital
Team Taylor has their own mock hearing on New Year’s Day. Sara has done her homework and brought in Lonnie, who was “brought close just to be expelled like Sammy Hagar in Van Halen” by Chuck. And he will now help Taylor prepare for the hearing. And exactly like Bach warns Wendy, Lonnie warns Taylor: There will be leaks from the hearing and their character and conduct could be questioned by the market as well as their investors. So they have to come up with a careful script.
The questions follow: Why did Taylor see Wendy? Psychological problems? Gender identity issues? A confusion? A crisis?
None of the above. Taylor’s book was good and the conversation was not about their gender identity. The point is that there was a private topic they wanted to discuss with Dr. Wendy Rhoades. And the doctor did not keep the information private but rather used it against them.
“The whole wing of medicine is based on confidentiality.”
And that is exactly why Axe Cap team is trying to make Taylor look like a client rather than a patient.
In personal news, Taylor and Lauren seem to be an item now but they are still trying to keep their relationship under cover. While Sara sees through them, Mafee is utterly clueless that he is considering to ask Lauren out 😀
As they are getting ready to call it a day at the office, Taylor has a visitor. And since they perceive Wendy’s apology transactional, they make Wendy directly tell them not to come to the hearing. So if she thinks she should keep license, Wendy has to convince the board about it. Taylor will not be there to tell them anything different.
The ball is in Wendy’s court now.
New Year’s Day at US Attorney’s Office
As Judge Funt points out “even though court is closed, justice never slumbers” at the SDNY. Bryan and Kate let the judge hear the phone conversation between Chuck and Krakow and convince him to step up the surveillance. Judge Funt grants permission for bugs at the two Chucks’ residences — home offices and living spaces only. Headphones will be off for anything not related to the case and the recording will stop if an attorney is present. Agent Dancshazy will plant the bugs and Kate will put together a taint team to protect the attorney – client privilege. Knowing Bryan well, Kate feels the urge to warn him: She will not violate any rules.
In personal news, Bryan has Dr. Gus in his office expressing his frustration in Kung-fu terms:
“Do you think that, uh, Grasshopper left Master Po waiting in the dojo?”
It turns out Bryan sent an email to let him know that he would not be able to make it to his appointment but he still cannot escape Dr. Gus’ ultimatum:
“You find me tonight or never find me again.”
And I wonder if Dr. Gus is using Eau de Loser as a metaphor or Bryan is in need of emergency deodorant again? 😀
Another visitor brings good news to the US attorney. Agent Dancshazy who has done “same-day delivery” for both Chucks’ residences is now getting a top shelf whiskey from the boss.
New Year’s Day at Chuck Senior’s House
Both Chucks know they will need to give Krakow a chunk of the development project, 5% to be precise, before he tells them in sign language 😀 Hats off to Krakow for being extremely cautious! I am quite sure this is not his first time cutting a deal as Mr. Secretary 🙂 And I love it that Senior makes a copy of the contract Krakow has them sign so Krakow cannot make changes later.
What Chucks do not know though is that (i) the US attorney’s office is listening and (ii) Krakow’s caution and Ira’s presence in the room as their attorney after the secretary leaves save the day for now.
What Bryan and Kate could only learn is that there is a piece of paper which is now placed in Senior’s safe! Rules are rules and Kate will not let Bryan see the redacted parts. Good call.
New Year’s Day at Dr. Gus Office
OMG! I was hoping Dr. Gus would help Bryan get his shit together but what he is doing is creating a “Kamikaze” out of him! And look at Bryan who first mocks with Doc’s “Kids’ Karate Class.” Now he wants more!
New Year’s Day at Chez Rhoades
Chuck not remembering the exact moment he knew he needed to marry Wendy seems to further dissolve the Rhoades marriage. But I do think Wendy compares apples and oranges here. Love is quite different than a business partnership. When you are in love, you are in love. The relationship evolves and you come to love this person as a package like Chuck pointed out in the previous episode. So I am not sure if there exists a “Eureka moment” in a romantic relationship. That said, I sympathize with Wendy who is obviously an emotional wreck. She cannot recognize herself or her life anymore. Where is the professional cuddler when she needs it?
Taylor’s point about the board hearing being Wendy’s chance to reclaim her old self is spot on. The billion dollar question is whether anyone in Billions can admit they did wrong publicly and face the consequences. I do not know the answer but if anyone has the balls to do it, it is Wendy.
New Year’s Day at The Assembly Bar, Glendale
Lo and behold, Bryan kicks off his Kamikaze mission. And who knew he had a brother who took quite a different path in life than him? Jackie’s eyes are lit when he finds out there is a safe he can play with! Welcome to Billions, Michael Raymond-James!
Does Bryan understand he is not different from Chuck at this point? He is taking an illegal but also a VERY RISKY action to get what he wants! I am now hoping Chuck will catch Jackie in action and use it as leverage against Bryan to take down Jeffcoat! Oh yeah I am as obsessed as Chuck about taking down Jeffcoat 😀
13 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 10: New Year’s Day”
It’s interesting seeing the dynamic between Chuck and Wendy massive shift. I always thought he was more emotionally invested in their marriage than she was. Wendy seemed like she was happier working and more fulfilled by her career than she was with her marriage. Now it seems like Chuck can easily live without her. I guess losing his job made him realize what was important to him. It’s weird that Chuck couldn’t recall the moment he knew he wanted to marry Wendy since he’s such a great historian and is always telling stories about their past. Wendy is so used to him worshipping her that she can’t handle this new, indifferent Chuck.
I think it’s interesting that Wendy expected Chuck to keep worshipping her. She’s done a lot of messed up things and she and Bobby have crossed a lot of boundaries without regard for their spouses’ feelings. I wouldn’t be happy with my husband getting naked with his boss or his boss buying him super expensive gifts. Yet neither of them cared about their spouses’s feelings. They were happy with their relationship so every one else could just deal with it. I think Axe pushed Lara too far and now Wendy has done the same with Chuck. She’s cheated on him and left him multiple times. Maybe he’s just done?
I think Rebecca will either leave Axe to save herself or he will do to her what Taylor did to their dad. Either way I don’t see this relationship surviving.
I’m not regular rich or super rich so I don’t know about tax dodging. It seemed odd to me that Axe was fine paying $100 million for a painting but paying $75 million in taxes was unthinkable. But as I said I’m not rich so what do I know?
Thank you for reading! I think Chuck feels very much hurt in the marriage. Wendy asking him to kill his career for her and then asking him to kill for her career has been a little too much for him to take. And I agree with you it seems he is emotionally more invested in their marriage than Wendy. She has been used to being the dominant one in the marriage (not only sexually) and now she cannot recognize her marriage with her seemingly indifferent husband. They are not at a good place. That said, I do not think Bobby and Wendy crossed boundaries. Being naked in the spa in Season 1 was not sexual but it was about Axe making sure Wendy was still loyal – it was the first instance in 15-16 years where Axe did not know if he should still trust her. And Wendy saw it and complied. And when you compare the gift — Maserati — with her salary, the kind of life these people have, is not a super expensive gift. For them. That said, it was obvious Wendy trusted Axe more than she trusted Chuck about her hearing in this week’s episode and it should be hard on Chuck. I still think Axe and Wendy have a platonic relationship, they love each other, they have a strong bond, but there is nothing romantic in their relationship.
I think the show tries to show us how the super rich do crazy things to avoid taxes — they really do. What Axe has done not to pay taxes, storing art works in freeport, is a real thing! I think he is happy to pay $100M a piece for the paintings because he sees them as investment. They will also increase in value. But he does not want the government to get its share from his purchase even though the entire tax bill is lower than the price he paid for a single painting! Axe is a libertarian, he does not believe in government or paying taxes. He even said once that his ideal way of giving is giving to a cause which would bring him back some returns!
I am wondering if this Saler’s business will be a professional suicide for Axe. He has got involved in it even though he did not believe in the business but only because Rebecca wanted to make her dreams come true. And now that Taylor has seen Axe is committed to Rebecca, they have been pushing harder and harder. I think the last two episodes will be wild and I agree there could be some big trouble in Axe’s relationship with Rebecca because of what is going on with Saler’s.
Great recap D!
Gotta say, what they did here is a re-write on who both Chuck and Wendy started out as. Though Chuck is less emotionally dependent on Wendy, at least he still remains faithful to his original beliefs and ambitions. Whereas Wendy this season is not at all the same Wendy the show started with. She’s weakened beyond reason, totally out of proportion to what Chuck did to her when he outed their sex life. As much as I love Maggie Siff playing a delicate and vulnerable damsel in distress, that trope is the complete opposite of the dom Wendy, in work and home. The medical license stuff seems a poor construct too, meant to weaken her even more. She’s not working as a doctor, Axe doesn’t care that she’s a doctor, she works for Axe, so why the drama around losing her license? And her confusion over whether she’d be susceptible to subpoena now? Like this is the first time the thought occurred to her? She’s head of HR, complicit in every way to what Axe Cap does. She sure as hell should be susceptible to subpoena. Why does it even matter, since, if it ever came to that, Axe would surely find a way around it? (these are rhetorical questions, no need to answer them. :)) We see now that prior scene when she closed the door on Dake’s questioning by asserting confidentiality was Dake being a patsy and not a very good lawyer…his absence now makes that point even more so, ie makes a lot of sense that he’s not practicing law any more.
What they are succeeding in doing is making Axe decidedly more of the bad guy. It’s clear that he doesn’t have any genuine affection or loyalty for Wendy. Their scene was about him getting her to stay, loyal to him, loyal to the business. I may be in the minority with this but that’s what I see Damian playing. Axe never softens. His eyes seem always undilated and never warm any more. He got his guys to come in on a holiday for HIS money. He finds a workaround to paying the government what he owes them because it’s all about saving the loot for himself. Even when he looks at Rebecca, there’s camaraderie and respect, but not heartfelt affection. Last time Axe showed his heart was when he said goodbye to his kids last season. And this season, like his kids, his heart is gone for good.
Thanks for reading!
I think Wendy has always worked as a doctor so doctor-patient confidentiality has been her shield when she talked to Dollar Bill or Wags or Danzig — their stories are absolutely not kosher! So her being a doctor has protected Axe Capital from any legal action such as subpoena whatsoever. I agree that Wendy has weakened beyond reason… but when I come to think about it, the stakes have never been this high for her — losing her medical license may not be a problem for Axe or regarding keeping her job, but wouldn’t it be a huge reputational issue in the profession? She was thinking the guy from medical board was in her office to invite her to a conference, and boom… So Wendy has a certain status in her profession and will probably lose it completely. And it is a very good point you are making about Dake: He did not even go deeper and see whether Wendy was working as a doctor… or not. It makes sense he is not practicing law but for god’s sake he is training law school students at UVA 🙂
I agree with you 100% about Axe using Wendy. It is not love. It was a completely rational decision to keep her by his side because he knew she would keep him grounded and help him make a lot of money. That is why he calls her the company’s spirit animal. And even telling that backstory was to prime her to do the right thing for the greater cause and go talk to Taylor! Axe is extremely calculated! And I think that is what the show creators want to show us. This is the 1% of the 1% in this country! The only thing I disagree with you is Axe’s relationship with Rebecca. But you are right, we do not feel love as we understand it in his eyes or in his words or in his body language. But I think this is as good as Bobby Axelrod gets in a romantic relationship. He has got involved in a business he did not think was worth it just to make Rebecca’s dreams come true… which Taylor has diagnosed as structural weakness. I am so curious how that story will evolve in the last two weeks! And I am looking forward to your post-season post about how Damian portrays Axe this season. I agree with you that his scene with his kids at the end of Season 2 was special (I had given him the Best Axe scene award in Season 2) but I think he also showed some real heart in his conversation with Lara this season. He does it so well!!!!! <3
Wendy is guilty AF, but I think youre missing a big piece here. Chuck brutally and selfishly exposed her publicly earlier, and she is looking for him to prove himself and regain her trust, and he is falling short. Waaay short. And if she knew he could have helped her but didnt for his own personal gains, then that trust would surely dissolve further. When she asks him to tell her about the moment he needed to marry her and he is almost dismissive about it, you can see the deathknell toll. She can no longer be in that relationship, not for a minute. Its not about love, its about loyalty for her. She is comparing that and not love. Its clear that regardless of the type of relationship, loyalty or lack of it is a dealbreaker for her. I suspect the dynamic for her with Bobby is going to change, they hinted that possibly Rebecca may quit Bobby, due to the economic toxicity being around him implies. As one other observer commented on another site, there was a reason Lara was jealous.
Thank you for reading!
I do not think I am not missing a big piece, it is just that you and I seem to think differently about Chuck making their sex life public. I have been the biggest Wendy supporter since Season 1 but I have not been happy with her actions in Season 4 and I have constantly been writing about this since Episode 4 Overton Window: Making their sex life public was the only way for Chuck to keep his career going and Wendy knew how important it was to him. If I had been Chuck’s life partner, I would have been the first person to tell Chuck to go tell the world about BDSM because you can’t live with a sword hanging over your head forever. And Wendy told him to kill his career for her right there. Without even thinking twice about it. Later, when her career was in jeopardy, she was very comfortable asking him to kill for her career! This is some serious double standard for me. Chuck should feel very much hurt. And that is the reason I think he was dismissive about the moment he knew he needed to marry her. But I also think Wendy is comparing apples (business partnership) and oranges (marriage) there because she is an emotional wreck at the moment – I sympathize with that. It should be very hard not to be able to recognize herself and her life anymore. I think she may go ahead and say she is guilty at the board hearing to redeem herself and maybe start on a path to find her old self.
My two cents about the future of Axe – Wendy relationship: I do not think they will have a romantic relationship. They like each other, they have always been very close and they have a strong bond thanks to Axe Capital which they built and protected together. I think the show has made this clear time and again since the first season. Yet, I understand one may not like the fact that their spouse has a very close bond, even when it is not sexual, with someone of the opposite sex! So I give credit to Lara and Chuck there, they are human beings after all. I do not know if you have seen Mad Men, it is my all-time favorite show, and I see Axe and Wendy the “Don and Peggy” of Billions. They love each other, they have a strong bond, but they will never be lovers.
Great recap as always. And wasn’t it nice to get a few days extra just to digest everything?
You and I loved all the same things in this episode! Finally, the $99,000 question answered, and now I get it! I will go into it more on Friday, but I totally, 100% now understand and get the Axe/ Wendy bond! This now cements my 180 turnaround feeling about Wendy that started earlier this season. Funny that as I started to get Wendy, you started to question her!
There was a lot going on in this episode, but for me the humanizing of Axe and Wendy was the best part. It was nice to see Axe not be the God of War for a few moments, and great to see Wendy seem happy that someone was making her feel “warm and loved”. The acting of DL & MS in this scene alone was worth the price of admission.
I agree with you about Wendy asking Chuck about the exact moment he knew he “needed” (she didn’t ask “wanted” which I though was odd) to marry her. She is comparing love to loyalty, and while they should go hand in hand, that isn’t always the case. I think if things were not as bad as they are between Wendy and Chuck, he may have been able to answer that question, but it looks as if neither one are putting any effort in the marriage any longer, so he didn’t even try to make something up! How many people do you think turned to their spouses/partners after that scene and asked the same question? I know I could answer it, but wonder how many people really could. The writers not only make us think about these characters, they make us think about ourselves as well.
Can you believe we only have 2 more episodes left?
Thank you for reading! Yes, the early release made the weekend better — I wrote a few hours each day and got to spend time with my mom who is visiting 🙂
I am so glad they have finally given us the backstory for Axe and Wendy — cannot wait to dig deeper into it in a new Bobby and & Wendy write-up once the season is over. I LOVED that scene with both actors killing it. By the way, I totally get that Wendy, you know that. The Wendy Axe has even been willing to go to jail for. The Wendy he has called the company’s spirit animal. I didn’t know the story but I knew there is something in the past that made Wendy the most valuable Team Axe member.
The Wendy I have started to question is the Wendy in her marriage. The woman who asked her husband to kill his career for her is now asking him to kill for her career — it is not fair. I do not want to say it, but I will I think it is hypocrisy. Chuck is simply hurt. And I think he has also felt hurt seeing Wendy trusting Axe 100% in this thing and not him. It should be a lot to stomach for a husband, and that may be the reason he was dismissive to the question. I don’t think he knew he was being tested, either 🙂 And I also thought why she used “need” instead of “want” in the question. Weird, right? I just think Wendy was used to being the dominant one in the marriage (not only sexually) and now he is not letting her anymore. I do not know what can happen to save their relationship in the next two episodes but they are not at a very good place. You are also right that the show creators have made us think of the moment when we wanted to marry our own spouses. Neither Lewisto nor I were able to come up with an answer. But I mean love is different from a business relationship, it does not need to be a moment, the relationship evolves and when it is love, it is love. Business relationships are naturally rational. Axe has kept Wendy because he knew Wendy would help him make a lot of money. Love does not need to be rational. That is why many people fall in love and marry bad apples! 🙂
I think that having Wendy become more complex is a good thing. She has gone through some traumas, and that can change a person (I know this from personal experience!). None of us are the same all the time, and we can change, depending on our experiences, age, etc. so I do like that the writers are willing to take a major character and show you every facet of them, even if it makes us question who’ve they have become. I see that in a way as character development. If the characters become predictable, then the show does, then why watch?
I think showing someone who was one of the strongest characters go through a crisis, or come to terms with a part of themselves they don’t like, makes the character more relate-able. I can’t relate at all to Chuck, and I can relate to Axe on certain things (but not his constant state of war and rage), but I can now start to relate to Wendy. I know loosing your medical license is not comparable with what I went through, but I understand what it is like being a strong, confident person and then something weakening you so that you don’t recognize yourself. You will re-evaluate almost everything and everyone in your life; you change. You also start to see clearly who is there for you and who is not. It makes you selfish for a time while you try to take care of you.
Perhaps I am making this too personal, but I think a good show will do that. Also, I can’t believe I would ever be saying I understand Wendy, but there it is!
I believe she’ll get her mojo back, just as I have. The journey is what’s the story, and sometimes that journey is messy.
Certainly – I basically meant exactly what you are talking about when I referred to the change in Wendy’s behavior. The stakes have never been this high before for her — a trauma — and it makes sense that she has changed to an extent that she cannot recognize herself. The good news is she has some control over redeeming herself and reclaiming her old self. I have a feeling she may take the deal Chuck negotiated for her or just go in front of the medical board, say she did wrong and face the consequences. And maybe not. But I think, if there is a person in this show that has the balls to do that it is Wendy. And I know I will applaud her if she does that! And, no, you are not making it too personal, you are speaking from experience and I completely see how a traumatic experience can change a person.
Agree with pretty much all tour sentiments, though even as I agree with the Chuck and Wendy dynamic being very hypocritical of Wendy I do think Chuck seems to be a bit too bent on hurting her as much as she seems to have hurt him. Considering that Axe cheated on his deal to trade, and Chuck went to war with Jock because of his restrictions of him (and that he exposed his personal fetish to the world) it seems pretty hard to believe he doesn’t recognize the same killer instinct for their profession that Wendy has as much as Axe and Chuck do. Even though I agreed in her and Axe’s case it was the least kind of punishment they deserved given they were indeed guilty. But my point is, whoever started it or whoever is more right or wrong doesn’t matter at this point IMO, if neither Chuck nor Wendy take a step back from their resentment and take a step forward to reconciliation now then it really will be over. Quite frankly the only thing I can think of is if somehow Chuck takes a dominant position in bed, but we’ll see if that miracle ends up happening.
Also, I’m 50/50 if Taylor keeps their word to not show up given just how much the dad fiasco hurt them. It’d be a nice tactic to surprise and rattle Wendy at the hearing when she thought she was safe.
Also, my this whole Krakow thing is a trap radar for Bryan and Jock senses are still tingling. And here’s why. Jock put Krakow on the no go list for Bryan. Which Chuck knows since Bryan turned the case back over to him. So in turn the only way Bryan can come after him is to get Chuck to implicate himself minus directly charging Krakow. So I’m starting to get a Axe-Donnie vibe from Season 1 all over again right now. Guess we’ll see.
Thanks so much for reading!
I agree with you. If they want to save their marriage, there is no other way than backing down from where they stand in the marriage right now. They have to compromise and move on.
I think Taylor’s job is done. They have told Wendy that there is still someone in her that can identify right from wrong. They are right that this medical hearing could be an opportunity for Wendy to redeem herself. Unlike Axe and Chuck, I think she has the capability to admit her wrongdoing and face the consequences. I have a feeling Wendy will voluntarily accept at the hearing that she is guilty.
I think a bit differently about Krakow. Bryan is not different from Chuck right now. I wonder if his brother will successfully take the contract from Senior’s safe. If he does, then Bryan will take it to the AG. I don’t think the AG will be happy to see it — Krakow is a member of the administration after all. And if he tells Bryan to stop pursuing this… then things may get really interesting. Bryan may even come back to his former mentor and they may join forces to take down Jock. In another potential scenario. Chuck finds out about Jackie and uses it against Bryan as leverage and again take down Jock. Hahaha all my scenarios go to Rome, sorry, Jock 🙂 I am as obsessed as Chuck about him. Brian Koppelman said the last two episodes are fire — can’t wait!!!